Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Aufredo Gonteri Brito on the Analogy of Being

Aufredo Gonteri Brito was a Franciscan who taught at the Barcelona convent in the early 1320's. He wrote a commentary on the Sentences at Barcelona and one at Paris, the latter around 1322. In many texts, Gonteri copies Henry of Harclay into his own commentary (see the article by Friedman-Schabel-Duba), and the work as a whole is described as a "compilatio" The following text, however, is not from Harclay. It is a discussion of analogy, in which Aufredo offers a definition of analogy. There are resonances here with Scotus' discussion of analogy of attribution in Ord. I d. 8 q. 3.

Gonteri is a Scotist, who helds the common opinion of the Scotists, running from Scotus to the 20th century, that being is both analogical and univocal.

I offer here a translation of the text, which I have cobbled together from two manuscripts. For reference sake, see Vat. lat. 1106, f. 54vb-55ra. Happily, the Vatican library has digitized the manuscript.

Gonteri, Ord. I d. 3 q. 2 a. 1.

Furthermore, it must be known that an analogus concept is a medium between a univocal and equivocal [concept]. And an analogous concept is that by which some things are conceived by one name at once according to a certain relation of one to another or of both to some third. 

Nevertheless, it should be known that analogy is twofold. A certain one is properly said which is between some many things agreeing in one name which are of diverse rationes having a relation of one to another or of others to a third, just as this name 'healthy' is said of health in the animal and in bread and in urine analogically, as is said in IV Metaphysics, because health is formally in the animal, in urine significatively, in bread in virtue of the supposite, in medicine [i. m. = lec. inc.] effectively, and so not according to the same notion [ratio]. The other analogy is between some things in one name which agree in one formal univocal notion [ratio] found in them, nevertheless they participate in that notion according to more and less, prior and posterior, and in that way there is equivocation [and analogy adds. one MS]; in species of the same genus is there equivocation and analogy according to the Philosopher in VII Physics, because, as he says there, many equivocations lie hid in the genera, and such an analogy is always between equivocal causes and their effects. 

Now the first unity of the analogical concept excludes the unity of univocity from those between which it is, but the second unity of the analogous concept, although it is formally other than the unity of univocity, and distinct from it and lesser than it, nevertheless it does not exclude it, indeed it is compatible with it, nor does it restrict it. For although the unity of analogy alone does not posit the unity of univocity properly said, just as neither does the unity of a genus alone posit the specific unity among some things, because a minor unity does not posit a greater, as was said, nevertheless the unity of analogy does not necessarily exclude the unity of univocity properly called from those between which it is, indeed it is compatible with it, just as also the unity of the genus is compatible with the specific unity by which some things are one in genus and one in species concretely, although this unity of the genus is formally other than the specific unity abstractively, as was said.

So. Two kinds of analogy. The first is of many to one or one to another, in which the ratio (definition, meaning, formal character, etc.) is diverse in the analogates, but focused on one central notion. The second is in which there is only one ratio, that itself is said univocally, but it is found in its univocates in relations of prior-posterior, more-less. This latter kind of analogy is that which obtains between God and creatures. So God is prior, creatures posterior; creatures participate in God, and such is seen by Gonteri (and indeed by Scotists) to be compatible with univocity, even in the same concept. The description of analogy as predication of the prior and posterior goes back to the Arabs, and the combination with univocity perhaps is a result of the ambiguity in Avicenna. Avicenna describes being as being said in the prior and posterior way, and yet scholars of the latin and arabic texts have never managed to agree wither or not he holds to univocity as well.


Anonymous said...

Based on my quick read through, this sounds a lot like Bonaventure (in substance, but without the term univocity), in his De mysterio Trinitatis.

JI Goff

Lee Faber said...

I've been meaning to re-read that Bonaventure text for ages! Basically, since that ND conference with Fr. Fehlner. If I remember, Bonaventure rejected a form of univocity in his Sent. I d. 1, a text that was resurrected by Alexander de Alexandria and used to attack Scotus. Thus I've generally assumed a disconuity between Scotus and Bonaventure on this point.

Unknown said...

You're right about Bonaventure denying univocity in Sent. d1, dub. 5 quite clearly. It's interesting that when B. denies univocity it seems he is operating with an understanding of univocity inclusive of commonality of both name and reality (res). I don't think Bonaventure ever explicitly goes away from this take on univocity, towards a consideration of formal content and concept alone. However, his treatment of one-to-one similitude-analogy (rooted in his semiotic metaphysics) according to prior/posterior, etc. in the De scientia Christi, his use, in De mysterio Trinitatis, of the transcendental disjuncts and perfections simpliciter and secundum quid (which seem to function like simple and simply simple perfections in Scotus) converge upon a strong similarity to the second sort of univocity in Brito: a common quality, ratio with intrinsically different modes: finite/infinite. Bonaventure like Brito seems to preserve analogy of first type as well as employ and frame univocity along the lines of Brito's second type all the while denying univocity between God and creatures in terms of commonality of both name and reality. An arguable point to be sure, but a latent yet functional univocity of concept seems to be at work in Bonaventure, and he only seems to deny univocity under the description above; not, perhaps, under Scotus's more refined description of univocity.

I don't know, beyond Veuthey's likely dated book, Alexander. I think I remember that Peter John Olivi (d. 1298) is the last person to cite either of the disputed questions mentioned above, however. Although, much of what is presented in Bonaventure's disputed questions is already present in the Sentence Commentaries, because of layout, order or whatever, the disputed questions help to shed light on many of Bonaventure pre-Scotistic tendencies, even if the clear(-er) formulation had to wait for Scotus.

Pardon me for going off topic from the original post in my first reply.

JI Goff

Lee Faber said...

It's similar to the problem of comparing Aquinas and Scotus; Scotus seems to have invented the sense of univocity that is commonality of concept alone. So he would agree, in a way, with Bonaventure, Henry, and Aquinas that being is not univocal in the sense that there is a common ality outside the soul in which things agree that corresponds exactly with the univocal concept.

José Apolinar said...

Off topic: I am currently reading Aquinas to learn latin, however, I'm beginning to need something to carry me on. After looking around I boiled it down to either Collin's "A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin" or Henle's Latin. Which one do you recommend? Also, which dictionary do you recomend?

Lee Faber said...

I would say Henle's Latin, which I worked through at some point, and which includes some ecclesiastical stuff. For dictionary, use Defferari's Aquinas dictionary. I find the lexionary by the same rather clunky. The dictionary is sadly out of print. But it is good for scholasticism in general, even if it is restricted to the Summa th.

José Apolinar said...

Thanks for the recommendations, I will get Henle's then. Also, you may know this already but I barely came across this: https://franciscan-archive.org/bonaventure.html
It is an English translation of St. Bonaventure's Commentary on Book I of the Sentences of Peter Lombard. I think it's the first English translation out there.