If now we collect the threads of our exposition, we will readily discover that they are tied together at three points which it behoves us clearly to spell out. In the first place, we should emphasize that what we have analyzed is strict and rigorous intellection. The second is that there are different modes of intellection. But these different modes are not only different, but—and this is the third point—they are modalizations of a primary and radical mode. This fact obliges us to say what that primary and radical mode of intellection is.

It is, then, necessary to pull our discussion together around three essential points:

1. What is intellective knowing?

2. What is the modalization of intellective knowing?

3. What is the primary and radical mode of intellective knowing?

All of this has already been discussed in the foregoing chapters; but I now emphasize it for the following reason. When one speaks of sentient intelligence, it is easy to leave the reader with the idea that sensing is definitely a moment of intellection, but to let him forget that this sensing is in itself intellective, that intellection is sensing, and therefore that when we have conceptualized sentient intellection, we have already conceptualized intellective knowing itself.



§ 1



When we speak of intellective knowing and intelligence we do not only think about whether sensing is a distinct moment of intellection; rather, we ordinarily think that intellective knowing is something more than sensing. Intellective knowing would be something like understanding what that which is intellectively known is. And this capacity to understand would be in turn a type of mental effort; there are some people who have more of it than others, and we tend to think that this means they have a greater capacity to understand things. To be sure, there is much truth in this. But just as in other problems, there is more to the question of what intellective knowing is than meets the eye. And I am not referring to the difference between conceptualizing intelligence and sentient intelligence, but to what is usually thought of as intelligence. Let us ask, then, what this is.

A) Let us pause for a moment and consider what we term ‘understanding’. Certainly hearing a sound is not the same as understanding it. For the first, it suffices not to be deaf; the second on the other hand requires a science called ‘acoustics’. But this leaves the question unanswered. What is it that the understanding understands? How and why the sound is really as it is. When the sound has been understood, what we have before our mind is the real sound itself unfolded, so to speak, in all of its structures. And thus it is clear {249} that if, upon hearing a sound, we had before our mind all of these structures, there would be neither the possibility nor the necessity of what we call ‘understanding’. Nonetheless, no one will deny that we have intellectively known the sound; rather, it is just the opposite. Hence, this having the real before our mind is that in which intellective knowing consists. And this shows us the following:

a) That understanding consists in filling a gap in our apprehension of reality (in our example, the reality of sound).

b) That the essence of understanding is in intellective knowing, and not the other way around, as if the essence of intellective knowing were understanding.

To know something intellectively consists in having its reality before our intelligence. The effort of intellective knowing does not primarily consist in the effort to understand, but in the effort to apprehend reality. A great intelligence is a great capacity to have the real unfolded before it, a great capacity to apprehend the real. To intellectively know something is to apprehend its reality; intellection is apprehension of reality. I indicated in chapter IV that apprehension of reality is the elemental act of intellection. That does not mean that it is some sort of rudimentary act, but rather is the basic formal structure of every intellection as such. Intellective knowing is always and only apprehending reality. Understanding is only a special act of intellection, i.e., one act among others of apprehension of reality. The rest of the special acts of intelligence are to apprehend reality more and better; i.e., to know intellectively better.

B) Intellective knowing, I said, is apprehending the real as real. And for this reason the word ‘real’ (and hence the word ‘reality’) has a double function in this sentence. On one hand, {250} ‘reality’ designates the proper formal object of intellective knowing. An animal does not apprehend reality because the proper formal object of his apprehensions is not reality but stimulation. But on the other hand, ‘reality’ also designates the structural nature of the act of intellective knowing, viz. that type of turning of the apprehension to the real. That is to say, reality is not only the formal object of intellection; intellection itself consists formally in being apprehension of the real as real.

C) Whence the unity between intelligence and reality is not a "relation" but merely "respectivity"; it is "being here-and-now" apprehensively in reality. This apprehensive being is described through its three moments:

a) We are actually, in reality, sensing what is sensed as de suyo, i.e., we are actually in reality sentiently. Hence, to say that I am actually sensing something real is to express that I am intellectively knowing, that I am here-and-now apprehensively in reality. From this point of view, reality could better be termed sentible than sensible.

b) This "being here-and-now" has a very precise character. It is to be here-and-now merely actualizing what is apprehended, in which we are here-and-now. "To be here-and-now" is here mere actualization.

c) In this actualization we are here-and-now installed in reality. Reality is not something to which one must go, but primarily something in which one already is here-and-now, and in which, as we shall see, we never cease to be here-and-now. When we sentiently apprehend a real thing we are already intellectively installed in reality. Intellective knowing is being here-and-now apprehensively in reality, in what things are de suyo.

This installation has a dual character. Upon intellectively knowing a real thing, we remain installed in it. But this installation is, in one aspect, ultimately very fleeting; {251} another real thing may immediately supervene, and upon intellectively knowing this new thing we are in it. According to this first characteristic, installation is being here-and-now installed in a real thing. But this does not completely exhaust the nature of installation, because as we have seen, the impression of reality in which we intellectively know each real thing is identically and numerically the same in all apprehensions. Reality reifies whatever comes to the real. The content of each real thing remains thus inscribed, so to speak, in the same impression of reality given to us by the previous real thing. That is to say, as we saw in chapter IV, the impression of reality is transcendentally open. And this means that when we intellectively know a real thing, that in which we are installed is not only this real thing, but also pure and simple reality. A real thing thus has two functions: that of being something real, and that of being pure and simple reality. There is an essential linkage between these two moments. This linkage does not consist in being a juxtaposition or an adding together of the real thing and reality, because pure and simple reality is not a type of sea in which real things float around. No, reality is nothing outside of real things. Nonetheless, it is not something identical to all of them nor to their sum. Rather, it is just the moment of transcendentality of each real thing. This is the linkage between the two moments of the real thing and reality: transcendentality. In virtue of it, we are in pure and simple reality by being here-and-now, and only by being here-and-now, in each real thing. When we apprehend a real thing, its force of imposition is as we saw a ratification. Now, this ratification, this force of imposition, is not only the force with which this real thing is imposed upon us, but also the force with which, in it, pure and simple reality is transcendentally imposed upon us. Ultimately, {252} to know intellectively is, I repeat, constitutively and formally to be here-and-now apprehending pure and simple reality, i.e. what things are de suyo as such. Therefore this installation in pure and simple reality is physical and real, because the transcendentality of the impression of reality is physical and real. When we sentiently apprehend a thing as real, we are actually with the real thing, but we are with that thing in reality.

Thus, reality is not something which needs to be justified for the intelligence; rather, it is something which is not only immediately apprehended, but also—and above all—constitutively apprehended. We are thus not dealing with conceptual constructions and chains of reasoning, but merely with an analysis of any act of intellection whatsoever.

The intrinsic and formal unity of the three moments (sensing the real, mere actualization, and installation) is what constitutes sentient intelligence. Sentible reality is apprehended in sentient intelligence, and its apprehension is just an actualization which apprehensively installs us in reality. We are installed in reality by sensing, and for this reason to sense the real is to be here-and-now intellectively knowing.

But this apprehension of the real is modalized, because the impression of reality is transcendentally open. Whence apprehension itself is trancendentally modalized. This is the second point that we must examine.



§ 2



To know intellectively, I said, is just to actualize the real as real. But there are different modes of actualization. I am not referring to the different modes in which the senses present to us what is apprehended "of its own". Here by ‘mode’ I understand not these different modes of sensing the real, but the different modes of actualization in sentient intellection qua intellection, determined by the different modes of reality itself.

Every intellection is, I repeat, just actualization of the real; but the real is respective. Now, each real thing is not only respective to intellective knowing, but as real is de suyo something respective to other real things. Reality, in fact, is a transcendentally "open" formality. The real has, then, different real respectivities. And all of them are anchored in the structure of each real thing. Thus when a real thing is actualized in intellection, it can be actualized in its different formal respects. And because of this the intellective actualization itself can be affected by the diversity of formal respects of each thing. The diversity of the actualization of the real according to its different formal respects constitutes what I here call modes of intellection. Permit me to explain.

For the effects of our problem, let us recall that reality is transcendentally open formality. This openness is primordially the openness of each real thing to its own content; but it is also and at one and the same time openness {254} to the reality of other things. Things are real in and through themselves, but they are also given respectively to other real things by the transcendental openness in which the formality of reality consists. Now, the intellection of one real thing respective to others constitutes the intellection of what that real thing is "in reality". What is apprehended in and by itself is always real; but how it is apprehended with respect to other real things determines the question of what that real thing is "in reality". To apprehend what something is in reality already implies the apprehension that this something is real, and that its reality is determined with respect to other realities. If it were not for this respectivity, the apprehension of the real would not give rise to the question of what a real thing is in reality because we would already have an exhaustive apprehension of the real thing qua real. This "qua real" is just its respectivity to every other reality; but then it is this respectivity which, in a single act of apprehension of the real, will actualize reality for us in and by itself, as well as what the thing is in reality. But this does not prevent the two dimensions "reality" and "in reality" from being formally different. Let us not forget, indeed, that we are not dealing with two actualizations but with two modes of the same actualization. Including them in a single act does not imply abolishing their essential difference.

Now, the respectivity to other real things is not something univocal, because the openness of the formality of reality has, as we saw, different lines so to speak. Hence, real things are actually transcendentally open in different formal respects. In each of them we intellectively know what the thing is in reality. They are different modes of intellection. And since there are two respects, {255} it follows that there are two different modes of intellection of what something is in reality. We shall see this in great detail in the two following parts of the book.

These two modes are not only different, but in their diversity intrinsically and formally involve a basic structure with respect to which each mode is not just a diversity but a modalization. What is this basic structure? To see it, it suffices to attend to what I just said. Intellectively knowing what a thing is in reality is another mode of intellectively knowing what is already so known in and by itself as reality. This is, then, the basic formal structure, the apprehension of something "as reality". The "in reality" is a modalization of the "as reality".

The foundation of this modalization is clear. The real is sensed in an impression of reality, and this impression is the unity of all of the modes by which the real is present to us in what is sensed. One of these modes is reality in the sense of "toward". Now, the real which is transcendentally open in the "toward" is what inexorably determines the modes of intellection. A real thing as transcendentally open toward another thing is just what determines the intellection of what that former thing is in reality. The "toward" in itself is only a mode of reality's being here-and-now present. But when the "toward" is considered as a transcendentally open moment, then it determines the intellection of what the real thing is in reality.

But this reveals to us that that basic structure of intellection, of the mere actualization of the reality of something, has a precise character; because in order to be able to talk about what something is "in reality", the thing must be already apprehended "as real" in and by itself. {256} And this means that the apprehension of the real thing as something, prior to its subsequent modalization, constitutes at one and the same time a proper and primary mode of intellection. This is just what I call the primordial apprehension of reality. The intellection of what something is "in reality" is, then, a modalization of the intellection of what this something is "as reality". With respect to this primordial apprehension, the other modes of intellection are not primordial but ulterior or subsequent. `Ulterior' comes from a very old Latin word uls which means trans. It only survives in the positive form ultra, the comparative form ulterior, and the superlative form ultimus. So we are not dealing, then, with "another" intellection but with a different mode of the same intellection. This is the first intellection itself, but "ulteriorized" so to speak. I will shortly explain this more rigorously.

The primordial apprehension of reality coincides with the mere intellection of a real thing in and by itself, and therefore, with the impression of reality. It is for this reason that I have indiscriminately used the expressions for the impression of reality, "intellection of the real in and by itself", and "primordial apprehension of reality". But now it is fitting to distinguish them. In this primary intellection there is the "formal" aspect of being an intellection, viz. the mere impressive actualization of the real in and by itself. And there is the "modal" aspect of primordiality. Now, that about which we are now asking ourselves is intellection qua primordial mode of apprehension of the real. This is the third point.



§ 3



By virtue of its formal nature, intellection is apprehension of reality in and by itself. This intellection, as we saw in chapter III, is in a radical sense an apprehension of the real which has its own characteristics. It is fitting to repeat this in order to focus better upon our present question. Intellection is formally direct apprehension of the real—not via representations or images. It is an immediate apprehension of the real, not grounded on inferences, reasoning processes, or anything of that nature. It is a unitary apprehension. The unity of these three moments is what makes what is apprehended to be apprehended in and by itself. And we have also observed that this unity does not mean that what is apprehended in and by itself is something simple. Just the opposite: apprehension can have and indeed always has—except in a few cases—a great variety of notes. For example, when we apprehend a landscape, what is apprehended has an immense variety of notes. If I apprehend them unitarily and not as notes and things related to each other, then the landscape, despite its enormous variety of notes, is apprehended in and by itself, i.e., unitarily. Moreover, what is apprehended not only can have a great variety of notes, but these notes can also be variable. And this is essential, as we shall see. The landscape, in fact, may have flowing water, or undergo changes in lighting, etc. Though varied and variable in its notes, if the content is apprehended directly, immediately, and unitarily, {258} it is apprehended in and by itself. To be the apprehension of something in and by itself is not, then, the same as having simplicity of notes. And as we shall see below, this observation is essential.

Every intellection is mounted in one or another way on this intellection of the real in and by itself. Nonetheless, that intellection is modalized. This means that the intellection of the real in and by itself, besides being what is "formally" intellective, has its own "modal" character, a primordial modality; the apprehension of something in and by itself is, modally, the primordial apprehension of reality. What does this mean?

As I just said, every intellection is based on apprehension of the real in and by itself. But I can have this apprehension in two ways. I can take it as the basis of other intellections, e.g., as the basis for judging what is apprehended. But I can have the apprehension of something in and by itself "only" as something in and by itself. Then this moment of the "only" constitutes the modal character of the apprehension; the intellection of something "only" as real in and by itself is modalized by the "only" in the primordial apprehension of reality. This is the primary mode of intellection.

Nor is this a subtle point. It might seem so if I consider that what is apprehended is a system of notes. But if I consider the apprehension of a real note, just in and by itself, then it is clear that the concept of primordial apprehension has a great simplicity both in the first and second cases. Let us take, for example, the color green. Apprehending it in and by itself would signify that there is an apprehension of this color as the unique real terminus of apprehension. This would be what has {259} usually been called the sensation of green. Experimental psychology debated this problem of sensation: Does pure sensation really exist in this sense? The experimental discussions have been numerous, but they do not affect our problem, because the fact that something is real in and by itself does not mean that it is separated from everything else. If I perceive a tree with all of its notes, I may direct my attention to but a single one of them, e.g., the color green. This note is given in the system with the others, but I can fix my attention on it alone. Then that note is apprehended in a primordial apprehension of reality even though it may not be in itself an elemental sensation, i.e. a terminus separated from everything else. The problem of the primordial apprehension of reality is not a problem of the psychology of sensation. The problem of the apprehension of a note just in and by itself is thus not identified with the classic problem of that note's sensation. In sensation one tries to isolate a note perceptively. In the primordial apprehension of reality there is no dividing up of anything; rather one perceptively fixes upon a single note even though it may be part of a system.

Hence—independently of this question—a system as complex as a landscape, if apprehended only in and by itself, is as a primordial apprehension of reality something as simple as the apprehension of a single note. Modality is essential to the intellection; and as modality, primordial apprehension encompasses everything from the apprehension of a single note to the apprehension of a system as enormously complicated as a landscape.

And now two questions inevitable arise: What is the constitutive act of the primordial apprehension of {260} reality? And, What is the proper intellective nature of what is apprehended in this act?

In the first place, let us consider the constitutive act of the primordial apprehension of reality. I speak of "constitutive act" in a loose sense, because it is not an act but a mode of the act of intellection. This mode, as I have already said, is fixation or concentration; I concentrate on one or several notes, or even the whole system considered unitarily. Now, this concentration qua intellective modal act, or rather as primary modality of the intellective act, is attention. Attention is not just one psychological phenomenon among others; it is a modal moment of intellection, because attention is not "simple" concentration. It is a proper intellective mode, that mode by which I concentrate "only" on that which I apprehend in and by itself. Strictly speaking, it is not an act of attention but an attentive intellection. As concentration, attention has two moments. One is the moment in which I center myself on what is apprehended; this is the moment of centering. The other is the moment which I shall call the moment of precision; it is the moment in which what is not apprehended as center remains on the periphery of the apprehension. This does not mean that it is not apprehended, but that what is apprehended outside of the center is not the subject of attentive concentration. Thus it is not excision but simple marginalization. Nor are we referring to mere abstraction, because what is not centered is nonetheless actually apprehended, but in a special form, viz. it is co-apprehended, it is apprehended but "imprecisely". ‘Imprecision’ does not mean here that it is apprehended incorrectly, confusedly, or anything of that nature. Rather, im-precision regains its etymological sense of not having to do with precisely what I am here-and-now doing, with what I am now {261} intellectively knowing.

And similarly, ‘precise’ does not mean the correctly and distinctly apprehended, but to be something which I am singling out without singling out everything else. The "precise" in the ordinary sense of the word, viz. what is distinct, clear, etc., is always something grounded on the "precise" as that which I am singling out. Only because I look in a precise sense at something, and not at something else, only for this reason can I see or not see with precision what this something is. Now, what is not the center of attention is imprecisely relegated to the margin or periphery. And it is then that what is the center of attention is apprehended in and by itself, and only in and by itself, i.e., it is precisely here-and-now or is precisely apprehended.

The intellection of something in this way is what I call "primordial apprehension of reality". The primordial apprehension of reality is not what formally constitutes intellection, but is the primary modality of the intellection of the real in and by itself. This modality consists in what is apprehended being so precisely in attentive intellection.

In the second place, what in the positive sense is the nature of the actuality of what is intellectively known in this mode? Actuality is above all something which concerns the real itself; it is its proper actuality. But, as we have already said, the real has different formal respectivities. And the different modes of actualization depend upon the different modes of the actuality of the real. The modes of intellection correspond to these modes of actuality of the real in respectivity. The modes of intellection are essentially and formally grounded on the different modes of actuality of the real; it is these modes which determine those intellections. The modes of intellectively knowing what a thing is in reality correspond to these modes of actuality. {262} Now, a mode of actualization in the attentive intellection pertains to the intellection of something real in and by itself, but "only" as real in and by itself. This mode of intellectively knowing depends upon the mode of actuality of the real, upon the "only" in which we apprehend the real in and by itself. This mode of actuality is formally "retention"; it is what the "only" expresses in a positive sense. A real thing, in and by itself, only as real in and by itself, is something whose actuality rests "only" on the real thing in and by itself. And this mode of actuality is just what I call retention of its own reality. Actuality in the mode of "only" is an actuality which retains its own reality and which, therefore, retains us in its apprehension. When we are actually apprehending something attentively we are retained by the real in its proper actuality. Retention is the positive and primary mode of actuality. In the primordial apprehension of reality we are, then, attentively retained by the real in its proper reality; this is the complete essence of the primordial apprehension of reality.

This retention in which we are on the part of the real admits various degrees. Retention as a modal moment of the apprehension of reality is only a line of actuality of the real. In this line different degrees can fit. The attentive intellection can make us concentrate at times on the real in a mode which is more or less "indifferent"; reality is intellectively known only in and by itself, step by step. At other times the attention more or less stays fixed upon a thing. Both of these cases are equally degrees in the modal line of attentive intellection. There is finally a very important mode, "absorption". {263} We are and remain situated in a real thing as if there were nothing but this thing. The intellection is then as if completely emptied into what is apprehended, so much so that it does not even recognize that it is intellectively knowing.

Indifference, fixation, and absorption are three rigorously and formally intellective qualities of the primordial apprehension of reality. They are not psychological states but modal qualities of intellection. For this reason they do not constitute degrees of primordial apprehension; they are only degrees of the exercise of the act of intellection, but not degrees of its formal structure, in the same way as vision, for example, has its own formal structure, always the same, independently of the fact that in the exercise of the faculty of vision there may be differences due to better or worse vision.

* * *

In summary, to know intellectively is to apprehend something formally real; it is just impressive actuality of the real in and by itself. When we thus apprehend the real "only" as real in and by itself, then the intellective apprehension has the modal character of attentive and retaining intellection of the real. This is the essence of the primordial apprehension of reality; it is the primary mode of intellection. The other modes are modalizations of this primary mode, subsequent modalizations of it. Its more rigorous albeit simply programmatic conceptualization is the theme of the next chapter. {264}