Jacques Maritain Center : Art and Prudence / by Ralph McInerny


Owing doubtless to the bifurcated influence of contemporary thought, which is engaged on the one hand in bloodless analysis and on the other in an impassioned voluntaristic emphasis on the nonintellectual, Thomists have of late been talking a great deal about connatural knowledge. Indeed, in the encyclical Humani Generis, Pope Pius XII saw in connatural knowledge a refutation of the claim that Scholastic thought does not pay sufficient attention to the role appetite plays in knowledge.

Never has Christian philosophy denied the usefulness and efficacy of good dispositions of soul for perceiving and embracing moral and religious truths. In fact, it has always taught that the lack of these dispositions of good will can be the reason why the intellect, influenced by the passions and evil inclinations, can be so obscured that it cannot see clearly. Indeed St. Thomas holds that the intellect can in some way perceive higher goods of the moral order, whether natural or supernatural, inasmuch as it experiences a certain “connaturality” with these goods, whether this “connaturality” be purely natural or the result of grace; and it is clear how much even this somewhat obscure perception can help the reason in its investigations. (n. 34)

In what follows, I will first examine the meaning of connatural knowledge in the moral order and St. Thomas’s use of the term “connatural” in other contexts. Then I will try to see why, if the notion of affective connaturality is to be extended to the realm of art, one must distinguish between the habit of art and poetic knowledge, as Jacques Maritain has done.

1. Judgment and Connaturality

In the three texts of St. Thomas Aquinas most often referred to when the question of connatural knowledge arises, we find him talking about judgment as the act of the wise man. There are two kinds of wisdom and consequently two kinds of judgment. With regard to what is to be done, there are two judgments which are relevant. The one is that which can be given by one who possesses moral science. Such a man can judge about virtuous acts even if he himself does not possess virtue; he has a cognitive grasp of ethical matters and judges per modum cognitionis. Another type of judgment in moral matters is that made by the virtuous man who may or may not have learned moral science. When he judges that is to be done, he is involved in a more than cognitive way, since he is inclined toward what ought to be done by the virtues he possesses. His judgment is said to be one per modum inclinationis.(ST, Ia, q. 1, a. 6, ad 3m)

It is this second kind of judgment that St. Thomas, in another text (IIaIIae 45.2) calls a judgment based on connaturality with the things to be judged.

Dicendum quod sicut supra dictum est, sapientia importat quamdam rectitudinem iudicii secundum rationes divinas. Rectitudo autem iudicii potest contingere dupliciter: uno modo, secundum perfectum usum rationis; alio modo, propter connaturalitatem quamdam ad ea de quibus iam est indicandum. Sicut de his quae ad castitatem pertinent, per rationis inquisitionem recte iudicat ille quid didicit scientiam moralem; sed per quamdam connaturalitatem ad ipsa recte iudicat de eis ille qui habet habitum castitatis.

The first kind of judgment, that per modum cognitionis, is correct because of a perfect use of reason. The rectitude of the judgment based on connaturality is due to something other than intellect. It must be kept in mind that the act of judging is always an act of intellect; it is not that something other than the intellect makes the judgment when connaturality is spoken of, but rather that the rectitude of the intellect’s judgment is due to something outside the intellect itself.

The emphasis in the above mentioned texts is on practical wisdom and what is alluded to as connaturality is brought out by St. Thomas in his analysis of the judgment of prudence, which he calls human wisdom (sapientia viro, quoting Proverbs 10:23 (IIaIIae 47.2 1m) As recta ratio agibilium, prudence is an intellectual virtue. Unlike science, however, prudence is concerned with contingent and variable matters in their very contingency and variability – with what is to be done here and now in these particular circumstances. The prudential syllogism has as its major a rather universal proposition, grasped in a purely cognitive way, intra limites intellectus, in Cajetan’s phrase (In IamIIae 58.5); for example, that the goods of another ought to be returned. What prudence must do is see particular circumstances in the light of this common principle. The common principles which serve as the major premise of prudential syllogisms may be drawn from the diligent inquiries of moral science or may be something absolutely of natural law. But however the major is had, what is of interest here is the minor of the prudential syllogism.

How will prudence judge in this particular case when it is a question, say, of this borrowed book, whose permanent retention would be a desirable thing? One can accept the universal statement that what belongs to another should be returned; in an ethics class one may find it relatively easy, within the confines of a fictive case, to apply the principle to “particular” circumstances. But now, here and now, what is the person’s judgment about returning this borrowed book? He is involved in the judgment of the here and now, and the history of his past actions, the kind of person he is, enters into the reckoning. Qualis unusquisque est, talis finis ei videtur. The judgment of the particular circumstances which is the minor of the practical syllogism, depends for its rectitude on the appetitive condition of the person who is to act. The judgment is extra limites intellectus in the sense that the appetite influences the judgment of the reason. What is required here and now is not theoretical truth but practical truth. QD de virtutibus in communi a. 6, ad 5m.)

The truth of the speculative intellect is quite in keeping with the movement of the intellect relative to things. The intellect is said to be true insofar as it is in conformity with the way things are, and the properly cognitive mode consists in the assimilation of things to the intellect. The intellect is said to receive things, not in the way in which they exist in themselves, but rather in its own immaterial mode. In order for a material thing to be known intellectually it must be separated from the mode belonging to it as it exists, that is, from its materiality and consequent singularity. Intellectual knowledge is abstractive, immaterial, universal. Appetite, on the other hand, tends towards things as they are in themselves. We love things for what they are and in themselves; not as we know them but as they are. We could thereby say that the mode of appetite is more existential than that of the intellect. (Cf. In de Divinis nominibus, cap. 2, lect. 4) Something of this conformity with things as they are in themselves, of this existential mode, is present in the notion of the practical truth of the prudential judgment.

Prudence is an intellectual virtue, but a virtue of the practical intellect which seeks knowledge in order to operate. Since prudence is concerned with human affairs, it is to the end of man that it directs individual actions. As is always the case when something is to be done, the end is the beginning. (Aristotle, Ethics 1151a16) The end of man is something given insofar as it follows on the nature of man. This end is something which is known naturally. (IIaIIae.47.6) The considerations of prudence, its judgments and the rectification of appetite relative to this end.

Consequently it is requisite for prudence, which is right reason about things to be done, that man be well disposed with regard to ends; and this depends on the rectitude of his appetite. Therefore, for prudence there is need of moral virtue which rectifies the appetite. (IaIIae.57.4)

It is because the intellect cannot conform to the particularity and contingency of singulars that the judgment of prudence cannot be true with speculative truth. But it is precisely singulars which must be judged when it is a question of commanding an action here and now. From the point of view of cognition, only opinion could be had about singular contingents as singular and contingent. And yet I must make the right decision. The rectitude of my judgment, accordingly, must depend upon something other than intellect.

On the other hand, the truth of the practical intellect depends on conformity with right appetite. This conformity has no place in necessary matters, which are not effected by the human will, but only in contingent matters which can be effected by us . . . (Ibid., a. 5, ad 3m)

The truth of the prudential judgment depends upon rectified appetite, appetite determined to the end or good. And since appetite, as mentioned above, moves toward things as they are in themselves, as they exist, appetite assimilates one to what is desired; one becomes like what one loves, becomes connatural with it. It is precisely this connaturality which is characteristic of appetite that makes the prudential judgment, which depends upon appetite, a judgment by connaturality or inclination. Moral science, because its consideration of agibilia does not entail appetite (In VI Ethic. lect. 7, n. 1200), judges per modum cognitionis. It is precisely the influence of appetite on the prudential judgment of agibilia that makes this judgment one per connaturalitatem.

2. Virtue and Appetite

The judgment through connaturality, as it figures in the texts cited, is such because of a special dependence on appetite. Why is it that the influences of appetite on the object of intellect makes the judgment connatural? If this is not answered, we shall encounter great difficulties when we find St. Thomas speaking of the habit of principles as proceeding per modum naturae. An even greater difficulty arises when we read that the habitus of geometry induces a kind of connaturality with the geometrical. If we speak of connaturality in these last two cases, we are clearly not speaking of affective knowledge. It is imperative therefore to examine the scope of the term “connatural” in St. Thomas if we are to avoid calling the most perfectly scientific knowledge affective.

In Aristotle’s Ethics [1106b10; In II Ethics., lect. 6, n. 315; Q.E. de veritate, q. 10, a. 10, ad 9m] one reads that moral virtue is more certain than science. The reason given is that moral virtue inclines in the same way nature does, that is, by determining the appetite to one object. Virtue is generated by accustoming the appetite to a certain mode of operation by repeated acts; this custom becomes a second nature which determines the appetite to one object. (QD de virt. In com., a. 9) Far from settling anything, however, this raises more questions. The intellect too is the subject of habits, of second natures, and because of these virtues the intellect too is determined to one. Is not determination to one what distinguishes science from opinion?

First of all, we must ask what meaning of certitude is at play in the remark that moral virtue is more certain than art or science. This is a puzzling claim because certitude is something we should tend to restrict to reason and science. Moral is derived from the Latin mos which has a twofold signification. Sometimes it signifies custom; at other times it signifies a natural or quasi-natural inclination to do something. “Now moral virtues is named from mos in the sense of a natural or quasi-natural inclination to do some particular action.” (IaIIae.58.1) The second meaning of mos is of course close to the first since custom is a second nature and gives an inclination similar to that of nature. What is more, the inclinations spoken of belongs most properly to appetite. With regard to certitude, it is well to recall the distinction St. Thomas makes between certitude simpliciter and certitude secundum quid. The first, absolute certitude, is taken from the cause of certitude; certitude in this sense has degrees insofar as its causes are more or less determined. Certitude secundum quid is that taken from the part of the subject, and in this sense what is most perfectly proportioned to intellect is most certain. (IIaIIae, q. 4, a. 8) This distinction is reducible to another St. Thomas makes, that between the motive for adhering to a truth and the evidence for the truth. QD de veritate, q. 14, a. 1, ad 7m)

What seems to emerge then is this: Moral virtue is said to be more certain than art and science because it gives a more perfect determination to one. Why is this? It is nature in the sense given in Aristotle’s Physics which is first of all the principle of determination to one. (QD de malo, q. 6, a. 1) In the Physics, nature which always acts in one way is distinguished from the principle of rational acts. (In II Physic, lect. 13, ed. Pirotta n. 503). Reason is said to be ad opposita and not ad unum (In IX Metaphysic., lect. 2, nn. 1789-93), even when it is the subject of habits. For example, the physician in knowing health knows its opposite, sickness. The explanation of the ad opposita is based on a difference between intellect and will already mentioned and indicates why will better saves the ratio naturae. It is because intellect receives things in its own mode that oppositions in things do not preclude intellect’s possessing opposites. Appetite, on the other hand, relates to things as they exist, and in existence the presence of one thing eo ipso excludes its opposite. Thus appetite is more ad unum. (QD de caritate, a. 6, ad 8) A further indication that will is more like nature than is intellect is found in the fact that the former moves as an efficient cause and the latter as a formal cause. (IaIIae, q. 9, a. 1, ad 3) That nature is an efficient cause is seen in its ratio propria. (In II Physic. lect 1, n. 194, In X Metaphysic. lect 5, n. 810)

What we have already seen in the analogy of the word nature can also be seen by an analysis of the analogous word virtue. The definition of virtue given by Aristotle in the second book of the Ethics is “that which makes the one having it good and renders his operation good.” Given the recurrence of “good” in the definition as well as the fact that good is the object of appetite, it is difficult to see how we can speak of intellectual virtues. In addressing this difficulty, St. Thomas points out that the reference to the good required for virtue can be either formal or material. (QD de virt. in com, a. 7) A potency is formally related to the good when it bears on it precisely as good, something only appetite can do. A power can be related to the good materially when it bears on a good but not under the formality of goodness. Thus, those habits which have appetite as their subject, or which depend upon appetite, are most properly virtues. Those habits, on the other hand, which are neither in appetite nor dependent upon it, can refer materially to the good and be, in a certain sense, virtues. With this as background, St. Thomas goes on to discuss intellectual virtues.

Both the speculative and practical intellect can be perfected by habits in two ways: first, absolutely and as such, insofar as their acts precede will and move it in the line of formal causality; secondly, insofar as their acts follow on appetite as commanded and elicited by it. Habits generated by acts of the first kind are less properly virtues, since they do not bear on the good formally as such. Intellectus, science, wisdom and art are virtues in this sense. (ibid.)

These habits only render the subject capable of operating in a certain fashion; there is no disposition of appetite relative to the good which is consequent on the possession of these habits. In the classical phrase, they make one able (potens) but not willing (volens). (Ibid.)

Those habits of the speculative and practical intellects which follow on the will are more truly virtues, for by them one is made not only capable of acting correctly but also willing to. St. Thomas shows what he means by analyzing faith and prudence.

By faith, the intellect operates per modum naturae and intellect is not moved by its proper object as in the case of science. Rather, in faith, one assents “through a choice of the will turning to one side [of a contradiction] rather than the other.”(IIaIIae, 1, 4) Will enters into the very specifications of the object of faith, and not merely in the line of efficient causality. (QD de virt. in com., a.7) John of St. Thomas has written some very illuminating pages on the role the will plays in the assent of faith. The will, he says can add nothing to the apprehension of the object, to its evidence, but can render it pleasing. Moved by will (under the influence of grace, of course) determining its object, the intellect assents to the truths of faith because they are pleasing. (Cursus theologicus, In IIamIIae, de fide, disp. 3, vii) Nemo credit nisi volens.

Prudence, a virtue of the practical intellect, does not depend upon the will for the determination of its object but only for its end. Given the will’s ordination to the end of man, prudence seeks the means of attaining this end. We have already seen the dependence of prudence on moral virtue in making its judgment.

An indication of the difference between faith and prudence on the one hand and intellectus, science, wisdom and art on the other can be seen in the fact that a man does not lose the habit of science by not knowing certain truths which pertain to that habit. In the case of faith, however, while faith remains, one cannot believe anything contrary to faith. The reason given is that science inclines per modum rationis, whereas faith inclines per modum naturae. (In III Sent., d. 23, q. 3, ad. 3, sol. 2, ad 2; IIaIIae. 1.4.3m)

These different habits participate in the ratio virtutis, then, in this order: first, moral virtues, then such intellectual habits as faith and prudence, and finally and least properly intellectus, science, wisdom and art. So too with regard to the way in which they imitate nature and incline per modum naturae, the same order obtains. Appetite takes priority over intellect in imitating nature; and habits which have appetite as subject or which depend in a special way upon appetite will incline per modum naturae more properly than purely intellectual habits.

In light of this, it should no longer surprise us to find St. Thomas using the notion of connaturality to speak of knowledge which is in no way affective. Connatural means “in accord with nature,” and since nature means many things, so too will connatural. Thus in speaking of geometry, St. Thomas says that, once a person possesses the science, its objects become connatural to his intellect. It is important to avoid identifying connaturality in such a context with its use in the texts mentioned at the outset of this chapter. And of course it is knowledge through affective connaturality that most Thomists have in mind when they speak of connaturality.

When things are beyond the comprehension of our intellects, affective connaturality assumes a new and awesome importance. We have seen in the remarks of St. Thomas and John of St. Thomas the role which the proper object being insufficient to bring about the assent of intellect, the will moved by grace prompts assent. This assent is not absurd, for the intellect could not assent in this fashion to something which contradicts what it certainly knows. So too in the gift of wisdom, the influence of the will perfected by charity proportions divine things to the intellect, makes it connatural with them so that one judges sapientially, referring everything to God.

3. The Virtue of Art

Our analysis of texts has indicated somewhat precisely the role the will plays in connatural knowledge. We will now go on to see why the notion of judgment by affective connaturality or inclination does not apply to the habit of art.

A virtue, we have seen is a quality which makes the one having it good and renders his operation good. Or, as it is also expressed, that which gives not only the ability, but also the inclination, to act well. It is the central position of good as the object of virtue which led St. Thomas to distinguish between virtues properly so called and those habits which are less properly virtues. There is no question here of judging their respective worth, dignity or desirability. Rather, it is a matter of unequal participation in the ratio virtutis. In analogous names, that which most properly saves the ratio nominis is not always the most perfect in re. Now, since the good enters in a very special way into the ratio signified by the word “virtue,” and since goodness is the proper object of appetite, those habits will most properly be called virtues which have appetite as their subject or which depend in a special way upon appetite. The intellectual virtues of faith and prudence were seen to depend upon appetite as preceding the proper act of reason, and thus they were said to be properly virtues. Of the acquired virtues, intellectus, science, wisdom, habits of the speculative intellect, and art, a habit of the practical intellect, were said to be least properly virtues, The will can move these virtues as an efficient cause insofar as their objects are included under the common notion of the good, but these four habits are of themselves only materially related to the good. (QD de virt. in com., a. 7)

What is of interest here is that art is aligned with the habits of the speculative intellect rather than with prudence when it is a question of how art saves the ratio virtutis. (IaIIae.) 57.3) Art does not make the one possessing it a good man rather it makes him capable of judging correctly what ought to be done if the artifact is to be good. Perfectio artis consistit in iudicando. (IIaIIae.47.8) In order that a man use art well, his appetite must be rectified by moral virtues. (IIaIIae 57.3.2m) Just as in the case of the speculative habits, it does not matter whether the artist is angry, sad or elated when he operates; the artifact can still be well made. The vices of the artist are no less vices, but they do not necessarily affect his art. An indication of the fact that the perfection of art is in the judgment is the frequently quoted remark of Aristotle that the artist who intentionally makes a mistake is better than one who does so unintentionally. In prudence, however, it is less wrong to err unintentionally than intentionally, (IaIIae.57.4; IIaIIae47.8) Since judgment is proper to intellect, it would appear that art is more intellectual than prudence. Not depending on appetite as does prudence, art does not rely on the rectification of appetite relatively to the end of man. Moral virtues are necessary for the good use of art, but that is all (IaIIae.57.1) This is but another indication of art’s affinity with the habits of the speculative intellect.

Thus far it would seem that connaturality, an intrinsic dependence upon appetite, has nothing to do with art any more than it has with the habit of first principles or with science. And yet to settle for this would be to overlook the rather important fact that art is a virtue of the practical intellect. And the practical intellect, unlike the speculative, does not seek knowledge for its own sake but with a view to operation. And whether the operation is doing or making, the role of the will would seem to be somewhat more central than in speculative knowledge. What is more, St. Thomas tells us that art is true with practical truth, and practical truth is the intellect’s conformity with rectified appetite. (IaIIae 57.5.3m)

On the one hand, St. Thomas has said that art like science and wisdom, is not dependent on the rectification of appetite. On the other, he applies the notion of practical truth – a judgment in conformity with rectified appetite – to art. How can these two affirmations possibly be reconciled?

Cajetan, in commenting on the article in question, devotes the bulk of his treatment to art and practical truth. What distinguishes the practical from the speculative, he argues, is not knowledge but the fact that the practical directs. (In IamIae.57.5, n. II) The truth of the direction of the practical intellect must always depend upon rectified appetite. However, Cajetan would distinguish two meanings of rectified appetite in order to maintain the difference between art and prudence. The truth of the direction of the practical intellect in agibilibus is dependent upon conformity with appetite rectified with regard to man’s end. The truth of the direction of practical intellect in matters of art, on the other hand, is dependent upon appetite rectified relatively to the end of art. Cajetan warns the novice in these matters not to confuse the truth of the direction of art with the use of art. Direction and use coincide in the production of the artifact, but they remain formally distinct. (ibid, n. IV)

The difficulty that arises is this: What manner of rectification of appetite is required by art? In prudence, this rectification is had by the possession of the moral virtues, having appetite as their subject. Cajetan has made clear that it is not the moral virtues which give the rectification of appetite that art requires. Does this rectification require virtues at all? If not, why speak of rectification? Is so, precisely what virtues are they supposed to be? A glance at the artistic process as described by St. Thomas dissipates these difficulties.

St. Thomas distinguishes three steps in the actual direction of art. QD de ver. 4.1) Presupposed by this actual direction are a great many things, of course: the knowledge the artist might have, his experience of life and so on. But in the actual direction there is first of all the intentio finis, reason proposing to will the artifact to be made. The next step, the excogitatio formae, is the judging of the means necessary to realize the proposed end. It is here, as we have seen, that the perfection of art lies. Now, the question we are asking is this: Since the judgment of the means will be true by practical truth – that is, in conformity with rectified appetite – what is required on the part of appetite for this rectification? We have already seen that it does not require the rectification which follows on possession of the moral virtues. (John of St. Thomas, Cursus theologicus, In IamIIae, disp. 16, a. 4)

The end of art is contained in the exemplar idea which is present in the mind of the artist. The end of art, unlike that of man as man, is not in affect as by the moral virtues. (QD de ver. 4.1) The judgment of the means of attaining the opus is not dependent of the condition of the appetite as is the judgment of prudence. St. Thomas’s solution of the difficulty is succinct and simple. The will does not require any habitus to perfect it so as to relate it to the end proposed by art. (QD de ver. 5.1) The appetite does not need any virtues to bring it more surely under the control of art; the judgment of art therefore is not affected by appetite. This is why St. Thomas places art with the speculative virtues and not with prudence. This is also why we cannot say that the judgment of art is one by affective connaturality.

4. Poetic Knowledge and Connaturality

Although no one has maintained that the judgment of art is connatural, it has been held that poetic knowledge – as opposed to and presupposed by art – is a type of connatural knowledge. In a chapter already lengthy, it would not do to attempt a detailed analysis of these views. Ours will be the much less ambitious task of seeking in metaphor, which is the proper instrument of the poet, evidence of connatural knowledge.

If, as we have tried to show, the judgment of the means of realizing the idea, which is the proper act of the virtue of art, does not lend itself to the notion of connaturality, it seems that the creative or exemplar idea does. One can be said to judge connaturally when appetite moves the mind in the order of formal causality, coloring and inclining that which specifies the intellect: when affectus transit in conditionem obiecti. (Cursus theologicus, In IIamIIae, disp. 18, a. 4) When a truth which is above the comprehension of the intellect is presented for assent, the will, under the influence of grace, can render the truth, not evident or intelligible, but pleasing. The consequent assent of the intellect is due to a specifying activity of appetite. Could one derive from this the general rule that whenever a connection is not sufficient to move the intellect in the proper line of evidence and truth, appetite can formally influence the judgment by rendering the connection pleasing.

Poetry is said by St. Thomas to be concerned with things which do not have sufficient intelligibility to force the assent of the intellect. (In I Sent., prolog. a. 5, ad 3; IaIIae.101.2.2m) It is because of the lack of truth and cogency that poetry is said to need metaphors in order to seduce reason into assenting. This last remark may be a sign of something which had preceded the poem in the experience of the poet. When one reads Dover Beach, he is presented with a judgment on man’s relation to the universe. Without hazarding an exegesis of the poem, it could be said that the net conclusion is that one’s beloved is the sole refuge in a deluding, malevolent, even irrational, universe. Stated as baldly as this, the idea is not much, but of course that is not how Arnold presents the idea. Appeal is not made directly or solely to the mind; rather, the images and rhythms of the lines get into our viscera and emotions and the “argument” is rendered pleasing and acceptable. If we accept Dover Beach it is not quia verum est but rather quia pacens.

This is hardly revolutionary. Neither does it does it seem forced to say that Arnold, by writing the poem, is allowing us to share in a way he once looked at things. And just as our experience in reading his poem is not an exercise in pure reason, neither, we can surmise, was the experience which the poem conveys a totally rational one. (Some might say “more than rational” but this suggests something other than quantitatively more, as if what were meant is “better than rational” or suprarational. Poetry may be more human than science, but it is for all that infima doctrina.)

If one takes a rather broad view of metaphor as a seeing of things in terms of other things, one might imagine the poet finding a pleasant collatio (later to be expressed in metaphor) to which his intellect can assent. The likening of his love to a rose surely does not appear to the poet as a thought charged with intelligibility and yet, in the very confusion of the comparison, there is that which appetite can transform into something pleasant. The expressed metaphor would result, presumably from a judgment of the virtue of art. How best express the collation that has been rendered pleasant? The answer to this question, it would appear, is found in a rational search for the best verbal expression for the previous confused connection in the poet’s mind.

It would seem that it is something like this that is intended when poetic knowledge is spoken of in terms of affective connaturality. We have seen that, if one is desirous of applying such connaturality to the realm of art, he must attach it to something other than the virtue of art. Perhaps some such appetitive connaturality is involved in the knowledge of the poet; nevertheless, there would seem to be a more profound and more traditional way of speaking of the knowledge of the poet as connatural, this time using the term to signify something other than the influence of appetite on the the judgment of intellect. One thinks of the phrase, poetae nascuntur, poets are born, not made. If it is true that a poet is born such, that his physical make-up (not to be understood superficially) and his imagination are especially apt for finding surprising similitudes among things, then his knowledge would be connatural in a much more basic sense of the term. Is this why Aristotle speaks of a gift for finding metaphors, an inborn gift ingenium, not to be learned, following on the very nature of this man who is a poet? (Poetics 1459a5)

Whatever of these two ways of extending the notion of connaturality to poetic knowledge be chosen, it is certain that there is no place for affective connaturality in speaking of the direction of the virtue of art. Whatever the explanation of it, it is delightfully true that the poet can come upon the world in a grain of sand and render this collation, if not less unlikely, nevertheless pleasingly cogent.

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