Question Eleven: The Teacher
Primo utrum homo possit docere et dici magister vel solus Deus.
Secundo utrum aliquis possit dici magister sui ipsius.
Tertio utrum homo ab Angelo doceri possit.
Quarto utrum docere sit actus vitae activae vel contemplativae.
Can a man or only God teach and be called teacher?
Can one be called his own teacher?
Can a man be taught by an angel?
Is teaching an activity of the contemplative or the active life?
Q. 11: ARTICLE I
The question treats of the teacher,
and in the first article we ask:
Can a man or only God teach and be called teacher?
[ARTICLE II Sent., 9, 2, ad 4; 28, 5, ad 3; C.G., II, 75; S.T., I, 117, 1; De unit. intell., 5, nn. 50-51.]
Quaestio est de magistro. Et primo quaeritur utrum homo possit docere et dici magister, vel solus Deus. Difficulties Et videtur quod solus Deus doceat, et magister dici debeat. It seems that only God teaches and should be called a teacher, for Matth., XXIII, 8: unus est magister vester; et praecedit: nolite vocari Rabbi: super quo Glossa: ne divinum honorem hominibus tribuatis, aut quod Dei est, vobis usurpetis. Ergo magistrum esse et docere, solius Dei esse videtur. 1. In St. Matthew (2 3:8) we read: “One is your master”; and just before that: “Be not you called Rabbi.” On this passage the Gloss comments: “Lest you give divine honor to men, or usurp for yourselves what belongs to God.” Therefore, it seems that only God is a teacher, or teaches. Praeterea, si homo docet, nonnisi per aliqua signa: quia si etiam rebus ipsis aliqua docere videatur, ut puta si aliquo quaerente quid sit ambulare, aliquis ambulet, tamen hoc non sufficit ad docendum, nisi signum aliquod adiungatur, ut Augustinus probat in l. de magistro: eo quod in eadem re plura conveniunt, unde nescietur quantum ad quid de re illa demonstratio fiat; utrum quantum ad substantiam, vel quantum ad accidens aliquod eius. Sed per signa non potest deveniri in cognitionem rerum, quia rerum cognitio potior est quam signorum; cum signorum cognitio ad rerum cognitionem ordinetur sicut ad finem: effectus autem non est potior sua causa. Ergo nullus potest alii tradere cognitionem aliquarum rerum, et sic non potest eum docere. 2. If a man teaches, he does so only through certain signs. For, even if one seems to teach by means of things, as, when asked what walking is, he walks, this is not sufficient to teach the one who asks, unless some sign be added, as Augustine proves. He does this by showing that there are many factors involved in the same action; hence, one will not know to what factor the demonstration was due, whether to the substance of the action or to some accident of it. Furthermore, one cannot come to a knowledge of things through a sign, for the knowledge of things is more excellent than the knowledge of signs, since the knowledge of signs is directed to knowledge of things as a means to an end. But the effect is not more excellent than its cause. Therefore, no one can impart knowledge of anything to another, and so cannot teach him. Praeterea, si aliquarum rerum signa alicui proponantur per hominem; aut ille cui proponuntur, cognoscit res illas quarum sunt signa, aut non. Si quidem res illas cognoscit, de eis non docetur. Si vero non cognoscit, ignoratis autem rebus, nec signorum significationes cognosci possunt; quia enim nescit hanc rem quae est lapis, non potest scire quid hoc nomen lapis significet. Ignorata vero significatione signorum, per signa non potest aliquis aliquid addiscere. Si ergo homo nihil aliud faciat ad doctrinam quam signa proponere, videtur quod homo ab homine doceri non possit. 3. If signs of certain things are proposed to someone by a man, the one to whom they are proposed either knows the things which the signs represent or he does not. If he knows the things, he is not taught them. But if he does not know them, he cannot know the meanings of the signs, since he does not know the things. For a man who does not know what a stone is cannot know what the word stone means. But if he does not know the meaning of the terms, he cannot learn anything through the signs. Therefore, if a man does nothing else to teach than propose signs, it seems that one man cannot be taught by another. Praeterea, docere nihil aliud est quam scientiam in alio aliquo modo causare. Sed scientiae subiectum est intellectus; signa autem sensibilia, quibus solummodo videtur homo posse docere, non perveniunt usque ad partem intellectivam, sed sistunt in potentia sensitiva. Ergo homo ab homine doceri non potest. 4. To teach is nothing else than to cause knowledge in another in some way. But our understanding is the subject of knowledge. Now, sensible signs, by which alone, it would seem, man can be taught, do not reach the intellective part, but affect the senses only. Therefore, man cannot be taught by a man. Praeterea, si scientia in uno causatur ab alio; aut scientia inerat addiscenti, aut non inerat. Si non inerat, et in homine ab alio causatur; ergo unus homo in alio scientiam creat; quod est impossibile. Si autem prius inerat; aut inerat in actu perfecto, et sic causari non potest, quia quod est, non fit; aut inerat secundum rationem seminalem: rationes autem seminales per nullam virtutem creatam in actum educi possunt, sed a Deo solo naturae inseruntur, ut Augustinus dicit super Genes. ad litteram. Ergo relinquitur quod unus homo nullo modo alium docere possit. 5. If the knowledge is caused by one person in another, the learner either had it already or he did not. If he did not have it already and it was caused in him by another, then one man creates knowledge in another, which is impossible. However, if he had it already, it was present either in complete actuality, and thus it cannot be caused, for what already exists does not come into being, or it was present seminally (secundum rationes seminales) . But such seminal principles cannot be actualized by any created power, but are implanted in nature by God alone, as Augustine says. So, it remains true that one man can in no way teach another. Praeterea, scientia quoddam accidens est. Accidens autem non transmutat subiectum. Cum ergo doctrina nihil aliud esse videatur nisi transfusio scientiae de magistro in discipulum, ergo unus homo alium docere non potest. 6. Knowledge is an accident. But an accident does not change the subject in which it inheres. Therefore, since teaching seems to be nothing else but the transfer of knowledge from teacher to pupil, one cannot teach another. Praeterea, Rom., X, 17, super illud, fides ex auditu, dicit Glossa: licet Deus intus doceat, praeco tamen exterius annuntiat. Scientia autem interius in mente causatur, non autem exterius in sensu. Ergo homo a solo Deo docetur, non ab alio homine. 7. The Gloss, on Romans (10:17), “Faith then comes by hearing,” says: “Although God teaches man interiorly, the preacher proclaims it exteriorly.” But knowledge is caused interiorly in the mind, not exteriorly in the senses. Therefore, man is taught only by God, not by another man. Praeterea, Augustinus dicit in Lib. de magistro: solus Deus cathedram habet in caelis, qui veritatem docet in terris; alius homo sic se habet ad cathedram sicut agricola ad arborem. Agricola autem non est factor arboris, sed cultor. Ergo nec homo potest dici doctor scientiae, sed ad scientiam dispositor. 8. Augustine says: “God alone, who teaches truth on earth, holds the teacher’s chair in heaven, but to this chair another man has the relation which a farmer has to a tree.” But the farmer does not make the tree; he cultivates it. And by the same token no nian can bc said to teach knowledge, but only prepare the mind for it. Praeterea, si homo est verus doctor, oportet quod veritatem doceat. Sed quicumque docet veritatem, mentem illuminat, cum veritas sit lumen mentis. Ergo homo mentem illuminabit, si docet. Sed hoc est falsum, cum Deus sit qui omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum illuminet Ioann. I, 9. Ergo homo non potest alium vere docere. 9. If man is a real teacher, he must teach the truth. But whoever teaches the truth enlightens the mind, for truth is the light of the mind. If, therefore, man does teach, he enlightens the mind. But this is false, for in the Gospel according to St. John (1:9) we see that it is God who “enlighteneth every man that comes into this world.” Therefore, one man cannot really teach another. Praeterea, si unus homo alium docet, oportet quod eum faciat de potentia scientem actu scientem. Ergo oportet quod eius scientia educatur de potentia in actum. Quod autem de potentia in actum educitur, necesse est quod mutetur. Ergo scientia vel sapientia mutabitur; quod est contra Augustinum, in Lib. LXXXIII quaestionum, qui dicit, quod sapientia accedens homini, non ipsa mutatur, sed hominem mutat. 10. If one man teaches another, he must make a potential knower into an actual knower. Therefore, his knowledge must be raised from potency to act. But what is raised from potency to actuality must be changed. Therefore, knowledge or wisdom will be changed. However, this is contrary to Augustine, who says: “In coming to a man, wisdom is not itself changed, but changes the man.” Praeterea, scientia nihil aliud esse videtur quam descriptio rerum in anima, cum scientia esse dicatur assimilatio scientis ad scitum. Sed unus homo non potest in alterius anima describere rerum similitudines: sic enim interius operaretur in ipso; quod solius Dei est. Ergo unus homo alium docere non potest. 11. Knowledge is nothing else but the representation of things in the soul, since knowledge is called the assimilation of the knower to the thing known. But one man cannot imprint the likeness of things in the soul of another. For, thus, he would work interiorly in that man, which God alone can do. Therefore, one man cannot teach another. Praeterea, Boetius dicit in Lib. de consolatione, quod per doctrinam solummodo mens hominis excitatur ad sciendum. Sed ille qui excitat intellectum ad sciendum, non facit eum scire; sicut ille qui excitat aliquem ad videndum corporaliter, non facit eum videre. Ergo unus homo non facit alium scire; et ita non proprie potest dici quod eum doceat. 12. Boethius says that teaching does no more than stimulate the mind to know. But he who stimulates the understanding to know does not make it know, just as one who incites someone to see with the eyes of the body does not make him see. Therefore, one man does not make another know. And so it cannot properly be said that he teaches him. Praeterea, ad scientiam requiritur cognitionis certitudo; alias non est scientia, sed opinio vel credulitas, ut Augustinus dicit in Lib. de magistro. Sed unus homo non potest in altero certitudinem facere per signa sensibilia quae proponit: quod enim est in sensu, magis est obliquum eo quod est in intellectu; certitudo autem semper fit per aliquid magis rectum. Ergo unus homo alium docere non potest. 13. There is no scientific knowledge without certitude. Otherwise, it is not scientific knowledge but opinion or belief, as Augustine says. But one man cannot produce certitude in another by means of the sensible signs which he proposes. For that which is in the sense faculty is less direct than that which is in the understanding, while certainty is always effected by the more direct. Therefore, one man cannot teach another. Praeterea, ad scientiam non requiritur nisi lumen intelligibile et species. Sed neutrum potest in uno homine ab alio causari: quia oporteret quod homo aliquid crearet, cum huiusmodi formae simplices non videantur posse produci nisi per creationem. Ergo homo non potest in alio scientiam causare, et sic nec docere. 14. The intelligible light and a species are all that are needed for knowledge. But neither of these can be caused in one man by another. For it would be necessary for a man to create something, since it seems that simple forms like these can be produced only by creation. Therefore, one man cannot cause knowledge in another and, so, cannot teach. Praeterea, nihil potest formare mentem hominis nisi solus Deus, ut Augustinus dicit. Scientia autem, quaedam forma mentis est. Ergo solus Deus scientiam in anima causat. 15. As Augustine says, nothing except God alone can give the mind of man its form. But knowledge is a form of the mind. Therefore, only God can cause knowledge in the soul. Praeterea, sicut culpa est in mente, ita et ignorantia. Sed solus Deus purgat mentem a culpa: Isa., XLIII, 25: ego sum (...) qui deleo iniquitates tuas propter me. Ergo solus Deus purgat mentem ab ignorantia; et ita solus docet. 16. just as guilt is in the mind, so is ignorance. But only God cleanses the mind of guilt, according to Isaiah (43:25): “I am he that blots out tliy iniquities for my own sake.” Therefore, God alone cleanses the mind of ignorance. And, so, only God teaches. Praeterea, cum scientia sit certitudinalis cognitio, ab illo aliquis scientiam accipit per cuius locutionem certificatur. Non autem certificatur aliquis ex hoc quod audit hominem loquentem; alias oporteret quod quidquid alicui ab homine dicitur, pro certo ei constaret. Certificatur autem solum secundum quod interius audit veritatem loquentem, quam consulit etiam de his quae ab homine audit, ut certus fiat. Ergo homo non docet, sed veritas quae interius loquitur, quae est Deus. 17. Since science is certain knowledge, one receives science from him whose words give him certainty. However, hearing a man speak does not give anyone certainty. Otherwise, anything that one person says to another would of necessity be clearly certain. Now, one reaches certitude only when he hears the truth speaking within him. And to be certain, he takes counsel with this interior voice even about those things which he hears from men. Therefore, not man but the truth speaking within, which is God, teaches. Praeterea, nullus per locutionem alterius addiscit illa quae ante locutionem etiam interrogatus respondisset. Sed discipulus, antequam ei magister loquatur, responderet interrogatus de his quae magister proponit: non enim doceretur ex locutione magistri, nisi ita se habere cognosceret sicut magister proponit. Ergo unus homo non docetur per locutionem alterius hominis. 18. No one learns through the words of another those things, which, if asked, he would have answered, even before the other spoke. But even before the teacher speaks, the pupil, upon being questioned, would answer about the matters which the teacher proposes. For he would be taught by the words of the teacher only in so far as he knew that matters were such as the teacher claimed. Therefore, one man is not taught by the words of another. Sed contra. To the Contrary Est quod dicitur II Timoth. I, 11: in quo positus sum ego praedicator (...) et magister gentium. Ergo homo potest et esse et dici magister. 11. In the second Epistle to Timothy (1:11) we read: “Wherein I am appointed a preacher... and teacher of the gentiles.” Therefore, man can be a teacher and can be called one. Praeterea, II Timoth., III, 14: tu vero permane in his, quae didicisti, et credita sunt tibi. Glossa: a me tamquam a vero doctore; et sic idem quod prius. 2. In the second Epistle to Timothy (3:14) it is said: “But continueyouin those things which thou has learned, and which have been committed to thee.” Of this the Gloss says: “From me as from a true teacher.” We conclude as before. Praeterea, Matth. XXIII, 8 et 9, simul dicitur: unus est magister vester, et unus est pater vester. Sed hoc quod Deus est pater omnium, non excludit quin etiam homo vere possit dici pater. Ergo etiam per hoc non excluditur quin homo vere possit dici magister. 3. In one place in Matthew (23:8, 9) we find: “One is your Father” and “One is your master.” But the fact that God is our Father does not make it impossible ‘for man truly to be called father. Likewise, the fact that God is our teacher does not make it impossible for man truly to be called teacher. Praeterea, Roman. X, 15, super illud: quam speciosi supra montes etc. dicit Glossa: isti sunt pedes qui illuminant Ecclesiam. Loquitur autem de apostolis. Cum ergo illuminare sit actus doctoris, videtur quod hominibus docere competat. 4. The Gloss on Romans (10:15), “How beautiful over the mountains... “ reads: “They are the feet who enlighten the Church.”“ Now, it is speaking about the Apostles. Since, then, to enlighten is the act of a teacher, it seems that men are competent to teach. Praeterea, ut dicitur in IV Meteororum, unumquodque tunc est perfectum quando potest simile sibi generare. Sed scientia est quaedam cognitio perfecta. Ergo homo qui habet scientiam, potest alium docere. 5. As is said in the Meteorology, each thing is perfect when it can generate things like itself. But scientific knowledge is a kind of perfect knowledge. Therefore, a man who has scientific knowledge can teach another. Praeterea, Augustinus in libro contra Manich. dicit, quod sicut terra, quae ante peccatum fonte irrigabatur, post peccatum indiguit pluvia de nubibus descendente; ita mens humana, quae per terram significatur, fonte veritatis ante peccatum fecundabatur, post peccatum vero indiget doctrina aliorum, quasi pluvia descendente de nubibus. Ergo saltem post peccatum homo ab homine docetur. 6. Augustine says that just as the earth was watered by a fountain before the coming of sin, and after its coming needed rain froin the clouds above, so also the human mind, which is represented by the earth, was made fruitful by the fountain of truth before the coming of sin, but after its coming it needs the teaching of others as rain coming down from the clouds. Therefore, at least since sin came into the world, man is taught by man. Responsio. REPLY Dicendum, quod in tribus eadem opinionum diversitas invenitur: scilicet in eductione formarum in esse, in acquisitione virtutum, et in acquisitione scientiarum. There is the same sort of difference of opinion on three issues: on the bringing of forms into existence, on the acquiring of virtues, and on the acquiring of scientific knowledge. Quidam enim dixerunt, formas omnes sensibiles esse ab agente extrinseco, quod est substantia vel forma separata, quam appellant datorem formarum vel intelligentiam agentem; et quod omnia inferiora agentia naturalia non sunt nisi sicut praeparantia materiam ad formae susceptionem. Similiter etiam Avicenna dicit in sua Metaphys., quod habitus honesti causa non est actio nostra; sed actio prohibet eius contrarium, et adaptat ad illum, ut accidat hic habitus a substantia perficiente animas hominum, quae est intelligentia agens, vel substantia ei consimilis. For some have said that all sensible forms come from an external agent, a separated substance or form, which they call the giver of forms or agent intelligence, and that all that lower natural agents do is prepare the matter to receive the form. Similarly, Avicenna says that our activity is not the cause of a good habit, but only keeps out its opposite and prepares us for the habit so that it may come from the substance which perfects; the souls of men. This is the agent intelligence or some similar substance. Similiter etiam ponunt, quod scientia in nobis non efficitur nisi ab agente separato; unde Avicenna ponit in VI de naturalibus, quod formae intelligibiles effluunt in mentem nostram ab intelligentia agente. They also hold that knowledge is caused in us only by an agent free of matter. For this reason Avicenna holds”, that the intelligible forms flow into our mind from the agent intelligence. Quidam vero e contrario opinati sunt; scilicet quod omnia ista rebus essent indita, nec ab exteriori causam haberent, sed solummodo quod per exteriorem actionem manifestantur. Posuerunt enim quidam, quod omnes formae naturales essent actu in materia latentes, et quod agens naturale nihil aliud facit quam extrahere eas de occulto in manifestum. Similiter etiam aliqui posuerunt, quod omnes virtutum habitus nobis sunt inditi a natura; sed per exercitium operum removentur impedimenta, quibus praedicti habitus quasi occultabantur; sicut per limationem aufertur rubigo, ut claritas ferri manifestetur. Similiter etiam aliqui dixerunt quod animae est omnium scientia concreata; et per huiusmodi doctrinam et huiusmodi scientiae exteriora adminicula nihil fit aliud nisi quod anima deducitur in recordationem vel considerationem eorum quae prius scivit; unde dicunt, quod addiscere nihil est aliud quam reminisci. Some have held the opposite opinion, namely, that all three of those are embodied in things and have no external cause, but are only brought to light by external activity. For some have held that all natural forms are in act, lying hidden in matter, and that a natural agent does nothing but draw them from concealment out into the open. In like manner, some” hold that all the habits of the virtues are implanted in us by nature. And the practice of their actions removes the obstructions which, as it were, hid these habits, just as rust is removed by filing so that the brightness of the iron is brought to light. Similarly, some also have said that the knowledge of all things is con-created with the soul and that through teaching and the external helps of this type of knowledge all that happens is that the soul is prompted to recall or consider those things which it knew previously. Hence, they say that learning is nothing but remembering. Utraque autem istarum opinionum est absque ratione. Prima enim opinio excludit causas propinquas, dum effectus omnes in inferioribus provenientes, solis causis primis attribuit; in quo derogatur ordini universi, qui ordine et connexione causarum contexitur: dum prima causa ex eminentia bonitatis suae rebus aliis confert non solum quod sint, sed et quod causae sint. Secunda etiam opinio in idem quasi inconveniens redit: cum enim removens prohibens non sit nisi movens per accidens, ut dicitur VIII Physic.; si inferiora agentia nihil aliud faciunt quam producere de occulto in manifestum, removendo impedimenta, quibus formae et habitus virtutum et scientiarum occultabantur: sequetur quod omnia inferiora agentia non agant nisi per accidens. But both of these positions lack a reasonable basis. For the first opinion excludes proximate causes, attributing solely to first causes all effects which happen in lower natures. In this it derogates from the order of the universe, which is made up of the order and connection of causes, since the first cause, by the pre-eminence of its goodness, gives other beings not only their existence, but also their existence as causes. The second position, too, falls into practically the same difficulty. For, since a thing which removes an obstruction is a mover only accidentally, as is said in the Physics, if lower agents do nothing but bring things from concealment into the open,. taking away the obstructions which concealed the forms and habits of the virtues and the sciences, it follows that all lower agents act only accidentally. Et ideo, secundum doctrinam Aristotelis, via media inter has duas tenenda est in omnibus praedictis. Formae enim naturales praeexistunt quidem in materia, non in actu, ut alii dicebant, sed in potentia solum, de qua in actum reducuntur per agens extrinsecum proximum, non solum per agens primum, ut alia opinio ponebat. Similiter etiam secundum ipsius sententiam in VI Ethicorum, virtutum habitus ante earum consummationem praeexistunt in nobis in quibusdam naturalibus inclinationibus, quae sunt quaedam virtutum inchoationes, sed postea per exercitium operum adducuntur in debitam consummationem. Similiter etiam dicendum est de scientiae acquisitione; quod praeexistunt in nobis quaedam scientiarum semina, scilicet primae conceptiones intellectus, quae statim lumine intellectus agentis cognoscuntur per species a sensibilibus abstractas, sive sint complexa, sicut dignitates, sive incomplexa, sicut ratio entis, et unius, et huiusmodi, quae statim intellectus apprehendit. In istis autem principiis universalibus omnia sequentia includuntur, sicut in quibusdam rationibus seminalibus. Quando ergo ex istis universalibus cognitionibus mens educitur ut actu cognoscat particularia, quae prius in universali et quasi in potentia cognoscebantur, tunc aliquis dicitur scientiam acquirere. Therefore, in all that has been said we ought to hold a middle position between these two, according to the teaching of Aristotle. For natural forms pre-exist in matter not actually, as some have said, but only in potency. They are brought to actuality from this state of potency through a proximate external agent, and not through the first agent alone, as one of the opinions maintains. Similarly, according to this opinion of Aristotle, before the habits of virtue are completely formed, they exist in us in certain natural inclinations, which are the beginnings of the virtues. But afterwards, through practice in their actions, they are brought to their proper completion. We must give a similar explanation of the acquisition of knowledge. For certain seeds of knowledge pre-exist in us, namely, the first concepts of understanding, which by the light of the agent intellect are immediately known through the species abstracted from sensible things. These are either complex, as axioms, or simple, as the notions of being, of the one, and so on, which the understanding grasps immediately. In these general principles, however, all the consequences are included as in certain seminal principles. When, therefore, the mind is led from these general notions to actual knowledge of the particular things, which it knew previously in general and, as it were, potentially, then one is said to acquire knowledge. Sciendum tamen est, quod in rebus naturalibus aliquid praeexistit in potentia dupliciter. Uno modo in potentia activa completa; quando, scilicet, principium intrinsecum sufficienter potest perducere in actum perfectum, sicut patet in sanatione: ex virtute enim naturali quae est in aegro, aeger ad sanitatem perducitur. Alio modo in potentia passiva; quando, scilicet, principium intrinsecum non sufficit ad educendum in actum, sicut patet quando ex aere fit ignis; hoc enim non poterat fieri per aliquam virtutem in aere existentem. We must bear in mind, nevertheless, that in natural things something can pre-exist in potency in two ways. In one, it is in an active and completed potency, as when an intrinsic principle has sufficient power to flow into perfect act. Healing is an obvious example of this, for the sick person is restored to health by the natural power within him. The other appears in a passive potency, as happens when the internal principle does not have sufficient power to bring it into act. This is clear when air becomes fire, for this cannot result from any power existing in the air. Quando igitur praeexistit aliquid in potentia activa completa, tunc agens extrinsecum non agit nisi adiuvando agens intrinsecum, et ministrando ei ea quibus possit in actum exire; sicut medicus in sanatione est minister naturae, quae principaliter operatur, confortando naturam, et apponendo medicinas, quibus velut instrumentis natura utitur ad sanationem. Quando vero aliquid praeexistit in potentia passiva tantum, tunc agens extrinsecum est quod educit principaliter de potentia in actum; sicut ignis facit de aere, qui est potentia ignis, actu ignem. Therefore, when something pre-exists in active completed potency, the external agent acts only by helping the internal agent and providing it with the means by which it can enter into act. Thus, in healing the doctor assists nature, which is the principal agent, by strengthen ing nature and prescribing medicines, which nature uses as instruments for healing. On the other hand, when something pre-exists only in passive potency, then it is the external agent which is the principal cause of the transition from potency to act. Thus, fire makes actual fire of air, which is potentially fire. Scientia ergo praeexistit in addiscente in potentia non pure passiva, sed activa; alias homo non posset per seipsum acquirere scientiam. Sicut ergo aliquis dupliciter sanatur: uno modo per operationem naturae tantum, alio modo a natura cum adminiculo medicinae; ita etiam est duplex modus acquirendi scientiam: unus, quando naturalis ratio per seipsam devenit in cognitionem ignotorum; et hic modus dicitur inventio; alius, quando naturali rationi aliquis exterius adminiculatur, et hic modus dicitur disciplina. Knowledge, therefore, pre-exists in the learner potentially, not, however, in the purely passive, but in the active, sense. Otherwise, man would not be able to acquire knowledge independently. Therefore, as there are two ways of being cured, that is, either through the activity of unaided nature or by nature with the aid of medicine, so also there are two ways of acquiring knowledge. In one way, natural reason by itself reaches knowledge of unknown things, and this way is called discovery; in the other way, when someone else aids the learner’s natural reason, and this is called learning by instruction. In his autem quae fiunt a natura et arte, eodem modo ars operatur, et per eadem media, quibus et natura. Sicut enim natura in eo qui ex frigida causa laborat, calefaciendo induceret sanitatem, ita et medicus; unde et ars dicitur imitari naturam. Et similiter etiam contingit in scientiae acquisitione, quod eodem modo docens alium ad scientiam ignotorum deducit sicuti aliquis inveniendo deducit seipsum in cognitionem ignoti. In effects which are produced by nature and by art, art operates in the same way and through the same means as nature. For, as nature heals one who is suffering from cold by warming him, so also does the doctor. Hence, art is said to imitate nature. A similar thing takes place in acquiring knowledge. For the teacher leads the pupil to knowledge of things he does not know in the same way that one directs himself through the process of discovering something he does not know. Processus autem rationis pervenientis ad cognitionem ignoti inveniendo est ut principia communia per se nota applicet ad determinatas materias, et inde procedat in aliquas particulares conclusiones, et ex his in alias; unde et secundum hoc unus alium dicitur docere quod istum decursum rationis, quem in se facit ratione naturali, alteri exponit per signa et sic ratio naturalis discipuli, per huiusmodi sibi proposita, sicut per quaedam instrumenta, pervenit in cognitionem ignotorum. Sicut igitur medicus dicitur causare sanitatem in infirmo natura operante, ita etiam homo dicitur causare scientiam in alio operatione rationis naturalis illius: et hoc est docere; unde unus homo alium docere dicitur, et eius esse magister. Et secundum hoc dicit philosophus, I posteriorum, quod demonstratio est syllogismus faciens scire. Now, in discovery, the procedure of anyone who arrives at the knowledge of something unknown is to apply general self-evident principles to certain definite matters, from these to proceed to particular conclusions, and from these to others. Consequently, one person is said to teach another inasmuch as, by signs, he manifests to that other the reasoning process which he himself goes through by his own natural reason. And thus, through the instrumentality, as it were, of what is told him, the natural reason of the pupil arrives at a knowledge of the things which he did not know. Therefore, just as the doctor is said to heal a patient through the activity of nature, so a man is said to cause knowledge in another through the activity of the learner’s own natural reason, and this is teaching. So, one is said to teach another and be his teacher. This is what the Philosopher means when he says: “Demonstration is a syllogism which makes someone know.” Si autem aliquis alicui proponat ea quae in principiis per se notis non includuntur, vel includi non manifestantur, non faciet in eo scientiam, sed forte opinionem, vel fidem; quamvis hoc etiam aliquo modo ex principiis innatis causetur. Ex ipsis enim principiis per se notis considerat, quod ea quae ex eis necessario consequuntur, sunt certitudinaliter tenenda; quae vero eis sunt contraria, totaliter respuenda; aliis autem assensum praebere potest, vel non praebere. Huiusmodi autem rationis lumen, quo principia huiusmodi nobis sunt nota, est nobis a Deo inditum, quasi quaedam similitudo increatae veritatis in nobis resultans. Unde, cum omnis doctrina humana efficaciam habere non possit nisi ex virtute illius luminis; constat quod solus Deus est qui interius et principaliter docet, sicut natura interius et principaliter sanat; nihilominus homo et sanare et docere proprie dicitur modo praedicto. But, if someone proposes to another things which are not included in self-evident principles, or does not make it clear that they are included, he will not cause knowledge in the other but, perhaps, opinion or faith, although even this is in some way caused by inborn first principles, for from these self-evident principles he realizes that what necessarily follows from them is to be held with certitude, and that what is contrary to them is to be rejected completely, and that assent may be given to or withheld from whatever neither follows necessarily from nor is contrary to self-evident principles. Now, the light of reason by which such principles are evident to us is implanted in us by God as a kind of reflected likeness in us of the uncreated truth. So, since all human teaching can be effective only in virtue of that light, it is obvious that God alone teaches interiorly and principally, just as nature alone heals interiorly and principally. Nevertheless, both to heal and to teach can still be used in a proper sense in the way we have explained. Answers to Difficulties Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod quia dominus praeceperat discipulis ne vocarentur magistri, ne posset intelligi hoc esse prohibitum absolute. Glossa exponit qualiter haec prohibitio sit intelligenda. Prohibemur enim hoc modo hominem vocare magistrum, ut ei principalitatem magisterii attribuamus, quae Deo competit; quasi in hominum sapientia spem ponentes, et non magis de his quae ab homine audimus, divinam veritatem consulentes, quae in nobis loquitur per suae similitudinis impressionem, qua de omnibus possumus iudicare. 1. Since our Lord had ordered the disciples not to be called teachers, the Gloss explains how this prohibition is to be understood, lest it be taken absolutely. For we are forbidden to call man a teacher in this sense, that we attribute to him the pre-eminence of teaching, which belongs to God. It would be as if we put our hope in the wisdom of men, and did not rather consult divine truth about those things which we hear from man. And this divine truth speaks in us through the impression of its likeness, by means of which we can judge of all things. Ad secundum dicendum, quod cognitio rerum in nobis non efficitur per cognitionem signorum, sed per cognitionem aliarum rerum magis certarum, scilicet principiorum, quae nobis per aliqua signa proponuntur, et applicantur ad aliqua quae prius nobis erant ignota simpliciter, quamvis essent nobis nota secundum quid, ut dictum est. Cognitio enim principiorum facit in nobis scientiam conclusionum, non cognitio signorum. 2. Knowledge of things is not produced in us through knowledge of signs, but through knowledge of things more certain, namely, principles. The latter are proposed to us through signs and are applied to other things which were heretofore unknown to us simply, although they were known to us in some respect, as has been said. For knowledge of principles produces in us knowledge of conclusions; knowledge of signs does not. Ad tertium dicendum, quod illa de quibus per signa edocemur, cognoscimus quidem quantum ad aliquid, et quantum ad aliquid ignoramus; utpote si docemur quid est homo, oportet quod de eo praesciamus aliquid: scilicet rationem animalis, vel substantiae, aut saltem ipsius entis, quae nobis ignota esse non potest. Et similiter si doceamur aliquam conclusionem, oportet praescire de passione et subiecto quid sunt, etiam principiis, per quae conclusio docetur, praecognitis; omnis enim disciplina fit ex praeexistenti cognitione, ut dicitur in principio posteriorum. Unde ratio non sequitur. 3. To some extent we know the things we are taught through signs, and to some extent We do not know them. Thus, if we are taught what man is, we must know something about him beforehand, namely, the meaning of animal, or of substance, or at least of being itself, which last concept cannot escape us. Similarly, if we are taught a certain conclusion, we must know beforehand what the subject and predicate are. We must also have previous knowledge of the principles through which the conclusion is taught, for “all teaching comes from pre-existing knowledge,” as is said in the Posterior Analytics. Hence, the argument does not follow. Ad quartum dicendum, quod ex sensibilibus signis, quae in potentia sensitiva recipiuntur, intellectus accipit intentiones intelligibiles, quibus utitur ad scientiam in seipso faciendam. Proximum enim scientiae effectivum non sunt signa, sed ratio discurrens a principiis in conclusiones, ut dictum est. 4. Our intellect derives intelligible likenesses from sensible signs which are received in the sensitive faculty, and it uses these intelligible forms to produce in itself scientific knowledge. For the signs are not the proximate efficient cause of knowledge, but reason is, in its passage from principles to conclusions, as has been said. Ad quintum dicendum, quod in eo qui docetur, scientia praeexistebat, non quidem in actu completo, sed quasi in rationibus seminalibus, secundum quod universales conceptiones, quarum cognitio est nobis naturaliter indita, sunt quasi semina quaedam omnium sequentium cognitorum. Quamvis autem per virtutem creatam rationes seminales non hoc modo educantur in actum quasi ipsae per aliquam creatam virtutem infundantur, tamen id quod est in eis originaliter et virtualiter, actione creatae virtutis in actum educi potest. 5. In one who is taught, the knowledge did not exist in complete actuality, but, as it were, in seminal principles, in the sense that the universal concepts which we know naturally are, as it were, the seeds of all the knowledge which follows. But, although these seminal principles are not developed to actuality by any created power, as though they were infused by a created power, that which they have in a primitive way and virtually can develop into actuality by means of the activity of a created power. Ad sextum dicendum, quod docens non dicitur transfundere scientiam in discipulum, quasi illa eadem numero scientia quae est in magistro, in discipulo fiat; sed quia per doctrinam fit in discipulo scientia similis ei quae est in magistro, educta de potentia in actum, ut dictum est. 6. We do not say that a teacher communicates knowledge to the pupil, as though the knowledge which is in the teacher is numerically the same as that which arises in the pupil. It is rather that the knowledge which arises in the pupil through teaching is similar to that which is in the teacher, and this was raised from potency into act, as has been said. Ad septimum dicendum, quod sicut medicus quamvis exterius operetur, natura sola interius operante, dicitur facere sanitatem; ita et homo dicitur docere veritatem quamvis exterius annuntiet, Deo interius docente. 7. As the doctor is said to cause healing, although he works exteriorly, while nature alone works interiorly, so man is said to teach the truth, although he declares it exteriorly, while God teaches interiorly. Ad octavum dicendum, quod Augustinus in Lib. de magistro, per hoc quod probat solum Deum docere, non intendit excludere quin homo exterius doceat, sed quod ipse solus Deus docet interius. 8. When Augustine proves that only God teaches, he does not intend to exclude man from teaching exteriorly, but intends to say that God alone teaches interiorly. Ad nonum dicendum, quod homo, verus et vere doctor dici potest, et veritatem docens, et mentem quidem illuminans, non quasi lumen rationi infundens, sed quasi lumen rationis coadiuvans ad scientiae perfectionem per ea quae exterius proponit: secundum quem modum dicitur Ephes., III, 8-9: mihi autem omnium sanctorum minimo data est gratia haec illuminare omnes et cetera. 9. Man can truly be called a true teacher inasmuch as he teaches the truth and enlightens the mind. This does not mean, however, that he endows the mind with light, but that, as it were, he co-operates with the light of reason by supplying external help to it to reach the perfection of knowledge. This is in accordance with Ephesians (3:8-9): “To me, the least of all. the saints, is given this grace... to enlighten all men...” Ad decimum dicendum, quod duplex est sapientia: scilicet creata et increata: et utraque homini infundi dicitur; et eius infusione homo mutari in melius proficiendo. Sapientia vero increata nullo modo mutabilis est; creata vero in nobis mutatur per accidens, non per se. Est enim ipsam considerare dupliciter. Uno modo secundum respectum ad res aeternas de quibus est; et sic omnino immutabilis est. Alio modo secundum esse quod habet in subiecto; et sic per accidens mutatur, subiecto mutato de potentia habente sapientiam in actu habens. Formae enim intelligibiles, ex quibus sapientia consistit, et sunt rerum similitudines, et sunt formae perficientes intellectum. 10. Wisdom is twofold, created and uncreated. Man is said to be endowed with both and to improve himself by advancing in them. Uncreated wisdom, however, cannot be changed in any way, whereas in us created wisdom can be changed for some extrinsic reason, though not by reason of anything intrinsic to it. We can consider this capacity for change in two ways. In one way, according to the relation which it has to eternal things, and in this way it is entirely unchangeable. In the other, according to the existence which it has in the subject, it is changed for some extrinsic reason when the subject which has wisdom in potency is changed into a subject having it in act. For the intelligible forms in which wisdom consists are both likenesses of things and forms perfecting the understanding. Ad undecimum dicendum, quod in discipulo describuntur formae intelligibiles, ex quibus scientia per doctrinam accepta constituitur, immediate quidem per intellectum agentem, sed mediate per eum qui docet. Proponit enim doctor rerum intelligibilium signa ex quibus intellectus agens accipit intentiones intelligibiles, et describit eas in intellectu possibili. Unde ipsa verba doctoris audita, vel visa in scripto, hoc modo se habent ad causandum scientiam in intellectu sicut res quae sunt extra animam, quia ex utrisque intellectus agens intentiones intelligibiles accipit; quamvis verba doctoris propinquius se habeant ad causandum scientiam quam sensibilia extra animam existentia inquantum sunt signa intelligibilium intentionum. 11. In the pupil, the intelligible forms of which knowledge received through teaching is constituted are caused directly by the agent intellect and mediately by the one who teaches. For the teacher sets before the pupil signs of intelligible things, and from these the agent intellect derives the intelligible likenesses and causes them to exist in the possible intellect. Hence, the words of the teacher, heard or seen in writing, have the same efficacy in causing knowledge as things which are outside the soul. For from both the agent intellect receives intelligible likenesses, although the words of the teacher are more proximately disposed to cause knowledge than things outside the soul, in so far as they are signs of intelligible forms. Ad duodecimum dicendum, quod non est omnino simile de intellectu et visu corporali. Visus enim corporalis non est vis collativa, ut ex quibusdam suorum obiectorum in alia perveniat; sed omnia sua obiecta sunt ei visibilia, quam cito ad illa convertitur: unde habens potentiam visivam se habet hoc modo ad omnia visibilia intuenda, sicut habens habitum ad ea quae habitualiter scit consideranda; et ideo videns non indiget ab alio excitari ad videndum, nisi quatenus per alium eius visus dirigitur in aliquod visibile, ut digito, vel aliquo huiusmodi.
Sed potentia intellectiva, cum sit vis collativa, ex quibusdam in alia devenit; unde non se habet aequaliter ad omnia intelligibilia consideranda; sed quaedam statim videt quae sunt per se nota, in quibus implicite continentur quaedam alia quae intelligere non potest nisi per officium rationis ea quae in principiis implicite continentur, explicando; unde ad huiusmodi cognoscenda, antequam habitum habeat, non solum est in potentia accidentali, sed etiam in potentia essentiali: indiget enim motore, qui reducat eum in actum per doctrinam, ut dicitur in VIII Physic.: quo non indiget ille qui iam aliquid habitualiter novit. Doctor ergo excitat intellectum ad sciendum illa quae docet, sicut motor essentialis educens de potentia in actum; sed ostendens rem aliquam visui corporali, excitat eum sicut motor per accidens; prout etiam habens habitum scientiae potest excitari ad considerandum de aliquo.
12. Intellectual and bodily sight are not alike, for bodily sight is not a power which compares, so that among its objects it can proceed from one to another. Rather, all the objects of this sight can be seen as soon as it turns to them. Consequently, anyone who has the power of sight can look at all visible things, just as one who has a habit of knowledge can turn his attention to the things which he knows habitually. Therefore, the seeing subject needs no stimulus from another to see something, unless, perhaps, someone else directs the subject’s attention to some object by pointing it out or doing something of the sort.
But, since the intellective power can compare, it proceeds from some things to others. As a result, it does not have the same relation to all intelligible objects of consideration. Rather, the mind sees certain things immediately, those which are self-evident, in which are contained certain other things which it can understand only by using reason to unfold those things which are implicitly contained in principles. Thus, before the mind has the habit, it is not only in accidental potency to know these things, but also essential potency. For the mind needs a mover to actualize it through teaching, as is said in the Physics. But a man who already knew something habitually would not need this. Therefore, the teacher furnishes the pupil’s intellect with a stimulus to knowledge of the things which he teaches, as an indispensable mover, bringing the intellect from potentiality to actuality. But one who shows some thing to bodily sight prompts it to action as a nonessential mover. And one who has the habit of knowledge can in this way receive a stimulus from someone to consider something.
Ad decimumtertium dicendum, quod certitudo scientiae tota oritur ex certitudine principiorum: tunc enim conclusiones per certitudinem sciuntur, quando resolvuntur in principia. Et ideo hoc quod aliquid per certitudinem sciatur, est ex lumine rationis divinitus interius indito, quo in nobis loquitur Deus: non autem ab homine exterius docente, nisi quatenus conclusiones in principia resolvit, nos docens: ex quo tamen nos certitudinem scientiae non acciperemus, nisi inesset nobis certitudo principiorum, in quae conclusiones resolvuntur. 13. The whole certainty of scientific knowledge arises from the certainty of principles. For conclusions are known with certainty when they are reduced to the principles. Therefore, that something is known with certainty is due to the light of reason divinely implanted within us, by which God speaks within us. It comes from man, teaching from without, only in so far as, teaching us, he reduces conclusions to the principles. Nevertheless, we would not attain the certainty of scientific knowledge from this unless there were within us the certainty of the principles to which the conclusions are reduced. Ad decimumquartum dicendum, quod homo exterius docens non influit lumen intelligibile; sed est causa quodammodo speciei intelligibilis, inquantum proponit nobis quaedam signa intelligibilium intentionum, quas intellectus noster ab illis signis accipit, et recondit in seipso. 14. Man, teaching from without, does not infuse the intelligible light, but he is in a certain sense a cause of the intelligible species, in so far as he offers us certain signs of intelligible likenesses, which our understanding receives from those signs and keeps within itself. Ad decimumquintum dicendum, quod cum dicitur: nihil potest formare mentem nisi Deus; intelligitur de ultima eius forma, sine qua informis reputatur, quotcumque alias formas habeat. Haec autem est forma illa qua ad verbum convertitur, et ei inhaeret; per quam solam natura rationalis formata dicitur, ut patet per Augustinum super Genesim ad litteram. 15. When it is said that nothing but God can form the mind, this is understood of its basic form, without which mind would be considered formless, no matter what other forms it had. This is the form by which it turns toward the Word and clings to Him. It is through this alone that rational nature is called formed, as is clear from Augustine. Ad decimumsextum dicendum, quod culpa est in affectu, in quem solus Deus imprimere potest, sicut infra patebit in sequenti articulo: ignorantia autem in intellectu est, in quem etiam virtus creata potest imprimere, sicut intellectus agens imprimit species intelligibiles in intellectum possibilem, quo mediante, ex rebus sensibilibus et ex doctrina hominis causatur scientia in anima nostra, ut dictum est. 16. Guilt is in the affections, on which only God can make an impression, as will appear later. But ignorance is in the understanding, on which even a created power can make an imprint. For the agent intellect impresses the intelligible species on the possible intellect, and through the mediation of this latter, scientific knowledge is caused in our soul by sensible things and by the teaching of man, as has been said. Ad decimumseptimum dicendum, quod certitudinem scientiae, ut dictum est, habet aliquis a solo Deo, qui nobis lumen rationis indidit, per quod principia cognoscimus, ex quibus oritur scientiae certitudo; et tamen scientia ab homine etiam causatur in nobis quodammodo, ut dictum est. 17. One has the certainty of scientific knowledge, as has been said, from God alone, who has given us the fight of reason, through which we know principles. It is from these that the certainty of scientific knowledge arises. Nevertheless, scientific knowledge can in a certain sense be caused in us by man, as has been said. Ad decimumoctavum dicendum, quod discipulus ante locutionem magistri interrogatus, responderet quidem de principiis per quae docetur, non autem de conclusionibus quas quis eum docet: unde principia non discit a magistro, sed solum conclusiones. 18. Before the teacher speaks, the pupil would, if asked, answer about the principles through which he is taught, but not about the conclusions which someone is teaching him. Hence, he does not learn the principles from the teacher, but only the conclusions.
Q. 11: The Teacher
In the second article we ask:
Can one be called his own teacher?
[ARTICLE S.T., I, 117, 1, ad 4. See also parallels given for preceding article.]
Secundo quaeritur utrum aliquis possit dici magister sui ipsius. Difficulties Et videtur quod sic. It seems that he can, for Quia actio magis debet attribui causae principali quam instrumentali. Sed causa quasi principalis scientiae causatae in nobis est intellectus agens. Homo autem, qui docet exterius, est causa quasi instrumentalis proponens intellectui agenti instrumenta quibus ad scientiam perducat. Ergo intellectus agens magis docet quam homo exterius. Si ergo propter locutionem exteriorem, qui exterius loquitur, dicitur magister illius qui audit; multo amplius, propter lumen intellectus agentis, ille qui audit, dicendus est magister sui ipsius. 1. An activity should be ascribed more to the principal cause than to the instrumental cause. But in us the agent intellect is, as it were, the principal cause of the knowledge which is produced in us. But man who teaches another is, as it were, an instrumental cause, furnishing the agent intellect with the instruments by means of which it causes knowledge. Therefore, the agent intellect is more the teacher than another man. If, then, because of what a speaker says we call him the teacher of the one who hears him, the hearer should in a much fuller sense be called his own teacher because of the light of the agent intellect. Praeterea, nullus aliquid addiscit nisi secundum quod ad certitudinem cognitionis pervenit. Sed certitudo cognitionis nobis inest per principia naturaliter nota in lumine intellectus agentis. Ergo intellectui agenti praecipue convenit docere; et sic idem quod prius. 2. One learns something only in so far as he acquires certain knowledge. But such certitude is in us by reason of the principles which are naturally known in the light of the agent intellect. Therefore, the agent intellect is especially fitted to teach. We conclude as before. Praeterea, docere magis proprie convenit Deo quam homini; unde Matth., c. XXIII, 8: unus est magister vester. Sed Deus nos docet, inquantum lumen nobis rationis tradit, quo de omnibus possumus iudicare. Ergo illi lumini actio docendi praecipue attribui debet; et sic idem quod prius. 3. To teach belongs more properly to God than to man. Hence, it is said in Matthew (23:8): “For one is your master.” But God teaches us in so far as He gives us the light of reason, by means of which we can judge about everything. Therefore, we should attribute the activity of teaching especially to that light. The same conclusion follows as before. Praeterea, scire aliquid per inventionem, est perfectius quam ab alio discere, ut patet in I Ethicorum. Si igitur ex illo modo acquirendi scientiam quo aliquis ab alio addiscit scientiam, sumitur nomen magistri, ut unus alterius sit magister; multo amplius ex modo accipiendi scientiam per inventionem debet accipi nomen magistri, ut aliquis sui ipsius magister dicatur. 4 It is more perfect to learn something through discovery than to learn it from another, as is clear in the Ethics. If, therefore, a man is called a teacher in virtue of that manner of acquiring knowledge by which one learns from another so that the one is called the teacher of the other, he should with much greater reason be called a teacher in virtue of the process of acquiring knowledge through discovery, and so be called his own teacher. Praeterea, sicut aliquis inducitur ad virtutem ab alio et a seipso, ita aliquis perducitur ad scientiam et per seipsum inveniendo, et ab alio addiscendo. Sed illi qui ad opera virtutum perveniunt sine exteriori institutore vel legislatore, dicuntur esse sibi ipsis lex; Rom. II, 14: cum gens quae legem non habent, naturaliter quae legis sunt faciunt, ipsi sibi sunt lex. Ergo et ille qui scientiam acquirit per seipsum, debet sibi ipsi dici magister. 5. just as one is inspired to virtue by another and by himself, so also he gets to know something by discovering for himself and by learning from another. But those who attain to works of virtue without having another as an instructor or a lawgiver are said to be a law unto themselves, according to Romans (2:14): “For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature those things that are of the law... they are a law to themselves.” Therefore, the man who acquires knowledge by himself ought also to be called his own teacher. Praeterea, doctor est causa scientiae, sicut medicus sanitatis, ut dictum est. Sed medicus sanat seipsum. Ergo aliquis etiam potest seipsum docere. 6. The teacher is a cause of knowledge as the doctor is a cause of health, as has been said. But a doctor heals himself. Therefore, one can also teach oneself. Sed contra. To the Contrary Est quod philosophus dicit, VIII Phys., quod impossibile est quod docens addiscat; quia docentem necesse est habere scientiam, discentem vero non habere. Ergo non potest esse quod aliquis doceat seipsum, vel dici possit sui magister. l. The Philosopher says that it is impossible for one who is teaching to learn. For the teacher must have knowledge and the learner must not have it. Therefore, one cannot teach himself or be called his own teacher. Praeterea, magisterium importat relationem superpositionis, sicut et dominus. Sed huiusmodi relationes non possunt inesse alicui ad seipsum: non enim aliquis est pater sui ipsius, aut dominus. Ergo nec aliquis potest dici sui ipsius magister. 2. The office of teacher implies a relation of superiority, just as dominion does. But relationships of this sort cannot exist between a person and himself. For one is not his own father or master. Therefore, neither can one be called his own teacher. Responsio. REPLY Dicendum, quod absque dubio aliquis potest per lumen rationis sibi inditum, absque exterioris doctrinae adminiculo, devenire in cognitionem ignotorum multorum, sicut patet in omni eo qui per inventionem scientiam acquirit; et sic quodammodo aliquis est sibi ipsi causa sciendi, non tamen propter hoc proprie potest dici sui ipsius magister, vel seipsum docere. Through the light of reason implanted in him and without the help of another’s instruction, one can undoubtedly acquire knowledge of many things which he does not know. This is clear with all those who acquire knowledge through discovery. Thus, in some sense one can be a cause of his own knowledge, but he cannot be called his own teacher or be said to teach himself. Duos enim modos principiorum agentium in rebus naturalibus invenimus, ut patet ex philosopho, VII Metaphys. Quoddam enim est agens quod in se totum habet quod in effectu per eum causatur; vel eodem modo, sicut est in agentibus univocis, vel etiam eminentiori, sicut est in agentibus aequivocis. Quaedam vero agentia sunt in quibus eorum quae aguntur non praeexistit nisi pars; sicut motus causat sanitatem, aut aliqua medicina calida, in qua calor invenitur vel actualiter vel virtualiter; calor autem non est tota sanitas, sed est pars sanitatis. In primis igitur agentibus est perfecta ratio actionis; non autem in agentibus secundi modi, quia secundum hoc aliquid agit quod actu est; unde, cum non sit in actu effectus inducendi nisi in parte, non erit perfecte agens. For in physical reality we find two types of active principles, as is clear from the Philosopher. Now, there is one type of agent which has within itself everything which it produces in the effect, and it has these perfections in the same way as the effect, as happens in univocal agents, or in a higher way than the effect, as in equivocal causes. Then, there is a certain type of agent in which there pre-exists only a part of the effect. An example of this type is a movement which causes health, or some warm medicine, in which warmth exists either actually or virtually. But warmth is not complete health, but a part of it. The first type of agent, therefore, possesses the complete nature of action. But those of the second type do not, for a thing acts in so far as it is in act. Hence, since it actually contains the effect to be produced only partially, it is not an agent in the perfect sense. Doctrina autem importat perfectam actionem scientiae in docente vel magistro; unde oportet quod ille qui docet vel magister est, habeat scientiam quam in altero causat, explicite et perfecte, sicut in addiscente acquiritur per doctrinam. Quando autem alicui acquiritur scientia per principium intrinsecum, illud quod est causa agens scientiae, non habet scientiam acquirendam, nisi in parte: scilicet quantum ad rationes seminales scientiae, quae sunt principia communia; et ideo ex tali causalitate non potest trahi nomen doctoris vel magistri, proprie loquendo. But teaching implies the perfect activity of knowledge in the teacher or master. Hence, the teacher or master must have the knowledge which he causes in another explicitly and perfectly, as it is to be received in the one who is learning through instruction. When, however, knowledge is acquired by someone through an internal principle, that which is the active cause of the knowledge has the knowledge to be acquired only partially, that is, in the seminal principles of knowledge, which are the general principles. Therefore, properly speaking, we cannot call a man teacher or master because of such causality. Answers to Difficulties Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod intellectus agens, quamvis sit principalior causa quantum ad aliquid quam homo exterius docens, tamen in eo non praeexistit scientia complete, sicut in docente; unde ratio non sequitur. 1. Although to some extent the agent intellect is more the principal cause than another’s teaching, the knowledge does not pre-exist in it completely, as it does in the teacher. Hence, the argument does not follow. Ad secundum dicendum similiter sicut ad primum. 2. A like solution should be given to the second difficulty. Ad tertium dicendum quod Deus explicite novit omnia quae per eum homo docetur, unde sibi convenienter magistri ratio attribui potest; secus autem est de intellectu agente, ratione iam dicta. 3. God knows explicitly everything which man is taught by Him. Hence, the character of teacher can suitably be applied to God. The case is not the same with the agent intellect, for the reason already given. Ad quartum dicendum, quod quamvis modus in acquisitione scientiae per inventionem sit perfectior ex parte recipientis scientiam, inquantum designatur habilior ad sciendum; tamen ex parte scientiam causantis est modus perfectior per doctrinam: quia docens, qui explicite totam scientiam novit, expeditius potest ad scientiam inducere quam aliquis induci possit ex seipso, per hoc quod praecognoscit scientiae principia in quadam communitate. 4. For the one learning a science, to learn it by discovery is the more perfect way of acquiring the knowledge, because it shows that he is more skillful in the acquisition of knowledge. However, for the one causing the knowledge, it is more perfect to cause it by means of instruction. For a teacher who knows the whole science explicitly can teach it to a pupil more readily than the pupil himself could learn it from his own rather general knowledge of the principles of the science. Ad quintum dicendum, quod hoc modo se habet lex in operabilibus sicut principium in speculativis, non autem sicut magister; unde non sequitur si aliquis sibi est lex quod sibi ipsi possit esse magister. 5. A law has the same relation to matters of action as a principle has to speculative matters, but not the same as a teacher. Consequently, if he is a law unto himself, it does not follow that he can be his own teacher. Ad sextum dicendum, quod medicus sanat inquantum praehabet sanitatem non in actu, sed in cognitione artis; sed magister docet inquantum actu scientiam habet. Unde ille qui non habet sanitatem in actu, ex hoc quod habet sanitatem in cognitione artis, potest in seipso sanitatem causare; non autem potest esse ut aliquis actu habeat scientiam, et non habeat, ut sic possit a seipso doceri. 6. A doctor heals in so far as he has health, not actually, but in the knowledge of his art. But the teacher teaches in so far as he has knowledge actually. Hence, he who does not have health actually can cause health in himself because he has health in the knowledge of his art. However, it is impossible for one actually to have knowledge and not to have it, in such a way that he could teach himself.
Q. 11: The Teacher
In the third article we ask:
Can a man be taught by an angel?
[ARTICLE II Sent., 9, 2, ad 4; C.G., III, 81; Quodl., IX, 4, 10; S.T., I, 111, 1; Q.D. de malo, 16, 12.]
Tertio quaeritur utrum homo ab Angelo doceri possit. Difficulties Et videtur quod non. It seems that he cannot, for Quia, si Angelus docet, aut docet interius, aut exterius. Non autem interius, quia hoc solius Dei est, ut Augustinus dicit; nec exterius, ut videtur, quia docere exterius est per aliqua sensibilia signa docere, ut Augustinus dicit in Lib. de magistro: huiusmodi autem sensibilibus signis Angeli non nos docent, nisi forte sensibiliter apparentes; ergo Angeli nos non docent nisi forte sensibiliter apparentes, quod praeter communem cursum accidit, quasi per miraculum. 1. If an angel teaches, he teaches either from within or from without. But he does not teach from within, for only God can do that, Augustine says. Nor can he teach from without, as it seems, for to teach from without is to teach by means of some sensible signs, as Augustine also says. But angels do not teach us through sensible signs of this sort, unless, perhaps, they appear in a sensible form. Therefore, they do not teach us unless they so appear, an occurrence which is outside the ordinary course of nature, through a miracle, as it were. Sed dicebat, quod Angeli nos docent quodammodo exterius, inquantum in nostram imaginationem imprimunt.- Sed contra, species imaginationi impressa ad imaginandum in actu non sufficit, nisi adsit intentio, ut patet per Augustinum in Lib. de Trinit. Sed intentionem non potest in nobis inducere Angelus: cum intentio sit voluntatis actus, in quam solus Deus imprimere potest. Ergo nec etiam imprimendo in imaginationem Angelus docere nos potest, cum, mediante imaginatione, non possimus doceri nisi actu aliquid imaginando. 2. It was said that angels teach us from without in some manner, inasmuch as they make an impression on our imagination.—On the contrary, a species impressed on the imagination does not suffice for actually imagining unless an intention is present, as is clear from what Augustine says. But an angel cannot bring about an intention in us, since intention is an act of will, on which only God can make an impression. Therefore, an angel cannot teach us even by making an impression on our imagination, since we cannot be taught by means of our imagination unless we actually imagine something. Praeterea, si ab Angelis docemur absque sensibili apparitione, hoc non potest esse nisi inquantum intellectum illuminant, quem illuminare non possunt, ut videtur: quia nec tradunt lumen naturale, quod a solo Deo est, utpote menti concreatum, nec etiam lumen gratiae, quam solus Deus infundit. Ergo Angeli absque visibili apparitione nos docere non possunt. 3. If we are taught by angels who do not appear to us in sensible form, this can happen only if they enlighten our understanding, which, it seems, they cannot do. For they do not give it the natural light, which, since it is concreated along with the mind, is from God alone, nor the light of grace, which only God infuses. Therefore, angels cannot teach us unless they appear in visible form. Praeterea, quandocumque unus ab alio docetur, oportet quod addiscens inspiciat conceptus docentis; ut hoc modo sit processus in mente discipuli ad scientiam, sicut est processus a scientia in mente doctoris. Homo autem non potest conceptus Angeli videre. Non enim videt eos in seipsis, sicut nec conceptus alterius hominis: immo multo minus, utpote magis distantes; nec iterum in signis sensibilibus, nisi forte quando sensibiliter apparent, de quo nunc non agitur. Ergo Angeli alias nos docere non possunt. 4. Whenever anyone is taught by another, the learner must examine the concepts of the teacher, so that in this way the pupil’s mind may reach science through the same reasoning process which the teacher’s mind uses. But a man cannot see the concepts of an angel. For he does not see them in themselves, just as he does not see the concepts of another man. In fact, he sees them much less since they are more unlike his own. Nor, again, does he see them in sensible signs, unless perhaps when the angels appear in sensible form, a possibility which we are not now considering. Therefore, angels are unable to teach us in any other way [that is, except by appearance in sensible form]. Praeterea, illius est docere qui illuminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum, ut patet in Glossa Matth. XXIII, 8: unus est magister vester Christus. Sed hoc non competit Angelo, sed soli luci increatae, ut patet Ioan. I, 9. 5. To teach us is the task of Him who “enlightens every man who comes into this world,” as appears in the Gloss on Matthew (23:8): “One is your master Christ.” But this does not refer to an angel, but only to the uncreated light, as is clear from John (1:9). Therefore. Praeterea, quicumque alium docet, eum ad veritatem inducit, et sic veritatem in anima eius causat. Sed solus Deus causalitatem habet supra veritatem; quia cum veritas sit lux intelligibilis et forma simplex, non exit in esse successive, et ita non potest produci nisi per creationem, quod soli Deo competit. Cum ergo Angeli non sint creatores, ut Damascenus dicit, videtur quod ipsi docere non possint. 6. Whoever teaches another leads him to the truth, and so causes truth in his soul. But only God causes truth, for, since truth is an intelligible light and a simple form, it does not come into existence gradually, and so can be produced only through creation, which is attributed to God alone. Since, therefore, angels are not creators, as Damascene says, it seems that they cannot teach. Praeterea, indeficiens illuminatio non potest procedere nisi a lumine indeficienti, eo quod abeunte lumine subiectum illuminari desinit. Sed in doctrina exigitur indeficiens quaedam illuminatio, eo quod scientia de necessariis est, quae semper sunt. Ergo doctrina non procedit nisi a lumine indeficienti. Huiusmodi autem non est lumen angelicum, cum eorum lumen deficeret, nisi divinitus conservaretur. Ergo Angelus non potest docere. 7. An unfailing illumination can come only from an unfailing source of light, since the subject ceases to be illuminated when the light leaves. But an unfailing illumination is needed in teaching, for scientific knowledge concerns necessary things, which always exist. Therefore, teaching comes only from an unfailing light. But the light of angels is not of this kind, since their light fails unless it is divinely conserved. Therefore, an angel cannot teach. Praeterea, Ioann., I, 38, dicitur, quod duo ex discipulis Ioannis sequentes Iesum, ei interroganti, quid quaeritis? Responderunt: Rabbi, quod dicitur interpretatum magister, ubi habitas? Ubi dicit Glossa, quod hoc nomine fidem suam indicant; et alia Glossa dicit: interrogat eos non ignorans, sed ut mercedem habeant respondendo; et quod quaerenti quid, quod quaerit rem, non rem, sed personam respondent. Ex quibus omnibus habetur quod confitentur in illa responsione, eum esse personam quamdam; et quod hac confessione, fidem suam indicant, et in hoc merentur. Sed meritum fidei Christianae in hoc consistit quod Christum esse personam divinam confitemur. Ergo esse magistrum ad solam divinam personam pertinet. 8. In John (1:3 8), when Jesus asked: “What seek you?” the two disciples of John answered: “Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?” On this the Gloss reads: “They showed their faith by this name.”Another gloss reads that He asked them not because He did not know, but that they might gain merit by their reply. And when He asked what they sought, they told Him a person, not a thing. From all this we gather that in that answer they confessed that He was a person and showed their faith by this confession. In doing, this they gained merit. But the Christian faith is worthy of merit because we acknowledge that Christ is a divine Person. Therefore, to be a teacher pertains only to a divine person. Praeterea, quicumque docet, oportet quod veritatem manifestet. Sed veritas, cum sit quaedam lux intelligibilis, est magis nobis nota quam Angelus. Ergo per Angelum non docemur, cum magis nota per minus nota non manifestentur. 9. Whoever teaches must disclose the truth. But, since truth is an intelligible light, it is better known to us than an angel is. Therefore, we are not taught by an angel, since that which is better known is not communicated through that which is less well known. Praeterea, Augustinus dicit in Lib. de Trinit., quod mens nostra, nulla interposita creatura, immediate a Deo formatur. Angelus autem quaedam creatura est. Ergo non interponitur inter Deum et mentem humanam ad eam formandam, quasi superior mente, et inferior Deo; et sic homo per Angelum doceri non potest. 10. Augustine says: “Our mind is formed immediately by God without the interposition of any creature.” But an angel is a creature and, so, in the formation of the human mind does not stand between God and the human mind, as something higher than the mind and lower than God. Thus, man cannot be taught by an angel. Praeterea, sicut affectus noster pertingit usque ad ipsum Deum, ita intellectus noster usque ad eius essentiam contemplandam pertingere potest. Sed ipse Deus immediate affectum nostrum format per gratiae infusionem, nullo Angelo mediante. Ergo et intellectum nostrum format per doctrinam, nullo mediante. 11. As our affections reach God Himself, so our understanding can attain to the contemplation of His essence. But God himself forms our affections directly through the infusion of grace without the mediation of an angel. Therefore, He also forms our understanding through instruction without an intermediary. Praeterea, omnis cognitio est per aliquam speciem. Si ergo Angelus hominem doceat, oportet quod speciem aliquam in eo causet, per quam cognoscat; quod esse non potest, nisi vel creando speciem, quod nullo modo Angelo competit, ut vult Damascenus; vel illuminando species quae sunt in phantasmatibus, ut ab his species intelligibiles in intellectu possibili humano resultent: et hoc videtur redire in errorem illorum philosophorum qui ponunt, intellectum agentem, cuius officium est illuminare phantasmata, esse substantiam separatam; et sic Angelus docere non potest. 12. All knowledge takes place through some species. Therefore, if an angel is to teach a man, he has to cause in him some species through which the man will know. But he can do this only by creating the species (and an angel has no power at all to do this, as Damascene intends), or by illuminating the species which are in the phantasms, so that intelligible species may result from these in the human possible intellect. This latter seems to be a return to the error of those philosophers who make a separated substance of the agent intellect, whose task it is to illuminate the phantasms. Thus, an angel cannot teach. Praeterea, plus distat intellectus Angeli ab intellectu hominis quam intellectus hominis ab imaginatione humana. Sed imaginatio non potest accipere illud quod est in intellectu humano; non enim imaginatio potest capere nisi formas particulares, quales intellectus non continet. Ergo nec intellectus humanus est capax eorum quae sunt in mente angelica; et sic homo per Angelum doceri non potest. 13. The intellect of an angel differs more from man’s intellect than the human intellect differs from the human imagination. But the imagination cannot receive that which is in the human intellect. For the imagination can receive only particular forms, such as the intellect does not contain. Therefore, the human intellect, also, is unable to receive those forms which are in the angelic mind. And thus, man cannot be taught through an angel. Praeterea, lux qua aliquid illuminatur, debet esse illuminatis proportionata, sicut lux corporalis coloribus. Sed lux angelica, cum sit pure spiritualis, non est proportionata phantasmatibus, quae sunt quodammodo corporalia, utpote organo corporali contenta. Ergo Angeli non possunt nos docere illuminando nostra phantasmata, ut dicebatur. 14. The light by which something is enlightened should be proportioned to the things which are illumined, as physical light is proportioned to colors. But, since angelic light is purely spiritual, there is no proportion between it and our phantasms, which are in some sense physical, inasmuch as they are retained in a bodily organ. Therefore, angels cannot teach us by illuminating our phantasms, as has been said. Praeterea, omne quod cognoscitur, aut cognoscitur per essentiam suam, aut per similitudinem. Sed cognitio qua res cognoscuntur per essentiam suam a mente humana, non potest per Angelum causari; quia sic oporteret quod virtutes, et alia quae intra animam continentur, ab ipsis Angelis imprimerentur, cum talia per sui essentiam cognoscantur. Similiter nec per eos causari potest cognitio rerum quae per suas similitudines cognoscuntur; cum ipsis similitudinibus, quae sunt in cognoscente, propinquiores sint res cognoscendae quam Angelus. Ergo nullo modo Angelus homini potest esse cognitionis causa, quod est docere. 15. Everything which is known is known either through its essence or through some likeness. But an angel cannot cause the knowledge through which the human mind knows things through their essence. For thus, the virtues and other things which are contained in the soul would have to be imprinted by angels, since such things are known through their essence. Similarly, angels cannot cause the knowledge of those things which are known through their likenesses, since the things to be known are closer to these likenesses which are in the knower than an angel is. Therefore, an angel can in no way cause knowledge in a man, and this is to teach. Praeterea, agricola quamvis exterius naturam excitet ad naturales effectus, non tamen dicitur creator, ut per Augustinum patet super Genes. ad Litt. Ergo, pari ratione, nec Angeli debent dici doctores vel magistri, quamvis intellectum hominis excitent ad sciendum. 16. As Augustine clearly shows a farmer is not called a creator even though he stimulates nature from without to produce natural effects. For equal reason, angels ought not be called teachers or masters, although they stimulate the understanding of man to acquire knowledge. Praeterea, cum Angelus sit homine superior; si docet, oportet quod eius doctrina doctrinam humanam excellat. Sed hoc esse non potest. Homo enim docere potest de his quae habent causas determinatas in natura. Alia vero, utpote futura contingentia, ab Angelis doceri non possunt, cum ipsi naturali cognitione eorum sint ignari, solo Deo talium futurorum scientiam habente. Ergo Angeli docere non possunt homines. 17. Since an angel is superior to man, if he teaches, his instruction must be better than human instruction. But this cannot be, for man can teach about those things which have determinate causes in nature. But angels cannot teach him about other things, such as future contingents, for the natural knowledge of the angels themselves does not extend to these things, since God alone knows such future events. Therefore, angels cannot teach men. Sed contra. To the Contrary Est quod dicit Dionysius, cap. IV Caelest. Hierarch.: video quod divinum Christi humanitatis mysterium Angeli primum docuere, deinde per ipsos in nos scientiae gratia descendit. 1. Dionysius says: “I see that angels were first taught the divine mystery of the humanity of Christ, and then through them the gift of knowledge came down to us.” Praeterea, quod potest inferior, potest et superior et multo nobilius, ut patet per Dionysium in caelesti hierarchia; sed hominum ordo est inferior quam ordo Angelorum; cum ergo homo possit hominem docere, multo fortius hoc Angelus potest. 2. A higher agent can do what a lower agent can, and much more nobly, as is clear from Dionysius. But the human order is lower than the angelic order. Therefore, since one man can teach another, an angel can do this with much greater reason. Praeterea, ordo divinae sapientiae perfectius invenitur in spiritualibus substantiis quam etiam in corporalibus; sed ad ordinem inferiorum corporum hoc pertinet ut inferiora corpora perfectiones suas consequantur ex impressione corporum superiorum; ergo etiam inferiores spiritus, scilicet humani, perfectionem scientiae assequuntur ex impressione superiorum spirituum, scilicet Angelorum. 3. The order of divine wisdom exists more perfectly in spiritual substances than in bodily substances. But it is part of the order of lower bodies that they receive their perfections as the result of the influence of higher bodies. Therefore, lower spirits also, namely, human spirits, receive their perfection from the influence of higher spirits, that is to say, angels. Praeterea, omne quod est in potentia reduci potest in actum per id quod est in actu; et quod est minus in actu, per id quod est in actu perfectius. Sed intellectus angelicus est magis in actu quam intellectus humanus. Ergo intellectus humanus potest reduci in actum scientiae per intellectum angelicum; et sic Angelus hominem docere potest. 4. Everything which is in potentiality can be developed to actuality through that which is in actuality; and that which is less in actuality can be developed through that which is more completely in actuality. But the angelic intellect is more in actuality than the human intellect. Therefore, the human intellect can be developed to the actuality of knowledge through the angelic intellect. And thus an angel can teach man. Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, in Lib. de bono perseverantiae, quod doctrinam salutis quidam a Deo accipiunt immediate, quidam ab Angelo, quidam vero ab homine. Ergo non solus Deus sed et Angelus et homo docet. 5. Augustine says that some receive the doctrine of salvation directly from God, some from an angel, and some from man. Therefore, not only God but angels and men teach. Praeterea, illuminare domum dicitur et immittens lumen, sicut sol, et aperiens fenestram, quae lumini obstat. Sed quamvis solus Deus lumen veritatis menti infundat, tamen Angelus vel homo potest aliquod impedimentum luminis percipiendi amovere. Ergo non solus Deus, sed Angelus vel homo docere potest. 6. That which shines its light, as the sun, and one who opens a window which obstructed the light, are both said to illuminate the house. But, although only God infuses the light of truth into the mind, an angel or a man can remove something which prevented perception of light. Therefore, not only God but an angel or a man can teach. Responsio. REPLY Dicendum, quod Angelus circa hominem dupliciter operatur. Uno modo secundum modum nostrum; quando scilicet homini sensibiliter apparet, vel corpus assumendo, vel quocumque alio modo, et eum per locutionem sensibilem instruit. Et sic nunc non quaerimus de Angeli doctrina; hoc enim modo non aliter Angelus quam homo docet. Alio modo circa nos Angelus operatur per modum suum, scilicet invisibiliter; et secundum hunc modum qualiter homo ab Angelo possit doceri huius quaestionis intentio est. An angel influences a man in two ways. In one way the action follows our way of acting, when, for instance, an angel appears to man in a sensible form, either taking on a body or in some other way, and instructs the man by means of sensible speech. We are not now investigating angelic teaching of this sort, for in this way an angel teaches no differently than a man does. The other way in which an angel influences us is the angelic way of acting, that is, invisibly. The purpose of this investigation is to find out how man can be taught in this way by an angel. Sciendum est igitur, quod, cum Angelus medius sit inter hominem et Deum, secundum ordinem naturae medius modus docendi sibi competit, inferior quidem Deo, sed superior homine. Quod qualiter sit verum, percipi non potest, nisi videatur qualiter docet Deus, et qualiter homo. We must bear in mind that, since an angel is between God and man, due order requires that he should have an intermediate mode of teaching, lower than God’s but higher than man’s. We can see in what sense this is true only if we see how God teaches and how man teaches. Ad cuius evidentiam sciendum est, quod inter intellectum et corporalem visum haec est differentia: quod visui corporali omnia sua obiecta aequaliter sunt propinqua ad cognoscendum; sensus enim non est vis collativa, ut ex uno obiectorum suorum necesse habeat pervenire in aliud. Sed intellectui non omnia intelligibilia aequaliter vicina sunt ad cognoscendum; sed quaedam statim conspicere potest, quaedam vero non conspicit nisi ex aliis prius inspectis. Sic igitur homo ignotorum cognitionem per duo accipit; scilicet per lumen intellectuale, et per primas conceptiones per se notas, quae comparantur ad istud lumen, quod est intellectus agentis, sicut instrumenta ad artificem. To show this we must bear in mind that there is this difference between understanding and bodily sight, namely, that, for the purposes of knowing, all the objects of bodily sight are equally near to it. For a sense is not a power which compares, so that it has to reach one of its objects by means of another. But, for the purposes of knowing, all intelligible things are not equally near to the intellect. Rather, some can be seen immediately, and some can be seen only by examining other principles. Therefore, man gains knowledge of things he does not know through two things: intellectual light and self-evident primary concepts. The latter have the same relation to the intellectual light of the agent intellect as tools to the craftsman. Quantum igitur ad utrumque, Deus hominis scientiae causa est excellentissimo modo; quia et ipsam animam intellectuali lumine insignivit, et notitiam primorum principiorum ei impressit, quae sunt quasi seminaria scientiarum; sicut et aliis rebus naturalibus impressit seminales rationes omnium effectuum producendorum. Now, God in a most excellent way causes man’s knowledge in both of these ways. For He adorned the soul itself with intellectual light and imprinted on it the concepts of the first principles, which are, as it were, the sciences in embryo, just as He impressed on other physical things the seminal principles for producing all their effects. Homo autem, quia secundum ordinem naturae alteri homini par est in specie intellectualis luminis, nullo modo potest alteri homini causa scientiae existere, in eo lumen causando vel augendo. Sed ex parte illa qua scientia ignotorum per principia per se nota causatur, alteri homini causa sciendi quodammodo existit, non sicut notitiam principiorum tradens, sed sicut id quod implicite, et quodammodo in potentia, in principiis continebatur educendo in actum per quaedam signa sensibilia exteriori sensui ostensa, sicut supra dictum est. But, since in the order of nature each man shares equally in the specific nature of intellectual light, he cannot in any way be the cause of knowledge in another by causing or increasing that light in him. But he does in a sense cause knowledge in another man as regards the new knowledge which is caused by self-evident principles. He does this, not as one who gives knowledge of the principles, but as one who shows certain sensible signs to the external senses, and thus brings into actuality that which was contained in the principles implicitly and in a certain sense in potentiality, as was said above. Angelus vero, quia naturaliter habet lumen intellectuale perfectius quam homo, ex utraque parte potest homini esse causa sciendi; tamen inferiori modo quam Deus, et superiori quam homo. Ex parte enim luminis, quamvis non possit intellectuale lumen infundere, ut Deus facit, potest tamen lumen infusum confortare ad perfectius inspiciendum. Omne enim quod est in aliquo genere imperfectum, quando continuatur perfectiori in genere illo, magis confortatur virtus eius; sicut etiam videmus in corporibus, quod corpus locatum confortatur per corpus locans, quod comparatur ad ipsum ut actus ad potentiam, ut habetur IV Physic. But, since by nature an angel has intellectual light more perfectly than man, he can cause man to know in both ways, in a manner lower than God, but higher than man. For, as regards the light, although he cannot infuse the intellectual light, as God does, he can strengthen the infused light to make man see more perfectly. For that which is imperfect in a given genus has its power intensified when it is brought in contact with that which is more perfect in that genus. Thus, in bodies, we see that the body which is given position is strengthened by the body giving it position, which is related to it as actuality to potentiality, as is said in the Physics. Ex parte etiam principiorum potest Angelus hominem docere, non quidem ipsorum principiorum notitiam tradendo, ut Deus facit, neque deductionem conclusionum ex principiis sub signis sensibilibus proponendo, ut homo facit; sed in imaginatione aliquas formas formando, quae formari possunt ex commotione organi corporalis; sicut patet in dormientibus et mente captis, qui secundum diversitatem fumositatum ad caput ascendentium diversa phantasmata patiuntur. Et hoc modo, commixtione alterius spiritus fieri potest ut ea quae ipse Angelus scit, per imagines huiusmodi, ei cui immiscetur, ostendat, ut Augustinus dicit XII super Genes. ad litteram. As regards principles, too, an angel can teach a man, not, it is true, by giving him knowledge of the principles, as God does, nor by proposing to him under sensible signs the manner in which the conclusions are deduced from the principles, as man does, but by forming in his imagination certain species which can be formed by stimulating the corporeal organ. This is clearly what happens with persons sleeping and with the insane, who experience different phantasms according to the diversity of vapors which rise to the head. And in this way, by means of contact with another spirit, it is possible for an angel to use images of this sort to show what he himself knows to the person with whom he has come in contact, as Augustine says. Answers to Difficulties Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod Angelus invisibiliter docens, docet quidem interius per comparationem ad doctrinam hominis, qui sensibus exterioribus doctrinam proponit; sed per comparationem ad doctrinam Dei, qui intra mentem operatur, lumen infundendo, doctrina Angeli exterior reputatur. 1. An angel who teaches invisibly teaches interiorly, it is true, in comparison with the instruction of a man who proposes his instruction to the external senses. But in comparison with the teaching of God, who works within the mind by infusing light, the teaching of an angel is classed as external. Ad secundum dicendum, quod quamvis intentio voluntatis cogi non possit, tamen intentio sensitivae partis cogi potest: sicut cum quis pungitur, necesse habet intendere ad laesionem; et ita est etiam de omnibus aliis virtutibus sensitivis, quae utuntur organo corporali; et talis intentio sufficit ad imaginationem. 2. Although an intention of the will cannot be forced, still an intention of the sensitive part can be forced. For just as, when someone is pricked, he has to pay attention (intendere) to the hurt, so, too, with all the other sensitive powers which use a bodily organ. And this attention (intentio) is enough for the imagination. Ad tertium dicendum, quod Angelus nec lumen gratiae infundit, nec lumen naturae; sed lumen naturae divinitus infusum confortat, ut dictum est. 3. An angel does not infuse the light of grace or the light of nature, but strengthens the divinely infused light of nature, as has been said. Ad quartum dicendum, quod sicut in naturalibus est agens univocum, quod eodem modo imprimit formam sicut eam habet, et agens aequivocum, quod alio modo habet quam imprimat; ita etiam est et de doctrina, quia homo docet hominem quasi univocum agens: unde per illum modum scientiam alteri tradit quo ipse eam habet, scilicet deducendo causas in causata. Unde oportet quod ipsi conceptus docentis patefiant per aliqua signa discenti. Sed Angelus docet quasi agens aequivocum: ipse enim intellectualiter cognoscit quod homini per viam rationis manifestatur. Unde non hoc modo ab Angelo docetur quod Angeli conceptus homini patefiant; sed quia in homine scientia causatur, secundum suum modum, earum rerum quas Angelus longe alio modo cognoscit. 4. As in physical things there is an univocal agent, which imprints a form in the same way it has it, and an equivocal agent, which has it in a way different from that in which it imprints it, so also in teaching. For one man teaches another as a kind of univocal agent, and thus communicates knowledge to the other in the same way that he himself has it, by proceeding from causes to the effects. It is for this reason that the concepts of the teacher must be conveyed to the learner through some signs. But an angel teaches as a kind of equivocal cause, for he knows intuitively that which man learns through a process of reasoning. Hence, an angel does not teach a man in such a way that the concepts of the angel are disclosed to the man, but the result is rather this, that the man is made to know in his own way those things which the angel knows in a far different way. Ad quintum dicendum, quod dominus loquitur de illo modo doctrinae qui soli Deo competit, ut patet per Glossam, ibidem; et hunc modum docendi Angelo non adscribimus. 5. Our Lord is speaking of that kind of teaching which befits God alone, as is clear from the Gloss on this passage. We do not ascribe this kind of teaching to an angel. Ad sextum dicendum, quod ille qui docet, non causat veritatem, sed causat cognitionem veritatis in discente. Propositiones enim quae docentur, sunt verae etiam antequam sciantur, quia veritas non dependet a scientia nostra, sed ab existentia rerum. 6. He who teaches does not cause the truth, but knowledge of the truth, in the learner. For the propositions which are taught are true before they are known, since truth does not depend on our knowledge of it, but on the existence of things. Ad septimum dicendum, quod quamvis scientia quae a nobis acquiritur per doctrinam, sit de rebus indeficientibus, tamen ipsa scientia deficere potest: unde non oportet quod illuminatio doctrinae sit a lumine indeficienti; vel si est a lumine indeficienti sicut a primo principio, non tamen excluditur omnino lumen creatum defectibile, quod possit esse sicut principium medium. 7. Although the knowledge which we get through teaching may be concerned with things that do not cease to be, the knowledge itself can cease to be. Hence, it is not necessary for the illumination of teaching to come from an unfailing light. Or, if it is from an unfailing light as its first principle, this does not entirely exclude a created light capable of failing, from being able to exist as a mediate principle. Ad octavum dicendum, quod in discipulis Christi notatur quidam fidei profectus, ut primo eum venerarentur quasi hominem sapientem et magistrum, et postea ei intenderent quasi Deo docenti. Unde quaedam Glossa, parum infra, dicit: quia cognovit Nathanael Christum absentem vidisse quae ipse in alio loco gesserat, quod est indicium deitatis, fatetur non solum magistrum, sed et Dei filium. 8. A certain progression in faith appears in the disciples of Christ, so that at first they respected Him as a wise man and a teacher, and later listened to Him as God teaching them. Hence, a gloss a little further on says: “Since Nathanael knew that Christ, though absent, saw what he had done in another place, which is a sign of the Godhead, he acknowledged that Christ was not only a teacher, but also the Son of God. Ad nonum dicendum, quod Angelus non manifestat veritatem ignotam per hoc quod substantiam suam demonstret; sed aliam veritatem magis notam proponendo, vel etiam lumen intellectus confortando. Unde ratio non sequitur. 9. An angel does not make an unknown truth appear by manifesting its own substance, but by proposing another truth better known, or by strengthening the light of the understanding. Hence, the argument does not follow. Ad decimum dicendum, quod intentio Augustini non est dicere quin mens angelica sit excellentioris naturae quam mens humana; sed quia non ita cadit Angelus medius inter Deum et mentem humanam, ut mens humana per coniunctionem ad Angelum ultima formatione formetur; ut quidam posuerunt, quod in hoc consistit ultima hominis beatitudo, quod intellectus noster intelligentiae continuetur, cuius beatitudo est in hoc quod continuatur ipsi Deo. 10. It is not Augustine’s intention to say that the nature of the angelic mind is not more excellent than that of the human mind, but that angels are not between God and the human mind in such a way that the human mind receives the ultimate form of its perfection by being united to an angel, as some have held. They say that the final beatitude of man consists in this, that our understanding is united to an intelligence whose beatitude is union with God Himself. Ad undecimum dicendum, quod in nobis sunt quaedam vires quae coguntur ex subiecto et obiecto, sicut vires sensitivae, quae excitantur et per commotionem organi, et per fortitudinem obiecti. Intellectus vero non cogitur ex subiecto, cum non utatur organo corporali; sed cogitur ex obiecto, quia ex efficacia demonstrationis cogitur quis conclusioni consentire. Affectus vero neque ex subiecto neque ex obiecto cogitur, sed proprio instinctu movetur in hoc vel illud: unde in affectum non potest imprimere nisi Deus, qui interius operatur. Sed in intellectum potest imprimere, quodammodo, etiam homo vel Angelus, repraesentando obiecta quibus intellectus cogatur. 11. There are in us some powers which are constrained by their subject and object, as the sensitive powers, which are stimulated both by excitation of the organ and by the strength of their object. But our understanding is not constrained by its subject, since it does not use a bodily organ. Rather, it is constrained by its object, because the effectiveness of a demonstration forces one to assent to a conclusion. However, the affections are constrained neither by their subject nor their object, but move toward one thing or another by reason of their own inclination. Hence, only God, who acts interiorly, can make an impression on the affections. But a man or an angel can, to a certain extent, make an impression on our understanding by representing to the mind the objects by which our understanding is constrained. Ad duodecimum dicendum, quod Angelus neque creat species in mente nostra, neque immediate phantasmata illuminat; sed per continuationem luminis eius cum lumine intellectus nostri, noster intellectus potest efficacius phantasmata illustrare. Et tamen si etiam immediate phantasmata illustraret, non propter hoc sequeretur quod positio illorum philosophorum esset vera: quamvis enim intellectus agentis sit illustrare phantasmata, posset tamen dici, quod non eius solius. 12. An angel does not create the species in our mind nor directly illuminate the phantasms. But our understanding can more effectively enlighten phantasms when an angelic light is united to the light of our understanding. Even if an angel did immediately illuminate the phantasms, it still would not follow from this that the opinion of those philosophers would be true. For, although it is the task of the agent intellect to illuminate the phantasms, it could still be said that this is not a function which belongs to it alone. Ad decimumtertium dicendum, quod imaginatio potest accipere ea quae sunt in intellectu humano, sed per alium modum; et similiter intellectus humanus potest capere quae sunt in intellectu angelico, suo modo. Sed tamen, quamvis intellectus hominis magis conveniat cum imaginatione subiecto, inquantum sunt unius animae potentiae; tamen cum intellectu angelico magis convenit genere, quia uterque est immaterialis virtus. 13. The imagination can receive those things which are in the human understanding, but in a different manner. Similarly, the human understanding in its own manner can receive those things which are in the angelic understanding. But, although the human understanding is more like the imagination by reason of their common subject in so far as both are powers of the one soul, it is more like the angelic intellect by reason of their common genus, for both are immaterial powers. Ad decimumquartum dicendum, quod spirituale nihil prohibet esse proportionatum ad hoc quod in corporale agat, quia nihil prohibet quod inferiora a superioribus patiantur. 14. There is nothing to prevent something spiritual from being capable of exercising an influence on something physical, for nothing prevents things which are lower from being acted upon by things which are higher. Ad decimumquintum dicendum, quod Angelus non est causa homini quantum ad illam cognitionem qua cognoscit res per essentiam, sed quantum ad illam qua cognoscit per similitudines; non quod Angelus sit propinquior rebus quam earum similitudines, sed inquantum facit rerum similitudines in mente resultare, vel movendo imaginationem, vel lumen intellectus confortando. 15. An angel is not the cause of man's knowledge in so far as a man knows things through their essence, but in so far as he knows things through their likenesses. This does not mean that an angel is closer to things than their likenesses are, but that he makes the likenesses of things appear in the mind either by moving the imagination or strengthening the light of understanding. Ad decimumsextum dicendum, quod creare importat causalitatem primam, quae soli Deo debetur; facere vero importat causalitatem communiter, et similiter docere quantum ad scientiam. Et ideo solus Deus dicitur creator; sed factor et doctor potest dici et Deus et Angelus et homo. 16. To create implies first causality, which belongs to God alone; to make implies causality in general; to teach implies the same general causality with reference to knowledge. Thus, only God is called Creator, but God, angels, and men can be called makers and teachers. Ad decimumseptimum dicendum, quod etiam de his quae habent causas determinatas in natura, potest plura docere Angelus quam homo, sicut et plura cognoscit; et ea etiam quae docet, nobiliori modo docere: unde ratio non sequitur. 17. Just as an angel knows more than man, even about those things which have determinate causes in nature, so he can teach more than man. And the things which an angel does teach he can teach in a more excellent way. Hence, the argument does not follow.
Q. 11: The Teacher
In the fourth article we ask:
Is teaching an activity of the contemplative or the active life?
[ARTICLE III Sent., 35, 1, 3, sol. 1, ad 3; S.T., II-II, 181, 3; Contra retrahentes a religionis ingressu, c. 7, ad 7.]
Quarto quaeritur utrum docere sit actus vitae activae vel contemplativae. Difficulties Et videtur quod sit actus contemplativae. It seems to be an activity of the contemplative life, for Vita enim activa cum corpore deficit, ut Gregorius dicit super Ezech. Sed docere non deficit cum corpore, quia etiam Angeli, qui corpore carent, docent ut dictum est. Ergo videtur quod docere ad vitam contemplativam pertineat. 1. “There is no active life where there is no body,” as Gregory says. But there is teaching where there is no body, for even angels, who have no bodies, teach, as has been said. Therefore, it seems that teaching pertains to the contemplative life. Praeterea, sicut dicit Gregorius super Ezech., ante activa vita agitur ut ad contemplativam postea veniatur. Sed doctrina sequitur contemplationem non praecedit. Ergo docere non pertinet ad vitam activam. 2. Gregory says: “One engages in the active life in order to arrive at the contemplative later.” But teaching does not precede contemplation, but follows it. Therefore, teaching does not pertain to the active life. Praeterea, ut Gregorius dicit ibidem, activa vita dum occupatur in opere, minus videt. Sed ille qui docet, necesse habet magis videre quam ille qui simpliciter contemplatur. Ergo docere magis est contemplativae quam activae. 3. Gregory also says that the active life “sees less while it is engaged in work.” But one who teaches must of necessity see more than one who simply contemplates. Therefore, teaching pertains more to the contemplative than to the active life. Praeterea, unumquodque per idem est in se perfectum et aliis similem perfectionem tradens, sicut per eumdem calorem ignis est calidus et calefaciens. Sed aliquem esse perfectum in consideratione divinorum in seipso, pertinet ad vitam contemplativam. Ergo et doctrina, quae est eiusdem perfectionis transfusio in alium, ad vitam contemplativam pertinet. 4. It is the same perfection which makes each thing perfect in itself and enables it to give others a perfection like its own. Thus it is by reason of one and the same warmth that fire itself is warm and gives warmth to other things. But one's own perfection in meditation on things of God belongs to the contemplative life. Therefore, teaching, which is the communication of this same perfection to another, belongs to the contemplative life. Praeterea, vita activa circa temporalia versatur. Sed doctrina praecipue versatur circa aeterna illorum enim excellentior est doctrina et perfectior. Ergo doctrina non pertinet ad vitam activam, sed contemplativam. 5. The active life is occupied with temporal things. But teaching is occupied mainly with things eternal, for the teaching of these latter is more excellent and more perfect. Therefore, teaching does not pertain to the active, but to the contemplative life. Sed contra. To the Contrary Est quod Gregorius, in eadem homilia, dicit: activa est vita panem esurienti tribuere, verbum sapientiae nescientem docere. 1. Gregory says: “The active life consists in giving bread to the hungry, and in teaching the ignorant the word of wisdom.” Praeterea, opera misericordiae ad vitam activam pertinent. Sed docere inter eleemosynas spirituales computatur. Ergo docere est vitae activae. 2. The works of mercy are part of the active life. But teaching is counted among the spiritual works of mercy. Therefore, it is part of the active life. Responsio. REPLY Dicendum, quod contemplativa et activa vita ad invicem fine et materia distinguuntur. Materia namque activae vitae sunt temporalia, circa quae humanus actus versatur; materia autem contemplativae sunt rerum scibiles rationes, quibus contemplator insistit. Et haec materiae diversitas provenit ex diversitate finis: sicut et in omnibus aliis materia secundum finis exigentiam determinatur. The contemplative and the active life are distinguished from each other by their subject matter and that to which they are ordained. For the subject matter of the active life is temporal affairs, with which human acts are concerned. But the intelligible natures of things, on which the one contemplating meditates, are the subject matter of the contemplative life. This diversity of subject matter arises from a diversity of the end to be attained, just as in all other things the requirements of the end to be attained prescribe certain conditions in the subject matter. Finis enim contemplativae vitae est inspectio veritatis, prout nunc de vita contemplativa agimus; veritatis, dico, increatae secundum modum possibilem contemplanti: quae quidem in hac vita imperfecte inspicitur, in futura autem videbitur perfecte. Unde et Gregorius dicit, quod contemplativa vita hic incipitur, ut in caelesti patria perficiatur. Sed activae finis est operatio, qua proximorum utilitati intenditur. For the end toward which the contemplative life, as we are now examining it, is ordained is the consideration of truth, of that truth, I say, which is uncreated, considered in the manner possible to the one contemplating it. We see this truth imperfectly in this life, but perfectly in the life to come. Hence, Gregory says that the contemplative life begins here in order to be made perfect in the life to come. But the end toward which the active life is directed is the activity which is directed to the help of our neighbor. In actu autem docendi invenimus duplicem materiam, in cuius signum etiam actus docendi duplici accusativo coniungitur. Est, siquidem, una eius materia res ipsa quae docetur, alia vero cui scientia traditur. Ratione igitur primae materiae, actus doctrinae ad vitam contemplativam pertinet, sed ratione secundae pertinet ad vitam activam. Sed ex parte finis doctrina solummodo ad vitam activam pertinere invenitur, quia ultima materia eius, in qua finem intentum consequitur, est activae vitae materia. Unde magis ad activam vitam pertinet quam ad contemplativam, quamvis etiam aliquo modo ad contemplativam pertineat, ut ex dictis patet. Moreover, in the act of teaching we find a twofold subject matter, and as an indication of this, two accusatives are used as objects of the verb which expresses the act of teaching. This is so because the subject which one teaches is one kind of subject matter of teaching, and the one to whom the knowledge is communicated is another type of subject of teaching. Accordingly, by reason of the former, teaching pertains to the contemplative life, but by reason of the latter it is part of the active life. But, if we consider the end toward which it is directed, teaching seems to be a part only of the active life, because its last subject matter, in which it reaches the end proposed to it, is a subject with which the active life is concerned. Therefore, although it is in some sense a function of the contemplative life, as is clear from what has been said, it is, more properly a work of the active than of the contemplative life. Answers to Difficulties Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod vita activa secundum hoc cum corpore deficit, quod cum labore exercetur, et subvenit infirmitatibus proximorum; secundum quod Gregorius ibidem dicit, quod activa vita laboriosa est, quia desudat in opere; quae duo in futura vita non erunt. Nihilominus tamen actio hierarchica est in caelestibus spiritibus, ut Dionysius dicit, et illa actio est alterius modi ab activa vita quam nunc agimus in hac vita. Unde et illa doctrina quae ibi erit, longe est alia ab ista doctrina. 1. There is no active life where there is no body, inasmuch as toil is connected with its exercise, and inasmuch as it relieves the infirmities of our neighbors. It is in this sense that Gregory says: “The active life is laborious because it works in the sweat of its brow; two things which will not be in the future life.” Nevertheless, there is still hierarchical activity among the heavenly spirits, as Dionysius says, and the manner of the activity is different from the active life which we now lead in this life. Hence, the teaching which will exist there is far different from the teaching here. Ad secundum dicendum, quod Gregorius, ibidem, dicit, sicut bonus ordo vivendi est ut ab activa vita in contemplativam tendatur; ita plerumque utiliter a contemplativa animus ad activam reflectitur, ut per hoc quod contemplativa mentem accenderit, perfectius activa teneatur. Sciendum tamen, quod activa contemplativam praecedit quantum ad illos actus qui in materia nullo modo cum contemplativa conveniunt; sed quantum ad illos actus qui materiam a contemplativa suscipiunt, necesse est ut activa contemplativam sequatur. 2. As Gregory says: “Just as the good disposal of our life leads us to try to pass from the active life to the contemplative, in like manner the minds of many can usefully turn back from the contemplative to the active life so that the flame which the coutemplative life has enkindled in their minds may lead them to live the active life more perfectly.” Still, we must bear in mind that the active life precedes the contemplative in regard to those acts which have a subject matter in which the contemplative life has no part at all, but the active life must follow the contemplative in those acts which receive their subject matter from the contemplative life. Ad tertium dicendum, quod visio docentis est principium doctrinae; sed ipsa doctrina magis consistit in transfusione scientiae rerum visarum quam in earum visione: unde visio docentis magis pertinet ad contemplationem quam ad actionem. 3. The insight of the teacher is a source of teaching, but teaching itself consists more in the communication of the things seen than in the vision of them. Hence, the insight of the teacher belongs more to action than to contemplation. Ad quartum dicendum, quod ratio illa probat quod vita contemplativa sit principium doctrinae; sicut calor non est ipsa calefactio, sed calefactionis principium, invenitur autem contemplativa vita esse activae principium in quantum eam dirigit; sicut e converso activa vita ad contemplativam disponit. 4. This argument proves that the contemplative life is a source of teaching just as heat is the source of the act of warming, and is not itself that activity. For we see that the contemplative life is the source of the active life in so far as it directs it, just as, conversely, the active life disposes for the contemplative. Ad quintum patet solutio ex dictis, quia respectu materiae primae doctrina cum contemplativa convenit, ut dictum est. 5. The solution is clear from what has been said, for teaching and the contemplative life have the first type of subject matter in common, as has been said above.