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Studia Neoaristotelica

Volume 7, Issue 2, 2010

A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism

David Peroutka OCD
Pages 107-115

Imagination, Intellect and Premotion A Psychological Theory of Domingo Báñez
A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism

The notion of physical premotion (praemotio physica) is usually associated with the theological topic of divine concurrence (concursus divinus). In the present paper I argue that the Thomist Domingo Báñez (1528–1604) applied the concept of premotion (though not the expression “praemotio”) also in his psychology. According to Báñez, the active intellect (intellectus agens) communicates a kind of “actual motion” to the phantasma (i.e. the mental sensory image perceived by the imagination) in order to render it a collaborator of intellectual cognition. Such an actual motion is, in other words, a premotion to the effect, as the phantasma is, in Báñez’s view, “elevated” to the production of an effect that transcends its proper powers. This Báñez’s theory was largely accepted in the subsequent development of Thomism.

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