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Intentionality, Cognition, and Mental Representation in Medieval Philosophy$
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Gyula Klima

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823262748

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823262748.001.0001

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Causality and Cognition

Causality and Cognition

An Interpretation of Henry of Ghent’s Quodlibet V, q. 14

(p.46) Causality and Cognition
Intentionality, Cognition, and Mental Representation in Medieval Philosophy

Martin Pickavé

Fordham University Press

Martin Pickavé delves into the intricacies of Henry’s theory of intelligible species, one of the centerpieces of Aquinas’s theory of intellectual operations. Henry firmly denies that species are “impressed” in the intellect because in this way a species would be in the mind “as in a subject,” which cannot be the case for two main reasons. First, an “impressed species” would cause a natural change of its subject, but the intellect does not undergo this kind of real change when it understands. Second, the “impressed species” would be individualized by its subject, whence it would not be cognizable by the intellect, because the intellect is directed only toward something universal. Therefore, Henry concludes, a species can only exist in the intellect “as in a cognizer.” To deny this means to have a wrong conception of the nature of the intellect. Thus, Henry draws a clear distinction between categorial being that things have outside the mind and mental being, the being of mental objects in the intellect. Therefore, his teaching plays an important role in the development of the theory of esse obiectivum that proved to be so important for fourteenth-century philosophers.

Keywords:   Henry of Ghent, impressed species, expressed species, phantasm

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