Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mastrius Volumes for Sale

On Amazon. They are print-on-demand, so most likely have been scanned from microfilm. You can't tell how well unless you buy one. I ILL'd a reprint of an 18th c. dispute on the formal distinction that showed up on amazon, and found that while most of it was readable, there were some completely unreadable pages. So be warned.

The reprint company is Nabu Press, regarding which see here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Metaphysics as the First and Easiest Science

More from Nicolaus Bonetus. I was alerted to this passage by Wouter Goris' article, "After Scotus: Dispersions of Metaphysics, of the Scope of Intelligibility, and of the Transcendental in the Early 14th Century," in Quaestio 8 (2008), 139-157.

Nicolaus Bonetus, Metaphysica II c. 6 (ed. Venezia 1505, f. 18rb-va [for convenience I quote from Goris, p.2):

Prima etiam est nostra metaphysica omni alia scientia primitate originis in ordine docendi [...]. Et si dicas: Aristoteles et alii philosophi multi ordinaverunt et nobis tradiderunt metaphysicam et eam ultimo docuerunt, respondeo tibi quod in metaphysica Aristotelis non sunt pure metaphysicalia tradita, sed sunt ibi multa theologica de substantiis separatis et de intelligentiis quod sunt multum alta et difficilllima; et ideo ultima est ratione illorum et in ordine inveniendi et in ordine docendi. Sed si non essent ibi nisi pure metaphysicalia, sicut in nostra metaphysica in qua non probabuntur nisi pure metaphysicalia praedicata cum ente in quantum ens convertibilia, ipsa esset prima in ordine inveniendi et in ordine docendi, sicut est nostra quam primo inveni quia eius subiectum primo ante alia subiecta scibilia distincte cognovi. Et ideo primo ante omnes alias scientias istam metaphysicam trado tibi, ut eam primo audias et eam primo studeas, quia inter alias ista est facillima ad addiscendum, cum subiectum eius, quod est ens in quantum ens, prima impressione imprimatur in intellectu.

My translation:

Our metaphysics is prior to every other science in the primacy of origin in the order of teaching. [...] And if you say: Aristotle and many other philosophers set in order and handed metaphysics down to us and taught it last, I respond to you that in the metaphysics of Aristotle not only purely metaphysical matters are handed down but there are there many theological matters about the separate substances and of the intelligences, which are most high and difficult; and therefore by reason of them [metaphysics] is last both in the order of discovery and in the order of teaching. But if there were only purely metaphysical issues treated there, just as in our metaphysics in which only pure metaphysical predicates [which are] convertible with being qua being are proved, it would be first in the order of discovery and in the order of teaching, just as is ours which I discovered first because I distinctly understood its subject before all other knowable subjects. And therefore I pass on that metaphysics to you first before all other sciences, so that you might hear it first and study it first, because among all others that [science] is the easiest to learn since its subject, which is being qua being, is impressed in the intellect by a first impression.

Lecture: 'Aquinas between East and West'

I came across a lecture, here, by Dr. Marcus Plested entitled "Aquinas between East and West" that should interest our readers. Note that according to some Orthodox thinkers, Aquinas is the cause of general cultural and societal decline, as well as of the Reformation.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"Fight" Philosophy

While trolling the internet looking for Thomists, I came across the following bit of Youtube awesomeness:  Fight Philosophy: James Chastek (Aquinas) vs. Lee Faber (Scotus)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Scotus on Whether God can be named by a Wayfarer

Rep. I d. 22 q. un. (trans. Wolter/Bychkov II, p. 11 ff., slightly modified)

I reply to the question, then, that it is possible for the pilgrim to assign some name in order to signify distinctly the essence of God in itself, even though he may not know that [essence]. Now whether this is actually the case or not, I do not doubt that he [at least] can use a name given by himself or someone else for the purpose of expressing such an essence distinctly. For we do use many names given by God or the angels, as well as by us, in order to express or signify distinctly something in itself, e.g., God or other things.


But if the question is understood in the senes of referring to the person to whom I address a name, I say that just as I intend to express distinctly that essence of God in itself through that name, so he intends to conceive it through that name, although neither I who use it, nor he to whom I address it, could understand distinctly that essence that I intend to express distinctly in this manner, with him [subsequently intending] to use the name thus expressed in this way. Nor is this to be wondered at. For we talk the whole day trying to distinguish the essence as it is in itself from the relations and attribute perfections, [saying] that it is an abyss and a sea of infinite substance. Now whatever, considered in itself, can be distinguished from everything else in this way can, for example, be called a, and afterwards we use this [appellation.]

But is it possible, in the case if God is expressed distinctly through some name, for a pilgrim to have or express some distinct concept about him as he is in himself, by means of which [the pilgrim] could understand or comprehend [God]?

Response: I say that it is not, because nothing moves the intellect of the pilgrim naturally in his present state to [produce] a distinct notion or concept of something, except if the latter's sense image [in the imagination], together with the agent intellect, can become the sufficient causes that move the possible intellect to [produce] such concepts, because such a concept only depends upon these [images] as its causes. But those things of which there cannot be a sense image cannot, in conjunction with the agent intellect, move the possible intellect to a distinct and perfect knowledge of them, but only to common and general concepts that apply indifferently to them and other things. Now God has no [corresponding] sense image, because he is not a body nor is informed by accidents, and therefore he cannot move the intellect of the pilgrim to have some distinct concept of him, but only to [produce] common and general concepts that apply indifferently to him and other things. Therefore, as we know him, we can have no concept distinct from [concepts of] other things to express [God ] as he is in himself.

Also, in our experience, we do not form some irreducibly simple concept of God thorugh which we could distinguish God from 'not God,' because in this way we would know him in his entirety [already] in this life. [...] if God were known bu us in his entirety, he would not be known [to us] in compound common concepts [put together by joining simple concepts] with one another, e.g. under the notion of an infinite being [or] a purest infinite act. Such concepts, which we can have about God in this life, are more specific and more proper, and nevertheless any such concept is resolvable into prior notions that are simple, common, and not proper to God. This is evident in the case of 'infinite being' [or] 'first principle', because the first is resolvable into entity and infinity, the second into primacy and origination, which are prior to the compound ones.

Friday, May 3, 2013

New Book

Daniel D. Novotny, Ens rationis from Suarez to Caramuel: A Study in Scholasticim of the Baroque Era. See here for the amazon page. Looks like a good read. No mention of Petrus Thomae (who did show up in the Mastri volume that came out of Prague), but after all it is a book on Suarez and his contemporaries.