Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 13, 1987/1988

John L. Longeway
Pages 289-313

Nicholas of Cusa and Man’s Knowledge of God

I argue that Nicholas of Cusa agrees with Thomas Aquinas on the metaphysics of analogy in God, but differs on epistemology, taking a Platonic position against Aquinas’ Aristotelianism. As a result Cusa has to rethink Thomas’ solution to the problem of discourse about God. In De docta ignorantia he uses the mathematics of the infinite as a clue to the relations between a thing and its Measure and this allows him, he thinks, to adapt Aquinas’ approach to the problem of his own epistemology. The resulting approach, I maintain, is coherent and reasonable if the metaphysical views behind it are.