Tuesday, May 22, 2007

At least Scotus can count!

The Lord Denethor is found of pointing out Scotus' inconsistent use of the subjunctive and his poor education and limited reading in the Christian tradition. The implication is that Henry of Ghent is the preferred theologian and philosopher, as he uses near-Ciceronian periods that are always grammatically correct and quotes the fathers ad nauseum to make the most basic of points. The other day I was reading Scotus's discussion of the immutability of God (Ordinatio I d. 8 pars 2 q. unica) and came across a curious fact, to wit, that even the great and learned Henry of Ghent is prone to the most basic errors. In Henry's Quodlibet VIII q. 9 in corp. the master from Ghent enumerates eleven modos essendi; but in his exposition of them, Scotus refers to them as ten ways (though there is a variant in one ms. that gives decem like Henry), and the Vatican editors have inserted a footnote in there, which reads, "Henricus sane de 'undecim' modis loquitur, at revera decem tantummodo habet, eo quod unum eorum bis computat."

'nuff said.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Is it just me, or isn't knowledge of grammar and one's tradition more important than the ability to avoid simple computation errors 100% of the time, rather than simply most of the time? (Assuming H. of G. doesn't do this sort of thing frequently.)

I should think so. (See! I can use the subjunctive! I'm smarter than Scotus! And smarter than you! 'Cause you're dumb.)