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Commentary Cons. Phil. Book 5 Prosa 4

Prosa 4

P. begins to explain providence and freedom of the will with an analysis of kinds of cognition.

section 1
M.que: = Marcoque (Cicero is meant); a dative of agent with the participle agitata.
distribuit: "categorized" (De Diuinatione 2.8ff, but the reference is not particularly apt).
uestrum: partitive genitive with ullo.

section 2
ammoueri: "approach," in a middle sense.
nihil: nihil . . . ambigui: "nothing ambiguous, no ambiguity."
ambigui: nihil . . . ambigui: "nothing ambiguous, no ambiguity."

section 3
moueris: here, "are troubled."
expendero: < expendo, "assess accurately."

section 4
illam soluentium rationem: "this method of those who resolve [the problem]"; cf. 5P3.7.

section 5
futurorum necessitatis: "of the necessity of future events."
non euenire non possunt: both negatives must be translated.

section 6
praenotio: "foreknowledge."
adicit: < adicio; here, "adds, contributes."
paulo ante: 5P3.9.
quid est quod: "why is it that . . . ?"
uoluntarii: "resulting from acts of the will," with exitus.

section 7
positionis gratia: "for the sake of argument"; positio here is a logical term (compare English "posit").
statuamus: "let us assume."

section 8
quantum: quantum . . . attinet: "as much as pertains to this," i.e., "as for that."
attinet: quantum . . . attinet: "as much as pertains to this," i.e., "as for that."

section 9
esse: esse . . . iniungere: sc. praescientiam as subject.
iniungere: esse . . . iniungere: sc. praescientiam as subject.

section 10
necessario: adverb, "necessarily."
ea esse uentura: accusative/infinitive after signum est.

section 11
quid sit: "what is."

section 12
nihil non ex necessitate contingere: i.e., that everything does occur by necessity.
haec: haec . . . illa: sc. necessitas . . . praenotio.
illa: haec . . . illa: sc. necessitas . . . praenotio.

section 13
13: The same insistence on avoiding arguments drawn from without characterized the central exposition of Book 3 (cf. 3P12.35).
subnixam: "relying, resting on," with ablative.

section 14
habuisse: supply ea (from beginning of sentence) as subject accusative.

section 15
fiunt: "are being done, are happening." Fio is used in this sense throughout secs. 15-20.
ut ea: "such as those . . ."
quadrigis: "four-horse chariots."
aurigae: "charioteers"; subject of spectantur.
atque: atque . . . cetera: "and other [examples] of this sort."
cetera: atque . . . cetera: "and other [examples] of this sort."

section 19
illud: object of dicturum.
nullum: "no one," subject accusative of dicturum (classical usage would dictate neminem).

section 20
nihil: nihil . . . necessitatis: "no necessity."
necessitatis: nihil . . . necessitatis: "no necessity."

section 22
uidentur: subject must be supplied from earum rerum in the preceding sentence.

section 23
incerti: incerti . . . exitus: genitive singular.
exitus: incerti . . . exitus: genitive singular.
id esse caliginem: sc. patet or apparet.
aliter: aliter . . . ac: "otherwise than."
ac: aliter . . . ac: "otherwise than."
arbitrari: "to think," with force of noun, "thinking"; subject of esse.

section 24
ipsorum: antecedent in quae sciuntur.

section 25
sui: = suam.
cognoscentium: "of the ones doing the knowing."

section 26
uisus: uisus . . . tactus: nominative, "vision . . . touch."
tactus: uisus . . . tactus: nominative, "vision . . . touch."
eminus: "out of reach."
iactis radiis: "rays darted forth"; sc. oculorum; ancient physiologists explained sight as the result of rays that shot out from the eyes to the object seen.
cohaerens: "clinging to," with dative.
circa ipsum motus ambitum: "having moved around its perimeter." For the voice of motus see on ammoueri (5P4.2).

section 27
sensus: the physical sense of sight.
imaginatio: the mental power to create images of things unseen.
ratio: the power to reason from particulars to universals.
intellegentia: the understanding of the unity that underlies the multiplicity of forms.

section 28
in subiecta materia: "in matter subject [to the figura imposed on it]."

section 29
uniuersali consideratione: i.e., "by consideration or comparison with that which is universal" (cf. Platonic ideas/forms; in sec. 32 infra, uniuersales species).

section 30
exsistit: = est, as often in later Latin.
supergressa: < supergredior, "pass be yond"; sc. intellegentia.
uniuersitatis: here, "the universe."

section 31
amplectitur: "embraces," here: "includes."

section 32
aliquid: "at all"; adverbial accusative.
concepta forma: ablative absolute (cf. forma in sec. 30).
quae: antecedent is cuncta.
nulli alii: dative; i.e., not to sensus, imaginatio, or ratio.

section 33
cognoscit: subject understood is intellegentia.
ut ita dicam: "so to speak."

section 34
quid uniuersale: "something universal"; one of the forms.

section 35
Haec: i.e., ratio.
uniuersale: here, "the universal form." The definition of man is a sample of ratio's way of knowing; cf. 1P6.15 for a similar definition.

section 36
cum: "although."
nullus: = nemo.
illa: sc. ratio.

section 37
collustrat: "surveys."
imaginaria ratione: "by the method of imaginatio."

section 38
cuncta: subject of utantur.
sua: modifies facultate, contrasts with eorum.

section 39
iniuria: "wrongly"; adverbial.

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