Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part I/Q56

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Q55 Q57



Latin English
Iª q. 56 pr. Deinde quaeritur de cognitione Angelorum ex parte rerum quas cognoscunt. Et primo, de cognitione rerum immaterialium; secundo, de cognitione rerum materialium. Circa primum quaeruntur tria. Primo, utrum Angelus cognoscat seipsum. Secundo, utrum unus cognoscat alium. Tertio, utrum Angelus per sua naturalia cognoscat Deum.
Iª q. 56 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod Angelus seipsum non cognoscat. Dicit enim Dionysius, VI cap. Angel. Hier., quod Angeli ignorant proprias virtutes. Cognita autem substantia, cognoscitur virtus. Ergo Angelus non cognoscit suam essentiam. Objection 1. It would seem that an angel does not know himself. For Dionysius says that "the angels do not know their own powers" (Coel. Hier. vi). But, when the substance is known, the power is known. Therefore an angel does not know his own essence.
Iª q. 56 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, Angelus est quaedam substantia singularis, alioquin non ageret, cum actus sint singularium subsistentium. Sed nullum singulare est intelligibile. Ergo non potest intelligi. Et ita, cum Angelo non adsit nisi intellectiva cognitio, non poterit aliquis Angelus cognoscere seipsum. Objection 2. Further, an angel is a single substance, otherwise he would not act, since acts belong to single subsistences. But nothing single is intelligible. Therefore, since the angel possesses only knowledge which is intellectual, no angel can know himself.
Iª q. 56 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, intellectus movetur ab intelligibili, quia intelligere est quoddam pati, ut dicitur in III de anima. Sed nihil movetur aut patitur a seipso; ut in rebus corporalibus apparet. Ergo Angelus non potest intelligere seipsum. Objection 3. Further, the intellect is moved by the intelligible object: because, as stated in De Anima iii, 4 understanding is a kind of passion. But nothing is moved by or is passive to itself; as appears in corporeal things. Therefore the angel cannot understand himself.
Iª q. 56 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, II super Gen. ad Litt., quod Angelus in ipsa sua conformatione, hoc est illustratione veritatis, cognovit seipsum. On the contrary, Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. ii) that "the angel knew himself when he was established, that is, enlightened by truth."
Iª q. 56 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut ex supra dictis patet, obiectum aliter se habet in actione quae manet in agente, et in actione quae transit in aliquid exterius. Nam in actione quae transit in aliquid exterius, obiectum sive materia in quam transit actus, est separata ab agente, sicut calefactum a calefaciente, et aedificatum ab aedificante. Sed in actione quae manet in agente, oportet ad hoc quod procedat actio, quod obiectum uniatur agenti, sicut oportet quod sensibile uniatur sensui, ad hoc quod sentiat actu. Et ita se habet obiectum unitum potentiae ad huiusmodi actionem, sicut forma quae est principium actionis in aliis agentibus, sicut enim calor est principium formale calefactionis in igne, ita species rei visae est principium formale visionis in oculo. Sed considerandum est quod huiusmodi species obiecti quandoque est in potentia tantum in cognoscitiva virtute, et tunc est cognoscens in potentia tantum; et ad hoc quod actu cognoscat, requiritur quod potentia cognoscitiva reducatur in actum speciei. Si autem semper eam actu habeat, nihilominus per eam cognoscere potest absque aliqua mutatione vel receptione praecedenti. Ex quo patet quod moveri ab obiecto non est de ratione cognoscentis inquantum est cognoscens, sed inquantum est potentia cognoscens. Nihil autem differt, ad hoc quod forma sit principium actionis, quod ipsa forma sit alii inhaerens, et quod sit per se subsistens, non enim minus calor calefaceret si esset per se subsistens, quam calefacit inhaerens. Sic igitur et si aliquid in genere intelligibilium se habeat ut forma intelligibilis subsistens, intelliget seipsum. Angelus autem, cum sit immaterialis, est quaedam forma subsistens, et per hoc intelligibilis actu. Unde sequitur quod per suam formam, quae est sua substantia, seipsum intelligat. I answer that, As is evident from what has been previously said (14, 2; 54, 2), the object is on a different footing in an immanent, and in a transient, action. In a transient action the object or matter into which the action passes is something separate from the agent, as the thing heated is from what gave it heat, and the building from the builder; whereas in an immanent action, for the action to proceed, the object must be united with the agent; just as the sensible object must be in contact with sense, in order that sense may actually perceive. And the object which is united to a faculty bears the same relation to actions of this kind as does the form which is the principle of action in other agents: for, as heat is the formal principle of heating in the fire, so is the species of the thing seen the formal principle of sight to the eye. It must, however, be borne in mind that this image of the object exists sometimes only potentially in the knowing faculty; and then there is only knowledge in potentiality; and in order that there may be actual knowledge, it is required that the faculty of knowledge be actuated by the species. But if it always actually possesses the species, it can thereby have actual knowledge without any preceding change or reception. >From this it is evident that it is not of the nature of knower, as knowing, to be moved by the object, but as knowing in potentiality. Now, for the form to be the principle of the action, it makes no difference whether it be inherent in something else, or self-subsisting; because heat would give forth heat none the less if it were self-subsisting, than it does by inhering in something else. So therefore, if in the order of intelligible beings there be any subsisting intelligible form, it will understand itself. And since an angel is immaterial, he is a subsisting form; and, consequently, he is actually intelligible. Hence it follows that he understands himself by his form, which is his substance.
Iª q. 56 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod littera illa est antiquae translationis, quae corrigitur per novam, in qua dicitur, praeterea et ipsos, scilicet Angelos, cognovisse proprias virtutes; loco cuius habebatur in alia translatione, et adhuc et eos ignorare proprias virtutes. Quamvis etiam littera antiquae translationis salvari possit quantum ad hoc, quod Angeli non perfecte cognoscunt suam virtutem, secundum quod procedit ab ordine divinae sapientiae, quae est Angelis incomprehensibilis. Reply to Objection 1. That is the text of the old translation, which is amended in the new one, and runs thus: "furthermore they," that is to say the angels, "knew their own powers": instead of which the old translation read--"and furthermore they do not know their own powers." Although even the letter of the old translation might be kept in this respect, that the angels do not know their own power perfectly; according as it proceeds from the order of the Divine Wisdom, Which to the angels is incomprehensible.
Iª q. 56 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod singularium quae sunt in rebus corporalibus, non est intellectus, apud nos, non ratione singularitatis, sed ratione materiae, quae est in eis individuationis principium. Unde si aliqua singularia sunt sine materia subsistentia, sicut sunt Angeli, illa nihil prohibet intelligibilia esse actu. Reply to Objection 2. We have no knowledge of single corporeal things, not because of their particularity, but on account of the matter, which is their principle of individuation. Accordingly, if there be any single things subsisting without matter, as the angels are, there is nothing to prevent them from being actually intelligible.
Iª q. 56 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod moveri et pati convenit intellectui secundum quod est in potentia. Unde non habet locum in intellectu angelico; maxime quantum ad hoc quod intelligit seipsum. Actio etiam intellectus non est eiusdem rationis cum actione quae in corporalibus invenitur, in aliam materiam transeunte. Reply to Objection 3. It belongs to the intellect, in so far as if is in potentiality, to be moved and to be passive. Hence this does not happen in the angelic intellect, especially as regards the fact that he understands himself. Besides the action of the intellect is not of the same nature as the action found in corporeal things, which passes into some other matter.
Iª q. 56 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod unus Angelus alium non cognoscat. Dicit enim philosophus, in III de anima, quod si intellectus humanus haberet in se aliquam naturam de numero naturarum rerum sensibilium, illa natura interius existens prohiberet apparere extranea, sicut etiam si pupilla esset colorata aliquo colore, non posset videre omnem colorem. Sed sicut se habet intellectus humanus ad cognoscendas res corporeas, ita se habet intellectus angelicus ad cognoscendas res immateriales. Cum igitur intellectus angelicus habeat in se aliquam naturam determinatam de numero illarum naturarum, videtur quod alias cognoscere non possit. Objection 1. It would seem that one angel does not know another. For the Philosopher says (De Anima iii, text. 4), that if the human intellect were to have in itself any one of the sensible things, then such a nature existing within it would prevent it from apprehending external things; as likewise, if the pupil of the eye were colored with some particular color, it could not see every color. But as the human intellect is disposed for understanding corporeal things, so is the angelic mind for understanding immaterial things. Therefore, since the angelic intellect has within itself some one determinate nature from the number of such natures, it would seem that it cannot understand other natures.
Iª q. 56 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, in libro de causis dicitur quod omnis intelligentia sit quod est supra se, inquantum est causata ab eo; et quod est sub se, inquantum est causa eius. Sed unus Angelus non est causa alterius. Ergo unus Angelus non cognoscit alium. Objection 2. Further, it is stated in De Causis that "every intelligence knows what is above it, in so far as it is caused by it; and what is beneath it, in so far as it is its cause." But one angel is not the cause of another. Therefore one angel does not know another.
Iª q. 56 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, unus Angelus non potest cognoscere alium per essentiam ipsius Angeli cognoscentis, cum omnis cognitio sit secundum rationem similitudinis, essentia autem Angeli cognoscentis non est similis essentiae Angeli cogniti nisi in genere, ut ex supra dictis patet; unde sequeretur quod unus Angelus non haberet de alio cognitionem propriam, sed generalem tantum. Similiter etiam non potest dici quod unus Angelus cognoscat alium per essentiam Angeli cogniti, quia illud quo intellectus intelligit, est intrinsecum intellectui; sola autem Trinitas illabitur menti. Similiter etiam dici non potest quod unus cognoscat alium per speciem, quia illa species non differret ab Angelo intellecto, cum utrumque sit immateriale. Nullo igitur modo videtur quod unus Angelus possit intelligere alium. Objection 3. Further, one angel cannot be known to another angel by the essence of the one knowing; because all knowledge is effected by way of a likeness. But the essence of the angel knowing is not like the essence of the angel known, except generically; as is clear from what has been said before (50, 4; 55, 1, ad 3). Hence, it follows that one angel would not have a particular knowledge of another, but only a general knowledge. In like manner it cannot be said that one angel knows another by the essence of the angel known; because that whereby the intellect understands is something within the intellect; whereas the Trinity alone can penetrate the mind. Again, it cannot be said that one angel knows the other by a species; because that species would not differ from the angel understood, since each is immaterial. Therefore in no way does it appear that one angel can understand another.
Iª q. 56 a. 2 arg. 4 Praeterea, si unus Angelus intelligit alium, aut hoc esset per speciem innatam, et sic sequeretur quod, si Deus nunc de novo crearet aliquem Angelum, quod non posset cognosci ab his qui nunc sunt. Aut per speciem acquisitam a rebus, et sic sequeretur quod Angeli superiores non possent cognoscere inferiores, a quibus nihil accipiunt. Nullo igitur modo videtur quod unus Angelus alium cognoscat. Objection 4. Further, if one angel did understand another, this would be either by an innate species; and so it would follow that, if God were now to create another angel, such an angel could not be known by the existing angels; or else he would have to be known by a species drawn from things; and so it would follow that the higher angels could not know the lower, from whom they receive nothing. Therefore in no way does it seem that one angel knows another.
Iª q. 56 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur in libro de causis, quod omnis intelligentia scit res quae non corrumpuntur. On the contrary, We read in De Causis that "every intelligence knows the things which are not corrupted."
Iª q. 56 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, II super Gen. ad Litt., ea quae in verbo Dei ab aeterno praeextiterunt, dupliciter ab eo effluxerunt, uno modo, in intellectum angelicum; alio modo, ut subsisterent in propriis naturis. In intellectum autem angelicum processerunt per hoc, quod Deus menti angelicae impressit rerum similitudines, quas in esse naturali produxit. In verbo autem Dei ab aeterno extiterunt non solum rationes rerum corporalium, sed etiam rationes omnium spiritualium creaturarum. Sic igitur unicuique spiritualium creaturarum a verbo Dei impressae sunt omnes rationes rerum omnium, tam corporalium quam spiritualium. Ita tamen quod unicuique Angelo impressa est ratio suae speciei secundum esse naturale et intelligibile simul, ita scilicet quod in natura suae speciei subsisteret, et per eam se intelligeret, aliarum vero naturarum, tam spiritualium quam corporalium, rationes sunt ei impressae secundum esse intelligibile tantum, ut videlicet per huiusmodi species impressas, tam creaturas corporales quam spirituales cognosceret. I answer that, As Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. lit. ii), such things as pre-existed from eternity in the Word of God, came forth from Him in two ways: first, into the angelic mind; and secondly, so as to subsist in their own natures. They proceeded into the angelic mind in such a way, that God impressed upon the angelic mind the images of the things which He produced in their own natural being. Now in the Word of God from eternity there existed not only the forms of corporeal things, but likewise the forms of all spiritual creatures. So in every one of these spiritual creatures, the forms of all things, both corporeal and spiritual, were impressed by the Word of God; yet so that in every angel there was impressed the form of his own species according to both its natural and its intelligible condition, so that he should subsist in the nature of his species, and understand himself by it; while the forms of other spiritual and corporeal natures were impressed in him only according to their intelligible natures, so that by such impressed species he might know corporeal and spiritual creatures.
Iª q. 56 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod naturae spirituales Angelorum ab invicem distinguuntur ordine quodam, sicut supra dictum est. Et sic natura unius Angeli non prohibet intellectum ipsius a cognoscendis aliis naturis Angelorum, cum tam superiores quam inferiores habeant affinitatem cum natura eius, differentia existente tantum secundum diversos gradus perfectionis. Reply to Objection 1. The spiritual natures of the angels are distinguished from one another in a certain order, as was already observed (50, 4, ad 1,2). So the nature of an angel does not hinder him from knowing the other angelic natures, since both the higher and lower bear affinity to his nature, the only difference being according to their various degrees of perfection.
Iª q. 56 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ratio causae et causati non facit ad hoc quod unus Angelus alium cognoscat, nisi ratione similitudinis, inquantum causa et causatum sunt similia. Et ideo, si inter Angelos ponatur similitudo absque causalitate, remanebit in uno cognitio alterius. Reply to Objection 2. The nature of cause and effect does not lead one angel to know another, except on account of likeness, so far as cause and effect are alike. Therefore if likeness without causality be admitted in the angels, this will suffice for one to know another.
Iª q. 56 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod unus Angelus cognoscit alium per speciem eius in intellectu suo existentem, quae differt ab Angelo cuius similitudo est, non secundum esse materiale et immateriale, sed secundum esse naturale et intentionale. Nam ipse Angelus est forma subsistens in esse naturali, non autem species eius quae est in intellectu alterius Angeli, sed habet ibi esse intelligibile tantum. Sicut etiam et forma coloris in pariete habet esse naturale, in medio autem deferente habet esse intentionale tantum. Reply to Objection 3. One angel knows another by the species of such angel existing in his intellect, which differs from the angel whose image it is, not according to material and immaterial nature, but according to natural and intentional existence. The angel is himself a subsisting form in his natural being; but his species in the intellect of another angel is not so, for there it possesses only an intelligible existence. As the form of color on the wall has a natural existence; but, in the deferent medium, it has only intentional existence.
Iª q. 56 a. 2 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod Deus unamquamque creaturam fecit proportionatam universo quod facere disposuit. Et ideo, si Deus instituisset facere plures Angelos vel plures naturas rerum, plures species intelligibiles mentibus angelicis impressisset. Sicut si aedificator voluisset facere maiorem domum, fecisset maius fundamentum. Unde eiusdem rationis est quod Deus adderet aliquam creaturam universo, et aliquam speciem intelligibilem Angelo. Reply to Objection 4. God made every creature proportionate to the universe which He determined to make. Therefore had God resolved to make more angels or more natures of things, He would have impressed more intelligible species in the angelic minds; as a builder who, if he had intended to build a larger house, would have made larger foundations. Hence, for God to add a new creature to the universe, means that He would add a new intelligible species to an angel.
Iª q. 56 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod Angeli per sua naturalia Deum cognoscere non possint. Dicit enim Dionysius, I cap. de Div. Nom., quod Deus est super omnes caelestes mentes incomprehensibili virtute collocatus. Et postea subdit quod, quia est supra omnem substantiam, ab omni cognitione est segregatus. Objection 1. It would seem that the angels cannot know God by their natural principles. For Dionysius says (Div. Nom. i) that God "by His incomprehensible might is placed above all heavenly minds." Afterwards he adds that, "since He is above all substances, He is remote from all knowledge."
Iª q. 56 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, Deus in infinitum distat ab intellectu Angeli. Sed in infinitum distantia non possunt attingi. Ergo videtur quod Angelus per sua naturalia non possit Deum cognoscere. Objection 2. Further, God is infinitely above the intellect of an angel. But what is infinitely beyond cannot be reached. Therefore it appears that an angel cannot know God by his natural principles.
Iª q. 56 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, I Cor. XIII dicitur, videmus nunc per speculum in aenigmate, tunc autem facie ad faciem. Ex quo videtur quod sit duplex Dei cognitio, una, qua videtur per sui essentiam, secundum quam dicitur videri facie ad faciem; alia, secundum quod videtur in speculo creaturarum. Sed primam Dei cognitionem Angelus habere non potuit per sua naturalia, ut supra ostensum est. Visio autem specularis Angelis non convenit, quia non accipiunt divinam cognitionem e rebus sensibilibus, ut dicit Dionysius, VII cap. de Div. Nom. Ergo Angeli per sua naturalia Deum cognoscere non possunt. Objection 3. Further, it is written (1 Corinthians 13:12): "We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face." From this it appears that there is a twofold knowledge of God; the one, whereby He is seen in His essence, according to which He is said to be seen face to face; the other whereby He is seen in the mirror of creatures. As was already shown (12, 4), an angel cannot have the former knowledge by his natural principles. Nor does vision through a mirror belong to the angels, since they do not derive their knowledge of God from sensible things, as Dionysius observes (Div. Nom. vii). Therefore the angels cannot know God by their natural powers.
Iª q. 56 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra, Angeli sunt potentiores in cognoscendo quam homines. Sed homines per sua naturalia Deum cognoscere possunt; secundum illud Rom. I, quod notum est Dei, manifestum est in illis. Ergo multo magis Angeli. On the contrary, The angels are mightier in knowledge than men. Yet men can know God through their natural principles; according to Rm. 1:19: "what is known of God is manifest in them." Therefore much more so can the angels.
Iª q. 56 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod Angeli aliquam cognitionem de Deo habere possunt per sua naturalia. Ad cuius evidentiam, considerandum est quod aliquid tripliciter cognoscitur. Uno modo, per praesentiam suae essentiae in cognoscente, sicut si lux videatur in oculo, et sic dictum est quod Angelus intelligit seipsum. Alio modo, per praesentiam suae similitudinis in potentia cognoscitiva, sicut lapis videtur ab oculo per hoc quod similitudo eius resultat in oculo. Tertio modo, per hoc quod similitudo rei cognitae non accipitur immediate ab ipsa re cognita, sed a re alia, in qua resultat, sicut cum videmus hominem in speculo. Primae igitur cognitioni assimilatur divina cognitio, qua per essentiam suam videtur. Et haec cognitio Dei non potest adesse creaturae alicui per sua naturalia, ut supra dictum est. Tertiae autem cognitioni assimilatur cognitio qua nos cognoscimus Deum in via, per similitudinem eius in creaturis resultantem; secundum illud Rom. I, invisibilia Dei per ea quae facta sunt, intellecta, conspiciuntur. Unde et dicimur Deum videre in speculo. Cognitio autem qua Angelus per sua naturalia cognoscit Deum, media est inter has duas; et similatur illi cognitioni qua videtur res per speciem ab ea acceptam. Quia enim imago Dei est in ipsa natura Angeli impressa per suam essentiam, Angelus Deum cognoscit, inquantum est similitudo Dei. Non tamen ipsam essentiam Dei videt, quia nulla similitudo creata est sufficiens ad repraesentandam divinam essentiam. Unde magis ista cognitio tenet se cum speculari, quia et ipsa natura angelica est quoddam speculum divinam similitudinem repraesentans. I answer that, The angels can have some knowledge of God by their own principles. In evidence whereof it must be borne in mind that a thing is known in three ways: first, by the presence of its essence in the knower, as light can be seen in the eye; and so we have said that an angel knows himself--secondly, by the presence of its similitude in the power which knows it, as a stone is seen by the eye from its image being in the eye--thirdly, when the image of the object known is not drawn directly from the object itself, but from something else in which it is made to appear, as when we behold a man in a mirror. To the first-named class that knowledge of God is likened by which He is seen through His essence; and knowledge such as this cannot accrue to any creature from its natural principles, as was said above (12, 4). The third class comprises the knowledge whereby we know God while we are on earth, by His likeness reflected in creatures, according to Rm. 1:20: "The invisible things of God are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made." Hence, too, we are said to see God in a mirror. But the knowledge, whereby according to his natural principles the angel knows God, stands midway between these two; and is likened to that knowledge whereby a thing is seen through the species abstracted from it. For since God's image is impressed on the very nature of the angel in his essence, the angel knows God in as much as he is the image of God. Yet he does not behold God's essence; because no created likeness is sufficient to represent the Divine essence. Such knowledge then approaches rather to the specular kind; because the angelic nature is itself a kind of mirror representing the Divine image.
Iª q. 56 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Dionysius loquitur de cognitione comprehensionis, ut expresse eius verba ostendunt. Et sic a nullo intellectu creato cognoscitur. Reply to Objection 1. Dionysius is speaking of the knowledge of comprehension, as his words expressly state. In this way God is not known by any created intellect.
Iª q. 56 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod propter hoc quod intellectus et essentia Angeli in infinitum distant a Deo, sequitur quod non possit ipsum comprehendere, nec per suam naturam eius essentiam videre. Non tamen sequitur propter hoc, quod nullam eius cognitionem habere possit, quia sicut Deus in infinitum distat ab Angelo, ita cognitio quam Deus habet de seipso, in infinitum distat a cognitione quam Angelus habet de eo. Reply to Objection 2. Since an angel's intellect and essence are infinitely remote from God, it follows that he cannot comprehend Him; nor can he see God's essence through his own nature. Yet it does not follow on that account that he can have no knowledge of Him at all: because, as God is infinitely remote from the angel, so the knowledge which God has of Himself is infinitely above the knowledge which an angel has of Him.
Iª q. 56 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod cognitio quam naturaliter Angelus habet de Deo, est media inter utramque cognitionem, et tamen magis se tenet cum una, ut supra dictum est. Reply to Objection 3. The knowledge which an angel has of God is midway between these two kinds of knowledge; nevertheless it approaches more to one of them, as was said above.

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