Publication details for Dr Rik Van-NieuwenhoveVan Nieuwenhove, Rik (2017). Contemplation, Intellectus, and Simplex Intuitus in Aquinas: Recovering a Neoplatonic Theme. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 91(2): 199-225.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 1051-3558 (print), 2153-8441 (online)
- DOI: 10.5840/acpq2017227108
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
This contribution examines two related points in relation to Aquinas’s understanding of contemplation, which is a sorely neglected topic in scholarship. First, after having outlined that the final act of contemplation culminates in an intellective, simple apprehension of the truth, I will examine how this act relates to the three operations of the intellect (grasping of quiddity, judgement, and reasoning) Aquinas identifies in a number of places. Second, I argue that his view of contemplation as simple insight is significantly indebted to Neoplatonic sources; therefore, we must pay attention to the way he introduces Neoplatonic elements into his Aristotelian framework. I conclude this contribution by suggesting some reasons—of a theological nature—why Aquinas would have been drawn towards a non-discursive or “intuitive” notion of contemplation.