Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Word of the Day: Aliusitas

Today's word of the day is aliusitas. It apparently is a certian kind of alietas. I am not exactly sure what kind. As one might surmise, it comes from the 14th century theologian and Scotist philosopher Peter Thomae, from his Formalitates seu Quaestiones de modis distinctionis q.5 a.4. Here it is, in all its glorious context.

Omnis enim alietas vel facit aliud et sic potest vocari alietas aliuditatis vel alium et sic alietas aliusitatis; et ista alietas est proprie inter diversa supposita sicut prima inter diversas essentias; vel facit alterum et haec est alietas alteritatis quae est non alietas essentiae nec suppositi sed alicuius accidentalis dispositionis.

Honestly, I don't even know how to translate this. "For otherness either makes another and so can be called otherness of otherness, or other, and so otherness of [some other kind of otherness]; and that otherness is properly between diverse supposits, just as first among diverse essences. Or it makes an other, and this is otherness of otherness which is not otherness of essence or supposit but otherness of an accidental disposition.

Admittedly, it is utterly out of context.

9 comments:

Michael said...

I suggest:

alietas=otherness
aliusitas=otherosity
mirabilitas blogi=blog awsomeness

Michael said...

That's of course, taking "blog" as

blogum
blogi
blogo
blogum
blogo

blogi
blogorum
blogis
blogos
blogis

Michael said...

Also (sorry I didn't think of all this in time for one comment) you have enmeshed yourself in a contradiction with "all its glorious context" and "utterly out of context". Clearly scholastic decadence has gotten the better of you.

Brunellus said...

Nice.  I make the translation (leaving the technical terms in Latin for sanity's sake):

"For every otherness either (i) makes aliud, in which case it may be called otherness of aliuditas, or (ii) makes alius, in which case it may be called otherness of aliusitas – and the second otherness is properly between different supposits, just as the first was between different essences – or (iii) makes alter, and this one is otherness of alteritas, which is otherness neither of essence nor of supposit but of some accidental disposition.

Cf. for amusement's sake Jonathan Westphal, ‘The Complexity of Quality’ (1984):

‘The colour-patch, a logically particularized manifestation, will like a haecceitas always defy description, because it is a confusion, a kind of metaphysical shadow thrown up by the radical misunderstanding of 'this'.  To be this is not to possess an extra essence, but just to be whatever I happen to be pointing at or drawing attention to.  (And if there were such a thing as a haecceitas, why not also an illuditas, or for that matter the practically existentialist aliuditas – thisness, thatness, and the otherness?)’

Lee Faber said...

Brunellus, that's a great quote. I ran this by a classicist friend of mine who suggested "other-thing-ness" and "other-person-ness" which does do justice to the grammar, which I had missed.

Michael, actually, I prefer to think I was equivocating on "context"; in the first instance, context is the relation of the word to the sentence. In the second instance, the relation of the paragraph to the page/article/question.

Michael said...

Oh you scholastics, you think you can get out of everything by distinguishing!

Anonymous said...

"Oh you scholastics, you think you can get out of everything by distinguishing!"

This blog is interesting for the very fact that it was here that I found out Bill Clinton is actually a Scholastic, given that he had sought out the very definition of "is" (i.e., essentia?), as in the Lewinski affair.

"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."

- From 20th Century Scholastics Great, Bill Clinton

Michael said...

Clinton was attempting to make the weaker ratio seem the stronger, working in the interest of obscurity, not truth. Not a good scholastic, then. In the middle ages he would have remained in the Arts faculty.

Anonymous said...

In the middle ages he would have remained in the Arts faculty.


Michael,

Thanks for that --

This seems to confirm a certain detail in the Thomas Woods' book and also that old cliche that those who can't teach.

(Hope you guys aren't academics; if so, my apologies in advance and, certainly, present company excepted, of course.)