virtual similitude

“[I]t is true that a form of impressed specification is a representative similitude of an object, but in the mode of a principle of cognition, not in the mode of a formal awareness or of supposing an awareness to which it would represent, and for this reason it is called a virtual similitude, because it is a principle whence arises a formal similitude and formal awareness. But as a result of this the rationale of a sign is wanting in an impressed specifier, because even though it is a similitude of an object and a representation uniting and making an object present to a cognitive power, it does not posit the object present to cognition m, but is a principle of cognition.” (John Poinsot, Treatise on Signs, pp. 258-259)

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