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Thomas of Sutton on Intellectual habitus

  • Jean-Luc Solère
Chapter
Part of the Historical-Analytical Studies on Nature, Mind and Action book series (HSNA, volume 7)

Abstract

According to the Dominican Thomas of Sutton (ca. 1250–1315), the reception of intelligible species in the potential intellect is in every point similar to the actualization of forms in matter, which means that the potential intellect remains completely passive through the whole process of concept acquisition. However, Sutton adds that when the intelligible species are stored in the memory and aggregate in logically organized clusters, thus becoming intellectual habitus, they have a way of being that is not found in material things, namely, incomplete actuality. Without being properly speaking efficient causes of mental processes, they spontaneously tend to emerge by themselves into the light of awareness—even though other elements (other intelligible species, notably, or the will) may in fact block them. This special sort of self-actualization is compatible, Sutton thinks, with the passivity he ascribes to the potential intellect.

Keywords

Accidental potentiality Action and passion Cognitive acts habitus Intellect Intellectual knowledge Intelligible species Memory Self-actualization Henry of Ghent Thomas Aquinas Thomas of Sutton 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Luc Solère
    • 1
  1. 1.CNRS, PSL, LEM (UMR 8584)/Boston CollegeChestnut HillUSA

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