chapter  I
10 Pages

Introduction

ByHenrik Lagerlund

This chapter describes the ideas the scholastics inherited from the ancients and from earlier thinkers in the Islamic world. In the thirteenth century scholastics the term used for a representation, likeness or image was 'species', a term which had roughly this meaning in late ancient times. To give some idea of the way this notion is used at that time about the views of Albert the Great and his student, Thomas Aquinas. Species figure prominently in Albert's two theories of sensation, an earlier one found in the section of his Summa de creaturis called De homine and a later one in his questions on Aristotle's De anima. In De homine he treated the form of the sensible quality existing in the sense organ as a species that has 'spiritual' rather than 'natural being'. Toward the end of the thirteenth century a distinction between esse subjectivum and esse objectivum comes into common use among the scholastics.