The cognitive power of reason refers to the intellect and the power of reason always points back to the intellect. It is against this backdrop that one will have the power to know the good from the bad (Williams 116, Spade 209). The intellectual view that a person may hold must be powered by reason and this is the point at which the two meet. Reason can therefore be regarded as the end to itself while intellect has to borrow a lot from reason. Reason directs the intellect and the intellect cannot do the same for reason. Even so, the two have to work together where one is an intermediary to the making of choices (McDonald 34). Taking into account the argument by cant, there is a thin line between the two and that is where the difference originates. Even so, through reason, humans view the world and through intellect, they find meaning in it.
Relation between Intellect and Reason
Reason is the ability to perceive ideas but then intellect is used to give meaning to these ideas (Barnett 18, Hall, 319). Reason normally comes into play when judgment sets in because intellect will judge and separate while reason finds the missing links and bring out meaning. Insofar as the two are concerned, the human mind has two fold tasks, first, it creates concepts and secondly, it brings together separate concepts to find meaning; the creation of concepts calls for reason while the sampling of these concepts calls for the intellect and this happens concurrently (Cross 23). All these can be summed up as one uniting power that creates distinction between concepts and ideas.
Barnett, Robert. The Idea of Higher Education. Burkingham: Open University Press. 1990
Cross, Richard. Duns Scotus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999
Hall, Pamela. Narrative and the Natural Law: An Interpretation of Thomistic Ethics. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. 1994.
MacDonald, Scott. “Ultimate Ends in Practical Reasoning: Aquinas’s Aristotelian Moral Psychology and Anscombe’s Fallacy,” The Philosophical Review 100 (1991): 31-65.
Spade, Paul Vincent. The Cambridge Companion to Ockham (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999
Williams, Thomas. The Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003