I usually don’t take copious notes when I read books. This book, though, is of importance. Further, it is out of print (I will forgo the usual slams against Baker Academic at the moment) and I acquired it temporarily via ILL. So anything I learn from the book has to last permanently. Hence, the notes.
Notes on Muller, PRRD 3
Simplicity in pre-Reformation
The scholastic understanding of “identity” assumes various levels of identity (essential and formal), so the term “identity” does not indicate radical equation in every sense posssible (40 n. 63).
The goal is “to argue a certain manner of distinction (for the sake of manifesting the three) while at the very same time denying other kinds of distinction (for the sake of confessing the one)” (41).
Normally speaking essence and existence are not identified. The essence “humanity” is not synonymous with any one human (52).
Simplicity and Predication
Many critique absolute divine simplicity as eliminating the possibility of any real predication (on our part) of the divine essence. But when medievals used this term, all they meant was that God is not composite (54-55)
Plurality in God is secundum rationem, not secundum re (55).
Development and Decline of late orthodoxy
Interestingly, the medievals viewed “space” and time,” not as things but as relations (148).
Existence and knowledge of God
The orthodox followed three ways of approach to the problem of the knowledge of God (166):
- via causationes (a cause can be known in some manner from its effects)
- via emimentiae(we attribute to God all the perfections known to creataures)
- via negationis (we remove from God the imperfections known to creatures)
Rules of predication
“Predication is the logical act of attribution by which a subject is united with a predicate” (197).
Disproportionality between finite and infinite.