Possible thesis outline
I am considering a division of my essay into three parts:
1. The individual is not the object of the intellect. (matter)
2. How it is that we know individuals. (interior senses)
3. Separated knowers also know individuals. (immaterial likeness of matter)
That may look like 3 different thesis topics, but the last two points are responses to the most obvious objections. I will primarily be drawing on St. Thomas in my arguments.
The main argument for the first point is taken almost completely from De Veritate, and this argument will require me to know rather thoroughly about the intellect and about matter. I have read a lot of St. Thomas on the intellect and should continue to become more familiar with the intellect and its immateriality. Matter is in a way more difficult because I only know that it is dealt with at length in the Metaphysics, a work I am hesitant to approach, though I have begun book 7 (where he begins the science of substance). One problem is being able give a satisfying account of what it means for matter to be wholly in potency. Scotus objects to that claim, so I should perhaps find that. Scotus also differs from Thomas on the principle of individuation, which is another middle term in the argument. Thus, I have plenty that I still need to read in order to defend my premises, although the argument is sound. I'll type that argument up before long.
The second point is perhaps the most difficult because I'm not sure how thorough to get. The answer will involve the interior senses and how thy relate to the intellect. Thomas says some key things in this but does not go into great detail. Thus I'm considering reading Albert to get a more thorough grasp of how they work, though I might even have to look at some modern brain science. That might be too much. Here is also where I should be familiar with modern philosophers who don't grasp the distinction between sense and intellect.
The third point will be especially fun. It was actually the topic that I told my advisor I would be doing. Avicenna holds the false position here, saying that no intellect can no singulars. Though that is true for our intellect now, it is not the case with God, the angels, and the separated souls. Here I will explain why God must know matter and consequently all individuals. Then how the knowledge of the other intellects take part in this knowledge.
This looks pretty concise. I'm hoping it will do the job. If I can finish a decent draft, then I will be free to study more Plato and write a couple essays on that. Also on the Physics. And Scripture. And Newton. So much good!
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