Selected Bibliography of the Essays by Jan A. Aertsen (1985-2012)
Abbreviations: DT = Doctrine of the Transcendentals
- Aertsen Jan A. "The Convertibility of Being and Good in St. Thomas Aquinas." New Scholasticism 59 (1985): 449-470.
"In many medieval thinkers, e.g. Alexander of Hales, Bonaventure, Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, the statement can be found: " being and good are convertible " (ens et Comm convertuntur).(1) That is to say, " being " and " good " are interchangeable terms in predication (converti enim est conversim praedicari).(2) Wherever " being " is predicated of something, the predicate " good " is involved as well.
That must imply that " good " is here not a concept that adds a real content or a new quality to " being ", as a result of which " being " is restricted. For in that case there would be no question of convertibility.(3) " Good " is an attribute which pertains to every being, it is a property of being as such, a "mode that is common, and consequent upon every being." In other words, " good " is coextensive with " being ", it is one of the so-called transcendentie which, since Suarez, are usually referred to as " transcendentals ".
(1) Alexander of Hales, Summa I, Inq. 1, Tract. 3, q. 3, membrum 1, c. 1, a. 1, "An idem sit bonum et ens "; Bonaventure, In II Sent., d. 1, p. 1, a. 1, q. 1, fundam. 5, "Ens et bonum eonvertuntur, sicut volt Dionysius ", d. 34, a. 2, q. 3, fundam. 4; Albert the Great, De Bono q. 1, a. 6; Summa Theol. tract. 6, q. 28; Thom. Aquinas, In I Sent. 8, 1, 3; De Ver. XXI, 2; In De Hebdomadibus, lect. 3; Summa Theol. I, 18, 3.
(2) Thomas Aquinas, De Ver. I, 2 obj. 2.
(3) De Pot. IX, 7 ad 5: Bonum quod est in genre qualitatis, non est bonum quod convertitur cum ante, quod nullam rem supra ens addit.
(4) De Ver. I, 1: modus generaliter consequens omne ens.
(5) Comp. Albert the Great, Summa Theologiae tract. 6, q. 27, c. 3: Bonum dicit intentionem communem et est de transcendentibus omne genus sicut et ens.
- ———. "Der Wissenschaftstheoretische Ort Der Gottesbeweise in Der Summa Theologie Des Thomas Von Aquin." In Mediaeval Semantics and Metaphysics. Studies Dedicated to L. M. De Rijk, Ph. D. On the Occasion of His 60th Birthday, edited by Bos, Egbert Peter. 161-193. Nijmegen: Ingenium Publishers, 1985.
- ———. "Transzendental Versus Kategorial: Die Zwiespaltigkeit Von Thomas 'Philosophie'? Eine Kritische Studie." Vivarium 24 (1986): 143-157.
- ———. "The Circulation-Motive and Man in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas." In L'homme Et Son Univers Au Moyen Âge. Actes Du Septième Congrès International De Philosophie Médiévale, 30 Août - 4 Septembre 1982, Vol. I, edited by Wenin, Christian. 432-439. Louvain-la-Neuve: Peeters, 1986.
"Little attention is usually paid to this divine circular motion in the interpretation of Thomas' work, even though Thomas himself says in the prologue to the first book of his Commentary on the Sententiae that this bringing forth is the «reason» (ratio) of every subsequent process. The circulatio within God is the archetype of the work of creation. A trinitarian interpretation of Thomas' thought, albeit unusual, finds support in this idea. And his reflections on the originating order of the Trinity could also open up fruitful perspectives for further thought about (the problematics of) his thought.
In his explanation of the Trinity, Thomas gives a new elaboration of the concept of relation. In the divine circulatio there are relation of primordiality which are subsistent : «In God relation and essence do differ in being from each other, but are one and the same» (S. Th., I 28, 2). Relation is not an accidental category of substance; being and relation belong « originally» together.
This idea has remained outside of Thomas' metaphysics of creation. But it is this model of relation,which is philosophically important for a renewed reflection on created being. The relation of the creature to God is not accidental as Thomas claimed (18), but for the creature to be is to be in relation. At precisely this point a more comprehensive notion of finite being can be developed. There is the three-foldness in the creature: of subsistent-being, what-being, and act-being. These components agree in esse, which is a being from, through, and to God. In relationship to the Triune-Origin there is unity.
In man the Trinity is represented in a distinctive way, viz., according to the identical character of activity (secundum eamdem rationem rationis, De potentia, 9, 9). The processes of intellection and volition are found in man. Man, who is a person, is therefore imago Trinitatis. It la in this idea that the «anthropocentrism» of medieval thought most clearly comes to the fore.
The manner, however, in which man's movement to God is worked out by Thomas, formed a second «crux» in his thinking. Here again we find in his elaboration of the idea of relation, possibilities for giving his penetrating intuition of the circular motion of egress and return a more integral meaning.
Man is destined to one purpose, viz., communion with God. His drama consists not so much in the natural inability to close the circle through knowing, as in the aversion from his own essentially relational mode of existence. The circular motion thereby comes to stand in a concrete salvation history. This moreover offers the possibility of doing justice to the internal coherence of the structure of the Summa Theologiae. In the prologue to bk. 1, 2, Thomas indicates this design: the first part deals with God, and «the procession of all creatures from Him»; the second with the movement of the rational creature toward Him; and the third with Christ who as man is the way (via) of our tending to God. The second person of the Trinity, the Word, became flesh in order to show mankind the way (back) to its Origin. True human-being is possible only by God's grace.
In summary: the new perspective which Thomas' reflection on the faith mystery of the divine process opens up, is philosophizing oriented to the perfection of being-itself in being toward something else."
(18) De potentia, 3,3 ad 3.
- ———. "Natural Law in the Light of the Doctrine of Transcendentals." In Lex Et Libertas. Freedom and Law According to St. Thomas Aquinas. Proceedings of the Fourth Symposium on St. Thomas Aquinas' Philosophy, Rolduc, November 8-9, 1986, edited by Elders, Leo and Hedwig, Klaus. 99-112. Città del Vaticano: Pontificia Accademia di S. Tommaso e di Religione Cattolica, 1987.
- ———. "Ockham, Ein Transzendentalphilosoph? Eine Kritische Diskussion Mit G. Martin." In Ockham and Ockhamists, edited by Bos, Egbert Peter and Krop, Henri A., 3-13. Nijmegen: Ingenium Publishers, 1987.
Acts of the Symposium organized bt the Dutch Society for Medieval Philosophy Medium Aevum on the occasion of its 10th anniversary (Leiden, 10-12 September 1986).
[This study is a discussion of three contribution by Gottfried Martin:
(37) Wilhelm von Ockham. Untersuchungen zur Ontologie der Ordnungen. Berlin, 1949.
(38) Immanuel Kant. Ontologie und Wissenschaftstheorie. Berlin, 1950 (4th ed., 1969), pp. 115-134.
(39) Allgemeine Metaphysik. Ihre Probleme und ihre Methode. Berlin, 1965, pp. 82-89.
An outstanding place in the history of the Doctrine of the Transcendentals was attributed to William of Ockham by a study of the German scholar G. Martin (37). His thesis is that Ockham's denial of the reality of the categories except that of substance and quality must be understood as « transcendental philosophy ». Ockham regarded quantity and relation as general conditions that do not add a distinct reality to things, that is, as « transcendental being ». In Martin's later publications (38 and 39), we encounter again the view that Ockham was a vital link in the tradition of transcendental philosophy from Aristotle's Metaphysics to Kant, Martin's Ockham-interpretation has hardly been discussed." (from J. A. Aertsen, Bulletin de Philosophie Médiévale, 33 1991, p. 138).
- ———. "Die Lehre Der Transzendentalien Und Die Metaphysk. Der Kommentar Von Thomas Von Aquin Zum Iv. Buch Der Metaphysica." Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Theologie 35 (1988): 293-316.
"In still another, more fundamental, respect the introduction of Aristotle's works in the West was of importance. The reception of his Metaphysics led to independent reflection on the question of the proper subject of this science. Not without reason, L. Honnefelder, « Der zweite Anfang der Metaphysik. Voraussetzungen, Ansatze und Folgen der Wiederbegriindung der Metaphysik im 13./14. Jahrhundert », in J.P. Beckmann e.a. (ed.), Philosophie im Mittelalter. Entwicklungslinien and Paradigmen. Hamburg, 1987, pp. 165-186, has characterized this development as « the second beginning of metaphysics ». It is noteworthy that the Middle Ages did not adopt the theological conception of metaphysics that prevailed among the Greek commentators on Aristotle. In the commentaries of Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus we find a decidedly « ontological » view. Against the background of this conception of metaphysics, the interest in the transcendentals becomes understandable, for they are the universal properties of being. Metaphysics becomes scientia transcendens -- the term appears for the first time in Scotus' Commentary on the Metaphysics (prol., n. 5)." (from J. A. Aertsen, Bulletin de Philosophie Médiévale, 33 1991, p. 132).
- ———. "Die Transzendentalienlehre Bei Thomas Von Aquin in Ihren Historischen Hintergründen Und Philosophischen Motiven." In Thomas Von Aquin. Werk Und Wirkung Im Licht Neuerer Forschungen, edited by Zimmermann, Albert. 82-102. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1988.
"A by medieval standards extensive systematics of DT is presented by Thomas Aquinas in De veritate, qu. 1, art. 1. This text includes an important new element, namely, the introduction of relational transcendentals. Through this innovation Thomas departs from Philip the Chancellor's version of DT. A transcendental is not necessarily expressed by a negation, an indivision, as Philip meant, but can also be determined by something positive, a relation. Thomas understands the transcendentals « true » and « good » in relation to the two faculties of a spiritual substance, that is, to intellect and will. Although we possess various studies concerning some aspects of Aquinas's DT, the general significance of this doctrine for his philosophy seems to be underestimated." (from J. A. Aertsen, Bulletin de Philosophie Médiévale, 33 1991, p. 135).
- ———. "Method and Metaphysics: The Via Resolutionis in Thomas Aquinas." New Scholasticism 63 (1989): 405-418.
- ———. "Aquinas and the Classical Heritage: A Response." In Christianity and the Classics. The Acceptance of a Heritage, edited by Helleman, Wendy E., 83-89. Lanham: University Press of America, 1990.
Reply to the essay by Arvin Vos: As the Philosopher Says: Thomas Aquinas and the Classical Heritage, same volume, pp. 69-82.
"Arvin Vos has written an excellent paper on Thomas Aquinas and the classical heritage. His paper shows admiration for and affinity with Aquinas's achievement. I share this admiration; Aquinas is a great thinker. Now it is a mark of great thinkers that the content of their thought is so full and rich that one can put emphasis on different aspects. And this is what I intend to do in my response by making some comments and raising some questions. My reflections, stressing a number of underlying ideas, are primarily meant as a supplement to what has been said.
In order to present my remarks in a systematic and coherent way, I take as a starting point a statement of Aristotle which I will develop in four steps, more or less related to the main parts of Vos's paper: (1) the background of the thirteenth century; (2) Thomas's attitude towards Aristotle; (3) the relationship between faith and reason; and (4) the conclusion concerning the question whether the classical heritage can be integrated in the Christian position." p. 83
- ———. "The Eternity of The. World: The Believing and the Philosophical Thomas. Some Comments." In The Eternity of the World in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas and His Contemporaries, edited by Wissink, Jozef. 9-19. Leiden: Brill, 1990.
- ———. "Method and Metaphysics: The Via Resolutionis in Thomas Aquinas." In Knowledge and the Sciences in Medieval Philosophy. Proceedings of the Eighth International Congress of Medieval Philosophy (S.I.E.P.M.), Helsinki 24-29 August 1987, Vol. 3, edited by Tyôrinoja, Reijo. 3-12. Helsinki: Yliopistopaino, 1990.
- ———. "The Medieval Doctrine of the Transcendentals. The Current State of Research." Bulletin de Philosophie Médiévale 33 (1991): 130-147.
"An important, new development in medieval philosophy was the constitution of the doctrine of the transcendentals (DT) in the thirteenth century. The term « transcendental » - the medievals themselves speak of transcendens -- suggests a kind of surpassing. What is transcended are the special modes of being that Aristotle called the « categories », in the sense that the transcendentals are not restricted to one determinate category. « Being » and its « concomitant conditions », such as « one », « true » and « good », « go through (circumeunt) all the categories » (to use an expression of Thomas Aquinas). DT is thus concerned with those fundamental philosophical concepts which express universal features of reality.
The doctrine played a prominent role in later medieval thought. The study of it is essential for our understanding of philosophy in this period, since, according to J.B. Lotz, [« Zur Konstitution der transzendentalen Bestimmungen des Seins nach Thomas von Aquin », in P. Wilpert(ed.), Die Metaphysik im Mittelalter (Miscellanea Mediaevalia, Vol. 2). Berlin 1963, pp. 334-340] p. 334), DT is « the core of Scholastic ontology and metaphysics ». Remarkably, however, research on this doctrine has hitherto been rather limited. The observation, made by the French scholar S. Breton [« L'idée de transcendental et la genèse des transcendentaux chez Saint Thomas d'Aquin » in Saint Thomas d'Aquin aujourd'hui. Paris 1963, pp. 45-74] p. 45) in 1963, that DT is « classic and yet poorly known », still holds. An example of its neglect is the Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy (ed. N. Kretzmann, 1982) that contains only one brief reference (p. 493, to Ockham). In this contribution I want to take stock of the current state of research on DT, to assemble and discuss the relevant literature, to indicate certain lacunas, and to make some suggestions for further research." (p. 130).
- ———. "Die Frage Nach Der Transzendentalität Der Schönheit Im Mittelalter." In Historia Philosophiae Medii Aevi. Studien Zur Geschichte Der Philosophie Des Mittelalters. Festschrift Für Kurt Flasch Zu Seinem 60. Geburtstag. (Vol. I), edited by Mojsisch, Burkhard and Pluta, Olaf. 1-22. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: B. R. Grüner, 1991.
- ———. "Good as Transcendental and the Transcendence of the Good." In Being and Goodness, edited by MacDonald, Scott. 56-73. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991.
In ST Ia.6.4 ("Whether all things are good by the divine goodness?") Thomas concludes that the Platonic view appears to be unreasonable in affirming that there are separate forms of natural things subsisting of themselves; still, it is absolutely true that there is something first that is essentially being and essentially good which we call God. Hence, everything can be called 'good' and 'being,' insofar as it participates in the first being, which is essentially good. To this conclusion Thomas still adds, however, an important remark. That every being is good through an external cause by no means excludes each things being called through a goodness that is formally its own goodness. "And so of all things," Thomas ends, "there is one goodness, and yet many goodnesses."
This text can serve as a summary of our analysis, which is focused on the relation between the good as transcendental and the transcendence of the Good. I want to emphasize four points of philosophical importance in Thomas's reflection on the good.
First, Thomas really understands the good transcendentally by establishing an intrinsic connection between being and goodness. To be is the actuality of everything and thereby a good proper to each thing. Things are called good in virtue of an inner goodness. It is characteristic of finite things that although being and good are convertible, there is in them nonetheless a nonidentity between being absolutely and good absolutely.
Second, because the good is transcendental, Thomas applies to it the predication essentially or by participation. This predication expresses the transcendence of the divine goodness and the creaturely character of the goodness of other things. That which is in any way good must be reduced to what is good by its essence as to its origin. That things are good through an intrinsic goodness is not incompatible with their dependence on that which is the good itself.
Third, from a historical point of view, Thomas effects a kind of synthesis between the Aristotelian way of thought and Aristotle's conception of the good, on the one hand -- the good is something common and the essential forms of things are inherent in them -- and the Platonic way of thought and Plato's conception of the good, on the other hand -- the Form of the Good is "separate" from particular goods.
Fourth, Thomas effects a synthesis in still another respect. Characteristic of Boethius's position, according to MacDonald,(29) is the creation approach to explaining the relation between being and goodness. Aristotle's view, in contrast, exemplifies what might be called the nature approach. This approach explains what it is for a thing to be good by referring to the nature of the thing. "The historical significance of DH [Boethius's De Hebdomadibus] MacDonald says, "consists largely in its offering an interesting account of the nature of goodness which is possibly incompatible ... with the sort of account medieval philosophers found in Aristotle." Thomas's reflection on the claim that all things are good and on question how they are good can be regarded as a philosophically original synthesis of the nature approach and the creation approach."(30) The nature approach explains the intrinsic goodness of things, for 'nature' says what beings are in themselves; it always refers to an intrinsic principle. Now, it is Thomas's transcendentality claim that everything is good, insofar as it is. Things are good (in a certain respect) in virtue of their own being. So all things owe their being good to their nature. The creation approach explains that everything is called 'good' through an external cause, for 'creature' says being-related to the Origin of things. Creation expresses that things received their being and goodness from another. Their goodness consists in their relation to the transcendent good, that is, in their participation in what is goodness itself." (pp. 72-73)
(29) MacDonald "Boethius's Claim That All Substances Are Good." Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 70:345-79, 1988. (See also the Introduction in this volume.)
(30) The relation between nature an creature in Thomas is the central theme of Aertsen 1988a [Nature and Creature]
- ———. "Beauty in the Middle Ages: A Forgotten Transcendental?". Medieval Philosophy and Theology 1 (1991): 68-97.
- ———. "Natur, Mensch Und Der Kreislauf Der Dinge Bei Thomas Von Aquin." In Mensch Und Natur Im Mittelalter. Band 1, edited by Zimmermann, Albert and Speer, Andreas. Miscellanea Mediaevalia. Band 21., 143-160. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1991.
- ———. "Thomas Aquinas (1224/5-1274). The Natural Desire for Knowledge and Its Supernatural Fulfillment." In Bringing into Captivity Every Thought. Capita Selecta in the History of Christian Evaluations of Non-Christian Philosophy, edited by Klapwijk, Jacob, Griffioen, Sander and Groenewoud, Gerben. 95-122. Lanham: University Press of America, 1991.
- ———. "Truth as Transcendental in Thomas Aquinas." Topoi.An International Journal of Philosophy 11 (1992): 159-171.
"Aquinas presents his most complete exposition of the transcendentals in De veritate 1, 1, that deals with the question "What is truth?". The thesis of this paper is that the question of truth is essential for the understanding of his doctrine of the transcendentals.
The first part of the paper (sections 1--4) analyzes Thomas's conception of truth. Two approaches to truth can be found in his work. The first approach, based on Aristotle's claim that "truth is not in things but in the mind", leads to the idea that the proper place of truth is in the intellect. The second approach is ontological: Thomas also acknowledges that there is truth in every being. The famous definition of truth as "adequation of thing and intellect" enables him to integrate the two approaches. Truth is a relation between two terms, both of which can be called "true" because both are essential for the conformity between thing and intellect.
The second part of the paper (sections 5--7) deals with the manner in which Thomas gives truth a place in the doctrine of the transcendentals, and shows that his conception of truth leads to important innovations in this doctrine: the introduction of relational transcendentals and the correlation between spirit and being. If "truth" is transcendental, it must be convertible with "being". Sect. 6 discusses objections that Thomas advances himself to this convertibility.
Sect. 7 deals with a difficulty in his account of truth as a relational transcendental. Ontological truth expresses a relation to an intellect but the relation to the human intellect is accidental for the truth of things. Essential for their truth can only be a practical intellect that causes things. In this way, Thomas argues, the divine intellect relates to all things."
- ———. "Ontology and Henology in Medieval Philosophy (Thomas Aquinas, Master Eckhart and Berthold of Moosburg)." In On Proclus and His Influence in Medieval Philosophy, edited by Bos, Egbert Peter and Meijer, Pieter A., 120-140. Leiden: Brill, 1992.
"In this contribution I would like to investigate whether and in which way the opposition between ontology and henology took shape in medieval thinkers and was a subject of discussion. I will focus my inquiry on three Dominicans of different generations, namely, Thomas Aquinas, Master Eckhart and Berthold of Moosburg. The last one is the least well known of the three. Yet I want to begin with him, since we find in his work not only a justification but also a philosophical deepening of our question." (p. 122)
In my paper I first presented a medieval version of the question: "Metaphysics of Being or philosophy of the One?" - namely, the interpretation of Berthold of Moosburg. In his commentary on Proclus [*]] he traces the opposition between ontology and henology to the different structures of thought associated with Aristotelianism and Platonism, which we have indicated with the keywords "transcendentality" and "transcendence" of the first. I then proceeded to use Berthold's model to elucidate the thought of Thomas Aquinas and Master Eckhart. To this analysis I would add three concluding observations.
First, we can ascertain that for Thomas and Eckhart the transcendental and transcendent approaches do not form an absolute opposition. Thomas posits a causal relation between God and the maxime communia. Transcendentals are to be traced to God as their cause. Eckhart identifies. God and the transcendentia. That which is most general is God.
Secondly, both in Thomas and in Eckhart the doctrine of transcendentals is found to have an integrating function. That is notable, because Berthold regards this doctrine as typical of the Aristotelian position. Now this theory certainly contains anti-Platonic elements, as we observed in Thomas, such as the emphasis on predicative generalness. But transcendentals have yet another aspect, which Berthold does not mention, an aspect which played an essential role in the development of the doctrine. Generally, the Summa de bono of Philip the Chancellor, written about 1230, is regarded as the first treatise on transcendentals. In the prologue of this work Philip observes that "being," "one," "true" and "good" are not only that which is most common but are sometimes also "appropriated," that is, treated as "proper" to something. For in Scripture these names are attributed pre-eminently to God, they are also divine names. (90) The attention given this second kind of naming is undoubtedly influenced by pseudo-Dionysius, who functions in Berthold as an eminent witness for the Platonic view. Thus we see that in the context of the doctrine of transcendentia themselves the question must arise concerning the relation between the most general which goes through all categories, and the divine which surpasses all categories.
Thirdly, the medieval doctrine of transcendentals is pluriform. The solutions of Thomas and Eckhart diverge. Philosophically more important, however, is that in which they agree. Characteristic of philosophy is a transcending movement. It surpasses the concrete things of experience in quest of a first, from which reality can be understood. The answer to the question of what this first is can be sought in different directions. Berthold sketches two options: the first is the most general, which is the precondition for man's intellectual knowledge; or the first is the cause of the being of things but is not itself of the nature of the caused. Thomas and Eckhart represent a type of philosophical thought in which the two options in question are connected. That is their contribution to the debate about what philosophy should be: ontology or henology.
[* See note 16:] Berthold von Moosburg, Expositio super Elementationem theologicam Procli: Prologus. Propositiones 1-13 (Corpus Philosophorum Teotonicorum Medi Aevi VI, 1) ed. by M.R. Pagnoni-Sturlese and L. Sturlese, Hamburg 1984. The first volume contains a valuable ?Einleitung' by K. Flasch (XI - XXVIII). See also A. de Libera, Introduction à la mystique rhénane d'Albert le Grand à Maître Eckhart, Paris 1984.
(90) Philippi Cancellarii Parisiensis Summa de bono (ed. N. Wicki), Bern 1985, 4 - 5. Cf. H. Pouillon, 'Le premier traité des propriétés transcendantales. La Summa de bono du Chancellier Philippe', Revue neoscolastique de philosophie 42 (1939), 40 - 77.
- ———. "The Platonic Tendency of Thomism and the Foundations of Aquinas's Philosophy." Medioevo 18 (1992): 120-140.
- ———. "Aquinas's Philosophy in Its Historical Setting." In The Cambridge Companion to Aquinas, edited by Kretzmann, Norman. 12-37. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
"In this chapter Aquinas's attitude towards philosophy, his leading sources, and the aims of his philosophical interest are clarified in two complementary ways. First, his writings, which are very voluminous in spite of his relatively early death, will be placed within the historical context of the thirteenth century. An overview of his work and its philosophical relevance will be provided in connection with the most important intellectual developments in this period -- the rise of the university, the reception of Aristotle, and the conflict between the faculties (sections II-IV). Subsequently, Aquinas's view of philosophy and of its relationship to theology will be elaborated in a more systematic way (sections V-X)." (p. 14)
- ———. "Der Satz Vom Widerspruch in Der Mittelalterlichen Philosophie. Baron Von Münchhausen, Thomas Von Aquin Und Nikolaus Von Kues." In Argumentationstheorie. Scholastische Forschungen Zu Den Logischen Und Semantischen Regeln Korrekten Folgerns, edited by Jacobi, Klaus. 707-727. Leiden: Brill, 1993.
- ———. "Gibt Es Eine Mittelalterliche Philosophie?". In Philosophie Und Geistiges Erbe Des Mittelalters. Symposion Zum 65. Geburtstag Von A. Zimmermann Am 9. Juli 1993, edited by Aertsen, Jan A., Speer, Andreas and Zimmermann, Albert. 13-30. Köln: Kölner Universitätsreden, 1994.
- ———. "Was Heisst Metaphysik Bei Thomas Von Aquin?". In Scientia Und Ars Im Hoch- Und Spätmittelalter, edited by Craemer-Ruegenberg, Ingrid, Speer, Andreas and Zimmermann, Albert. 217-239. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1994.
- ———. "The Beginning of the Doctrine of the Transcendentals in Philip the Chancellor (Ca. 1230)." In Quodlibetaria. Miscellanea Studiorum in Honorem Prof. J. M. Da Cruz Pontes Anno Iubilationis Suae Conimbrigae Mcmxcv, edited by Santiago de Carvalho, Mario A., 269-286. Porto: Fundação Eng. António de Almeida, 1995.
A revised version of this study form the Chapter Three of Medieval Philosophy as Transcendental Thought. From Philip the Chancellor (ca. 1225) to Francisco Suárez (2012), pp. 109-133.
"Our comparative inquiry does not allow any other conclusion than that Philip the Chancellor, in the introductory questions of his Summa de bono, really presents something new. His intention of going back into the "ground of thought" by reducing our understanding of questions to the communissima results in the earliest systematic formulation of a doctrine of the transcendentals. The doctrine is introduced as the philosophical answer to the dualism of Manichaeism. For the first time, Philip brings together four basic notions, "being", "one", "true", and "good", and investigates their mutual relations. But his account bears the marks of a first draft; it is rather terse and sometimes little explicit.
Viewed from a historical perspective, his doctrine has an atypical aspect, insofar as it is centered in a metaphysics of the good. The context of the doctrine generally is a conception of metaphysics, in which "being" is the proper subject of this science. Philip recognizes that ens is the first concept, but he does not say much about it. His interest concerns "the good", a notion that is richer than (habundat) "being". Two elements of Philip's doctrine were especially directive for subsequent discussions of the transcendentals. The first is his view of the twofold relation between the communissima: there exists a real identity between them -- they are convertible according to their supposits --, but they differ according to their concepts. The other element concerns the order of the most common notions, which is based on the notion of "indivision". It is somewhat paradoxical that Philip does not deal separately with unum, whereas the ratio of "one" determines his understanding of bonum and verum.
The Summa de bono was attentively read and frequently used, especially in the Franciscan milieu. The influence of Philip's account of the communissima is manifest in two works that were composed about twenty years after his Summa, namely, in the Franciscan Summa theologica attributed to Alexander of Hales, and in De bono, an early writing of the Dominican Albert the Great." (pp. 132-133)
- ———. "Ein Einziges Individuum Übertrifft Alle Universalien in Der Welt. Die Entdeckung Des Individuums Im Mittelalter." Wirtschaft und Wissenschaft 1 (1995): 45-48.
- ———. "Gibt Es Eine Mittelalterliche Philosophie?". Philosophische Jahrbuch 102 (1995): 161-176.
- ———. "Tendencies and Perspectives in the Study of Medieval Philosophy." In Bilan Et Perspectives Des Études Médiévales En Europe. Actes Du Premier Congrès Européen D'études Médiévales, Spoleto, 27 -29 Mai 1993, edited by Hamesse, Jacqueline. 107-128. Louvain-la-Neuve: Fédération internationale des instituts d'études médiévales, 1995.
- ———. "Albert Der Grosse Und Die Lehre Von Den Transzendentalien. Ein Beispiel Der Vermittlung Von Tradition Und Innovation." In Omnia Disce. Kunst Und Geschichte Als Erinnerung Und Herausforderung. Willehad Paul Eckert Op Zum 70 Geburstsag Und Goldenen Professjubiläum, edited by Senner, Walter. 159-168. Köln: Wienand, 1996.
- ———. "Albertus Magnus Und Die Mittelalterliche Philosophie." Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie 21 (1996): 111-128.
- ———. "Die Thesen Zur Individuation in Der Verurteilung Von 1277, Heinrich Von Gent Und Thomas Von Aquin." In Individuum Und Individualität Im Mittelalter, edited by Aertsen, Jan A. and Speer, Andreas. 249-265. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1996.
- ———. "Thomas Von Aquin Und Das Corpus Dionysiacum (Das Prooemium Seines Kommentars Zu De Divinis Nominibus)." Archiv für mittelalterliche Philosophie und Kultur 3 (1996): 11-19.
- ———. "Über Das Schöne (Lect. 5)." Archiv für mittelalterliche Philosophie und Kultur 3 (1996): 97-103.
- ———. "Transcendental Thought in Henry of Ghent." In Henry of Ghent. Proceedings of the International Colloquium on the Occasion of the 700th Anniversary of His Death (1293), edited by Vanhamel, Willy. 1-18. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1996.
"From the account of the relation between res and ens it is possible to draw a number of conclusions pertinent to Henry's way of thought and his point of departure.
I. The first conclusion is that it is incorrect to say that in his thought there is an insoluble tension between the primacy of being and that of thing. Henry describes the relation between the first concept, that of "thing" in the most general sense, and the second concept, that of "being," as a relation of foundation. "Something cannot have the character of being unless it first has the ratio of thing in the sense of reor, reris, in which the ratio of that being is founded (fundatur). (46)
2. The firstness of res is not an a priori condition of knowledge, that is, a "transcendental form" in the Kantian sense. It can be an idle concept, such as an imaginary thing. The firstness is related, as appeared from the discussion of the seventh Quodlibet, to the way in which the human intellect is "moved" by reality. The relation of foundation between res and ens is worked out by Henry in two respects, from the angle of the theory of science and ontologically.
3. From the angle of the theory of science, the relation is that between the precognition of a quiddity and intellectual knowledge of it. At the first level, res in the sense of reor, reris is the most general concept, the communissimum of the seventh Quodlibet. At the second level, "being" is the first and most general concept. Henry's statement that ens is the first that is scientifically known (scita) must be understood in this precise sense.
In ontological respect, the relation between the first and the second concept is the relation between the still undetermined thing and the thing that is determined by its essence. The quidditative being however is not determined to this or that thing, to creator or creature, to substance or accident. It is understood, Henry states, under the aspect of being that is the subject of metaphysics. (47) Not the first mode of "thing" but the second mode is the point of departure of metaphysics.
The level of quidditative being is the level of the transcendentals. Henry's identification of res, ratitudo with ens is the answer to the question (see section 3, above) why res is not named in Henry's account of the transcendentals. It is the concept that lies at the basis of his doctrine of being and of the most general intentiones. In comparison to his predecessors, the novelty of Henry's doctrine is the central place he attributes to Avicenna's notion of "thing." That res, ratitudo lies at the basis of Henry's doctrine explains the fact that he, otherwise than in the tradition, understands truth as a real relation to the exemplar.
Another distinctive feature of Henry's doctrine of the transcendentals is its being preceded by a more general concept, the cognition of "thing" in the broadest sense. For the clarification of this relation one may utilize a distinction that emerged in post-medieval philosophy. In a study of the concept of res, Ludger Oeing-Hanhoff has called attention to the fact that in the seventeenth century transcendental concepts were opposed to "super-transcendental" concepts, which are said not only of real but also of fictitious beings. Examples of these super-transcendental concepts are cogitabile and opinabile.(48) Henry's notion of res may be regarded as an anticipation of such concepts." (pp. 17-18).
(46) Summa 34.2 (ed. R. Macken, p. 175): "Et tamen rationem esse nihil potest habere, nisi prius habendo rationem rei dictae a reor, in qua fundatur ratio esse ilius."
(47) Cf. Summa 24.3 (fol. 138v P).
(48) L. Oeing-Hanhoff, "Res comme concept transcendental et sur-transcendental", in: M. Fattori and M. Bianchi (ed.), Res (III Colloquio Internazionale del Lessico Intellettuale Europeo), Rome 1982, pp. 285-296.
- ———. "Thomas Aquinas: Aristotelianism Versus Platonism?". In Néoplatonisme Et Philosophie Médiévale. Actes Du Colloque International De Corfou 6-8 Octobre 1995 Organisé Par La S.I.E.P.M., edited by Benakis, Linos G., 147-162. Turnhout: Brepols, 1997.
- Aertsen Jan A., and Speer Andreas. "Die Philosophie Bonaventuras Und Die Transzendentalienlehre." Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie médiévales 64 (1997): 32-66.
Co-Author: Andreas Speer.
- Aertsen Jan A. "What Is First and Most Fundamental? The Beginnings of Transcendental Philosophy." In Was Ist Philosophie Im Mittelalter?, Qu'est-Ce Que La Philosophie Au Moyen Age? What Is Philosophy in the Middle Ages?. Akten Des X. Internationalen Kongresses Für Mittelalterliche Philosophie Der Société Internationale Pour L'étude De La Philosophie Médiévale, 25. Bis 30. August 1997 in Erfurt, edited by Aertsen, Jan A. and Speer, Andreas. 177-192. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1998.
- ———. "Being and One: The Doctrine of the Convertible Transcendentals in Duns Scotus." In John Duns Scotus (1265/6-1308). Renewal of Philosophy. Acts of the Third Symposium Organized by the Dutch Society for Medieval Philosophy Medium Aevum (May 23 and 24, 1996), edited by Bos, Egbert Peter. 13-26. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1998.
"In the prologue of his commentary on the Metaphysics, Duns Scotus explains the name 'metaphysics' as transcendens scientia, that is, the science that is concerned with the transcendentia.(1) This explanation is indicative of the prominent place Scotus ascribes to the doctrine of the transcendentals, which was formulated for the first time in the Summa de bono of Philip the Chancellor that is datable about 1225. The connection between the object of first philosophy and the transcendentals is not in itself new, although the identity posed by Scotus is more radical than in his predecessors.(2) Yet it is no exaggeration to say that Scotus's philosophy marks a new phase in the history of the doctrine of the transcendentia.
Scotus understands the concept 'transcendental' differently than his predecessors did. To thinkers of the thirteenth century, transcendental properties are communissima. 'Being, 'one,'true' and 'good' 'transcend' the Aristotelian categories because they are not limited to one of them but are common to all things. According to Scotus, however, it is not necessary that a transcendental as transcendental be predicated of every being; it is not essential to the concept transcendens that it has many inferiors. In his Ordinatio he determines the concept negatively: 'what is not contained under any genus' or 'what remains indifferent to finite and infinite'. (3) This definition makes possible a vast extension of the transcendental domain; the most important innovation is formed by the so-called disjunctive transcendentals, which are convertible with being, not separately but as pairs.
The fact that the transcendental properties are not necessarily identical with the communissima is, I suspect, the reason why the expression transcendentia, which occurs only sporadically in thinkers like Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas and Henry of Ghent, gains the upperhand in Scotism and becomes the usual term.
About Scotus's doctrine of the transcendentals, in contrast to that of other medieval thinkers, we are well informed by Allan B. Wolter's pioneering study, The Transcendentals and Their Function in the Metaphysics of Duns Scotus (1946). Yet there are aspects of his doctrine that have thus far received little attention in scholarly literature. One of them is Scotus's treatment of the transcendentals 'one, 'true' and 'good,' which as such are convertible with being. In my contribution I want to show that with respect to the traditional transcendentals, too, Scotus breaks new ground and approaches critically the views of his thirteenth-century predecessors. Because he discusses most extensively the relation between being and one, I foals on this discussion." pp. 13-14.
* The original version of this study will appear in T. Noone and G. A. Wilson (eds.), Essays in Honor Girard Etzkorn: Franciscan Texts and Traditions, Franciscan Studies 56 (1998) [pp. 47-64].
(1) Quaestiones subtilissimae super libros Metaphysicorum Aristotelis, prol., n. 18: Et hanc scientiam vocamus metaphysicam, quae dicitur a 'meta', quod est 'trans', et 'ycos', 'scientia', quasi transcendens scientia, quia est de transcendentibus.
(2) Albert the Great, Metaphysica I, tract. 1, ch. 2 (Opera omnia XVI, 1, ed. B. Geyer, 5, 13-14), who uses the phrase prima et transcendentia in his analysis of the subject matter of metaphysics. For Thomas Aquinas's doctrine, see J.A. Aertsen, Medieval Philosophy and the Transcendentals. The Case of Thomas Aquinas, Leiden, Brill 1996, 113-158.
(3) Ordinatio I, dist. 8, part t, q. 3, nn. 113-114 (ed. Vaticana IV, 206).
- ———. "Being and One: The Doctrine of the Convertible Transcendentals in Duns Scotus." Franciscan Studies 56 (1998): 47-64.
- ———. ""Speculum Musicae" Als Spiegel Der Philosophie." In Musik Und Die Geschichte Der Philosophie Und Naturwissenschaften Im Mittelalter. Fragen Zur Wechselwirkung Von 'Musica' Und 'Philosophia' Im Mittelalter, edited by Hentschel, Frank. 305-321. Leiden: Brill, 1998.
- ———. "The Philosophical Importance of the Doctrine of the Transcendentals in Thomas Aquinas." Revue Internationale de Philosophie 52 (1998): 249-268.
- ———. ""Über Das Schône" - Alberts Des Groben Kôlner Vorlesungen Zu Dionysius Areopagita." In Dombau Und Theologie Im Mittelalterlichen Köln. Festschrift Zur 750-Jahrfeier Der Grundsteinlegung Des Kölner Domes Und Zum 65. Geburtstag Von Joachim Kardinal Meisner, edited by Honnefelder, Ludwig, Trippen, Norbert and Wolff, Arnold. 417-427. Köln: Kölner Dom, 1998.
- ———. "The Medieval Doctrine of the Transcendentals. New Literature." Bulletin de Philosophie Médiévale 41 (1999): 107-121.
"In 1597 Francisco Suarez published his Disputationes Metaphysicae, a work that had an incredible influence on seventeenth century philosophy. The most salient feature of his metaphysics is the central position of the transcendentia or transcendentalia (Suarez uses these terms as synonyms) : Disp. 2-11 deal with being, unity, truth and goodness. In comparison with Aristotle's conception of a science of being, metaphysics had acquired a « transcendental » character. As Suarez knew very well, this transformation had taken place in the Middle Ages.
In the Bulletin 33 (1991), pp. 130-147, I analyzed the current state of research on the medieval doctrine of the transcendentals (= DT), which is essential for our understanding of philosophy in this period. In the present article I will assemble and discuss the relevant literature of the last decade, adding some older publications that were not mentioned in the first report." (p. 107)
[The first report listed 104 titles, the current report 84].
- ———. "Albertus Magnus Und Seine Bedeutung." In Albert Der Grosse in Köln. Gehalten Auf Der Feierstunde Zur 750sten Wiederkehr Der Einrichtung Des Kölner Generalstudiums Der Dominikaner Am 6. November 1998, edited by Aertsen, Jan A., 7-13. Köln: Universität zu Köln, 1999.
- ———. "Is There a Medieval Philosophy? I. The Case of Thomas Aquinas. Ii. The Case of Meister Eckhart." International Philosophical Quarterly 39 (1999): 387-412.
- ———. "Meister Eckhart: Eine Ausserordentliche Metaphysik." Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie médiévales 66 (1999): 1-20.
- ———. "Thomas Aquinas on the Good. The Relation between Metaphysics and Ethics." In Aquinas's Moral Theory. Essays in Honor of Norman Kretzmann, edited by Scott, MacDonald and Stump, Eleonore. 235-253. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999.
- ———. "Die Transzendentalienlehre Bei Dietrich Von Freiberg." In Dietrich Von Freiberg. Neue Perspektiven Seiner Philosophie, Theologie Und Naturwissenschaft. Freiberger Symposion: 10. -13. März 1997, edited by Kandler, Karl-Hermann, Burkhard, Mojsisch and Stamkötter, Franz-Bernhard. 23-47. Amsterdam: B. G. Grüner, 1999.
- ———. "Transcendens - Transcendentalis. The Genealogy of a Philosophical Term." In L'élaboration Du Vocabulaire Philosophique Au Moyen Âge. Actes Du Colloque Internationale De Louvain-La-Neuve Et Leuven 12-14 Septembre 1998 Organisé Par La S.I.E.P.M., edited by Hamesse, Jacqueline and Steel, Carlos. 241-255. Turnhout: Brepols, 2000.
"In the study of medieval philosophy it is customary to speak of the doctrine of the « transcendentals » (1). We have to realize, however, that this term comes from the vocabulary of modern philosophy. The medieval authors themselves speak of transcendentia. What is the significance of this fact ? What is in those names ? By way of introduction, we consider the two terms, « transcendent » and « transcendental », more closely in order to make clear that the interference of the conceptual language of modem philosophy with that of medieval philosophy is not coincidental. The difference in terminology points to a doctrinal evolution. (p. 241)
"By way of conclusion, let me sum up the main results of our inquiry into the genealogy of the term transcendentia (in the sense of transcendentals »).
(i) The first philosophical account of a doctrine of the transcendentals is presented in Philip the Chancellor's Summa de bono. This work did not use the term transcendentia, but later in the thirteenth century Roland of Cremona, Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas applied the term to a systematic doctrine of the communissima. The origin of the doctrine is not the Platonic-Augustinian idea of « transcensus », but rather the Avicennian tradition of primary notions.
(ii) The term transcendentia already existed before the emergence of a systematic doctrine. Albert the Great's commentaries and some texts from the Logica modernorum strongly suggest that the term originates in logical discussions, focussing on the distinctive nature of certain (« transcendental ») terms." (p. 255)
(1) I myself wrote a book with the title Medieval Philosophy and the Transcendentals. The Case of Thomas Aquinas, Leiden - New York, 1996.
- ———. ""Eros" Und "Agape". Dionysius Areopagita Und Thomas Von Aquin Über Die Doppelgestalt Der Liebe." In Die Dionysius-Rezeption Im Mittelalter. Internationales Kolloquium in Sofia Vom 8. Bis 11. April 1999, edited by Boiadjiev, Tsocho, Kapriev, Georgi and Speer, Andreas. 373-391. Turnhout: Brepols, 2000.
- ———. "Thomas Von Aquin. Alle Menschen Verlangen Von Natur Nach Wissen." In Philosophen Des Mittelalters. Eine Einführung, edited by Kobusch, Theo. 186-201. Darmstadt: Primus, 2000.
- ———. "Mittelaterliche Philosophie: Ein Unmögliches Projekt?". In Geisteleben Im 13. Jahrhundert, edited by Aertsen, Jan A. and Speer, Andreas. 12-28. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2000.
- ———. "Filosofia Cristiana: ¿Primacia Del Ser Versus Primacia Del Bien?". Anuario Filosofico 33 (2000): 339-361.
- ———. "Fröhliche Wissenschaft: Wahrheit Im Mittelalter." In Ende Und Vollendung: Eschatologische Perspektiven Im Mittelalter, edited by Aertsen, Jan A. and Pickavé, Martin. 48-65. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2001.
- ———. ""Von Gott Kann Man Nichts Erkennen, Miner Dass Er Ist" (Satz 215 Der Pariser Verurteilung). Die Debatte Über Die (Un-)Möglichkeit Einer Gotteserkenntnis Quid Est." In Nach Der Verurteilung Von 1277. Philosophie Und Theologie an Der Universität Von Paris Im Letzten Viertel Des 13. Jahrhunderts, edited by Aertsen, Jan A., Emery, Kent Jr. and Speer, Andreas. 22-37. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2001.
- ———. "Die Frage Nach Dem Ersten Und Grundlegenden. Albert Der Grosse Und Die Lehre Von Den Transzendentalien." In Albertus Magnus. Zum Gedenken Nach 800 Jahren: Neue Zugänge, Aspekte Und Perspektiven, edited by Senner, Walter. 91-112. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2001.
- ———. "Die Transzendentalität Des Wahren in Der Mittelalterlichen Philosophie." In Bene Scripsisti... Philosophy since the Middle Ages to Modern Times: Proceedings of the Seventieth Birthday of Stanislav Sousedík, edited by Benes, Jiri, Glombicek, Peter and Urbanek, Vladimir. 49-62. Prague: Filosofia, 2001.
- ———. "'Res' as Transcendental. Its Introduction and Significance." In Le Problème Des Transcendantaux Du Xive Au Xviie Siècle, edited by Federici Vescovini, Graziella. 139-155. Paris: Vrin, 2002.
"The history of res as a transcendental term is an intriguing one: it could be described in terms of a success-story: from "nothing" to "king". In the first account of a doctrine of the transcendentals, the Summa de bono written by Philip the Chancellor ca. 1225-28, res is not mentioned at all. In the prologue Philip states that « most common (communissima) are these : ens, unum, verum, bonum », whose mutual relations he investigates in the next questions (1). Res is also absent in the expositions by Alexander of Hales, Bonaventure and Albert the Great: they restrict the number of transcendentals to the four that Philip had listed in his Summa (2).
Thirty years after Philip, however, the picture changes. In his account of the transcendentals in De veritate q. 1, a. 1 -- the most extensive one in the thirteenth century --, Thomas Aquinas incorporated res into the doctrine. He distinguishes six transcendentia, in the order ens, res, unum, aliquid, verum and bonum (3). Yet the role of the new transcendental res in Thomas and the Thomistic tradition in general remains somewhat marginal. A good illustration offers a treatise from the 14th century, the Tractatus de sex transcendentibus, composed by Franciscus de Prato (who was lector in Perugia from 1343-45). The treatise is an attempt to systematize the doctrine on the basis of Thomas's teachings. Contrary to the order in De veritate, res holds the last place in this work, and its treatment is substantially briefer than those of the traditional transcendentals (4).
But in the generation after Thomas Aquinas, res started, as we shall see a splendid career. A notable reaction against Thomas's doctrine is Lorenzo Valla's philosophical mainwork Dialecticae disputationes (first version 1439) (5) In these disputations, Valla critically inquires into the basic notions of traditional philosophy, starting with the six primordial prin ciples (primordia) which the Aristotelians called transcendentia. They regarded these principles as the "princes of princes" or the "kings", but according to Valla a plurality of firsts is impossible ; only the monarchy is good. He will therefore investigate which among the six is the true rex imperator, that is, the most comprehensive (capacissima) notion (6).
Valla's conclusion is that only res can claim this title. It is evident unum is to be understood as "one res", aliquid as "another res", etc. But how about the notion ens, to which the Aristotelians give a place honour? In Valla's view, the term does not have a universal force of its own, but its force is wholly borrowed from another, namely from res (7) His arguments are marked by the (humanistic) linguistic turn; they are mainly philological. Ens is a participle that is to be resolved into a relative pronoun and a verb : id quod est. Id is to be resolved into ea res, so that finally ens can be reduced to ea res que est (8). When we say, for instance "the stone is being" (lapis est ens), the expression means "the stone is thing (res) which is". But does such a formula make any sense, when simpler and clearer to say "the stone is a res"? The words "that which is" cannot mean that the stone is "the thing that is", because only God "is" in the proper sense (Exodus 3,14). When therefore it is said of something else than God that it is "being" (ens), one uses an inappropriate way of expression (9).
The dignity of a transcendental was given only to res (10). To illustrate its position, Valla alludes to a story, reported by Herodotus in his Historiae (III, 86), a work that Valla translated into Latin. Six Persians contested the empire, but when Darius managed to become the king of the Persians, the other five descended from their horses and rendered hommage to the king. Similarly the other five transcendentals descend in order to honor res (11).
With respect to the remarkable history of "thing" I want to raise three questions: How did res come into philosophy, why did it enter philosophy and what did it bring about in philosophy, for our understanding of "reality" (12)?" (pp. 139-141; notes renumbered)
(1) Philippus Cancellarius, Summa de bono, prol. (ed. N. Wicki, t. I, Bern, 1985, p. 4).
(2) Cf. J.A. Aertsen, Medieval Philosophy and the Transcendentals. The Case of Thomas Aquinas, Leiden-New York-Köln 1996, p. 25-70.
(3) Thomas Aquinas, De veritate q. 1, a. 1 (ed. Leonina t. XXII, 1, Roma, 1970, p. 3-8).
(4) Cf. the recent edition by B. Mojsisch « Franciscus de Prato, Tractatus de sex transcendentibus », Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch für Antike and Mittelalter 5, 2000, p. 177-217.
(5) The different versions were edited by G. Zippel in two volumes : Lorenzo Valla Repastinatio dialectice et philosophie t. I, Retractatio totius dialectice cum fundamentis universe philosophie; t. II, Repastinatio dialectice et philosophie, Padova, 1982. [A new edition is now available: Lorenzo Valla, Dialectical Disputations, Latin text and English translation by B. P. Copenhaver and L. Nauta. (I Tatti Renaissance Library), Harvard University Press, 2012 (two volumes).]
Cf. S.I. Camporeale, Lorenzo Valla, Umanesimo e teologia, Firenze 1972, p. 153-162. M. Laffranchi, « L'interpretazione "retorica" del linguaggio dei trascendentali in Lorenzo Valla » in A. Ghisalberti (ed.), Dalla prima alla seconda Scolastica. Paradigmi e percorsi storiografici, Bologna 2001, p. 167-199.
(6) Lorenzo Valla, Retractatio I, cap. 1,n. 9 (ed. Zippel I, p. 11) : « Ea numero sex dicuntur : "ens", "aliquid", "res", "unum", "verum", "bonum". Que quoniam sunt altiora principia et velut principum principes et quasi (ut istis videtur) quidam imperatores et reges (...), de his prius ordine ipso dicendum est 0. Cap. 2, n. 1 : « Iam primum non plures esse debere imperatores ac reges, sed unum (...). Ergo quod ex his vocabulum, sive que vocabuli significatio sit imperator et rex, idest omnium capacissima (...), inquiramus ».
(7) Lorenzo Valla, Retractatio I, cap. 2, n. 12 (ed. Zippel I, p. 14) : « Quo palam est, omnem vim non naturalem habere, sed, ut sic dicam, precariam ac mutuo sumptam ». Repastinatio I, cap. 2, n. 9 (ed. Zippel II, p. 369) : « Quare quis non videt "ens" non habere suapte natura aliquam universalem vim, sed omnem mutuari ab illo 'res' ? ».
(8) Lorenzo Valla, Retractatio I, cap. 2, n. 11 (ed. Zippel I, p. 14) : « Igitur si "ens" ita resolvitur : "id quod est", et "id" resolvitur "ea res", profecto "ens" ita resolvetur : "ea' que est" ».
(9) Lorenzo Valla, Retractatio I, cap. 2, n. 12 (ed. Zippel I, p. 14-15) : « Quid enim sibi vult verbi causa "lapis est ens", id est "ea res, quae est' ? Quid faciunt ille voces "ea que est", cum sit et apertius et expeditius et satius, "lapis est res' ? (...) cum presertim absurda videatur oratio: "lapis est ea res que est", sive "lapis est res que est", quasi nihil sit proprie nisi solus lapis, aut quicquid erit illud, de quo dicemus ipsum esse "rem, que est" : que oratio de solo Deo propria est ( ...). Itaque cum de alia re quam de Deo dicitur quod sit "ens", inepte dicitur ».
(10) Lorenzo Valla, Repastinatio I, cap. 2, n. 12 (ed. Zippel II, p. 370) : « Quo fit ut solum sit "res", quod transcendentis dignitate donetur ».
(11) Lorenzo Valla, Retractatio I, cap. 2, n. 2 (ed. Zippel I, p. 11-12) : « Apud me autem ex his sex que nunc quasi de regno contendunt, non aliter "res" erit rex, quam Darius Hystaspis filius futurus rex erat ex illis sex Persis, qui regnum sorti permisere ». Cap. 2, n. 16 (ed. Zippel I, p. 15).
(12) There does not exist a comprehensive study on res as a philosophical concept. A good overview is offered by J. F. Courtine, Res, in Historisches Worterbuch der Philosophie, vol. 8, Basel 1992, p. 892-901. The volume Res. Atti del III (Colloquio internazionale del Lessico intellettuale europeo, ed. by M. Fattori and M. Bianchi, Rome 1982 (Lessico intellettuale europeo, 26), contains two interesting contributions : J. Hamesse, Res chez les auteurs philosophiques du XIIe et XIIIe siècles ou le passage de la neutralité a la spécificité (p. 91-104); L. Oeing-Hanhoff, Res comme concept transcendental et sur-transcendental (p. 285-296). See also R. Darge, "Suarez" Analyse der Transzendentalien "Ding" und "Etwas" im Kontext der scholastischen Metaphysiktradition », Theologie und Philosophie 75, 2000, p. 339-358.
- ———. "Truth in Thomas Aquinas." In The Contemporary Debate on the Truth. Proceedings of the Ii. Plenary Session of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor Communis Ii, N. S., 50-54. Vatican City: Pontifica Academia Sncti Thomae Aquinatis, 2002.
"When I was invited to comment upon the theme of the section -'Truth in Thomas Aquinas' - I pondered on the best way of meeting the request. I asked myself: What is most important in his conception of truth? The following comments are designed to be an answer to that question and are based on Thomas's remarks in De veritate. As such, my answer does not pretend to be definitive, but is based on personal reflections that are indebted to on-going discussions in the German academic world to which I belong. That said, I would hope that my comments possess some general relevance to other students of Thomas. It is my view, that the salience of Thomas's view of truth can be appreciated by means of highlighting four substantive points.
1. First and foremost we should attend to Thomas's approach to the question quid sit veritas.
2. Having considered the transcendentality of the truth, Thomas then solicits an answer to the question as to what it is.
3. There is truth in things; 'truth' is also predicated of the intellect.
What, then, is the primary 'locus' of truth: the thing or the intellect?
In his reply to this question (De veritate q. 1, a. 2) Thomas advances the idea of the analogy of the true; this predicate is said of many things according to an order of priority and posteriority, that is, in relation to one (thing) that possesses the ratio of the predicate primarily. The classical application
of the doctrine of analogy concerns the term 'being'. The novelty of Thomas's thinking here is to be seens in his application of the analogy to the predicate 'true', in order to determine the relation between the truth of being and the truth of the intellect.
4. At De veritate 1,4 Thomas poses the question that dominates the first systematic account of truth in the history of philosophy, Anselm of Canterbury's work De veritate: 'Is there only one truth by which all things are true?' Anselm had answered this question affirmatively; there is only one truth in the proper sense (proprie), the divine truth. Thomas's reply is more differentiated: truth is properly found in the human or divine intellect; primarily in the divine intellect; secondarily in the human intellect. A human truth, too, is truth in the proper sense.
The power of truth manifests itself in its claim of having absolute force; it holds without respect of persons. Thomas gives a remarkable example of that in his Commentary on the Book Job. He interprets the dispute between Job and God after the model of a medieval disputation. But Thomas wonders whether such a disputation is appropriate, since God is far superior to any human being. Truth does not change because of the difference of persons.
When somebody speaks the truth, he cannot therefore be defeated, irrespective of the person, with whom he disputes (cum aliquis veritatem loquitur, vinci non potest cum quocumque disputat). (8)
In summary, four ideas are most important in Thomas's conception of truth: the transcendental character of truth; its relationality (truth as adequation); the primary 'locus' of truth is the mind; and a human truth also is a truth in the proper sense. Seen together, they reflect the novelty of his philosophical thought and its relevance." (pp. 50-54)
(8) Expositio super Iob c. 13 (ed. Leonina vol. XXVI, 1965, 87).
- ———. "Die Umformung Der Metaphysik. Das Mittelalterliche Projekt Der Transzendentalien." In Prudentia Und Contemplatio. Ethik Und Metaphysik Im Mittelalter. Festschrift Für Georg Wieland Zum 65. Geburstag, edited by Brachtendorf, Johannes. 89-106. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2002.
- ———. "Heinrich Von Gent Und Thomas Von Aquin Über Die Transzendentalien. Ein Textvergleich." In Henry of Ghent and the Transformation of Scholastic Thought. Studies in Memory of Jos Decorte, edited by Guldentops, Guy and Steel, Carlos. 101-125. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2003.
- ———. "The Concept of "Transcendens" in the Middle Ages: What Is Beyond and What Is Common." In Platonic Ideas and Concept Formation in Ancient and Medieval Thought, edited by Van Riel, Gerd and Macé, Caroline. 133-154. Leuven: Leven University Press, 2004.
- ———. "La Scoperta Dell'ente in Quanto Ente." In Tommaso D'aquino E L'oggetto Della Metafisica, edited by Brock, Stephen L., 35-48. Roma: Armando, 2004.
- ———. "Metaphysics as a Transcendental Science." Quaestio.Yearbook of the History of the Metaphysics 5 (2005): 377-389.
- ———. "Aquinas and the Human Desire for Knowledge." American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 79 (2005): 411-430.
"This essay examines Aquinas's analysis of the human desire to know, which plays a central role in his thought. (I.) This analysis confronts him with the Aristotelian tradition: thus, the desire for knowledge is a "natural" desire. (II.) It also confronts him with the Augustinian tradition, which deplores a non-virtuous desire in human beings that is called "curiosity." (III.) Aquinas connects the natural desire with the Neoplatonic circle motif: principle and end are identical. The final end of the desire to know is the knowledge of God. (IV.) Aquinas also connects the end of the natural desire to know with Christian eschatology, teaching that man's ultimate end is the visio Dei. This end, however, is "supernatural." (V.) Duns Scotus severely criticizes central aspects of Aquinas's account. (VI.) As a rejoinder to Scotus's objections, we finally consider Aquinas's view on the proper object of the human intellect."
- ———. "Ethikbegründung Bei Thomas Von Aquin." In Ethikbegründungen Zwischen Universalismus Und Relativismus, edited by Heidemann, Dietmar H. and Engelhard, Kristina. 65-85. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2005.
- ———. "Der 'Systematiker' Eckhart." In Meister Eckhart in Erfurt, edited by Speer, Andreas and Wegener, Lydia. 189-230. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2005.
Miscellanea Mediaevalia 32.
- ———. "Die Rede Von Gott. Die Fragen Ob Er Ist Und Was Er Ist: Wissenschaftslehre Und Transzendentalienlehre (S. Th. I, Qq. 1-12)." In Thomas Von Aquin: Summa Theologiae. Werkinterpretationen, edited by Speer, Andreas. 29-50. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2005.
- ———. "The Triad True-Good-Beautiful. The Place of Beauty in the Middle Ages." In Intellect Et Imagination Dans La Philosophie Médiévale. Actes De Xième Congrès International De Philosophie Médiévale, Porto, 26 Au 30 Août 2002 Organisé Par La Société Internationale Pour L'étude De La Philosophie Médiévale, edited by Pacheco, Maria Cândida and Meirinhos, José F., 415-436. Turnhout: Brepols, 2006.
- ———. "Transcendens Im Mittelalter. Das Jenseitige Und Das Gemeinsame." Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie médiévales 73 (2006): 291-310.
- ———. "Is Truth Not a Transcendental for Aquinas?". In Wisdom's Apprentice. Thomistic Essays in Honor of Lawrence Dewan, O.P., edited by Kwaniewski, Peter A., 3-12. Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 2007.
- ———. "Vernunftskritik Und Offenbarung. Duns Scotus' Kritik an Thomas Von Aquin." In De Usu Rationis. Vernunft Und Offenbarung Im Mittelalter. Symposium Des Philosophischen Seminars Der Leibniz-Universität Hannover Vom 21. Bis 23. Februar 2006, edited by Mensching, Günther. 91-101. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2007.
- ———. "Truth in Middle Ages: Its Essence and Power in Christian Thought." In Truth. Studies of a Robust Presence, edited by Pritzl, Kurt. 127-146. Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 2010.
- ———. "Scotus' Conception of Transcendentality: Tradition and Innovation." In Johannes Duns Scotus 1308-2008. Die Philosophischen Perspektiven Seines Werkes = Johannes Duns Scotus 1308-2008. Investigations into His Philosophy, edited by Möhle, Hannes, Speer, Andreas, Kobusch, Theo and Bullido del Barrio, Susana. 107-123. Münster: Aschendorff, 2010.
Proceedings of "The Quadruple Congress" on John Duns Scotus. Part 3.
- ———. "The Transformation of Metaphysics in the Middle Ages." In Philosophy and Theology in the Long Middle Ages. A Tribute to Stephen F. Brown, edited by Emery, Kent Jr., Friedman, Russell L. and Speer, Andreas. 19-39. Leiden: Brill, 2011.
- ———. "The Goodness of Being." Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie médiévales 78 (2011): 281-295.
"This essay in honour of Carlos Steel examines a fundamental thesis behind the medieval metaphysics of the good, namely the «goodness of being» thesis, according to which everything that is is good. The basic text used is a Quodlibet disputed by the Parisian master Gerard of Bologna at the beginning of the fourteenth century, in which he discusses various determinations of the nature (ratio) of the good. This discussion reveals the difficulties to which the metaphysics of the good can lead: is it really the case that every being is good?"
- ———. "Tino-Logia: An Alternative for Ontology?". In Mots Médiévaux Offerts À Ruedi Imbach, edited by Atucha, Iñigo, Clama, Dragos, König-Pralong, Catherine and Zavattero, Irene. 729-737. Turnhout: Brepols, 2011.
"In our contribution to the Festschrift in honour of Ruedi Imbach the focus will be on the term « tino-logia ». The notion is not mentioned in the most complete philosophical dictionary of our time, the Historisches Worterbuch der Philosophie, which appeared in 13 volumes from 1971-2007. The vocable was suggested by French scholars two decades ago in their analysis of the genealogy of Western metaphysics and has since then found acceptance. « Tinology » is meant to characterize an alternative for the traditional ontological model of metaphysics. Influential was an observation made by Jean-Francois Courtine at the end of his monumental study on the metaphysics of Francis Suarez : « En rigueur de termes, l'ontologie classique-moderne devrait donc plutot être caracterisée comme une 'tinologie' »(1). The emergence of this neologism and its historical place is the first thing that calls for attention." (p. 729)
- ———. "Why Is Metaphysics Called "First Philosophy" in the Middle Ages?". In The Science of Being as Being: Metaphysical Investigations, edited by Doolan, Gregory T., 53-69. Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 2012.