Saturday, August 19, 2006

Summary: Simon of Faversham on Chimera and Goat-Stags

from his 59th Question in his second Quodlibeta on the Posterior Analytics:

Simon of Faversham asks the question: Whether it is possible to know what a goat-stag is?

Pro: If we were to say that it is impossible, that would be because the goat-stag is not a being at all. But this can't be true because it is impossible to say things about that which is not, but we can say things about the goat-stag. Therefore, etc. Also, if it were not, it could not move the intellect. But the intellect is moved by the goat-stag. Therefore, etc.

Con: Aristotle says it's impossible to know anything about the goat-stag. Therefore, etc.

Response: It is indeed impossible to know or say anything significant about what is not. So, if we know something about the goat-stag, it must be because it has a "formula of being". The being of a chimera is the being of its parts extra animam. However what is signified by the name "chimera" is not these parts, but something else that has a formula of being in the soul. Therefore, while it is not possible to understand what a chimera is, it is possible to understand what it is that is signified through the name of “chimera".


Anonymous Hilaritas of Glastonbury said...

As far as the paradigmatic ontologies of entia rationis go, could we say that the haecceitas of a goat-stag exists quodammodo?

11:23 PM  

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