Static Ideas, Active Locution

Yet another scholar highlighting the active character of the Anselmian locutio, Tetsuro Shimizu writes: 

“This idea of Anselm is in a sense remarkable, for it has traditionally been said—as Anselm himself says—that God created the world by His word or ‘speaking’ (Monol. cap. 12), or the Son is the Father’s word or ‘speaking’ (Monol. cap. 39-42). It was also said that the forma of each created thing was in God before creation as a word or ratio, but this was explained with a static image, e.g., as a primordial idea, and not as active locution. By contrast, here Anselm refers to this form as God’s ‘speaking’, which means that he explains the form in God not as a static knowledge residing in the memory, but as an act of thinking something. Here we can recognize the first aspect of the relationship between word and thing. There happened speaking [sic] something in God, but the object of speaking was not there. By apprehending the point as speaking and not as word, the emphasis is put on the side of the act of speaking, or the agent, and not to the thing or fact that is spoken of.” Tetsuro Shimizu, “Word and Esse in Anselm and Abelard,” in G.E.M Gasper and H. Kohlenberger, eds., Anselm and Abelard: Investigations and Juxtapositions (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies [2006]), 180.


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