The Second Grade of Knowledge (Ratio) and Its Limitations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The second grade of knowledge—ratio—has achieved more success than the first grade—imaginatio—in contributing to the desired system. The reason for this is that ratio, unlike imaginatio, is an adequate knowledge, namely, although unlike the supreme grade of knowledge—scientia intuitiva—ratio is not complete or full, nevertheless, to the extent that truth is concerned, any part of ratio is equal to the whole, namely, each of ratio’s parts and whole are equally true. Adequacy is an equality in truth of the part and the whole. Where the finitude of the human knowledge is concerned, adequacy plays a crucial role, for although we know only a part of nature, this knowledge in a sense is equally true to the knowledge of the whole. For example, the principle that each part of a bodily whole is different from the others in its ratio of movement (activity) and rest (passivity) holds true for the bodily whole, which maintain its respective ratio. The whole confirms the partial knowledge and is coherently compatible with it. This is vital for the constructing of the desired system on data of partial, incomplete knowledge. The second grade of knowledge is universal but, unlike the first one, this universality is adequate and never false.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Archives of the History of Ideas/Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Idees
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages58
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameInternational Archives of the History of Ideas/Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Idees
ISSN (Print)0066-6610
ISSN (Electronic)2215-0307

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy
  • History
  • Religious studies


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