Monday, October 20, 2008

The Socratic Ass and Denominative Predication

Here's a bit on denominative predication from St. Bonaventure, a topic that I have always been a bit shaky on. No translation, as I've been taking heat on their poor quality.

III Sent. d. 4 a.1 q.3 ad 4

"...dicendum quod praedicatio denominativa potest esse quatuor modis: per modum inhaerentiae, ut cum dicitur 'iste est albus'; per modum transmutationis, ut cum dicitur 'Petrus est dealbatus'; per modum possessionis, ut cum dicitur 'asinus Socraticus'; et per modum unionis, ut cum dicitur 'ferrum ignitum', id est igni unitum. Cum ergo dicitur quod praedicatio denominativa est accidentis, dicendum quod verum est quando est per modum inhaerentis, non autem est verum si semper intelligatur de praedicatione denominativa secundum alios modos. Cum autem dicitur 'Christus est humanatus', non est ibi praedicatio per modum inhaerentis, sed per modum unionis et relationis. Et ideo non sequitur quod humana natura sit accidens; nec sequitur ex hoc quod persona dvina sit mutata, quia, quamvis mutatio absoluta in accidente ponat mutationem in subiecto, introductio tamen ipsius relationis in esse potest esse ex mutatione facta in altero extremo."

Rant of the day: A few pages over from this I found a discussion by Bonaventure on the Lombard's three Christologies (if you recall, certain Thomists claim that Thomas, being the great reader of ancient councils that he was, managed to avoid heresy because he found the acts of one of the more obscure councils and endorsed the only possible option out of the Lombard's three while Scotus, because he was so dumb and uneducated, fell into heresy by endorsing the wrong one--of course, since Ordinatio III has been edited, it's clear there that Scotus thinks the question is booo-ring, and he cites a decree of Alexander III that had been incorporated into Gratian and opts for the correct option). Big surprise. Bonaventure also says that only one option is possible in his day and that it is commonly held by the Doctors. Yawn.


Unknown said...

In your quotation from Bonaventure, the word `zelationis' appears where Bonaventure, in fact, refers to `relationis'. Here's a rough translation of the whole:

[W]e should say that denominative predication can be in four modes:
[1] by the mode of inherence, as when we say `this guy is white';
[2] by the mode of transmutation, as when we say `Peter has be unwhitened';
[3] by the mode of possession, as when we say `the ass is Socratic' or rather belongs to Socrates;
and [4] by the mode of union, as when we say `the iron is ignited', that is united to fire.

When, therefore, we say that denominative predication pertains to an accident,
we must say that that is true for the mode of inherence,
but it is not always true for denominative predication according to the other modes.
Moreover, when we say `Christ is humanized', this is not predication by the mode of inherence, but by the mode of union and relation.
And therefore it is does not follow that human nature is an accident,
nor does it follow that the divine person has been changed,
since although absolute transformation in an accident supposes a change in the subject,
bringing a relation into existence can result from a change made in either extreme.

Lee Faber said...

Thanks, unknown.