800.10 MAN’S ASCENT / KNOWLEDGE (pps.111-112)

hard cover page 112

Notwithstanding the accuracy of this view, man’s general ascent in knowledge remains indisputable.457

From Aristotle’s assumption that “man by nature desires to know,” Aquinas derives a Divine purpose for such a universal desire. Man’s innate sense of wonder, according to Aquinas, is divinely implanted. The ultimate uniqueness of man is in the operation of his intellect, which will not rest until it reaches the source of its being.458

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457 Note that if Teilhard is essentially correct, then our formulation is buttressed still further, for we later posit a contraction of Divine consciousness, which we could symmetrically juxtapose against man’s ascent in consciousness.

458 Schulweis on Aquinas in Evil and the Morality of God, p. 15.
Cf. ibid., p. 16. “A contemporary version of such a religious-metaphysical position is articulated in Michael Novak’s fidelity to the drive to understand. Intellectual passion serves him as the keystone of human salvation. To contribute toward the ‘merging intelligibility of a world process’ is a moral and creative imitatio dei. For him, as for his mentor, B. J. F. Lonergan, God is the radical why behind the drive to understand, the source of understanding and of intelligibility in man.”

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