Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas on the Analogy Between God and Creatures

December 29, 2017 | Author: Vetusta Maiestas | Category: Thomas Aquinas, Analogy, God, Thomism, Metaphysics
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N his study on Thomas Aquinas's doctrine of analogy, George Klubertanz tells us that "St. Thomas speaks of analogy in almost every one of his works, in a variety of contexts, yet he nowhere gives a thorough ex professo treatment of the problem."' To determine Thomas's doctrine of analogy it is therefore necessary to reconstruct it, and in doing so one quickly discovers that, for Thomas, analogy is usually deployed in one of two major forms, namely, in terms of "reference"—what Cajetan and Francisco Suárez would later refer to as "attribution"^—^or in terms of "proper proportionality." Generally speaking, for Thomas, an analogy of reference holds when one or several things are related to some other thing as, for instance, "food" and "medicine" are both called "healthy" on account of their relation to some living organism, the subject of health.^ An analogy of proper proportionality, in contrast, involves a proportion of two terms to two other terms, for example, as "tranquility" is to the "sea" so is "serenity" to the "air.'"*

' George P. Klubertanz, St. Thomas Aquinas on Analogy: A Textual Analysis and Systematic Synthesis (Chicago, 1960), 3. The texts in which Thomas employs or appeals to analogy are legion, but Klubertanz collects and reproduces a significant number of them in an appendix to his St. Thomas Aquinas on Analogy, 157-293. ^ Cf Cajetan, De nominum analogia 2.8 (ed. N. Zammit [Rome, 1934], 11): "Analoga autem secundum attributionem sunt, quorum nomen commune est, ratio autem secundum illud nomen est eadem secundum terminum, et diversa secundum habitudines ad ilium..."; and Francisco Suárez, Disputationes metaphysicae 28.3.4 (ed. Vives, Opera omnia [Paris, 185677], 26:13): "Tertio id amplius declaratur ex distinctione analogiae; duplex enim communiter distinguitur: una vocatur a multis analogia proportionalitatis, et alia proportionis; alii vero priorem vocant analogiam proportionis, et posteriorem attributionis, quod solum adverto propter aequivocationem terminorum, res enim eadem est. Quam Aristot. aperte docuit, lib. 1 Ethic, cap. 6, ubi analogiam attributionis vocat ab uno, vel ad unum, aliam autem comparationem rationum appellat." ^ Cf Thomas Aquinas, In duodecim libros Metaphysicorum Aristotelis expositio 4.1 nn.535-39 (Marietti edition). " Ibid. 5.8 n.879.

Mediaeval Studies 72 (2010): 283-312. © Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.



Thomas's account of analogy becomes murky, however, when he uses it to describe the relationship between God and creation. God and creature are related analogously, Aquinas tells us consistently enough, and in his early Commentary on the Sentences he describes that analogical relationship in terms of reference. Yet, a few years later in his De veritate Aquinas's position shifts such that he then considers reference ill-suited to the intended task of articulating the creator-creature relationship and tums instead to proper proportionality. Finally, in his mature works (e.g.. Summa contra gentiles and Summa theologiae) Thomas abandons proper proportionality and retums once again to an analogy of reference. This leaves one with the difficult task of attempting to discem a coherent account of analogy as it pertains to God and creatures in Thomas's works. As a means of resolving this difficulty, interpreters have, more often than not, taken either proper proportionality or reference as normative and then argued away the competing account. Cajetan famously identifies analogy in its "tmest sense" with proper proportionality. Attribution (i.e., reference) is a form of analogy, he tells us, but only functions in terms of extrinsic denomination.^ Proper proportionality, in contrast, predicates perfections that are the intrinsic to each analogate and is, as Cajetan sees it, indispensable to metaphysical inquiry.^ In direct and deliberate opposition to Cajetan, the Jesuit Suárez argues that in reality all true analogies of proper proportionality involve some element of metaphor or "impropriety," while at-

' See Cajetan, De nominum analogia 1.3 (ed. Zammit, 4-6): "Ad tres ergo modos analogiae omnia análoga reducuntur: scilicet ad analogiam inaequalitatis, et analogiam attributionis, et analogiam proportionalitatis. Quamvis secundum veram vocabuli proprietatem et usum Aristotelis, ultimus modum tantum analogiam constituât, primus autem alienus ab analogia omnio sit"; and ibid. 2.21 (ed. Zammit, 21), where Cajetan describes attribution as extrinsic: "Hanc analogiam [i.e., attribution] S. Thomas in I Sent., dist. 19, q. 5, a. 2, ad 1 vocat analogiam secundum intentionem, et non secundum esse: eo quod, nomen analogum non sit hie commune secundum esse, idest formaliter; sed secundum intentionem, idest secundum denominationem. Ut enim ex dictis patet, in hac analogia nomen commune non salvatur formaliter nisi in primo; de caeteris autem extrinseca denominatione dicitur". * See ibid. 3.27 (ed. Zammit, 27): "Praeponitur autem analogia haec [i.e., proper proportionality] caeteris antedictis dignitate et nomine. Dignitate quidem, quia haec fit secundum genus causae formalis inhaerentis: quoniam praedicat ea, quae singulis inhaerent. Altera vero secundum extrinsecam denominationem fit"; and ibid. 3.29 (ed. Zammit, 29): "Scimus quidem secundum hanc analogiam [i.e., proper proportionality], rerum intrinsecas entitates, bonitates, veritates etc., quod ex priori analogia non scitur. Unde sine huius analogiae notitia, processus metaphysicales absque arte dicuntur." Cajetan's position would later receive support from another equally famous Thomist, John of St. Thomas, who says, in his Cursus philosophicus Thomisticus, Ars lógica 2.13.3 (ed. B. Reiser [Turin, 1930], 1:481), "Difficultates de analogia, quae satis metaphysicae sunt, ita copióse et subtiliter a Caietano disputatae sunt in opuse, de Analogia nominum, ut nobis locum non reliquerit quidquam aliud excogitandi."



tribution need not always be extrinsic but can also be intrinsic since, after all, a creature is truly said, even by attribution, to possess its own being. ^ Against such classical interpretations, in much more recent times Bemard Montagnes has shown that these reductive interpretive strategies fail to recognize what is really at issue in Aquinas's position(s) on analogy.^ As Montagnes sees it, Thomas's vacillations denote a deeper shift in his conception of being: a shift from a formalist ontology to an existential metaphysic that centers upon the efficient communication of the act of being (actus essendi).^ In what follows, I attempt to offer an explanation for Thomas's initial shift in analogy from reference to proper proportionality and argue that one cannot fully appreciate this first phase of Aquinas's development without recognizing the role that his master, Albertus Magnus, played in forming the younger Dominican's early conception of the analogical relationship between God and creatures.'" Building upon Montagnes's work, I argue that Thomas's initial ' See Suárez Disputationes metaphysicae 28.3.11 (ed. Vives, 26:16): "Analogia pr[o]portionalitatis propria non est inter Deum et creaturas. - Ad hanc ergo analogiam necesse est ut unum membmm sit absolute tale per suam formam, aliud vero non absolute, sed ut substat tali proportioni vel comparationi ad aliud. At vero in praesenti hoc non intercedit, sive rem ipsam, sive nominis impositionem consideremus. Creatura enim est ens ratione sui esse absolute et sine tali proportionalitate considerati, quia nimirum per illud est extra nihil, et aliquid actualitatis habet.... Denique omnis vera analogia proportionalitatis includit aliquid metaphorae et improprietatis, sicut ridere dicitur de prato per translationem metaphoricam; at vero in hac analogia entis nulla est metaphora aut improprietas, nam creatura vere, proprie ac simpliciter est ens; non est ergo haec analogia proportionalitatis vel solius, vel simul cum analogia attributionis; restât ergo, ut si est aliqua analogia, ilia sit alicujus attributionis; atque ita tandem docuit D. Thom...." Suárez, of course, is no mere interpreter of Thomas Aquinas and is perfectly willing to depart gracefully from Aquinas's doctrine when necessary. Yet, in offering his own account of analogy in terms of attribution, Suárez appeals to none other than Thomas, as we see in the immediately preceding quote, to oppose what is basically Cajetan's own position. * Bemard Montagnes, La doctrine de l'analogie de l'être d'après Saint Thomas d'Aquin (Paris and Louvain, 1963). Edward Macierowski has produced an English translation of Montagnes's work: The Doctrine of the Analogy of Being According to Thomas Aquinas (Milwaukee, 2004). When this work is cited, references to the English translation will be provided in parentheses. ' While one can certainly discem along with Montagnes a noticeable shift in Thomas's early reliance upon form and formal or exemplar causality to his mature preference for act and efficient causality, one need not, however, conclude that Aquinas adopts an entirely new doctrine of being. Rather, it seems that if created being is, for Thomas, twofold in the sense of its being composed of esse and essentia, then his emphases can shift while his understanding of being remains stable. '" In this article I shall focus chiefly upon the ontological dimension of analogy as found in Albert and Thomas, and, when necessary, I shall touch upon its logical-semantic consequences. Indeed, given the historical understanding and development of analogy—especially in Boethius and a number of the Arabic thinkers (e.g., Al-Ghazâlï, Avicenna, and Averroes)—as a logical



rejection of an analogy of reference for proper proportionality represents his decided dissatisfaction with Albert's own teaching on the analogical relationship between God and creature. This dissatisfaction, as we shall see, ultimately concems Albert's propensity towards a kind of noetic univocity. To establish this claim, I first show that Thomas's early doctrine of analogy as found primarily in his Commentary on the Sentences is virtually identical to that of Albert. Second, I indicate how in his De veritate Thomas reconsiders his position and cannot ultimately accept an analogy of reference because it risks the conceptual confusion of God and creation in the consideration of one and the same form. This form embraces, as it were, both the divine and creature and thus nullifies the Creator-creature distinction. Finally, to corroborate this latter claim, I show how Albert himself understands that analogy admits a certain univocity between God and creature. Proper proportionality, as it tums out, was for Thomas an initial means of reasserting God's transcendence and distinction from created being. ' ' Here I should point out that Montagnes himself makes the claim that Thomas's doctrine of analogy as presented in the Commentary on the Sentences is literally that of Albert;'^ yet Montagnes—apart from alluding to a number of Albert's works, the most crucial of which, the Super Dionysium de divinis nominibus, was not yet available in its present critical edition—falls short of (1) establishing his claim conceming the identity of Thomas's doctrine with that of Albert and (2) never makes it clear how Albert's doctrine of analogy median between univocity and pure equivocity, one cannot neatly sever analogy from its original logical context. Still, analogy would evolve beyond a merely logical usage and would be deployed to articulate the ordered (i.e., per prius et posterius), ontological relationship existing between substance and accidents as well as that between Creator and creatures, which relationships are neither purely equivocal nor univocal. Speaking of Albert's own philosophical development, Alain de Libera notes, for instance "Pour des raisons évidentes, c'est dans la Métaphysique d'Albert, non dans les paraphrases de VOrganon, que la notion d'analogia entis apparaît sous sa forme proprement ontologique et non plus seulment logique." (Métaphysique et noétique: Albert le Grand [Paris, 2005], 116.) For discussions that focus specifically on the logical or semantie dimensions of analogy in Albert or Thomas, see E. J. Ashworth, "Analogy and Equivocation in Thirteenth-Century Logic: Aquinas in Context," Mediaeval Studies 54 (1992): 94-135, and "Signification and Modes of Signifying in Thirteenth-Century Logic: A Preface to Aquinas on Analogy," Medieval Philosophy and Theology 1 (1991): 39-67; Bruno Tremblay, "A First Glanée at Albert the Great's Teaching on Analogy of Words," Medieval Philosophy and Theology 5 (1996): 265-96; and Ralph Mclnemy, Aquinas and Analogy (Washington, D.C., 1996). " Here I say "initial" beeause, as Montagnes has ably shown, proper proportionality would serve Thomas until he could reformulate his doctrine of analogy from the perspective of a metaphysics oí esse, as occurs eventually in the Summa contra gentiles (hereafter SCG) 1.34. '•^ See Montagnes, La doctrine de l'analogie, 73 (68).



involves univocity. I suggest that Albert's commentaries on the corpus Dionysiacum possess particular significance for two main reasons. First, in his Super Dionysium de divinis nominibus Albert articulates his understanding of the Creator-creature relationship in terms of univocity or more specifically a "univocal analogy."'^ Second, Albert's commentaries on Pseudo-Dionysius are works with which Thomas quite literally had firsthand knowledge, having personally transcribed Albert's lectures on the Pseudo-Areopagite in a manuscript that survives today, Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale I.B.54.''' THE TWO DOMAINS OF ANALOGY

In the prologue to his Commentary on the Sentences Thomas identifies two ways in which analogy occurs, accepting only one as an adequate description of the relationship between God and creatures. An analogous community can occur in two ways: Either from that in which some things participate in another thing according to priority and posteriority, as potency and act [participate] in the character {ratio) of being, and similarly substance and accident; or from that in which one thing receives its being and character from another, and such is the analogy of a creature to God; for a creature has being only insofar as it descends from the first being, and it is called being only inasmuch as it imitates the first being....'^

'' See Albertus Magnus, Super Dionysium de divinis nominibus (hereañer DDAO 1 n.l (ed. P. Simon, Opera omnia, Cologne edition 37.1 [Münster, 1972], 1, lines 27-32): "De attributis enim causae sciendum, quod non aequivoce, sed univoce dicuntur de causatis, sed tali univocatione qualis potest esse ibi, quae est analogiae, secundum quod dicit Origenes, quod deus dieitur sciens et intelligens, quia scientia et intellectu nos implet." References are to the critical edition of Albert's works produced by the Albertus-Magnus-Institut (the Cologne edition); for works not available in the critical edition, I use the older Borgnet edition (Paris, 1890-99). ''• See P. Simon, "Prolegomena," in DDN (vi-vii); and Jean-Pierre Torrell, Saint Thomas Aquinas, vol. 1 : The Person and His Work, trans. Robert Royal (Washington, D.C., 1996), 21. Leonard Boyle argues that the manuscript we have of Albert's Dionysian eommentary written in Thomas's hand was only a eopy of a preexisting manuscript or manuscripts and thus not Albert's original dictation. Even so, Thomas's intimate familiarity with Albert's text cannot be denied. See Boyle, "An Autograph of St. Thomas at Salerno," in Littera, Sensus, Sententia, Studi in onore del Prof. Clemente J. Vansteenkiste, ed. A. Lobato (Milan, 1991 ), 117-34. '^ Thomas Aquinas, In I Sent., prol., 1.2 ad 2 (ed. P. Mandonnet, Scriptum super libros Sententiarum, vol. 1 [Paris, 1929], 10): "Aut ex eo quod aliqua participant aliquid unum secundum prius et posterius, sicut potentia et actus rationem entis, et similiter substantia et accidens; aut ex eo quod unum esse et rationem ab altero recipit; et talis est analogia creaturae ad



Here one observes two significant items of note. First, what Thomas describes as "analogy" or a communitas analogiae has little, if anything, to do with the classical Greek or Aristotelian sense oí analogía. As a number of studies have taken pains to show,'* for Aristotle, analogía involves at least a four-term proportional relationship of such kind that "a" is to "b" as "c" is to "d."'^ While Thomas says nothing in the text quoted above to dispute this facet of analogía (indeed Aquinas's enumeration of analogies here is not exhaustive since he would come to embrace the Greek sense of analogía in the De veritate and already accepts it as a form of analogy in what is perhaps his earliest work, the Depríncípíís naturae^^), his descriptions of analogy do not identify themselves as forms of Greek analogía. Rather, by "analogy" Thomas has in mind something much more akin to what Aristotle famously describes in Metaphysics 4.2 as a pros hen relation; that is, a relation of one or more terms to "some one thing" {mían tina phusin).^'^ And so, in the first mode of analogy mentioned, what, for convenience's sake, we might call an analogy of "many to one,"^° two terms are related to some other third. Here Aquinas notes that the ratio entis in relation to substance and accident expresses such an analogical community, since substance and accident are both called "being" insofar as each participates—albeit unequally (i.e., secundum prius et posterius)—in the ratio entis.^^ In contrast, the second form of analogy mentioned is not Creatorem: creatura enim non habet esse nisi secundum quod a primo ente descendit, nee nominatur ens nisi inquantum ens primum imitatur " '* See Joseph Owens, The Doctrine of Being in the Aristotelian Metaphysics: A Study in the Greek Background of Mediaeval Thought, 3d ed. (Toronto, 1978), 123-25, and "Analogy as a Thomistic Approach to Being," Mediaeval Studies 24 (1962): 302-22; Hampus Lyttkens, The Analogy Between God and the World: An Investigation of Its Background and Interpretation of its Use by Thomas of Aquino (Uppsala, 1952), esp. chap. 1; Pierre Aubenque, "The Origins of the Doctrine of the Analogy of Being," Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 11.1 (1986): 3546; and Alain de Libera, "Les sources gréco-arabes de la théorie médiévale de l'analogie de l'être," Les études philosophiques (1989/3-4): 319^5. '^ Cf Aristotle, Metaphysics 5.6 (1016b31-1017a3); Physics 1.7 (191a7-12); NicomacheanEthics 1.5.3 (1131a30-b4); waPoeticslï (1457bl6-18). '* Thomas Aquinas, De principiis naturae 6 (Leonine edition 43:46-47). Though the dating of this work remains uncertain, we can be fairly certain that it is a youthftil work given that it offers mostly a summary of Averroes's teaching; see Torrell, Saint Thomas Aquinas, 48-49. " For Aristotle, see Metaphysics 4.2 (1003a32-1003b20). ^^ Montagnes employs this same terminology; see La doctrine de l'analogie, 80 (71). ^' Thomas later revises his understanding of the relationship among being, substance, and accident, describing various accidents (e.g., quantity and quality) as related not to the ratio entis but to substance itself as the primary instance of being on account of which diverse accidents are denominated "being." See SCG 1.34 and De potentia Dei 7.7. In his Commentary on the Sentences, however, even substance itself—together with its accidents—is posterior to the ratio entis. See Montagnes, La doctrine de l'analogie, 72-73 (67-68).



realized through the participation of two things in a third but in the direct relationship that two terms have to one another. One term is posterior to the other because, as Thomas says, it depends upon the prior for both its being {esse) and ratio.^^ In contrast to an analogy of "many to one," we might label this latter form of analogy as "one to another."^' Second, one observes from the passage quoted above that in opting for an analogy of "one to another" and rejecting "many to one" Thomas, decidedly dismisses the notion that being forms a super-category or genus, as it were, under which everything, even God, would be located. ^'' It is clear from his initial approach to analogy that Thomas is anxious to avoid making the claim that God is one being among others; indeed, according to Thomas, God would not even seem to be a being but is subsisting Being itself {ipsum esse subsistens)}^ The rejection of an analogy of "many to one" reaffirms and insists upon the irreducible distinction between Creator and creature.^* In fact, as we shall see, it is Thomas's concem to maintain this radical distinction between Creator and creature that eventually propels him toward proper proportionality in the De veritate. The passage cited above from Aquinas's commentary is brief and paltry on detail, yet it contains in germ everything essential to the doctrine of analogy that he unfolds more fully throughout his Commentary on the Sentences}^ ^^ Because of the notoriously varied meanings of ratio, henceforth I follow Norman Kretzmann's example of leaving it untranslated; he is right to note that "theoretical account" or "intelligible nature" comes closest to an accurate rendering (The Metaphysics of Theism: Aquinas 's Natural Theology in Summa contra gentiles I [Oxford, 1997], 147, 148). ^' Again, see Montagnes, La doctrine de l'analogie, 80 (71) for this same terminology. •^'' How the two forms of analogy relate to one another (if at all) remains unclear throughout the Sentences, and if Montagnes is correct, Thomas actually fails to offer a "unified theory" of the analogy of being in this early text (La doctrine de l'analogie, 73 [68]). " Cf Thomas Aquinas, In I Sent. 8.1.1 (ed. Mandonnet, 1:195): "In Deo ... ipsum esse suum est sua quidditas"; SCG 1.22; and Summa theologiae (hereafter 57) 1.3.4. ^* Robert Sokolowski has made much of this distinction or, as he calls it, the "Christian distinction," and has argued that it is precisely what distinguishes Christian thought from its pagan, Greek predecessors. See his The God of Faith and Reason: Foundations of Christian Theology (Washington, D.C., 1995), esp. chap. 5. Furthermore, in making this distinction, Thomas seems to evade the issue of onto-theology which is of such concem to many postmodem thinkers. Jean-Luc Marion, in particular, reevaluating his interpretation of Thomas as found in the first edition of his Dieu sans l'être, has gradually come to recognize Aquinas's escape from onto-theology since Thomas neither (1) "chains" God to being (ens) nor (2) "chains" God to metaphysics (God Without Being, trans. Thomas A. Carlson [Chicago, 1995], xxii-xxiv). See also Marion, "Thomas Aquinas and Onto-theology," in Mystics: Presence and Aporia, ed. Michael Kessler and Christian Sheppard (Chicago, 2003), 38-74. " See, e.g., Thomas Aquinas, In I Sent. 35.1.4. We shall discuss this particular text in greater detail in what follows.



What is more, the manner in which Thomas poses the problem and his initial distinction between two analogies of reference are found first—indeed almost verbatim—throughout the opera Alberti. Albert himself distinguishes between an analogy where one and the same thing is shared in common among several ("many to one") and an analogy constituted through one thing's having through participation what another is essentially ("one to another"). On Albert's view, both forms of analogy are articulated in terms of priority and posteriority. With respect to the Creator-creature relationship, Albert consistently rejects an analogy of "one to many" and accepts that of "one to another." This is what we find, for instance, in an early passage from his Commentary on the Sentences. Addressing the question whether things are well divided into the "delightful" and the "useftil,"^^ Albert faces the objection that, were there such a division, a uni vocal community between Creator and creature would be implied. The reason is that in all divisions that which is divided is common to the things that result from the division (i.e., dividentia), standing above them, so to speak, as a genus or species. Here, however, God and creature would constitute the dividentia and thus stand below the division, forming, so it would seem, a univocal community, which, the objection insists, is false.^' For Albert, the answer to the question tums upon determining the kind of community admitted between God and creature. As the objections make clear, Albert is alert to the necessity of safeguarding the irreducible distinction between God and creation. If God and creature were to enter into any community, it could only be an analogical one, but even here Albert cautions that not just any form of analogy will suffice. An analogy wherein the same thing is unequally participated by two or more things—"many to one"—is rejected since, as Albert explains, "the Creator has nothing by participation," but enjoys perfections "through his own essence and substance."^" Albert, as would Thomas after him, refuses to subordinate God to a prior super-category of being. The analogical community that is admitted between Creator and creature, however, consists in a "community of proportion to one [thing]" (communitas proportionis ad unum). As with the text of Thomas considered above, 2* Albertus Magnus, In I Sent. 1.8 (Borgnet edition 25:24): "An res bene dividantur in froiibiles, et utibiles?" ^' Cf ibid. arg. 2 (Borgnet edition 25:24): "In omni divisione divisum commune est dividentibus: dividentia autem sunt Creator et creatura: ergo aliquid est univocum Creatori et creaturae, quod falsum est." ^° Albertus Magnus, In I Sent. 1.8 (Borgnet edition 25:25): "... Creator nihil habet per participationem, sed per essentiam et substantiam." Cf DDN 1 n.57 (Cologne edition 37.1:35, lines 49-55) and 13 n.22 (445, lines 50-66).



Albert's text also makes it clear that Aristotle's notion of apros hen relation— not the Greek analogia—forms, for Albert, the logical stmcture of analogy. A relation of multiple proportions is not operative (i.e., proportionality), but rather aproportio ad unum (i.e., an analogy of reference).^' God, inasmuch as he possesses all perfections substantially {substantialiter) or essentially, is that "one thing" to whom all creatures are related in terms of participation and from whom their being and perfections are derived. ^^ The passage cited here does not afford an exhaustive account of analogy, yet it contains seminally Albert's doctrine of analogy in toto. Furthermore, despite its brevity, the passage does indicate that Albert has a basic twofold understanding of analogy: there is, on the one hand, what some have called "philosophical" analogy and, on the other, a "theological" analogy." In brief, "philosophical" analogy govems the relationships obtaining among beings within the categories, chiefly between substances and accidents; it is not unlike what Fabro has termed "predicamental analogy" with respect to Thomas Aquinas's own teaching.'''* "Theological" analogy, in contrast, describes Albert's effort to address the Creator-creature relationship and, again, is akin to Thomas's "transcendental analogy," as Fabro has named it. Albert goes into greater detail about the distinction between these two kinds of analogy, usually to explain why philosophical analogy is insufficient in accounting for the Creator-creature relationship.^^ His descriptions of philosophical analogy largely follow the Boethian and Arabic accounts of equivocáis. Albert explains that "analogy" or "proportion"—what the "Arabs call convenientia"—is a median between univocity and pure equivocity. ^^ But, then, ^' Cf Albertus Magnus, DDN A n.51 (Cologne edition 37.1:158, lines 38-46) and n.l42 (231, lines 10-27). ^^ Albertus Magnus, In I Sent. 1.8 (Borgnet edition 25:25): "Dicendum, quod Creatori et creaturae nihil est commune univoee: nee etiam per analogiam talem, quod idem participetur per prius et posterius a Creatore et creatura Sed est ibi communitas proportionis ad unum, quod substantialiter primo convenit Creatori: ab illo autem, et posterius sub illo, et ad illud convenit creaturae " ^^ Cf De Libera, Métaphysique et noétique, 103-27; and Montagnes, La doctrine de l'analogie, 73 n. 138. ^'' Comelio Fabro, Participation et causalité selon S. Thomas d'Aquin (Paris and Louvain, 1961), 510. '^ See, e.g., Albertus Magnus, In ISent. 8.7; and Summa theologiae ^^ See Albertus Magnus, Super Porphyrium de V universalibus 1.5 (ed. M. S. Noya, Cologne edition 1.1:10, lines 55-56); cf also Al-Ghazâlî, Lógica 1.5.5 (ed. Charles H. Lohr, "Lógica Algazalis: Introduction and Critical Text," Traditio 21 [1965]: 246): "Convenientia sunt media inter univoca et aequivoca, ut 'ens,' quod dieitur de substantia et accidente. Non enim est sicut haee dictio 'canis.' Ea enim quae appellantur 'canis' non conveniunt in aliqua significatione canis. Esse vero convenit substantiae et accidenti. Nee sunt sicut univoca. Ani-



he goes on to note that convenientia can be imposed on diverse things per respectum ad unum subiectum, ad unum efficiens actum, and ad unum finem.^^ One recognizes these same equivocal relationships in Aristotle's Metaphysics 4.2, where the Stagirite attempts to unify the various modes of being so as to assure a properly unified subject for the science of metaphysics. Many things are called "healthy" because they refer to the health of the animal {ad unum ^^ many things are called "medical" because they fiow from the art of medicine {ad unum efficiens actum);^^ and, finally, as Albert understands it, many things are called "being" because of their dependence upon one subject {ad unum subiectum), which is true being, namely, substance.""* Analogy, so understood, would be unable to accommodate the exigencies proper to the Creator-creature relationship since such analogy either involves a purely extrinsic relationship (e.g., as in the cases of "health" or "medical") that cannot account for the intrinsic ontological relationship between God and creature, or it would go too far in identifying God as the subject of being. Here Alain de Libera helpfully explains that philosophical analogy does not "permit one to pose the problem of the relation existent between creatures and God. God is not the subject of created being, but its cause. The problem of analogy is displaced therefore from the point of view of the unification of beings in substance ... towards another mode of unification: causal unification, which allows one to consider the relation of uncreated to created being."'*' We malitas enim aeque eonvenit equo et homini indifferenter et eodem modo. Esse vero prius habet substantia; deinde accidens, mediante alio. Ergo est eis esse seeundum prius et posterius. Hoc dieitur ambiguum, eo quod aptatur ad hoc et ad hoc." Cf De Libera, "Les sourees gréco-arabes de la théorie médiévale de l'analogie de l'être," 319-45. ^' Albertus Magnus, Super Porphyrium de V universalibus 1.5 (Cologne edition LIA [2004], 11, lines 11-33). '* Aristotle, Metaphysics 4.2 (1003a34-1003bl); cf Albertus Magnus, Super Porphyrium 1.5 (Cologne edition 1.1:11, lines 29-33). ^' Aristotle, Metaphysics 4.2 (1003bl-5); cf Albertus Magnus, Super Porphyrium 1.5 (Cologne edition 1.1:11, lines 21-29) '"' See Albertus Magnus, Super Porphyrium (Cologne edition 1.1:11, lines 19-21); idem, Metaphysica 4.1.3 (ed. B. Geyer, Cologne edition 16.1 [I960], 164, lines 52-63): "Omnibus igitur dictis modis dieitur ens per dependentiam ad subiectum unum, quod est vere ens, cui alia vel inferunt passionem vel sunt transmutationes eius vel transmutantia ens verum vel ad ipsum dicta sunt dispositiones vel mensurae vel respectus vel habitus vel actiones vere entis vel intentiones secundae acceptae circa ipsum esse vere entis vel alicuius quod dieitur ad ipsum ut accidens non ens, sed esse quoddam esse et significare. Omnia igitur diversis modis dicuntur ad unum." "" See De Libera, Métaphysique et noétique, 122: "Chez Albert, elle [i.e. analogie théologique] signifie que la triad secundum causam efflcientem {ab uno), secundum causam finalem {ad unum), secundum subiectum, qui permet de formuler les conditions, les limites et la structure d'une science une de l'être créé, ne permet pas de poser le problème de la relation existant



must therefore give further consideration to Albert's so-called "theological analogy." THEOLOGICAL (IMITATIVE) ANALOGY: ALBERTUS MAGNUS

Already from only a cursory glance at the passages that treat the issue of the analogy, one can discern both a procedural and structural overlap between Albert's and Thomas's accounts of analogy. We must now determine whether there is a deeper doctrinal congruence between the two. Turning to a key element encountered in both accounts of analogy, namely, "imitation," a positive answer to our question presents itself immediately. "Imitation" provides Albert a means of establishing a bond of similarity between God and creature, a bond that is based upon the communication of "form." Indeed, a strong formalistic emphasis courses throughout much of Albert's ontology wherein the exigencies of exemplar causality determine his discussions of analogy. For Albert, a creature's relationship to God is explained according to the imitative relationship that an image has to its exemplar. Since no creature can re-present the divine being perfectly in its imitation but only produces an inadequate representation, there remains a deep and abiding formal dissimilarity between the two. Thus, when Albert speaks explicitly of what he terms an "analogy of imitation" (analogía ímítatíonís), he does so only after having first stressed the disparity between God and creature, insisting that they can enter into neither a generic, specific, nor even an analogical community."*^ Of course, here by "analogy" Albert simply understands "philosophical analogy" where one and the same thing is prior to and shared in common by two or more other things. To accept such a community between God and creature would problematically posit something prior to God. Still, the absolute irreducibility of God and creature to some prior third term does not impede all community whatsoever, if that community be one of imitation. In several places throughout his opera Albert clarifies the dynamics involved in imitation, but one passage in particular deserves attention {In I Sent. 35.1) since it provides a direct point of com-

entre les créatures et Dieu. Dieu n 'est pas le sujet de l'être créé, mais la cause de l'être créé. Le problème de l'analogie se déplace donc du point de vue unificateur de la substance ... vers un autre mode d'unification: l'unification causale, qui permet de penser la relation de l'être incréé a l'être créé." "•^ Cf Albertus Magnus, Super Dionysii Mysticam theologiam (hereafter MT) 1 (ed. P Simon, Cologne edition 37.2 [1978], 459, lines 27-31) and 2 (467, lines 53-57); DDN 1 n.56 (Cologne edition 37.1:35, lines 30-34), 1.57 (35, lines 49-51), and 13.22 (445, lines 50-58).



parison between Albert and his Dominican confrere, who, in his own Commentary on the Sentences,'^^ addresses the same question Albert poses here and, what is more, likewise offers a solution spelled out in terms of an analogy of imitation. In In I Sent. 35.1 Albert raises the question whether scientia is univocal to God and creatures.'*'' He argues that—owing to the vastly diverse manners in which God, angels, and humans know—scientia is not univocal among them. God's knowledge is unique in that, knowing himself as the cause of all things, God knows both himself and everything else.'*^ Angels, in contrast, do not enjoy such creative knowledge,'** although like God they know free of any material conditions. Finally, humans, taking their knowledge from material and diverse things, possess knowledge in yet a weaker fashion that pales in comparison with angelic knowledge and is certainly far removed from God's.'*' Still, granting Albert that each attains or possesses scientia in different ways, why could one not hold that scientia stands as a genus under which are located various species: divine, angelic, human? What is cmcial to Albert's argument here is its ability to make a principled distinction between, on the one hand, a multiplicity of species located under one common genus in which each enjoys one and the same generic ratio and, on the other, an essential diversity of modes whereby any generic (i.e., univocal) unity would be transcended. In other words, Albert has to demonstrate that the distinction among divine, angelic, and human knowledge constitutes three diverse rationes. Albert tums to "imitation" as a solution. Human and angelic knowledge are not "•^ Thomas Aquinas, In I Sent. 35.1.4. *• Albert's question is actually broader in scope than Thomas's since it inquires into angelic knowledge as well, whereas Thomas concems himself only with human knowledge vis-àvis divine knowledge. ^^ Albertus Magnus, In I Sent. 35.1 (Borgnet edition 26:176-77): "... scientia Dei est de rebus ut substantificatrix et sapientia et causa omnium de quibus est, sive illud sit totum vel universale, sive pars sive particulare. Ergo patet, quod sciendo se ut est causa omnium, novit et se et omnia alia universaliter vel particulariter existentia." Cf De causis et processu universitatis a prima causa (hereafter DCPU) 1.2.7 (ed. W. Fauser, Cologne edition 17.2 [1993], 32, line 29-p. 33, line 37), where Albert argues the same point. ""* Albertus Magnus, In I Sent. 35.1 (Borgnet edition 26:177): "Sed tamen scientia ilia (i.e., angelica) non est causa entis, neque cognoscit per hoc quod sit causa, cum nullius causa creans sit Ángelus." "" Ibid. "De hominis autem scientia dicit ibidem, sic: 'Animae rationale habent diffusive quidem et circulo circa existentium veritatem circumeuntes, et divisibili et largissimo varietatis deficientes ab unitivis virtutibus.' Sensus hujus est, quod anima rationalis accipit scientiam: rationale autem collativum est: et ideo incipit a multis in quibus conferendo difHinditur, et circulo circumducitur circa veritatem existentium."



species (along with divine knowledge) of some prior genus; rather they are mere imitations of the divine knowledge itself The divine knowledge is that "one thing" to which created knowledge refers, which reference Albert spells out in terms of an imitative similitude.''^ That is, creatures, one might say, exhibit only a diminished likeness or possess only a partial share, as it were, of the full and preeminent perfection found first and foremost in God. As Albert explains, God possesses his perfections substantially (substantialiter) or essentially—and therefore per prius—while those same perfections are found within creation only in a derivative fashion, per posterius, stemming from God himself' Albert further expands his account of "imitation" in his replies to the objections within the same passage (In I Sent. 35.1). There Albert reveals that the entire dynamic of theological analogy tums upon the manner in which "form" is communicated.^" Arguing for univocity, the first objection maintains that as an agent cause (causa agens) acts according to its form, so it communicates that form to its effect, and thereby produces an effect univocal to itself Fire, for example, by its own proper form produces fire, and likewise a human, acting through the form of his or her nature, begets another human. Since each effect possesses the same form as its cause, the two enjoy a univocal similitude. The objection then argues that, as God's knowledge is the cause of created knowledge, God must, in causing, produce created knowledge by means of his own form. If God produces knowledge according to his own form, then that form must itself be communicated to creation, giving rise to a univocal similitude.^' In light of this objection Albert introduces a distinction between two kinds of similarity that arise between an effect and its cause. He concedes to the objection that the form of a cause can indeed be reproduced in an effect on account of which a univocal similarity arises, but he interjects that such a univocal likeness results only when the matter of the effect is "proportioned" to "** Ibid.: "... neutra scientiarum creaturarum univoca est scientiae Creatods: sed utraque imitatur eam quantum potest: et ideo est per prius et posterius dicta, eo modo quod dictum est supra, quod primo est in Deo, et ab ipso, et ad ipsum, quantum possibile est in Angelo et in homine." •» Ibid. ^^ Cf Francis Ruello, Les "noms divins" et leur "raisons" selon Saint Albert le Grand commentateur du "De divinis nominibus" (Paris, 1963), 75-85. ' ' Albertus Magnus, In I Sent. 35.1 arg. 1 (Borgnet edition 26:176): "Causa efficiens agens secundum formam efficientis, producit effectum univocum causae, ut ignis ignem, homo hominem, et hujusmodi: sed scientia Dei est causa efficiens nostrae scientiae, et agens secundum formam: ergo videtur, quod nostra scientia quae est effecta a sua, suae scientiae sit univoca."



the agency of the cause.^^ By "proportioned" I take Albert to be referring to an effect's ability to receive entirely (and not just imitatively) the form of its cause according to the same degree and thereby ratio. So, for example, fire produces fire and humans other humans and in each case the effect fully receives the form of its cause to the same degree, resulting in a univocal community based on an identity of ratio. When the agent is God, however, univocal similitude is out of the question since, as Albert puts it, "no receiving matter can be proportionate to the divine essence."^^ Put simply, no creature can receive the formal reality of God according to the same ratio as it exists in God. One and the same form is communicated, but it can only be received in a limited fashion within creatures. This limitation, as it were, produces a difference in ratio as the form exists essentially in God and only by participation or imitation in creatures. Albert then notes that there are, in addition to univocal agents, certain agents that are disproportionate to their effects. The sun, for example, in relation to illuminated air or some other diaphanous body is precisely such a disproportionate agent. Drawing upon his understanding of medieval astronomy, Albert explains that the light of an illuminated body is not of the same character {ratio) as it is in the sun, for the former is illuminated by receiving light whereas the latter does not receive but is its own illumination.^'' The light received in an illuminated body, as Albert puts it, undergoes a diminishment or lessening; it becomes less brilliant, more diffuse, and obscurer as it is received in and mixed with the matter of its diaphanous subject. The result is that the received light is not of the same ratio as the sun's light. The diversity of rationes between light as it is in the sun and in an illuminated body is key here for Albert in overcoming univocity, since univocity involves one and the same thing existing in several under the same ratio. Analogy, in contrast, involves one thing existing in many but according to diverse modes or rationes.^^ Thus, Albert's argument is that as an agent disproportionate to its effects, God's own divine perfection cannot be fully received in any creature ^^ Ibid, ad 1 (Borgnet edition 26:177): "Dicendum ergo ad primum, quod est causa agens seeundum speciem duobus modis, scilicet ad materiam proportionatam eidem speciei, ut agens et generans univoee, sicut ignis ignem, et homo hominem: et sic non causât Deus: quia essentiae divinae nulla materia recipiens potest esse proportionata." " Ibid. ^'' Ibid.: "Est etiam causa agens secundum formam et speciem ad naturam non proportionatam eidem speeiei, ut sol agit in aerem, vel aliud diaphanum receptivum luminis: et tamen lumen receptum non est ejusdem rationis in sole, et in aere, sed ignobilius et diñlisius et obseurius est in aere quam in sole " '^ Cf De Libera, Métaphysique et noétique, 124.



according to the same ratio, but some likeness of God is received to the degree that the creature is capable of imitating God. What the objection fails to recognize, then, is that while it is entirely tme to say that God acts or creates according to his form, that divine form exists in creatures not according to the same ratio but only by means of an imitative similitude.'* As is clear from his discussion of analogy in the passage just considered, what is cmcial for Albert's understanding of analogy is the manner in which one and the same form is shared in common. In one salient passage from his Super Dionysium de divinis nominibus, Albert, when dealing with the question whether all goods proceed from the first good, revisits the way in which the possession of one and the same form can lead to either a univocal or analogical community." Form is twofold, he tells us. The first kind is exemplary and is held in common, not by predication, but by means of what proceeds from it, as the form of a shoemaker is in all the shoes he produces. Here it is not necessary that the exemplary form be participated univocally by all—just as shoes, to use Albert's example, do not possess the form of the shoemaker univocally, although that form is common to all of them—but only according to the degree that the exemplary form can be imitated.'^ In contrast, there is also form common by predication which is simply the form of a genus or a species.'^ Those proceeding from this latter kind of form are themselves of one genus or species, on account of which they enjoy a univocal community. Those things, however, proceeding from an exemplary form, which form is participated in according to diverse modes, do not attain a generic or specific unity, but only an analogical unity. ^° Thus, retuming to the question whether all goods proceed from the first good, Albert answers that the first good is the universal exemplar form of all goods and is not participated univocally—after

5* Cf Albertus Magnus, MT 1 (Cologne edition 37.2:459, lines 26-31) and 2 (467, lines 53-58); DDN 1 nn.56-57 (Cologne edition 37.1:35, lines 10-68) and 4 n.9 (119, hnes 18-31). " Albertus Magnus, DDN 2 nn.83-84 (Cologne edition 37.1:96, line 4 6 - p . 98, line 74). Cf Jan Aertsen, Medieval Philosophy and The Transcendentals: The Case of Thomas Aquinas (Leiden, 1996), 58-60. 5* Albertus Magnus, DDN 2 n.83 (Cologne edition 37.1:97, lines 20-26): "... est duplex forma: quaedam exemplaris, et haec quidem communis est non per predicationem, sed per processum ab ipsa exemplatorum, sicut forma calcificis omnibus calcéis, et ideo non oportet, quod univoce participetur ab omnibus, sed ab unoquoque secundum suam possibilitatem " ^' Ibid. (lines 26-29): "... est etiam quaedam forma communis pluribus per praedicationem, quae est forma generis vel speciei, et a tali una forma procedunt plura univoce." *" Ibid. (98, lines 21-27): "... ea quae procedunt a forma una, quae est generis vel speciei, sunt unum genere vel specie, quae autem procedunt ab una forma exemplari, quae diversimode participatur, non oportet sic vel sic esse unum, sed tantum analogice "



the fashion of a generic or specific form—but analogously, secundum prius et posterius according to diverse modes of reception.*' Here the exigencies of form command Albert's thinking such that creatures are understood as images of God's exemplar (formal) causality. With imitation, creatures re-present, though only imperfectly, the absolute plenitude of the formal perfection proper to God, a perfection that can never be reproduced entirely;*^ no creature is its own essential perfection but enjoys its perfections as received or, what is the same, as participated.*^ This is, of course, not to say that in a creature's participation in God the divine being is commingled {commiscetur) or mixed with creation.*^ Rather, Albert simply means that a creature's participation consists in its partial or incomplete reception of some perfection that exists without limit in God. A creature's imitation of God is thus the source of both its similarity and dissimilarity. ANALOGÍA IMITATIONIS: THOMAS AQUINAS

"Imitation" would provide a means of expressing the analogical relationship obtaining between God and creature not only for Albert but also for Thomas early in his intellectual career. We have already seen in the prologue to his Commentary on the Sentences some allusion to "imitation." A creature is called a being {ens), we read, only inasmuch as it "imitates" the first being {ens primum) to the extent possible.*^ Later in In Sent. 35.1.4 Thomas further discusses imitation's role in analogy but only after first making a distinction between two forms of an analogy of reference, namely, "many to one" and "one to another." Rejecting the first for reasons that are by now familiar (i.e., it places something prior to God), Thomas turns to the latter and explains that this mode of analogy results when one thing "imitates" another as much as it *' Ibid, (lines 4—9): "... primum bonum est exemplar universale omnium bonorum, non praedicatum de eis nec participatum ab eis univoce, sed secundum prius et posterius, secundum diversitatem recipientium, et est idem exemplar et effectivum." Cf. De Libera, Métaphysique et noétique, 125. " See Albertus Magnus, DCPU 1.3.6 (Cologne edition 17.2:41, lines 64-71). " Cf Albertus Magnus, In I Sent. 35.1; DDN 4 n.9 (Cologne edition 37.1:119, line 21), n.64 (173, line 17) and n.l92 (274, line 87-p. 275, line 16). *'' Albertus Magnus, DDN 4 n.51 (Cologne edition 37.1:158, lines 38-46): "Ad tertium dieendum, quod quaedam análoga sunt quorum est respectus ad unum, quod recipitur in eis secundum diversos modos essentiales ... ; sic autem non est respectus rerum ad unum, quod est deus, qui non commiscetur cum eis, sed habent respectum ad ipsum participando aliquid quod est ab ipso " ^^ Thomas Aquinas, In I Sent., prol., 1.2 ad 2 (ed. Mandonnet, 1:10). For the text see n. 15 above.



can although an equality or identity of ratio between creature and Creator is never achieved.** Thomas says nothing norther about imitation within the corpus of the article, suggesting perhaps that he already has a working theory of imitation in mind.*^ Elements of that theory do emerge, however, in Aquinas's treatments of the objections that introduce the article. In his replies to those objections, Thomas clearly reveals that he is operating from the same formalistic perspective as his master since here analogy is treated in terms of exemplar causality. The centerpiece of Thomas's replies to the objections is his account of the manner in which an agent's form is communicated to its effects by means of exemplar causality through which there results an imitative similitude. An agent and its effect are similar because of a formal resemblance, but what is the nature of that similitude? Arguing for a univocal similitude, the first objection repeats the same strategy found earlier in Albert's parallel text {In I Sent. 35.1 arg. 1). Since an agent acts through its own form, that form must itself be communicated to its effect, much like fire, through its form of "heat," induces its form into the heated thing. Thus, since through his own wisdom and knowledge God effects created wisdom, the divine form itself must be reproduced within creation. The objection then concludes that since one and the same form is shared in common between Creator and creature, the resulting community is univocal.*^ Arguing from a different direction and toward the opposite conclusion, the sixth objection stands against univocity and in favor of equivocity. Whenever things are univocally similar they admit of some comparison. But comparison between and among similar things is not possible unless they agree in some common nature (i.e., "form") in virtue of which they are univocally similar. In the case of God and creature, however, no such agreement is possible since that common feature would then be prior to God, which cannot be admitted. Consequently, nothing whatsoever can be said univocally of God and creature.*' ** Ibid. 35.1.4 (ed. Mandonnet, 1:820): "Alia analogia est, secundum quod unum imitatur aliud quantum potest, nee perfecte ipsum assequitur; et haec analogia est creaturae ad Deum." ' ' Cf Montagnes, La doctrine de l'analogie, 70 n. 132 (93-94). ** Thomas Aquinas,/«/5en?. 35.1.4 arg. 1 (ed. Mandonnet, 1:818): "Videtur quod scientia Dei sit univoca scientiae nostrae. Agens enim secundum formam producit effectum sibi univocum, sicut ignis per calorem inducit calorem univocum suo calori. Sed sicut dicit Origenes ... et Dionysius ..., Deus dicitur sapiens, inquantum nos sapientia implet per suam sapientiam. Ergo videtur quod sapientia sua sit nostrae univoca." *' Ibid. arg. 6 (ed. Mandonnet, 1:819): "...quaecumque univocantur in aliquo, horum est similitudo aliqua. Sed omnium similium est aliqua comparatio; comparatio autem non est nisi convenientium in natura aliqua. Cum igitur nulla creatura cum Deo conveniat in aliqua natura communi, quia illa esset utroque prius, videtur quod nihil univoce de Deo et creatura dicatur."



With respect to the first objection, the fundamental question facing Thomas—one already put to Albert—is how can creatures be similar to God without that similarity consisting in the same ratio as the divine being? What forms the basis for similitude? As had been the case with Albert, Thomas does not dispute the objection's basic premise, namely, that an agent produces its like through the communication of form, and, in fact, elsewhere Thomas acknowledges that God "produces similar effects through his own form."^° The issue here, however, is to what extent effects are capable of receiving their agent's form.^' Like Albert, Aquinas notes that a univocal effect is produced by an agent according to its form only when the recipient is proportionate to receive the total "power of the agent" or (when the recipient is proportioned to receive the agent's form) according to the same ratio. Such a proportion is out of the question when it comes to the Creator-creature relationship since no creature is ever proportioned to receive any perfection according to the same mode by which it exists in God. Tuming to medieval astronomy for an illustration, again as Albert had, Thomas explains that just as no lower body can receive heat from the sun according to the same mode as it exists in the sun—even though the sun acts and produces heat through its own form—so likewise no creature is able to receive any perfection according to the same degree as it exists in God; there remains, then, an essential diversity of rationes.^^ Still, how does an essential diversity of rationes not destroy all similitude between creature and God? Thomas's introduction of dissimilarity into the similitude that exists between God and creature, while navigating around the Scylla of univocity, could, if left undisciplined, fall prey to the Charybdis of equivocity. Thomas therefore draws a distinction between two kinds of similitude. The similarity that creatures have to God does not consist in their agreement in one thing shared in common but—Thomas tells us, even if

™ Thomas Aquinas, In I Sent. 2.1.2 (ed. Mandonnet, 1:62): "... [Deus] secundum formam suam producat effectus similes " " The imperfect reception of God's formal perfection is no failure on God's part, Thomas points out, but a consequence of a creature's being made from nothing (ibid): "... imperfectio autem non est ab ipso [Deo], sed accidit ex parte creaturarum, inquantum sunt ex nihilo." Cf Albertus Magnus, DDN 5 n.9 (Cologne edition 37.1:308, lines 43-67). '^ Thomas Aquinas, In I Sent. 35.1.4 ad 1 (ed. Mandonnet, 1:820): "Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod ab agente secundum formam non producitur effectus univocus, nisi quando recipiens est proportionatus ad recipiendum totam virtutem agentis, vel secundum eamdem rationem: et sic nulla creatura est proportionata ad recipiendum scientiam a Deo per modum quo in ipso est; sicut nec corpora inferiora possunt recipere calorem univoce a sole, quamvis per formam suam agit."



somewhat laconically—in "imitation." Both similitude and dissimilitude are disciplined by "imitation." Though he offers only slightly more detail about "imitation" in his reply to the sixth objection than he had in the corpus, Thomas does nonetheless reveal that he has in mind something akin to Boethius's understanding of aequivoca secundum similitudinem. Indeed, it is likely that Thomas thinks he does not need to go into detail because centuries before him Boethius had already clearly distinguished, on the one hand, between univocáis and equivocáis and, on the other hand, among various kinds of equivocáis themselves.^^ Regarding the division among equivocáis, Boethius first distinguishes chance equivocáis {aequivoca casu) from aequivoca consilio; he further subdivides the latter aequivoca consilio into aequivoca secundum similitudinem, aequivoca secundum proportionem, aequivoca ab uno, ad unum, etc. The account given of aequivoca secundum similitudinem—those equivocáis that share some agreement among themselves—seems to capture what Thomas has in mind with respect to imitation. As Boethius explains, both a picture of a man and a true man {homo verus) are called "man" because of the similitude that obtains between the picture and its exemplar.^'' But an asymmetrical relationship results between the two, for while the painting is said to be like the true man, the man is not said to be like the painting." Accordingly, "imitation," on Thomas's reckoning, is in fact a kind of similitude, but unlike a univocal similitude it results in a non-reciprocal relationship between the similar things. Within the context of the God-creature relationship, Thomas follows Pseudo-Dionysius and tells us that while creatures are similar to God, God is in no way similar to creation.''' Later in In I Sent. 44.1.1, Thomas offers further detail conceming the distinction between univocal and imitative (i.e., analogical) similitude. It should be noted that this passage itself mirrors closely a similar passage from '•' Boethius, In Categorias Aristotelis libri quatuor 1 (PL 64:166B). For the historical context surrounding the logic of predication during Thomas's time, see E. J. Ashworth's artieles mentioned in n. 10 above. ''' Ibid.: "... alia [aequivoca] sunt secundum similitudinem, ut homo pietus et homo verus, quo nunc utitur Aristoteles exempio..."; cf Aristotle, Categories 1 (lal-5). Joseph Owens notes that the Greek word zöion as used in the Categories' example for equivocáis is itself indefinite since it can mean both "animal" and "painting" (The Doctrine of Being in the Aristotelian Metaphysics, 111 n. 15). '^ Thomas Aquinas,/«/Se«?. 48.1.1 ad 4 (ed. Mandonnet, 1:1081): "... non enim dieimus quod homo sit similis suae imagini, sed e converso " '* Ibid. 35.1.4 ad 6 (ed. Mandonnet, 1:821): "Ad sextum dicendum, quod inter Deum et creaturam non est similitudo per convenientiam in aliquo uno communi, sed per imitationem; unde creatura similis Deo dieitur, sed non convertitur, ut dicit Dionysius "



Albert's Super Dionysium de divinis nominibus.^^ As we have seen in his Dionysian commentary, Albert had identified a twofold formal similitude that follows upon the manner in which one and the same form is shared. Thomas follows suit and explains that sometimes things are similar when they participate in a common form—what Albert identified as a generic or specific form—as, for instance, two white things participate in "whiteness."'^ Since both possess one and the same form according to the same ratio, their similitude is one of univocity.^' Here one recognizes immediately that kind of (univocal) similitude that Thomas rejects consistently with respect to God and creatures, but, as had been the case in his response to the sixth objection, Aquinas introduces another mode of similarity: imitation. This time he develops "imitation" against the background of his metaphysics of participation. "Imitation" occurs, Thomas says, when one thing has some form through participation that another enjoys essentially.^" Thomas's metaphysics of participation—itself subject to various interpretations^'—is far too complex for us to treat ñilly here, but we might highlight just a few of its more essenfial elements, beginning with Aquinas's claim that imitative similitude involves composition on the part of the thing that participates and simplicity on the part ofthat which is imitated. ^^ As Thomas maintains consistently throughout his work (both within the Commentary on the Sentences and beyond),^^ God is absolutely simple enjoying his perfections essentially according to his very nature. Creatures, in contrast, receive their perfections, most fundamentally being {esse), and enter into composition with them such that everything proceeding from God falls short of the absolute

" Cf Albertus Magnus, DDN2 nn.83-84 (Cologne edition 37.1:97, line 20-p. 98, line 21). '^ In I Sent. 48.1.1 (ed. Mandonnet, 1:1080): "Contingit autem aliqua dici similia dupliciter. Vel ex eo quod participant unam formam, sicut duo albi albedinem " " Cf Montagnes, La doctrine de l'analogie, 45 (35). '^^ Thomas Aquinas, In I Sent. 48.1.1 (ed. Mandonnet, 1:1080): "... unum quod participative habet formam, imitatur illud quod essentialiter habet. Sicut si corpus album diceretur simile albedini separatae, vel corpus mixtum igneitate ipsi igni." *' For frill treatments of Thomas on the subject of participation, see Louis-Bertrand Geiger, La participation dans la philosophie de S. Thomas d'Aquin (Paris, 1942); Fabro, La participation et causalité selon S. Thomas d'Aquin; and, more recently, Rudi te Velde, Participation and Substantiality in Thomas Aquinas (Leiden, 1995); and John Wippel, The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas: From Finite to Uncreated Being (Washington, D.C., 2000), chap. 4. ^^ Thomas Aquinas, In I Sent. 48.1.1 (ed. Mandonnet, 1:1080): "Et talis similitudo quae ponit compositionem in uno et simplicitatem in alio, potest esse creaturae ad Deum participantis bonitatem vel sapientiam, vel aliquid hujusmodi, quorum unumquodque in Deo est essentia ejus " ^^ See, e.g., Thomas Aquinas, 5 r 1.3.7; ibid. 1.4.2.



divine simplicity.^'' This ontological disparity between God's simplicity and a creature's metaphysical composition impedes the latter's ever attaining to equality with the former: "no creature is able to receive any perfection from God according to the mode by which it is. in God, whence it falls short of a perfect representation of the exemplar according to its mode of receiving."**^ Because each creature is able to receive being {esse) from God only to the extent that its nature allows, there arises a graded hierarchy of being wherein some creatures enjoy a greater share in the divine perfection than do others.^* Each creature participates in God—again, not in such a way that a part of the divine being enters into the creature's metaphysical constitution^'—but because the creature is finite, the unlimited and infinite divine perfection cannot be fully or perfectly received but only imitated. On such a view, a creature's imitation of God in terms of participation by similitude ultimately results in a formal inequality between Creator and creature, since the former enjoys its perfection preeminently without any limitation (i.e., essentially), whereas that which participates possesses that same form but deficiently according to the capacity of its ^^ A PARTING OF THE WAYS

As his account of analogy within the Commentary on the Sentences reveals, Thomas is initially content to embrace virtually the same doctrine as Albert. For both Albert and Thomas, analogy has the logical structure of reference to some one thing, and the metaphysic supporting that structure is one of form or exemplarism. This is not to say that Thomas and Albert deny or are oblivious to the role of efficient causality;^' both remain attuned to efficiency but sub^ Thomas Aquinas, In I Sent. 8.5.1 (ed. Mandonnet, 1:226): "... omne quod procedit a Deo in diversitate essentiae, deficit a simplicitate ejus." *' Ibid. 22.1.2 (ed. Mandonnet, 1:535): "... nulla tamen creatura potest recipere illam perfectionem secundum ilium modum quo in Deo est. Unde secundum modum recipiendi deficit a perfecta repraesentatione exemplaris." ** Ibid.: "... in creaturis est quidam gradus, secundum quod quaedam quibusdam plures perfectiones et nobiliores a Deo consequuntur, et plenius participant." ^' Cf Thomas Aquinas, In II Sent. 17.1.1 ad 6 (ed. P. Mandonnet, Scriptum super libros Sententiarum, vol. 2 [Paris, 1929], 415): "... creaturae non dicuntur divinam bonitatem participare quasi partem essentiae suae, sed quia similitudine divinae bonitatis in esse constituuntur, secundum quam non perfecte divinam bonitatem imitantur, sed ex parte." *^ Ibid. 15.1.2 ad 4 (ed. Mandonnet, 2:373): "[Forma] est in uno defícienter, in altero est eminenter." ^' Cf, e.g., Albertus Magnus, DDNl n.49 (Cologne edition 37.1:76, lines 53-54): "... omnia causata participant exemplariter et effective primo principio ..."; ibid. 5 n.lO (309, lines 50-



Ordinate it to a more dominant exemplarism.^" The imitative relationship arising from the exemplar communication of one and the same form secundum prius et posterius is enough, Thomas thinks, to stave off equivocity. But can an analogy so constmed sufficiently ward off univocity? The De veritate betrays the presence of a real but unstated concem in Thomas's otherwise confident deployment of an analogy of reference. Thomas never makes the reason for his concem explicit, and one would search in vain for a direct rejection of an analogy of reference as constitutive of the Creatorcreature relationship. Nevertheless, some traces of Thomas's underlying concem surface in De veritate 2.11, where he poses a question sufficiently similar to the one raised in In I Sent. 35.1.4 that the answer offered in the De veritate will directly bear upon the doctrine espoused in the Commentary on the Sentences. Thomas asks whether scientia is said of God and humans in a purely equivocal fashion.^' What becomes obvious in his exposition of the problem is that Aquinas is concemed about positing a "determinate relationship or distance" between Creator and creature and avoids asserting such a relation at all costs. God's infinite transcendence over creation and his irreducible distinctness from the same must be preserved; any "determinate relationship," as Thomas sees it, compromises that distinction for reasons we shall presently see. It is also significant to note that Thomas's understanding of reference as found in the De veritate always introduces a "determinate relationship" between its terms. Consequently, if an analogical relationship between God and creation is to be preserved, an altemate means of establishing that community will be required. To establish that community Thomas tums to proper proportionality, which consists not in the direct relation of two terms to one another (i.e., a proportion) but in a proportion related to at least one other proportion (e.g., a:b::c:d). Since proper proportionality does not imply a determinate relationship or distance between its terms, it will be capable of accommodating the demands specific to the Creator-creature relationship.'^ Much as was the case with the Commentary on the Sentences, the De veritate passage goes through the perfunctory measures of first rejecting univocity 53): "... ens primum est causa omnis entis effectiva et formalis-exemplaris ..."; Thomas Aquinas, In I Sent. 8.1.2 (ed. Mandonnet, 1:198): "... divinum esse producit esse creaturae in similitudine sui imperfecta: et ideo esse divinum dicitur esse omnium rerum, a quo omne esse creatum effective et exemplariter manat." '" Cf Montagnes, La doctrine de l'analogie, 59-60 (42^3). " Thomas Aquinas, Quaestiones disputatae de veritate (hereafter De ver.) 2.11 (Leonine edition 22.1:77, lines 1-2): "Undécimo quaeritur utrum scientia aequivoce pure dicatur de Deo et nobis." '2 Ibid. (79, lines 172-77).



and then equivocity before settling upon analogy as characterizing the Creator-creature relationship.'•^ Also, as had been the case in the Commentary on the Sentences, Thomas's De veritate account draws a distinction between two kinds of analogy; the similarities, however, end there. For now Aquinas distinguishes not between two kinds of analogy of reference but between reference (or, as he calls it here, proportio) and proper porportionality (proportionalitas). Conspicuously absent from Thomas's account is any mention of imitation. Regarding proportio, Thomas explains that it involves some "determinate relationship" between the analogates, as, for instance, the determinate relation of "double" interposes itself between "two" and "one" or "four" and "two."''' Proportionality, in contrast, does not involve a relationship of two things to one another, but a relation of two proportions to one another, for example, "six" is said to be analogous to "four" because "six" is the double of "three" just as "four" is the double of "two."'^ Thomas extends his account of proportion and proportionality beyond these mathematical applications. Substance and accident are related to "being" by proportion and so likewise urine and animal with respect to "health." An accident is called "being" insofar as it refers to a substance, the primary instance of being,'^ and urine is called "healthy" inasmuch as it is a sign of health relative to its subject, the animal.'^ In each of these instances of proportion or analogies of reference, "some determinate relationship" among the terms is involved; this determinate relationship, Thomas insists, cannot be admitted between God and creature. Were there such a relationship, the nature of the divine perfection could be "determined" from a consideration of its created analogate.'" This last claim requires further explanation. " Ibid. (78, line 7 4 - p . 79, line 134). ''' I discuss what Thomas means by "determinate relationship" in what follows. '^ Thomas Aquinas, De ver. 2.11 (Leonine edition 22.1:79, lines 135-53). Here Thomas is simply articulating the definition of "proportion" as traditionally understood since Euclid. See in particular Euclid's account of "proportion" in his Elements, book 5, definitions 5 and 6; book 7, definition 20. "• Thomas seems to have reconsidered his understanding of substance and accident vis-àvis being, for now they are no longer viewed as referring to some common form of being in which both participate unequally. Instead, substance is called "being" because it enjoys being per se, whereas accidents have being only insofar as they refer to substance. " Thomas Aquinas, De ver. 2.11 (Leonine edition 22.1:79, lines 153-61): "Unde et secundum modum primae convenientiae invenimus aliquid analogice dictum de duobus quorum unum ad alterum habitudinem habet, sicut ens dicitur de substantia et accidente ex habitudine quam accidens ad substantiam habet, et sanum dicitur de urina et animali ex eo quod urina habet aliquam habitudinem ad sanitatem animalis " '* Ibid, (lines 165-72): "Quia ergo in his quae primo modo analogice dicuntur oportet esse aliquam determinatam habitudinem inter ea quibus est aliquid per analogiam commune, impos-



In a mathematical context when the value of one term of a given relation— double, triple, quadruple, etc.—is known, the value of the other can be determined, such that beginning with "two," for example, one can determine its double, "four," its triple, "six," its quadruple "eight," so on and so forth. The proportion between the two numbers indicates a (de-)finite numerical distance between them. In an ontological setting where the Creator-creature relationship is at issue, Thomas's concem seems to be that, beginning from some created perfection, a similar determination could be made regarding the corresponding divine perfection. The infinite distance between God and creature would be traversed, meaning that the "distance" is actually finite. Montagnes helpfully explains Thomas's use of "distance" within an ontological context: "To speak of distance between creatures and creator is a metaphorical fashion of translating the diversity that opposes beings to God and affirming that the divine names are not univocal One can speak of distance ... as an expression of dissimilarity."'' Where the distance between two terms is anything less than infinite, the terms ultimately risk confusion and become circumscribed by the parameters of their goveming relationship. To give yet another example from a mathematical context, in a relationship of "double" it makes no difference whether the terms involved are "two" and "four" or "two hundred" and "four hundred"; each term is subsumed under and taken up into the relation of "double." Retuming to an ontological context, more specifically one functioning according to the demands of exemplarity, an analogy of reference places God and creature in danger of being confused within the same form, even if that form is qualified as "exemplary." Thus, despite Thomas's effort to introduce ontological difference between God and creature by means of imitation, noetically their relationship is apprehended according to an overarching form that abolishes the difference between them.'"" Put another way, the formal perfection held in common between God and creature, despite its realization/?er essentiam in the former and per participationem in the latter, is grasped by means of a single concept that is univocal to both."" sibile est aliquid per hunc modum analogice dici de Deo et creatura quia nulla creatura habet talem habitudinem ad Deum per quam possit divina perfeetio determinari " Cf Montagnes, La doctrine de l'analogie, 11 (69). " Montagnes, La doctrine de l'analogie, 88-89: "Parler de distance entre les créatures et leur créateur, c'est une façon métaphorique de traduire la diversité qui oppose les êtres à Dieu et d'affirmer que les noms divins ne sont pas univoques On peut continuer à parler de distance ... simplement eomme une expression de la dissemblance." ""> Ibid., 91 (77-78). "" For this reason Duns Scotus can then say that the concept of being, as a conceptus



The De veritate indicates that Thomas harbors severe reservations about the ability of reference—spelled out in terms of imitation—^to preserve the Creator-creature distinction. Already present in the corpus of De veritate 2.11, these reservations are clear in the objections and Thomas's replies in the same question. Many of the objections posed are similar if not identical to the ones found in In I Sent. 35.1.4; but, whereas "imitation" originally safisfied Thomas with respect to evading univocity, that solution is no longer deemed adequate. '°^ For instance, in the third objection we find the familiar argument that where there is comparison there must be some common form shared either to a greater or lesser degree among many. '"^ Instead of appealing to imitative similitude as he had in the Commentary on the Sentences,^^ Thomas tums instead to a similitude based on proportionality. Time and again throughout his replies to the objections, Thomas, while making a distinction between two kinds of similitude, does not draw that distinction between two kinds of analogy of reference as he had in the Commentary on the Sentences. Rather, the distinction now is between a similitude of proportion (i.e., reference) and a similitude of proportionality. Reference is always rejected and proportionality accepted for one persistent reason: an analogy of reference implies a determinate relation or distance; proportionality does not."*^ This is the procedure one finds in Thomas's reply to the fourth objection: A similitude that occurs because two things participate in one [thing] or because one thing has a determinate relationship to another such that from the one the other can be comprehended by the intellect—[this similitude] diminishes distance; however, a similitude that occurs because of an agreement of proportion does not; for such similitude is found in things of great distance or similarly of little [distance]: for there is no greater similitude of proportiosimpliciter simplex, is univocal, all the while reeognizing the absolute and intrinsic differenee between infinite and finite being. Similarly, Francisco Suárez holds that the conceptus obiectivus entis is of itself one inasmuch as it prescinds from all differentiation with respect to infinitude or finitude. While Suárez does in fact argue that the concept of being is analogical, he will only be able to make his case after great difficulty in establishing just how that eoncept descends unequally {per prius et posterius) to its inferiors, that is, to God and to creatures. For Scotus, see, e.g., Ordinatio I, d. 3, nn. 26-29, 58-60, 137-39, 149-51. For Suárez, see, e.g., Dipsutationes metaphysicae 2.2.36 and 28.3.21. Along these lines, Gilson insightfully notes in his Jean Duns Scot: Introduction à ses positions fondamentales (Paris, 1952), 102: "... dans une doctrine où l'être est défini par le concept, il est nécessairement univoque dans les limites de ce concept, puisque autrement il n'y aurait pas de concept." '"^ Montagnes, La doctrine de l'analogie, 84 (74). '"' Thomas Aquinas, De ver. 2.11 arg. 3 (Leonine edition 22.1:77, lines 19-26). "" See Thomas Aquinas, In I Sent. 35.1.4 ad 6. '"5 See Thomas Aquinas, De ver. 2.11 ad 2, 4, 6.



nality betweeti two and one and six and three than between two and one and one hundred and fifty. Therefore, the infinite distance of creature to God does not remove such similitude [i.e., proportionality].'"^ It is difficult to deny that the De veritate represents a decidedly new approach to the analogy between God and creatures, an approach in which reference spelled out in terms of imitation has been abandoned. As suggested, Thomas's unstated but real concern pertains to the fact that reference ultimately risks the noetic confusion of God and creature within the conceptual apprehension of the form that governs the analogical relationship of imitation. What Thomas leaves unsaid with respect to an analogia imitationis, Albert himself seems to acknowledge. In the opening passage of his Super Dionysium de divinis nominibus, where Albert determines the subject matter of the book in question, he writes, "It must be known regarding the attributes of a cause [i.e., God] that they are said of the caused univocally, not equivocally, but by such a univocity that is one of analogy."'"^ Albert's notion of a univocatio quae est analogiae or "univocal analogy," the "theoretical monster" as Alain de Libera calls it,'"* is a perplexing one. Many scholars, most especially Francis Ruello and de Libera himself, have associated it with a kind of "univocal causality" that Albert seems to attribute to God in a number of passages running throughout the Super Dionysium de divinis nominibus. '"' But is Albert really suggesting, as Ruello and de Libera maintain, that God—whom Albert usually identifies as an analogical cause— functions with some kind of "univocal" efficacy? At first sight, the opening passage of Albert's Dionysian commentary would seem to imply as much, for there Albert speaks of God and creation in terms of a univocal cause-effect relationship through which the former can be known through the latter. Despite what Albert says, however, I do not think he means to suggest that there is an instance of univocal causality at work in the relationship between God and creature. Rather, I suggest that what is at issue is Albert's recogni"" Ibid, ad 4 (Leonine edition 22.1:80, lines 231-44): "... similitudo quae attenditur ex eo quod aliqua duo participant unum vel ex eo quod unum habet habitudinem determinatam ad aliud, ex qua scilicet ex uno alterum comprehendi possit per intellectum, diminuit distantiam, non autem similitudo quae est secundum convenientiam proportionum; talis enim similitudo similiter invenitur in multum vel parum distantibus: non enim est maior similitudo proportionalitatis inter duo et unum et sex et tria quam inter duo et unum et centum et quinquaginta; et ideo infinita distantia creaturae ad Deum similitudinem praedictam non tollit." "" Albertus Magnus, DDN 1 n.l (Cologne edition, 37.1:1, lines 27-30). See n. 13 above. '°* De Libera, Métaphysiqe et noétique, 123. "" See Francis Ruello, Les "noms divins " et leurs "raisons" selon saint Albert le Grand; Jan Aertsen, Medieval Philosophy and the Transcendental: The Case of Thomas Aquinas (Leiden, 1996), 58-60; and De Libera, Métaphysique et noétique, 122-25.



tion of a certain tendency in our conceptualizing activities to apprehend the formal relationship between Creator and creature in terms of a single concept that approximates univocity. We must first note that Albert consistently rejects any univocal community between God and creature throughout his Dionysian commentary and beyond;"" thus, unless he is content to contradict himself in an obvious manner, "univocal" as attributed to God's causal relationship to creation is likely being used in a peculiar fashion. Moreover, despite Albert's description of the Creator-creature relationship in the Super Dionysium de divinis nominibus as "univocal," the nature ofthat relationship really manifests no difference from what Albert calls "analogical" (i.e., a "theological analogy") elsewhere in the same text. When discussing the Creator-creature relationship in a number of other passages throughout the Super Dionysium de divinis nominibus, Albert affirms the analogical character of that relationship but only after first distinguishing philosophical from theological analogy and rejecting the former in favor of the latter.'" Here we may also take note of the fact that within the very passage in which Albert first introduces the notion of "univocal analogy," he makes reference to Origen's claim that God is called "knowing" or "understanding" because God causes knowledge and understanding in us. Albert made this same reference to Origen much earlier in his Commentary on the Sentences,^^^ and, though Albert's reference to Origen occurs in the objections, what is clear is that the same issue—namely, the Creator-creature relationship—is being treated in both works. The Origen reference simply highlights the causal relationship obtaining between God and creatures, and it is the task of the passages in question to clarify further the nature ofthat relationship. Despite the novel introduction of "univocal" within the Super Dionysium de divinis nominibus, Albert does not contradict or reject any element "" See, e.g., Albertus Magnus, DDN 1 n.5l (Cologne edition 37.1:32, line 16), n.53 (33, lines 62, 65), n.56 (35, line 26), and n.57 (lines 47^8); In I Sent. 8.7 (Borgnet edition 25:22829) and 35.1 (26:176-77); MT 1 (Cologne edition 37.2:459, lines 27-31) and 2 (467, lines 5 3 57). ' " Cf, e.g., Albertus Magnus, DDN 1 n.57 (Cologne edition 37.1:35, lines 47-68), 4 n.51 (158, lines 25-30), and 13 n.22 (445, lines 50-66). "2 Albertus Magnus, DDN 1 n.l (Cologne edition 37.1:1, lines 29-33); for the text, see n. 13 above; cf Albertus Magnus, In I Sent. 35.1 arg. 1 (Borgnet edition 26:176): "Causa efficiens agens secundum formam efficientis, producit effectum univocum causae [P]robatur per auctoritatem Origenis dicentis: 'Deus sapiens et sciens dicitur, secundum quod nos sapientia et scientia implet.'" Aquinas also makes this same reference to Origen in his own Commentary on the Sentences, In I Sent. 35.1.4 arg. 1 (ed. Mandonnet, 1:818): "Videtur quod scientia Dei sit univocal scientiae nostrae— [S]icut dicit Origenes ... Deus dicitur sapiens, inquantum nos sapientia implet per suam sapientiam."



of his previous teaching on theological analogy and seems instead to sustain it. One is thus led to suspect that one and the same doctrine is being proposed here, except in two different manners. The reason for Albert's introduction of "univocity" into his doctrine of analogy is made clearer in his discussion of the exact subject matter of the De divinis nominibus. Not all divine names are the subject of this book, he says, only those which are said properly of God. "^ Here Albert has in mind the distinction between symbolic (or metaphorical) and mystical names. He points out that whereas symbolic names do not designate any reality intrinsic to the divine being, mystical names do, and thus the latter names are said "properly" of God. Accordingly, God can be known and named from those attributes within creation (i.e., effects) that emanate from the divine being "as if from a univocal cause" (sicut a causa univoca).^^^ Albert's appeal to "causality" in this context is simply meant to establish a distinction between mystical and symbolic names. But again how are we to understand the added qualification "univocal"? As I read him, Albert does not here mean to suggest that God is really a univocal cause. Indeed, on those occasions throughout his Super Dionysium de divinis nominibus where Albert speaks of God in terms of a "univocal cause," he does so only after first adding the qualification "as i f or "just as" (í/cMí)-"' Albert cannot literally mean that God functions as a univocal cause since he consistently rejects any univocal community between God and creature. Here Albert can only be speaking figuratively and not technically or precisely about the causal relationship between God and creatures. Creatures fiow from God "as i f from a univocal cause. Albert appears to introduce the notion of "univocal" not as a claim regarding the character of God's causality itself but in order to indicate how the causal or ontological disparity between Creator and creature bears certain noetic and semantic consequences. These consequences are felt especially in the relation between the res significata and modus significandi.^^^ That which ' " Albertus Magnus, DDN 1 n.3 (Cologne edition 37.1:2, lines 23-28): "Dicimus, quod nomen divinum secundum suam communitatem non est subiectum huius libri, sed aliquo modo restrictum. Non enim hie agitur de nominibus symbolicis, quae non proprie dicuntur de deo, sed per quandam similitudinem, sed de illis quae proprie nominant ipsum " Cf In I Sent. 2.17 (Borgnet edition 25:73). "'' Albertus Magnus, DDN 1 n.3 (Cologne edition 37.1:2, lines 27-30). "5 See ibid. 1 n.l (Cologne edition 37.1:1, line 33), n.3 (2, line 30), n.4 (3, line 15), and 4 n.74(184, Iine54). "* For a treatment of this distinction as found in Albert, see Francis Catania, "'Knowable' and 'Nameable' in Albert the Great's Commentary on the Divine Names," in Albert the Great: Commemorative Essays, ed. Francis J. Kovach and Robert W. Shahan (Norman, Okla., 1980), 124-27.



is signified (the res significata) by a mystical name is found tmly and absolutely in God and only secondarily ox per participationem in creatures. Since the way in which the perfections signified by mystical names are encountered is colored and conditioned by our creatureliness, however, the mode of their signification falls short of representing the divine mode of perfection as it is in itself."^ A certain dissonance arises then between the res significata and the modus significandi in the case of divine predication, a dissonance which is unprecedented, since in our ordinary experience of the causal relations between and among creatures the res significata and modus significandi coincide. That is, the semantic coincidence of the res significata and modus signifiandi results from an underlying ontological univocity within creation. According to Albert, causality within creation is always univocal, occurring between things that either are univocal or can be traced back to an instance of univocal causation, which is simply to say that within the created order cause and effect are always fundamentally proportionate to each other."^ Both the cause and the effect share the same form, although, as Albert acknowledges, they may not agree according to the same mode of being {esse). So, for instance, the form in the seed agrees with the form of the generated thing but not according to the same mode of being, since one form is actually realized and the other is only virtual.'" In the case of God and creature, however, the ontological disproportion produces different semantic consequences, since the res significata can be attributed to God but the modus signifandi cannot.'^" For Albert, one cannot simply denude the res significata of the modus significandi and then apply the former to God. The mode of signification always stems from the manner in which the res is encountered within creation and is imposed accordingly.'^' " ' Albertus Magnus, DDN 1 n.3 (Cologne edition 37.1:2, lines 30-34): "...participantes per posterius illud ipsum quod in eo est veré et absolute, quantum ad rem significatam per nomen, quamvis modus significandi deficiat a repraesentatione eius, secundum quod est in deo " "* See, e.g., Albertus Magnus, Metaphysica 11.1.8 (Cologne edition 16.2:470, lines 5 3 56): "... omne quod educitur de potentia ad actum, extrahitur per aliquod movens, quod aut generato est univocum aut reducitur ad univocum." Cf Philipp W. Rosemann, Omne agens agit sibi simile: A "Repetition" of Scholastic Metaphysics {henwtn, 1996), 194—95. ' " Albertus Magnus, Metaphysica 11.1.8 (Cologne edition 16.2:471, lines 51-56): "Non enim dicitur hie univocum pure univocum, sed id quod in forma convenit, licet non conveniat in esse illius formae; sicut forma, quae est in semine, convenit cum fonna generata non in esse, sed in virtute et actu et essentia eonflisa " ™ Cf Albertus Magnus, DDN 1 n.62 (Cologne edition 37.1:39, line 50) 2 n.56 (81, lines 47-50), 2 n.66 (86, lines 31-36), and 5 n.31 (321, lines 31-35). '^' Catania, "'Knowable' and 'Nameable' in Albert the Great," 121. See Albertus Magnus, DDN 1 n.29 (Cologne edition 37.1:358, lines 72-86); ibid. 1 n.3 (2, lines 34-36): "... relin-



Nevertheless, Albert's introduction of univocity suggests that the res significata possesses in itself a certain noetic unity that transcends or even prescinds from the differences in the corresponding divine and created modes of signification. When understood against the background of Albert's formalistic ontology, the res signified is ultimately that of a form. To be sure, Albert attempts to preserve difference within the possession of the same form through describing the form as exemplary rather than generic or specific.'^^ Nevertheless, Albert himself is aware of the same tendency to univocity towards which our conceptualization processes incline us—Whence the univocatio quae est analogiae. He attempts to keep that inclination at bay through deploying the distinction between the res significata and modus significandi. Yet, again, when deployed within a formalistic ontology that ultimately yields to the univocalizing tendencies of one's conceptualizing powers, serious concems arise whether the res significata/modus significandi distinction will be sufficient to avoid univocity. Thomas, for one, seems to be unconvinced—thus the reason for his initial shift in doctrine towards proper proportionality. Ultimately, from a noetic perspective, form transcends and engulfs the distinction between Creator and creature. It would take Thomas's dramatic shift to an existential emphasis for him to regain confidence in an analogy of reference.'^^ Operating from the perspective of an existential metaphysics, where what is at issue is mainly the communication of existential act {actus essendi), analogy now occurs at the level of judgment through which existence is originally known. '^'' This later existential account of analogy constitutes the final doctrine of analogy which Thomas offers in his mature works: Summa contra gentiles. De potentia Dei, and Summa theologiae. Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit. quens illud in occulto propter hoc quod significat secundum modum, quo ilia res est in nobis, a quibus est impositum nomen." '22 Cf Albertus Magnus, DDN 2 nn.83-84 (Cologne edition 37.1:96, Iine46-p. 98, line 74). '25 Cf Montanges, La doctrine de l'analogie, 87-93 (75-80). '2'' Cf Jean-François Courtine, Suárez et le système de la métaphysique (Paris, 1990), 526: "II nous semble enfin légitime ... de soulinger que le point de depart de l'élaboration thomiste de la question de l'analogie est l'expérience, non pas de l'univocité, mais de l'équivocité que l'Aquinate cherchera à corriger ou á modérer à travers une réflexion sur \e jugement, sur la forme du jugement, beaucoup plus que sur les concepts ou mieux sur l'usage de certains concepts." Cf also Gilson, Jean Duns Scot, 101, 102; and Joseph Owens, "Aquinas on Knowing Existence," in St. Thomas Aquinas on the Existence of God, ed. John R. Catan (Albany, N.Y., 1980), 20-33.

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