6.07.2012

Materiality as a Condition for Knowledge


If we say that the proper object of the human intellect is the abstracted quiddity of the sensible as represented in the phantasy, then we are affirming that human knowledge as it operates within the union of body and soul essentially depends upon materiality. This is why the last portion of the proper object’s definition – represented in the phantasy – must be equally emphasized when discussing human cognition. Noticing that brain injuries, intoxication, sleep, etc. disrupt or prevent human learning does not constitute an argument against the immateriality of the intellect. In fact, according to the proper object’s definition, this is exactly what we should expect.    

3 comments:

  1. Greetings,

    when you state "human knowledge as it operates within the union of body and soul essentially depends upon materiality", what is the purport of the "as it operates within the union of body and soul" clause? are you implying that such knowledge does NOT essentially depend on materiality when the soul and body are no longer unified? if not, how then can the intellect operate, given that it essentially i.e., without further qualification, depends on materiality, when it is no longer united with the body? but if so, how then can you maintain both the qualification AND the initial proposition about the proper object of the intellect, since the latter makes the tie between the operation and materiality an essential one? they seem to me to be incompatible.

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  2. Well, since there can be no sensation in a state of separation I cannot see how the normal process of human knowledge can occur during this state. So I would say that yes, in the state of separation, the human soul cannot acquire knowledge of the abstracted quiddity of the sensible. I do not know whether I would go as far as admitting that there can be no operations of the intellect after death, though.

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  3. i see. so, are you then of the view that the quiddity of the sensible is the proper object of the intellect *only as it i.e., the intellecct, is embodied*? or, is it that regardless of whether or not the intellect is embodied, it's proper object is the quiddity of the sensible?

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