Article published in:Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch für Antike und Mittelalter: Band 3. 1998
Herausgegeben von Burkhard Mojsisch, Olaf Pluta und Rudolf Rehn
[Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch für Antike und Mittelalter 3] 1998
► pp. 69–85
Henry of Ghent on Divine Illumination
Abstract This essay examines Henry of Ghent's reaction to the Thomistic criticism of the Au-gustinian theory of divine illumination. By grounding epistemology in the psychology of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas made divine illumination appear to be an unwieldy theory incorrect in its basic assumptions. Even though Henry reworked the Augustinian theory, he did not completely reject the Aristotelian-Thomistic epistemology. Unlike so many of his predecessors, Henry did not attempt to avoid difficult questions raised by the fallibility of sense experience in developing his epistemology. Rather, he attempted to synthesize the intellectualist tendencies of the Augustinian theory with some of the empirical concerns of the Aristotelian-Thomistic account of human knowledge. Henry moved away from the strict metaphor of illumination, while at the same time exploring the relationship between the divine art and the human agent intellect. He was thus able to retain much of the Aristotelian terminology and still defend what he understood to be Augustine's intention for the doctrine of illumination.
Published online: 15 April 1999