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Date of Award

9-1977

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Religious Sciences

Supervisor

G. Vallée

Abstract

In this thesis we are examining intellectual intuition and mystical experience in the realism of Jacques Maritain. We discern two major degrees or levels of human knowing in his realism, one natural and the other supra-natural. Although essentially distinct, these two levels of human knowing are mutually compatible. Maritain seeks to establish a synthesis of the various modes of human knowing, and he attempts to accomplish this through the recognition of what distinguishes them from each other. In fact, Maritain argues that without the recognition of what distinguishes the various modes of human knowing from each other, serious error can occur. Intellectual, intuition here designates a mode of knowing which is associated with conceptualisation and strictly confined to the natural level of human knowing, and mystical experience (as distinguished from God's disclosure of Himself to man through communicable revelation) denotes a mode of knowing which is strictly supra-natural and incommunicable on the natural level of human knowing. In examining the distinction between intellectual intuition (primarily the intellectual intuition of being, which is for Maritain the human intellect's highest achievement on the natural level of human knowing) and mystical experience, as well as their mutual compatibility, we are attempting to comprehend Maritain's realism as a unified whole through what must necessarily be distinguished within it--intellectual intuition (especially the intellectual intuition of being) and mystical experience functioning as polar points in our discussion.

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