II. “The Consideration of God in His Footsteps in This Visible World” by Bonaventure
Where does this step fit within Bonaventure's idea of the ascent? Why?
Does his idea (§3) of sense perception as the "portal" to the world still hold?
In §4 Bonaventure provides an abbreviated account of the medieval theory of sense perception. Its essence is that things enter the human senses through "similitudes" generated in the medium. Can you follow the general sense of this theory? Does it make sense from the point of view of contemporary theories about sensation?
What is the cause of the delight (aesthetic pleasure) for the senses during the transmission of the "similitude" (§5, also see §6)? Do you agree with Bonaventure's opinion that this principle is the essence of beauty?
What is the "judgment" that Bonaventure is speaking about in §6? Is it rational (logical) judgment? What sort of status do senses acquire, according to Bonaventure, through their ability to make this sort of judgment? How do the senses "prepare" sense impressions for the intellect?
In what sense are the things of the external world images, pictures, and echoes of God (§11-13)? How do they lead to God? How does this understanding of the nature of sensible things fit into Bonaventure's scheme of ascent?
Can you explain how these reflections of Bonaventure might provide a framework for reading some of the creative responses to nature found in poetry or art?