In Gyula Klima (ed.), Intentionality, Cognition, and Mental Representation in Medieval Philosophy. New York, USA: Fordham University Press. pp. 81-103 (2015)

Authors
Giorgio Pini
Fordham University
Abstract
Even though Scotus did not develop his account in direct opposition to Aquinas, a contrast between these two thinkers helps us to focus on some distinctive features of their respective approaches and on some characteristic moves they made to answer the question, “What is it to think?” Scotus agreed with Aquinas that, barring divine intervention, an intelligible species must be received in the intellect prior to the production of an occurrent thought about a thing’s essence. Unlike Aquinas, however, Scotus argued that occurrent thoughts are qualities and not actions. This allowed him to reject the view held by Aquinas that the presence of the intelligible species in the intellect explains a thought’s intentionality. Rather, Scotus claimed that a thought’s intentionality is explained by a relation grounded in that thought and directed at its object.
Keywords John Duns Scotus  Thomas Aquinas  Occurrent Thought  Cognition  intentionality
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DOI 10.1515/9780823262779-006
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