Summa Theologiae, Ia q. 14 a. 11 co.:

Et ideo aliter dicendum est, quod, cum Deus sit causa rerum per suam scientiam, ut dictum est, intantum se extendit scientia Dei, inquantum se extendit eius causalitas

What is the effect of se, which comes before extendit, on the meaning of sentence and is it omittable?

1 Answer 1


The verb extendere is transitive, meaning it expects a direct object. The verb means to prolong, spread out, or extend something. So, the se here makes the verb reflexive. The scientia Dei isn't spreading something else out; but rather it is itself spread out so that it extends over a (metaphorical) area.

We could translate the last portion this way: the scope of God's knowledge is equal to the scope of his causality.

Or: God's causality extends as far as his knowledge.

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