Saturday, June 13, 2009

Scotus on the formal end-point of production (translation)

From the Lectura

‘I say that in creatures, there is something that is produced, and that’s the primary end-point of production — it is the whole composite that is primarily produced or generated, just as the Philosopher proves in Metaphysics VII [1033b16-18]. Similarly, there is something that’s formally in the product which is produced, and this is the formal nature under which the production ends. This is the formal end-point of production, and it is the form of the product. So in one sense, the form truly ends the production . . . . the form truly is an end-point of production, even though the primary and adequate end-point is the composite itself’.

[Scotus, Lect. 1.5.1.un., nn. 27-28 (Vat. 16: 420.8-22): ‘dico quod in creaturis est aliquid quod producitur, quod est primus terminus productionis, — et est totum compositum quod primo producitur et generatur, sicut probatur VII Metaphysicae; similiter, est aliquid formale in producto quod producitur, quod est formalis ratio sub qua terminat productionem, et est formalis terminus productionis, et haec est forma producti. Et quod sic forma uno modo vere terminat productionem . . . . forma vere est terminus productionis, sed tamen terminus primus adaequatus est ipsum compositum’.]

From the Ordinatio

‘I say that a production has the product for its primary end-point, and I call this “primary end-point” here an adequate end-point. In this way, the Philosopher says in Metaphysics VII [1033b16-18] that the whole composite is what is primarily produced or generated, for it is what primarily gets its existence from the production, and this is adequate [for there to be a production]. Nevertheless, the form in the composite is the formal end-point of generation, but this is not an incidental end-point, as is apparent from the Philosopher’s comment in Physics II [193b12-18] where he proves that a form is a nature: “generation is natural because it is the way into nature, but since it is the way into form, etc.” That argument would mean nothing if the form were only an incidental end-point of generation’.

[Scotus, Ord. 1.5.1.un., nn. 27-29 (Vat. 4: 25.13-26.9): ‘dico quod productio habet productum pro termino suo primo, et dico hic “primum terminum” terminum adaequatum; et hoc modo dicit Philosophus VII Metaphysicae quod compositum primo generatur, quia est quod primo habet esse per productionem, hoc est adaequatum. In composito tamen forma est formalis terminus generationis, non autem terminus per accidens, sicut apparet per Philosophum II Physicorum, ubi probat formam esse naturam per hoc quod “generatio est naturalis quia est via in naturam, est autem via in formam, ergo etc.”, — quae ratio nulla esset si forma tantum esset terminus per accidens generationis’.]

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