Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Auriol on Scotus on Intuitive Cognition and the Beatific Vision
Here is an interesting summary of some of Scotus' views by Peter Auriol, that seems to me to be fairly accurate. This is from a discussion of the nature of theology, specifically of Scotus and Godfrey's criticisms of Henry of Ghent's special mode of illumination restricted to theologians, the lumen medium.
Petrus Aurioli, Scriptum super primum Sententiarum, Prooemium sect. 2 (ed. Buytaert vol. 1 p. 191):
"Primo quidem, quid est notitia abstractiva et intuitiva. Est enim intuitiva, quae concernit rei praesentialitatem et existentiam, et terminatur ad rem ut in se existentem. Abstractiva vero dicitur quae abstrahit ab esse et non esse, existere et non existere, et a praesentialitate; quemadmodum rosam intueor dum eam praesentem conspicio, abstractive vero cognosco dum eius quidditatem et naturam considero. hae autem duae sunt possibiles in intellectu; certum est enim quod angelus intuetur rosam dum est; cuius tamen essentiam abstractive considerat, etiam dum non existit.
Secundo vero probant quod divina essentia possit cognosci abstractive, sicut et quelibet quiddiativa natura; Deus enim potest facere sola voluntate, quidquid facere potest mediante sua essentia; sed mediante sessentia movet intellectum beati ad suam notitiam claram et nudam, quae quidem est intuitiva, pro eo quod terminatur ad eam, ut praesentem realiter et existentem, quoniam ut sic movet. Ergo sola voluntate poterit movere intellectum ad notitiam suae essentiae nudae et clarae. Certum est autem quod talis notitia sub illa ratione terminatur ad divinam esentiam, sub qua ratione intellectus movetur ad eam; non movetur autem per praesentialitatem et existentiam essentiae divinae, sed per imperium omnipotentis voluntatis. Ergo nec terminabitur talis notita ad essentiam ut existentem et praesentem, sed ad essentiam mere abstrahendo ab existentia et praesentialitate et per conseuqens non erit intuitiva, sed potius abstractiva."
First indeed, what is abstractive and intuitive knowledge. Intuitive knowledge is that which concerns the presence and existence of a thing, and is terminated to the thing as it is existing in itself. Abstractive cognition, however, is that which abstracts from being and non being, existence and non existence, and from presence[or presenciality]. Just as when I cognize a rose, I consider it as present, but when I know it abstractivly I consider its quiddity and nature. These are two possible [modes of cognition?] in the intellect; for it is certain that an angel knows a rose while it is, nevertheless it considers its essence abstractivly, even while it does not exist.
Second they prove that the divine essence can be known abstractivly, just as any other quidditative nature; for God can do by means of his will alone, whatever he can do by means of his essence; but by means of his essence he can move the intellect of the blessed to clear and naked knowledge of himself, which indeed is intuitive, on account of the fact that the intellect of the blessed terminates at the divine essence as really present and existing, since as such it moves. therefore by the will alone he can move the intellect to clear and naked knowledge of his essence. It is certain that such knowledge under that aspect is terminated to the divine essence, under which aspect the intellect is moved to it; it is not moved, however, by the presence and existence of the divine essence, but through the command of the omnipotent will. therefore such knowledge will not be terminated by the essence as existing and present, but to the essence merely by abstracting from the existence and presence and consequently it will not be intuitive but rather abstractive.