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The Intellect Naturalized: Roger Bacon On The Existence Of Corporeal Species Within The Intellect

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Chapter Summary

This chapter challenges the claim that Bacon considered the operation of species as limited to the physical and sensory levels and demonstrates that in his view, the very same species issued by physical objects operate within the intellect as well. It argues that in Bacon the concept of illumination plays a secondary role in the acquisition of knowledge, and that he regarded innate knowledge as dispositional and confused. One must bear in mind the purpose for which the Opus majus was written: it was a research proposal, a plea intended to obtain support and sponsorship from the papal court, including a release from the censorship imposed by the Chapter of Narbonne. Bacon takes the Aristotelian account of how perception and understanding work and transforms it, without comment, into an essentially Neo-Platonist one and appropriate physio-psychological state has been engendered.

Keywords: Aristotelian lectures; corporeal species; Opus majus; Roger Bacon



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