Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Intellection, Renaissance Concept of

  • José Manuel García ValverdeEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_1056-1


From the point of view of Aristotelian psychology, intellection is the culmination of a complex and multifarious process in which all the powers linked to knowledge intervene, from sense perception to the intellect. This process has been the subject of a multitude of discussions and an endless number of works focused, in the majority of the cases, on the commentary of Aristotle’s texts. Into this field, several questions concerning intellection have been dealt with, among which the relation between sensible forms and the so-called intelligible species was of particular importance. Also, the implications of our own intellectual activity for the debate over the immortality have been explored with great attention during the Renaissance. In this sense, many authors have discussed whether intellection must be understood as the product of a faculty essentially independent from the body and immortal or as a mere abstraction which is impossible without the presence of sensible data. Moreover, from a specific epistemological point of view, the logical mechanisms of reasoning were studied by many Renaissance philosophes. In this case, the point of departure was the significance of intellection as the direct apprehension of the first principles and the most general concepts of each science.

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Primary Literature

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Estética e Historia de la FilosofíaUniversidad de SevillaSevilleSpain

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marco Sgarbi
    • 1
  • Peter Mack
    • 2
  1. 1.University Ca' Foscari VeniceVeniceItaly
  2. 2.The Warburg Institute, School of Advanced StudyUniversity of LondonLondonUK