Quaestio 29Question 29De personis divinisThe Divine PersonsPraemissis autem his quae de processionibus et relationibus praecognoscenda videbantur, necessarium est aggredi de personis.Having premised what have appeared necessary notions concerning the processions and the relations, we must now approach the subject of the persons.Et primo, secundum considerationem absolutam; et deinde secundum comparativam considerationem.First, we shall consider the persons absolutely, and then comparatively as regards each other.Oportet autem absolute de personis, primo quidem in communi considerare; deinde de singulis personis.We must consider the persons absolutely first in common; and then singly.Ad communem autem considerationem personarum quatuor pertinere videntur, primo quidem, significatio huius nominis persona; secundo vero, numerus personarum; tertio, ea quae consequuntur numerum personarum, vel ei opponuntur, ut diversitas et solitudo, et huiusmodi; quarto vero, ea quae pertinent ad notitiam personarum.The general consideration of the persons seemingly involves four points: (1) The signification of this word person; (2) the number of the persons; (3) what is involved in the number of persons, or is opposed thereto; as diversity, and similitude, and the like; and (4) what belongs to our knowledge of the persons.Circa primum quaeruntur quatuor.Four subjects of inquiry are comprised in the first point:Primo, de definitione personae.(1) The definition of person.Secundo, de comparatione personae ad essentiam, subsistentiam et hypostasim.(2) The comparison of person to essence, subsistence, and hypostasis.Tertio, utrum nomen personae competat in divinis.(3) Whether the name of person is becoming to God?Quarto, quid ibi significet.(4) What does it signify in Him?Articulus 1Article 1Utrum incompetens sit definitio personae quam Boetius assignat, quae talis est, persona est rationalis naturae individua substantiaWhether Boethius' definition of a person is unfitting: "a person is an individual substance of a rational nature"?Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod incompetens sit definitio personae quam Boetius assignat in libro de duabus naturis, quae talis est, persona est rationalis naturae individua substantia. Nullum enim singulare definitur. Sed persona significat quoddam singulare. Ergo persona inconvenienter definitur.Objection 1: It would seem that the definition of person given by Boethius (De Duab. Nat.) is insufficient—that is, a person is an individual substance of a rational nature. For nothing singular can be subject to definition. But person signifies something singular. Therefore person is improperly defined.Praeterea, substantia, prout ponitur in definitione personae, aut sumitur pro substantia prima, aut pro substantia secunda. Si pro substantia prima, superflue additur individua, quia substantia prima est substantia individua. Si vero stat pro substantia secunda, falso additur, et est oppositio in adiecto, nam secundae substantiae dicuntur genera vel species. Ergo definitio est male assignata.Obj. 2: Further, substance as placed above in the definition of person, is either first substance, or second substance. If it is the former, the word individual is superfluous, because first substance is individual substance; if it stands for second substance, the word individual is false, for there is contradiction of terms; since second substances are the genera or species. Therefore this definition is incorrect.Praeterea, nomen intentionis non debet poni in definitione rei. Non enim esset bona assignatio, si quis diceret, homo est species animalis, homo enim est nomen rei, et species est nomen intentionis. Cum igitur persona sit nomen rei (significat enim substantiam quandam rationalis naturae), inconvenienter individuum, quod est nomen intentionis, in eius definitione ponitur.Obj. 3: Further, an intentional term must not be included in the definition of a thing. For to define a man as a species of animal would not be a correct definition; since man is the name of a thing, and species is a name of an intention. Therefore, since person is the name of a thing (for it signifies a substance of a rational nature), the word individual which is an intentional name comes improperly into the definition.Praeterea, natura est principium motus et quietis in eo in quo est per se et non per accidens, ut dicitur in II Physic. Sed persona est in rebus immobilibus, sicut in Deo et in angelis. Non ergo in definitione personae debuit poni natura, sed magis essentia.Obj. 4: Further, Nature is the principle of motion and rest, in those things in which it is essentially, and not accidentally, as Aristotle says (Phys. ii). But person exists in things immovable, as in God, and in the angels. Therefore the word nature ought not to enter into the definition of person, but the word should rather be essence.Praeterea, anima separata est rationalis naturae individua substantia. Non autem est persona. Inconvenienter ergo persona sic definitur.Obj. 5: Further, the separated soul is an individual substance of the rational nature; but it is not a person. Therefore person is not properly defined as above.Respondeo dicendum quod, licet universale et particulare inveniantur in omnibus generibus, tamen speciali quodam modo individuum invenitur in genere substantiae. Substantia enim individuatur per seipsam, sed accidentia individuantur per subiectum, quod est substantia, dicitur enim haec albedo, inquantum est in hoc subiecto. Unde etiam convenienter individua substantiae habent aliquod speciale nomen prae aliis, dicuntur enim hypostases, vel primae substantiae.I answer that, Although the universal and particular exist in every genus, nevertheless, in a certain special way, the individual belongs to the genus of substance. For substance is individualized by itself; whereas the accidents are individualized by the subject, which is the substance; since this particular whiteness is called this, because it exists in this particular subject. And so it is reasonable that the individuals of the genus substance should have a special name of their own; for they are called hypostases, or first substances.Sed adhuc quodam specialiori et perfectiori modo invenitur particulare et individuum in substantiis rationalibus, quae habent dominium sui actus, et non solum aguntur, sicut alia, sed per se agunt, actiones autem in singularibus sunt. Et ideo etiam inter ceteras substantias quoddam speciale nomen habent singularia rationalis naturae. Et hoc nomen est persona.Further still, in a more special and perfect way, the particular and the individual are found in the rational substances which have dominion over their own actions; and which are not only made to act, like others; but which can act of themselves; for actions belong to singulars. Therefore also the individuals of the rational nature have a special name even among other substances; and this name is person.Et ideo in praedicta definitione personae ponitur substantia individua, inquantum significat singulare in genere substantiae, additur autem rationalis naturae, inquantum significat singulare in rationalibus substantiis.Thus the term individual substance is placed in the definition of person, as signifying the singular in the genus of substance; and the term rational nature is added, as signifying the singular in rational substances.Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, licet hoc singulare vel illud definiri non possit, tamen id quod pertinet ad communem rationem singularitatis, definiri potest, et sic Philosophus definit substantiam primam. Et hoc modo definit Boetius personam.Reply Obj. 1: Although this or that singular may not be definable, yet what belongs to the general idea of singularity can be defined; and so the Philosopher (De Praedic., cap. De substantia) gives a definition of first substance; and in this way Boethius defines person.Ad secundum dicendum quod, secundum quosdam, substantia in definitione personae ponitur pro substantia prima, quae est hypostasis. Neque tamen superflue additur individua. Quia nomine hypostasis vel substantiae primae, excluditur ratio universalis et partis (non enim dicimus quod homo communis sit hypostasis, neque etiam manus, cum sit pars), sed per hoc quod additur individuum, excluditur a persona ratio assumptibilis; humana enim natura in Christo non est persona, quia est assumpta a digniori, scilicet a verbo Dei.Reply Obj. 2: In the opinion of some, the term substance in the definition of person stands for first substance, which is the hypostasis; nor is the term individual superfluously added, forasmuch as by the name of hypostasis or first substance the idea of universality and of part is excluded. For we do not say that man in general is an hypostasis, nor that the hand is since it is only a part. But where individual is added, the idea of assumptibility is excluded from person; for the human nature in Christ is not a person, since it is assumed by a greater—that is, by the Word of God.Sed melius dicendum est quod substantia accipitur communiter, prout dividitur per primam et secundam, et per hoc quod additur individua, trahitur ad standum pro substantia prima.It is, however, better to say that substance is here taken in a general sense, as divided into first and second, and when individual is added, it is restricted to first substance.Ad tertium dicendum quod, quia substantiales differentiae non sunt nobis notae, vel etiam nominatae non sunt, oportet interdum uti differentiis accidentalibus loco substantialium, puta si quis diceret, ignis est corpus simplex, calidum et siccum, accidentia enim propria sunt effectus formarum substantialium, et manifestant eas. Et similiter nomina intentionum possunt accipi ad definiendum res, secundum quod accipiuntur pro aliquibus nominibus rerum quae non sunt posita. Et sic hoc nomen individuum ponitur in definitione personae, ad designandum modum subsistendi qui competit substantiis particularibus.Reply Obj. 3: Substantial differences being unknown to us, or at least unnamed by us, it is sometimes necessary to use accidental differences in the place of substantial; as, for example, we may say that fire is a simple, hot, and dry body: for proper accidents are the effects of substantial forms, and make them known. Likewise, terms expressive of intention can be used in defining realities if used to signify things which are unnamed. And so the term individual is placed in the definition of person to signify the mode of subsistence which belongs to particular substances.Ad quartum dicendum quod, secundum Philosophum, in V Metaphys., nomen naturae primo impositum est ad significandam generationem viventium, quae dicitur nativitas. Et quia huiusmodi generatio est a principio intrinseco, extensum est hoc nomen ad significandum principium intrinsecum cuiuscumque motus. Et sic definitur natura in II Physic. Et quia huiusmodi principium est formale vel materiale, communiter tam materia quam forma dicitur natura. Et quia per formam completur essentia uniuscuiusque rei, communiter essentia uniuscuiusque rei, quam significat eius definitio, vocatur natura. Et sic accipitur hic natura. Unde Boetius in eodem libro dicit quod natura est unumquodque informans specifica differentia, specifica enim differentia est quae complet definitionem, et sumitur a propria forma rei. Et ideo convenientius fuit quod in definitione personae, quae est singulare alicuius generis determinati, uteretur nomine naturae, quam essentiae, quae sumitur ab esse, quod est communissimum.Reply Obj. 4: According to the Philosopher (Metaph. v, 5), the word nature was first used to signify the generation of living things, which is called nativity. And because this kind of generation comes from an intrinsic principle, this term is extended to signify the intrinsic principle of any kind of movement. In this sense he defines nature (Phys. ii, 3). And since this kind of principle is either formal or material, both matter and form are commonly called nature. And as the essence of anything is completed by the form; so the essence of anything, signified by the definition, is commonly called nature. And here nature is taken in that sense. Hence Boethius says (De Duab. Nat.) that, nature is the specific difference giving its form to each thing, for the specific difference completes the definition, and is derived from the special form of a thing. So in the definition of person, which means the singular in a determined genus, it is more correct to use the term nature than essence, because the latter is taken from being, which is most common.Ad quintum dicendum quod anima est pars humanae speciei, et ideo, licet sit separata, quia tamen retinet naturam unibilitatis, non potest dici substantia individua quae est hypostasis vel substantia prima; sicut nec manus, nec quaecumque alia partium hominis. Et sic non competit ei neque definitio personae, neque nomen.Reply Obj. 5: The soul is a part of the human species; and so, although it may exist in a separate state, yet since it ever retains its nature of unibility, it cannot be called an individual substance, which is the hypostasis or first substance, as neither can the hand nor any other part of man; thus neither the definition nor the name of person belongs to it.Articulus 2Article 2Utrum persona sit idem quod hypostasis, subsistentia et essentiaWhether 'person' is the same as hypostasis, subsistence, and essence?Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod persona sit idem quod hypostasis, subsistentia et essentia. Dicit enim Boetius, in libro de Duab. Natur., quod Graeci naturae rationalis individuam substantiam hypostaseos nomine vocaverunt. Sed hoc etiam, apud nos, significat nomen personae. Ergo persona omnino idem est quod hypostasis.Objection 1: It would seem that person is the same as hypostasis, subsistence, and essence. For Boethius says (De Duab. Nat.) that the Greeks called the individual substance of the rational nature by the name hypostasis. But this with us signifies person. Therefore person is altogether the same as hypostasis.Praeterea, sicut in divinis dicimus tres personas, ita in divinis dicimus tres subsistentias, quod non esset, nisi persona et subsistentia idem significarent. Ergo idem significant persona et subsistentia.Obj. 2: Further, as we say there are three persons in God, so we say there are three subsistences in God; which implies that person and subsistence have the same meaning. Therefore person and subsistence mean the same.Praeterea, Boetius dicit, in commento praedicamentorum, quod usia, quod est idem quod essentia, significat compositum ex materia et forma. Id autem quod est compositum ex materia et forma, est individuum substantiae, quod et hypostasis et persona dicitur. Ergo omnia praedicta nomina idem significare videntur.Obj. 3: Further, Boethius says (Com. Praed.) that the Greek ousia, which means essence, signifies a being composed of matter and form. Now that which is composed of matter and form is the individual substance called hypostasis and person. Therefore all the aforesaid names seem to have the same meaning.Sed contra est quod Boetius dicit, in libro de Duab. Natur., quod genera et species subsistunt tantum; individua vero non modo subsistunt, verum etiam substant. Sed a subsistendo dicuntur subsistentiae, sicut a substando substantiae vel hypostases. Cum igitur esse hypostases vel personas non conveniat generibus vel speciebus, hypostases vel personae non sunt idem quod subsistentiae.Obj. 4: On the contrary, Boethius says (De Duab. Nat.) that genera and species only subsist; whereas individuals are not only subsistent, but also substand. But subsistences are so called from subsisting, as substance or hypostasis is so called from substanding. Therefore, since genera and species are not hypostases or persons, these are not the same as subsistences.Praeterea, Boetius dicit, in commento praedicamentorum, quod hypostasis dicitur materia, usiosis autem, idest subsistentia, dicitur forma. Sed neque forma neque materia potest dici persona. Ergo persona differt a praedictis.Obj. 5: Further, Boethius says (Com. Praed.) that matter is called hypostasis, and form is called ousiosis—that is, subsistence. But neither form nor matter can be called person. Therefore person differs from the others.Respondeo dicendum quod, secundum Philosophum, in V Metaphys., substantia dicitur dupliciter. Uno modo dicitur substantia quidditas rei, quam significat definitio, secundum quod dicimus quod definitio significat substantiam rei, quam quidem substantiam Graeci usiam vocant, quod nos essentiam dicere possumus. Alio modo dicitur substantia subiectum vel suppositum quod subsistit in genere substantiae. Et hoc quidem, communiter accipiendo, nominari potest et nomine significante intentionem, et sic dicitur suppositum.I answer that, According to the Philosopher (Metaph. v), substance is twofold. In one sense it means the quiddity of a thing, signified by its definition, and thus we say that the definition means the substance of a thing; in which sense substance is called by the Greeks ousia, what we may call essence. In another sense substance means a subject or suppositum, which subsists in the genus of substance. To this, taken in a general sense, can be applied a name expressive of an intention; and thus it is called suppositum.Nominatur etiam tribus nominibus significantibus rem, quae quidem sunt res naturae, subsistentia et hypostasis, secundum triplicem considerationem substantiae sic dictae. Secundum enim quod per se existit et non in alio, vocatur subsistentia, illa enim subsistere dicimus, quae non in alio, sed in se existunt. Secundum vero quod supponitur alicui naturae communi, sic dicitur res naturae; sicut hic homo est res naturae humanae. Secundum vero quod supponitur accidentibus, dicitur hypostasis vel substantia. Quod autem haec tria nomina significant communiter in toto genere substantiarum, hoc nomen persona significat in genere rationalium substantiarum.It is also called by three names signifying a reality—that is, a thing of nature, subsistence, and hypostasis, according to a threefold consideration of the substance thus named. For, as it exists in itself and not in another, it is called subsistence; as we say that those things subsist which exist in themselves, and not in another. As it underlies some common nature, it is called a thing of nature; as, for instance, this particular man is a human natural thing. As it underlies the accidents, it is called hypostasis, or substance. What these three names signify in common to the whole genus of substances, this name person signifies in the genus of rational substances.