Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pop Quiz

Who said this?

" hoc modo esse potest intelligi sine vero, sed non e converso: quia verum non est in ratione entis, sed ens in ratione veri; sicut potest aliquis intelligere ens, et tamen non intelligit aliquid de ratione intelligibilitatis; sed nunquam potst intelligi intelligibile, secundum hanc rationem, nisi intelligatur ens. Unde etiam patet quod ens est prima conceptio intellectus."

in this way being can be understood without the true but not contrariwise, because the true is not in the definition of being but being is in the defintion of the ture; just as someone can understand being, and not understand something from the notion of intelligibility; but the intelligible can never be understood, according to this aspect, unless being is understood. Hence it is clear that being is the first conception of the intellect.

The answer is in the comments section.


Lee Faber said...

Aquinas, I sent. d. 19 q.5 a.1 corp.

Hope it wasn't too easy

berenike said...

I knew it, so it probably is too easy :-)

(a lurker)

Anonymous said...

Most Honorable Lee & Michael:

Does the following argument really resemble how Scotists (or even Scotist himself) reason?


1. An Uncaused Producer is logically possible.

2. Anything logically possible is either actual or potential.

3. A potential Uncaused Producer can only be caused (i.e., is not 'uncaused').

4. Hence, no Uncaused Producer is merely potential.

5. Therefore, an Uncaused Producer is actual.

6. This actual Uncaused Producer we call God.

7. Therefore, God actually exists.

(cf. James F. Ross, Philosophical Theology)


Michael said...


This does have some resemblance to part of Scotus' proof for God's existence, but it isn't very well formulated. As presented here (3.) is rather unclear. The point is that, since God is by definition uncaused, nothing can be the cause of him. If God exists, he exists necessarily.

An even shorter way to do this would be to say: If God can exist, he does exist, because by nature God cannot come to be (it is not possible that there is no God now but that there will be someday). But it is the case that God can exist; ergo, etc.

Note that this is by no means the whole of Scotus' natural theology, only the portion of it which he calls a "coloration" of the Anselmian argument.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Michael for the prompt reply and clear, concise explanation!