Tuesday, February 1, 2011
plan for Aquinas bit
Thomas Aquinas is called the Angelic Doctor with good reason,
the Angel Treatise of Summa Theologiae and Disputed Questions on Spiritual Creatures represent a pinnacle of medieval scholastic angelology.
Pico cut his teeth on Thomas Aquinas' problems of angelology, which are largely drawn from Dionysius.
Pico devotes a significant number of Neoplatonic conclusions to the concept of participation, which has recently been discussed as a "key" to the metaphysics of Aquinas.
Influence of Dionysius on Aquinas is now well known.
Impact on divine attributes, angelology, innovative metaphysical doctrine of God as ipsum esse subsistens, pure act
In terms of problem of Pico--seems like we have a problem with "becoming angel" because Thomas Aquinas made sure to be clear that Dionysius isn't talking about about becoming angelic, hierarchy must be preserved, although there are Christian traditions of men being uplifted into angel orders.
Is Pico's "becoming angelic" a problem? Or would Pico have explained it the way Aquinas explains men being lifted up into the angelic orders? It's not clear from Oration that he meant what Bhaktin calls breaking the hierarchy, but later in the Conclusions and everywhere else in his texts Pico stresses that the hierarchy is preserved, although "all is in all but proper to each"
Heptaplus: Pico uses Aquinas principles of Aristotelian act/potency to read Biblical text, scholastic elements of his esoteric (Dionysian-Proclan) hermeneutic.
De Ente -- looking at Pico's reading of negative theology of Dionysius through Aristotelian scholastic lens of Aquinas helps us understand how angels fit into Pico's "supersubstantial and ineffable theology." Further studies of Neoplatonic encounter might profitably read them as a rereading in scholastic style, in light of Thomistic developments in metaphysics/Christian Platonism.