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ABSTRACT

The progression of Dante's pilgrimage from Hell to Paradise is the paradigmatic expression of comedy, since the work begins with the pilgrim's moral confusion and ends with the vision of God. The unfolding of the secrets of nature by the enquiring mind generates an allegory of intellectual pilgrimage toward truth. The intellective power or intendimento of the intelligences moves Dante to an utterance which only these same powers can fully understand. For Dante, first and foremost a poet of love, the experience of acquiring philosophical understanding has an important psychological component. Dante is establishing a relationship between secular knowledge and the truth that Beatrice embodies analogous to the relation Thomas establishes between philosophy and theology proper. (SEP)

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