Thursday, October 30, 2014

Franciscus de Mayronis on Metaphysics

Franciscus de Mayronis, Conflatus prol. q. 14 (ed. Venezia 1520, 8vb):

...metaphysica accipitur dupliciter: uno modo ut tractat de ente ut ens est, et tunc isto modo nihil cognoscitur de Deo nisi praecise ea quae sequuntur ens in quantum ens. Alio modo ut considerat de aliis contentis sub ente, et isto modo considerat de Deo. Et quia Deus inter cetera quae continentur sub ente est quid nobilissimum, hinc est quod metaphysica quae considerat de Deo est summa et nobilissima. Unde Augustinus vocat platonicos philosophos theologos.

'Metaphysics' is understood in two ways. In one way as it treats of being qua being, and in that way the only things that are known about God are those which follow upon being qua being. In the other way as it considers other things contained under being, and in that mode it considers God. And because God is the most noble thing among those which are contained under being, hence it is that the metaphysics which treats of God is the highest and noblest. Whence Augustine calls the platonic philosophers theologians.

A step on the road to the distinction between general and special metaphysics.


Daniel said...

Apologies if I am missing some important nuance here but it always struck me that the old dispute stemming from the Arabian commentators on Aristotle as to whether the proper object of Metaphysics was Being or God, is singularly pointless given the convertibility of the Transcendentals and Platonic/Fourth Way type proofs based on that.

Lee Faber said...

I'm not sure I see the connection here. I would think it would make the problem worse since the fourth way posits a measure of a genus and God isn't in a genus so you have an explanatory gap between the transcendentals and god.