John Duns Scotus (/66–) was one of the most important and The Ordinatio, which Scotus seems to have been revising up to his. John Duns, commonly called Duns Scotus is generally considered to be one of the three most . The standard version is the Ordinatio (also known as the Opus oxoniense), a revised version of lectures he gave as a bachelor at Oxford. Marenbon, J. (). Duns Scotus, Ordinatio, Prologue, part 1, qu. unica. [Other].

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God, being simple, is not limited by matter. But Scotus thinks we can have a positive conception of infinity, according to which infinity is not a negative, relational property, but instead a positive, intrinsic property.

But this ‘something included’ is a positive entity from the solution of the second question [Note ecotus and makes a per se unity with the nature from the solution of the fourth question [Note 7] ; therefore it is a per se determinant scotu the nature to singularity, or to the ratio of that inferior. Political and Economic PhilosophySt. The argument is enormously complex, with several sub-arguments for almost every important conclusion, and I can only sketch it here.

Instead, Peter Lombard ‘s original text was used as a starting point for highly original discussions on topics of theological or philosophical interest. Therefore, quantity is per se the principle of one according to number, just as form.

So besides being the next best thing to a simple concept, it’s the most theoretically fruitful concept we can have of God in this life. For it [divine simplicity] not only does not accept with sctus a composition of thing and thing, actual and potential, but neither also actual reality with potential reality: Scotus rejected the distinction.

Aquinas had argued that in all finite being i. What this entity is from which there is this perfect unity can be clarified by comparison with the entity from which the specific difference is taken.

But what is not in itself distinct or diverse cannot be the first ratio [Note 1] of the diversity or distinction of something else; but matter is an altogether indistinct and indeterminate foundation of the nature; sccotus it cannot be the first ratio of the distinction or diversity of something else.

Scoyus was still incomplete when Scotus left for Paris in For according to the Philosopher, Physics I [ a32 – b5], ‘substance is of itself indivisible’, speaking of parts of the same ratio – and yet, upon the advent of quantity, it is divisible into such parts – indeed it then has such parts. In his Ordinatio I. But sometimes it is not another thing, but only another formality or another formal concept of the same thing. Things really get complicated when we come to Scotus’s commentaries on the four books of Sentences of Peter Lombard, since he commented on the Sentences more than once and revised his lectures over a long period; the relations among the various versions that have come down to us are not always clear.


His family name was Duns, which was also the name of the Scottish village in which he was born, just a few miles from the English border. To Henry’s first argument he replies that there is no certainty to be had by knowing a mutable object as immutable.

In an accidentally ordered series, the fact that a given member of that series is itself caused is accidental to that member’s own causal activity. Or is there nothing metaphysically common duhs them at all?

Authors/Duns Scotus/Ordinatio

So while there might be some reasons why God chose the laws he chose, there is no fully adequate reason, no total explanation. With that distinction in mind, we can examine Scotus’s argument for the existence of a first efficient cause:.

Scotus argued that if our thinking were fallible in the way Henry had believed, such illumination could not, even in principle, ensure dun and pure knowledge. Why does Scotus make this crucial change? And since we cannot look to the uncreated exemplar by our natural powers, certainty is impossible apart from some special divine illumination.

John Duns Scotus

However, ordjnatio De Primo Principio version concludes with this argument. The matter is the same in the generated [thing] and in the corrupted; therefore it has the same singularity in the generated and in the corrupted. The problem of universals may ordinato thought of as the question of what, if anything, is the metaphysical basis of our using the same predicate for more than one distinct individual. Open access to the SEP is made possible by a world-wide funding initiative. The most important, I think, is that in Aquinas simplicity acts as an ontological spoilsport for theological semantics.

Third, Scotus holds that some substances have more than one substantial form Ordinatio 4, d. For example, my shoulders move my arms, which in turn move my golf club. It is not possible for there to be an accidentally ordered series of causes unless there is an essentially ordered series. His reputation suffered during the English reformationprobably due to its association with the Franciscans.


Now he argues from the possibility of production. If it is possible that something is a first agent, something is a first agent. Therefore it follows upon some other entity that determines this one, and together with the entity of the nature it makes something one per se because the whole of which this is the unity is perfect of itself. Now take the predicates that are left. In the first way the individual is not composite with respect to the specific nature, because it adds [to the specific nature] no reality because neither matter nor form nor composite, as the argument [in ] proceeds.

It does include some material now known to be inauthentic, and it prints as Book 1 of the Reportatio what is actually the Additiones magnae compiled and edited by Scotus’s student and secretary, William of Alnwick. Most 13th-century Franciscans followed Bonaventurabut the influence of Scotus as well as that of his arch-rival William of Ockham spread in the fourteenth century. This argument – which proves the unity of the heavens from the unity of the mover, and the unity of the mover not only in species but in number, because it does not have matter – would not seem sound unless numerical distinction came about through matter; therefore etc.

John Duns Scotus

Aquinas denied both that Aristotle intended to posit otdinatio and that it could exist on its own. Phantasms do not, however, become irrelevant once the intelligible species has been abstracted. Any item possessing C without dependence on some prior item is a first agent i. Scotus has his own terminology for whatever ordinahio is scotuus every respect better to be than not to be.

An English translation and preliminary Latin edition through distinction Notabilia Scoti super Metaphysicam: This very valuable bibliography of work on Duns Scotus is maintained by Tobias Hoffmann. The Franciscan Institute, That this possibility is in fact realized, however, is something we can know only through faith. Ingham, Mary Beth, et al. It is not efficiency as a physical attribute, however, but efficiency as the metaphysician considers it that provides a more effective way of proving God’s existence, for there are more attributes in metaphysics than in zcotus whereby the existence of God can be established.

But intellectual appetite is free because the intellect deals with universals, not particulars.