Anselm Proslogion 4

By Callaina, in 'Reading Latin', Jan 3, 2019.

  1. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    I'm having some trouble with this bit of Anselm. To give some context, this is from Chapter 4 of his Proslogion, and his famous definition of/proof for God ('aliquid quo maius nihil cogitari potest') has just been presented, along with the corollary that God cannot not be thought (because if he could, something greater could be imagined: namely, a thing that could not not be thought). His next issue is to deal with the verse stating "dixit insipiens in corde suo: non est Deus" (since it would seem to imply that God can be thought not to exist).


    4 Quomodo insipiens dixit in corde, quod cogitari non potest

    Verum quomodo dixit in corde quod cogitare non potuit; aut quomodo cogitare non potuit quod dixit in corde, cum idem sit dicere in corde et cogitare? Quod si vere, immo quia vere et cogitavit, quia dixit in corde, et non dixit in corde, quia cogitare non potuit: non uno tantum modo dicitur aliquid in corde et cogitatur. Aliter enim cogitatur res, cum vox eam significans cogitatur, aliter cum id ipsum quod res est intelligitur. Illo itaque modo potest cogitari Deus non esse, isto vero minime. Nullus quippe intelligens id quod Deus est, potest cogitare quia Deus non est, licet haec verba dicat in corde, aut sine ulla aut cum aliqua extranea significatione. Deus enim est id quo maius cogitari non potest. Quod qui bene intelligit, utique intelligit id ipsum sic esse, ut nec cogitatione queat non esse. Qui ergo intelligit sic esse Deum, nequit eum non esse cogitare.

    I understand the general thrust of the argument. However, I don't understand what all the quia's are doing in that highlighted sentence.
  2. Dantius Homo Sapiens

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    I think the first quia vere and the first si vere have the exact same function, hence the immo (he's just correcting/changing his phrasing):
    "But if truly, or rather, because he truly both thought, because he said it in his heart, and didn't say it in his heart, because he could not think it..."
    So everything depends on the first quia/si, and the other two quia clauses are nested in it.
  3. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Oh, I see. That's very confusing phrasing, though. Anselm really could have done better. ;)
  4. Dantius Homo Sapiens

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    These kinds of theological discussions are confusing enough without weird phrasing as well :D
  5. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Haha, I won't deny that. :D
  6. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Location:
    Canada
    Here's another little question from Chapter 19:

    19 Quod non sit in loco aut in tempore, sed omnia sint in illo
    Sed si per aeternitatem tuam fuisti et es et eris, et fuisse non es futurum esse et esse non est fuisse vel futurum esse: quomodo aeternitas tua tota est semper? An de aeternitate tua nihil praeterit, ut iam non sit, nec aliquid futurum est, quasi nondum sit? Non ergo fuisti heri aut eris cras, sed heri et hodie et cras es. Immo nec heri nec hodie nec cras es, sed simpliciter es extra omne tempus. Nam nihil aliud est heri et hodie et cras quam in tempore; tu autem, licet nihil sit sine te, non es tamen in loco aut tempore, sed omnia sunt in te. Nihil enim te continet, sed tu contines omnia.

    When I first read the underlined sentence, I mentally translated it as "Therefore you were not yesterday nor will be tomorrow, but are yesterday (itself), and today (itself), and tomorrow (itself)". However, upon reading the following sentence I thought the most likely translation was rather, "Therefore you were not yesterday, nor will be tomorrow, but are [i.e. exist in a sort of "eternal simultaneity"] yesterday, and today, and tomorrow." I'm wondering, though, whether Anselm might have intended for overtones of the first interpretation to be present as well. Thoughts?
  7. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    Belgium
    To my mind, your second interpretation is clearly the right one. The first one is unlikely both because it doesn't fit the context so well and because it would be unusual (though you admittedly never know with medieval writers) for adverbs to be used as nominative nouns.
  8. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Canada

    Yes, this is what I was wondering. Thanks!
  9. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Location:
    Canada
    Only 3 chapters of Anselm left to go! :dance:
  10. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Canada
    Here's something else I'm having trouble with, from Chapter 25.

    Ergo in illa perfecta caritate innumerabilium beatorum angelorum et hominum, ubi nullus minus diliget alium quam seipsum, non aliter gaudebit quisque pro singulis aliis quam pro seipso. Si ergo cor hominis de tanto suo bono vix capiet gaudium suum: quomodo capax erit tot et tantorum gau- diorum? Et utique quoniam quantum quisque diligit aliquem, tantum de bono eius gaudet: sicut in illa perfecta felicitate unusquisque plus amabit sine comparatione deum quam se et omnes alios secum, ita plus gaudebit absque existimatione de felicitate dei quam de sua et omnium aliorum secum. Sed si deum sic diligent toto corde, tota mente, tota anima, ut tamen totum cor, tota mens, tota anima non sufficiat dignitati dilectionis: profecto sic gaudebunt toto corde, tota mente, tota anima, ut totum cor, tota mens, tota anima non sufficiat plenitudini gaudii.

    I don't understand what he means by absque existimatione here.
  11. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    Belgium
    I'm not sure what absque existimatione means. So strongly that it can't be estimated?

    What I can tell you is that de felicitate dei goes with gaudebit, not with existimatione.
  12. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Ah, that makes more sense. You're probably right that absque existimatione means "without measure" or "unable to be imagined" or such.
  13. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

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    Canada
    Anyway, done the Proslogion now! :) :clapping: :banana:
  14. Callaina Feles Curiosissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
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    I've been reading it for a class, by the way, which begins tonight. We weren't expected to have read the whole thing in Latin already, but I had time, so I figured I might as well get it out of the way. Perhaps the prof will be impressed :D

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