Review of Metaphysics 29 (4):727-728 (1976)

The way in which early followers of St. Thomas Aquinas interpreted or misinterpreted his metaphysical doctrines and works still needs much exploration, so a text edition and editor’s commentary of this kind is a most welcomed project, especially since Conrad of Prussia has possibly left us the earliest commentary on Aquinas’ De ente et essentia. The editing task is a precarious work, however, since Conrad’s commentary survives in only one known manuscript, located in the monastery library at Admont, Austria. The editors’ printed result thus has a number of flaws, but without a copy of the codex it is impossible to say which derive from the manuscript and which from the editors. Without a text a reviewer cannot legitimately correct, but can only suggest alternatives to evident mistakes. In the first lectio there is a very humorous flaw. Conrad is trying to prove that little mistakes can sometimes lead to big ones. The edited text illustrates: "omnis canis creditur, celeste sydus est canis, ergo celeste sidus creditur. Interum: quidquid creditur, habet pedes; celeste sydus, ut dictum est, creditur; ergo habet pedes. Ecce quot inconvenientia sequuntur ex uno modico errore." Creditur makes no sense: "Every dog is believed."? Currit does make sense: "Every dog runs." Unwittingly the editors prove the point the author wanted to make. By misreading or failing to correct the fundamental word currit so frequently it grew into a big error. It grew into an even bigger one later because Professor Bobik’s commentary on this text is an explanation based on this faulty text.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph197629460
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