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Henry Of Ghent On The Verbum Mentis

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Chapter Summary

The notion of a 'word' of the mind, a verbum mentis in Latin, suggests an analogy between language and thought: just as in language our means of expression are spoken words, and, by extension, written words, so in thought there may be similar means by which we express internally whatever mental content one has. Henry offers a closer examination of our cognitive powers and their functioning in Quodlibet II, which considers whether a mental word is formed necessarily through an act of understanding. In his work De trinitate Augustine explicates the idea of thinking as a kind of internal speaking (dicere intus), as an expression in one's heart (in corde suo). Henry takes Augustine to imply that in forming a mental word one does not merely actualize cognitive content; rather,progresses towards a more complete, explanatory conception of a given object.

Keywords: Augustine; corde suo; dicere intus; Henry; Latin; Quodlibet II; verbum mentis

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