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Archa Verbi

Yearbook for the Study of


Medieval Theology

Subsidia
5
Ludger Honnefelder · Hannes Möhle
Andreas Speer · Theo Kobusch
Susana Bullido del Barrio (Eds)

Johannes Duns Scotus 1308–2008


Die philosophischen Perspektiven seines Werkes/
Investigations into his Philosophy
Proceedings of »The Quadruple Congress« on
John Duns Scotus
Part 3

Franciscan
Institute
Publications
Archa Verbi
Annuarium Societatis Internationalis pro Studiis
Theologiae Medii Aevi promovendis

Annuaire de la Société Internationale pour l‘Étude de la Théologie Médiévale


Annuario della Società Internazionale per lo Studio della Teologia Medievale
Anuario de la Sociedad Internacional para los Estudios de la Teología Medieval
Jahrbuch der Internationalen Gesellschaft für Theologische Mediävistik
Yearbook of the International Society for the Study of Medieval Theology

Subsidia

curator
Riccardo Quinto

Pavel Blažek
Ursula Vones-Liebenstein
directorium Societatis

Volker Leppin
praeses Societatis

Bibliografische Information der Deutschen Bibliothek:


Die Deutsche Bibliothek verzeichnet diese Publikation in der Deutschen Nationalbibliografie; detailliert
bibliografische Daten sind im Internet über http://dnb.ddb.de abrufbar.

Library of Congress Control Number: 2010937691

Cover illustration:
Johannes Duns Scotus, Ordinatio,
Bologna, Biblioteca Universitaria, Ms. 2237, f.1r (15th century)

© 2010 Aschendorff Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Münster / Franciscan Institute Publications, St. Bonaventure, NY

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Inhalt

Benedictus Papa XVI , Epistula Apostolica


Vorwort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Ludger Honnefelder
Johannes Duns Scotus: Realität und Subjekt. Neue Wege philosophischen
Denkens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Metaphysik
Metaphysics
Andreas Speer
Metaphysica secundum statum viatoris. Anmerkungen zum epistemologischen
Ausgangspunkt der scotischen Metaphysik . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Hannes Möhle
Metaphysik und Erkenntniskritik. Prima scientia est scibilis primi . . . . . . 69
Rega Wood
First Entity as the Subject of Metaphysics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Jan A. Aertsen
Scotus’s Conception of Transcendentality: Tradition and Innovation . . . . 107
Theo Kobusch
Der neue Weg der Metaphysik: Heinrich von Gent, Meister Eckhart, Duns
Scotus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Marilyn McCord Adams
Bodies in Their Places: Multiple Location according to John Duns Scotus 139
Robert Andrews
Haecceity in the Metaphysics of John Duns Scotus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151
Axel Schmidt
Duns Scotus und Niels Bohr über Individualität und Unbestimmtheit . . . 163
Gerhard Leibold / Hans Kraml
Text- und Überlieferungsprobleme der Reportata Parisiensia des Johannes
Duns Scotus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
6 Inhalt

Epistemologie
Epistemology

Gérard Sondag
Duns Scot sur les raisons séminales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199
Dominique Demange
On the Noetical Semantics of Duns Scotus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209
Michal Chabada
Epistemologisch-Ontologische Verankerung von objektiven Begriffen nach
Johannes Duns Scotus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227
Gabriele Galluzzo
Genus and differentia in Scotus’s Questions on the Metaphysics . . . . . . . . . . . 247
Simo Knuuttila
Predicatio identica in Scotus’s Theological Metaphysics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265
Roberto Hofmeister Pich
Scotus on Contingent Propositions »Known through Themselves« ( per se
notae) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277
Cesar Ribas Cezar
Induktion und Kausalität bei Duns Scotus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307
Francesco Fiorentino
The Theory of the Scientific Knowledge according to Duns Scotus . . . . 327
Oleg Bychkov
»Aesthetic« Epistemology: Parallels between the Perception of Musical Harmony
and the Cognition of Truth in Duns Scotus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 345

Wille und Freiheit


Will and Freedom
Peter King
Scotus’s Rejection of Anselm: The Two-Wills Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 359
Mary Beth Ingham
De Vita Beata: John Duns Scotus, Moral Perfection and the Rational Will 379
Timothy Noone
Nature and Will: Nature Revisited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 391
Tobias Hoffmann
Duns Scotus’s Action Theory in the Context of His Angelology . . . . . . . 403
Inhalt 7

Jörn Müller
Der Wille und seine Tugenden. Johannes Duns Scotus und das Ende der
aristotelischen Tugendethik . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 421
Dominik Perler
Duns Scotus über Schmerz und Traurigkeit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 443
Mark Henninger
Henry of Harclay on the Contingency of the Will’s Fruition . . . . . . . . . . 463
Jan P. Beckmann
Selbstreferenzialität und Kontingenz. Johannes Duns Scotus und Wilhelm
von Ockham über die Eigenart des freien Willens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 479
Hans Joachim Werner
»Aliquod malum est in entibus« – Duns Scotus über den Begriff des
Bösen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 501

Indices
Personenregister . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 523
Stellenregister . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 531
Archa Verbi. Subsidia 5 151–161

Haecceity in the Metaphysics of John Duns Scotus

by Robert Andrews

The St. Bonaventure edition of John Duns Scotus’ Metaphysics commentary1


introduces a revisionist spelling of Scotus’ most famous philosophical coinage:
›haecitas,‹ instead of the traditional ›haecceitas.‹ The importance to be accorded this
occurrence is considerable, since the term is found only a handful of times in
Scotus and, according to the Vatican editors,2 the Metaphysics commentary is the
earliest work in which the term occurs. Even if the St. Bonaventure editors are
correct in holding that the Metaphysics commentary was composed at various times,3
its mention there in Book VII is likely the very first time the word was used.
The editors of the Metaphysics commentary were certainly justified paleograph-
ically in their choice; the spelling they prefer (›hecitas‹) is in the majority of
manuscripts, while only two of the collated manuscripts have the spelling variant
›heceitas.‹ A principle of the editors has been to standardize Latin to reflect
classical spelling; and so they changed ›hecitas‹ to ›haecitas‹ This is in contrast to
general modern consensus, which takes the spelling ›haecceitas,‹ reflected in its
English translation ›haecceity.‹
In order to adjudicate this issue, I propose to review the antecedents of the
term, and examine its earliest occurrences. In doing so, I hope to suggest why its
coinage represented a paradigm shift away from Aristotelian metascience.

Scotus is generally credited with originating the term ›haecceitas,‹ as in the ety-
mologies given in the Oxford English Dictionary 4 and the Dictionary of Medieval Latin
from British Sources.5 However, this attribution has also been questioned, for instance
by Ivo Tonna6 and Johannes Kraus.7 Kraus found the attribution to Scotus by
P. Minges to be inconclusive, because Minges referred to the term’s appearance in

1 Iohannes Duns Scotus, Met. VII , q. 13, n. 61 (OPh. 4), 239; VII , q. 13, n. 176 (OPh. 4), 287.
2 Iohannes Duns Scotus, Lect. II (ed. Vat. 19), 45*.
3 Stephen Dumont and Timothy Noone have used precisely this issue to investigate the
relative chronology of Scotus’ works, and they place the Lectura and Ordinatio before the
Metaphysics commentary; Dumont, »The Question on Individuation,« 193–227; Noone,
»Scotus’ Critique,« 391– 406.
4 Oxford English Dictionary VI , 1005.
5 Dictionary of Medieval Latin, fasc. IV , 1128.
6 Tonna, »The Problem of Individuation,« 268, n. 34.
7 Kraus, Die Lehre des Johannes Duns Scotus, 94.
152 Robert Andrews

the Expositio librorum Metaphysicorum and the Super librorum Posteriorum, neither of
which is authentically Scotus. Furthermore, Kraus examined the Munich manu-
script of the Quaestiones super libros Metaphysicorum and found that it has instead of
›haecceitas‹ the reading ›entitas.‹ Kraus, therefore, was unwilling to conclude that
the term ›haecceitas‹ was by Scotus.
Examination of the manuscripts for the edition of the authentic Quaestiones super
libros Metaphysicorum shows that there is indeed considerable variation among the
manuscripts – individual manuscripts have ›entitas,‹ ›hereitas,‹ ›habilitas‹ – indicat-
ing that the scribes did not always know how to read this new term; but the
majority of manuscripts (six) have the reading ›hecitas,‹ while two of the collated
manuscripts have the variant ›heceitas.‹ Other appearances of the word are to be
found in Scotus’ Reportatio Parisiensis (six times),8 in the Collationes (four times),9
and, contrary to Minges, in the Ordinatio, in an ›Extra‹ (once).10
Abstract nouns such as ›haecceitas‹ are a very medieval phenomenon. While
the construction of an abstract noun is a grammatical procedure, it often has

8 Iohannes Duns Scotus, Rep. II , d. 12, q. 5: »Utrum substantia materialis per se sit indivi-
dua« (ed. Viv. 23). Here are the six occurrences: n. 1 (ed. Viv. 23), 25b: »Oppositum, quod
convenit alicui ex sua ratione, sibi convenit in quolibet, in quo ipsum est; igitur si substantia
materialis ex se esset ›haec,‹ in quocumque esset, in eodem esset illa haecceitas« (ed. 1517,
f. 37va: hecceitas); n. 8 (ed. Viv. 23), 29a: »Item, si non potest intelligi inclusum esse nisi hoc,
igitur neque includens. Si enim non potest intelligi rationale sub oppositio rationalis, igitur
nec homo, includens rationale, sed non potest intelligi haecceitas, (ed. 1517, f. 38rb: hec-
ceitas) ut universale, igitur nec natura speciei includens, cum ipsa haecceitas (ed. 1517,
f. 38rb: hecceitas) de se sit ›haec‹; igitur impossibile est intelligere naturam specificam, ut
universale«; n. 12 (n. 13 deest) (ed. Viv. 23), 31b: »Aliud exemplum, forma est principium
formale operandi et producendi simile, et aliud principium non est hoc, quia haecceitas (ed.
1517, f. 38vb: ecceitas) generantis et geniti sunt primo diversa, non illud in quo sunt similia;
sed calor est principium operandi, in quo ignis generans assimilatur genito«; n. 12 (n. 13
deest) (ed. Viv. 23), 32a: »Et cum dicitur, quidquid est in hoc numero, est unum numero,
verum est praedicatione denominativa vel essentiali. Sed haec unitas minor de se est ›haec‹
numero, non essentialiter, sed tantum denominative; sed haecceitas (ed. 1517, f. 38vb:
ecceitas) est numero haec essentialiter«; n. 14 (ed. Viv. 23), 32a: »Ad primum principale,
dico quod ratio Philosophi est contra ideas Platonis, quia substantia prima est de se haec,
ideo idea non est prima substantia. Sed loquendo de natura extra animam, ipsa est propria
illi, cujus est, sed non de se, sed per aliquid posterius se contrahens ipsum, ut per haec-
ceitatem, (ed. 1517, f. 38vb: ecceitatem) ideo satis est ratio Philosophi contra Platonem, quia
idea per nihil contrahens est propria.«
9 Iohannes Duns Scotus, Coll. 25, n. 3 (ed. Viv. 5), 242a; Coll. 34, n. 12 (ed. Viv. 5), 287a;
cited by Dumont, »The Question on Individuation,« 219.
10 Iohannes Duns Scotus, Ord. I , d. 17, p. 2, q. 1 (= d. 17, q. 4) »De modo augmenti caritatis«
n. 214 (ed. Vat. 5), 245 (adnotatio Duns Scoti): »Argumentum quintum oportet solvere in
substantia, contra quam concludit. Tunc minor est falsa, ratione illius partis in ›quid,‹ quia
›quid‹ abstrahit ab omni condicione individuali, ita a magis sicut ab haecceitate.« The
edition of Scotus by Salvatore Bartolucio, Ordinatio I , d. 17, q. 4 (Venice 1680), f. 544a,
instead of »sicut ab haecceitate« reads: »sicut ab hac caecitate« (»just as from this blindness«)!
Haecceity in the Metaphysics 153

ontological implications. When should it be permitted? In classical Latin, there


are relatively few constructions with ›-itas.‹ Take ›civitas‹:11 from the word ›civis‹
(»citizen«), it can be teased out as »citizen-ness,« or »the condition of being a
citizen«; as such in Latin it has the sense of »the body politic,« »the state,«
»citizens united in a community.« But where is, and what sort of creature is, a
»state«? Is it an entity apart from its citizens? The use of an abstract term leaves
open the possibility that that to which it refers may or may not exist as a separate
entity – the inclination to assert that it does so exist is the tendency of Platonism.12
Many abstract terms of philosophical import make their appearance first in the
Middle Ages. Such philosophically laden terms as ›entity‹ (›entitas,‹ ›being-ness‹)
or ›reality‹ (›realitas,‹ ›thing-ness‹) would not be possible without the medieval
scholastic heritage. One witnesses an early theologian such as Boethius († 525)
struggling to explain the Trinity without access to the word ›identity‹ (›idemptitas,‹
later ›identitas,‹ ›same-ness‹).13 Other less familiar, but still current, abstract terms
arise within medieval philosophy: ›totality,‹ ›simultaneity,‹ ›quiddity,‹ ›rationali-
ty.‹14 Such coinages are not always obviously licit. Take the term ›nothingness‹
(another medieval coinage, ›nihileitas,‹ although most familiar in English as a
translation of Sartre’s ›neant‹): does ›nothing‹ describe the sort of entity from
which a common nature may be abstracted? And if so, what ontological status
has nothingness? The introduction of such a term entails the presupposition of an
ontology.
Similarly, the concept of haecceitas is cognitively dissonant from the world-view
from within which it arose. Preceding Scotus, the most common theory of
individuation – the theory of the ontological status of the entity responsible for
individuation, in Jorge Gracia’s phrasing15 – is that the individuating principle is
matter. According to most interpretations of Aristotle, a genus, a category of
certain types of things, is subdivided by shared differences, differentia, into more
restricted types, species; the species may be further divided into sub-species (species
subalterna); what determines the ultimate species (species specialissima) is a final
differentia (ultima differentia). Individuals under that species are distinguished from
one another by their matter, according to the prevalent medieval theory. Thus,
consequently, angels each have their own species, for they have no matter to
otherwise distinguish them.16

11 For civitas, see Neue, Formenlehre, I, 268.


12 For a discussion of abstraction, see Weinberg, Abstraction, Relation, 6–12.
13 In De trinitate; cf. Andrews, »Boethius on Relation,« 286–287.
14 »Rationalitas« does appear as early as Tertullian († 220), (Anim. 38), but thus is arguably part
of scholastic tradition.
15 Gracia, »Individuality and the Individuating Entity,« 230.
16 There are of course many conflicting medieval theories of individuation, as amply documented
in several of Gracia’s works, e. g. Gracia, Introduction; Gracia, Individuation in Scholasticism.
154 Robert Andrews

Now according to Scotus, what distinguishes an individual from others of its


species is not matter, but an individual differentia. This individuating difference,
applied to the most specific species, results in a unique individual. Scotus at
various times called this differentia an ›entitas positiva‹ or ›forma individualis‹; in the
Metaphysics commentary it is called ›haecceitas.‹
A reason why Scotus’ theory met resistance is not merely that it violates the
traditional account; it also threatens the basis of Aristotle’s conception of a
science. According to the Philosopher, the subject of a science is a universal.17
And a universal, according to Aristotle, is not an independently existing entity; a
universal may only be abstracted from individuals by a mind which sees a
communality among them. Thus excluded from a science is that which makes an
individual unique – that which is not shared, but individual. For Aristotle, there
is no science of individuals. Scotus upheld Aristotle’s theory of science, and did
not himself admit that an individual can have a scientific definition.18 But Scotus’
notion of the individual is the first to introduce the possibility that a science can
extend unto individuals, because an individual has the elements required for a
scientific definition: a species, and a distinguishing differentia – which is haecceitas.
There can be a science not only of man, but also of Anna O. It is largely for his
theory of the individual that Scotus is taken to be anticipatory of the modern
point of view.19

Scotus’ radical break with tradition was not without its antecedents and antici-
pations. An important influence percolating within the shared medieval heritage
was in Boethius’ Commentarium in librum Aristotelis ›Peri hermeneias,‹ where Boethius
deliberately coins a term to express what is unique to the individual Plato : ›Plato-
nitas‹ (›Plato-ness‹).20 More proximate to Scotus, Richard of St. Victor speaks of
›Danielitas‹ as the abstract of the individual ›Daniel.‹21 Richard’s discussion was

17 Cf. Aristoteles, Anal. post. I , 31, 87b37–9.


18 Iohannes Duns Scotus, Ord. II , d. 3, p. 1, qq. 5– 6, n. 192 (ed. Vat. 7), 486.
19 It is not clear that this notion has full acceptance today; thus Alfred Jarry could jokingly
propose the science of pataphysics – a science of events which are unique and non-repeating.
20 Boethius, In Perihermeneias II , c. 7, ed. Meiser, 137: »Nam si nomen fingere liceret, illam
singularem quandam qualitatem et incommunicabilem alicui alii subsistentiae suo ficto
nomine nuncuparem, ut clarior fieret forma propositi. Age enim incommunicabilis Platonis
illa proprietas Platonitas appelletur. Eo enim modo qualitatem hanc Platonitatem ficto
vocabulo nuncupare possimus, quomodo hominis qualitatem dicimus humanitatem. Haec
ergo Platonitas solius unius est hominis et hoc non cuiuslibet, sed solius Platonis, humanitas
vero et Platonis et ceterorum quicumque hoc vocabulo continentur.«
21 Richardus a S. Victore, De Trinitate II , c. 12 (TPMA 6), 119; (PL 196), 908: »Dicatur itaque
a Daniele Danielitas, sicut ab homine humanitas. Danielitas itaque intelligatur illa sub-
stantialitas, vel, si magis placet, illa subsistentia ex qua Daniel esse habet illa substantia
quae ipse est et quam participare non potest aliqua alia. Humanitas itaque, sicut corpo-
ralitas, est multis communis. Danielitas vero omnino incommunicabilis.«
Haecceity in the Metaphysics 155

familiar to Matthew of Aquasparta22 and Thomas Sutton,23 and was cited by


Scotus in his treatment of individuation. These abstractions from individual
names may have prompted Scotus’ creation of a more general term for an
individuating principle.
Roger Bacon, Henry of Ghent, Thomas of York, Roger Marston, and Peter of
Auvergne24 have been suggested as forerunners of Scotus’ view of individuation.
Bacon, in particular, provided suggestive use of the abstract term ›alietas‹ in his
discussion of individuation.25 Peter of John Olivi is another underestimated
influence on Scotus’ theories,26 and Richard Rufus of Cornwall has been sug-
gested as the immediate inspiration for Scotus.27 However, no use of ›haecceitas‹
before Scotus has ever been noted.
Scotus was a committed user of abstract terms; and where none previously
existed, he didn’t hesitate to coin one. In the commentary on the Metaphysics he
used the terms ›perseitas‹ (›per se-ness‹),28 ›ubitas‹ (›whereness‹),29 ›coloreitas‹ (›color-
ness‹),30 and ›pedalitas‹ (›footedness‹).31 Other abstract terms point to an indivi-
duating principle: in the Reportatio, Scotus quoted Henry of Ghent to the effect
that the abstract of the character of a thing (›quo est‹) is ›aliquitas‹ (›whatness‹).32 In
the commentary on the Metaphysics, he wrote, »God causes the entity (entitatem) of
anything; any other agent [causes] the suchness (talitas) of an entity.«33 These
terms confirm the stylistic tendencies and the attitude towards abstraction which
led Scotus to the construction of ›haecceitas.‹

22 Matthaeus ab Aquasparta, Quaestiones disputate (BFS 1), 288.


23 Thomas Sutton, Quodlibet I q. 21, ed. Schmaus and González-Haba, 148– 49.
24 Sousa Ribeiro, Escola Franciscana, 60.
25 Roger Bacon, Quaestiones V , ed. Steele, 229–230: »Quia suppositum est quod materia est
causa individuationis, ideo quaeritur utrum ipsa sola causet individuationem. Quod ma-
teria tantum videtur, quia dicit in littera ›generans non generat aliud a se nisi propter
materiam,‹ quare materia sufficit ad alietatem; set ›quod‹ est causa alietatis et individua-
tionis, quia duo secundum numerum sunt divisa; quare etc.« Cf. Ioannes Duns Scotus, Rep.
I , d. 4, q. 1, n. 4 (ed. Viv. 22), 122b: »In tertia cum dicitur ›Socrates est in humanitate alius,‹
alietas notat ibi suum determinabile esse commune utrique differentiae extremorum, et
distingui et dividi in ipsis extremis.«
26 Petrus Ioannis Olivi. Quodlibeta III , f. 21ra: »Constat autem quod duo individua habent duas
essentias individuales, quarum una est alia essentia ab alia.«
27 Wood, »Individual Forms,« 251–272.
28 Iohannes Duns Scotus, Met. IV , q. 4, n. 8 (OPh. 3), 378.
29 Iohannes Duns Scotus, Met. V , qq. 5– 6, n. 102 (OPh. 3), 470.
30 Iohannes Duns Scotus, Met. VII , q. 19, n. 51 (OPh. 3), 372; also in Lect. I , d. 3, p. 1, qq. 1–2,
n. 118 (ed. Vat. 16), 269.
31 Iohannes Duns Scotus, Met. VII , q. 17, n. 22 (OPh. 3), 333.
32 Iohannes Duns Scotus, Rep. II , d. 1, q. 6, n. 5 (ed. Viv. 22), 550b.
33 Iohannes Duns Scotus, Met. I , q. 1, n. 47 (OPh. 3), 33.
156 Robert Andrews

Further information about the term may be gleaned from its earliest reception;
from other authors who were familiar with Scotus, but also from the scribes and
typesetters who transmitted the texts. Among the scribes of the Quaestiones sub-
tilissimae super libros Metaphysicorum, the majority (six) write ›hecitas‹; while two write
›heceitas.‹34 The spelling ›haecceitas‹ doesn’t appear until Renaissance editions.35
An early marginal annotator of Scotus’s Metaphysics commentary writes ›heceitas.‹36
A scribe of Scotus’ De anima commentary adds to » ... in singularitate« this variant:
»vel hecceitate.«37 An edition of Antonius Andreas’ Metaphysics commentary has
›hecheitas.‹38 Another appearance of the word during Scotus’s lifetime may be
found in a Determinatio of John Quidort of Paris,39 written about 1305.40 Quidort’s
use of the term does not point to Scotus, for he uses it in describing a theory of
the triduo which is not Scotus’s, and he equates it with ›forma corporeitatis,‹ which is
not faithful to Scotus’ conception of the principle of individuation.41 Quidort
spells the word ›ecceitas,‹ and the same spelling is used in half of the occurrences in
the first edition of Scotus’s Reportata Parisiensia 42 – suggesting that the idea there
was that the root of the term is ›ecce‹ (›behold‹).43

34 Iohannes Duns Scotus, Met. VII , q. 13, n. 176 (OPh. 3), 278.
35 Iohannes Duns Scotus, Met. VII , q. 13, n. 9 (ed. Wad. 2), 701; (ed. Viv. 7), 410a; n. 26 (ed.
Wad. 2), 708b; (ed. Viv. 7), 426a.
36 Anonymus, Adnotatio in Scoti Met. VII , q. 18 (ms. Reims Civit. 895, f. 192v) in imo fol.:
»Nota: Universale secundo modo sumptum, scilicet pro denominato ab universalitate etc.
quod est natura absolute sumpta vel considerata, est indeterminatum (indeterminata ms.)
contradictorie vel privative, quia ex se non est determinatum ad haecceitatem (heceitatem
ms.) vel singularitatem, natum tamen determinari a producente. Et ultra hoc: ›natum est‹ tale
›universale‹ recipere determinationem (indeterminationem ms.) universalis actu ›praedicabilis de
pluribus‹ per ipsum intellectum agentem.« Cf. Aristoteles, De interp. 7, 17a39– 40: »Dico
autem universale quod in pluribus natum est praedicari, singulare vero non, ut ›homo‹
quidem universale, ›Plato‹ vero eorum quae sunt singularia«; Auctoritates Aristotelis, 305 (10):
»Universale est quod aptum natum est praedicari de pluribus, et singulare quod non.«
37 Regularized to ›haecceitate‹ in the edition; Ioannes Duns Scotus, An. q. 22, n. 27 (OPh. 5),
235; Oxford Bodleian ms. Digby 44, f. 192v.
38 Antonius Andreas, Met. V , q. 5 (Venice 1513), 24rb: »Et hec est materia que est differentia
seu proprietas individualis, que est causa propria hecheitatis et individuationis, quae potest
dici hecheitas.«
39 Ioannes Parisiensis (Quidort), De modo existendi, ed. Pattin, 191: »Licet autem sit alius panis
ante et post, tamen est eadem paneitas. Quod patet, quia doctores solemnes dicunt, quod
licet in corpore Christi vivi et mortuo sit alia et alia ecceitas seu forma corporeitatis, est
tamen idem corpus in numero propter identitatem suppositi.«
40 Pattin, »Jean de Paris,« 189.
41 Quidort attributes the idea to ›doctores solemnes,‹ a term which (even in the plural) usually
refers to Henry of Ghent, but the theory he reports is not Henry’s, either. At most we can
conclude is that the term was in current use in Paris in the early 1300’s.
42 Cf. above, note 8.
43 In the French this etymology is even more obvious: »Eccéité, n. f., est un emprunt (1599) au
latin scolastique ecceitas (du latin classique ecce, ›voici‹). Il a conservé le sens du latin, ›princip qui
Haecceity in the Metaphysics 157

Ironically, Scotus’ term gained even wider currency because of attacks by


William of Ockham44 and his followers, who considered its coining symptomatic
of a needless proliferation of conceptual entities. A pseudo-Ockhamistic work
fabricated a list of such superfluous terms: »haecceitas vel haectitas, sorteitas, marti-
neitas, quandalitas, ubieitas, enimitas, velitas, sieitas, aditas, initas, abeitas, quamobremitas,
usquequaqueitas, albedineitas, animeitas, licetitas.«45 Analysis of this peculiar list indi-
cates that abstract terms were not constructed according to consistent rules:

Abstract term Construction Translation


haecceitas haecce + -itas thisness
haectitas haec + -titas thisness
sorteitas Sortes + -itas Socrates-ness
martineitas Martin + -eitas Martin-ness
quandalitas quando + -alitas whenness
ubieitas ubi + -eitas whereness
enimitas enim + -itas for-ness
velitas vel + -itas or-ness
sieitas si + -eitas if-ness
aditas ad + -itas to-ness
initas in + -itas in-ness
abeitas ab + -eitas from-ness
quamobremitas quamobrem + -itas why-ness
usquequaqueitas usquequaque + -itas constantly-ness
albedineitas 46 albedine + -itas (from) whiteness
animeitas animae + -itas (of ) soul-ness
licetitas licet + -itas although-ness

We see that abstract terms were formed most often in the classical manner with
the suffix ›-itas,‹ although sometimes with ›-eitas‹ or otherwise. Which word did
Scotus write? From the preceding list, we see that abstract terms were formed
most often in the classical manner with the suffix ›-itas,‹ although sometimes with

fait qu’une essence est rendue individuelle.‹ Mot d’emploi didatique, eccéité a été repris (1945)
en philosophie pour traduire l’allemand Dasein (employé par Heidegger ) au sens de ›caractère
de ce qui se trouve concrètement et particulièrement situé dans l’espace‹; mais les spécialistes
utilisent plutôt dasein en français.« Dictionnaire historique de la langue française, I 646A .
44 Cf. Guilelmus de Ockham, Summa logicae III – 4, c. 6 (OPh. 1), 772: »Similiter ista est
distinguenda ›haecceitas Sortis est aliquid.‹ Unus sensus est quod haecceitas, quae est res
distincta ab aliis, est aliquid; alius sensus est iste ›Sortes, qui est hic vel haec creatura vel hoc
ens, est aliquid.‹ « Some of Ockham’s scribes write variously ›haecentitas,‹ ›haectitas,‹ or
›humanitas.‹
45 Guilelmus de Ockham, Elementarium logicae VII , c. 5 (OPh. 7), 231.
46 Discussed by Marmo, »Ontology and Semantics,« 166.
158 Robert Andrews

›-eitas‹ or otherwise. Did Scotus intend the root of his construction to be the
pronoun ›haec‹? Certain passages in Scotus suggest this, because they closely
connect ›haec‹ with ›haecceitas,‹ as in the Reportata Parisiensia: »Haecceity is in itself
›this‹« (»ipsa haecceitas de se sit ›haec‹ «).47 Virtually all dictionaries of modern
languages – as the OED in English48 – provide this etymology for ›haecceity.‹ If
so, then the construction ›haeceitas‹ (haec + -eitas) is not according to classical
principles; the proper construction, as used by the St. Bonaventure University
editors, should be ›haecitas.‹
However, another etymology may be considered, that the immediate root of the
term is not ›haec,‹ but the emphatic form of the pronoun ›haecce.‹ The enclitic -ce
added to demonstratives provides emphasis, and has the force of ostension: »this
here (pointing).« In this light, the construction ›haecceitas‹ is not an ill-formed
barbarism, but is completely consonant with the classical construction of an
abstract, from ›haecce.‹49 If such is the case, the St. Bonaventure editors need not
have introduced the hypercorrect ›haecitas‹; and the etymological entries for most
modern dictionaries need to be revised.50 Additionally, it is well to remember this
etymology in discussing haecceitas; it has an implicit force of ostension, and wants
to point to the thisness of an object immediately present.

The spelling ›haecceitas‹ was preferred among Scotistic commentators and Re-
naissance editors, although there was far from uniform agreement.51 The term

47 Iohannes Duns Scotus, Rep. II , d. 12, q. 5, n. 8 (ed. Viv. 22), 29a.


48 The Oxford English Dictionary VI , 1005.
49 Petrus Fonseca, Met. V , c. 6, q. 5, sect. 1, v. 2, col. 381D , prefers the spelling haeccitas.
I thank Professor Richard Cross for this reference. The word’s etymology and construction
was discussed by the Cistercian Caramuel Lobkowitz, Grammatica p. I , Methodica, c. No-
men, 22: »An ne ex propriis diducuntur Abstracta? maxime, nec hoc sine Ciceronis
exemplo: Quoniam a Lentulo dixit Lentulitatem, tametsi non eo sensu, quo a nobis Petreitas,
Joanneitas, & Haeceitas dicuntur. Hanc ob rem debemus observare Abstracta propria sumi
posse politicè & scholasticè; priore modo mores significans, unde qui Lentuli mores aut
Platonis doctrinam imitaretur exacte dici posset, ebibisse Lentuliatem & Platonitatem.
[ Vide Philippum du Trieu, Dialect. tract. I. part. 1. cap. 1. art. 5. pag. 10.] Utimur istis etiam
vocibus Ecceitas, Hæceitas (non Hæcceitas; unde enim illud secundum c?) quae significant
Individuationem ut sic: Ecceitas enim diducitur ab Ecce, & Hæceitas ab Hic.« Against these
can be adduced the authority Petrus Helias, Summa super Priscianum, c. De figura, 675: »Illud
quoque addit quod ce per adiectionem sillabicam additur articularibus pronominibus ut
›hicce huiusce‹ et similia. . . . Hec autem vox ›hocce‹ constat ex illo pronomine quod est
›hoc‹ et ex ista sillaba ce per adiectionem sillabicam.« I thank Claus Asbjørn Andersen for
the reference.
50 One dictionary which gets it right is Klein, Etymological Dictionary, I 694: »ML . haecceitas,
fr. L . haecce (res), ›this (thing),‹ with better spelling haece, fem. of hice (hicce), intensive form of
hic (fem. haec, neut. hoc), ›this.‹ «
51 Cf. Paulus Soncinatis, Quaestiones Metaphysicales VII , q. 32, f. 83vb: »Utrum substantia sit
individua per entitatem positivam vocatam hecceitatem«; f. 83vb: »heccheitas«; Lychetus,
Commentarius in Scoti XI , ed. Viv., 128b; 129b; 151a: »haecceitas.«
Haecceity in the Metaphysics 159

continued to undergo grammatical transformations in the philosophical litera-


ture. Gerard of Harderwijk used it as a present participle: »materia dico formam
individuante et hecisante.«52 The Scotist Augustinus of Ferrara made out of it a
perfect participle: »sicut hic homo haecceizatus ut hic homo non potest communicare pluribus
individuis.«53 The concept of haecceity was important to Leibniz,54 and was
revived by the approbation of Charles Sanders Peirce.55 It retains currency in
modern philosophical discussions of individuation.56
It is important to know how the originator of the neologism regarded its
spelling. The traditional orthography ›haecceitas‹ was rejected by the St. Bona-
venture University editors, I myself among them, perhaps on legitimate paleo-
graphical grounds; but also because it was regarded it as a barbarism violating
classical rules for the construction of an abstract term. Now I suggest that the
root of the word is ›haecce‹ (and not ›haec‹), resulting in the perfectly acceptable
construction ›haecce‹ + ›-itas‹; Scotus himself likely chose this spelling in order to
suggest the ostensive connotation of ›haecceitas.‹57

52 Gerardus Harderwickensis, Commentarium in Sententias summ. 3 (Colonia 1488) 128A : »In


genere substantie inveniuntur secundum veritatem individua composita ex materia et
forma, materia dico formam individuante et hecisante, siquidem ipsa secundum se est hec.«
53 Augustinus de Ferraria, Praed. q. 13, ed. Andrews, 76.
54 Cf. Leibniz, Philosophische Schriften, 9, n. 385.
55 Cf. Peirce, Collected Papers, e. g. III , 434; 460.
56 See the bibliography in Park, Haecceitas.
57 Versions of this paper were earlier presented at the session »Scotus on Knowledge,« meeting of
the International Duns Scotus Society, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan,
May 4, 2002; the Department of Philosophy, The University of Wisconsin, Madison, March 5,
2001; the Department of Philosophy, The University of Wisconsin, Parkside, February 29,
2001; Södertörns högskolan, Södertörn, Sweden, November 21, 2000. I would like to thank
the facilitators of those presentations, as well as those conference participants who offered
advice for the improvement of this paper.
160 Robert Andrews

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