Sunday, April 19, 2009

Q89 A4: Whether the separated soul knows singulars?

Yes. The intellect does not know the singular by way of abstraction; neither does the separated soul know it thus, because the knowledge of the separated soul is confined to those species or individuals to which the soul has some kind of determinate relation.

Intellectus per viam abstractionis non est cognoscitivus singularium; sic autem anima separata non intelligit, quia ad illarum rerum species vel individua cognitio animae separatae determinatur, ad quae anima separata habet aliquam determinatam habitudinem.

The separated soul has not the same relation to all singulars, but one relation to some, and another to others.

Anima separata non se habet aequaliter ad omnia singularia, sed ad quaedam habet aliquam habitudinem quam non habet ad alia.

Separated souls know some singulars, but not all, not even all present singulars. To understand this, we must consider that there is a twofold way of knowing things, one by means of abstraction from phantasms, and in this way singulars cannot be directly known by the intellect, but only indirectly, as stated above (Q86, A1).

Animae separatae aliqua singularia cognoscunt, sed non omnia, etiam quae sunt praesentia. Ad cuius evidentiam, considerandum est quod duplex est modus intelligendi. Unus per abstractionem a phantasmatibus, et secundum istum modum singularia per intellectum cognosci non possunt directe, sed indirecte, sicut supra dictum est.

The other way of understanding is by the infusion of species by God, and in that way it is possible for the intellect to know singulars. For as God knows all things, universal and singular, by His Essence, as the cause of universal and individual principles (Q14, A2), so likewise separate substances can know singulars by species which are a kind of participated similitude of the Divine Essence.

Alius modus intelligendi est per influentiam specierum a Deo, et per istum modum intellectus potest singularia cognoscere. Sicut enim ipse Deus per suam essentiam, inquantum est causa universalium et individualium principiorum, cognoscit omnia et universalia et singularia, ut supra dictum est; ita substantiae separatae per species, quae sunt quaedam participatae similitudines illius divinae essentiae, possunt singularia cognoscere.

There is a difference, however, between angels and separated souls in the fact that through these species the angels have a perfect and proper knowledge of things; whereas separated have only a confused knowledge.

In hoc tamen est differentia inter Angelos et animas separatas, quia Angeli per huiusmodi species habent perfectam et propriam cognitionem de rebus, animae vero separatae confusam.

Hence the angels, by reason of their perfect intellect, through these species, know not only the specific natures of things, but also the singulars contained in those species; whereas separated souls by these species know only those singulars to which they are determined by former knowledge in this life, or by some affection, or by natural aptitude, or by the disposition of the Divine order; because whatever is received into anything is conditioned according to the mode of the recipient.

Unde Angeli, propter efficaciam sui intellectus, per huiusmodi species, non solum naturas rerum in speciali cognoscere possunt, sed etiam singularia sub speciebus contenta. Animae vero separatae non possunt cognoscere per huiusmodi species nisi solum singularia illa ad quae quodammodo determinantur, vel per praecedentem cognitionem, vel per aliquam affectionem, vel per naturalem habitudinem, vel per divinam ordinationem, quia omne quod recipitur in aliquo, determinatur in eo secundum modum recipientis.