Ockham on the Source of Divine Production
Ockham on the Source of Divine Production
Abstract and Keywords
Ockham argues that we should identify the source of productive activity in the same way we identify the cause of an effect. For Ockham, the cause of an effect is that which must be posited in order to posit the effect, and without which the effect cannot be posited at all. Similarly, says Ockham, the source of a production is that which must be posited in order to posit that production, and without which that production cannot be posited. In the divine case, that is just the divine essence, but this does not mean that the divine essence produces anything, nor does it mean that the productions themselves are produced. On the contrary, says Ockham, the divine essence is simply the source of production, whereas the two sides of each production (i.e. the correlative activities of “producing another” and “being produced”) serve to constitute a distinct producer and product.
Having discussed Ockham’s critique of Henry (and Scotus, to some extent) in the last chapter, I want to turn now to Ockham’s own position on the matter. As we shall see, Ockham ends up with a view that is similar to Scotus’s, but Ockham gets to his conclusions in his own way. Indeed, as I will show below, Ockham’s argumentation for his conclusions relies on his distinctive views of efficient causality.
14.1. The Source Of Productive Activity
Ockham claims that we should identify the power source for any activity—and that includes productive activity—in the same way that we identify the causal source of any effect. According to Ockham though, we identify the causal source of an effect as follows:
Setting aside everything that is not a cause of the effect in question, the basis [or source] for causing [the effect] is that which, either existing by itself or in something else, can be the cause of that effect or is required for the existence of the other [viz. the effect], and which is not constituted by the causation or the effect itself.1
This passage needs some unpacking, and there are three points I want to highlight. First, Ockham says at the very end of this quotation that the source of an effect cannot be constituted by the causation (i.e. the (p.176) causal activity) or the effect itself. Presumably, the idea here is that causes result in effects, not the other way around, so the source we are seeking cannot be the effect itself, nor can it be the activity that brings the effect about (as we saw in section 13.2), nor can it be anything that is constituted by or otherwise results from that effect or activity.
Second, Ockham says at the beginning of this passage that we should set aside everything which is not a cause of the effect in question. This, I take it, is meant to rule out anything that is merely a required circumstance for causal activity. For instance, my stove can only heat a pot of water when the pot is close enough to be heated, but nobody would think that “being close enough” is the source of the water getting hotter. It is, rather, just part of the required circumstances.
Of course, certain types of effects can come about in different circumstances. For example, water can be heated on the stove, in the microwave, in an electric kettle, and so on. Consequently, alternative sets of circumstances might be possible for certain types of effects. But the point here is that any given effect can only happen in the right circumstances, where “the right circumstances” ranges over any set of appropriate circumstances.
Third and finally, Ockham says in the middle of the above passage that the source of an effect is that which can cause the effect or is required for the existence of the effect. This makes it clear that Ockham thinks the source of an effect is just its (efficient) cause—or in cases where the source does not produce the effect (which, as we shall see, happens in the Godhead), the source is at least some absolute thing that must exist if the effect is to exist too.
To appreciate this last point, we need to briefly consider Ockham’s views on efficient causality.2 The issues are complicated, but for our purposes here, the relevant point is this: Ockham is fond of saying that an efficient cause is the absolute thing which, assuming an appropriate set of circumstances, must be posited in order to also posit the effect (and, conversely, no matter what else is posited, when that absolute thing is not posited, the effect cannot be posited either).3 (p.177) In other words, the cause of an effect is that which is required for the existence of the effect, given an appropriate set of circumstances.
So, for instance, suppose that after placing a pot of water over a flame on my stove, the water begins to heat up. What would the cause of this be? One might be tempted to think it is the flame, for apart from the pot of water and its proximity to the flame, the only thing left is the flame itself, and without the flame, the water presumably would not get warmer.
But Ockham’s view takes us in a different direction, for Ockham would say it is the heat in the flame (rather than the flame itself) that is required for the water to get warmer. In fact, the flame does not seem to be required at all here, for if God destroyed the flame but preserved the heat, that free-floating bit of heat could heat the water just as well.
In other words, the flame does not satisfy the conditions that are required for it to be the cause of the water’s getting warmer. For on Ockham’s view, the cause of any effect is that which, given an appropriate set of circumstances, must be posited in order to also posit the effect, and conversely, if it is not posited, the effect cannot be posited either. But in this case, the flame does not need to be posited at all, for the heat (rather than the flame) explains the fact that the water gets warmer. Thus, as Ockham sees it, the heat (rather than the flame) must be the cause of the water’s getting warmer.
What role does the flame play then? To explain this, Ockham employs a traditional distinction derived from Aristotle between proper and incidental causes (or, as Ockham puts it, per se and per accidens causes). According to Aristotle, the proper cause of a statue is a sculptor, but if that sculptor also happens to be a musician, then we might say something like, “did you know that musician sculpted this statue?” Yet the fact that our sculptor is a musician is incidental to the fact that she sculpted the statue, for her musicality plays no causal role in her producing the statue.4
(p.178) Ockham takes this to mean that a proper cause produces its effects through its own power, not through something else. For instance, as I just explained, when a flame heats a pot of water, Ockham would say the flame’s heat is what directly warms the water. Similarly, when I think, Ockham would say that my mind (my intellectual soul) is what directly generates my thoughts.5
But when the proper cause exists in a subject (as heat exists in a flame), or when it is a part or constituent of a larger whole (like the intellectual soul in a human), Ockham thinks we can denominate the proper cause by pointing to that subject or whole, for anything can be denominated by the various qualities or constituents that pick it out. Nevertheless, although we can denominate the cause of the water’s getting warmer by pointing to the flame itself, the real cause of the water’s getting warmer is the flame’s heat.6
Taking all of these points together, we can formulate the following as Ockham’s criterion for identifying the cause or source of an effect:7
For any effect y that is produced by a causal act A,
there is an x such that x is the causal source of y iff
(i) given an appropriate set of circumstances,
then no matter what else is posited,
if x is posited then y is posited, and
if x is not posited then y is not posited,
(ii) x is neither A nor y,
(iii) x is constituted by neither A nor y, and
(iv) x is not part of the appropriate circumstances for causing y.
With all that said, Ockham then points out that we should identify the source of activity in the same way that we identify the source of an effect. In other words, power sources should be identified in the same way that efficient causes are identified. Hence, just as the causal source of an effect is that which is required for the existence of the effect in the way just explained,
so also is the elicitive [i.e. power] source of some activity, undergoing, or production that which is necessarily and by itself required for that production, and which is not constituted by the production or the product.8
Thus, like the cause of any effect, the power source for any productive activity cannot be a mere circumstance for that activity, nor can it be the activity, the product, or anything constituted by the activity or product. Rather, it is just the absolute thing which, given an appropriate set of circumstances, then no matter what else is posited, it must be posited in order to also posit the productive activity in question (and, conversely, when it is not posited, that activity cannot be posited either).
What, then, is the power source for the Father’s reproductive activity? That is, assuming that the right circumstances are present in God, what must be posited in order to also posit the production of the Son? To this, Ockham points out that since all activities ultimately stem from the power of absolute things, the Father’s reproductive activity must stem from something absolute too. But of course, the only absolute thing in the Godhead is the divine essence itself, so at the very least, the divine essence is required for the Son’s production.9
But is anything else required? As Ockham sees it, the answer is no, for apart from the divine essence, the only other constituent in the Father is his fatherhood. But that cannot be the source of his reproductive activity, for as we saw in section 13.2, Ockham believes that fatherhood just is the Father’s reproductive activity, and nothing can be the source of itself. Besides, as we saw in section 13.1, Ockham maintains that no relationships are needed to empower activity.10 By Ockham’s reckoning then, the only thing that could possibly be the source of the Father’s reproductive activity is the divine essence itself.
However, this might lead one to wonder: if the divine essence is all we need to posit in order to also posit the production of the Son, then wouldn’t the divine essence itself directly produce the Son? Indeed, Ockham’s T45 typically identifies that which actually produces the effect in question (e.g. the heat in a flame). So wouldn’t T45 identify the divine essence as the Son’s producer?
Again, Ockham says no, for like Scotus, Ockham maintains that the producer and product of any given production must be really distinct (for if a product were the very same thing as its producer, the producer would not need to produce it in the first place):
For any x and y,
if x produces y by a production P,
x and y are really distinct.
The divine essence, however, is not really distinct from the Son, nor his sonship. In fact, the divine essence is not really distinct from anything in God, so the divine essence cannot produce anything in the Godhead. Consequently, the divine essence merely provides the power to reproduce; it cannot reproduce itself.11
But if the divine essence does not produce the Son, then who or what does? The answer we are looking for, obviously, is a divine person, namely the Father. However, this might lead one to think that the Father must come to exist before he produces the Son—not prior in time, but prior at least in the order of explanation.12
Unfortunately, Ockham does not think this line of reasoning is open to him. As he sees it, apart from the divine essence, there is nothing in God except internal productive activity (i.e. the activities that result in the Son and Spirit). Consequently, a distinct producer and product in God can only be constituted by the divine essence and that productive activity, for those are the only available constituents.13
Ockham believes, though, like any good medieval Aristotelian, that there is an active and passive side to any given production, and these are distinct (for producing another is not the same thing as being produced yourself). So, thinks Ockham, the active and passive sides of a divine production must be what constitute, along with the divine (p.182) essence, distinct persons, one of whom will be the producer, and the other of whom will be the product.14
For Ockham then, we should not think that the Father is constituted naturally prior to the Son’s production. Indeed, besides the divine essence, there is nothing else that could constitute the Father, apart from that very production. Hence, the Father must come to exist simultaneously (or better: eternally) with his reproductive activity, as must the Son.15 When it comes to divine reproduction, there is just the divine essence and reproductive activity, and all together that constitutes a distinct producer and a distinct product (namely, the Father and the Son).
14.3. Productive Acts Are Not Produced
Still, where does God’s internal productive activity come from, if not a person? Ockham maintains that God’s productive activity does not “come from” anything, as if it were produced in some way. This comes out most clearly when Ockham discusses a particular view of Peter Aureol.
Peter argues that productive acts are not “elicited” in God at all.16 As he sees it, if a productive act were to come forth from a divine person, then that act would itself have to be produced. But this, Peter argues, is a mistake. We should not think that, say, the Father first (p.183) causes a reproductive act to come forth, and then, secondly, that this act results in the Son.17
Now, one might think that Peter is worried about an infinite regress. Indeed, one could easily argue that if a productive act were itself produced, then that act would also have to be produced by a further productive act, and so on ad infinitum. But this is not Peter’s concern, at least not in this context.
Like all his contemporaries, Peter maintains that each divine person includes two constituents: the divine essence and a personal property. Like Ockham though, Peter believes that the Father’s fatherhood is nothing more than his reproductive activity.18 That is, fatherhood is just the act of producing a son, so on Peter’s view, the Father is constituted by (i) the divine essence, and (ii) his reproductive activity.
Suppose then, that the Father’s reproductive act were itself produced. If that were so, then one of the Father’s constituents would be produced, and as Peter sees it, that would mean that the Father himself would be produced. After all, the Father is a father, formally speaking, in virtue of his fatherhood, so if his fatherhood were to come into being by being produced, then the Father would come into being by being produced too. But of course, the Father is not produced, so by Peter’s reckoning, the Father’s reproductive activity cannot “come forth” from anything in any way.19
Perhaps we can recast Peter’s reasoning roughly as follows. Peter is thinking that the Father is constituted by his reproductive activity, so if that activity were to “come forth,” then before it came forth, there (p.184) would be no Father. But when that reproductive activity comes into being, it would then constitute the Father. Thus, the Father would “come forth” as that reproductive activity “comes forth.” But of course, the Father does not “come forth” from anything, so his reproductive activity cannot “come forth” from anything either.20
In response, Ockham points out that “coming forth” can have two meanings. Sometimes, says Ockham, we talk about products “coming forth” from their producers, as for instance when we say that the heat in a pot of water comes forth from the heat source that warms it. But other times we talk about actions “coming forth” from their agents, as when we say that an act of heating comes forth from a flame. In the first sense, that which “comes forth” really is produced, but this is not so in the second sense, for when we talk about actions, we are simply talking about the activity by which one thing produces another.21
Ockham then claims that the Father’s reproductive activity “comes forth” only in the second sense, not the first. That is, when we talk about the Father’s reproductive activity, we are not talking about something that is produced; we are simply talking about the activity by which the Son is produced.22
Peter, on the other hand, is clearly thinking of “coming forth” in the first sense, for he assumes that if any reproductive activity were to “come forth” at all, then it would have to “come forth” as a product.23 (p.185) But Ockham simply denies that. For Ockham, the act of producing the Son does indeed “come forth,” but only in the way that actions are that by which agents bring about effects, and actions are not products.24
Yet even though Ockham disagrees with Peter’s argumentation, he agrees with the basic conclusion, namely that God’s internal productive activity is not produced in any way. Rather, it is just “there,” so to speak, as the activity by which a divine person is produced. For Ockham then, there is just the divine essence and God’s internal productive activity, and that constitutes distinct producers and products.
Still, one might think that Ockham’s account here is rather unsatisfying. For Ockham maintains that reproductive activity constitutes the Father, and surely constituents are prior in some way to what they constitute. But that makes it looks as if first there is some kind of reproductive activity in God, without a reproducer, and then second that this activity constitutes the Father.
But surely it should be the other way around: surely there must first be a producer, and then productive activity. After all, it is hard to imagine any activity at all without someone or something to enact it. Again, though, Ockham does not think this line of reasoning is open to him, for he would say, “Look, there is nothing in God except the divine essence and productive activity, so those are the only entities that could possibly constitute the divine persons. We just have to make due with that.”
And indeed, like all his contemporaries, Ockham has no choice but to accept this. For by any standard Aristotelian analysis of the sort that Ockham and his contemporaries employ, agents are normally constituted naturally prior to their activities, but in the Godhead, it is the other way around: the persons are constituted by their (productive) activities. Thus, anyone in Ockham’s shoes has to either reject the Aristotelian analysis, or modify it in some way.
According to Ockham then, the source of the Father’s reproductive power is that which is required for the existence of the Son, and that is just the divine essence. Nevertheless, the divine essence cannot produce the Son, for any producer must be distinct from its product, and the divine essence is not distinct in the Father and Son. Hence, the mutually opposed active and passive sides of divine begetting are required to constitute a distinct producer and a product, and the same applies to the Spirit’s production.
Still, as we have seen, Ockham believes that the active and passive sides of divine production simply distinguish the producer and product. They are not produced, and they do not “determine” the divine essence in any way. So although Henry, Scotus, and Ockham all agree that the divine essence is the absolute basis for all divine activity, Henry argues that the source of the Father’s reproductive activity (and likewise the source of the Father’s and Son’s act of producing the Spirit) consists in the divine essence plus its relationship with that activity, while Scotus and Ockham maintain that it consists simply in the divine essence itself.
(1) Ockham, Ordinatio [= Ord.], 1.7.1 (OTh 3: 114.19–23): “dico quod sicut ratio causandi est illud quod exsistens in aliquo vel in se potest esse causa effectus, omni illo quod non est causa eiusdem effectus circumscripto, vel quod requiritur ad esse alterius et quod non constituitur ex ipsa causatione seu causato.”
(2) For a thorough discussion of the texts and issues, see Adams, Ockham, 2: 741–98.
(3) Ockham, Ord., 1.45.un. (OTh 4: 664.20–665.3): “quamvis non intendam dicere universaliter quid sit causa immediata, dico tamen quod istud sufficit ad hoc quod aliquid sit causa immediata, scilicet quod illa re absoluta posita ponatur effectus, et ipsa non posita,—omnibus aliis concurrentibus quantum ad omnes condiciones et dispositiones consimiles—, non ponitur effectus. Unde omne quod est tale respectu alicuius est causa illius.” Note, however, that Ockham formulates this claim in a variety of ways throughout his works, some of which are more compatible than others. For fuller discussion, see Adams, Ockham, 2: 746–50.
(4) Aristotle, Physics, 2.3, 195a32–b2 (AL 7.1: 60.6–11; cf. Iunt. 4: 61vM-62rA): “Amplius autem sicut accidens et horum genera, ut statue aliter Policlitus et aliter statuam faciens, quoniam accidit statuam facienti Policliti esse. Et continentes autem accidens, ut si homo causa sit statue et omnino animal. Sunt autem et accidentium alie aliis longius et magis propius, ut si albus et musicus causa dicantur statue.”
(5) Ockham, Ord., 1.2.10 (OTh 2: 345.15–24): “Sed causa per se est illud quod causat non per aliquid aliud realiter distinctum sed per se, ita quod ipso posito, omni alio circumscripto quod non est causa in alio genere causae, poterit sequi effectus. Et isto modo ipse calor est causa per se caloris, quia ipso posito, et omni alio amoto quod non habet rationem causae, poterit sequi calor in passo disposito et approximato; et ideo calor per se causat calorem, quia non per aliud. Et isto modo ipsa anima intellectiva per se causat intellectionem et volitionem, quia non per aliud, nisi secundum quod ly per notat circumstantiam causae partialis concurrentis.”
(6) Ockham, Ord., 1.2.10 (OTh 2: 344.21–345.14): “Et ideo potest dici quod causa per accidens est illud quod agit per aliquid aliud ab eo; sed tale non est nisi subiectum vel totum habens partem qua agit. Et isto modo potest dici quod ignis per accidens calefacit, et eodem modo quod calidum per accidens calefacit. Et isto modo potest dici quod homo per accidens ratiocinatur; et similiter totum per accidens agit, quando actio sibi non convenit nisi mediante parte sua. Et ratio istius est quia illud dicitur per accidens competere alicui quo amoto nihil minus potest esse, sed igne destructo et reservato calore nihilominus poterit sequi calefactio, quia, sicut ostendetur in quarto, accidens actu separatum ita potest agere sicut coniunctum. Eodem modo illa actio quae competit homini mediante anima intellectiva poterit ita elici ab anima separata sicut a coniuncta; et ideo actio quae primo convenit parti, dicitur convenire toti per accidens, quia convenit sibi per aliud. Similiter actio primo competens accidenti dicitur convenire suo subiecto per accidens, quia per aliud. Et ita large accipiendo ‘per accidens,’ secundum quod est idem quod ‘per aliud realiter distinctum,’ sic potest concedi tam de subiecto accidentis quam de toto, cuius parti primo convenit actio, quod est agens per accidens, et eodem modo quod est causa per accidens.”
(7) Ockham does not, so far as I know, ever offer a formal definition for a cause (though he does say that a cause is that which has the power to bring about its effect, see Quaestiones in Librum Quartum Sententiarum, 4.1 (OTh 7: 17.14–16): “dico quod de ratione causae est quod possit virtute propria ad eam sequi effectus ex natura rei et naturaliter”). Hence, T45 is not a definition for a cause. But Ockham would regard T45 as the best criterion for identifying a cause. Hence, Ord., 1.45.un. (OTh 4: 665.3–10): “Quod autem illud sufficiat ad hoc quod aliquid sit causa alterius, videtur esse manifestum. Quia si non, perit omnis via ad cognoscendum aliquid esse causam alterius immediatam. Nam si ex hoc quod hoc posito sequitur effectus, et hoc non posito non ponitur effectus, non sequitur illud esse causam illius effectus, nullo modo potest cognosci quod ignis sit causa caloris in ligno, quia potest dici quod est aliqua alia causa illius caloris, quae tamen non agit nisi in praesentia ignis.” For more discussion on this, see Adams, Ockham, 2: 750–4.
(8) Ockham, Ord., 1.7.1 (OTh 3: 114.23–6): “ita principium elicitivum alicuius actionis vel passionis vel productionis est illud quod necessario et per se requiritur ad illam productionem et non constituitur nec ex productione nec ex producto.”
(9) Ockham, Ord., 1.7.1 (OTh 3: 114.26–115.4): “Et quia sola essentia divina requiritur ad generationem activam et passivam, et spirationem activam et passivam, vel saltem solum aliquid absolutum, isto modo, ideo praecise aliquid absolutum est ratio eliciendi istas productiones tam activas quam passives.”
(10) Ockham, Ord., 1.7.1 (OTh 3: 114.11–18): “nullus respectus rationis potest esse principium elicitivum vel determinativum alicuius actionis realis…Nec etiam respectus realis potest esse principium elicitivum vel determinativum, sicut prius probatum est. Igitur, nullum respectus est ibi [viz. in divinis] principium elicitivum vel determinativum.”
(11) Ockham, Ord., 1.7.1 (OTh 3: 115.4–7): “Sed quia ista essentia [divina] a nulla istarum [productionarum] realiter distinguitur—et semper inter principium et principiatum est realis distinctio—ideo essentia non est quod agit, sed est quo agit”; ibid., (OTh 3: 132.11–13): “dico quod omnis productio est a principio distinctivo tamquam ab illo quod producit, non tamquam ab illo quo producit.”
(12) As Ockham puts it on behalf of an objector, Ord., 1.7.1 (OTh 3: 117.11–12, 14–16): “quod non est principium formale nisi ex hoc quod est aliquid suppositi…Sed essentia divina non est principium formale elicitivum generationis nisi ex hoc quod est aliquid suppositi Patris.”
(13) For instance, when speaking of the Father, Ockham explains in Ord., 1.7.1 (OTh 3: 130.15–20) that “quando dicitur quod ‘essentia non est principium formale nisi ut est aliquid suppositi’, ista propositio potest intelligi bene et male. Si enim intelligatur quod requiritur aliquod suppositi tamquam praevium supposito vel generationi, sic est simpliciter falsa. Quia nihil est praevium, nec aliquid quocumque modo distinctum a supposito et a generatione illa, nisi essentia praecise.”
(14) Ockham, Ord., 1.7.1 (OTh 3: 115.7–10): “Et quia, non obstante identitate reali inter essentiam [divinam] et istas productiones [e.g. generationem activam et passivam], tamen propter distinctionem realem istarum productionum inter se [essentia] constituit cum ipsis supposita distincta realiter, ideo unum illorum erit producens et aliud productum”; ibid., (OTh 3: 132.9–10): “propter distinctionem realem paternitatis et filiationis, et quia cum ipsis essentia constituit distincta supposita.”
(15) Ockham, Ord., 1.7.1 (OTh 3: 130.8–14): “dico quod, posito quod essentia non esset principium formale nisi ex hoc quod est aliquid suppositi, bene requireretur aliquid aliud ad hoc quod essentia esset principium formale, non tamen tamquam determinativum et praevium generationi, sed tamquam actio vel productio cuius illud principium formale deberet esse principium elicitivum, quia nihil est in supposito nisi essentia et illa generatio cuius est principium elicitivum.”
(16) Peter Aureol, Sent., 1.5.17, nn. 90–1 (ed. Buytaert, 2: 793.1–4): “considerandum est quod communis imaginatio circa istam materiam decipit opinantes propter duo. Primum quidem quia omnes imaginantur quod generatio in divinis sit aliquid elicitum.”
(17) Peter Aureol, Sent., 1.5.17, n. 101 (ed. Buytaert, 2: 796.123–7): “Imaginantes autem, quod generare eliciatur et profluat ab essentia [divina] tanquam a ratione formali…et idcirco omnes opinantes inde sumunt causam discedendi a vero”; ibid., 1.7.19, n. 53 (ed. Buytaert, 2: 850.13–18): “Sed in divinis generare et spirare non sunt productiones elicitae. Pater enim nihil habet elicitum aut entitatem accipiens…apparet impossibile quod generare et spirare sint productiones elicitae.”
(18) Peter Aureol, Sent., 1.7.19, n. 54 (ed. Buytaert, 2: 850.27–30): “Sed eadem est potentia qua potest generare et qua potest esse Pater. Idem est enim actus cum actu. Generare enim et paternitas eadem res sunt qua pater est actu pater. Et patet in omnibus quod eadem potentia qua quis potest generare, potest se facere patrem.”
(19) Peter Aureol, Sent., 1.5.17, n. 91 (ed. Buytaert, 2: 793.5–11): “Res quidem paternitatis non potest esse res quae capiat suam realitatem aliunde. Si enim caperet, tunc Pater constitueretur formaliter per rem productam et elicitam ac capientem aliunde originaliter entitatem; et per consequens Pater erit aliquid originatum et productum, cum sua forma sit originata; quod omnino erroneum est et absurdum. Impossibile est ergo quod realitas paternitatis sit aliunde originata, aut capiat suam realitatem ab aliquo causative.”
(20) Peter Aureol, Sent., 1.7.19, n. 66 (ed. Buytaert, 2: 854.165–70): “Praeterea, si generare proflueret ab aliqua potentia productiva, Pater esset quoddam possibile produci in quantum generare facit ipsum esse Patrem; et iterum Pater ageret in se causando in se generationem et spirationem, et infinita impossibilia quae sequuntur. Non igitur potest poni generare profluere a generativa potentia, tamquam a principio productivo formaliter.”
(21) Ockham, Ord., 1.7.1 (OTh 3: 118.5–15): “Ad primum istorum dico quod aequivocatio est de elicito. Aliquid enim dicitur elicitum quia est aliquid vere productum ab aliquo. Et sic dicimus quod calor est elicitus ab igne, quamvis hoc non sit communiter. Unde non dicimus communiter quod ignis elicit ignem, sed producit ignem, et elicit actum producendi ignem. Similiter, calor in igne est principium producendi calorem in ligno, et est principium eliciendi calefactionem qua calefacit lignum. Aliter dicitur aliquid elicitum esse illud quod denominat aliquid producere aliud, sicut calefactio dicitur elicita ab igne quia ignis calefactione denominatur calefacere lignum.”
(22) Ockham, Ord., 1.7.1 (OTh 3: 118.16–20): “Et quia Pater generatione activa dicitur generare Filium, ideo dicitur generatio activa ‘elicita’ isto secundo modo. Sed non primo modo, quia generatio activa non est aliqua realitas producta, sed est simpliciter improducta. Est tamen illud quo formaliter aliquid dicitur generare, et hoc est eam esse elicitam.”
(23) Peter Aureol, Sent., 1.7.19, n. 54 (ed. Buytaert, 2: 850.22–6): “posse esse patrem non est posse potentiae productivae…Si enim posse esse patrem caderet sub aliqua potentia productiva, necessario pater produceretur in esse Patrem in divinis, quod erroneum est.”
(24) Ockham, Ord., 1.7.1 (OTh 3: 119.9–14): “Igitur eodem modo potest dici quod generatio activa est elicita, quamvis non sit producta. Per hoc patet ad argumenta recitata [Petris]. Et eodem modo dicendum est ad alia quae fiunt, quod procedunt ac si poneretur quod paternitas vel generatio activa esset producta vel originata. Quod tamen non ponitur, sed dicitur actio elicita, modo exposito.”