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Let us summarily retrace the line of argument thus far in this third part of our investigation, in order to be able to better focus upon its subsequent development.

We have seen that reason is the intellective moment of thinking activity. In other words, reason is not a simple activity of intellective knowing but an intellective activity. We have, moreover, seen what this means. Activity is not simply action, but rather being in action along the lines of that mode which consists in taking action. This activity, qua activity of intellective knowing, is what constitutes thinking. Thinking is the mode of action of intellective knowing determined by real things already intellectively known in a prior intellection; it is, then, an activated activity. And that which activates us in these already intellectively known things is the constitutively open character of reality itself. Qua activity, thinking activity is being in action, it is intellectively knowing that to which the things previously intellectively known are open. It is what we call "giving pause to think". The real is giving us to think because it is really open and because thinking is constitutively open to {136} reality. Thinking, then, intrinsically and formally involves the moment of reality, not just intentionally, but also physically and expressly. This reality is always the reality in which one actually is. The internal and formal structure of the act of this intellection is what we call its intellective character. The properly intellective moment of thinking activity, i.e., the intellective and structural moment of the action of thinking activity is thus reason. Reason is based upon the real which was previously intellectively known. This support is the reality of what is intellectively known through the field in its character of "toward". It is, then, a mode of intellection determined by the real itself.

This mode of intellection is inquiring intellection, a searching. Reason relies upon what has been previously intellectively known for this search. It is a search which goes beyond what is intellectively known in the field of the real, a "beyond" in all its aspects and dimensions; it is what I call ‘profundity’ or ‘reality in-depth’. In the intellection of in-depth reality, reality is not a "medium" of intellection, but a "measure" of field reality. The things of the field, then, are not at the back of reason. Just the opposite: they constitute the canonic principle by which intellection measures in principle the reality of the field itself.

This measurement has the formal characteristic of ground. In-depth reality is "ground-reality" or if one wishes, "fundamental reality". Reason is thus intellection of the real in depth through a principle. This principle is not a system of truths or of rules, but reality itself in its physical character of reality. And as reality is constitutively open, it follows that reason itself is open qua reason. In this openness reason is going to intellectively know in-depth reality in a form which is dimensional, directional, and {137} provisional. The moment of the real which sends us to this intellection is, as I have already said, reality in its characteristic of "toward". With this, in-depth reality becomes physically present but intrinsically indeterminate; it is indeed then a problem, not of being or entity but of reality.

Here is my explanation; it is an intellection of mine. But qua determined by things, reason or explanation is a moment of them; it is reason of things. It is they which give or take away reason. Indeed, in the line of actuality, it is the in-depth reality of things qua problematically actualized. And this actuality is that which constitutes the unity of reason as my reason and as reason or explanation of things.

Thus reason is a structural moment of the intelligence as determined by the nature of the intellection of the real itself. In it reason has its structural origin. And as intellection is formally sentient, it follows that reason itself is sentient. It is the reality of things, in fact, which sentiently apprehended gives us pause to think.

This reality is, I repeat, the physical and explicit reality of things already known intellectively. Therefore the problem of reason is not a problem of seeking reality, because reason is already in reality and it is in this being in reason in which the very principle of reason consists. And this is not just the principle, but also the foundation, of all of reason’s intellective progress: reality is coercively imposed upon reason. What is a problem is the intellection of reality in its own fundamental content. This is what must be measured. And in order to deal with this problem reason actualizes reality itself in its previous intellections, a mode of {138} actualization which consists in considering them as foundation of the real. But as my previous intellections are mine, it follows that rational intellection qua rational is a free creation. In this free creation the real takes on, in my previous intellections, its fundamental content. And in turn, this content is realized. That realization can assume different forms. It can be the realization of a content achieved through free experience, through basic structure or hypothesis, or in free construction; i.e., it can be modalization, homology, or postulation, the three forms of fundamentality.

Granting this, the structure of reason leaves a very precise question open to our analysis. That which is intellectively known is in-depth reality in its fundamental content. This intellection is, as I said, a free creation which does not unfold from the field but relies upon the field in order to determine that content in a search. In virtue of this, a question arises: With respect to this in-depth reality, what is its content qua searched for? That is, What is the formal object of intellective activity, the formal object of reason? Here we have the key question, a question which is much more complex than it might seem at first glance. A little reflection will reveal that this question unfolds in three groups of problems:

1. What is the character of the formal object of reason?

2. What is the formal unity of this object with the real which has determined it?

3. What, formally, is the determinant function of the real in reason?

These are the three points which we must quickly examine.




Reason is an intellection determined in one of the directions of the "toward" of the real, viz. the in-depth "toward". This "toward" is, I repeat once again, a mode of reality itself, reality in its mode of "toward". And when this "toward" is so in-depth, then the intellection is reason. The formal character of reason is then the formal character of the terminus of this "toward".

To be sure, by virtue of being a mode of reality, the "toward" itself has a terminus in reality itself, since we never left it. But this does not mean that the "toward" terminates in some real thing. The terminus qua terminus is a terminus in reality, and therefore pertains to it, even though not real by itself. What is this pertaining? It is not pertaining to reality as a determinate content. Strictly speaking, the terminus could be vacuous, i.e., the "toward" might be toward nothing. Nonetheless, it will always "really" be a nothing; it is therefore in reality like an echo, so to speak. The pertaining to reality does not, then, mean that its content is determinate, but merely that it is a "terminus", something toward which one goes. This terminus is a terminus in reality, but not a determinate content of it. Being in reality without being formally a real content is just what comprises being something which is possible. The terminus of the "toward" is something formally possible. Here we have the formal character of the object {140} of reason, viz. possibility. That in which reason moves is the real, always and only as possible. What, to be more precise, does this possibility mean?

Taken from the negative side, the possible is that which lacks something in order to be fully real. But this not being real is limited to reality itself. And that limiting constitutes the positive aspect of the possible. Now, there are different modes in accordance with which the "not" is limited to reality. Here two are of special interest to us.

The first came to our attention when we dealt with the intellection of what something real is in reality among other things. The first thing that intellection does in these circumstances is not to abandon reality but to take within it a distance from the real. This is a movement of "stepping back" within reality. Such intellection by stepping back constitutes simple apprehension. Its formal character, the formal character of the terminus of simple apprehension, is physical reality itself in its mode of "might be". The real in the field is actualized in my understanding after stepping back as a real that "might be". "Might be" does not consist in being either a condition or even a possibility in the strict sense. Percepts, fictional items, and concepts are not formally possible because they are already the real in stepping back from content. This is what I shall call the ‘unreal’. We have already seen what it is. ‘Unreal’ does not mean not having to do with reality, but having to do with it by freeing its content. From the standpoint of reality, the unreal is really unreal; it is reality itself actualized in simple apprehension. From the standpoint of content itself, the unreal is what is realized in reality in the mode of "might be". In what, precisely, does this mode consist? A content is unreal in the "might be" mode when the unreal content is intellectively known as a property or note of the real. This paper might be red considering the unreal content of the red as if it were {141} a chromatic note of the paper. But the unreal can be of a different character, because I can realize in reality the unreal not as a note but as a ground. Then it is no longer what reality "might be", but something different, what reality "could be". This is the possibility of the real. The terminus of the "toward" is for now only a possible terminus. As such it is in reality like a "could be" of reality itself. It is a real possibility. The "might be" is reality in retraction. The "could be" is reality in being grounded. The difference between the "might be" and "could be" is not a difference between two modes of possible being, but between two modes of realization. The "might be" is not intrinsic possibility; it is a mode of something being realized as a mode. As a mode, the "might be" is the unreal mode (understanding ‘unreal’ here as reality in stepping back from content, and not what is understood grammatically by ‘unreal mode’). In contrast the "could be" is a mode of making possible, a mode not of being a note, but of being a ground. The difference between the unreal mode and the mode of making possible is not a difference between two possibilities, but the difference between unreality realized as a note (unreal mode) and unreality realized as a ground (possibilitation). The unreal realized as ground is the truly possible part of reason, the "could be". To preclude confusion between possibility and making possible I shall at times refer to cases of the latter as "the possibilities", in plural.

My previous intellections are a basis, and upon this basis the intelligence actualizes what field reality could be in its in-depth reality. This is the formal character of the object of reason.

Reason is the intellective moment of thinking. Therefore it is necessary to say that intellective activity, i.e., thinking, {142} always thinks about the real, but only about the possibilities of the real. One always and only thinks about possibilities. If I think about a stroll I am going to take, or in the trip upon which I am going to embark, or in what, in reality, is this thing which we call ‘light’, that about which I am formally thinking is the stroll I am going to take, or in the trip upon which I am going to embark, or upon the real possibilities for this which we call ‘light’ to be produced. The formal object of intellective activity is what the real could really be.

How is this "could be" inscribed in the real, i.e., how are possibilities intellectively known as possibilitating in the real?




Naturally, we are only dealing with the order of intellection. We are not concerned with how the possibility is making possible reality in and by itself, but with how the intellection of possibilities is determining the intellection of the real in-depth. Now, this unity which is determinant of the possibilities in the intellection of the real has three essential aspects.

A) In the "toward" I do not just go "beyond", so to speak, but rather the "toward" is a "toward" already internally qualified by that which throws me beyond. That which thus throws me is the intellection of field reality. And this reality determines the "toward" itself as a "toward" based on something intellectively known previously. And it does so in a twofold sense. First, field reality has its own content, and it is its notes which, upon throwing us "toward", qualify the mode of going toward in-depth reality. The "toward", in fact, as a mode of reality, recovers all other modes, and these in turn recover the "toward". Whence it follows not only that each of the modes of field reality throws us "toward" the beyond, but also that this same "toward" is internally characterized by those other modes. Not only that, but there is in this qualification a second aspect which is the "ground", and that is that field reality not only throws us "toward" but also comprises the canonical principle {144} of intellection in this throwing. These two aspects are but that: aspects of the internal qualification of the "toward". Now, its formal terminus is what in-depth reality could be, i.e., this formal terminus is possibility. And as the throwing "toward" is intrinsically characterized, it follows that the possibility itself in question is already in some way intrinsically characterized. And this is not some empty possibility, but a possibility which is really characterized qua possibility. Here ‘really’ means not only that this possibility pertains to reality, but that the reality itself characterizes by making possible that possibility. In other words, making possible is inchoate possibility. The "toward" is inchoate. And with inchoation we have the first respect in which making possible determines the intellection of in-depth reality. Reason does not move in the infinity of possibles but in a chain of possibilities as yet inchoate; i.e., it goes on pointing out intrinsically and terminally toward what the possibility is going to make possible.

B) This "toward" has multiple routes precisely because it is recovering, as I just said, all of the content of the field things. As this content is multiple, so are the inchoate routes. That is, field intellection never goes "toward" a single possibility, but "toward" multiple possibilities. Each one of them is inchoate by nature. Hence it follows not only that reason moves in the realm of possibility, but that it moves among multiple possibilities. Reason must take them together; it has to take each "with" (cum) the rest. Therefore, the terminus of the "toward", more than a mere possibility, is co-possibility. And this intellection of the possible as "with " (cum) is just what constitutes co-legere, "take with", "take together", to deduce or infer. The multiplicity of possibilities {145} "toward" which we are sent determines that mode of intellection which is colegere, "taken together " or inferred. In its etymological sense, colegere is very close to the verb ‘to collect’. And here we have the second aspect in accordance with which possibility determines the intellection of the real in-depth: taking together or inferring. The word does not mean ‘to deduce’ in this context, but the determining of the mode of realizable possibilities, perhaps inchoatively. Deduction is but one mode of inferring among others. Inferring designates but a mode of intellection, viz. that of intellectively knowing one or more possibilities when co-intellectively knowing the rest. It is the cum as a mode of intellection. Reason intellectively knows in-depth reality in a mode which is constitutively inferential. It infers diverse inchoate possibilities, diverse things that are inchoate. And by this inferential cum, the diverse possibilities can be intellectively known as more than merely inchoate; they can be intellectively known as a real ground for making possible. What does this mean?

C) The cum of mere inferring has, as I pointed out, a meaning quite close to that of collecting. But it is much more than just collecting. The fact is that one of the many diverse possibilities is possibility of the real, and therefore these possibilities are open because reality itself is constitutively open. Hence the cum of the different possibilities constitutes an ambit in which each possibility, by being open to others, can incorporate them. Then the cum shows us its true nature, viz. mutual "im-plication", or rather, "com-plication". And on account of this implication, the possibilities are not only multiple; they constitute a system. Now, the determination of in-depth reality as realization of a system of possibilities mutually implied or com-plicated is precisely explication. This is the third aspect of the intellective determination {146} of in-depth reality. To intellectively know in-depth reality in a rational manner is to intellectively know it in explication. Conversely, to explicate is to intellectively know in-depth reality as a realization of a system of possibilities.

In summary, rational intellection moves among real possibilities, which intellectively determine the in-depth reality in a way which is inchoative, inferential, and explicative. But we must go one more step, and that is to investigate how the real itself leads to possibility.




Reality previously intellectively known in the field throws us toward in-depth reality. Of this throwing we have studied the terminus toward which we are thrown and the mode in which we are thrown. Now, we ask ourselves for the point of departure of the throwing. We are going to be thrown by field reality. This throwing "toward" possibility takes place, as we have seen, in a "toward" which is internally characterized. This characterization is the inchoate nature of possibility as the intellection of in-depth reality, of the intellection of what the reality could be. But then it is eo ipso a possibility which is inchoatively present as such in the field intellection itself. This field intellection is sentient, as is reason itself. Therefore, that possibility is actually present—albeit inchoatively—in the sentient intelligence. Now, this sentient being here-and-now present of the possibility qua possibility, i.e., the sentient presence of what in-depth reality "is capable of being" qua "could be", is formally what constitutes suggestion. The real ambit of co-possibility is the ambit of suggestion, the ambit of suggestions which are co-suggested. The intelligence then has to opt for one of the different suggestions, and begin its intellection progression. The "toward" of the throwing is, then, a concrete suggestion. I shall forthwith explain this at greater length. Suggestion is not a psychical phenomenon or anything of that nature; rather it is a {148} structural moment of reason itself qua reason. In field intellection not only are things present which are intellectively known, but also in them the suggestion is present of what they could be in-depth.

I said that reason can opt for one among many suggestions. But it can also opt for none of them. Then reason invents new possibilities. But this invention, inasmuch as it is a rupture of the lines of suggestion, would not have been possible other than by suggestion itself. If one wishes—and speaking a bit paradoxically—among the possible suggestions there is that of not attending to any of them. Field intellection gives us the canonical principle of the intellection of in-depth reality, and the suggestion in which it can be intellectively known. But what reason intellectively knows can be opposite to its canonical principle and to every positive suggestion.

In virtue of this, a canonical principle and a system of suggestions is the concrete structural figure of that search qua search which is rational intellection.

This concrete figure is essential to reason. Reason is not a mode of intellection specified only by its formal terminus in the abstract. The rational mode of intellection has, on the contrary, a precise modal structure, viz. its concreteness. The concreteness is not individuation, so to speak, of a general structure; rather, it is a moment which intrinsically and formally touches the very structure of reason. To be sure, it is not essential to reason to have this or that concrete figure; but it is structurally essential to reason to have concreteness. Reason is not something which "makes itself concrete", but something which "is concrete" in and by itself. And I am not referring to reason as movement about one real note from each human reality; in {149} this sense reason does not make an exception for any of their notes. Everything real is in this sense individual in and by itself. I am referring to reason not as a structural note, but to its own mode of intellectively knowing the real. This structural concreteness has a formal root in the two moments which constitute the search. One is the moment of being a principle: the canonical principle is not "the" field reality in abstract, but what the field intellection in all of its concretion (reality and canonical principle) has extracted in its being thrown Another is the thrust into concreteness of the direction of intellective search, viz. the suggestion. Canonical principle and suggestion are, in their intrinsic concreteness, structural moments of rational intellection. What is this concreteness?

This structural concreteness has a precise formal character: it is what constitutes the forma mentis. Reason has a strict and rigorous structural figure in its very mode of intellective knowing. What is this forma mentis? Let us explain the expression.

In the first place, we are dealing with "mind" or mens. What is this mens? Mind is not formally identical to intelligence. Etymologically it proceeds from an Indo-European root men- which meant, among other things, impetus, ardor, passion, etc.; that is, it expressed animated movement. But as I see it, this is not all, because it is not a movement, as for example the movement of passion; as simple movement this passion is not just something mental pure and simple. The movement itself is mental only if it bears as its weight some type of intellection of the trajectory and the terminus of that movement. That is, the movement which mens signifies is always movement inasmuch as it has an intrinsic intellective weight. The force of the mens {150} has as its own formal character the intellective weight; it is the force by which movement itself is intellectively understood and determined. Conversely, intellection is mens only when it is intellective motion. Now, this movement is just the throwing. Therefore mens is intelligence in throwing. To be sure, it is a throwing as the very mode of intellection. We are not dealing with what moves us to intellectively know, but with the intellective movement itself. And as the intellective movement in throwing is just reason, it follows that there is an internal implication between reason and mens. Thus "mind" expresses the concrete character of reason.

In the second place, this mens has a form or figure, viz. forma mentis. In what does it consist? It does not consist only in the trajectory determined by intellection and its principle, i.e., it does not consist in the form of movement of intellection. It is something more. It is that form but distilled to its essence, so to speak, in the intellection qua "thrustable". The form in question is not just the figure of an act, but the figure of a mode of our being involved with the intelligible. Being involved is what "habitual mode of behavior" means in this context. The figure which we seek is but the habitual mode of behavior of intellection in its thrust. It is essential for reason to have a figure or form as the intellective habitual mode of behavior of being thrust.

In the third place, this habitual mode of behavior is supposed to be formally determined by the "toward" itself. Intellection, in fact, can have many habitual modes of behavior or modes of being involved with things. Here two types are of interest to us. Some habitual modes of behavior or modes of being involved, for example, can be due to individual as well as social differences. They are determined by the mode of being of man, and constitute the figure or form of the thrust by being the figure or form {151} of the man thrown. Hence it follows that the habitual mode of behavior remains qualified, it has qualities, but these qualities have an origin extrinsic to what reason formally is; they have their origin, for example, in being Greek or in being Semitic. But there are other types of thrust, whose difference is grounded upon the intrinsic nature of the "toward" itself qua "toward". Reason then is also qualified, but its qualities have their origin in the intrinsic nature of reason itself; for example, the difference in throwing "toward" the real in a poetic manner as opposed to the scientific manner. These are not modes which the intellection "has", but modes of what the intellection "is". The two types of habitude qualities (let us call them ‘extrinsic’ and ‘intrinsic’) are not identical. Within a single intrinsic mode of the "toward", for example within the poetic "toward", many modes of creating what we call ‘poetry’ fit; the primitive Sumerians understood something different by ‘poetry’ than did the poets of classical Greece. And similarly within the intrinsic "toward" proper to science, there are diverse modes; that which a primitive Sumerian or Akkadian understood by explanation of the world, that which a Greek understood by it, and that which we understand by it, are completely different things. Now, the forma mentis is constituted by the intrinsic and formal mode of the confronting or thrusting toward the real, by the mode of the "toward" qua "toward", and not by the modalities which this sending or searching can have as an extrinsic function of the modalities of that which one seeks. This is the difference, to use an example, between a poetic figure or explanation of the real, and a theoretical figure or explanation of the real (this does not go beyond being one example among many). {152} It is a difference of a different order than that which exists between the modes of creating science, and between the modes of creating poetry, according to anthopological characteristics. The forma mentis consists in this case in the difference between doing science and doing poetry.

These three aspects, viz. being intellective action, being habitual mode of behavior of motion, and being intrinsic and formal habitual mode of behavior of this motion, constitute together what I understand by forma mentis, the concrete figure which intellection adopts in its formal mode of being thrown to the real, in the mode of sending as such.

Now, this concept has a very precise name, mentality. It is not primarily a psychological, social, or ethnic concept, but a structural one. I am referring, to be sure, to what mentality is formally. Mentality is the intrinsic and formal aspect of the habitual mode of behavior of throwing toward real things; for example, the theoretic mentality. So I am not referring to the qualities which mentality can have, and in fact does have by virtue of determinate external factors of psychological, social, etc. origin. And it is important to emphasize this because usually one uses ‘mentality’ in reference to theoretic mentality as well as to the "Semitic mentality" or the "feudal mentality". And as I see it, this is not correct. The Semitic and the feudal are certainly things which qualify or characterize mentality, but they confer a determinate quality upon something which is already a mentality, i.e. the mentality as a mode of our being intellectually involved with things. To be Semitic is not a mentality but a quality which qualifies something which is already a mentality, for example, upon "doing science", etc. But the fact that it is scientific does not "qualify" the mentality already given; rather it is the moment which intrinsically {153} and formally "constitutes" it. But that everyday concept lacks a third aspect, the most radical part of the forma mentis, the aspect formally constitutive of the habitual mode of behavior of going to the real. The so-called ‘Semitic mentality’ is Semitic by virtue of being the mentality proper to "the" Semite; but it is not a mentality which is "in itself" Semitic—something which formally makes no sense, even though we all use the expression. The modes of conceiving things which a Semite has are not formally Semitic conceptive moments. Being Semitic certainly affects one’s concepts and confers upon them qualities of their own; but these are not formally their qualities, because these qualities do not depend upon the structure of the conceiving itself, but rather upon the mode of being of the Semite. It is on account of this that the so-called mentality of the Semite is not Semitic qua mentality; it is only the mentality of the Semite. On the other hand, the theoretic mentality is theoretic "in itself" qua mentality; it is not a mentality "of" a scientist but a mode of intellection of the real, a mode intrinsic to reason. The difference between scientific and poetic intellection is significant; they constitute two mentalities, the scientific and the poetic. These two are strict mentalities. The Semite or the Greek, on the other hand, qualify these two mentalities with qualities of extraintellective origin; their origin is in the mode of being of the Semite and the Greek. It is for this reason that they do not constitute mentalities properly so-called. That is the strict and formal concept of mentality. But this does not mean that the everyday expressions ‘Semitic mentality’, ‘Greek mentality’, etc., should not continue to be used. The only important thing is to dispel the error of the concept of mentality latent in these expressions. It is not the same to speak of mentality when referring to Semitic mentality as to speak of it in connection with scientific mentality. The first is proper {154} to a sociology of knowledge; the second pertains to a philosophy of the intelligence.

And it is of this mentality, strictly understood, that I say it is structurally essential to reason; it is reason’s intrinsic and formal concretion. Reason is concrete, and its concretion qua reason is mentality. There is not, nor can there be, reason without mentality; whatever there could be without mentality could not be reason. The same occurs in the field intellection of the real. To see this piece of paper and affirm that it is green is not a question of mentality. The mentality appears only when one goes in depth beyond the field in order to know what the foundation of greenness is. Only intellection in-depth has the concreteness of mentality. To the concrete determination of the formal terminus of in-depth intellection, i.e., to the concrete determination of the formal reason or explanation of what is intellectively known, there corresponds the concrete determination of reason qua intelligent throwing, i.e., mentality.

As mentality is the concretion of the sending as such, its intrinsic and radical roots are the canonic principle and suggestion. Neither these moments nor for that matter the mentality itself, are limited to the dominion of the theoretic. I have been saying this all along. Suggestion, for example, suggests not only what the theoretic nature of the intellectively known is in depth, but above all recounts the very lines of intellection. It can suggest the creation of concepts; but it can also suggest metaphoric, poetic, or any other type of depth. And similar things should be said of the canonic principle. The unity—at times ineffable—of metaphor has as principle the qualities already apprehended in field intellection; but their roles as principles can be quite varied. This line of intellection {155} is just the line of the "toward" as such. The differences are not only in that from which we are thrown and in that to which we are thrown, but also in the very type of trajectory which we are going to follow, i.e., in the lines of the "toward" of intellection. Mentality

should be understood in the light of this vast range, which encompasses not only the content, but also the very lines of intellection. Different are the mentalities of the scientist, the poet, the politician, the theologian, the philosopher, etc. And this, I repeat, is true not just by virtue of the "content" of their reason but above all by the "line", by the habitual mode of behavior in which reason progresses, thrust out in its search. Mentality is just the formal concrete habitual mode of behavior of rational search; it is the concreteness of the "toward" as such.

* * *

In summary, we have already examined in this section what progression is (Chapter I): progression is search. We saw next what its intellective structure is (Chapter II). Progression is a thinking activity, whose intellective moment comprises reason, i.e., the intellection by principles of what the real is in depth. The formal object of this intellective activity is possibility, i.e., what in-depth reality could be. This possibility determines the intellection of in-depth reality in an inchoative form, one which is collective and explicative. And that is possible precisely because field reality, previously intellectively known, gives us a canonic principle and a system of suggestions. It is the ultimate root of the structural concreteness of reason, of its constitutive mentality.

Granting this, rational intelligence intellectively knows {156} in-depth reality. What is the structure of this intellection? Here we have the question which we must examine in Section 2.




The inquiring intellection, reason, is a special mode of intellection. Intellection, as we already know, is the apprehension of something real as just actualized as real in that apprehension. The inquiring intellection is a mode of intellection of the real actualized in a special way. This mode of intellection is what we call knowledge [conocimiento] (in the sense of "being familiar with").[1] The structure of the intellective progress, i.e., the structure of rational intellection, is knowing [conocer]. Not every intellection is knowledge in the sense of "being familiar with". Moreover, it is not at all obvious that the highest form of our intellection is this kind of knowledge. The identification of intellection and this sense of knowing could seem obvious to modern philosophers; it was accepted without discussion by Kant. But as we shall see, that identification is untenable. The difference between intellection and knowledge in the sense of "being familiar with" is a serious problem, one over which Kant himself stumbled. Therefore Kant’s Critique suffers from a radical inadequacy. Prior to a critique of knowing, Kant

should have elaborated a critique, or at least a philosophy of intellection as such. Hence in the final analysis Kant’s Critique is inadequate. Kant understands intellection {158} as knowing in the sense of "being familiar with". In the final analysis, however, he does nothing but pull together an identification which had been in circulation for many centuries. But Kant also believed—again, without calling it into question—that at bottom knowledge in the sense of "being familiar with" is synonymous with science. This double equation (intellection = knowledge; and knowledge=science) determines the progression of thought in the Critique. But this double equation is incorrect. Intellection is not knowledge, nor is the structure of knowledge science. Therefore, in order to conceptualize the nature of rational intellection rigorously, we must pose two questions to ourselves:

I. What is knowledge [conocer]?

II. What is the formal structure of knowing [conocer]?


[1] [There are several Spanish words which translate the English, 'to know': conocer means 'to know' in the sense of 'to be familiar with', or 'to know' a person; saber means 'to know something', e.g. a body of knowledge such as mathematics; and inteligir means 'to know' in the intellective sense, and as such is always translated in this book as 'to know intellectively'.- trans.]^