Monday, November 30, 2009

A Pious Argument from Petrus Thomae

I am sure you all remember Duns Scotus first argument for univocity, based on certain and doubtful concepts. Question five of Petrus Thomae's work De transcendentibus is devoted to a defense of this argument against Gerard of Bologna and maybe Auriol. In a section defending the premise that we cannot be certain and doubtful with respect to the same concept, PT makes the following argument.

Petrus Thomae, Quaestiones de transcendentibus, pars 1 q.5 a.1 prop. 3 (Wien, ONB, pal. lat. 1424, f. 6ra):

Preterea tertio, sancti patres quibus fiebat aliqua apparitio certi erant quod aliqua persona eis loquebatur: dubitare tamen poterant an persona creata uel increata, puta de Paulo cui dictum est ‘Saule Saule quid me persequeris’; dubius enim fuit que persona ei loqueretur, unde quesiuit ‘quis es domine’. Certus tamen erat quod aliqua persona sibi loquebatur, ergo idem quod prius.

"Furthermore, third: the holy fathers, to whom there was an apparition, were certain that some person was speaking to them; nevetheless they could doubt whether it was an uncreated or a created person. For example, Paul, to whom it was said, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"; for Paul doubted what person spoke to him, whence he asked "who are you, lord?". Nevertheless he was certain that some person was speaking to him, therefore the same as before" [i.e., the same conclusion as the previous arguments]

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