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Document Details :
Title: Henry Bate's Theory of Sensible Species
Author(s): GULDENTOPS, Guy
Journal: Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume: 68 Issue: 1 Date: 2001
In his remarkable study Species Intelligibilis. From Perception to Knowledge, L. Spruit succinctly outlines the main points of Henry Bate’s cognitive psychology. Spruit observes that «though endorsing a Neoplatonic innatism, he does not relinquish Peripatetic views on the impact of sensory representations in the generation of intellectual cognition». Moreover, Spruit rightly notes that Bate considers the species doctrine «a pivotal philosophical issue». However, his brief account of Bate’s theory of the sensible species is far from being accurate. The aim of this paper consists in presenting a more or less exhaustive interpretation of Bate’s doctrine of the sensible species. First, an attempt will be made to situate this doctrine in the context of Bate’s Speculum divinorum. Second, I shall summarize the principal views of the authors which Bate discusses in order to shed light on the doctrinal background of his theory of sensible species. Third, I shall analyze Bate’s concept of the sensible species, focusing on its ontological status and its function. Finally, I shall show that Bate’s exposition on sense-perception is profoundly influenced by Platonic theories of the soul.