Saturday, May 22, 2010

Peter Lombard on the Compound and Divided Sense

But regarding that, which has been said above, namely that God’s Foreknowledge cannot fail, it was customarily opposed by certain (authors) in this manner: God foreknew this one (was) going to read, and/or something of this kind; but it can be, that he does not read: therefore it can be otherwise than God foreknew, therefore God’s foreknowledge can fail. — Which is entirely false. Of course it can (be) that something does not come to be, and yet that it has been foreknown to come to be; yet for this reason God’s Foreknowledge cannot fail, because if that were not to come to be, neither would it have been foreknown by God to come to be.

But they still urge the question saying: either it can come to be [fieri] otherwise, than God has foreknown, or not otherwise; if not otherwise: therefore necessarily all shall turn out (as God foreknows it) [cuncta eveniunt]; if, however, otherwise: therefore God’s Foreknowledge can fail and/or be changed. But it can come to be otherwise, because it can come to be otherwise, than it comes to be; but thus does it come to be, as it has been foreknown: therefore it can come to be otherwise, than it has been foreknown.

To which we say, that that expression, namely: “it can come to be otherwise, than God foreknew”, and (those) of this kind, can cause a multiple understanding, to (signify): “what God foreknew cannot be”, and “it is impossible, that what God has foreknow not be”, and “it is impossible, that all the foreknown which come to be, not be”, and (expressions) of this kind. For these can be understood conjointly [coniunctum], so that there is an implicit condition, and disjointly. For if you understand: “it cannot come to be otherwise, than God has foreknown”, that is, so that each cannot be together, namely that ‘God thus will have foreknown it to come to be, and it comes to be otherwise’, you understand (it) truly. However, if you understand (it) through a disjunction, as to say, that ‘this cannot turn out otherwise, than it did turn out and1 in that manner God foreknew (that it was) going to be’, it is false. For it can turn out otherwise, than it did turn out, and yet God foreknew that (it was) going to be in this manner.

Similarly also the other determination, namely, ‘it is impossible, that that not turn out, which God foreknew, and/or though He foreknew (it)’; if you understand (it) conjointly, you speak the truth; if disjointly, a falsehood. Thus also even this: ‘it is impossible, that everything which comes to be not have been foreknown’, that is, that each cannot be together, namely, ‘that it come to be’, and ‘(that) it not have been foreknown’, this is the true sense. However if you say, that ‘God could not foreknow everything which comes to be’, it is false. For He could have caused it not to come to be, and thus it would not have been foreknown. (Lombard. Sentances. Distinction 38 part 2.)

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