Simple Distinctions

“The other kind of mental distinction arises from inadequate concepts of one and the same thing. Although the same subject is apprehended in each concept, the whole reality contained in the object is not adequately represented, nor is its entire essence and objective notion exhausted, by either of them.  This occurs frequently when we conceive an object in terms of its bearing on different things, or when we represent it in the way we conceive these different things. Hence such a distinction invariably has a foundation in fact, even though formally it will be said to spring from inadequate concepts of the same thing.  Thus in God we distinguish His justice from His mercy, because we do not conceive the sublimely simple virtue of God as it is in itself and according to the full range of its energy. We partition it into concepts in line with the various effects of which tht eminent virtue is the principle, or by analogy with various virtues which we find distinct in man, but which in an ineffably eminent manner are found united in the absolutely simple virtue of God.”

Francis Suarez, On the Various Kinds of Distinctions, 1.5

3 Responses to Simple Distinctions

  1. lee faber says:

    He’s desperately trying to avoid the formal distinction. Plus he uses the evil word “representation” that indicates his abandonment of a metaphysics of analogy and participation.

  2. Elliot B says:

    The various effects of the divine virtue, of which Suarez speaks, presumably are the target, being another way of saying “created grace”, am I right? The Palamite rebuttal, or reconfiguration, is to say we do not experience mere effects of God’s loving will, but experience God Himself in His energies, am I right?

    α) Do we––or I should say, Do the holy and “lighted” ones (of Taboric light) experience God’s energies to the same extent as Jesus did in His human nature?

    β) Further, do all the saints experience the divine energies in the same degree/extent?

    γ) Do the energies produce the same results in the saints by virtue of their intrinsically divine character?

    δ) Is man’s reception of the divine light, in other words, tailored at all to his mode as a fallen mortal, or do the energies have an intrinsically efficacious impact upon those to whom God energetically draws near?

    ε) Does or did the incarnate Logos see any difference between the energies of God and the divine essence?

    ε’) Would He espouse the distinction in terms fallen men grasp as Palamite thelogy, or would the distinction be irrelevant since He enjoys “access” to both AS intrinsically divine?

  3. Levi says:

    mmmm…more divine simplicity in Medieval Scholasticism.

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