Sunday, September 9, 2012

Immateriality and knowledge

Immateriality and senses

Angel of God, guide my thoughts and my words. St. Thomas, pray for us.

The more I think about the topic mentioned below, it seems that when immateriality begins, so does knowledge. And vice versa. I'm not confident about that, but is there anything apart from matter that does not involve knowing?

Perhaps 'apart' is a bit vague. For in matter are many sensible qualities and other accidents which are not knowing. Yet what is happening in sensation? The form is received in a way other the way in which matter receives form. Which is to say, it is received immaterially. Is this readily admitted by all? Surely no one will deny sensation. Some may deny the intellect and its operations, but no one will deny sense. That this is something over and above material activity should be clear from one's own experience. Descartes manages to deny sensation in animals, and furthermore, he completely mistrusts it in himself. Yet he cannot deny that he senses. On what basis? What is more prior in experience?

The next most striking thing is the vast difference between the senses. Touch and sight are so radically different in their proper objects. One is necessary for even the lowest form of life, whereas the other is almost a luxury, yet one that brings us knowledge of bodies light-years away, incapable of ever being touched by men. A whole science (astronomy) is possible only on account of sight. Sight and hearing seem to be the more 'immaterial' of the senses, for they can receive their object from further away and have nothing to do with chemicals as far as I know (thus, not being attached to this or that substance, they have more universality about them). A sign of this is movies which can be played anywhere at anytime, yet only reproduce sights and sounds, the othe senses requiring more exact chemicals (except touch, which is even more material on account of the contact it requires).

I want to develop this understanding of immateriality's relationship with knowledge. I also want to consider the Christ who took on a body for love of us.

Sent from my iPhone

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