Sunday, March 01, 2009

Q79 A8: Whether the reason is distinct from the intellect?

No. In man reason and intellect are the same power because rest and movement are not to be referred to different powers, but to one and the same.

In homine eadem potentia est ratio et intellectus quia quiescere et moveri non reducuntur ad diversas potentias, sed ad unam et eandem.

Reasoning, therefore, is compared to understanding, as movement is to rest, or acquisition to possession, of which one belongs to the perfect, the other to the imperfect.

Ratiocinari comparatur ad intelligere sicut moveri ad quiescere, vel acquirere ad habere, quorum unum est perfecti, aliud autem imperfecti.

And since movement always proceeds from something immovable, and ends in something at rest, hence it is that human reasoning, by way of inquiry and discovery, advances from certain things simply understood -- namely, the first principles -- and, again, by way of judgment returns by analysis to first principles, in the light of which it examines what it has found.

Et quia motus semper ab immobili procedit, et ad aliquid quietum terminatur, inde est quod ratiocinatio humana, secundum viam inquisitionis vel inventionis, procedit a quibusdam simpliciter intellectis -- quae sunt prima principia -- et rursus, in via iudicii, resolvendo redit ad prima principia, ad quae inventa examinat.

For to understand is simply to apprehend intelligible truth. And to reason is to advance from one thing understood to another, so as to know an intelligible truth.

Intelligere enim est simpliciter veritatem intelligibilem apprehendere. Ratiocinari autem est procedere de uno intellecto ad aliud, ad veritatem intelligibilem cognoscendam.

And therefore angels, who according to their nature, possess perfect knowledge of intelligible truth, have no need to advance from one thing to another; but apprehend the truth simply and without mental discussion, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. vii).

Et ideo Angeli, qui perfecte possident, secundum modum suae naturae, cognitionem intelligibilis veritatis, non habent necesse procedere de uno ad aliud; sed simpliciter et absque discursu veritatem rerum apprehendunt, ut Dionysius dicit, VII cap. de Div. Nom.

But man arrives at the knowledge of intelligible truth by advancing from one thing to another (as Dionysius says in the same place) and therefore he is called rational.

Homines autem ad intelligibilem veritatem cognoscendam perveniunt, procedendo de uno ad aliud (ut ibidem dicitur) et ideo rationales dicuntur.

Other animals are so much lower than man that they cannot attain to the knowledge of truth, which reason seeks. But man attains, although imperfectly, to the knowledge of intelligible truth, which angels know. Therefore in the angels the power of knowledge is not of a different genus from that which is in the human reason, but is compared to it as the perfect to the imperfect.

Alia animalia sunt ita infra hominem, quod non possunt attingere ad cognoscendam veritatem, quam ratio inquirit. Homo vero attingit ad cognoscendam intelligibilem veritatem, quam Angeli cognoscunt, sed imperfecte. Et ideo vis cognoscitiva Angelorum non est alterius generis a vi cognoscitiva rationis, sed comparatur ad ipsam ut perfectum ad imperfectum.

Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. iii, 20) that "that in which man excels irrational animals is reason, or mind, or intelligence or whatever appropriate name we like to give it." Therefore, reason, intellect and mind are one power.

Augustinus dicit, III super Gen. ad Litt., quod "illud quo homo irrationabilibus animalibus antecellit, est ratio, vel mens, vel intelligentia, vel si quo alio vocabulo commodius appellatur." Ratio ergo et intellectus et mens sunt una potentia.