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Extra info for Averroes’ De substantia orbis : critical edition of the Hebrew text with English translation and commentary
The agent of celestial locomotion is the form of the celestial element, while the body is its matter. Matter and form apply to celestial and terrestrial substances in different senses of these terms, since they are predicated of terrestrial substances in virtue of their generation and corruption, while they are predicated of celestial substances in virtue of their eternal locomotion. Since the principles of transient and eternal beings differ in respect to genus, matter and form are predicated of them according to equivocation.
Wolfson, Harvard Theological Review, XXXI, p. 153, lines 1820. Averroes does not answer this question in the present chapter, but his answer seems to be that the term "corporeity" is predicated of celestial and terrestrial bodies according to equivocation. Cf. Hebrew text, chap. 3, lines 100-104. However, in chap. 2, lines 129-133 (cf. also below, chap. 2, n. 66) he holds that the term "corporeity" is predicated of the two kinds of bodies according to priority and posteriority. Cf. De Caelo I, 3, 270a, 12-22.
How the celestial soul produces the motion of its body engaged Averroes' attention next. In terrestrial living beings, the soul produces motion by desiring an object that brings the soul to its perfection. The soul that is the efficient cause of terrestrial locomotion inheres in the body that it moves, whereas the object of its desire that is its final cause exists in separation from it. Since tlie heavens undergo locomotion, they also require an efficient and a final cause. But since 32 Introduction the celestial form exists in separation from its body, the same celestial form is both the efficient and the final cause of celestial locomotion.