Duns Scotus, Metaphysician

Duns Scotus, Metaphysician

William A. Frank
Allan B. Wolter
Copyright Date: 1995
Published by: Purdue University Press
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wq41t
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Duns Scotus, Metaphysician
    Book Description:

    Long recognized as one of the greatest medieval philosophical theologians, John Duns Scotus made his most innovative theoretical contributions in the area of metaphysics. A careful and detailed study of his argument for the existence of God and the theory of knowledge that makes this possible provides the most direct access to his basic ideas. Unlike the Five Ways of Thomas Aquinas or Anselm's famous Proslogion argument, Scotus's proof is of another order of complexity and amounts to a little "summa" of his metaphysics. Among those theologians to accept Aristotle's scientific theory, Scotus is perhaps the first to realize fully its negative consequences if the philosophical doctrines of divine illumination and the analogical concept of being interact. His treatment of the God-question is distinguished for its deliberatively holistic approach to what was conventionally a series of unrelated topics.

    eISBN: 978-1-61249-044-1
    Subjects: Philosophy, Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. CHAPTER ONE Life and Works
    (pp. 1-17)

    In the Conventual Franciscan Church in Cologne, the ornate catafalque containing the mortal remains of John Duns Scotus bears the inscription “Scotia me genuit, Anglia me suscepit, Gallia me docuit, Colonia me tenet.” Taken from the opening lines of a poem honoring this philosopher and theologian, this epitaph reads in English translation: “Scotland begot me, England reared me, France taught me, Cologne holds my remains.” This capsule biography may serve to organize the relatively few details we know of the life of this intellectual giant, who was known to his contemporaries as the “Subtle Doctor” and regarded as father of...

  5. CHAPTER TWO The Nature of Metaphysics
    (pp. 18-39)

    Sic, si omnes homines natura scire desiderant, ergo maxime scientiam maxime desiderabunt. Ita arguit Philosophus I huius cap. 2.¹ Et ibidem subdit: “quae sit maxime scientia, illa scilicet quae est circa maxime scibilia.” Maxime autem dicuntur scibilia dupliciter: vel quia primo omnium sciuntur sine quibus non possunt alia sciri; vel quia sunt certissima cognoscibilia. Utroque autem modo considerat ista scientia maxime scibilia. Haec igitur est maxime scientia, et per consequens maxime desiderabilis….

    [M]axime scibilia primo modo sunt communissima, ut ens in quantum ens, et quaecumque consequuntur ens in quantum ens. Dicit enim Avicenna IMetaphysicaecap. 5 a² quod “ens...

  6. CHAPTER THREE Parisian Proof for the Existence of God
    (pp. 40-107)

    Circa esse Dei propono tres quaestiones. Prima est utrum sit aliquod ens primum simpliciter in universitate entium; secunda utrum primitas simpliciter possit competere entibus alterius rationis; tertia utrum sit aliquod ens simpliciter et actu infinitum….

    Quantum ad quaestiones istas, primo ostendo quis sit ordo inter illas, secundo quomodo una dependet ab alia.

    Quantum ad primum dico quod, ut dictum est prius, de Deo secundum nullum conceptum nobis possibilem de eo in via est per se notum de eo esse [nec notum] demonstratione propter quid, quia medium ad demonstrandum de eo esse est nobis ignotum, scilicet essentia Dei ut haec vel...

  7. CHAPTER FOUR Three Questions about Knowledge
    (pp. 108-183)

    Dico¹ ergo primo quod non tantum haberi potest conceptus naturaliter in quo quasi per accidens concipitur Deus, puta in aliquo attributo, sed etiam aliquis conceptus in quo per se et quiditative concipiatur Deus. —Probo, quia concipiendo “sapientem” concipitur proprietas, secundum eum, vel quasi proprietas, in actu secundo perficiens naturam; ergo intelligendo “sapientem” oportet praeintelligere aliquod “quid” cui intelligo istud quasi proprietatem inesse, et ita ante conceptus omnium passionum vel quasi passionum oportet quaerere conceptum quiditativum cui intelligantur ista attribui: et iste conceptus alius erit quiditativus de Deo, quia in nullo alio potest esse status.

    Secundo dico quod non tantum in...

  8. CHAPTER FIVE Two Metaphysical Questions
    (pp. 184-208)

    Sicut¹ dictum est in solutione primae quaestionis (de hac materia) quod natura prius est naturaliter quam haec natura, et unitas propria—consequens naturam ut natura—est prior naturaliter unitate eius ut haec natura; et sub ista ratione est consideratio metaphysica de natura, et assignatur definitio eius, et sunt propositiones per se primo modo. In eodem igitur quod est unum numero, est aliqua entitas, quam consequitur minor unitas quam sit unitas numeralis, et est realis; et illud cuius est talis unitas, formaliter est “de se unum” unitate numerali. Concedo igitur quod unitas realis non est alicuius exsistentis in duobus individuis, sed...

  9. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 209-218)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 219-232)