Saturday, 1 December 2007

Gregory of Rimini on the Eternity of the World

Gregory of Rimini's treatment of the paradoxes of infinity (S I.42-44.4) allowed him a swift response in S II.1.2.i to an Aristotelian argument that an endless world could not have had a beginning.

Here is the core of the Aristotelian argument:
Probatur minor, quia si detur oppositum, sequitur quod erit infinitum maius infinito. Nam tempus aeternum ex utraque parte super utrumque aeternum ex altera tantum addit reliquum tempus aeternum ex reliqua parte, ut super aeternum in praeterito tantum addit tempus aeternum in futuro tantum, et econverso. Cum igitur omne aeternum in futuro sit ens tempore infinito, sequitur quod fuit etiam ens infinito tempore praeterito.

And here is Gregory's response:
Ad secundam rationem principalem nego minorem, et dico quod probatio aeque militat contra Philosophum, qui posuit tempus aeternum in praeterito et in futuro, cum tamen aeternum in praeterito sit infinitum, et similiter aeternum in futuro, et aeternum ex utraque parte utrumque comprehendat. Quia tamen, secundum quod inferius dicam, possibile fuit tempus esse aeternum, quamvis de facto habuit initium, ac per hoc fuit possibile infinitum comprehendere in se plura infinita, dico quod hoc non est inconveniens, sicut in primo libro distinctione 44 declaratum est. Et pro nunc sufficiat exemplum de aliquo continuo, cuius utraque medietas continet infinitas partes proportionales alias ab his, quas reliqua continet.

The tu quoque here is a nice move.


Edward Ockham said...

Nice to see you back, O brown one. I can't see a Latin blog getting a wide audience, however!

Best, Ockham

PS I think I have a digital copy of the Rimini's Sentences somewhere

Brunellus said...

Good point – I'll add translations when I next have a moment. (In both this and my post on the statutes, my immediate concern was to make these bits of text available online.)

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