Review of Metaphysics 57 (3):622-625 (2004)

In Hoffmann’s estimation, beginning with Henry of Ghent but only fully with Duns Scotus, a fundamental shift occurred in the Latin scholastic discussion of what had come to be called the “divine ideas.” Up to Henry and Scotus, the “common opinion” of scholastics was that divine ideas provided the intellectual vehicle by which God knew things other than himself, and the important problems to be resolved in their regard concerned the mechanics of creation and the vexing question of how to reconcile the multiplicity of what God knew, including the ideas, with divine simplicity. After Scotus, everything changed. Arguing that God alone, without any special enabling vehicle, sufficed to account for his own cognition, Scotus turned to conceiving the ideas as the objective content of God’s knowledge of things, irrespective of their existential status in the world. In so doing, he substituted for the old problems of creation and multiplicity within simplicity the new ones of the foundations for possibility and the ontological burdens of intelligibility.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph200457319
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