Utrum Deus intelligat se
Whether God understands himself?
Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod Deus non intelligat se. Dicitur enim in Libro De Causis, quod omnis sciens qui scit suam essentiam, est rediens ad essentiam suam reditione completa. Sed Deus non exit extra essentiam suam, nec aliquo modo movetur, et sic non competit sibi redire ad essentiam suam. Ergo ipse non est sciens essentiam suam.
Objection 1: It seems that God does not understand Himself. For it is said by the Philosopher (De Causis), Every knower who knows his own essence, returns completely to his own essence. But God does not go out from His own essence, nor is He moved at all; thus He cannot return to His own essence. Therefore He does not know His own essence.
Praeterea, intelligere est quoddam pati et moveri, ut dicitur in III De Anima, scientia etiam est assimilatio ad rem scitam, et scitum etiam est perfectio scientis. Sed nihil movetur, vel patitur, vel perficitur a seipso; neque similitudo sibi est, ut Hilarius dicit. Ergo Deus non est sciens seipsum.
Obj. 2: Further, to understand is a kind of passion and movement, as the Philosopher says (De Anima iii); and knowledge also is a kind of assimilation to the object known; and the thing known is the perfection of the knower. But nothing is moved, or suffers, or is made perfect by itself, nor, as Hilary says (De Trin. iii), is a thing its own likeness. Therefore God does not understand Himself.
Praeterea, praecipue Deo sumus similes secundum intellectum, quia secundum mentem sumus ad imaginem Dei, ut dicit Augustinus. Sed intellectus noster non intelligit se, nisi sicut intelligit alia, ut dicitur in III De Anima. Ergo nec Deus intelligit se, nisi forte intelligendo alia.
Obj. 3: Further, we are like to God chiefly in our intellect, because we are the image of God in our mind, as Augustine says (Gen ad lit. vi). But our intellect understands itself, only as it understands other things, as is said in De Anima iii. Therefore God understands Himself only so far perchance as He understands other things.
Sed contra est quod dicitur I ad Cor. II, quae sunt Dei, nemo novit nisi spiritus Dei.
On the contrary, It is written: The things that are of God no man knoweth, but the Spirit of God (1 Cor 2:11).
Respondeo dicendum quod Deus se per seipsum intelligit. Ad cuius evidentiam, sciendum est quod, licet in operationibus quae transeunt in exteriorem effectum, obiectum operationis, quod significatur ut terminus, sit aliquid extra operantem; tamen in operationibus quae sunt in operante, obiectum quod significatur ut terminus operationis, est in ipso operante; et secundum quod est in eo, sic est operatio in actu. Unde dicitur in libro De Anima, quod sensibile in actu est sensus in actu, et intelligibile in actu est intellectus in actu. Ex hoc enim aliquid in actu sentimus vel intelligimus, quod intellectus noster vel sensus informatur in actu per speciem sensibilis vel intelligibilis. Et secundum hoc tantum sensus vel intellectus aliud est a sensibili vel intelligibili, quia utrumque est in potentia.
I answer that, God understands Himself through Himself. In proof whereof it must be known that although in operations which pass to an external effect, the object of the operation, which is taken as the term, exists outside the operator; nevertheless in operations that remain in the operator, the object signified as the term of operation, resides in the operator; and accordingly as it is in the operator, the operation is actual. Hence the Philosopher says (De Anima iii) that the sensible in act is sense in act, and the intelligible in act is intellect in act. For the reason why we actually feel or know a thing is because our intellect or sense is actually informed by the sensible or intelligible species. And because of this only, it follows that sense or intellect is distinct from the sensible or intelligible object, since both are in potentiality.
Cum igitur Deus nihil potentialitatis habeat, sed sit actus purus, oportet quod in eo intellectus et intellectum sint idem omnibus modis, ita scilicet, ut neque careat specie intelligibili, sicut intellectus noster cum intelligit in potentia; neque species intelligibilis sit aliud a substantia intellectus divini, sicut accidit in intellectu nostro, cum est actu intelligens; sed ipsa species intelligibilis est ipse intellectus divinus. Et sic seipsum per seipsum intelligit.
Since therefore God has nothing in Him of potentiality, but is pure act, His intellect and its object are altogether the same; so that He neither is without the intelligible species, as is the case with our intellect when it understands potentially; nor does the intelligible species differ from the substance of the divine intellect, as it differs in our intellect when it understands actually; but the intelligible species itself is the divine intellect itself, and thus God understands Himself through Himself.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod redire ad essentiam suam nihil aliud est quam rem subsistere in seipsa. Forma enim, inquantum perficit materiam dando ei esse, quodammodo supra ipsam effunditur, inquantum vero in seipsa habet esse, in seipsam redit. Virtutes igitur cognoscitivae quae non sunt subsistentes, sed actus aliquorum organorum, non cognoscunt seipsas; sicut patet in singulis sensibus. Sed virtutes cognoscitivae per se subsistentes, cognoscunt seipsas. Et propter hoc dicitur in libro de causis, quod sciens essentiam suam, redit ad essentiam suam. Per se autem subsistere maxime convenit Deo. Unde secundum hunc modum loquendi, ipse est maxime rediens ad essentiam suam, et cognoscens seipsum.
Reply Obj. 1: Return to its own essence means only that a thing subsists in itself. Inasmuch as the form perfects the matter by giving it existence, it is in a certain way diffused in it; and it returns to itself inasmuch as it has existence in itself. Therefore those cognitive faculties which are not subsisting, but are the acts of organs, do not know themselves, as in the case of each of the senses; whereas those cognitive faculties which are subsisting, know themselves; hence it is said in De Causis that, whoever knows his essence returns to it. Now it supremely belongs to God to be self-subsisting. Hence according to this mode of speaking, He supremely returns to His own essence, and knows Himself.
Ad secundum dicendum quod moveri et pati sumuntur aequivoce secundum quod intelligere dicitur esse quoddam moveri vel pati, ut dicitur in III De Anima. Non enim intelligere est motus qui est actus imperfecti, qui est ab alio in aliud, sed actus perfecti, existens in ipso agente. Similiter etiam quod intellectus perficiatur ab intelligibili vel assimiletur ei, hoc convenit intellectui qui quandoque est in potentia, quia per hoc quod est in potentia, differt ab intelligibili, et assimilatur ei per speciem intelligibilem, quae est similitudo rei intellectae; et perficitur per ipsam, sicut potentia per actum. Sed intellectus divinus, qui nullo modo est in potentia, non perficitur per intelligibile, neque assimilatur ei, sed est sua perfectio et suum intelligibile.
Reply Obj. 2: Movement and passion are taken equivocally, according as to understand is described as a kind of movement or passion, as stated in De Anima iii. For to understand is not a movement that is an act of something imperfect passing from one to another, but it is an act, existing in the agent itself, of something perfect. Likewise that the intellect is perfected by the intelligible object, i.e., is assimilated to it, this belongs to an intellect which is sometimes in potentiality; because the fact of its being in a state of potentiality makes it differ from the intelligible object and assimilates it thereto through the intelligible species, which is the likeness of the thing understood, and makes it to be perfected thereby, as potentiality is perfected by act. On the other hand, the divine intellect, which is no way in potentiality, is not perfected by the intelligible object, nor is it assimilated thereto, but is its own perfection, and its own intelligible object.
Ad tertium dicendum quod esse naturale non est materiae primae, quae est in potentia, nisi secundum quod est reducta in actum per formam. Intellectus autem noster possibilis se habet in ordine intelligibilium, sicut materia prima in ordine rerum naturalium, eo quod est in potentia ad intelligibilia, sicut materia prima ad naturalia. Unde intellectus noster possibilis non potest habere intelligibilem operationem, nisi inquantum perficitur per speciem intelligibilem alicuius. Et sic intelligit seipsum per speciem intelligibilem, sicut et alia, manifestum est enim quod ex eo quod cognoscit intelligibile, intelligit ipsum suum intelligere, et per actum cognoscit potentiam intellectivam. Deus autem est sicut actus purus tam in ordine existentium, quam in ordine intelligibilium, et ideo per seipsum, seipsum intelligit.
Reply Obj. 3: Existence in nature does not belong to primary matter, which is a potentiality, unless it is reduced to act by a form. Now our passive intellect has the same relation to intelligible objects as primary matter has to natural things; for it is in potentiality as regards intelligible objects, just as primary matter is to natural things. Hence our passive intellect can be exercised concerning intelligible objects only so far as it is perfected by the intelligible species of something; and in that way it understands itself by an intelligible species, as it understands other things: for it is manifest that by knowing the intelligible object it understands also its own act of understanding, and by this act knows the intellectual faculty. But God is a pure act in the order of existence, as also in the order of intelligible objects; therefore He understands Himself through Himself.
Utrum Deus comprehendat seipsum
Whether God comprehends himself?
Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod Deus non comprehendat seipsum. Dicit enim Augustinus, in libro octoginta trium quaest., quod id quod comprehendit se, finitum est sibi. Sed Deus est omnibus modis infinitus. Ergo non comprehendit se.
Objection 1: It seems that God does not comprehend Himself. For Augustine says (Octog. Tri. Quaest. xv), that whatever comprehends itself is finite as regards itself. But God is in all ways infinite. Therefore He does not comprehend Himself.
Si dicatur quod Deus infinitus est nobis, sed sibi finitus, contra, verius est unumquodque secundum quod est apud Deum, quam secundum quod est apud nos. Si igitur Deus sibi ipsi est finitus, nobis autem infinitus, verius est Deum esse finitum, quam infinitum. Quod est contra prius determinata. Non ergo Deus comprehendit seipsum.
Obj. 2: If it is said that God is infinite to us, and finite to Himself, it can be urged to the contrary, that everything in God is truer than it is in us. If therefore God is finite to Himself, but infinite to us, then God is more truly finite than infinite; which is against what was laid down above (Q. 7, A. 1). Therefore God does not comprehend Himself.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit ibidem, omne quod intelligit se, comprehendit se. Sed Deus intelligit se. Ergo comprehendit se.
On the contrary, Augustine says (Octog. Tri. Quaest. xv), that Everything that understands itself, comprehends itself. But God understands Himself. Therefore He comprehends Himself.
Respondeo dicendum quod Deus perfecte comprehendit seipsum. Quod sic patet. Tunc enim dicitur aliquid comprehendi, quando pervenitur ad finem cognitionis ipsius, et hoc est quando res cognoscitur ita perfecte, sicut cognoscibilis est. Sicut propositio demonstrabilis comprehenditur, quando scitur per demonstrationem, non autem quando cognoscitur per aliquam rationem probabilem. Manifestum est autem quod Deus ita perfecte cognoscit seipsum, sicut perfecte cognoscibilis est. Est enim unumquodque cognoscibile secundum modum sui actus, non enim cognoscitur aliquid secundum quod in potentia est, sed secundum quod est in actu, ut dicitur in IX Metaphys. Tanta est autem virtus Dei in cognoscendo, quanta est actualitas eius in existendo, quia per hoc quod actu est, et ab omni materia et potentia separatus, Deus cognoscitivus est, ut ostensum est. Unde manifestum est quod tantum seipsum cognoscit, quantum cognoscibilis est. Et propter hoc seipsum perfecte comprehendit.
I answer that, God perfectly comprehends Himself, as can be thus proved. A thing is said to be comprehended when the end of the knowledge of it is attained, and this is accomplished when it is known as perfectly as it is knowable; as, for instance, a demonstrable proposition is comprehended when known by demonstration, not, however, when it is known by some probable reason. Now it is manifest that God knows Himself as perfectly as He is perfectly knowable. For everything is knowable according to the mode of its own actuality, since a thing is not known according as it is in potentiality, but in so far as it is in actuality, as said in Metaph. ix. Now the power of God in knowing is as great as His actuality in existing; because it is from the fact that He is in act and free from all matter and potentiality, that God is cognitive, as shown above (AA. 1, 2). Whence it is manifest that He knows Himself as much as He is knowable; and for that reason He perfectly comprehends Himself.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod comprehendere, si proprie accipiatur, significat aliquid habens et includens alterum. Et sic oportet quod omne comprehensum sit finitum, sicut omne inclusum. Non sic autem comprehendi dicitur Deus a seipso, ut intellectus suus sit aliud quam ipse, et capiat ipsum et includat. Sed huiusmodi locutiones per negationem sunt exponendae. Sicut enim Deus dicitur esse in seipso, quia a nullo exteriori continetur; ita dicitur comprehendi a seipso, quia nihil est sui quod lateat ipsum; dicit enim Augustinus, in libro de videndo Deum, quod totum comprehenditur videndo, quod ita videtur, ut nihil eius lateat videntem.
Reply Obj. 1: The strict meaning of comprehension signifies that one thing holds and includes another; and in this sense everything comprehended is finite, as also is everything included in another. But God is not said to be comprehended by Himself in this sense, as if His intellect were a faculty apart from Himself, and as if it held and included Himself; for these modes of speaking are to be taken by way of negation. But as God is said to be in Himself, forasmuch as He is not contained by anything outside of Himself; so He is said to be comprehended by Himself, forasmuch as nothing in Himself is hidden from Himself. For Augustine says (De Vid. Deum. ep. cxii), The whole is comprehended when seen, if it is seen in such a way that nothing of it is hidden from the seer.
Ad secundum dicendum quod, cum dicitur Deus finitus est sibi, intelligendum est secundum quandam similitudinem proportionis; quia sic se habet in non excedendo intellectum suum, sicut se habet aliquod finitum in non excedendo intellectum finitum. Non autem sic dicitur Deus sibi finitus, quod ipse intelligat se esse aliquid finitum.
Reply Obj. 2: When it is said, God is finite to Himself, this is to be understood according to a certain similitude of proportion, because He has the same relation in not exceeding His intellect, as anything finite has in not exceeding finite intellect. But God is not to be called finite to Himself in this sense, as if He understood Himself to be something finite.
Utrum ipsum intelligere Dei sit eius substantia
Whether the act of God’s intellect is his substance?
Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod ipsum intelligere Dei non sit eius substantia. Intelligere enim est quaedam operatio. Operatio autem aliquid significat procedens ab operante. Ergo ipsum intelligere Dei non est ipsa Dei substantia.
Objection 1: It seems that the act of God’s intellect is not His substance. For to understand is an operation. But an operation signifies something proceeding from the operator. Therefore the act of God’s intellect is not His substance.
Praeterea, cum aliquis intelligit se intelligere, hoc non est intelligere aliquid magnum vel principale intellectum, sed intelligere quoddam secundarium et accessorium. Si igitur Deus sit ipsum intelligere, intelligere Deum erit sicut cum intelligimus intelligere. Et sic non erit aliquid magnum intelligere Deum.
Obj. 2: Further, to understand one’s act of understanding, is to understand something that is neither great nor chiefly understood, but secondary and accessory. If therefore God be his own act of understanding, His act of understanding will be as when we understand our act of understanding: and thus God’s act of understanding will not be something great.
Praeterea, omne intelligere est aliquid intelligere. Cum ergo Deus intelligit se, si ipsemet non est aliud quam suum intelligere, intelligit se intelligere, et intelligere se intelligere se, et sic in infinitum. Non ergo ipsum intelligere Dei est eius substantia.
Obj. 3: Further, every act of understanding means understanding something. When therefore God understands Himself, if He Himself is not distinct from this act of understanding, He understands that He understands Himself; and so on to infinity. Therefore the act of God’s intellect is not His substance.
Sed contra est quod dicit Augustinus, Lib. VII de Trin., Deo hoc est esse, quod sapientem esse. Hoc autem est sapientem esse, quod intelligere. Ergo Deo hoc est esse, quod intelligere. Sed esse Dei est eius substantia, ut supra ostensum est. Ergo intelligere Dei est eius substantia.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. vii), In God to be is the same as to be wise. But to be wise is the same thing as to understand. Therefore in God to be is the same thing as to understand. But God’s existence is His substance, as shown above (Q. 3, A. 4). Therefore the act of God’s intellect is His substance.
Respondeo dicendum quod est necesse dicere quod intelligere Dei est eius substantia. Nam si intelligere Dei sit aliud quam eius substantia, oporteret, ut dicit Philosophus in XII Metaphys., quod aliquid aliud esset actus et perfectio substantiae divinae, ad quod se haberet substantia divina sicut potentia ad actum, quod est omnino impossibile, nam intelligere est perfectio et actus intelligentis.
I answer that, It must be said that the act of God’s intellect is His substance. For if His act of understanding were other than His substance, then something else, as the Philosopher says (Metaph. xii), would be the act and perfection of the divine substance, to which the divine substance would be related, as potentiality is to act, which is altogether impossible; because the act of understanding is the perfection and act of the one understanding.
Hoc autem qualiter sit, considerandum est. Sicut enim supra dictum est, intelligere non est actio progrediens ad aliquid extrinsecum, sed manet in operante sicut actus et perfectio eius, prout esse est perfectio existentis, sicut enim esse consequitur formam, ita intelligere sequitur speciem intelligibilem. In Deo autem non est forma quae sit aliud quam suum esse, ut supra ostensum est. Unde, cum ipsa sua essentia sit etiam species intelligibilis, ut dictum est, ex necessitate sequitur quod ipsum eius intelligere sit eius essentia et eius esse.
Let us now consider how this is. As was laid down above (A. 2), to understand is not an act passing to anything extrinsic; for it remains in the operator as his own act and perfection; as existence is the perfection of the one existing: just as existence follows on the form, so in like manner to understand follows on the intelligible species. Now in God there is no form which is something other than His existence, as shown above (Q. 3). Hence as His essence itself is also His intelligible species, it necessarily follows that His act of understanding must be His essence and His existence.
Et sic patet ex omnibus praemissis quod in Deo intellectus, et id quod intelligitur, et species intelligibilis, et ipsum intelligere, sunt omnino unum et idem. Unde patet quod per hoc quod Deus dicitur intelligens, nulla multiplicitas ponitur in eius substantia.
Thus it follows from all the foregoing that in God, intellect, and the object understood, and the intelligible species, and His act of understanding are entirely one and the same. Hence when God is said to be understanding, no kind of multiplicity is attached to His substance.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod intelligere non est operatio exiens ab ipso operante, sed manens in ipso.
Reply Obj. 1: To understand is not an operation proceeding out of the operator, but remaining in him.
Ad secundum dicendum quod, cum intelligitur illud intelligere quod non est subsistens, non intelligitur aliquid magnum; sicut cum intelligimus intelligere nostrum. Et ideo non est simile de ipso intelligere divino, quod est subsistens.
Reply Obj. 2: When that act of understanding which is not subsistent is understood, something not great is understood; as when we understand our act of understanding; and so this cannot be likened to the act of the divine understanding which is subsistent.
Et per hoc patet responsio ad tertium. Nam intelligere divinum, quod est in seipso subsistens, est sui ipsius; et non alicuius alterius, ut sic oporteat procedere in infinitum.
Thus appears the Reply to the Third Objection. For the act of divine understanding subsists in itself, and belongs to its very self and is not another’s; hence it need not proceed to infinity.
Utrum Deus cognoscat alia a se
Whether God knows things other than himself?
Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod Deus non cognoscat alia a se. Quaecumque enim sunt alia a Deo, sunt extra ipsum. Sed Augustinus dicit, in libro octoginta trium qu., quod neque quidquam Deus extra seipsum intuetur. Ergo non cognoscit alia a se.
Objection 1: It seems that God does not know things besides Himself. For all other things but God are outside of God. But Augustine says (Octog. Tri. Quaest. qu. xlvi) that God does not behold anything out of Himself. Therefore He does not know things other than Himself.
Praeterea, intellectum est perfectio intelligentis. Si ergo Deus intelligat alia a se, aliquid aliud erit perfectio Dei, et nobilius ipso. Quod est impossibile.
Obj. 2: Further, the object understood is the perfection of the one who understands. If therefore God understands other things besides Himself, something else will be the perfection of God, and will be nobler than He; which is impossible.
Praeterea, ipsum intelligere speciem habet ab intelligibili, sicut et omnis alius actus a suo obiecto, unde et ipsum intelligere tanto est nobilius, quanto etiam nobilius est ipsum quod intelligitur. Sed Deus est ipsum suum intelligere, ut ex dictis patet. Si igitur Deus intelligit aliquid aliud a se, ipse Deus specificatur per aliquid aliud a se, quod est impossibile. Non igitur intelligit alia a se.
Obj. 3: Further, the act of understanding is specified by the intelligible object, as is every other act from its own object. Hence the intellectual act is so much the nobler, the nobler the object understood. But God is His own intellectual act. If therefore God understands anything other than Himself, then God Himself is specified by something else than Himself; which cannot be. Therefore He does not understand things other than Himself.