Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: Arguing for the Spirituality of the Human Intellect.

  1. #1
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    2,054
    Amen (Given)
    1
    Amen (Received)
    18

    Arguing for the Spirituality of the Human Intellect.

    Introduction - The following is a discussion to argue for the Spirituality of the Human Intellect. Both the immanence and objectivity of knowledge are discussed and then an argument for the spirituality of the intellect is presented. Following the argument, a defense of the argument is presented, then a conclusion concerning the root cause of knowledge.

    Knowledge as an Immanent Act

    An immanent act is an act that occurs inside the agent that does the act. For example, nutrition and growth are two immanent acts had inside man. Knowledge is had when the known (tree) is in the knower (man). For knowledge is had when knowledge attains known (tree) as an object. The object attained in knowledge is an object (tree) had inside the knower (man). Therefore, knowledge is an immanent act. Further, the thing known may not always be present to the knower. Peter knows the tree, but the tree may not always be present to Peter. Peter's knowledge of the tree is then not attained outside himself, but inside himself as an act of the knower. Such an act of knowledge is an immanent act.

    Known (tree) Is in Knower (man) for the Knower (man) Has the Form of The Known (tree) - The act of knowledge is an immanent act, whereby the known (tree) is in the knower (man). Each thing is known as the thing is in act. For example, the eye sees the colour red, as the colour is in act as red and not potentially red, or in act as blue. Similarly, the man knows the tree as the tree is in act as tree and not a potential tree, or in act as a dog.

    As a thing is in act through the form, then a thing is known in act through the form of the thing known. For example, the tree is in act as a tree. The act of tree as tree is caused by the substantial form of tree, which is tree-ness inside the tree. The tree-ness is a determinative form within the tree that acts as the formal cause of the tree to be a tree, rather than another thing, such as a cat, or dog. When the tree is known by the man, the form of tree is then inside the man. For the form of tree as the determinative form of tree, is also the determinative form of the tree as known as tree within the knower. The form of the known (tree) is in the knower (man), as it is the determinative form of the known (man). The determinative form of tree is then in the man as the known is in the knower to have the form of the known.

    The determinative form of the tree is had inside the knower (man). But to know a thing is to have the power of knowledge to act upon the thing known (tree). For to have a power to act upon a thing is the have the thing known as an object of the power. The determinative form of the tree is had inside the knower (man) is then the object of knowledge. The form of tree had inside man is the object of the man's knowledge. But because the tree is the object of the man's knowledge, the tree is not the man, but only the form of tree had inside the man. Therefore, the form of knowledge is the object, inside the knower, which is other than the knower.

    Conclusion - the act of knowledge is an immanent act.

    Knowledge as an Objective Act

    The objectivity of knowledge will be demonstrated through discussion of the manners in which form is had. Matter has form in ways diverse from the manners in which the knower (man) has the form of the known (tree). Matter has form -

    Subjectively - the form received becomes the form of the matter and not the form of another thing. For example, the form of heat received into water, becomes the heat of the water and not the heat of steel. The heat received by the water is subject to the water, and not the steel.

    Physically - the matter that receives the form is physically changed. For example, the matter of water is physically changed by heat to hot water when the form of heat is received into the water. Also, the contrary form of cold is removed from the water, when the water becomes hot water.

    Composed - a union of the matter and form results in a new compound. For example, the union of matter of water with the form of heat results in the compound of hot water, which is neither water, nor heat. The water and heat acts as part of the third compound, as hot water.

    The knower has form -

    Objectively - the form of the tree in the man is not limited to the man, but is the form that remains also the form of the tree. The subjective reception of heat into the water removes heat as belonging to another (say the stove, or fire), for the heat received into the water is not long the heat of the fire, but the heat of the water alone. However, the act of knowledge has the form of the tree had inside the knower (man), whilst the form of tree also remains belonging to the tree. Or again, when the man knows the heat of iron, the heat known is not the heat of the man, but the heat of the iron. The heat of the iron is then a form of heat had as an object of knowledge.

    Above the physical - The form had by the knower (man) is the form of another thing (tree). The man does not become hot or cold when hot or cold are known. For hot and cold remains the hotness and coldness of the thing known and not of the knower. The form had in the knower does not cause any physical change in the knower. Therefore, the form had in the knower is had an a way above the physical, termed the supra physical.

    Not composed - The act of knowledge does not cause a compound of the knower and the known. The man who knows the tree does not become a tree-man in the act of knowledge. In fact by the man having the tree as an object of knowledge, the man becomes the tree by knowing the form of tree had in the intellect. Again, for example, if the man knows the heat of the iron, the heat known does not cause a hot man. The heat known causes the man to remain the man, and the heat of the iron to remain the heat of the iron. The heat known does not cause a composite of hot-man. Therefore, knowledge is had in a manner that is not composed, and thereby incompositvely.

    Conclusion - The act of knowledge is objective.

    The evidence from experience that knowledge is an act that is both immanent and objective leads to the conclusion that man has a being and an act inside him that is not material, but properly spiritual. The spirituality of man thereby is a consequence of the experience of knowledge, but also saves the immanence and objectivity of knowledge. For without the spiritual reality within man, knowledge is only another act of having form as matter has form.

    Proof of the Spirituality of the Human Intellect.

    1. A power which is independent of a corporeal organ is independent of matter with regard to its existence and acts is properly spiritual.
    2. The human intellect has nothing corporeal in its own nature.
    3. For the human intellect can know all bodies and thereby must not have as its own nature a body.
    4. For the intellect is the power whereby the knower becomes the known, whereby the intellect becomes the nature of all bodies.

    Defence-

    The parts of the above argument are defended.

    1) and 2) are explained above in the discussion on the nature of knowledge as an immaterial act.

    3) What becomes all bodies is according to its own nature not a body.
    For just as water is indifferent to being hot or cold and thereby the nature of water is not hot, nor cold.
    For if water’s nature is to be hot, then cold is naturally excluded.
    But neither hot nor cold are excluded from water.
    Therefore, water’s nature is not determined by hot, nor cold.
    Then similarly, the human intellect is indifferent to any body, just as water is indifferent to hot or cold.
    Then similarly the human intellect has a nature that is not determined to be any body.
    For any particular body to be the nature of the human intellect, the intellect would then exclude all other bodies, like heat as the nature of in water would exclude cold in water.
    Therefore, that which can know the natures of all bodies, must have nothing corporeal, in its own nature.

    Point 3) may also be defended in accord with the principle of indeterminacy which says – that which can be many is of itself not any of the many that the thing can be. Water can be many temperatures, and water is not of itself a temperature. Clay can be many shapes and is not of itself any particular shape. And likewise the human intellect can be many bodies, and then is not of itself a body.

    4) The intellect becomes the nature of all bodies –

    The intellect becomes the form of the thing known.
    For the knower in the act of knowledge is constituted as regards what it is, inasmuch as the knower is drawn to be what the thing outside the knower is.
    And to be constituted as regards what the outside thing is, is to become identified with the thing known.
    But to become the form of the thing known is to become the essence of the thing.
    For the essence of a thing is that which befits being. For example, an apple has the nature of apple-ness which befits the act to be of the apple.
    But being contains all essences.
    Therefore, by the intellect knowing the essence of things, it knows being and is able to know all the essences contained by being.
    As being contains all essences, then the human intellect can know all essences.
    As essences are manifested in bodies, therefore the human intellect can know all bodies.

    Conclusion – the spirituality of the human intellect is proven. A corollary to the conclusion is the immateriality of the intellect as the root cause of knowledge. A knower is able to have the form of another, whilst the form remains the form of another. A non knower is only able to naturally have its own form and not the form of another. The root cause is the intrinsic reason a thing is a knower. That intrinsic reason is the immateriality of the knower, whereby the knower acts from an intrinsic power that is properly spiritual. Also, the root cause of knowledge is also found on the side of the thing known, whereby the thing known can be raised above the material to the immaterial. The ability of a thing to act beyond the material, as immaterial and free from the individuating bounds of the material is the root cause in things for things to be known.

    Immateriality on the side of the knower and the known is the root cause of knowledge. The immateriality of the human intellect, is termed negatively immateriality, whereby the human intellect exists and acts above the material, properly as a spirit. The immateriality on the side of the thing known is the immateriality of the thing as it is raised above the material - eminential immateriality.


    JM

  2. #2
    tWebber Roy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Faith
    Atheist
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    3,796
    Amen (Given)
    379
    Amen (Received)
    1076
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMartin View Post
    3. For the human intellect can know all bodies and thereby must not have as its own nature a body.
    False. A brain can know about any body (including itself), but that doesn't stop it from being a body, just like a camera can photograph all bodies (including itself) but is still a body.

    The error is in conflating knowledge of an object with the object itself, as in: "Knowledge is had when the known (tree) is in the knower (man). " The tree is not in the man. Knowledge about the tree is in the man. And knowledge about a brain can be in the brain itself.

    Argument refuted.
    Starlight: "In America a lot of tap-water is contaminated with lead or chemicals from fracking, because the right-wing crazies are anti-regulation."
    Lilpixieoferror: "Another day another Starlight fable. What actually causes high lead levels in water is lead pipes or lead solder, not industrial waste from any source. Well, so much for this Starlight fable... I wonder what tomorrow’s made up story will be in his ‘I HATE AMERICAN CHRISTIANS!!!’ quest."

  3. #3
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    2,054
    Amen (Given)
    1
    Amen (Received)
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by Roy View Post
    3. For the human intellect can know all bodies and thereby must not have as its own nature a body.
    False. A brain can know about any body (including itself), but that doesn't stop it from being a body, . . .
    False. A brain is only an organ of the body. Any act of the brain will be material and thereby only act to attain sense knowledge, predominantly through the internal sense of imagination (the other internal senses are common sense, estimative sense and memory). The imagination is then used by the agent intellect to abstract the essence from the image to cause the intelligible species, which is used by the possible intellect.


    The necessity of the possible intellect in Summa I, q79, a2.

    Thirdly, in a wide sense a thing is said to be passive, from the very fact that what is in potentiality to something receives that to which it was in potentiality, without being deprived of anything. And accordingly, whatever passes from potentiality to act, may be said to be passive, even when it is perfected. And thus with us to understand is to be passive. This is clear from the following reason. For the intellect, as we have seen above (I:78:1), has an operation extending to universal being. We may therefore see whether the intellect be in act or potentiality by observing first of all the nature of the relation of the intellect to universal being. For we find an intellect whose relation to universal being is that of the act of all being: and such is the Divine intellect, which is the Essence of God, in which originally and virtually, all being pre-exists as in its first cause. And therefore the Divine intellect is not in potentiality, but is pure act. But no created intellect can be an act in relation to the whole universal being; otherwise it would needs be an infinite being. Wherefore every created intellect is not the act of all things intelligible, by reason of its very existence; but is compared to these intelligible things as a potentiality to act.

    Now, potentiality has a double relation to act. There is a potentiality which is always perfected by its act: as the matter of the heavenly bodies (I:58:1. And there is another potentiality which is not always in act, but proceeds from potentiality to act; as we observe in things that are corrupted and generated. Wherefore the angelic intellect is always in act as regards those things which it can understand, by reason of its proximity to the first intellect, which is pure act, as we have said above. But the human intellect, which is the lowest in the order of intelligence and most remote from the perfection of the Divine intellect, is in potentiality with regard to things intelligible, and is at first "like a clean tablet on which nothing is written," as the Philosopher says (De Anima iii, 4). This is made clear from the fact, that at first we are only in potentiality to understand, and afterwards we are made to understand actually. And so it is evident that with us to understand is "in a way to be passive"; taking passion in the third sense. And consequently the intellect is a passive power.
    The necessity of the agent intellect in Summa I, q79, a3.

    I answer that, According to the opinion of Plato, there is no need for an active intellect in order to make things actually intelligible; but perhaps in order to provide intellectual light to the intellect, as will be explained farther on (Article 4). For Plato supposed that the forms of natural things subsisted apart from matter, and consequently that they are intelligible: since a thing is actually intelligible from the very fact that it is immaterial. And he called such forms "species or ideas"; from a participation of which, he said that even corporeal matter was formed, in order that individuals might be naturally established in their proper genera and species: and that our intellect was formed by such participation in order to have knowledge of the genera and species of things. But since Aristotle did not allow that forms of natural things exist apart from matter, and as forms existing in matter are not actually intelligible; it follows that the natures of forms of the sensible things which we understand are not actually intelligible. Now nothing is reduced from potentiality to act except by something in act; as the senses as made actual by what is actually sensible. We must therefore assign on the part of the intellect some power to make things actually intelligible, by abstraction of the species from material conditions. And such is the necessity for an active intellect.
    The previous proof the more elaborately explained.

    The human intellect can know the nature (or essence) all bodies (objectively, incompositively, supraphysically) abstracted from all individuating notes of the body had in the singular, and thereby must not have as its own nature a body. The manner of having form in knowledge dictates that the human intellect is not a body. The brain may be said to know all bodies (subjectively, compositively, and physically) through the act of the imagination as an act of sense knowledge, which produces the image in the brain. The image in the brain,

    1) does not cause knowledge of the nature of the body,

    2) is not an act of abstraction from all individuating notes of the body had in the singular (such as colour, shape etc).

    The act of knowledge in the brain is ony sense knowledge, which is material, therefore the imagination is also material (along with the brain). The brains knowledge of bodies is only sense knowledge that

    1) is not in the universal.

    2) is not an act of abstraction.

    3) attains the accidentals of the body known.

    The diverse manners by which the human intellect and the brain have knowledge show St Thomas's proof for the spirituality of the intellect is correct.

    just like a camera can photograph all bodies (including itself) but is still a body.
    The camera does not have an act of knowledge. The light is captured by the camera and placed into the film. The camera can capture the light of any body, but the entire process is material, like that of the brain, and without the process being an act of knowledge. The image on the film changes the film accidentally in accord with the manner in which matter has form (subjectively, compositively, and physically), and not as the human intellect has knowledge.

    The error is in conflating knowledge of an object with the object itself, as in: "Knowledge is had when the known (tree) is in the knower (man). " The tree is not in the man. Knowledge about the tree is in the man.
    The tree known by the man is the tree objectively in the man. The tree is outside the man in the concrete. Your error is to both affirm and deny the tree is in the man. You affirm where you state "Knowledge about the tree is in the man". For if knowledge about the tree is in the man, then the knowledge as an immanent act of man, implies the knowledge of the tree is also an immanent act of man, which implies the tree as known is in the man. And you deny the same, when you state "The tree is not in the man."

    Your understanding of the act of knowledge involves a contradiction, because you fail to include the distinctions given in the OP concerning the manners of having form, and the immanence and objectivity of knowledge. Your other error is to not conflate (join) the act knowledge of an object with the object itself whereby the knower becomes the known cognoscitively. If knowledge of an object is not the objective union of knower and known, then knowledge is not knowledge of the thing known as an object. Consequently the thing is never known and all acts of knowledge are never realist, or true, but always subjective and false (like Kantian subjectivism). Or again, if knowledge is not a union of knower with the object (that know), knowledge is not objective. But knowledge is objective as shown on the OP, hence your above claim of my error is in fact your error.

    And knowledge about a brain can be in the brain itself.
    Self knowledge is only obtained through reflection, which is not possible by an organ. No organ can turn back on itself to know itself, for the organ can never compenetrate itself. The intellect as a spirit can compenetrate itself and thereby self knowledge is attained. You have confused your own self knowledge attined via an act of the intellect, with what you think is the act of the brain.

    Argument refuted.
    Not even close.

    JM

  4. #4
    tWebber Roy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Faith
    Atheist
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    3,796
    Amen (Given)
    379
    Amen (Received)
    1076
    3. For the human intellect can know all bodies and thereby must not have as its own nature a body.
    False. A brain can know about any body (including itself), but that doesn't stop it from being a body, . . .
    False. A brain is only an organ of the body. Any act of the brain will be material and thereby only act to attain sense knowledge, predominantly through the internal sense of imagination (the other internal senses are common sense, estimative sense and memory). The imagination is then used by the agent intellect to abstract the essence from the image to cause the intelligible species, which is used by the possible intellect.
    None of which necessarily means the brain is not a body.

    The rest is a cascade based on unsupported assertions like this: "Self knowledge is only obtained through reflection, which is not possible by an organ".

    There is no reason to believe any of them are true.
    Last edited by Roy; 06-27-2017 at 10:38 AM.
    Starlight: "In America a lot of tap-water is contaminated with lead or chemicals from fracking, because the right-wing crazies are anti-regulation."
    Lilpixieoferror: "Another day another Starlight fable. What actually causes high lead levels in water is lead pipes or lead solder, not industrial waste from any source. Well, so much for this Starlight fable... I wonder what tomorrow’s made up story will be in his ‘I HATE AMERICAN CHRISTIANS!!!’ quest."

  5. #5
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    2,054
    Amen (Given)
    1
    Amen (Received)
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by Roy View Post
    False. A brain is only an organ of the body. Any act of the brain will be material and thereby only act to attain sense knowledge, predominantly through the internal sense of imagination (the other internal senses are common sense, estimative sense and memory). The imagination is then used by the agent intellect to abstract the essence from the image to cause the intelligible species, which is used by the possible intellect.

    None of which necessarily means the brain is not a body.
    The brain is an organ of the body. The intellect is a power of the spiritual soul.

    The rest is a cascade based on unsupported assertions like this: "Self knowledge is only obtained through reflection, which is not possible by an organ".

    There is no reason to believe any of them are true.
    To know yourself is to have yourself as the object of your own knowledge. To have such knowledge requires reflection to bring about a union of knower (self) and the known (self) as the object of knowledge. No organ can know itslef, for no organ can self reflect.

    The proof of the spiritualiy of the human intellect remains unrebutted.

    You can look up the Summa for a discussion of St Thomas's philosophical psychology at your leisure.

    On the intellect

    On the internal senses.

    JM
    Last edited by JohnMartin; 06-27-2017 at 01:42 PM.

  6. #6
    tWebber Roy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Faith
    Atheist
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    3,796
    Amen (Given)
    379
    Amen (Received)
    1076
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMartin View Post
    The brain is an organ of the body. The intellect is a power of the spiritual soul.
    ...
    No organ can know itslef, for no organ can self reflect.
    That's just another unsupported assertion, with no reason to believe it is true.
    Starlight: "In America a lot of tap-water is contaminated with lead or chemicals from fracking, because the right-wing crazies are anti-regulation."
    Lilpixieoferror: "Another day another Starlight fable. What actually causes high lead levels in water is lead pipes or lead solder, not industrial waste from any source. Well, so much for this Starlight fable... I wonder what tomorrow’s made up story will be in his ‘I HATE AMERICAN CHRISTIANS!!!’ quest."

  7. #7
    tWebber Carrikature's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Oregon
    Faith
    Non-Theist
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    4,577
    Amen (Given)
    2084
    Amen (Received)
    1072
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMartin View Post
    (the other internal senses are common sense, estimative sense and memory).
    Those aren't real things.
    I'm not here anymore.

  8. #8
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    2,054
    Amen (Given)
    1
    Amen (Received)
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by Roy View Post
    No organ can know itslef, for no organ can self reflect.

    That's just another unsupported assertion, with no reason to believe it is true.
    Knowledge is to have a union of knower and the object known. For an organ to self reflect requires that the organ both 1) perform the act of knowledge and 2) the organ have itself as its own object of knowledge. It's like the eye sees itself by its own action of sight. But for the eye to see itself requires a reflection upon itself. Same problem for the brain.

    This is why we need a mirror to see ourselves as through a reflection that assists the process of reflection. The reflected light is an analogy for an organs own self knowledge through a knowledge derived from a self reflective act. As no organ can self reflect in knowledge, no organ can know itself. The only way a knower can know itself is through the action ofa spirit which acts to reflect through compenetration of itself.

    JM

  9. #9
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Faith
    Christian
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    2,054
    Amen (Given)
    1
    Amen (Received)
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by Carrikature View Post
    Those aren't real things.
    They are real powers within the brain that act with the intellect for men to perform acts of knowledge.

    JM

  10. #10
    tWebber Roy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Faith
    Atheist
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    3,796
    Amen (Given)
    379
    Amen (Received)
    1076
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMartin View Post
    Knowledge is to have a union of knower and the object known.
    Refuting counter-example: once can know about fictional or abstract concepts where there is no actual object.
    As no organ can self reflect in knowledge, no organ can know itself.
    You can repeat that as often as you like, but it won't make it true and it won't make it any more necessary to rebut.
    Starlight: "In America a lot of tap-water is contaminated with lead or chemicals from fracking, because the right-wing crazies are anti-regulation."
    Lilpixieoferror: "Another day another Starlight fable. What actually causes high lead levels in water is lead pipes or lead solder, not industrial waste from any source. Well, so much for this Starlight fable... I wonder what tomorrow’s made up story will be in his ‘I HATE AMERICAN CHRISTIANS!!!’ quest."

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •