Authors
Jeff Steele
Santa Clara University
Abstract
According to Duns Scotus, the First Table of the Decalogue contains only those moral propositions whose truth value is known from their terms alone, or conclusions that necessarily follow from them. As such, God cannot make a dispensation from them. In contrast, God can make dispensations from the Second Table precepts, since these precepts are not logical deductions following necessarily from the First Table. Nevertheless, they are “highly consonant” with it. However, Scotus does not explain what he means by saying the Second Table precepts are “highly consonant” with the First Table. Recently, Richard Cross and Oleg Bychkov have argued that consonance should be understood in terms of aesthetic considerations. This interpretation, however, falters in establishing that consonans ought to be construed aesthetically, and it contradicts explicit statements Scotus makes about divine freedom and what God can do: namely, it places constraints upon God’s will beyond mere logical possibility.
Keywords Duns Scotus Natural Law Aesthetics Decalogue
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DOI 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198786368.003.0004
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