Oh How I Wish It Was Summa!

Carpe Imaginationem

I’m sorry if you wanted this blog post to be about Summer, but it is rather about the ever so interesting medieval interpretation of imagination, through the lens of the great thinker, Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas’s Summa, written in the 13th century, helps clarify the  ambiguity between imagination as a mediating concept between the mind and body.

Aquinas wanted to refute the idea that the mind is singular in its actions, and in fact really diverse. Agreeing with Aristotle’s plurality thesis, stating that imagination helps us understand reality through different imitations, Aquinas sees imagination as one aspect of the mind to help understand the divine. Aquinas used the metaphor of a storehouse to better explain that imagination can store copies. The idea of a storehouse is related to the idea that: humans can’t physically understand the divine, so images can help mediate that connection. Aquinas believed that, for non existent things, that have no…

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