previous | | 2.4.8 (133) | contents


 fig.34—again we Square the in/out grid; compare to fig.4

 To simplify the spectacle, Bruno frames an “argument to clarify the proportionality of certain principles: the external visual sense effectively guides towards outwardly visible appearances, just as the internal—in truth, phantasmic faculty guides effectively towards inwardly phantasiable images, such that they are comprehended by nearly the same route.” This 1592 schema translates well (despite Bruno’s neologism), and it clearly marks out two neo­-Aristotelian axes, as in our Square (above) and Plot (over). The X­-axis divides ‘inner’ from ‘outer’ imagery (and ‘the mind’s eye’ from ocular mechanism); the Y-axis aligns subjective faculties with intentional objects. How? According to Aristotle, “Knowledge and sensation are [each] divided to correspond with the realities, potential knowledge and sensation answering to potentialities, actual [k and s] to actualities.” But how do they correspond, or ‘answer’? “Within the soul the faculties of knowledge and sensation are potentially these objects, the one what is knowable, the other what is sensible.”

index | 2.4.9 (134) | | next


 fig.35—again we Plot the metaterms; compare to fig.7

 This last turn of phrase is notorious; earlier, he asserts that “the perceptive faculty is in potentiality such as the object of perception already is in actuality” such that the former is isomorphic but not identical to the thing itself, for “it is not the stone which is present in the soul but its form.” As such, our Y­-axis ‘cap’ terms reiterate our ambivalence towards cause (for, as Quine shot­-puts it, “English has no pat suffix for ability”). Our faculties “guide towards” appearances only insofar as they are reflexively drawn back to comprehension “by nearly the same route.” Or again, as subjects we are only as capable as our objects are capturable (and vice­-versa). Our X-axis ‘cept’ terms may nonetheless recap the ‘ins and outs’ of our inquiry to phenomenology (just as phantasy shares its root in Gk. phainein): On the perceptual side, the perceptive acuity of our “visual sense” renders “outwardly visible appearances” perceivable; on the conceptual side, the conceptive potential of our “phantasmic faculty” renders “inwardly phantasiable images” conceivable.

© 2008-2012 Ian C Thorne. all rights reserved. about credits privacy contact share