He argues that Hobbes's atomic materialism involves the conception of an objective physical world, the object not of passive sense that varies from man to man, but of the active intellect that is the same in all; there is therefore, he urges, an inconsistency in refusing to admit a similar exercise of intellect in morals, and an objective world of right and wrong, which the mind by its normal activity clearly apprehends as such.
For De Maillet not only has a definite conception of the plasticity of living things, and of the production of existing species by the modification of their predecessors, but he clearly apprehends the cardinal maxim of modern geological science, that the explanation of the structure of the globe is to be sought in the deductive application to geological phenomena of the principles established inductively by the study of the present course of nature.
Nois in Plato and Aristotle is used both widely for all the meanings which "reason" can have, and strictly for the faculty which apprehends intuitively.
Thus, in the Republic, van is the faculty which apprehends necessary truth, while 60 a (opinion) is concerned with phenomena.
Just as there is a faculty which apprehends beauty in the sphere of art, so there is in the sphere of ethics a faculty which determines the value of actions.