Sacramentum Mundi Online

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1. The concept. Reflection was first studied by the neo-Platonists under the heading of ἐπιστροφή, and their approach was taken up and developed by St. Augustine, St. Bonaventure and St. Thomas Aquinas. According to Aquinas, the mind knows truth insofar as it turns back on itself (supra seipsum reflectitur) , in which act it grasps not only its activity but its nature, which is to assimilate itself to things (De Veritate, q. 1, a. 9; cf. Contra Gentiles, IV, cap. 11; In Librum de causis, prop. 13 and 15). At the beginning of modern times, Descartes’s effort to establish the val…

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Johannes Baptist Lotz, “Reflection”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 23 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2016

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