Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Q89 A7: Whether local distance impedes the knowledge in the separated soul?

No. Knowledge in the separated soul is not hindered by local distance because the soul when separated understands singulars by species derived from the Divine light, which is indifferent to what is near or distant.

Distantia localis nullo modo impedit animae separatae cognitionem quia intelligit anima separata singularia per influxum specierum ex divino lumine, quod quidem lumen aequaliter se habet ad propinquum et distans.

Some have held that the separated soul knows the singular by abstraction from the sensible. If that were so, it might be that local distance would impede its knowledge; for either the sensible would need to act upon the soul, or the soul upon the sensible; and in either case a determinate distance would be necessary. This is, however, impossible because abstraction of the species from the sensible is done through the senses and other sensible faculties which do not remain actually in the soul apart from the body.

Quidam posuerunt quod anima separata cognosceret singularia abstrahendo a sensibilibus. Quod si esset verum, posset dici quod distantia localis impediret animae separatae cognitionem; requireretur enim quod vel sensibilia agerent in animam separatam, vel anima separata in sensibilia; et quantum ad utrumque, requireretur distantia determinata. Sed praedicta positio est impossibilis, quia abstractio specierum a sensibilibus fit mediantibus sensibus et aliis potentiis sensitivis, quae in anima separata actu non manent.

The future, which is distant in time, does not actually exist, and therefore is not knowable in itself, because so far as a thing falls short of being, so far does it fall short of being knowable. But what is locally distant exists actually, and is knowable in itself.

Futura, quae distant secundum tempus, non sunt entia in actu. Unde in seipsis non sunt cognoscibilia, quia sicut deficit aliquid ab entitate, ita deficit a cognoscibilitate. Sed ea quae sunt distantia secundum locum, sunt entia in actu, et secundum se cognoscibilia.