Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Q84 A5: Whether the intellectual soul knows material things in the eternal types?

Yes. The intellectual soul knows all true things in the eternal types because the unchangeable truth is contained in the eternal types.

Anima intellectiva omnia vera cognoscit in rationibus aeterni quia veritas incommutabilis in aeternis rationibus continetur.

Augustine says (Confess. xii, 25): "If we both see that what you say is true, and if we both see that what I say is true, where do we see this, I pray? Neither do I see it in you, nor do you see it in me: but we both see it in the unchangeable truth which is above our minds."

Dicit Augustinus, XII Confess., "si ambo videmus verum esse quod dicis, et ambo videmus verum esse quod dico, ubi quaeso id videmus? Nec ego utique in te, nec tu in me sed ambo in ipsa, quae supra mentes nostras est, incommutabili veritate."

The human soul knows all things in the eternal types, since by participation of these types we know all things. For the intellectual light itself which is in us, is nothing else than a participated likeness of the uncreated light, in which are contained the eternal types. Whence it is written (Psalm 4:6-7), "Many say: Who showeth us good things?" which question the Psalmist answers, "The light of Thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us," as though he were to say: "By the seal of the Divine light in us, all things are made known to us."

Anima humana omnia cognoscat in rationibus aeternis, per quarum participationem omnia cognoscimus. Ipsum enim lumen intellectuale quod est in nobis, nihil est aliud quam quaedam participata similitudo luminis increati, in quo continentur rationes aeternae. Unde in Psalmo IV, dicitur, "multi dicunt, quis ostendit nobis bona?" Cui quaestioni Psalmista respondet, dicens, "signatum est super nos lumen vultus tui, domine." Quasi dicat, "per ipsam sigillationem divini luminis in nobis, omnia nobis demonstrantur."

But since besides the intellectual light which is in us, intelligible species, which are derived from things, are required in order for us to have knowledge of material things; therefore this same knowledge is not due merely to a participation of the eternal types, as the Platonists held, maintaining that the mere participation of ideas sufficed for knowledge.

Quia tamen praeter lumen intellectuale in nobis, exiguntur species intelligibiles, a rebus acceptae, ad scientiam de rebus materialibus habendam; ideo non per solam participationem rationum aeternarum de rebus materialibus notitiam habemus, sicut Platonici posuerunt quod sola idearum participatio sufficit ad scientiam habendam.

As Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. ii, 11): "If those who are called philosophers said by chance anything that was true and consistent with our faith, we must claim it from them as from unjust possessors. For some of the doctrines of the heathens are spurious imitations or superstitious inventions, which we must be careful to avoid when we renounce the society of the heathens." Consequently whenever Augustine, who was imbued with the doctrines of the Platonists, found in their teaching anything consistent with faith, he adopted it; and those things which he found contrary to faith he amended.

Augustinus dicit in II de Doctr. Christ., "philosophi qui vocantur, si qua forte vera et fidei nostrae accommoda dixerunt, ab eis tanquam ab iniustis possessoribus in usum nostrum vindicanda sunt. Habent enim doctrinae gentilium quaedam simulata et superstitiosa figmenta, quae unusquisque nostrum de societate gentilium exiens, debet evitare." Et ideo Augustinus, qui doctrinis Platonicorum imbutus fuerat, si qua invenit fidei accommoda in eorum dictis, assumpsit; quae vero invenit fidei nostrae adversa, in melius commutavit.

Wherefore Augustine says (De Trin. iv, 16): "Although the philosophers prove by convincing arguments that all things occur in time according to the eternal types, were they able to see in the eternal types, or to find out from them how many kinds of animals there are and the origin of each? Did they not seek for this information from the story of times and places?"

Unde Augustinus dicit, in IV de Trin., "numquid quia philosophi documentis certissimis persuadent aeternis rationibus omnia temporalia fieri, propterea potuerunt in ipsis rationibus perspicere, vel ex ipsis colligere quot sint animalium genera, quae semina singulorum? Nonne ista omnia per locorum ac temporum historiam quaesierunt?"

That Augustine did not understand all things to be known in their "eternal types" or in the "unchangeable truth," as though the eternal types themselves were seen, is clear from what he says (QQ. 83, qu. 46): viz., that "not each and every rational soul can be said to be worthy of that vision," namely, of the eternal types, "but only those that are holy and pure": such as the souls of the blessed.

Quod autem Augustinus non sic intellexerit omnia cognosci in rationibus aeternis, vel in incommutabili veritate, quasi ipsae rationes aeternae videantur, patet per hoc quod ipse dicit in libro octoginta trium quaest., quod "rationalis anima non omnis et quaelibet, sed quae sancta et pura fuerit, asseritur illi visioni," scilicet rationum aeternarum, esse idonea: sicut sunt animae beatorum.

In this way the soul, in the present state of life, cannot see all things in the eternal types; but the blessed who see God, and all things in Him, thus know all things in the eternal types.

Et hoc modo anima, in statu praesentis vitae, non potest videre omnia in rationibus aeternis; sed sic in rationibus aeternis cognoscunt omnia beati, qui Deum vident et omnia in ipso.