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Bernard Lonergan argued that a Thomist theory of intellect must begin with advertence to the act of understanding. He distinguished his cognitional theory from a conceptualism that neglects the experience of insight and reflection on it. Early in his career, he explained how the conceptualist approach misinterprets Aquinas and creates problems for the metaphysics of rational psychology. This article explains Lonergan’s position and illustrates the conceptualist alternative by analysing Joseph Owens’s view of cognition. By explaining the metaphysical differences between Lonergan’s and Owens’s opposing views of human knowing in relation to their distinctive readings of Aquinas, this article contributes to a more accurate reading of Aquinas on the act of understanding.

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Journal Article

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