Friday, July 31, 2009

Richard of St Victor on the Trinity

Over at, I began a series of posts on Richard of St. Victor's argument that God must be triune. It's a famous argument, or at least the argument Richard gives in book 3 of his De Trinitate is famous, and it's been taken up by a number of people in the 20th century, perhaps most notably by Richard Swinburne. For the first post of this series, see here, but keep an eye out for the rest of the series by myself, Scott Williams, Joseph Jedwab, and Dale Tuggy (the series is ongoing, so these cats haven't all posted their thoughts yet).

Basically, Richard argues that perfect love requires sharing it with another person, and perfect love between two requires loving for the sake of a third. And since God has perfect love, there must therefore be three persons in the Godhead. In my posts for this series, I argue that Richard probably begs the question: if we insist that perfect love requires, by definition, sharing it with another person, then we've already assumed from the start what we're trying to prove, namely that there is more than one person.

But hey, there are a lot of defenders of Richard out there (or perhaps they should more accurately be described as lovers of Richard, and therefore said lover(s) and Richard both exist -- studio audience laughter should be heard at this point), so my view will probably take some criticism.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another argument of Scotus against Henry of Ghent (translation)

From the Lectura

‘If the [divine] essence is that from which the Son is produced, then this can only be in virtue of some being that belongs to that essence, for that from which the Son is generated must have some being if a form is imprinted on it’.

[Scotus, Lect., 1.5.2.un., n. 83 (Vat. 16: 441.22-25): ‘si essentia sit illud de quo producitur Filius, oportet quod hoc sit secundum aliquod esse ipsius essentiae, quia illud de quo generatur Filius oportet habere aliquod esse prout sibi imprimitur forma eius’.]

‘Therefore, I ask what is this “being” that the essence has, in virtue of which the Son is produced from it? It is either the being which the essence has in itself, or it is the being it has unshareably in some person’.

[Scotus, Lect., 1.5.2.un., n. 84 (Vat. 16: 442.1-3): ‘Quaero igitur quid est illud esse quod habet essentia, secundum quod de ea producitur Filius: vel est esse quod est essentia de se, aut est esse incommunicabile in alia persona?’]

‘If in the first way, then the Son would truly be generated from the essence of the Son just as [he is generated] from the essence of the Father [for the essence is shared by the Father and the Son]. But they [viz., Henry and his followers] concede that this cannot be admitted, for they say that the Son is [produced] from the [divine] substance as it is in the Father and not from the substance as it is in the three persons’.

[Scotus, Lect., 1.5.2.un., n. 84 (Vat. 16: 442.4-7): ‘Si primo modo, igitur ita vere Filius erit genitus de essentia Filii sicut de substantia et essentia Patris; unde et ipsi concedunt quod hoc non potest dici, dicentes quod Filius sit de substantia ut est Patris et non de substantia ut est trium personarum’.] [The reference is to Henry of Ghent, SQO, 54.3 (Bad. II f. 84rF): ‘Dico autem [Filius generat] de substantia generantis cum reduplicatione, in quantum scilicet generans est: licet enim eadem sit in tribus, non tamen habet rationem potentiae ut de ea generatur aliquis, nisi secundum quod habet esse in Patre’.]
‘But if it is said that the Son is [produced] from the essence of the Father insofar as the being [of the essence is unshareably] in another person (e.g., in the first existent [viz., the Father]), then I argue like this: the being [of that] from which something is [produced] by imprinting [a form in it] cannot be understood without the being [of that] in which that [same] something is [produced by imprinting a form in it], nor can the being [of that] in which that [same] something is [produced by imprinting a form in it] be understood without the former [viz., that from which that same something is produced by imprinting a form in it]. If, then, there is something from which the Son is [produced] by imprinting [a form in it], e.g., the substance insofar as it is in the Father, then that substance insofar as it is in the Father will necessarily be that in which the Son is [produced]. For if a surface is that from which whiteness [is produced] by imprinting [the whiteness in it], then that surface [will be that] in which the whiteness [is produced], and so by consequence, just as that surface will have whiteness, so also the essence as it is in the first person will have filiation’.

[Scotus, Lect., 1.5.2.un., n. 84 (Vat. 16: 442.8-18): ‘Sed si hoc dicatur, quod Filius est de essentia Patris secundum esse in alia persona, ut in prima exsistens, tunc arguo sic: esse de quo est aliquid per impressionem, non potest intelligi sine esse in quo est aliquid, nec esse in quo est aliquid potest intelligi sine hoc quin sit illud. Si igitur est aliquid de quo per impressionem est Filius, ut substantia secundum quod est in Patre, tunc substantia secundum quod est in Patre necessario erit illud in quo est Filius; sicut si superficies sit illud de quo per impressionem est albedo, superficies est illud in quo est aledo, — et per consequens sicut superficies est habens albedinem, ita essentia ut est in prima persona erit habens filiationem’.]

From the Ordinatio

‘It is necessary to assign some being to the [divine] essence insofar as it is that from which the Son is generated, for to be the principle — whatever kind of “principle” — of some real being only belongs to a real being. Therefore, I ask: what “being” belongs to the essence as it is that from which the Son is generated by an impression? If it is precisely its absolute being, which belongs to the essence qua essence, then the Son will be [produced] from the essence qua essence, and in this way the Son will be of three persons. Alternatively, if the “being” [I’m asking about] belongs to the [divine] essence insofar as it exists in some subsistent [person], then I ask: in which person? If it’s the ingenerate person [viz., the Father], then the concept of “the being from which something is produced” includes the notion of “the being in which the form is induced”, and so in that concept the “being in which” includes “that which is in it”, and by consequence the being that comes along with it formally. Therefore, if the [divine] essence as it is in the Father is tha from which the Son is generated (and by an impression, according to them), then it follows that the essence itself as it is in the Father will be that in which begotten knowledge [viz., the Son] is imprinted, and so the essence as it is in the Father will formally by the Word or “that which knows begotten knowledge”, which is inappropriate’.

[Scotus, Ord. 1.5.2.un., nn. 72-73 (Vat. 4: 50.15-52.4): ‘essentiae ut de ea generatur Filius necesse est assignare aliquod esse, quia principiare aliquod verum ens — in quocumque genere principii — non convenit alicui nisi realiter enti. Quaero igitur, quod esse convenit essentiae ut ipsa est de quo per impressionem generatur Filius: aut praecise esse ad se, quod est essentiae ut essentiae, — et tunc Filius est de essentia ut essentia, et hoc modo est trium personarum; aut convenit sibi esse in aliqua subsistentia. Et tunc quaero, in qua: aut ingenita, — et si hoc, cum in intellectu eius quod est “esse de quo aliquid producitur” includatur hoc quod est “esse illud in quo forma inducitur”, et in intellectu eius quod est esse in quo includatur habere illud quod est in eo, et per consequens esse formaliter per ipsum, — ergo si essentia ut est in Patre sit de quo Filius generatur (et per impressionem, secundum eos), sequitur quod ipsa ut in Patre erit illud in quo notitia genita [viz., Verbum vel Filius] imprimitur, et ita essentia ut in Patre erit formaliter Verbum [viz., Filius] sive noscens notitia genita, quod est inconveniens’.]

From the Reportatio

‘Every real principle of a real entity has real being in virtue of which it is a principle, for otherwise it would be the principle of a non-being. The [divine] essence is a real principle of a real entity, namely insofar as it is a quasi material principle of a real being, namely the Son. Therefore, it gives some real being to him. But it either gives him absolute being or relative being. It does not give him absolute being, because then the Son would be from the substance of the Father insofar as [the Father’s substance] has absolute being, and then the Son would be from the substance of the three persons, for the absolute being of that substance does not belong to one person more than to another. Therefore, it is clear that the essence is not the principle from which the Son is produced insofar as it has absolute being. However, if the essence, as a quasi material principle, were to give relative being [to the Son], then this will be in the first person . . . . But it does not give relative being in the first person, because that which is the material principle of generation and that which receives the form are the same according to this “relative being”. Therefore, the being of this quasi material principle in the first person would receive the property of the Son, and then filiation would be received in the Father, so that in this way the Son [would be the Son] of [the Father’s] substance’.

[Scotus, Rep. 1.5.2.un., nn. 68-69 (Wolter, 276-278): ‘omne principium reale entis realis habet esse reale secundum quod principiat, alioquin illud quod principiat esset non-ens; essentia est principium reale et entis realis, scilicet in quantum est principium quasi materiale, et entis realis, scilicet Filii; ergo dat sibi aliquod reale esse. Ergo vel dat sibi esse ad se vel esse ad; sed non dat sibi esse ad se, quia tunc Filius esset de substantia Patris secundum esse ad se; ergo de substantia trium, eo quod substantia ad se non est plus unius personae quam alterius. Sic ergo patet quod essentia secundum esse ad se non est principium de quo principiatur Filius. Si autem essentia ut est principium quasi materiale det esse ad, ergo hoc erit vel in prima persona . . . . Nec dat “esse ad” in prima persona, quia secundum idem “esse ad” istius aliquid est principium materiale generationis et recipit formam; ergo secundum esse istius principii quai materialis in prima persona recipitur proprietas Filii, et sic filiatio recipitur in Patre et sic Filius substantiae’.]

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One argument of Scotus against Henry of Ghent (translation)

From the Lectura

‘According to the Philosopher in Physics 5, a change belongs to the same species as its end-point, just as [the act of] whitewashing [a log] belongs to the species of whiteness, not the species of “white-log”, which is only one “thing” incidentally’.

[Scotus, Lect. 1.5.2.un., n. 72 (Vat. 16: 437.2-4): ‘quia secundum Philosophum V Physicorum [224b6-8] mutatio est eadem specie cum termino, ut dealbatio cum albedine, et non cum ligno albo, quod est unum per acccidens’.]

From the Ordinatio

‘A production is placed in a genus or a species from its formal end-point, as is clear from the Philosopher in Physics V [224a26-30]. For instance, a change in quality is placed in the genus of quality, for here there is a [qualitative] form which is the formal end-point of the change in quality. Therefore, if the formal end-point of some such production were a relation, that production would be placed in the genus of relation, and it would not be a generation’.

[Scotus, Ord. 1.5.2.un., n. 69 (Vat. 4: 49.8-13): ‘productio ponitur in genere vel specie ex suo termino formali, sicut patet per Philosophum V Physicorum, — sicut alteratio ponitur in genere qualitatis, qua ibi est forma quae est formalis terminus alterationis; ergo si formalis terminus huiusmodi productionis esset relatio, ista productio poneretur in genere relationis et non esset generatio’.]

From the Reportatio

‘Change and every per se production is placed per se in the genus of the end-point to which [the change or production is directed], and [it is placed] precisely in the genus of the formal end-point, according to Physics V, where examples are given from each [kind of] per se motion or change, namely generation, alteration [i.e., change in quality], and growth [i.e., change in size]. If, then, the formal end-point of the Son’s production were a relation [i.e., the Son’s unique property of sonship] rather than the [divine] essence, then the Son’s production would not be a generation, but more a change in relationship’.

[Scotus, Rep. 1.5.2.un., n. 63 (Wolter, 275): ‘mutatio et omnis per se productio ponitur per se in genere termini ad quem et praecipue in genere termini formalis, V Physicorum, ubi exemplificatur de omnibus per se motu et mutatione, scilicet generatione et alteratione et augmentatione. Si igitur formalis terminus productionis Filii non est essentia sed relatio, tunc productio Filii non esset generatio, sed magis adaliquatio erit’.]

Friday, July 10, 2009

Some Scotus passages on the formal distinction (translation)

‘By this composite of realities — i.e., of a potential reality and an actual reality — it is minimal, which suffices for the nature of a genus and a difference. But this is not able to obtain where any reality in something is infinite, for however much something [infinite] is taken precisely, it cannot be potential with respect to some reality. Therefore, since there is some essential reality in God that is formally infinite, there is nothing that can be formally taken as having the nature of a genus’.

[Scotus, Ord., n. 107 (Vat. 4: 202.5-11): ‘Ista composito realitatum — potentialis et actualis — minima est, quae sufficit ad rationem generis et differentiae et ista non stat cum hoc quod quaelibet realitas in aliquo sit infinita: realitas enim si esset de se infinita, quantumcumque praecise sumpta, non esset in potentia ad aliquam realitatem; ergo cum in Deo quaecumque realitas essentialis sit formaliter infinita, nulla est a qua formaliter posset accipi ratio generis’.]

‘Because some reality is taken to be a genus which, considered in itself, is potential with respect to a reality that is taken to be a difference. But nothing infinite is potential with respect to anything, as is clear from the preceding question. This proof obtains for the composition of a species and by the potentiality of a genus, but both are removed from God, on account of his infinity’.

[Scotus, Ord., n. 103 (Vat. 4: 200.5-10): ‘quia genus sumitur ab aliqua realitate quae secundum se est potentialis ad realitatem a qua accipitur differentia; nullum infinitum est potentiale ad aliquid, ut patet ex dictis in quaestione praecedente. Probatio ista stat in compositione speciei et potentialite generis, sed utraque removetur a Deo, propter infinitatem’.]

‘Sometimes, when there are not two things there (as there are two things in incidental composites), or at least when in one thing there is some proper reality that is taken as a genus and another reality that is taken as a difference, and let’s call the first a and the second b, then the following obtains: a, considered in itself, is potential with respect to b, and so by understanding a precisely and by understanding b precisely, when a is understood in the first instant of nature (it which it is precisely itself), it is perfectible by b (as if b were a distinct thing), but it is not really perfected by b, and this is because of the identity of a and b with some whole with which they are really and primarily the same, for [in these cases] a certain whole is produced primarily, and in that whole both of those realities are produced. But if one of those were produced without the other, then the one would be potential to the other and it would really be imperfect without the other’.

[Scotus, Ord., n. 106 (Vat. 4: 201.11-202.4): ‘Aliquando, quando non sunt ibi res et res (sicut in accidentibus), saltem in una re est aliqua propria realitas a qua sumitur genus et alia realitas a qua sumitur differentia; dicatur prima a et secunda b: a secundum se est potentiale ad b, ita quod praecise intelligendo a et praecise intelligendo b, a ut intelligitur in primo instanti naturae — in quo praecise est ipsum — ipsum est perfectibile per b (sicut si res esset alia), sed quod non perficitur realiter per b, hoc est propter identitatem a et b ad aliquod totum, cui realiter primo sunt eadem, quod quidem totum primo producitur et in ipso toto ambae istae realitates producuntur; si tamen altera istarum sine altera produceretur, vere esset potentialis ad eam et vere esset imperfecta sine illa’.]

‘For “[x] to formally include [y]” is for [x] to include something [y] in its essential nature, and so if the definition of the including [x] were stipulated, it would include the definition [of y] or a part of the definition [of y]. But just as the definition of common goodness does not have [the definition] of wisdom in itself, then neither does infinite [goodness include] infinite [wisdom]. Therefore, there is some formal non-identity between wisdom and goodness, in as much as they would have distinct definitions if they were definable. However, a definition indicates not just a concept caused only by the mind, it also indicates the what-ness of the thing, so formal non-identity is real on the part of the thing. In this way then, I know that the mind which puts together the proposition “wisdom is formally non[-identical] to goodness” does not cause the truth of that proposition by putting it together. Rather, the terms of that proposition are found in the object itself, and the mind’s act of putting them together is true from the fact that they are put together in the thing itself’.

[Scotus, Ord., n. 193 (Vat. 4: 261.14-262.10): ‘quia “includere formaliter” est includere aliquid in ratione sua essentiali, ita quod si definitio includentis assignaretur, inclusum esset definitio vel pars definitionis; sicut autem definitio bonitatis in communi non habet in se sapientiam, ita nec infinita [bonitas] infinitam [sapientiam]: est igitur aliqua non-identitas formalis sapientiae et bonitatis, in quantum earum essent distinctae definitiones, si essent definibiles. Definitio autem non tantum indicat rationem causatam ab intellectu, sed quiditatem rei: est ergo non-identitas formalis ex parte rei, et intelligo sic, quod intellectus componens istam “sapiens non est formaliter bonitas”, non causat actu suo collativo veritatem huius compositionis, sed in obiecto invenit extrema, ex quorum compositione fit actus verus’.]

Monday, July 6, 2009

Scotus on how the divine essence and a personal property 'combine' to make a person (translation)

‘But how is it that the nature of a real relation [viz., a personal property such as sonship] does not have the same formal nature as the divine essence, but nevertheless the two do not constitute a composite together? The reason for this is that the nature of the one is perfectly the same as the nature of the other, for on account of the infinity of the one nature, whatever can be [compresent] with it is perfectly the same with it. Therefore, the perfection of this identity excludes any composition or quasi-composition, and that identity holds because of the infinity [of the divine essence]. Still, that infinity does not destroy the formal natures [of the things contained in it], so this one [viz., sonship] is formally distinct from that one [viz., the divine essence]’.

[Scotus, Ord. 1.5.2.un., n. 117 (Vat. 4: 69.6-13): ‘Qualiter autem stat quod ratio relationis [e.g., filiationis] in re non sit formaliter eadem rationi [divinae] essentiae et tamen in eodem concurrentes non constituunt compositum, — hoc ideo est, quia illa ratio est perfecte eadem illi: propter infinitatem enim unius rationis, quidquid potest esse cum ea, est perfecte idem sibi. Perfectio ergo identitatis excludit omnem compositionem et quasi-compositionem, quae identitas est propter infinitatem, — et tamen infinitas non tollit formales rationes quin haec formaliter non sit illa’.]

‘Now, [to say “deity is in the Father”] is true insofar as [deity or the divine essence] is a nature in the person, for that person has its “being” and “whatness” through that nature (for this belongs to a “whatness” insofar as it is a “whatness”), but this is not because the form informs the person, and this is true even in creatures. But [to say “fatherhood is in the Father”] is true insofar [fatherhood] is an individual form in the individual, but [again] not by informing it’.

[Scotus, Ord. 1.5.2.un., nn. 121-122 (Vat. 4: 71.8-13): ‘Nam prima [viz., “deitas est in Patre”, cf. n. 120] est vera ut natura est in supposito, habente “esse” quiditativum ea (quia hoc convenit quiditati unde quiditas est), sed non propter hoc est forma informans suppositum, etiam in creaturis. Secunda [viz., “paternitas est in Patre”, cf. n. 120] est vera ut forma hypostatica est in hypostasi, – sed nec informat ipsam’.]

‘I concede that the relation [viz., a unique personal property like sonship] contributes to the actuality of the [divine] person, but it does not contribute actuality to the “whatness” [of that person], for the relation distinguishes that person “personally” rather than in terms of its “whatness”. However, the essence contributes actuality to the “whatness” [of the person], and by that “whatness”, it distinguishes [the person from other things with a different “whatness”]’.

[Scotus, Ord. 1.5.2.un., n. 127 (Vat. 4: 72.16-19): ‘Concedo relationem esse actum personalem, non actum quiditativum, – quia personaliter distinguit et non quiditative. Essentia autem est actus quiditativus et quiditative distinguens’.]

‘So although the “whatness” [in a person] is the form of that person just as much as its individual form is (as it also is in creatures), it is not an informing form. For in creatures, the “whatness” is a part [of a person], so to speak, but in a divine person it is [present] as one formal nature, as it were, formally concurring with another to [constitute] one simple thing that has within itself many formal natures’.

[Scotus, Ord. 1.5.2.un., n. 122 (Vat. 4: 71.13-17): ‘Tam enim quiditas quam forma hypostatica, etiam in creaturis, licet sit forma suppositi, non tamen est forma informans, sed ibi quasi pars, hic autem quasi una ratio formalis concurrens cum alia, formaliter, ad idem simplex sed habens in se plures rationes formales’.]

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Scotus on generation without matter

From the Reportatio

‘Insofor as it implies production, generation as such does not require matter or quasi-matter, and where it happens without matter, generation is said to be perfect and without any imperfection. Therefore, this is how it has to be ascribed to God, for in no way can generation be conceived without imperfection if it is understood to presuppose matter’.

[Scotus, Rep. 1.5.2.un., n. 74 (Wolter, 279): ‘generatio ut importat productionem, quae ut sic non requirit materiam nec quasi materiam et ut sic dicit perfectionem sine imperfectione; ergo ut sic habet attribui Deo. Sed nullo modo concipitur sine imperfectione ut intelligitur praesupponere materiam’.]

From the Ordinatio

‘The reason that a “generated creature” is not [produced] from nothing is that something in it (such as matter) pre-exists. Therefore, . . . if the form of something were to pre-exist and the matter were newly added to it so that it were informed by the pre-existent form, that very product would not be [produced] from nothing, for something in it pre-existed [the production] . . . . Therefore, if someone [like Henry] were to say that the Son is not [produced] from nothing “because his essence existed in the Father prior in the order of origin”, and if [they said that] the essence is the matter, so to speak, in the Son’s generation, then how much more would it be the case that the Son is not [produced] from nothing if the [divine] essence that “exists in the Father prior in origin” is a quasi-form shared with the Son?’

[Scotus, Ord. 1.5.2.un., n. 103 (Vat. 4: 64.3-13): ‘quia “creatura genita” non est de nihilo, quia aliquid eius praeexsistit, ut materia. Ergo . . . si forma alicuius praeexsisteret et materia de novo adveniret et informaretur illa forma iam praeexsistente, ipsum productum non esset de nihilo, quia aliquid eius praeexstitisset . . . . Ergo si Filius non diceretur esse de nihilo “quia essentia eius secundum ordinem originis praefuit in Patre”, et hoc si illa essentia esset quasi-materia generationis Fili, multo magis nec Filius erit de nihilo si illa essentia “prius origine exsistens in Patre” sit quasi-forma communicata Filio’.]

From the Reportatio

‘It is impossible for the numerically same [lump of] matter to remain under the form of the generator and the generated [at the same time], whatever sort of thing the generator or the generated is, for the same [lump of] matter cannot be simultaneously perfected by two ultimate forms which give complete being to the matter. Nevertheless, the same form can give being to many [lumps of] matter simultaneously, or to one [lump of] matter to which it did not give being before. This is clear in growth, for where the form of food has corrupted into flesh, the [already existing] form of the flesh newly perfects the matter of the food, because the [body’s] flesh converts the food into flesh and perfects the matter of the food insofar as it is flesh pre-existing in the food’.

[Scotus, Rep. 1.5.2.un., n. 80 (Wolter, 282): ‘impossibile est eandem materiam numero manere sub forma generantis et geniti, quodcumque sit generans vel genitum, quia non potest eadem materia simul perfici duabus formis ultimis quae dant esse completum materiae; potest tamen eadem forma dare esse pluribus materiis simul, sive uni materiae cui non dabat prius. Patet in augmentatione ubi, corrupta forma alimenti in carnem, forma carnis de novo perficit materiam alimenti, quia caro convertit alimentum in carnem et perficit materiam alimenti ut carnem praeexsistentem in alimento’.]

From the Lectura

‘This can also be shown with an example. If something were to grow in itself without anything being added to it (as it happens in rarefaction), here the form of the growable thing would be changed and it would receive some new perfection. But suppose that there is some growth that occurs by something more being added to it, and that the soul (which havs the capacity and power to perfect the whole organic body) only perfects one part (like the heart) [first], and afterwards when other parts of the body are added to it, the soul — without any change to itself — perfects those other organic parts without being perfected in some other way. Similarly, the divine essence is supremely perfect in the first instant of nature, and afterwards the relations spring forth and come onto it, as it were, and then the essence makes itself intimate to them, giving them every perfection that they have and making them God by deity. For this reason, in no way does the essence have a passive capacity to be perfected by them’.

[Scotus, Lect. 1.5.2.un., n. 105 (Vat. 16: 451.10-21): ‘Hoc etiam declaratur in exemplo: si alquid augmentetur in se sine alio adveniente, ut est in rarefactione, ibi forma rei augmentabilis mutatur et recipit novam perfectionem. Sed ponamus quod augmentatio fiat aliquo extra adveniente, isto modo, quod anima habens potentiam et virtutem perficiendi totum corpus organicum tantum perficiat unam partem, ut cor, et quod postea aliae partes corporis addantur, tunc anima — sine ulla mutatione sui — absque hoc quod aliunde perficitur perficit alias partes organicas. — Sic essentia divina, in primo signo naturae est perfectissima; postea, quasi superveniant relationes pullulantes, essentia intimat se eis, dans eis quidquid perfectionis habent et quod sint Deus deitate, — et ideo nullo modo habet potentiam passivam ut perficiatur eis’.]

From the Ordinatio

‘An example of this can be taken from creatures, by postulating a certain counterpossible situation. [We know that] growth happens when food [that’s been eaten] comes to be corrupted in the body, and its matter receives the form of flesh, and [thereby being new flesh added to the body], in this way it becomes informed by the soul. Here we are supposing that the same matter which remains throughout is apt to receive another part of the [soul’s] form (just as it is thought to happen in rarefaction), so the matter remains one, though it was first informed [by the form of food], but is now informed by a new form. This is formally a real change, because the matter goes from being deprived of to having a form. Now let’s look at this from the side of the soul. Suppose that the same soul perfects first one part of the body (such as the heart), and then later, when another part of the organic body which is perfectible by the soul is added to it [such as some food that is converted into flesh], the soul perfects that newly added part. In this case, the soul is not changed by this because it is not first deprived of and then comes to have a form. Deprivation is a lack in something that is naturally apt to receive, but [in our example here], the soul is first not-informing [the acquired part] and afterwards it is informing [it], and the soul is not apt to receive something, but rather to give’.

[Scotus, Ord. 1.5.2.un., n. 133 (Vat. 4: 76.1-15): ‘Exemplum istius potest accipi in creaturis, ponendo ibi quaedam “per impossibile”. Augmentatio modo fit per hoc quod alimentum adveniens corpori corrumpitur, et materia eius recipit formam carnis, et sic informatur ab anima. Ponatur quod eadem materia manens nata sit recipere aliam partem formae (sicut ponitur in rarefactione), materia manet una, quae prius fuit formata et nunc nova forma formatur, — ipsa tamen formaliter est vere mutata, quia de privatione transit ad formam. — Ponamus, ex alia parte, quod anima eadem perficeret primo unam partem corporis (ut cor), postea adveniret alia pars corporis organici, perfectibilis ab anima, anima perficeret illam partem advenientem de novo, — et ipsa tamen non mutaretur, quia non esset in ea primo privatio et postmodum forma. Privatio enim est carentia, in apto nato recipere; anima autem primo non-informans et postea informans non est nata aliquid recipere sed dare’.]

‘In each of these cases, there is a real production of some product, but in the first case, there is a change, and in the second case, there is not’.

[Scotus, Ord. 1.5.2.un., n. 134 (Vat. 4: 76.16-17): ‘In utroqe extremorum istorum vere esset productio alicuius producti, sed in primo mutatio, in secundo non’.]
‘A more apt example can be seen if we suppose that the matter of the animated heart could remain the same and be shared with diverse forms — say, that of a hand and a foot — so that by the [hypothetical] active power of the animated heart, it would produce those composites [namely, the hand and the foot] from its matter that it shares with them and their forms. Here there would be a true production of the composite wholes, and they would have the same matter, though this would happen through a change in the matter. Now let’s look at this from the side of the soul. Let’s suppose that the soul [which first exists in and so animates the heart] is unlimited with respect to its actuality as a form, such that it could be shared with many things, so that by the power of that soul in the heart, it could share itself with a hand and a foot which the animated heart produces. If that happened, there would here be a true production of many things that are consubstantial in their form, without any change in that form’.

[Scotus, Ord. 1.5.2.un., n. 135 (Vat. 4: 76.18-77.4): ‘Aptius videtur exemplum, si ponamus materiam cordis animati posse eandem communicari diversis formis — puta manus et pedis — et hoc virtute activa cordis animati, producentis composita ista ex materia sua communicata et ex formis istis, hic vere esset productio totorum habentium eandem materiam, et esset cum mutatione illius materiae; sed si, ex alia parte, ponamus animam — propter sui illimitationem in ratione actus et formae — posse communicari multis et virtute animae in corde ipsam communicari manui et pedi, productis a corde animato, hic vere esset productio multorum consbustantialium in forma, absque mutatione illius formae’.]

‘In each example, it is proposed that some being is produced which is subsistent by itself (rather than proposing that some parts are produced that belong to the same thing, because to be a part is an imperfection). These cases being posed, the second case in each example (which is about a form being shared with the product) perfectly represents production in God, while the first case in each example (which is about matter being shared) does not. Let’s modify this example even further, namely by supposing that although the soul is in the heart and the hand and the foot, it is not an informing form (for being a component of a composite is an imperfection), but is rather a whole form which is those subsistent things [viz., the heart, the hand, and the foot] and which animates them. Similarly, deity is understood to be shared with the relational subsistences (assuming that the persons are relative subsistences) not like quasi matter, but rather as a form, and not by informing them but rather as that by which each relation or the relative subsistent is God’.

[Scotus, Ord. 1.5.2.un., n. 136 (Vat. 4: 77.5-16): ‘In utroque exemplo ponantur producta esse per se subsistentia, non partes eisdem, quia esse partem est imperfectionis. Hoc posito, secundus modus in utroque exemplo, qui est de communicatione formae ipsi producto, perfecte repraesentat productionem in Deo, non primus, qui est de communicatione materiae, — et hoc, adhuc addendo in positione, quod anima in corde et manu et pede non sit forma informans, quia componibilitas includit imperfectionem, sed sit forma totalis qua illa subsistentia sint et animata sint: ita quod intelligitur deitas non communicari quasi-materia, sed relationibus subsistentibus — si personae ponantur relativae — communicatur deitas per modum formae, non informantis sed qua relatio vel relativum subsistens est Deus’.] [See also, Rep. 1.5.2.un., nn. 77-79 (Wolter, 280-281).]