Monday, May 19, 2008

Conditions for Distinction

Here's an interesting bit from Reportatio IA (well, probably the Additiones magnae) d.33, the distinction on the formal distinction. I'm still digesting the rest (he doesn't bring up the question of whether one can say that things formally non-identical are also formally distinct, the subject of the <Quaestio de formalitatibus> which I am currently editing, but casts the formal distinction as a type of secundum quid distinction, and relates it to Bonaventure's middle distinction). This part is specifically from the second question, where Scotus discusses whether there is a real distinction between the Trinitarian persons:

"Ad hoc quod aliqua simpliciter distinguantur, requiruntur quatuor conditiones. Prima est, quod sit aliquorum in actu, et non in potentia tantum, quia non distinguuntur ea, quae sunt in potentia in materia, et non simpliciter, quia non sunt in actu. Secunda est, quod sit eorum, quae habent esse formale, non tantum virtuale, ut effectus sunt in causa virtualiter, et non formaliter. Tertia est, quod sit eorum, quae non habent esse confusum, ut extrema in medio et miscibilia in mixto, sed eorum quae habent esse distinctum propriis actualitatibus. Quarta, quae sola est completiva distinctionis perfectae, est non identitas, ut patet per Philosophum...ubi dicit diversum et distinctum esse idem."

To this that somethings are distinguished absolutely [simpliciter. one could also say "without qualification"], four conditions are required. The first is that it is of some things in act, and not only in potency, because those things are not distinguished which are in potency in matter, and not absolutely, because they are not in act. The second is, that it is of those which have formal being, and not only virtual, as the effect is in the cause virtually and not formally. The third is that it is of those which do not have confused being, as the extreme in the medium and the mixable in the mixed, but is of those which have distinct being with their proper actualities. The fourth, which is only completive of perfect distinction, is non-identity, as is clear through the Philosopher, where he says that the diverse and the distinct are the same.

No comments: