The concept of intellectual knowledge in philosophical courses of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (scholastic context)

Keywords: scholasticism, intellectual powers, intellectus agens, intellectus possiblis verbum mentis, conceptus in fieri, conceptus in facto esse, species intelligibilis impressa, species intelligibilis expressa

Abstract

The article deals with the analysis of Kyiv-Mohyla (the 17th-18th centuries) conceptions of intellectual cognition in the context of the European scholastic tradition. There were analysed Traktat o duszy [The Treatise on Mind] by Kasian Sakovych (Cracow, 1625), and handwritten philosophical courses by Inokentiy Gizel (1645-47), Theophan Prokopvych (1706-08) and Georgiy Konyskyi (1749-51).
The article shows that Sakovych, Gizel and Prokopovych supported a typical scholastic division of intellectual powers into the active and passive (or possible) intellect, although Prokopovych expressed doubts about the necessity of this division. Unlike them, Konysky in 1749-51 totally denied the division of the intellect. The article argues that Prokopovych’s and Konyskyi’s change in the interpretation of intellectual powers was influenced by modern philosophy, mainly by Cartesianism. In general, the views of Mohylian authors on the problem of intellectual cognition are marked by some eclecticism, combining elements of different scholastic schools. They followed Francisco Suarez and Scotists defining creative power of the possible intellect and the formal difference between two kinds of intellectual powers. However, they, especially Inokenitiy Gizel, went by Thomistic interpretation of verbum mentis. At the same time, the professors of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, like other scholastic philosophers, recognised the necessary connection between cognitive powers of different levels. In their view, cognitive powers belong to the human being as a complex substantial system. The article proves that Kyiv-Mohyla concepts of intellectual cognition express a range of clearly modern ideas; nevertheless, they are also oriented to the ideas that modern philosophy denied.

Author Biography

Yaroslava Stratii, Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
PhD, senior researcher

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Published
2016-12-16
How to Cite
Stratii, Y. (2016). The concept of intellectual knowledge in philosophical courses of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (scholastic context). Sententiae, 35(2), 57-81. https://doi.org/10.22240/sent35.02.057
Section
ARTICLES