By Thomas Williams
The Cambridge spouse to Duns Scotus. Edited by means of: Thomas Williams. Cambridge collage Press, 2003. 426 pages (Cambridge partners to Philosophy). ISBN: 9780521635639
Each quantity during this sequence of partners to significant philosophers includes especially commissioned essays via a global staff of students, including a considerable bibliography, and should function a reference paintings for college kids and non-specialists. One objective of the sequence is to dispel the intimidation such readers frequently believe whilst confronted with the paintings of a tough and hard philosopher. John Duns Scotus (1265/6–1308) used to be (along with Aquinas and Ockham) one of many 3 vital figures in medieval philosophy and theology, with a power on glossy inspiration arguably even more than that of Aquinas. The essays during this quantity systematically survey the total diversity of Scotus' inspiration. They take care to provide an explanation for the technical info of his writing in lucid phrases and reveal the relevance of his paintings to modern philosophical debate. New readers will locate this the best and available consultant to Scotus presently to be had.
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Additional info for The Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)
Finite being divides immediately into the ten categories. 3. 3, a modal distinction is less than a formal distinction, for differences in modes do not affect the formal content of that of which they are the modes. Hence, modal distinctions cannot function as differentiae and so are not related to their subjects as to genera. This conclusion seems correct. Different intensities of whiteness are not different in kind, but merely different in degree. In the present case, Scotus infers that being cannot be a genus, since its distinguishing features are modes rather than differentiae.
The Primary Object of a Science The per se object of something is that to which it applies by its nature. For example, when Jones sees a black sheep, his power of vision is actualized by the particular blackness of the sheep’s wool, which is therefore the per se object of his seeing; the sheep itself is “seen” only accidentally or incidentally. Likewise, the per se object of building is the house that is built; the builder may also become strong through his physical labor, but health is not what building is about by definition, even if it is a result of construction.
God, angels, and substances are all considered in metaphysics to the extent that they are beings, but they are no more the primary object of metaphysics than triangles are of geometry. Scotus admits that God and substance are special to metaphysics in another sense, however. For substance is more of a being than accident, and God is more complete and perfect – the words are the same in Latin – than any other being. 12 But neither of these proposals is to be confused with Scotus’s fundamental thesis that the primary object of metaphysics is being.