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Thomas Aquinas and the Early Franciscan School on the Agent Intellect
Vol. VI/2004/1, pp. 67-78
This paper deals with the differences between the concept of the agent intellect in Thomas Aquinas and in the early Franciscan school with a focus on St. Bonaventure.While according to Aquinas the agent intellect is the faculty of the human soul, in the thought of Alexander of Hales, John of La Rochelle and St. Bonaventure it has a double or even a triple meaning. In the Franciscan Masters the agent intellect is simultaneously considered as a faculty of the human soul but also as God himself and in John of La Rochelle as an angelic intelligence, too. This comparison could be useful in a new interpretation of the Condemnation of 1277 where the proposition on the separate agent intellect is also considered. It seems that the condemnation of this proposition 118 is in accord with the doctrine of Thomas Aquinas. What is actually being condemned here is the doctrine, partially held by the Franciscan friars, who are traditionally considered as initiators of the Condemnation.