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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 85, Issue 1, Winter 2011


Timothy B. Noone
Pages 143-159

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.

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