Saturday, March 28, 2009

Q84 A8: Whether the judgment of the intellect is hindered through suspension of the sensitive powers?

Yes. Suspension of the senses necessarily involves a hindrance to the judgment of the intellect because although the intellect is superior to the senses, nevertheless in a manner it receives from the senses, and its first and principal objects are founded in sensible things.

Necesse est quod impediatur iudicium intellectus ex ligamento sensus quia quamvis intellectus sit superior sensu, accipit tamen aliquo modo a sensu, et eius obiecta prima et principalia in sensibilibus fundantur.

As we have said above (Q84, A7), our intellect's proper and proportionate object is the nature of a sensible thing. Now a perfect judgment concerning anything cannot be formed, unless all that pertains to that thing's nature be known, especially if that be ignored which is the term and end of judgment.

Sicut dictum est, proprium obiectum intellectui nostro proportionatum est natura rei sensibilis. Iudicium autem perfectum de re aliqua dari non potest, nisi ea omnia quae ad rem pertinent cognoscantur, et praecipue si ignoretur id quod est terminus et finis iudicii.

Now the Philosopher says (De Coel. iii), that "as the end of a practical science is action, so the end of natural science is that which is perceived principally through the senses"; for the smith does not seek knowledge of a knife except for the purpose of action, in order that he may produce a certain individual knife; and in like manner the natural philosopher does not seek to know the nature of a stone and of a horse, save for the purpose of knowing the essential formal structures of those things which he perceives with his senses.

Dicit autem philosophus, in III de caelo, quod "sicut finis factivae scientiae est opus, ita naturalis scientiae finis est quod videtur principaliter secundum sensum"; faber enim non quaerit cognitionem cultelli nisi propter opus, ut operetur hunc particularem cultellum; et similiter naturalis non quaerit cognoscere naturam lapidis et equi, nisi ut sciat rationes eorum quae videntur secundum sensum.

Now it is clear that a smith cannot judge perfectly of a knife unless he knows the action of the knife; and in like manner the natural philosopher cannot judge perfectly of natural things, unless he knows sensible things.

Manifestum est autem quod non posset esse perfectum iudicium fabri de cultello, si opus ignoraret; et similiter non potest esse perfectum iudicium scientiae naturalis de rebus naturalibus, si sensibilia ignorentur.

But in the present state of life whatever we understand, we know by comparison to natural sensible things. Consequently it is not possible for our intellect to form a perfect judgment, while the senses are suspended, through which sensible things are known to us.

Omnia autem quae in praesenti statu intelligimus, cognoscuntur a nobis per comparationem ad res sensibiles naturales. Unde impossibile est quod sit in nobis iudicium intellectus perfectum, cum ligamento sensus, per quem res sensibiles cognoscimus.