In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

MIND FORMING AND MANUDUCTIO IN AQUINAS* MARIE I. GEORGE St. John's University Jamaica, New York QUINAS'S CONCERN for pedagogy is plain from his explicit discussions of the subject, the most noteworthy of which is found in the preface to the Summa Theologiae. His qualities as a teacher of beginning students have been brought out by numerous modern authors, among whom are Josef Pieper,1 who underlines both Thomas's ability to arouse wonder and his use of ordinary language intelligible to all, and James Weisheipl,2 who points out that Aquinas's commentaries on Aristotle reveal a concern for the neophyte who is trying to comprehend the relation between faith and reason. One important aspect of Aquinas's teaching on pedagogy generally does not get the attention it merits, however, and this is the need for ' manuductio.' 3 ' Manuductio ', or ' xeipaywv£a ' (literally, 'leading by the hand') is an expression which Aquinas *This paper was read at the Sixteenth International Conference on Patristic, Mediaeval, and Renaissance Studies, Villanova University, Pennsylvania, September 1991. 1 Cf. Josef Pieper, Guide to Thomas Aquinas (New York: Pantheon Books, 1962)' c. 8. 2 Cf. James Weisheipl, O.P., Friar Thomas d'Aquino (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1974), 281. 3 This article drew much of its inspiration from the works of Msgr. Maurice Dionne, a thinker who both elaborated upon and consciously implemented Aquinas's teachings on this subject. Cf. especially: Initation a la logique, ed. Yvan Pelletier (Ste-Foy, Quebec: L'Institut Apostolique Renaissance inc., 1976), and La N ecessite de la logique en regard de chacune des vertus intellectuelles , ed. Louis Brunet, vol. 1 (Quebec: Societe d'Etudes Aristoteliciennes 1980), hereafter cited as La N ec. 201 202 MARIE I. GEORGE adopts from Dionysius.4 It is a word that has different but related meanings in the moral, intellectual, and spiritual orders. Our intention is to elucidate the thomistic doctrine of ' leadingby -the-hand ' in the context of intellectual education, or ' mind forming,' discussing its nature, its necessity, and its place in the global picture of human knowing as outlined by Aquinas. We will begin by delineating in general what manuductio is by comparing two key passages, the first of which is to be found in the Summa Theologiae: The teacher leads the students from what is already known to knowledge of things unknown in two ways. First, by putting before him certain aids or instruments which his intellect uses in order to acquire science ; for example, when he presents him with some less universal proposition which nevertheless the student is able to judge from things already known; or when he proposes to him some sensible examples, or similitudes, or opposites, or some other things of this sort, from which the intellect of the learner is ' led by the hand ' (manuducitur) to the knowledge of a truth previously unknown to him. The other way [the teacher leads the student] is when he strengthens the intellect of the learner ... inasmuch as he proposes the order of principles to conclusions to the student, who perhaps by himself would not have so much ability to put things together (virtutem collativam) that from the principles he could deduce the conclusions. And therefore it is said in Posterior Analytics. Bk. I, that 'demonstration is a syllogism making one know '. And through this mode the one who demonstrates makes the listener know.5 4 Cf. In Librum Beati Dionysii De Divinis Nominibus Ezpositio (Turin: Marietti, 1950), where St. Thomas comments on the following phrase from Dionysius (p. 14) : "E1r ailT7]11 a11a"Yoµe110J11 a11aTaTtX7/ xe1pa"YOJ1lla" ("ad ipsam sursum actorum suscitative manuductio "). The commentary reads (p. 17, # 48) : "Further, it is necessary that man progress to better things; and as to this, he says fifthly ' suscitative manuductio sursum actorum ' i.e., those things which go up, that is, make progre"ss, 'ad Ipsam ', namely to the Divinity. [The expression] 'suscitative' manuductio, however, is used because not only can one give a helping hand to those wanting to make progress, but one can even stimulate or urge [people] to progress." All translations are my own. Cf. also Quaestiones disputatae de veritate, q. 27, art...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 201-213
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.