Sunday, April 22, 2012

Franciscus de Mayronis on Analogy

Franciscus de Mayronis, Conflatus, Prologus q. 12 (ed. Venezia f. 8rb):

Whether being is said analogically of those things of which it is said.

I say that there are four ways of speaking. Some [people] say that it is said univocally because according to one notion [rationem]. Others say that equivocally because according to diverse notions. Others say that analogically because per prius of one and per posterius of others. Others say that [it is said] ambiguously. They distinguish this, however, from analogy because a certain thing is something according to one notion is said of two, nevertheless more perfectly of one than the other. For the other kind of analogy is what is said of one proprerly and of others by attribution to it. And that is reduced to equivocal.

With this premised, it is said that every term either is equivocal or univocal because when the definitions of some things are given by immediate contraries, they are immediately contrary; but equivocals and univocals are of this kind; therefore, etc.  But this is one definition, if being is said equally or unequally of its inferiors.

To this [argument] [we answer/respondetur] with four conclusiones. The first is that being is not predicated according to more and less. The second is that it is not predicated according to prior and posterior. Third that it is not predicated inequally. Fourth that it is not predicated dissimilarly.

They prove all those conclusions with one argument:  because when there is some essential predication, it cannot be varied per posterius; but quantitity of power is attended to according to more and less, prior and posterior, equal and unequal, similar and dissimilar.  All these are posterior to being and also those of which being is predicated; therefore they do not vary the predication of being which is essential. When therefore something is said to be more perfect than being, it is by something posterior to being and consequently in that prior in which the predication of being is made, it will be uniform.

[that's all, folks. It turned out to be less exciting than I had hoped when I initially saw the question title.]

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