Excerpt from The Function of the Phantasm in St. Thomas Aquinas
The intellect directly knows universals and only by very obscure and complicated reasoning can Aquinas bring the intellect to know particulars. On meeting this at first, it strikes us as rather ridiculous to say ... that it is difficult to explain how man as an intellectual creature can know individuals. We think that we do know individuals. As a matter of fact, a little reflection will show that the real difficulty is to explain how even in sense knowledge an animal can ever know the individual. Aristotle says that the intellect grasps only the universal. No man since his time more perfectly assimilated this than Thomas Aquinas. One could wish that Aristotle too had considered a point of View and a very important one, on which he is silent.
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