Authors/Ockham/Summa Logicae/Book I/Chapter 51

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[CAP. 51. DE OBIECTIONIBUS QUAE POSSENT FIERI CONTRA PRAEDICTA] [Chapter 51.  On objections to what was said above]
Et quod haec non sit opinio Aristotelis, fortasse quis obiciet. And perhaps someone will object that this is not the opinion of Aristotle.
(1) Primo quidem ex dictis in Categoriis, tibi enumerans praedicamenta dicit: 'Eorum quae secundum nullam complexionem dicuntur singulum aut significat substantiam aut quantitatem aut qualitatem', et sic de aliis. Ex quo videtur intendere distinctas res distinctis generibus importari, et ita cum relatio sit unum decem generum, importabit rem aliam ab his quae per alia genera importantur. First, of course, from what is said in the Categories[1], enumerating the categories for you, he says "Expressions which are in no way are called singular, signify substance, quantity or quality", and so on. From this it seems he means that distinct things are conveyed by distinct genera, and since relation is one of the ten genera, it will convey something other than what are conveyed by other genera.
(2) Praeterea, in eodem dicit: 'Ad aliquid sunt quaecumque hoc ipsum quod sunt aliorum dicuntur'. Per quod excluduntur substantiae, quae licet sint aliorum, non tamen sunt ad aliquid. Hoc autem non videtur verum de terminis nec de rebus extra quas absolutas dicunt. Relinquitur igitur esse aliquid aliud ab his cui competat esse ad aliquid. Furthermore, in the same place he says “things are called relative, which are predicated of other things”. Through which are excluded substances, which although they are of other things, are nevertheless not a relation. But this does not seem true of terms, nor of external things which they call absolute. Therefore, it remains that it is something other than things to which it belongs to be a relation.
(3) Adhuc, quomodo vera erunt quae Aristoteles ibidem docet de relativis, ut quod contrarietas inest in relatione, et quod relatio suscipit magis et minus, et quod relativa sunt simul natura? De terminis enim et rebus absolutis, ut videtur, verificari non possunt. Hoc etiam persuaderi videtur rationibus ex principiis Aristotelis deductis: 'Impossibile enim est idem simul esse et non esse'; sed absoluta sunt relatione transeunte; necesse est igitur ea esse distincta. Also, how will Aristotle's teaching there about relatives be true, so that contrariety inheres in a relation, and that relation is receptive of more or less, and that relatives are 'simultaneous by nature'[2]?  For of terms, and of absolutes, it seems, they cannot be verified.  Also the following seems to be persuasive, using arguments deduced from what Aristotle says. "For it is impossible for the same thing to be and not be".  But absolutes exist by a transient relation.  Therefore it is necessary that they are distinct.
(4) Ulterius, passio realiter differt a subiecto, cum realiter demonstretur de eo; et idem non demonstratur realiter de se ipso. Aequale autem et inaequale, et nonnulla relativa, sunt passiones, cum sit proprium quantitati aequale vel inaequale dici, et qualitati simile vel dissimile, ut docet Aristoteles in Praedicamentis. Igitur etc. Furthermore, an affection differs in reality from its subject, since it is demonstrated of it in reality, and the same thing is not demonstrated of itself in reality.  Now equal and unequal, and some relatives, are affections, since it is proper to a quantity to be called equal or unequal, as Aristotle teaches in the Categories, therefore etc.
(5) Item, quod est principium operationis realis necesse est esse reale. Relatio autem videtur esse huiusmodi: aliqua namque aliter et aliter proportionata et ordinata faciunt delectationem, quam non facerent indeterminata proportione, vel ordine circumscripto. Likewise, whatever is the principle of operation of something real, necessarily is real. But relation seems to be like this, for some things set in proportion and ordered in such and such a way create delight[3], which they would not create with indeterminate proportion, or with order set aside.  
(6) Amplius, quomodo salvabitur distinctio decem praedicamentorum, quorum septem ponuntur relativa; et distinctio entis creati in absolutum et respectivum; aut entis extra animam in decem categorias? Quomodo etiam consueta et communes locutiones stare poterunt, ut quod pater paternitate est pater; et filius filiatione est filius; et similis similitudine est similis, non enim nihilo est similis; aut quod relatio est accidens, et his similia ? Furthermore, how will we preserve the distinction of the ten categories, of which seven are given as relatives, and the distinction of created being into absolute and respective, or of being outside the soul in the ten categories?  Also, how could customary [ways of talking], and common locutions stand, such as 'a father is a father by fatherhood', 'a son is a son by sonhood', and 'similar things are similar by similarity', for something is not similar to nothing.  Or that relation is an accident, and the like?
(7) Impossibile quoque videtur sine respectu unionis astruere quem ad modum uniatur forma materiae, pars parti in continuo, accidens suo subiecto et spiritus naturae corporeae. Unionem namque spirituum ad naturas corporeas non solum Lex Christiana sed et omnis natio, ritus et secta fatetur; et hoc ipsum apud magos, pythones et ceteros superstitionum huiusmodi sectatores familiarissimum est. Si praedicta etiam opinio esset vera tunc idem esset in diversis praedicamentis, quod Aristoteles non recipit, ut videtur, cum apud eum propositio negativa in qua unum praedicamentum negatur ab alio sit immediata. Also, it seems impossible, without a relative of union, to show how form is united to material, part united to part in the continuum, and accident to its subject, and spirit to a corporeal nature.  For not only the Christian law, but also all nations, rites and sects admit the union of spirits to corporeal natures, and this fact is most familiar to magi, pythonics[4], and other sects of superstitions of this sort. But if the previous opinion were true, then the same thing would be in diverse categories, which Aristole does not accept, since according to him a negative proposition in which one category is denied of another, is immediate.
Ex his forsan putabit aliquis Philosophum aliter esse opinatum quam superius ostensum est. Sed diligenter consideranti non debet propter has rationes videri ambiguum Aristotelem talia entia extra animam nullatenus posuisse. From these considerations, perhaps someone will think that the Philosopher to be of a different opinion than was shown above.  But to one carefully considering it ought not to seem ambiguous, because of these reasons, that Aristotle in any way supposed there were such entities outside the soul.
(1) Quod enim primo inducitur non arguit distinctionem rerum correspondentem illis distinctis incomplexis, sicut nec arguitur distinctio rerum in Deo ex hoc quod dicimus nominum divinorum alia significare iustitiam, alia sapientiam, alia bonitatem, alia potentiam, et sic de aliis; vel in equo ex hoc quod dicimus nominum de equo dictorum aliqua significare equi substantiam, aliqua mobilitatem, aliqua corruptibilitatem, et sic de aliis. For the first argument cited does not support any distinctions in God corresponding to those distinct simples, just as it does not support a distinction of things in God from the fact that we say that some names of the divine signify justice, others wisdom, others goodness, others power, and so on. Or any distinctions in a horse from the fact that we say that some names of a horse signify that it is a substance, some signify mobility, some corruptibility, and so on.
Sed est sensus talium locutionum quod terminorum de Deo dictorum quidam important quod Deus iustus est, quidam quod sapiens, quidam quod bonus, et sic de aliis; et quod terminorum de equo dictorum quidam significant quid equus sit, quidam quod mobilis, quidam quod corruptibilis, et sic de aliis. Eodem modo in proposito: 'Singulum incomplexorum aut significat substantiam, aut quantitatem etc.', sensus est quod quidam terminorum significant quid res est, quidam qualis est, quidam quanta est, quidam ad quid est, puta cui similis vel aequalis, quidam quid agit, quidam quid patitur etc. Manifestius igitur Aristoteles expressit naturam praedicamentorum V Metaphysicae, dicens: 'Quoniam igitur praedicamentorum alia quid est significant, alia quale, alia quantum, alia ad aliquid' etc. But the sense of such locutions is that of terms said of God, some convey that he is just, some that he is wise, some that he is good, and so on.  And that of terms said of a horse, some signify what thing a horse is, some signify that it is mobile, some that it is corruptible, and so on.  In the same way here, the sense of "non-composite expressions signify substance, quantity,  etc"[5];is that some terms signify what a thing is, some terms what kind of thing it is, some how large it is, some what it is related to, e.g. to what it is similar or equal, some how it acts, how it is affected etc.  Therefore it is manifest that Aristotle expresses the nature of the categories in Metaphysics V[6], saying "Therefore some categories signify what thing something is, others what quality it is, others its quantity, others its relation" etc.
Est ergo mens Aristotelis non qui termini quas res significent, sed intendit ostendere quomodo aliqui termini sunt absoluti, aliqui connotativi, aliqui relativi, sicut alibi sufficienter declaratum est. Therefore the thinking of Aristotle is not which terms signify which things, but rather me means to show how some terms are absolute, others connotative, some relative, as was sufficiently made clear elsewhere.  
(2) Eodem modo ad aliud dicendum est quod secundum mentem Aristotelis ipsi termini proprie dicuntur ad aliquid seu relativi 'qui hoc ipsum quod sunt aliorum dicuntur', hoc est ex hoc quod sunt tales termini sic significantes aliquid, aliud dant intelligere, ita quod nulla propositio in qua praedicatur talis terminus de aliquo potest sciri nisi sciatur determinate illud quod dat intelligere. In the same way it should be said to the other [second] argument that, according to the thinking of Aristotle, terms are properly called relative "from the fact that they are predicated of others", i.e. from the fact that they are such a term signifying something, they give to understand another thing, so that no proposition in which such a term is predicated of something can be known, unless the thing that it gives to understand is known determinately .
Et propterea tales termini 'caput', 'ala', 'manus' et huiusmodi non sunt ad aliquid: quocumque enim horum viso potest sciri quid tale sit, puta 'caput', 'ala', 'manus', quamvis ignoretur cuius sit. Quo modo autem sit in relatione contrarietas: considerandum est quod contraria quandoque dicuntur quorum unum non compatitur secum aliud realiter, ita quod ad utrumque potest esse motus proprie, sicut albedo et nigredo sunt contraria. And because of that, such terms as 'head', 'wing', 'hand' and so on are not relational.  For whatever is seen of them, it is known what such a thing is, for example 'head', 'wing', 'hand', although it is not know who it belongs to. But how contrariety is in relation: it should be considered that contraries are sometimes predicated of things of which one is not compatible with another in reality, so that change can properly be towards both, just as whiteness and blackness are contraries.
Quandoque vero dicuntur contraria termini qui non possunt simul de eodem respectu eiusdem verificari. Et hoc modo contrarietas est in terminis relativis, ut 'simile' et 'dissimile', 'aequale' et 'inaequale' contraria sunt, cum de eodem respectu eiusdem verificari non possint. 'Suscipere quoque magis et minus' sumitur aliquotiens pro vera additione rei ad rem, sicut albedo vel lux suscipit magis et minus; quandoque in praedicatione, puta cum aliquod nomen recipit comparationem, et sic relatio suscipit magis et minus, quod tamen non semper contingit propter additionem rei ad rem sed plerumque propter solam ablationem, sicut inaequale fit magis aequale propter ablationem partis suae. But sometimes so-called contraries are terms which cannot be verified of the same thing at the same time. And in thise mode contrariety is in relative terms, e.g. 'similar' and 'dissimilar', 'equal' and 'unequal' are contraries, since they cannot be verified of the same thing at the same time.  'To be receptive of greater or less' is sometimes taken for a true addition of a thing to a thing, just as whiteness or light receives more or less, sometimes in predication, e.g. when some name receives a comparative, and thus relation is receptive of greater or less, which nevertheless does not always happen by the addition of thing to thing, but frequently by removal alone, just as the unequal is made more equal by the removal of a part of it.
Unde sicut contingit aliquando aliquid denominari nomine relativo propter mutationem in altero solum, ita contingit 'magis et minus' sic denominari propter solam mutationem in altero vel ablationem in se ipso seu augmentationem alicuius absoluti in se ipso. Similiter etiam relativa dicuntur simul natura, non quia sint aliquae res quarum una necessario exigat aliam et e converso, sed ex hoc quod si esse exsistere praedicatur de uno significative accepto, necessario verificabitur de alio, eodem modo sumpto. Sequitur enim 'duplum est, ergo dimidium est' et e converso. Hence, just as it is possible for something to be denominated by a relative name because of the change in something else only, so it is possible for 'greater' or 'lesser' to be denominated because of the change in something else, or the removal [of something] in itself, or the augmentation of something absolute in itself.  Similarly also relatives are called 'simultaneous by nature', not because they are certain things of which one necessarily requires the other and conversely, but from the fact that if existential being is predicated of one, significatively taken, necessarily it is verified of the other, taken in the same way.  For 'a double exists, therefore a half exists' follows, and conversely.
(3) Ad aliud dicendum faciliter, concedendo conclusionem quod absoluta realiter distinguuntur a relationibus, quia relationes dicuntur termini relativi, qui realiter distinguuntur a rebus extra. Saepe tamen hic modus arguendi decipit imperitos, ut cogat ad pluralitatem rerum, quas in rei veritate ponere non oportet; ut 'creatio est, conservatio non est, igitur creatio distinguitur a conservatione'. To the next argument there is an easy reply by conceding the conclusion that absolutes are really distinguished from relations, because relations are called relative terms, which are really distinguished from things outside [the soul].  Yet often this mode of arguing deceives the ignorant, as it suggests a plurality of things, which we do not have to posit in the truth of reality, for example 'creation exists, conservation does not exist, therefore creation is distinguished from conservation'.
Sed quando talis modus arguendi teneat, in sequentibus apparebit. Si dicas quod album realiter de non-simili fit simile, circumscripto omni termino, ergo aliquid habet quod non habuit, dico quod album de non-simili fit realiter simile per hoc solum quod fit unum aliud album et non per adventum cuiuscumque novae rei in ipso. Quemadmodum enim Deus de non creante fit creans et columna de nondextera fit dextera sine quacumque re nova recepta in eis, sic in proposito existimandum est. But in what cases such a mode of arguing holds, will become apparent in the following sections.  If you say that a white thing is made similar in reality to a non-similar, setting aside any term, then something has what it does not have, I reply that a white thing is made similar in reality to a non-similar thing only by the fact that one other thing is made white, and not by the arrival of any new thing in it.  For in the way that God de non creante fit creans et columna de nondextera fit dextera sine quacumque re nova recepta in eis, sic in proposito existimandum est.
(4) Quod vero inducitur de passione et suo subiecto, faciliter solvitur praecognito quid est passio demonstrabilis: quae non est aliquid realiter exsistens extra in subiecto, sed est quoddam praedicabile per se secundo modo de subiecto, natum supponere pro eodem pro quo subiectum supponit.Et hoc modo 'simile' vel 'dissimile', 'aequale' vel 'inaequale' dicuntur passiones qualitatis vel quantitatis. But what is mentioned about the affection and its subject is easily resolved, when it is already known what a demonstrable affection is, which is not something really existing outside in a subject, but is a certain thing predicable per se in the second mode of the subject, fitted to supposit for the same thing for which the subject supposits.  And in this way 'similar' or 'dissimilar', 'equal' or 'unequal' are called affections of quality or quantity.
(5) Ex hoc etiam quod experimur diversos effectus causari per hoc quod aliqua aliter et aliter disponuntur et ordinantur non est putandum relationem, quam significant, esse causam illorum, sed absoluta potius quae sic et aliter proportionantur. Also, from the fact that we experience diverse effects caused by some things being arranged and ordered in one way or another, we should not suppose that a relation which they signify is the cause of them, but rather absolutes which are proportioned in one way or another [cause these effects]
Sicut enim causa nunc potest aliquid causare quod non prius fuit ex hoc solo quod est approximata passo, et non propter additionem cuiuscumque novae rei, sic et in musicis et picturis aliqua diversimode proportionata causant delectationem quam aliter non causarent. Quod vero consequenter additur de distinctione praedicamentorum, quibusdam facit difficultatem. For just as a cause can cause something now that did not exist before, merely from the fact that it is brought close to the thing affected, and not because of the addition of any new thing, so in music and pictures things which are proportioned in diverse ways cause delight, which otherwise they would not cause.  But that it is consequently added to the distinction of the categories causes a difficulty for certain persons [or, in certain cases?]
Et iam dixit Avicenna illam esse famosam tantum, et ideo nemo cogitur eam sine efficaci probatione tenere. Peripateticorum vero, dictis Aristotelis inhaerentes, habent aliter dicere, videlicet quod distinctio praedicamentorum non sumitur ex distinctione rerum quas important sed potius ex distinctione interrogatorum de individuo substantiae, ut docet Averroes VII Metaphysicae. And Avicenna has already said illam esse famosam tantum, and therefore no one is thought to hold it without an effective proof.  But of the Peripatetics, adhering to the sayings of Aristotle, they have to say otherwise, namely that the distinction of the categories is not taken from the distinction of things which they convey, but rather from the distinction of interrogatives about the individual of a substance, as Averroes (Metaphysics VII) teaches.
Non enim putandum est decem genera esse res extra animam, aut significare decem res quarum nulla significatur nisi per unum illorum, sed doctrina Peripateticorum astruit decem genera fore decem terminos easdem res aliter et aliter importantes. Quemadmodum enim octo partes orationis possunt esse distinctae et tamen significare idem, ut 'album', 'albescens', 'albescere', 'albe', sic cum distinctione praedicamentorum potest stare identitas rerum quas important. For it should not be thought that the ten genera are things outside the soul, or that they signify ten things, each of which is signified by only one of the genera, but rather the teaching of the Peripatetics shows that the ten genera are ten terms signifying the same things in different ways. For just as the eight parts of speech can be distinct, and yet signify the same thing, e.g. 'white', 'whitening', 'to whiten', 'go white', so the identity of the things which they convey can be consistent with the distinctness of the categories.
(6) Similiter distinctio entis per absolutum et respectivum non est entis in quantum ens sed terminorum, sicut distinctio per abstractum et concretum, per proprium et appellativum, per adiectivum et substantivum, cum nulla res proprie dicatur absoluta vel respectiva. Quare enim diceretur absoluta? Aut quia distinguitur a quolibet alio: et tunc relatio, quam moderni ponunt extra, esset absoluta, cum ponant eam distingui realiter a quolibet alio. Similarly, the distinction of being into absolute and relative is not a distinction of being insofar as being, but of terms, like the distinction between concrete and abstract, or proper and appellative name, or adjective and substantive, since no thing is properly called absolute or relative. For why would it be called absolute? Either because it is distinguished from something else, and then a relation, which the moderns suppose to be outside, would be absolute, since they suppose it to be distinguished from anything else.
Aut quia non coexigit aliquid aliud seu non dependet ad aliquid aliud: et sic nullum accidens esset absolutum, nec forma substantialis, nec aliqua creatura; horum enim quodlibet alio indiget et ab alio dependet ut sit. Aut dicitur absoluta quia potest per se intelligi, non requirens terminum suae cognitionis: et tunc materia et omnia accidentia et divinitas non essent absoluta, si secundum opinionem multorum nec materia sine forma nec accidens sine subiecto nec deitas sine personis potest intelligi. Vel si haec dixeris posse per se intelligi, nulla omnino remanet ratio quin etiam illa forma respectiva possit per se intelligi. Or because it is not co-dependent on some other thing, or does not depend on something else, and thus no accident would be absolute, nor a substantial form, nor anything created. For any of these needs something else, and depends on other to exist. Or it is called absolute because it can be understood per se, not requiring a terminus for its cognition, and then matter and all accidents, and divinity, would not be absolute, if, according to the opinion of many, material cannot be understood without form, nor accident without subject nor divinity without the divine persons. Or, if what you have said could be understood per se, in no way does the nature remain but that the relative form could also be understood per se.
Et quod additur de divisione entis extra animam, patet evidenter litteram VI Metaphysicae intuenti quod illa non est divisio rerum extra sed terminorum, sicut et illa quae ponuntur in Praedicamentis et V Metaphysicae. Tum quia dicit compositionem et divisionem aliud esse ab his quae mens copulat et dividit; tum quia postremo subiungit quod 'ens dicitur multipliciter, sicut dictum est in his quae de quotiens. Hoc enim significat quid est, hoc autem quale aut quantum' etc. Constat autem quod haec non possunt competere rebus sed terminis, quorum proprie est compositio, divisio et significatio. And what is added about division of being outside the soul, is evidently clear to anyone examining the passage of Metaphysics VI, that this is not a division of things outside, but of terms, just like those given in the Categories and Metaphysics V. Also because he says that composition and division are other than those which the mind joins and divides, and also because afterwards he adds that ‘being is predicated in many senses .... one signifies what something is, one, what kind of thing, another how much &c. It is plain that these cannot belong to things outside, but to terms, of which properly composition, division and signification [are predicated].
Quae vero consueta sunt dici de relationibus, multa impropria, nonnulla falsa et fabulosa esse constat, sicut latissime patet perscrutanti volumina de his edita a modernis, licet eorum aliqua verum habeant intellectum, ut quod pater paternitate est pater et filius filiatione est filius et similis similitudine est similis, et his similia. But it is plain that many things that are customarily said about relations are improper, some false and fantastical, just as is very broadly clear to anyone scrutinising books about these things published by the moderns, although some of these have a true interpretation, such as ‘a father is a father by paternity’, and ‘a son is a son by filiation’, and ‘a similar thing similar by similitude’, and the like.
In quibus locutionibus non oportet fingere rem aliquam per quam pater sit pater et filius sit filius et similis sit similas. Nec oportet multiplicare res in talibus locutionibus 'columna est dextera dexteritate', 'Deus est creans creatione, bonus bonitate, iustus iustitia, potens potentia', 'accidetis inhaeret inhaerentia', 'subiectum subicitur subiectione', 'aptum est aptum aptitudine', 'chimaera est nihil nihilitate', 'caecus est caecus caecitate', 'corpus est mobile mobilitate', et sic de aliis innumeris. In these locutions we do not have to suppose some thing by which a father is a father or a son a son or a similar thing similar. Nor do we have to multiply things in such locutions as "a column is to the right by to-the-rightness", "God is creating by creation, is good by goodness, is just by justice, is powerful by power", "an accident inheres by inherence", "a subject is subjected by subjection", "a suitable thing is suitable by suitability", "a chimera is nothing by nothingness", "a blind thing is blind by blindness", " a body is mobile by mobility" and such other innumerable things.
Explicite igitur et absque ambiguitate loquendo quaelibet harum propositionum resolvenda est in duas, utendo descriptione loco nominis, ut: Pater est pater paternitate, id est pater est pater quia genuit filium; filius est filius filiatione, id est filius est filius quia genitus est; similis est similis similitudine, id est similis est similis quia habet qualitatem eiusdem speciei cum alio. Et sic de aliis. Therefore, explicitly and speaking without ambiguity, any of these propositions are to be resolved into two, by using a description in place of a name, such as: a father is a father by paternity – that is, a father is a father because he has fathered a son; a son is a son by son-ness - that is, a son is a son because he has been fathered; a similar thing is similar by similitude – that is, the similar is similar because it has a quality of the same species as another. And so on.
Si vero hic modus ponendi displiceat, possunt aliter salvari huiusmodi locutiones absque rerum multiplicatione, ponendo quod abstractum et concretum, puta pater et paternitas, filius et filiatio, similis et similitudo idem significant. Et tunc erit sensus: pater est pater paternitate, id est se ipso, sicut Deus est creator creatione activa, id est se ipso, quia creatio activa non dicit rem additam Deo; et Deus est bonus bonitate, id est se ipso, cum eius bonitas non sit aliud quam ipse. Qualiter etiam concedendum est relationem esse accidens, docet Anselmus, Monologion, cap. 25. Non enim dicitur accidens quia sit forma realiter informans substantiam de qua dicitur, sicut albedo, sed quia est quoddam praedicabile de aliquo contingenter, quod potest successive affirmari et negari propter transmutationem illius de quo dicitur vel alterius, ut aequalitas et similitudo, dominus, creator etc. But if this manner of putting it is not pleasing, locutions of this sort can be preserved in another way without the multiplication of things, by supposing that the abstract and concrete terms (e.g. father and fatherhood, son and sonhood, similar and similarity, signify the same thing.  And then the sense is 'a father is a father by paternity', i.e. is a father by himself, just as God is a creator by active creation, i.e. a creator by himself, and God is good by goodness, i.e. by himself, since his goodness is nothing other than himself. Also, how it should be conceded that relation is an accident, Anselm teaches in the Monologion[7]. For an accident is not so-called because it is a a form really inhering in the substance of which it is predicated, such as whiteness, but because it is a certain thing that is contigently predicable of something, that can be successively affirmed and denied because of the transformation of what it is predicated of, or of the other, such as equality, similitude, lord, creator etc.
(7) Nec illud quod subiungitur de materia et forma, subiecto et accidente, toto et partibus, et spiritibus unitis corporibus concludit rem relativam mediam inter illa unita. Eadem enim quaestio remaneret de illa re media: quomodo facit unum cum eo in quo poneretur? Aut enim se ipsa, et eadem ratione standum fuit in primis unibilibus; aut alia unione, et tunc procedetur in infinitum. Ponatur enim illa res media per quamcumque potentiam separata ab unibilibus, deinde uniatur illis sicut accidens suo subiecto: quomodo de non unita fiet unita? An per aliam rem mediam ? Et redit pristina difficultas. Nor does the fact that there is a conjunction of material and form, subject and accident, whole and part, and spirits united to bodies imply a relative intermediate between thing.  For the same question would remain about that intermediate thing: how does it form a unity which the thing in which it was posited?  Either of itself, and by equal reasoning we should have stopped at the first things capable of being united, or by another union, and then there would be an infinite regress.  For let us suppose that by some power, that intermediary thing is separated from the things capable of being united [by it], and is then united to them as an accident is united to its subject.  How is a union made from a non-union?  Is it from another intermediate thing?  And then the original difficulty returns.
Ideo dicendum est breviter sicut docet Aristoteles, VIII Metaphysicae, ubi quaerens quomodo materia et forma faciunt unum, reddit causam dicens quod illud est actus et illud potentia, quia horum quodlibet suo modo est alteri unibile, quia unum est actus et aliud potentia aut utrumque actus et potentia. Non quidem semper actus informans sed quandoque informans, quandoque movens, quandoque regens et gubernans. Et aliis modis. Therefore, it should be briefly said, just as Aristotle teaches (Metaphysics VII), where asking how material and form make a single thing, he gives the cause, saying that one is actuality and the other is potentiality, because whatever of these in its mode is able to be united with another, because one is actuality and the other potentiality. Not always the informing act, of course, but sometimes the informing, sometimes the moving, sometimes the ruling and governing.  And in other modes.
Ex dictis quoque manifestum est quod nullum est inconveniens apud Aristotelem eandem rem per diversa praedicamenta importari, cum ponat scibile et scientiam, sensibile et sensum in praedicamento relationis et in aliis praedicamentis. Nec obstat quod dicit immediatam propositionem in qua unum praedicamentum removetur ab alio, quia hoc non est propter diversitatem rerum quas important, sed quia unum non praedicatur de alio praedicatione directa et primo modo dicendi per se sed per accidens. Exemplum: eadem res importatur per creationem et conservationem, et tamen unum vere negatur ab alio. Sic et hic. From what has been said, it is manifest that it is no absurdity in Aristotle, that the same thing is conveyed by diverse categories, since he puts ‘knowable’ and ‘knowledge’, ‘sensible’ and ‘sensed’ in the category of relation and in other categories. Nor is it an impediment that he calls an ‘immediate proposition’ one in which one category is removed from another, because this is not because of diversity of the things which they convey, but because one thing is not predicated of another by a predication that is direct, and in the first mode of saying per se, but per accidens. Example: the same thing is conveyed by ‘creation’ and ‘conservation’, and yet one is truly denied of the other. So also here.
Sic igitur Aristoteles opinatus est de relativis quaemadmodum dictum est. Opinio vero contraria duplicem videtur habere radicem. Una quidem radix est quia nonnulli nimis innituntur proprietati sermonis vulgatae philosophiae, quae multis praebuit occasionem erroris. Tum quia defectuose translata; tum quia propter obscuritatem Graeci sermonis in Latinum translati male intelligitur et perversus inde quandoque intellectus elicitur; tum quia dicta auctorum falso saepissime allegantur, cum tamen etiam veraciter allegatis fidem non expediat adhibere multorum errorum labe respersis. So accordingly Aristotle had the opinion of relatives that has been said here. But the contrary opinion seems to have a twofold root. One root is that some are founded too much in the propriety of speech of the common philosophy, which has provided the occasion of error to many. Both because defectively translated, and because, on account of the obscurity of the Greek language translated into Latin, it is badly understood, and hence a perverse understanding sometimes arises, and also because the sayings of the authorities are very often cited falsely, although even when they are truly cited, when scattered with the stain of many errors, it does not help to apply faith
Secunda radix est multiplicare entia secundum multitudinem terminorum, et quod quilibet terminus habet quid rei; quod tamen abusivum est et a veritate maxime abducens. Non enim quaerendum est in omnibus terminis quid rei sed tantum quid nominis in multis, quales sunt omnes termini relativi et nonnulli alii, quorum quilibet aequivalet in significando longae orationi. Et ideo propositiones in quibus ponuntur resolvendae sunt et exponendae, utendo aliquotiens descriptione loco nominis, quia voces et conceptus decipiunt. The second root [of the error of the moderns] is to multiply entities according to the multiplicity of terms and [to suppose] that every term has a real essence. This, however, is erroneous and leads far away from the truth. For the real essence is not to be sought in all terms, but in many [of them] only the nominal essence, of which sort are all relative terms and some others, of which each is equivalent in signifying to a longer expression. And therefore the propositions in which they occur should be analysed and interpreted, sometimes by using a description in place of a name, for utterances and concepts are deceptive.

Notes

  1. Chapter 4
  2. See categories c13. 'Simultaneous', in Aristotle's sense, applies to things such that the beginning of one of them is simultaneous with the beginning of the other.
  3. Ockham seems to have a work of art in mind
  4. Presumably the devotees of Python, the earth-dragon of Delphi, who presided at the oracle at Delphi
  5. Categories, c.4
  6. Metaphysics 17a
  7. Chapter 25
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