Actuality and Potentiality in Thomas Aquinas’ Doctrine of Angelic Cognition Cover Image

Akt i możność w poznaniu anielskim według Tomasza z Akwinu
Actuality and Potentiality in Thomas Aquinas’ Doctrine of Angelic Cognition

Author(s): Tomasz Tiuryn
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion, Epistemology, Philosophy of Middle Ages
Published by: Instytut Tomistyczny
Keywords: Thomas Aquinas; angelology; angelic cognition; medieval theories of cognition; medieval epistemology; actuality and potentiality; Tomasz z Akwinu; angelologia; poznanie aniołów

Summary/Abstract: The topic of this paper is Aquinas’ doctrine of angelic cognition. Its point of departure is the importance of the opposition between actuality and potentiality in angelic cognition. This perspective enables us to see how the differentiation of cognitive powers in terms of actuality and potentiality becomes the basis for the emergence of the angelic hierarchy. Also, it allows us to stress the contrast between human and angelic cognitive powers. One of the particular problems which arise within the discussion of angelic cognitive powers is the relation between angels and the order of time. Aquinas’ remarks about their cognition show that angels also participate to some extent in the order of time. Furthermore, he unequivocally states that angels are able to cognize particular material entities that change within time. This poses some difficulties for Aquinas’ doctrine that are dealt with in the second part of the paper.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: XXI
  • Page Range: 441-466
  • Page Count: 26
  • Language: Polish