There are two general routes that Augustine suggests in De Trinitate, XV, 14-16, 23-25, for a psychological account of the Father's intellectual generation of the Word. Thomas Aquinas and Henry of Ghent, in their own ways, follow the first route; JohnDunsScotus follows the second. Aquinas, Henry, and Scotus's psychological accounts entail different theological opinions. For example, Aquinas (but neither Henry nor Scotus) thinks that the Father needs the Word to know the divine essence. (...) If we compare the theological views entailed by their psychologies we find a trajectory from Aquinas, through Henry, and ending with Scotus. This theological trajectory falsifies a judgment that every Augustinian psychology of the divine persons amounts to a pre-Nicene functional Trinitarianism. This study makes clear how one's awareness of the theological views entailed by these psychologies enables one to assess more thoroughly psychological accounts of the identity and distinction of the divine persons. (shrink)
The philosophical literature understands ontological priority in two ways, in terms of dependence, and in terms of degrees-of-being. These views are not reconcilable in any straightforward manner. However, they can be reconciled indirectly, if both are seen as instances of higher-level concept that is a modification of JohnDunsScotus' notion of essential order. The result is a theory of ontological priority that takes the form of a list of membership criteria for the class of "ontological priority (...) relations", of which dependence and degrees-of-being are just two examples. (shrink)
Abstract. This paper examines two views of free will. It looks first at the fourteenth-century religious insights of JohnDunsScotus, one of history's seminal thinkers about free will. It then examines what current neuroscience tells us about free will. Finally, it summarizes the past and present views and concludes by answering two questions: Does free will refer to an absence of external constraint, or does it refer to a human ability to decide in an acausal manner?
JohnDunsScotus (1265/66-1308) was one of the most important and influential philosophertheologians of the High Middle Ages. His brilliantly complex and nuanced thought, which earned him the nickname "the Subtle Doctor," left a mark on discussions of such disparate topics as the semantics of religious language, the problem of universals, divine illumination, and the nature of human freedom. This essay first lays out what is known about Scotus's life and the dating of his works. It (...) then offers an overview of some of his key positions in four main areas of philosophy: natural theology, metaphysics, the theory of knowledge, and ethics and moral psychology. (shrink)
In this much-anticipated work, distinguished authors Mary Beth Ingham and Mechthild Dreyer present an accessible introduction to the philosophy of the thirteenth century Franciscan JohnDunsScotus. Based on their expert knowledge of Scotus, this text brings together key insights of Scotus's theory of cognition, metaphysics, and ethics in a comprehensive and unified manner. The authors use critical texts and the most recent scholarship on Scotus to introduce the intricate vision of the Subtle Doctor (...) to a wide audience. This volume offers a point of entry into the world of medieval philosophy and its connection to questions belonging to natural theology: the existence of God, divine freedom, and perfection. It presents important historical information on Scotus himself, but additionally on the philosophical context in which he taught. The authors explicate his thought in light of the dominant questions of the late thirteenth century. The integrative and comprehensive presentation of the essential elements of Scotus's philosophical vision makes this book an excellent resource. Basic concepts are explained for the non-specialist, while helpful discussions of Scotus's conceptions will be useful for those already familiar with his work. Mary Beth Ingham is Professor of Philosophy and Associate Academic Vice President at Loyola Marymount University. In addition to numerous articles and reviews, her most recent works include Scotus for Dunces: An Introduction to the Subtle Doctor and The Harmony of Goodness: Mutuality and Moral Living According to JohnDunsScotus. Mechthild Dreyer, author of numerous works published in German, is Professor of Scholastic Philosophy at theUniversity of Mainz, Germany. Her recent works include Scotus's Theoremata (coedited with Hannes Mvhle)in Scotus Opera Philosophica, Vol. 2, and Nikolaus von Amiens: Ars fidei catholicae. (shrink)
The paper presents some basic tenets of the works by the Franciscan Friar Alfonso Briceño (1587–1668), as well as of his metaphysical thought. After offering the basic structure and purpose of his monumental Controversiae, we focus on a more specific way of seeing his philosophical and theological approach, namely Controversy 5 on the infinity of God. This will allow us to see the structure of his argumentation in philosophy and theology: after putting the formulation of controversial points between the Scotist (...) and the Thomist school, he analyzes arguments against the Thomist position both in the Medieval and Baroque traditions, trying then to defend DunsScotus’s account by a careful and articulated interpretation of his texts. (shrink)
I first examine JohnDunsScotus’ view of contingency, pure possibility, and created possibilities, and his version of the celebrated distinction between ordained and absolute power. Scotus’ views on ethical natural law and his account of induction are characterised, and their dependence on the preceding doctrines detailed. I argue that there is an inconsistency in his treatments of the problem of induction and ethical natural law. Both proceed with God’s contingently willed creation of a given order (...) of laws, which can be revoked and replaced with a new order of laws. In the case of ethical natural law God promulgated the Decalogue, for example; in the case of nature, there are physical laws that can be known by induction. Scotus exalts the freedom of God and the mutability of ethical natural law in order to explain exceptions to it disclosed by revelation (for example, the Old Testament command to Abraham to kill Isaac). Yet he treats ethical natural laws as (mostly) not universal and immutable. In contrast, he holds that we can arrive at knowledge of the universal and immutable laws of nature, except for those regularities that result from free will. Finally, I present several ways of characterising this tension between Scotus’ doctrines. (shrink)