David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 80 (2):162-181 (1998)
Scotus is notorious for occasionally making statements that, on their face at least, smack of voluntarism, but there has been a lively debate about whether Scotus is really a voluntarist after all. Now the debate is not over whether Scotus lays great emphasis on the role of the divine will with respect to the moral law. No one could sensibly deny that he does, and if such an emphasis constitutes voluntarism, then no one could sensibly deny that Scotus is a voluntarist. As I am using the word, however, voluntarism is the view that (i) the goodness of almost all things, as well as the rightness of almost all acts, depends wholly on the divine will and (ii) what God wills with respect to those things and those acts is not in turn to be explained by reference to the divine intellect, human nature, or anything else. This is the view that Scotus’s critics decry and his defenders disclaim. Thus, his critics have seized on these passages and accused Scotus of believing that the moral law depends simply on “the arbitrary will of God.” His most sympathetic interpreters, however, have devoted great ingenuity to showing that Scotus did not mean anything unpalatable by these statements.1 What the critics and defenders apparently have in common is the view that voluntarism is an implausible and even discreditable doctrine. Interpreters who read Scotus as a voluntarist intend thereby to damn his moral views; interpreters sympathetic to his moral views feel compelled to mitigate his voluntarism. I wish to argue for a different approach. I agree with his defenders that Scotus’s moral philosophy ought to be taken seriously. But I think the best way to take any philosopher’s view seriously is to let him speak for himself, not to decide in advance that he must not have held a view that we find implausible. Let me suggest an analogy that will make my position clearer. Very nearly everyone finds immaterialism implausible.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Jeffrey K. Mcdonough (2011). The Heyday of Teleology and Early Modern Philosophy. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 35 (1):179-204.
Similar books and articles
Richard Cross (1999). Duns Scotus. Oxford University Press.
Richard Cross (1998). The Physics of Duns Scotus: The Scientific Context of a Theological Vision. Clarendon Press.
Giorgio Pini (2005). Scotus's Realist Conception of the Categories: His Legacy to Late Medieval Debates. Vivarium 43 (1):63-110.
Stephen D. Dumont (1992). Transcendental Being: Scotus and Scotists. Topoi 11 (2):135-148.
Michael D. Robinson (2009). Truth in Metaphysics. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 83 (4):467-490.
Tobias Hoffmann (2009). Duns Scotus on the Origin of the Possibles in the Divine Intellect. In Stephen F. Brown, Thomas Dewender & Theo Kobusch (eds.), Philosophical Debates at Paris in the Early Fourteenth Century. Brill.
Richard Cross (2010). Recent Work on the Philosophy of Duns Scotus. Philosophy Compass 5 (8):667-675.
Allan B. Wolter (2003). The Unshredded Scotus. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 77 (3):315-356.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads19 ( #94,211 of 1,102,060 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #306,606 of 1,102,060 )
How can I increase my downloads?