1. Issues [I-] that Aquinas Addresses Employing the Object of the Intellect

Aquinas employed the intellect’s object to many issues, such as spiritual entities [Spiritual entities] and their life [Life], potencies [Nature of potencies (3 locations)], knowledge, and volition [Nature of the will (3)] in general. But he also uses it to discuss the Trinity [The Trinity], the nature of divine knowledge [God’s knowledge (15) / Comparing man’s knowledge to God’s (3)], will [God’s will (3)], providence [Providence], as well as Christ’s human knowledge [Christ’s human knowledge (3)] and suffering [Christ’s suffering]. It also helps us understand the angels [Angels] and demons [Demons], their distinctive way of knowing [Angelic knowledge (10) / Comparing man to the angels (2) / What demons know], and how they influence each other [How angels influence each other] and man [How angels move man / Influence of demons].

      The intellect’s object describes man and his soul [Man’s soul (2)], its potencies [Soul’s potencies (2)], habits [Subject of habits/virtues (3)], and soul’s origin [Soul’s origin (2)], including its immateriality [The intellect’s immateriality], incorruptibility [Soul’s incorruptibility (2)], and immortality [Soul’s immortality]; man’s intellectual [Man’s knowledge (62)] and sense [Sense knowledge (4)] knowledge. The intellect’s object distinguishes it from the senses, helping us discern how man learns [Learning (2)], develops and distinguishes science [Science (3) / Logic of demonstration / Distinction of the sciences (2) / Unity and multiplicity (2)], knows God [How man knows God (14)], angels, as well as truth [Truth (7)], being, essence [Knowing essence and being], habits [Knowing habits], universals and singulars [Knowing universals and singulars], thus capable of metaphysics. He uses the object to distinguish freewill [Human freedom] from knowledge [Comparing intellect and will (7) / Comparing knowledge and love] and to describe how the will moves the intellect [How the will moves the intellect] and the intellect moves the will and the senses [How the will is moved (2)].

      The object of knowledge also helps us understand the morality of human acts [Morality of human actions], the concept of good [Concept of good (2)], natural law [Natural law], act of election [Election(2)], sin [Nature of sin / Envy], virtues [Virtues (2)]—especially faith [Faith (5)], charity [Charity (2)], and prudence [Prudence (2)]—and how grace moves man [How God (grace) moves man (2)], especially through the Gifts of the Holy Spirit [Gifts of the Spirit (2)]. Finally, he discusses man’s condition before original sin [Original sin / State of innocence (2)], the souls of the dead [Knowledge without body (6)], and his ultimate happiness [Beatitude (18) / Delight] in heaven [Knowledge in heaven] by loving God in his essence [Loving God in his essence].

      He uses it to discuss St. Paul’s vision of heaven [Paul’s vision of heaven] and knowledge of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist [Eucharist (3)]. It also comes up in Aquinas’ discussion of what makes something knowable [Knowability / Knowing Ens] and in the discussion of light [Nature of light (2)]. The intellect’s object also helps us discern how celestial bodies [Influence of celestial bodies (2)] and magic [Influence of magic] can influence man’s action. 

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