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Extra resources for A Concise Introduction to the Philosophy of Nicholas of Cusa
In the context of II, 4 a more accurate translation would be: "For God is the Absolute Quiddity of the world, or universe. " 159 Nowhere does Nicholas teach that the universe is the contraction of God. Although God is maximum absolutum and the universe is a maximum contractum, nevertheless maximum contractum is not maximum absolutum contractum. Similarly, although God is the quidditas absoluta of the world and although omne actu exsistens in deo est, quia ipse actus omnium,160 the world is not deus contractus, notcontractio 38 Introduction del.
169 Still, none of them disclose to us, as He is, the Unnameable God. 40 Introduction So in spite of all his interest in mathematics and metaphysics, Nicholas can still consider philosophy to be the handmaiden of theology, as the conclusion of De Possest testifies: Unless by His own light He expels the darkness and reveals Himself, He remains completely unknown to all who seek Him by way of reason and intellect. , [those who seek Him] by that way which we were taught by our only master, Christ, the Son of God, the living way, the sole revealer of His own father (who is our omnipotent Creator).
Instead of dealing with these issues along philosophical lines, Nicholas simply begs a number of philosophical issues by invoking the creator/ creation distinction. This move manifests that he does not aim to formulate an apologetic on behalf of a theistic metaphysic but intends only to detail, informally, certain features of his own version of such a metaphysic. In De Possest he more or less takes the existence of God as nonproblematical and seeks to explain how it is that we can mount up to God on the basis of the visible world.