Quaestiones disputatae de veritate Disputed Questions on Truth Quaestio 1 Question 1 De veritate On Truth Primo quid est veritas. 1. What is truth? Secundo utrum veritas principalius inveniatur in intellectu quam in rebus. 2. Is truth found principally in the intellect or in things? Tertio utrum veritas sit tantum in intellectu componente et dividente. 3. Is truth only in the intellect joining and separating? Quarto utrum sit tantum una veritas qua omnia sunt vera. 4. Is there only one truth by which all things are true? Quinto utrum aliqua alia veritas praeter primam veritatem sit aeterna. 5. Is some truth besides the First Truth eternal? Sexto an veritas creata sit immutabilis. 6. Is created truth immutable? Septimo utrum veritas in divinis dicatur essentialiter vel personaliter. 7. Is truth as applied to God predicated personally or essentially? Octavo utrum omnis veritas alia sit a veritate prima. 8. Is every other truth from the First Truth? Nono utrum veritas sit in sensu. 9. Is truth in sense? Decimo utrum res aliqua sit falsa. 10. Is there any false thing? Undecimo utrum falsitas sit in sensibus. 11. Is falsity in sense? Duodecimo utrum falsitas sit in intellectu. 12. Is falsity in the intellect? Articulus 1 Article Quid est veritas What is truth Quaestio est de veritate. Et primo quaeritur quid est veritas? The problem under discussion is truth, and in the first article we ask: what is truth? Videtur autem quod verum sit omnino idem quod ens. Augustinus in Lib. Solil. dicit, quod verum est id quod est. Sed id quod est, nihil est nisi ens. Ergo verum significat omnino idem quod ens. Obj. 1: It seems that the true is exactly the same as being, for Augustine says: the true is that which is. But that which is, is simply being. The true, therefore, means exactly the same as being. Respondens dicebat quod sunt idem secundum supposita, sed ratione differunt. Contra, ratio cuiuslibet rei est id quod significatur per suam diffinitionem. Sed id quod est, assignatur ab Augustino, ut diffinitio veri, quibusdam aliis diffinitionibus reprobatis. Cum ergo secundum id quod est, conveniant verum et ens, videtur quod sint idem ratione. Obj. 2: It was said in reply that the true and being are the same materially but differ formally. On the contrary, the nature of a thing is signified by its definition; and the definition of the true, according to Augustine, is that which is. He rejects all other definitions. Now, since the true and being are materially the same, it seems that they are also formally the same. Praeterea, quaecumque differunt ratione, ita se habent quod unum illorum potest intelligi sine altero: unde Boetius in libro de hebdomadibus dicit, quod potest intelligi Deus esse, si separetur per intellectum paulisper bonitas eius. Ens autem nullo modo potest intelligi si separetur verum: quia per hoc intelligitur quod verum est. Ergo verum et ens non differunt ratione. Obj. 3: Things which differ conceptually are so related to each other that one of them can be understood without the other. For this reason, Boethius says that the existence of God can be understood if for a moment we mentally separate his goodness from his existence. Being, however can in no way be understood apart from the true, for being is known only in so far as it is true. Therefore, the true and being do not differ conceptually. Praeterea, si verum non est idem quod ens, oportet quod sit entis dispositio. Sed non potest esse entis dispositio. Non enim est dispositio totaliter corrumpens, alias sequeretur: "est verum, ergo est non ens"; sicut sequitur: "est homo mortuus, ergo non est homo." Similiter non est dispositio diminuens, alias non sequeretur: est verum, ergo est; sicut non sequitur: est albus dentes, ergo est albus. Similiter non est dispositio contrahens, vel specificans: quia sic non converteretur cum ente. Ergo verum et ens omnino sunt idem. Obj. 4: If the true is not the same as being, it must be a state of being. But it cannot be a state of being. It is not a state that entirely corrupts—otherwise, this would follow: “it is true. Therefore, it is non-being”—as it follows when we say: “this man is dead. Therefore, this is not a man.” Similarly, the true is not a state that limits. If it were, one could not say: “it is true. Therefore it is.” For one cannot say that a thing is white simply because it has white teeth. Finally, the true is not a state which contracts or specifies being, for it is convertible with being. It follows, therefore, that the true and being are entirely the same. Praeterea, illa quorum est una dispositio, sunt eadem. Sed veri et entis est eadem dispositio. Ergo sunt eadem. Dicitur enim in II Metaphysic.: dispositio rei in esse est sicut sua dispositio in veritate. Ergo verum et ens sunt omnino idem. Obj. 5: Things in the same state are the same. But the true and being are in the same state. Therefore, they are the same. For Aristotle writes: the state of a thing in its act of existence is the same as its state in truth. Therefore, the true and being are entirely the same. Praeterea, quaecumque non sunt idem, aliquo modo differunt. Sed verum et ens nullo modo differunt: quia non differunt per essentiam, cum omne ens per essentiam suam sit verum; nec differunt per aliquas differentias, quia oporteret quod in aliquo communi genere convenirent. Ergo sunt omnino idem. Obj. 6: Things not the same differ in some respect. But the true and being differ in no respect. They do not differ essentially, for every being is true by its very essence. And they do not differ in any other ways, for they must belong to some common genus. Therefore, they are entirely the same. Item, si non sunt omnino idem, oportet quod verum aliquid super ens addat. Sed nihil addit verum super ens, cum sit etiam in plus quam ens: quod patet per philosophum, IV Metaphys., ubi dicit quod: verum diffinientes dicimus quod dicimus esse quod est; aut non esse quod non est; et sic verum includit ens et non ens. Ergo verum non addit aliquid super ens; et sic videtur omnino idem esse verum quod ens. Obj. 7: If they were not entirely the same, the true would add something to being. But the true adds nothing to being, even though it has greater extension than being. This is borne out by the statement of the Philosopher that we define the true as that which affirms the existence of what is, and denies the existence of what is not. Consequently, the true includes both being and non-being; since it does not add anything to being, it seems to be entirely the same as being. Sed contra. Nugatio est eiusdem inutilis repetitio. Si ergo verum esset idem quod ens, esset nugatio, dum dicitur ens verum; quod falsum est. Ergo non sunt idem. On the contrary (1): Useless repetition of the same thing is meaningless; so, if the true were the same as being, it would be meaningless to say: “being is true.” This, however, is hardly correct. Therefore, they are not the same. Item, ens et bonum convertuntur. Sed verum non convertitur cum bono; aliquod est enim verum quod non est bonum, sicut aliquem fornicari. Ergo nec verum cum ente convertitur, et ita non sunt idem. Again (2): Being and the good are convertible. The true and the good, however, are not interchangeable, for some things, such as fornication, are true but not good. The true, therefore, and being are not interchangeable. And so they are not the same. Praeterea, secundum Boetium in libro de hebdomadibus: in omnibus creaturis diversum est esse et quod est. Sed verum significat esse rei. Ergo verum est diversum a quod est in creatis. Sed quod est, est idem quod ens. Ergo verum in creaturis est diversum ab ente. Furthermore (3): In all creatures, as Boethius has pointed out, to be is other than that which is. Now, the true signifies the existence of things. Consequently, in creatures it is different from that which is. But that which is, is the same as being. Therefore, in creatures the true is different from being. Praeterea, quaecumque se habent ut prius et posterius, oportet esse diversa. Sed verum et ens modo praedicto se habent, quia, ut in libro de causis dicitur, prima rerum creatarum est esse; et Commentator in eodem libro dicit quod omnia alia dicuntur per informationem de ente, et sic ente posteriora sunt. Ergo verum et ens sunt diversa. Furthermore (4): Things related as before and after must differ. But the true and being are related in the aforesaid manner; for, as is said in the book of causes: the first of all created things is the act of existence. In a study of this work, a commentator writes as follows: everything else is predicated as a specification of being. Consequently, everything else comes after being. Therefore, the true and being are not the same. Praeterea, quae communiter dicuntur de causa et causatis, magis sunt unum in causa quam in causatis, et praecipue in Deo quam in creaturis. Sed in Deo ista quatuor, ens, unum, verum et bonum, hoc modo appropriantur: ut ens ad essentiam pertineat, unum ad personam patris, verum ad personam filii, bonum ad personam spiritus sancti. Personae autem divinae non solum ratione, sed etiam re distinguuntur; unde de invicem non praedicantur. Ergo multo fortius in creaturis praedicta quatuor debent amplius quam ratione differre. Furthermore (5): What are predicated of a cause and of the effects of the cause are more united in the cause than in its effects—and more so in God than in creatures. But in God four predicates—being, the one, the true, and the good—are appropriated as follows: being, to the essence; the one, to the Father; the true, to the Son; and the good, to the Holy Spirit. Since the divine persons are really and not merely conceptually distinct, these notions cannot be predicated of each other; if really distinct when verified of the divine persons, the four notions in question are much more so when verified of creatures. Responsio. Dicendum, quod sicut in demonstrabilibus oportet fieri reductionem in aliqua principia per se intellectui nota, ita investigando quid est unumquodque; alias utrobique in infinitum iretur, et sic periret omnino scientia et cognitio rerum. I answer that, when investigating the nature of anything, one should make the same kind of analysis as he makes when he reduces a proposition to certain self-evident principles. Otherwise, both types of knowledge will become involved in an infinite regress, and science and our knowledge of things will perish. Illud autem quod primo intellectus concipit quasi notissimum, et in quod conceptiones omnes resolvit, est ens, ut Avicenna dicit in principio suae metaphysicae. Unde oportet quod omnes aliae conceptiones intellectus accipiantur ex additione ad ens. Sed enti non possunt addi aliqua quasi extranea per modum quo differentia additur generi, vel accidens subiecto, quia quaelibet natura est essentialiter ens; unde probat etiam philosophus in III Metaphys., quod ens non potest esse genus, sed secundum hoc aliqua dicuntur addere super ens, in quantum exprimunt modum ipsius entis qui nomine entis non exprimitur. Quod dupliciter contingit: Now, as Avicenna says, that which the intellect first conceives as, in a way, the most evident, and to which it reduces all its concepts, is being. Consequently, all the other conceptions of the intellect are had by additions to being. But nothing can be added to being as though it were something not included in being—in the way that a difference is added to a genus or an accident to a subject—for every reality is essentially a being. The Philosopher has shown this by proving that being cannot be a genus. Yet, in this sense, some predicates may be said to add to being inasmuch as they express a mode of being not expressed by the term "being." This happens in two ways. uno modo ut modus expressus sit aliquis specialis modus entis. Sunt enim diversi gradus entitatis, secundum quos accipiuntur diversi modi essendi, et iuxta hos modos accipiuntur diversa rerum genera. Substantia enim non addit super ens aliquam differentiam, quae designet aliquam naturam superadditam enti, sed nomine substantiae exprimitur specialis quidam modus essendi, scilicet per se ens; et ita est in aliis generibus. First, the mode expressed is a certain special manner of being; for there are different grades of being according to which we speak when we speak of different levels of existence, and according to these grades different things are classified. Consequently, "substance" does not add a difference to being by signifying some reality added to it, but "substance" simply expresses a special manner of existing, namely, as a being in itself. The same is true of the other classes of existents. Alio modo ita quod modus expressus sit modus generalis consequens omne ens; et hic modus dupliciter accipi potest: uno modo secundum quod consequitur unumquodque ens in se; alio modo secundum quod consequitur unum ens in ordine ad aliud. Si primo modo, hoc est dupliciter quia vel exprimitur in ente aliquid affirmative vel negative. Non autem invenitur aliquid affirmative dictum absolute quod possit accipi in omni ente, nisi essentia eius, secundum quam esse dicitur; et sic imponitur hoc nomen res, quod in hoc differt ab ente, secundum Avicennam in principio Metaphys., quod ens sumitur ab actu essendi, sed nomen rei exprimit quiditatem vel essentiam entis. Negatio autem consequens omne ens absolute, est indivisio; et hanc exprimit hoc nomen unum: nihil aliud enim est unum quam ens indivisum. Second, some are said to add to being because the mode they express is one that is common, and consequent upon every being. This mode can be taken in two ways: first, in so far as it follows upon every being considered absolutely; second, in so far as it follows upon every being considered in relation to another. In the first, the term is used in two ways, because it expresses something in the being either affirmatively or negatively. We can, however, find nothing that can be predicated of every being affirmatively and, at the same time, absolutely, with the exception of its essence by which the being is said to be. To express this, the term "thing" is used; for, according to Avicenna, thing differs from being because being gets its name from to-be, but thing expresses the quiddity or essence of the being. There is, however, a negation consequent upon every being considered absolutely: its undividedness, and this is expressed by "one." For the "one" is simply undivided being. Si autem modus entis accipiatur secundo modo, scilicet secundum ordinem unius ad alterum, hoc potest esse dupliciter. Uno modo secundum divisionem unius ab altero; et hoc exprimit hoc nomen aliquid: dicitur enim aliquid quasi aliud quid; unde sicut ens dicitur unum, in quantum est indivisum in se, ita dicitur aliquid, in quantum est ab aliis divisum. Alio modo secundum convenientiam unius entis ad aliud; et hoc quidem non potest esse nisi accipiatur aliquid quod natum sit convenire cum omni ente: hoc autem est anima, quae quodam modo est omnia, ut dicitur in III de anima. In anima autem est vis cognitiva et appetitiva. Convenientiam ergo entis ad appetitum exprimit hoc nomen bonum, unde in principio Ethicorum dicitur quod bonum est quod omnia appetunt. Convenientiam vero entis ad intellectum exprimit hoc nomen verum. Omnis autem cognitio perficitur per assimilationem cognoscentis ad rem cognitam, ita quod assimilatio dicta est causa cognitionis: sicut visus per hoc quod disponitur secundum speciem coloris, cognoscit colorem. If the mode of being is taken in the second way—according to the relation of one being to another—we find a twofold use. The first is based on the distinction of one being from another, and this distinctness is expressed by the word "something," which implies, as it were, "some other thing." For, just as a being is said to be "one" in so far as it is without division in itself, so it is said to be "something" in so far as it is divided from others. The second division is based on the correspondence one being has with another. This is possible only if there is something which is such that it agrees with every being. Such a being is the soul, which, as is said in The Soul, in some way is all things. The soul, however, has both knowing and appetitive powers. "Good" expresses the correspondence of being to the appetitive power, for, and so we note in the Ethics, the good is that which all desire. "True" expresses the correspondence of being to the knowing power, for all knowing is produced by an assimilation of the knower to the thing known, so that assimilation is said to be the cause of knowledge. Similarly, the sense of sight knows a color by being informed with a species of the color. Prima ergo comparatio entis ad intellectum est ut ens intellectui concordet: quae quidem concordia adaequatio intellectus et rei dicitur; et in hoc formaliter ratio veri perficitur. Hoc est ergo quod addit verum super ens, scilicet conformitatem, sive adaequationem rei et intellectus; ad quam conformitatem, ut dictum est, sequitur cognitio rei. Sic ergo entitas rei praecedit rationem veritatis, sed cognitio est quidam veritatis effectus. Secundum hoc ergo veritas sive verum tripliciter invenitur diffiniri. The first reference of being to the intellect, therefore, consists in its agreement with the intellect. This agreement is called “the conformity of thing and intellect.” In this conformity is fulfilled the formal constituent of the true, and this is what "the true" adds to being, namely, the conformity or equation of thing and intellect. As we said, the knowledge of a thing is a consequence of this conformity; therefore, it is an effect of truth, even though the fact that the thing is a being is prior to its truth. Consequently, truth or the true has been defined in three ways.