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Title: Plura simul intelligere
Subtitle: Éléments pour une histoire du débat médiéval et renaissant sur la simultanéité des actes de l'intellect
Author(s): DUBOUCLEZ, Olivier
Journal: Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume: 81    Issue: 2   Date: 2014   
Pages: 331-367
DOI: 10.2143/RTPM.81.2.3062083

Abstract :
From the 14th to the 17th centuries the idea gradually emerged that created intellects can entertain several acts or apprehend several objects at the same time. While Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) explicitly rejects such a view, claiming that there can be one and only one intellectual act referring to one intelligible at a time, from John of Jandun (d. 1328) to the Scotist Franciscus Lychetus (d. 1520), many argued that not only in angelic but also in human intellects several intellectual acts are compossible with each other and, as a consequence, that a simultaneous grasp of multiple and distinct objects can occur. At the end of the 16th century, this conception is based on the idea that the attention of the mind can be divided. In his De angelis, Suárez (d. 1617), while ostensibly restricting the discussion to the case of the angelic intellect, nevertheless gives a systematic treatment of the way that attention can be proportioned to the nature and diversity of the objects considered.

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