The word mind has been used in a variety of meanings in English, and we find a similar want of fixity in the connotation of the corresponding terms in other languages.Aristotle tells us that Anaxagoras, as compared with other early Greek philosophers, appeared like one sober among drunken men in that he introduced nous , mind, as efficient cause of the general order in the universe.It is a logical definition, having reference to a metaphysical entity.It has been said that man's animality is distinct in nature from his rationality, though they are inseparably joined, during life, in one common personality. As such, neither has any substantial existence of its own.According to the common definition of the School, Man is a rational animal.
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As a special application of the general doctrine of matter and form which is as well a theory of science as of intrinsic causality, the " soul " is envisaged as the substantial form of the matter which, so informed, is a human "body". It cannot be maintained, in the Thomistic system, that the "substantial union is a relation by which two substances are so disposed that they form one".
In the general theory, neither "matter" nor "form", but only the composite, is a substance.
The Latin word, mens , was employed in much the same sense. Thomas, who represents the general scholastic usage, derives mens from metior (to measure).
He identifies mens with the human soul viewed as intellectual and abstracting from lower organic faculties.