Article 1 Articulus 1 Whether Boethius' definition of a person is unfitting: "a person is an individual substance of a rational nature"? Utrum incompetens sit definitio personae quam Boetius assignat, quae talis est, persona est rationalis naturae individua substantia 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. 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. 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, 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. 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, 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. 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, 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. 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. Praeterea, anima separata est rationalis naturae individua substantia. Non autem est persona. Inconvenienter ergo persona sic definitur. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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. 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 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. 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. 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. Article 2 Articulus 2 Whether 'person' is the same as hypostasis, subsistence, and essence? Utrum persona sit idem quod hypostasis, subsistentia et essentia 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. 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. 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, 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Reply Obj. 1: Among the Greeks the term hypostasis, taken in the strict interpretation of the word, signifies any individual of the genus substance; but in the usual way of speaking, it means the individual of the rational nature, by reason of the excellence of that nature. Ad primum ergo dicendum quod hypostasis, apud Graecos, ex propria significatione nominis habet quod significet quodcumque individuum substantiae, sed ex usu loquendi habet quod sumatur pro individuo rationalis naturae, ratione suae excellentiae. Reply Obj. 2: As we say three persons plurally in God, and three subsistences, so the Greeks say three hypostases. But because the word substance, which, properly speaking, corresponds in meaning to hypostasis, is used among us in an equivocal sense, since it sometimes means essence, and sometimes means hypostasis, in order to avoid any occasion of error, it was thought preferable to use subsistence for hypostasis, rather than substance. Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut nos dicimus in divinis pluraliter tres personas et tres subsistentias, ita Graeci dicunt tres hypostases. Sed quia nomen substantiae, quod secundum proprietatem significationis respondet hypostasi, aequivocatur apud nos, cum quandoque significet essentiam, quandoque hypostasim; ne possit esse erroris occasio, maluerunt pro hypostasi transferre subsistentiam, quam substantiam. Reply Obj. 3: Strictly speaking, the essence is what is expressed by the definition. Now, the definition comprises the principles of the species, but not the individual principles. Hence in things composed of matter and form, the essence signifies not only the form, nor only the matter, but what is composed of matter and the common form, as the principles of the species. But what is composed of this matter and this form has the nature of hypostasis and person. For soul, flesh, and bone belong to the nature of man; whereas this soul, this flesh and this bone belong to the nature of this man. Therefore hypostasis and person add the individual principles to the idea of essence; nor are these identified with the essence in things composed of matter and form, as we said above when treating of divine simplicity (Q. 3, A. 3). Ad tertium dicendum quod essentia proprie est id quod significatur per definitionem. Definitio autem complectitur principia speciei, non autem principia individualia. Unde in rebus compositis ex materia et forma, essentia significat non solum formam, nec solum materiam, sed compositum ex materia et forma communi, prout sunt principia speciei. Sed compositum ex hac materia et ex hac forma, habet rationem hypostasis et personae, anima enim et caro et os sunt de ratione hominis, sed haec anima et haec caro et hoc os sunt de ratione huius hominis. Et ideo hypostasis et persona addunt supra rationem essentiae principia individualia; neque sunt idem cum essentia in compositis ex materia et forma, ut supra dictum est, cum de simplicitate divina ageretur. Reply Obj. 4: Boethius says that genera and species subsist, inasmuch as it belongs to some individual things to subsist, from the fact that they belong to genera and species comprised in the predicament of substance, but not because the species and genera themselves subsist; except in the opinion of Plato, who asserted that the species of things subsisted separately from singular things. To substand, however, belongs to the same individual things in relation to the accidents, which are outside the essence of genera and species. Ad quartum dicendum quod Boetius dicit genera et species subsistere, inquantum individuis aliquibus competit subsistere, ex eo quod sunt sub generibus et speciebus in praedicamento substantiae comprehensis, non quod ipsae species vel genera subsistant, nisi secundum opinionem Platonis, qui posuit species rerum separatim subsistere a singularibus. Substare vero competit eisdem individuis in ordine ad accidentia, quae sunt praeter rationem generum et specierum. Reply Obj. 5: The individual composed of matter and form substands in relation to accident from the very nature of matter. Hence Boethius says (De Trin.): A simple form cannot be a subject. Its self-subsistence is derived from the nature of its form, which does not supervene to the things subsisting, but gives actual existence to the matter and makes it subsist as an individual. On this account, therefore, he ascribes hypostasis to matter, and ousiosis, or subsistence, to the form, because the matter is the principle of substanding, and form is the principle of subsisting. Ad quintum dicendum quod individuum compositum ex materia et forma, habet quod substet accidenti, ex proprietate materiae. Unde et Boetius dicit, in libro de Trin., forma simplex subiectum esse non potest. Sed quod per se subsistat, habet ex proprietate suae formae, quae non advenit rei subsistenti, sed dat esse actuale materiae, ut sic individuum subsistere possit. Propter hoc ergo hypostasim attribuit materiae, et usiosim, sive subsistentiam, formae, quia materia est principium substandi, et forma est principium subsistendi. Article 3 Articulus 3 Whether the word ‘person’ should be said of God? Utrum nomen personae sit ponendum in divinis Objection 1: It would seem that the name person should not be said of God. For Dionysius says (Div. Nom.): No one should ever dare to say or think anything of the supersubstantial and hidden Divinity, beyond what has been divinely expressed to us by the oracles. But the name person is not expressed to us in the Old or New Testament. Therefore person is not to be applied to God. Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod nomen personae non sit ponendum in divinis. Dicit enim Dionysius, in principio de Div. Nom. universaliter non est audendum aliquid dicere nec cogitare de supersubstantiali occulta divinitate, praeter ea quae divinitus nobis ex sanctis eloquiis sunt expressa. Sed nomen personae non exprimitur nobis in sacra Scriptura novi vel veteris testamenti. Ergo non est nomine personae utendum in divinis. Obj. 2: Further, Boethius says (De Duab. Nat.): The word person seems to be taken from those persons who represented men in comedies and tragedies. For person comes from sounding through, since a greater volume of sound is produced through the cavity in the mask. These persons or masks the Greeks called prosopa, as they were placed on the face and covered the features before the eyes. This, however, can apply to God only in a metaphorical sense. Therefore the word person is only applied to God metaphorically. Praeterea, Boetius dicit, in libro de Duab. Natur., nomen personae videtur traductum ex his personis quae in comoediis tragoediisque homines repraesentabant; persona enim dicta est a personando, quia concavitate ipsa maior necesse est ut volvatur sonus. Graeci vero has personas prosopa vocant, ab eo quod ponantur in facie, atque ante oculos obtegant vultum. Sed hoc non potest competere in divinis, nisi forte secundum metaphoram. Ergo nomen personae non dicitur de Deo nisi metaphorice. Obj. 3: Further, every person is a hypostasis. But the word hypostasis does not apply to God, since, as Boethius says (De Duab. Nat.), it signifies what is the subject of accidents, which do not exist in God. Jerome also says (Ep. ad Damas.) that, in this word hypostasis, poison lurks in honey. Therefore the word person should not be said of God. Praeterea, omnis persona est hypostasis. Sed nomen hypostasis non videtur Deo competere, cum, secundum Boetium, significet id quod subiicitur accidentibus, quae in Deo non sunt. Hieronymus etiam dicit quod in hoc nomine hypostasis, venenum latet sub melle. Ergo hoc nomen persona non est dicendum de Deo. Obj. 4: Further, if a definition is denied of anything, the thing defined is also denied of it. But the definition of person, as given above, does not apply to God. Both because reason implies a discursive knowledge, which does not apply to God, as we proved above (Q. 14, A. 12); and thus God cannot be said to have a rational nature. And also because God cannot be called an individual substance, since the principle of individuation is matter; while God is immaterial: nor is He the subject of accidents, so as to be called a substance. Therefore the word person ought not to be attributed to God. Praeterea, a quocumque removetur definitio, et definitum. Sed definitio personae supra posita non videtur Deo competere. Tum quia ratio importat discursivam cognitionem, quae non competit Deo, ut supra ostensum est, et sic Deus non potest dici rationalis naturae. Tum etiam quia Deus dici non potest individua substantia, cum principium individuationis sit materia, Deus autem immaterialis est; neque etiam accidentibus substat, ut substantia dici possit. Nomen ergo personae Deo attribui non debet.