Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Aufredus Gonteri on the Modes of Creaturely Being

The following is a snippet from Gonteri's commentary on the Lombard. Gonteri was a Franciscan from Brittany, and lectured on the Sentences at Barcelona and Paris in the 1320's. His commentary is a good example of the practice of reading the Sentences 'secundum alium', that is copying other scholars' commentaries into one's own.  Gonteri takes material from thinkers such as Henry of Harclay, Francis of Marchia, and Gerard Odonis.  This is illustrated by the question on modes of creaturely being; see Duba-Friedman-Schabel, "Henry of Harclay and Aufredo Gonteri Brito,"  in Medieval Comm. on the Sent. of Peter Lombard, p. 304

Gonteri includes (at least) 15 questions from Gerard of Odonis's commentary on Book II. We have edited Odonis's Book II, dist. 1, part 1, qu. 2, which corresponds to Gonteri's Book II, dist. I, qu. 22. Again, Gonteri's choice is impressive, since this question asks "whether before its creation a creature has any being distinct from the being of its cause," and Odonis outlines nine sorts of being that a creature has before creation, in addition to the one being it receives at creation itself. Of the over 300 lines of text in this realist question, Gonteri copies verbatim about 35%, except for transitional statements where he abbreviates, saying for example, et sic de aliis. These ten modes of being are explained in the first 35% of the question, of which Gonteri copies a full 70%. In the second 35% of the question Odonis presents and responds to some objections; Gonteri omits this section entirely. Gonteri then abbreviates heavily in the last 30% of the question, incorporating only about 30% of that section.

Here are the ten modes:

Aufredus Gonteri, Ordinatio/Compilatio super II Sententiarum d. 1 q. 22 (Pamplona, Archivo de la Catedral, Ms. 5, f. 18vb):

Circa solutionem questionis est primo videndum de modis essendi creature ante sui creationem, circa quod sciendum quod creatura habet ante sui creationem 9 modos, et accipit unum per creationem et tunc* sunt X. Primus est esse producibile et potentiale, secundus esse ydeale, tertius esse intelligibile, quartus esse intellectum, quintus esse voluntabile, sextus esse volutum, septimus esse possibile, octavus esse positivum, nonus esse quidditativum, decimus quem per creationem accipit esse positum.

Concerning the solution of the question, first we must treat of the modes of being of a creature before its creation; concerning which it should be known that a creature has nine modes of being before its creation, and it receives one through creation and then there are ten. The first is producible and potential being, the second ideal being, the third intelligible being, the fourth understood being, the fifth willable being, the sixth willed being, the seventh possible being, the eighth positive being, the ninth quidditative being, the tenth which it receives through creation is posited(?) being


Brandon said...

That's a lot of modes to go through before we even get to the thing actually being created!

It's easy enough to figure out the rationale for the most obvious pairs:

understandable - understood
willable - willed

and I suppose also producible - ideal (I take it that this is the divine-ideas pair?), in which I case I think understand the explication up to willed being. Possible - positive is also obviously another pair, but I wonder what they are supposed to mean here, given that they can't be quiddity and created existence (the ninth and tenth modes).

Lee Faber said...

I was rather surprised that esse repraesentativum/esse repraesentatum didn't make the list, as Gonteri talks about this pair elsewhere.

I was also surprised that he made them into modes of being, which, writing at Paris post-Scotus and post-Francus of Mayronis makes them sound like intrinsic modes.

Scotus, however, says that most of these are equivalent (I don't remember the exact list off the of my head). I think he mentions esse intelligibile, esse repraesentatum, esse in opinione. Nothing about the will. I think he equates esse volubile as actually being willed (as he puts it, "produced" into willed being).

Bubba said...

Perhaps I'm looking at the wrong part of the D-F-S article, but it reads (p. 304): <> The article then gives percentages of abbreviatio, revealing a puzzling mania for numerical tables and superficial scientific accuracy.

From that I take away: Gonteri is abbreviating Odonis, and DFS have "edited" Odonis somewhere. There's no reference to an edition of this text (unlike, say, the one advertised in n. 69), or am I missing the text with the 'promise'?

If Gonteri's following Odonis, then your question might also be "why does Odonis speak of modes of being as if they're intrinsic modes?" And the answer in that case might be that Odonis developed his doctrine at Toulouse while Meyronnes was at Paris, and is not nearly the same kind of Scotist that Meyronnes is.

Besides, Meyronnes' own secretary systematically refers to gradus intrinsici where Meyronnes has modi. So even in Mayronistic circles, it's not yet dogma.

Speaking of secretaries, D-F-S should know better than to claim that Gonteri was a reportator of Francis of Marchia strikes me as wishful thinking. Wasn't it William of Rubio who edited Marchia's Reportatio?

Lee Faber said...

Ah. I was spreading a pack of lies. The dangers of grad. student blogging, I suppose.

Lee Faber said...

Hmmm... it looks like John the Canon copied this passage or something close into his Quaestiones on the Physics.