Volume 85, Issue 1, Winter 2011
Timothy B. Noone
Saint Bonaventure and Angelic Natural Knowledge of Singulars
A Source for the Doctrine of Intuitive Cognition?
In this article, I argue that St. Bonaventure’s account of angelic natural knowledge of singulars is a remote source for the doctrine of intuitive cognition as this doctrine is later articulated in the writings of John Duns Scotus and his contemporaries. The article begins by reminding the reader of the essential elements
of intuitive cognition, then surveys the treatment of angelic knowledge in Bonaventure’s predecessors and contemporaries, and ends with an analysis of
Bonaventure’s own teaching. The point on which Bonaventure anticipates Scotus’s teaching is his insistence that angels know truths about singulars by directly
cognizing the existence and presence of singulars without receiving any species in the direct cognitive act.