Angels

Philosophy 60 (234):495 - 511 (1985)
Abstract
My general theme is the extent to which philosophers and others must be taken literally when they have written about angels, or anything else which is no longer generally believed in. However, since the title may perhaps have aroused expectations of angels dancing on points of needles, I shall take as my point of departure the question of whether or not the scholastics ever discussed how many angels could dance on the point of a needle. The answer would in fact seem to be in the negative, the closest parallel being found in the anonymous fourteenth-century mystical treatise Swester Katrei , which refers to a thousand souls in heaven sitting on the point of a needle
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