John Capreolus on Names Said Analogously of God and Creatures
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1 Kevin White, “John Capreolus,” in A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages, ed, Jorge J. E. Gracia (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishing, 2003), 349. 2 Ibid. 3 Capreolus, Defensiones, prol. 1, q. 1 (Defensiones Theologiae Divi Thomae Aquinatis, In Primo Sententiarum, prol., q. 1, ed. C. Paban and T. Pègues, 7 vols. [Turin: A. Cattier, 19001908 ; repr. Frankfurt: Minerva GmbH, 1967)], 1:1): “nihil de proprio intendo influere, sed solum opiniones quae mihi videntur de mente S. Thomae fuisse recitare.” All translations are mine. 395 The Thomist 77 (2013): 395-418 JOHN CAPREOLUS ON NAMES SAID ANALOGOUSLY OF GOD AND CREATURES DOMENIC D’ETTORE Marian University Indianapolis, Indiana T HE WRITINGS OF John Capreolus (ca. 1380-1444), the Prince of Thomists, have come down to us exclusively through his great work, the Defense of the Theology of Thomas Aquinas (abbreviated in this article as the Defensiones), completed about the year 1442.1 A massive work taking up 190 “questions” and 755 “conclusions,”2 the Defensiones follows the model of Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on the Sentences. In the prologue, Capreolus tells his reader that he intends to “introduce nothing of my own, but only to recite opinions that seem to me to have been from the mind of St. Thomas.”3 To this end, he regularly argues by means of quotations from Thomas’s writings along with references to parallel texts, accompanied by only brief comments of his own. His citations show that he is well-versed in Thomas’s writings, ranging from the philosophical opuscula like De Ente through all of the major theological works. He also refes to Thomas’s Aristotelian commentaries. The issue of analogy between God and creatures comes up several times in Defensiones, book 1. In this article, I will show DOMENIC D’ETTORE 396 4 Thomas Aquinas, De Veritate, q. 2, a. 11 (Leonine ed., 22/1: 79, ll. 135-93). 5 See Bernard Montagnes, The Doctrine of the Analogy of Being according to Thomas Aquinas, trans. E. M. Macierowski (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2004), 72-79. 6 Capreolus, Defensiones 1, d. 35, q. 2, a. 2 (Frankfurt ed., 2:398b-399a). See above for reference to De Veritate. For the other passages from Thomas’s works, see De Potentia, q. 7, a. 7 (Marietti ed., 2:203b-205a); Summa contra Gentiles I, cc. 33 and 34 (Leonine ed., 13:102a-b and 103a-104b); I Sent., d. 35, q. 1, a. 4 (Mandonnet, ed., 1:818-21). Capreolus does not discuss the chronology of Thomas’s texts. G. Emery’s catalogue puts De Veritate between 1256 and 1259 and the Prima Pars of the Summa Theologiae between 1265 and 1268. See Emery’s catalogue in Jean-Pierre Torrell, Saint Thomas Aquinas, vol. 1, The Person and His Work, revised edition (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2005), 332-61. Capreolus’s philosophical and textual reasons for judging question 2, article 11 of the disputed questions De Veritate to be Thomas’s principal text on names said analogously of God and creatures, and, accordingly, why he makes the controversial claim that names are not said analogously of God and creatures in the way that “healthy” is said analogously of medicine and an animal. Anticipating the objection that Thomas Aquinas himself wrote the contrary in the Summa contra Gentiles (I, c. 34) and the Prima Pars (q. 13, a. 5), Capreolus tells his reader that these passages say the same thing as De Veritate. There Thomas denies that names are said of God and creatures in the way that “healthy” is said analogously of urine and an animal, positing instead that names are said of God and creatures by a kind of analogy he calls “proportionality,” as for example, the way “seeing” is said of both the body and the mind because of the proportional similarity between the body’s vision and the intellect’s understanding.4 Some twentieth-century Thomists, such as Bernard Montagnes, take this De Veritate passage to reflect an aberrant position found only in Thomas’s early works.5 Capreolus, however, presents it as Thomas’s definitive judgement through which his later writings are to be...