notes on judgment

-Deceptive imagination! Making us think creation from nothing is creation from a vast blackness, or an explosion into a space. Space and blackness are the stain of the imagination. Mind alone can understand nothing and everything. How? In a judgment.

-Our understanding of both nothing and God are dependent on a judgment. The division of all being into act and potency does too. We do not see these things by pulling them out of things (abstraction). It is a subsequent judgment on the abstracted, which mostly denies something of it.

-The analytic and English tradition tends to focus on the third act of the mind, or reasoning. The continental tradition tends to focus on the initial grasp of things in the first act of the mind. But for the thomist, the second act of the mind is the absolutely crucial one for getting to what is most fully philosophical.   


  1. Brandon said,

    April 30, 2008 at 4:59 am

    Anscombe has a nice passage somewhere, talking about the claim that we can conceive something to come into existence without a cause, notes that what this claim really seems to amount to is that we can imagine something, first not there then there, with the headline or subtitle, so to speak, “coming into existence without a cause”. It’s a very common thing.

  2. Peter said,

    May 1, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    There is a good section, “How imagination can hinder intellect” toward the beginning of Frank Sheed’s ‘Theology and Sanity’. That was the first book I ever read that pointed out to me the now obvious fact that we can be led astray by imagination quite easily.

    I once heard a prof. argue that the universe was infinite because he couldn’t imagine it having an edge. Hmmmm…..

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