Friday, April 3, 2009

Scotus on the Filioque

On this question the Greeks disagree with the Latins. I have found, however, in a note of Lincoln [i.e. Robert Grosseteste] . . . that the Greeks really did not disagree with the Latins, because the opinion of the Greeks is that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son. In this way, therefore, two wise men, one Greek and the other Latin, not lovers of proper speech but of divine zeal, would perhaps find the disagreement not to be real, but one of words, for otherwise either the Latins or the Greeks would be heretics. But who wishes to say that Basil, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, Damascene, Chrysostom and many other excellent doctors are heretics; and for the other part that Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Gregory, Hilary, etc., who were the most excellent Latin doctors, are heretics? Perhaps modern Greeks have added to the aforesaid article from their obstinacy what the preceding doctors have not said or understood. This must be held, therefore, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, because the Church declares this. . . . . . one must say that many things were transmitted explicitly in the later creeds that were contained implicitly in the first ones. Hence, heresies were the occasion of expressing and explaining truths, and therefore, in the first creed it was not necessary to explain, because then there was no heresy. Afterwards, however, there was, and a new creed followed, and with as much authority as those before had. Hence there is no corruption of the first creed, but an explanation; nor did we make another creed, but a new one from it.


--Scotus, Reportatio I-A Dist. 11 Q.2, trans. Wolter and Bychkov.

19 comments:

Fr. Maximus said...

So what heresy was refuted by introducing the Filioque that was not successfully refuted without it?

How is a new Creed not another Creed?

tap said...

Hence there is no corruption of the first creed, but an explanation

This much is clear to everyone who has seen the various explanations put forth by various Catholic "Doctors."

Its only a problem for those who want to obstinatly preserve one more in a list of pretexts for schism

energeticprocession said...

Scotus is incorrect here on the meaning of dia tou Yiou in the Greek Fathers. His understanding is basically the same as that of the Greek Unionists, which is why the controversey to him is rather frustrating and "one of words."

In the Greek Fathers, the meaning of dia tou Yiou expresses that the Spirit *exists* THROUGH or IN the Son, not that Spirit *derives* His existence through the Son. That is the distinction that is lost on the reading of the text (see my paper on Gregory of Nyssa on my blog for the meaning of dia tou Yiou in Gregory).

Without that distinction, that is why Scotus is BOTH genuinely frustrated and confused (his confusion is not inauthentic, not to mention poor translation of the Greek Fathers) and thinks the controversey is "one of words." When I finally figured out what the heck they meant by this phrase, I was like "Ah-ha! So, thhaaatttt's what they mean by dia tou Yiou. On their ground, it is not one of words based on Latin's drawing up texts that show the Greek Father's stating "dia tou Yiou."

Scotus' thinking that it is one of words is also expressed by most modern Roman Catholics for the same reason.

What you will need to ask yourself at that point is if that distinction is sound, patristic, and biblical.

Photios

Michael said...

"In the Greek Fathers, the meaning of dia tou Yiou expresses that the Spirit *exists* THROUGH or IN the Son, not that Spirit *derives* His existence through the Son."

I think there must be some confusion here. We do not affirm that the existence of the Spirit is derived at all. The Spirit has one and the same existence as the Father and the Son. Spiration is a relation of origin ad modum voluntatis; but it is not a derivation of existence.

energeticprocession said...

He is God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God. Nicene Orthodoxy states that the other two hypostases derive their hypostatic existence from the Father. To be 'from another' with a relation of origin as source, is to be derived from that one. Perhaps you are confused by my use of the term 'existence' since for you essence and existence are the same thing in God, rather I mean the hypostasis.

CrimsonCatholic said...

Nicene Orthodoxy states that the other two hypostases derive their hypostatic existence from the Father. To be 'from another' with a relation of origin as source, is to be derived from that one. Perhaps you are confused by my use of the term 'existence' since for you essence and existence are the same thing in God, rather I mean the hypostasis.

I don't think that's the problem. No one denies that the divine Persons are really distinct, and the identity of the essence and existence has never been construed to deny the real existence of the Persons. The Western formulation simply understands the standing in relation as a real difference in mode of possession of existence, divorced from any material, finite, or causal connotations that "derivation" might otherwise suggest.

Once that is clear, the Western formulation only means that the essence is common to all three and that their mode of existence is relationally dependent on one another in a manner that really distinguishes the three. While it uses the same term, "relations of opposition," that one occasionally finds elsewhere, the term is stripped of any metaphysical baggage beyond those two points. That is all one sees in St. Augustine, St. Anselm, or St. Thomas. The vocabulary looks unusual, even suspicious, to someone that has seen those terms in Plotinus. But they have almost nothing to do with each other, except for the Western authors having stuck their own meaning onto what they thought (often inaccurately) that Plotinus was saying. The Western ignorance of Greek philosophy is hardly doubted by anyone; I'm just saying that one can't then turn around and assume that they knew more than they did.

Michael said...

Without disagreeing with you, Mr Prejean, I would just add that I could probably count the times I've seen "relation of opposition" in scholastic literature on one hand. The more usual formulation is "relation of origin".

energeticprocession said...

"While it uses the same term, "relations of opposition," that one occasionally finds elsewhere, the term is stripped of any metaphysical baggage beyond those two points."

An opposite relation is an opposite relation no matter if we're talking Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, Eunomius or Plotinus. Ingeneracy and Generacy are opposites. That holds true for anyone: Palamas, Maximus, Ratramnus, Alcuin, Aquinas, Hegel, Me, You, Perry, Einstein, etc. There is no question that there is an opposed relation between the first and second hypostases. Where we differ is 'what' grounds and constitutes their hypostatic existence.

It doesn't matter how many times it's used. It's used by Florence and has a long pedigree of use after Augustine, in the Carolingian Renaissance, and in Medieval writers.

CrimsonCatholic said...

An opposite relation is an opposite relation no matter if we're talking Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, Eunomius or Plotinus.

I don't think so. There are opposite relations between contraries (which is what Plotinus has in mind) and then there are opposite relations in which the opposition is purely relational. For the latter, consider the opposition between the north and south poles of the magnet; the north is not the south, and the south is not the north. But the north is in no sense contrary to the south; indeed, without the relationship, there is no magnet at all. To say a magnet has two poles is not to say that there is more than one magnet or that the north and south pole are contrary forces that result in a balance between the two.

Granted, if your ontological conception of reality is about opposition between contraries, like, e.g., Origen, and your philosophical method is based on this sort of dialectic, that's a problem, because those sorts of dualities always involve contraries. Then you might need to employ a device from, e.g., Plotinus by which God transcended this opposition, by which one might even say he was "beyond being." But you might need to purify that conception in some sense, using, e.g., categorical distinctions from earlier Greek philosophy so that this could not be construed to completely deny the reality of theological knowledge about God. Say, just hypothetically, it could be a distinction in classical medicine between the power to produce effects and the nature of the thing itself. And one could then, just hypothetically of course, map that same distinction between the known effects (or we might call them energies) and the nature of a thing onto God so as to resolve the difficulty. All just hypothetically, mind you.

But my point would then be: can't you deny the consequence if you deny the antecedent? And if your metaphysics of existence were, e.g., based on non-contrary relations, wouldn't that amount to a sufficient basis for denying the antecedent? And what if, e.g., someone had (just speculating, of course) actually come up with an example used solely to show that parts could be distinguished in some part without division or separation, like, say, the parts of the soul?

Let's take it even further, abstracted to its purest form, where the only thing that you say about such relations is that they are purely exclusive, so that no two distinct things can stand in the same relational place with respect to another. And let's call that relationship N-S, taking our inspiration from the magnet. I wonder how many unique entities one might be able to have in mutual binary interrelationship with one another, such that all entities are unique?

You might have one that was in N-position to both of the others. There is one in N-position and one in S-position. And there is one in S-position to both of the others. That's it. Let's call these entities by the letters F, S, and H, so you have:
F = (N,N)
S = (N,S)
H = (S,S)

Now, so long as being in the N position is not viewed as a separate property in counter-distinction. And if you view the relations as perfectly symmetric, so that it is arbitrary to define N as against S (which makes sense, because the relations themselves have been stripped of any content other than distinction), then this is nothing other than a naming convention for the three entities. Thus, one can adopt a convention for uniquely identifying them, a taxis, without any hint that any one is inferior to any other. That is exactly what the filioque does; it is purely a naming convention based on the economically revealed taxis.

But one would have to break the cognitive habit of seeing a contrary in every distinction in order to see that. Otherwise, the language would be seen as more than just a naming convention, but rather a positive assertion over and above what is revealed that the Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit, the Son is not the Father or the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son. Do you see the difficulty?

It took me a while to understand the dogmatic purpose of saying the filioque, because it looked to me like a mere concession to the Gothic Arians, so that orthodoxy and their beliefs would sound the same. But after studying it in more detail, I realized it was actually a rebuke of the assertion that there was no way to carry the Trinitarian taxis into theology, and therefore, the revealed taxis of the economy demonstrated that the Father and the Son were merely like in substance. That was a uniquely Western Homoian argument regarding the visibility of the Son (persisting through Spanish Adoptionism) that had no counterpart among the Eastern Homoians or the Eunomians, and that's why the filioque arose in the West and not the East. That was my "aha!" moment for Augustine, and when Fr. Maspero confirmed my understanding with regard to Gregory of Nyssa, that clinched it for me. The schism is a perfect accident of lack of communication between the West and the East, because each hears the voice of their respective Arian heretics in the other. That doesn't entirely resolve the problems, particularly with respect to the vision of God, but it does get beyond a pure Triadological conflict.

CrimsonCatholic said...

P.S., this is just a continuation of the same point I made regarding Fr. Maspero's interpretation of "dia tou Yiou" here:
http://crimsoncatholic.blogspot.com/2008/06/filioque-footnote.html

That poast had dropped off the first page, and I forgot to link it on the right, so it probably just dropped out of memory. I'll remedy that by adding it to my Western theology sidebar.

Michael said...

Mr Prejean,

many thanks for your contributions. I had not seen the post you link to, but it's obviously relevant to the recent discussions here.

CrimsonCatholic said...

At your service, Mr. Sullivan. I sympathize with your being unable to just pull books off the shelf at will; my own books are boxed at the moment. But I hope that there is already enough out there to show that what the Western view had in mind by the filioque and divine simplicity ad intra was simply an exposition of what the Orthodox Eastern Fathers had already said regarding the theological order of the divine Persons. Granted, it requires the admission that those Fathers did not have in mind exactly what Photius or Gregory II of Cyprus or John Damascene or Gregory Palamas though they did (or more accurately, that they did not have in mind *only* what those interpreters thought they did). But given that this more easily explains the harmony between those Eastern Fathers and their Western counterparts Augustine, Hilary, Ambrose, and Leo, that should not be an admission that anyone is reluctant to make.

energeticprocession said...

"There are opposite relations between contraries (which is what Plotinus has in mind) and then there are opposite relations in which the opposition is purely relational. For the latter, consider the opposition between the north and south poles of the magnet; the north is not the south, and the south is not the north."

That is exactly how Plotinus contrues the One-Nous. The One cannot BE THE One without the Nous as Many (or it would not be One and simple) nor could it BE the One without the production of multiplicity. The One is no wise contrary (to use your terminology) to any manifestation in the hierarchy of Being. It is present throughout.

"Then you might need to employ a device from, e.g., Plotinus by which God transcended this opposition, by which one might even say he was "beyond being." But you might need to purify that conception in some sense, using, e.g., categorical distinctions from earlier Greek philosophy so that this could not be construed to completely deny the reality of theological knowledge about God. Say, just hypothetically, it could be a distinction in classical medicine between the power to produce effects and the nature of the thing itself. And one could then, just hypothetically of course, map that same distinction between the known effects (or we might call them energies) and the nature of a thing onto God so as to resolve the difficulty."

I have no clue what you are attempting to say here.

"And let's call that relationship N-S, taking our inspiration from the magnet. I wonder how many unique entities one might be able to have in mutual binary interrelationship with one another, such that all entities are unique?"

Spiration doesn't fit the dialectical binary relationship. That's why that method is a non-starter from the get-go. Spiration simply bursts the categories. Unlike Ingenerate - generacy, spiration has no dialectical opposite.

"You might have one that was in N-position to both of the others. There is one in N-position and one in S-position. And there is one in S-position to both of the others. That's it. Let's call these entities by the letters F, S, and H, so you have:
F = (N,N)
S = (N,S)
H = (S,S)"

Ah!Carolingian. I'm glad I studied them. This binary simply destroys the reality that consists between generation and spiration. In other words, they only differ as to the classes of causes. I.e. the Son comes from One and the Spirit comes from Two. That's it. Of course you could come up with other ways to construe the binary. The Spirit need not be [S,S], he can very well be [S,N]. Why? Because the taxis is equally valid this way as well. This is the problem with taking the usual economic taxis of F, S, HS when their is an equal economic taxis of F, HS, S. Notice in your view, there is no real consubstantiality, because the Son shares properties of both where the Father and HS do not. AND! The Son in this view IS the nexus amoris, because he is the real Hegellian synthesis between [N,N] and its dialectical opposite of [S,S], by being [N,S].

Also, go look at the way Hermes Trimagistes distinguishes Theos (God), Kosmos, and Topos (space) on this type of structure:

Theos:
f1: knows Himself
f2: unmoved, rest
f3: incorporeal

Topos:
f1: Not known to self
f2: unmoved, at rest
f3: incorporeal

Kosmos:
f1: not known to self
f2: in motion
f3: corporeal

Why the similarity in structure? Because Neoplatonic Hermeticism embodies in the language of metaphysics and religion a very sophisticated form of ***analogical and relational typology.*** It is this physics that it means to preserve and then resell it as popularized "sacred science." This structure (though absolutely true) has nothing to do with the Trinity.

"That was a uniquely Western Homoian argument regarding the visibility of the Son (persisting through Spanish Adoptionism) that had no counterpart among the Eastern Homoians or the Eunomians, and that's why the filioque arose in the West and not the East."

The Western Homoians differ from traditional Arianism in about the same way that Eunomius does. They are all different nuances of the same structural problem. Gregory of Nyssa just doesn't argue against Eunomius and the Son's status, he argues against the very structure that you have outlined and calls it blasphemous.

"Fr. Maspero confirmed my understanding with regard to Gregory of Nyssa, that clinched it for me."

Fr. Maspero is simply reading Augustinism into the text. Gregory no where states that the Spirit is the bond of love between Father and Son qua person. It is the Monarchy of the Father that constitutes each Person (On the Lord's Prayer, Contra Eunomium). Fr. Maspero's chronology of texts runs counter to the previous received tradition of when Gregory wrote On Not Three Gods. That in and of itself makes the hypothesis (that's all it is) fairly dubious if not tendentious to make Gregory fit a paradigm he is not a part of. Furthermore, there is no refutation of my argument on the structure of Contra Eunomium. Now, you're gonna tell me that Gregory calls this structure blasphemous in Contra Eunomium only to later re-present the Eunomian structure in Not Three Gods (if we take Maspero's dating) when Constantinople I was already reacting to this when it says the Holy Spirit proceeds from the FATHER? That makes no sense.

Photios

energeticprocession said...

*typology* should say *topology*

Michael said...

I don't mean to defend Mr Prejean's comments at every turn--he can do that himself if he likes--but I have a few remarks.

"That is exactly how Plotinus" etc. In my opinion this whole way of arguing is totally irrelevant. Similarity of argument does not mean identity of positions. It's all too common in the history of thought to fail to refute the thinker or position in question and instead choose to refute a supposed forebear.



On a side note, my (recently finished?) dissertation argues among other things that just such a thing happened when St Thomas refutes Avicebron on spiritual matter and thinks that he has thereby refuted Bonaventure and the Franciscan tradition. It turns out that, despite some similar-sounding formulations, the actual positions and arguments of Bonaventure and co. are worlds away from Avicebron, making Thomas' critique largely irrelevant--nobody was using Avicebron to defend their doctrine. It seems to me that something similar is happening here. Nobody in the high middle ages is using Plotinus, Hermes, Origin, Eunomius, or any such figure to defend their positions. And yet you choose to lump the scholastics in with these guys and fight against these guys rather than fight against what the scholastics actually say. For my money that technique is inaccurate and ineffective. Why not try to understand and argue with Scotus? Or, barring that, stay out of a discussion of Scotus' trinitarian theology?

"I have no clue what you are attempting to say here."

He's obviously attempting to say that the East's use of the energies/essence distinction is as much an appropriation and retasking of earlier philosophical concepts in service of theological explanation as anything that the West does.

"Spiration simply bursts the categories. Unlike Ingenerate - generacy, spiration has no dialectical opposite."

Just as Paternity is the correlate of Filiation, so active Spiration is the correlate of passive Spiration. The distinction is between the spirantes and the spiratus.

"Notice in your view, there is no real consubstantiality, because the Son shares properties of both where the Father and HS do not."

You are the one here failing to distinguish between nature and person. The relations of origin between the Persons are not substantial, and it is only by these that they differ from each other. Consubstantiality is just not affected here, and if you think it is you have seriously misinterpreted the position.

Furthermore, the Son does not share a property with the Spirit that the Father does not. As has already been admitted on all sides, "Proceeds from the Father" or "not innascible" etc. are not properties, but facts about the Persons. The Son does not share either passive spiration or filiation with the Spirit, so what property is he supposed to share?

energeticprocession said...

Michael,

How I handle you and how I handle Mr. Prejean are very much distinct. I recognize that your arguments via Scotus are different and unique.

Jonathan's argument is based on a binary from/not-from dialectic. That is the basis of F [N,N], S [N,S], HS [S,S].
So, to your question of "Why not try to understand and argue with Scotus?" The answer is that in this presentation my Jonathan, I'm NOT arguing with Scotus but rather the more familiar ground of Alcuin or Anselm which is the dominant defense of the filioque.

If you wish to be treated differently from THAT, I already concede this to you.

Photios

CrimsonCatholic said...

PJ> That is exactly how Plotinus contrues the One-Nous. The One cannot BE THE One without the Nous as Many (or it would not be One and simple) nor could it BE the One without the production of multiplicity. The One is no wise contrary (to use your terminology) to any manifestation in the hierarchy of Being. It is present throughout.

JP> That should be the first clue that Augustine doesn't agree with Plotinus, but in any case, that sort of dyadic relation is what I mean by contraries. The One requires its negation to be what it is. By contrast, the Son is, for example, in no sense the negation of what the Father is. They are both identically God. If the magnetic pole analogy is unhelpful in that sense, then the three quark colors forming elementary particles work just as well. There is no negation involved in the kinds, just different complementary states of the same kind of thing.

PJ> Spiration doesn't fit the dialectical binary relationship. That's why that method is a non-starter from the get-go. Spiration simply bursts the categories. Unlike Ingenerate - generacy, spiration has no dialectical opposite.

JP> That's why the formulation I proposed says nothing other than that the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son in a sense different from the one they are different from each other, which is why He is viewed as unifying both. Spiration is orthogonal to both, again like the quark analogy (maybe I should just stick with that one).

To fast forward to the later remark, you said "Jonathan's argument is based on a binary from/not-from dialectic. That is the basis of F [N,N], S [N,S], HS [S,S]." If speaking that way is out of bounds, then Leo's statement that the Holy Spirit is "ab utroque" (from both of them) would be equally heretical, so it's not just a Carolingian problem. All I am suggesting in this illustration is that the Holy Spirit is different from the Father and the Son in a way different from the way they are different from one another. The causal baggage for that term is no part of the formulation, nor has it been historically. Moving on.

PJ>The Spirit need not be [S,S], he can very well be [S,N]. Why? Because the taxis is equally valid this way as well.

JP> Equally valid, yes, but you have to pick one convention or the other (you can't have it both ways simultaneously). Indeed, by affirming that there has to be a naming convention, one guarantees that the sort of confusion you describe cannot take place.

PJ> Notice in your view, there is no real consubstantiality, because the Son shares properties of both where the Father and HS do not. AND! The Son in this view IS the nexus amoris, because he is the real Hegellian synthesis between [N,N] and its dialectical opposite of [S,S], by being [N,S].

JP> Different senses. That's what I mean by not being contraries of one another. Being S of the Father is not the negation of being N of the Holy Spirit; the axes are orthogonal. The analogy to the Hermitian framework is a different formalism, because the properties that are opposed (self-knowing, mobility, corporeality) are opposed in the same way, which is why I agree that is has nothing to do with the Trinity. (Although, in a ferocious attack of irony, orthogonal basis operators are called Hermitian matrices after the mathematician Charles Hermite!)

PJ> The Western Homoians differ from traditional Arianism in about the same way that Eunomius does. They are all different nuances of the same structural problem.

JP> The nuance to structure is relevant in this case, because the responses were crafted to the nuances. For instance, Eunomians argued that the essence was knowable, while Eastern Homoians argued by exaggerating the unknowability of the essence, so the responses to each were very different.

PJ> Gregory of Nyssa just doesn't argue against Eunomius and the Son's status, he argues against the very structure that you have outlined and calls it blasphemous.

JP> No, he argues against the structure *you* outlined, which was a dialectic of contraries. He appears to have been supportive of the structure I outlined, which is formally different. Indeed, it was so different that the latter seems not to even have been considered relevant to the heresy that Eunomius was teaching.

PJ> Fr. Maspero is simply reading Augustinism into the text. Gregory no where states that the Spirit is the bond of love between Father and Son qua person. It is the Monarchy of the Father that constitutes each Person (On the Lord's Prayer, Contra Eunomium).

JP> Synodikon is Gregory's term, not Augustine's. As to the monarchy of the Father constituting each person, my formalism says nothing other than that the Holy Spirit differs from the Father and the Son in a way different than the way in which they differ from each other. The Father is the reference in any case.

PJ> Fr. Maspero's chronology of texts runs counter to the previous received tradition of when Gregory wrote On Not Three Gods. That in and of itself makes the hypothesis (that's all it is) fairly dubious if not tendentious to make Gregory fit a paradigm he is not a part of. Furthermore, there is no refutation of my argument on the structure of Contra Eunomium. Now, you're gonna tell me that Gregory calls this structure blasphemous in Contra Eunomium only to later re-present the Eunomian structure in Not Three Gods (if we take Maspero's dating) when Constantinople I was already reacting to this when it says the Holy Spirit proceeds from the FATHER? That makes no sense.

JP> It all makes perfect sense if the respective structures are formally different. I don't know what you mean by "received tradition" in terms of chronology, so I can't really speak to that. If you mean in terms of collections to emphasize more and more definiteness in certain themes, that can be done without prejudice to the chronological order (the Gospels are a good example). With respect to the chronological argument, I certainly don't see anything tendentious in Fr. Maspero's argument; it is a relatively mundane exercise in textual critism.

If I could boil this whole thing down to a single point, it would be exactly what Mr. Sullivan ably points out: not every correct statement delineates a property, nor is every relation of opposition based on a negation. If not, then everything you've said about dialectic simply doesn't apply. Fr. Maspero's dating of Gregory's works strongly suggest that even Gregory did not consider the sort of formalism that I am advocating as being in even the same ballpark as Eunomius. Rather, he considered it a useful illustration for his friend Ablabius.

energeticprocession said...

"By contrast, the Son is, for example, in no sense the negation of what the Father is."

Are you saying that generacy can BE generacy without ingeneracy?

Plotinus' opposed relations is built on the back of the principle of non-contradiction. I thought that was a good principle? Of course Plotinus is correct here and your making more of the word "contrary" then what it really is. Your trying to drive a wedge between the two terms contrary and opposition that isn't working or very convincing. What Plotinus can't do is disentangle the principle of distinction from the principle of non-contradiction, but that has little to do with what you are saying. Son and Spirit are distinct but they are not construed one opposite to the other orthogonally from an ingenerate-generate line. Their difference is simply in their mode of derivation from the Father. That’s it.

"Spiration is orthogonal to both"

An orthogonal line is still opposite a parallel, that's why it is an opposed relation. On your gloss the Son shares properties of both the other persons. I showed plainly that the N-S from/not-from dialectic is inadequate. It simply exposes itself to its own Arian assumptions. Saying that it is really only qua person is an assertion without an argument.

"If speaking that way is out of bounds, then Leo's statement that the Holy Spirit is "ab utroque" (from both of them) would be equally heretical, so it's not just a Carolingian problem."

Of course, if Leo meant that, Leo's formulation would be equally heretical. That's quite possible he holds to a very very bad view, Leo isn't a model for Trinitarian Orthodoxy. It is doubtful considering he starts from Person and moves to essence in his theology (a proper ordo theologiae). But I defer to Azkoul's reading here on the Latin text. It seems that Leo is concerned here in asserting the procession to protect consubstantiality. That should raise a red flag that he's not talking about hypostatic procession, since hypostatic procession isn't about the *what* of a person, but the uniqueness and complete disanalogy of the person.

"The analogy to the Hermitian framework is a different formalism, because the properties that are opposed (self-knowing, mobility, corporeality) are opposed in the same way, which is why I agree that is has nothing to do with the Trinity. (Although, in a ferocious attack of irony, orthogonal basis operators are called Hermitian matrices after the mathematician Charles Hermite!)"

What I am suggesting is that you differ from Hermes only ontically. You've kept the structure intact and just moved it up the chain of being and called it at that level-deity. Now everything Hermes says about "sacred science" is undoubtedly in my mind true, but it has nothing to do with theology and metaphysics and everything to do with physics. But to move that structure that thesis-antithesis-synthesis into the Trinity is what we mean by Hellenization of the gospel.

"No, he argues against the structure *you* outlined, which was a dialectic of contraries. He appears to have been supportive of the structure I outlined, which is formally different."

No he argues against the structure period, that's why Gregory's structure in Contra Eunomium is Triadic-there is no straight line monarchy as with the Carolingian or with Eunomius or one line orthogonal to another line. There is no interposition of person, energy or operation between the persons. Your position leaves no refutation of Eunomius.

Gregory's structure looks like a Henad with two arms hanging that are completely different in Contra Eunomium. For Gregory there is no analog for generation or procession.

One cannot hold consistently the consubstantiality of the persons with this structure. It is not possible. This is why Gregory proves their consubstantiality based on Scripture and combing through the texts finding how each Person operates. If they perform the same kind of operation and can perform all of them then they must be of the same nature. If not, they are either of a dissimilar nature or only partake of this nature.

CrimsonCatholic said...

"Gregory's structure looks like a Henad with two arms hanging that are completely different in Contra Eunomium. For Gregory there is no analog for generation or procession."

We're saying the same thing, but neither the polar relationship nor the orthogonal relationship seems to be helping. Let's try phase space instead. "Real" and "imaginary" refer there only to relative modes compared to some common origin, and "real" and "imaginary" obviously aren't perpendicular to one another (although they could be illustrated that way).

If we disregard magnitude (meaning that the i^2=-(1^2) relationship is irrelevant), then the phase space could be defined in terms of direction by only two directions, say, [1 0] and [0 i]. 1 and i aren't opposites; they aren't perpendicular; they're just two completely independent relations to the origin. Now you could define the relationships as against the origin by subscripts, like (0,0), (1,0), and (0,1). But in logical terms, one could also define (0,1) as being not-(1,0).

As long as you know the referent refers to two independent modes of difference, then the "from" or "not" part is not saying anything different from saying that you have two different relations (1 and i). If you didn't know that, then it could appear that there was no difference between the 1 relation and the i relation, so that the "not" relation would be viewed as just one more step in the chain 0->1->2. But if you know that not-1 means going in an entirely different direction (i), then it's not a problem.

In the West, the shorthand for the entirely different modes is by the psychological analogy to will and intellect with the mind itself. But conceptually, those are just placeholders, like the labels "real" and "imaginary" being used to denote the difference between modes with respect to the origin. All that it says is that they are modes independent but related in a single unity.

What we have to keep in mind the whole time is that, just as in the case of the concepts "real" and "imaginary," this is a logical structure formed of "beings of reason" that we create to help us understand something that we can't observe directly, seeing only its effects. We don't directly observe the phase of light waves; we see light intensity and reason back to the concept of phase. There are no imaginary units out there that you can pick up and count. So what I am talking about here is about not seeing the Persons or having any direct understanding, but seeing their common operation and using these concepts to say what we can't see based on what we can.

As far as I can tell, and I have read a LOT on how tradition was preserved in Western monasteries and how Augustinianism came through the Cistercian tradition, what I've said above is what Augustine was taken to have been saying about the Trinity, particularly with respect to the filioque. Personally, I think it is also actually what Augustine was saying about the Trinity (and Leo and Gregory followed him), but in any case, by the time it got through Bernard to Bonaventure, Aquinas, and Scotus, that was the traditional understanding of the filioque, even if it was never articulated.