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".

1 Comments:

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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