Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81:217-230 (2007)
The aim of this paper is to explain Scotus’s transformation of the Aristotelian view on the difference between rational and irrational potencies. In Metaphysics 9, 2 Aristotle establishes the distinction between rational and nonrational powers and explains their difference in terms of their being ad opposita and ad unum, respectively. In his interpretation Scotus concludes that the most basic division between active principles is the difference between nature and will, rather than the difference between univocal and equivocal agents. Thus, the Aristotelian distinction between rational and non-rational powers has now become a distinction between nature and will. And the criterion for such a difference no longer lies in the contrast between ad unum and ad opposita, but rather is based on the twofold way the potencies can elicit their acts. Therefore, according to Scotus, the key difference between nature and will is the distinction between autonomy and heteronomy
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