Respondeo dicendum quod ex hoc sunt in rebus aliqua superiora, quod sunt uni primo, quod est Deus, propinquiora et similiora. In Deo autem tota plenitudo intellectualis cognitionis continetur in uno, scilicet in essentia divina, per quam Deus omnia cognoscit. Quae quidem intelligibilis plenitudo in intellectibus creatis inferiori modo et minus simpliciter invenitur. Unde oportet quod ea quae Deus cognoscit per unum, inferiores intellectus cognoscant per multa, et tanto amplius per plura, quanto amplius intellectus inferior fuerit. I answer that, For this reason are some things of a more exalted nature, because they are nearer to and more like unto the first, which is God. Now in God the whole plenitude of intellectual knowledge is contained in one thing, that is to say, in the Divine essence, by which God knows all things. This plenitude of knowledge is found in created intellects in a lower manner, and less simply. Consequently it is necessary for the lower intelligences to know by many forms what God knows by one, and by so many forms the more according as the intellect is lower. Sic igitur quanto angelus fuerit superior, tanto per pauciores species universitatem intelligibilium apprehendere poterit. Et ideo oportet quod eius formae sint universaliores, quasi ad plura se extendentes unaquaeque earum. Et de hoc exemplum aliqualiter in nobis perspici potest. Sunt enim quidam, qui veritatem intelligibilem capere non possunt, nisi eis particulatim per singula explicetur, et hoc quidem ex debilitate intellectus eorum contingit. Alii vero, qui sunt fortioris intellectus, ex paucis multa capere possunt. Thus the higher the angel is, by so much the fewer species will he be able to apprehend the whole mass of intelligible objects. Therefore his forms must be more universal; each one of them, as it were, extending to more things. An example of this can in some measure be observed in ourselves. For some people there are who cannot grasp an intelligible truth, unless it be explained to them in every part and detail; this comes of their weakness of intellect: while there are others of stronger intellect, who can grasp many things from few. Ad primum ergo dicendum quod accidit universali ut a singularibus abstrahatur, inquantum intellectus illud cognoscens a rebus cognitionem accipit. Si vero sit aliquis intellectus a rebus cognitionem non accipiens, universale ab eo cognitum non erit abstractum a rebus, sed quodammodo ante res praeexistens, vel secundum ordinem causae, sicut universales rerum rationes sunt in verbo Dei; vel saltem ordine naturae, sicut universales rerum rationes sunt in intellectu angelico. Reply Obj. 1: It is accidental to the universal to be abstracted from particulars, in so far as the intellect knowing it derives its knowledge from things. But if there be an intellect which does not derive its knowledge from things, the universal which it knows will not be abstracted from things, but in a measure will be pre-existing to them; either according to the order of causality, as the universal ideas of things are in the Word of God; or at least in the order of nature, as the universal ideas of things are in the angelic mind. Ad secundum dicendum quod cognoscere aliquid in universali, dicitur dupliciter. Uno modo, ex parte rei cognitae, ut scilicet cognoscatur solum universalis natura rei. Et sic cognoscere aliquid in universali est imperfectius, imperfecte enim cognosceret hominem, qui cognosceret de eo solum quod est animal. Alio modo, ex parte medii cognoscendi. Et sic perfectius est cognoscere aliquid in universali, perfectior enim est intellectus qui per unum universale medium potest singula propria cognoscere, quam qui non potest. Reply Obj. 2: To know anything universally can be taken in two senses. In one way, on the part of the thing known, namely, that only the universal nature of the thing is known. To know a thing thus is something less perfect: for he would have but an imperfect knowledge of a man who only knew him to be an animal. In another way, on the part of the medium of such knowledge. In this way it is more perfect to know a thing in the universal; for the intellect, which by one universal medium can know each of the things which are properly contained in it, is more perfect than one which cannot. Ad tertium dicendum quod idem non potest esse plurium propria ratio adaequata. Sed si sit excellens, potest idem accipi ut propria ratio et similitudo diversorum. Sicut in homine est universalis prudentia quantum ad omnes actus virtutum; et potest accipi ut propria ratio et similitudo particularis prudentiae quae est in leone ad actus magnanimitatis, et eius quae est in vulpe ad actus cautelae, et sic de aliis. Similiter essentia divina accipitur, propter sui excellentiam, ut propria ratio singulorum, quia est in ea unde sibi singula similentur secundum proprias rationes. Et eodem modo dicendum est de ratione universali quae est in mente angeli, quod per eam, propter eius excellentiam, multa cognosci possunt propria cognitione. Reply Obj. 3: The same cannot be the proper and adequate type of several things. But if it be eminent, then it can be taken as the proper type and likeness of many. Just as in man, there is a universal prudence with respect to all the acts of the virtues; which can be taken as the proper type and likeness of that prudence which in the lion leads to acts of magnanimity, and in the fox to acts of wariness; and so on of the rest. The Divine essence, on account of Its eminence, is in like fashion taken as the proper type of each thing contained therein: hence each one is likened to It according to its proper type. The same applies to the universal form which is in the mind of the angel, so that, on account of its excellence, many things can be known through it with a proper knowledge. Quaestio 56 Question 56 De cognitione angelorum ex parte rerum quas cognoscunt Angelic Knowledge of Immaterial Things Deinde quaeritur de cognitione angelorum ex parte rerum quas cognoscunt. Et primo, de cognitione rerum immaterialium; secundo, de cognitione rerum materialium. We now inquire into the knowledge of the angels with regard to the objects known by them. We shall treat of their knowledge, first, of immaterial things, second of things material. Circa primum quaeruntur tria. Under the first heading there are three points of inquiry: Primo, utrum angelus cognoscat seipsum. (1) Does an angel know himself? Secundo, utrum unus cognoscat alium. (2) Does one angel know another? Tertio, utrum angelus per sua naturalia cognoscat Deum. (3) Does the angel know God by his own natural principles? Articulus 1 Article 1 Utrum angelus seipsum cognoscat Whether an angel knows himself? 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. 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. Obj. 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. 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. Obj. 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. 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. 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. I answer that, As is evident from what has been previously said (Q. 14, A. 2; Q. 54, A. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 Obj. 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. 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 Obj. 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. 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 Obj. 3: It belongs to the intellect, in so far as it 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. Articulus 2 Article 2 Utrum unus angelus alium cognoscat Whether one angel knows another? 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. 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. Obj. 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. 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. Obj. 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 (Q. 50, A. 4; Q. 55, A. 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. 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. Obj. 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. 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. 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. 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 second, so as to subsist in their own natures. 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. 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. 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 Obj. 1: The spiritual natures of the angels are distinguished from one another in a certain order, as was already observed (Q. 50, A. 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. 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 Obj. 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. 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 Obj. 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.