Jacques Maritain Center : A History of Western Philosophy Vol. II / by Ralph McInerny

The Fourteenth Century

Chapter II

John Duns Scotus

A. The Man and His Work

John Duns, the Scot, was born about 1266 and entered the Franciscan convent at Dumfries in 1277. Extremely little is known of his early life; there is controversy about his birthplace, where he joined the Franciscans, and so forth. It is held that he lectured on the Sentences of Peter Lombard both at Cambridge and at Oxford, at the latter university about 1300. He taught at Paris from 1302 to 1303, was exiled because of the part he took in a dispute between king and pope, but was back in Paris in 1304. In 1307 he was sent to the Franciscan house of studies in Cologne, where he died the following year, 1308. Meager facts, no doubt, and facts about a brief life, but Duns Scotus, called the Subtle Doctor, is a most important figure despite the brevity of his career.

The writings of Scotus are of difficult access for a number of reasons, although we now have reason to hope that reliable texts of all his works will be forthcoming. The great difficulty concerns Scotus' commentary on the Sentences. He commented on this work at Cambridge, Oxford, and Paris. The so-called Opus Oxoniense grows out of his Oxford lectures, but was continued and worked over in Paris; also called the Ordinatio, it seems to have been an effort to incorporate in one commentary what was best from Scotus' various expositions of the Sentences. A critical edition of the Ordinatio began to appear in 1950. Besides his commentaries on the Sentences, Scotus produced some Quaestiones quodlibetales and Quaestiones subtilissimae in metaphysicam; the Collationes, conferences given at Paris and Oxford; and logical works based on Porphyry's Isagoge and Aristotle's Categories, On Interpretation, and Sophistical Refutations. A little work on the First Cause, Tractatus de primo principio, is of particular importance, not least because it seems to be a late work. The so-called Theoremata is of disputed authenticity; those who favor its authenticity feel that Scotus blocked it out, perhaps dictated it. Like the work on the First Principle, it is valuable for determining Scotus' thinking on the reach of reason with respect to knowledge of God. The writings of Scotus strike us as inchoative rather than complete, as elements of a developed view rather than that development. But such a judgment refers to them as a totality. Particular treatments, individual discussions, exhibit sureness, profundity, and, yes, subtlety.

B. Being and God

To begin our discussion of Scotus with a treatment of what he had to say about the nature of being and of our concept of it, and of the relation of that to our knowledge of God, is admittedly to begin with a much controverted and contradicted portion of his doctrine. However, no one can overlook the centrality of these questions for gaining some purchase on Scotus' characteristic teachings, and so, with half apologies, this is where we shall begin.

The medievals had learned from Aristotle that there is a science whose subject is being as being, a science which, unlike those called special or particular, is concerned, not with this kind of being or that, but rather with the characters of being prior to its particularization into kinds. For Aristotle this meant that while natural science concerns itself with mobile or changeable being and mathematics with quantitative being, a further science, what came to be called metaphysics, is concerned with being as being. Being as the subject of metaphysics, then, is being as prior to particular kinds of being. Now this position can of course mean several things, but what it did not mean for Aristotle is that insofar as "being" is a more general term than "mobile being" there must be some reality that answers to the more general term "being," just insofar as it is a general term. We can study what an animal is without introducing into our explanation what pertains to this animal or that, but this does not suggest that there is an animal which is no kind of animal. In short, the recognition of levels of generality in our conceptions is not tantamount to the claim that there are levels of reality which respond just as such to those levels of generality.

Scotus would introduce a qualification here, his famous formal distinction, and we will return to that, but even in the terms we have used in presenting the context of what he has to say about being, he would not be in complete agreement with the foregoing. The whole point of the science of being as being, he would want to say, is that there is some being which is not confined to the types or kinds or categories of being -- a being which is not, accordingly, finite. Scotus ultimate interest in being is in infinite being, and what he has to say about being as transcendent must always be understood with reference to his basic theological, or God-centered, interest. What is the relation between finite and infinite being, between God and man? How do our concepts, and the names which express those concepts, include both God and man?

Transcendentals. We must first see something of what Scotus had to say about the relation between categories and transcendental attributes of being. The categories of being are what Aristotle thought they were, types or kinds of being of which the clues are to be found in an analysis of predication. Some general predicates of individuals express what they are, others how much, yet others how, and so forth. The enumeration of such types of predicates results in an enumeration of the fundamental or basic kinds of being: substance and the various accidents -- quantity, quality, place, time, and so forth. One category of being is different from another; that which falls into the category of substance is different from that which falls into the category of quality. The categories represent diversity and fragmentation in reality, and the question arises as to the meaning of a term that can be predicated of all of these diverse kinds, of a term like "being." Substance can be said to be, as can quantities, qualities, and so forth, and if we make of the verb a common noun, "being," our question emerges. Does "being" express something other than what the categorical terms express? Unlike such terms as "substance," quantity, and so forth, the term "being" is said to be a transcendental term, which means at least this: what it expresses is not confined to one of the categories. Scotus accepted a long tradition according to which there are other terms which function as does "being," other transcendental terms, that is, terms which are said to be convertible properties of being. That difficult phrase may be translated as follows: another term is, like "being," a transcendental term if it can be predicated of whatever "being" can be predicated. Since "being" can be predicated of each of the categories, any other terms portraying the same characteristic were called transcendental terms. Among such terms the tradition recognized "one," "true," and "good." Anything that can be said to be can also be said to be, in some sense, one, true, and good. As has been mentioned, Scotus accepted this notion of transcendental, but he did not accept its apparent restriction to transcendentals of this type. In a most important passage he gives a list of various kinds of transcendentals (Opus ox., lib. 1, dist. 8, q. 3, nn. 18-19).

The passage occurs in the context of his asking what kind of predicates can be predicated formally of God. What does the question mean? Formal predication here refers to a real correspondent to the content of a concept whose name is predicated. Thus, from the very outset Scotus' concern with transcendental concepts is a concern with concepts whose content indicates or means or signifies something in the real, that is, extramental order. This of course does not distinguish transcendental concepts from other, categorical concepts. The concept expressed by the term "substance" expresses something in the real order, and so too with the concept expressed by "quantity." What then is distinctive of transcendental concepts? Here is Scotus' description of the nature of a transcendental: "Ita transcendens quodcumque nullum habet genus sub quo contineatur" (that is transcendent which is not contained under some one genus). This definition certainly applies to the more traditional notion of transcendental properties of being such as those which are convertible with it, namely, one, true, and good. But it soon becomes quite clear that Scotus has no intention of confining transcendentality to that traditional list. Those who would identify being transcendental with the items on that list would consider that, like being, that which is transcendental is common to everything, that it can be predicated of whatever is. But Scotus wants to speak of transcendental concepts which are not thus common or universal. It is the contextual question that provides a clue to what he has in mind. What Scotus wants to say is that all notions (and the terms expressing them) which are common to God and creature, or which are proper to God alone, are transcendental concepts. Thus, such a term as "wise" (or "wisdom") is not predicable of everything of which "being" is predicated, but it saves the notion of transcendentality because it is not confined to any one genus. Wisdom is found in God and in man, and while the latter is categorizable, God is not. In short, for Scotus, as for Aquinas, the categories of being enumerated by Aristotle are categories or divisions of finite being. God, therefore, cannot be in a category. Any name which is proper to God, or is common to God and creature, cannot express something which is included under some one category, is confined to a single category. Scotus can now amend his description of the transcendental: it is whatever rises above all genera and transcends all categories.

Following Father Wolter, we can here summarize Scotus' views in the following manner. For Scotus being is the first of the transcendcntals. There are certain convertible or coextensive attributes of being which are also transcendentals, namely, one, true, and good. Furthermore, there are disjunctive attributes of being which are also transcendental as disjunctive. For example, finite-or-infinite and substance-or-accident. We can say that being is finite or infinite, substance or accident, and when we say this, we are thinking of being and saying something about it prior to its division into categories. Moreover, and here we touch on something of special interest to Scotus, pure perfections are transcendental. What he has in mind here are the divine attributes, concepts which are proper to God or common to God and creature, as the example of wisdom above. What can be predicated of God is a transcendental, that is, above the categories, precisely because God cannot be contained in the categories of finite being. This is true both of such attributes as omniscience (predicable of God alone) and of wisdom (predicable of God and of some creatures).

The Univocity of Being. It can be said that little if anything of the foregoing goes contrary to what may be found, at least implicitly, in such a predecessor of Scotus as Aquinas. We come now to what turned out to be one of the most controversial claims in Scotus, namely, that "being" is predicated univocally of substance and accident and, indeed, of God and creature. The controversy on this doctrine has been long and intense, and it has most frequently been conducted as a conflict between religious orders. Because of the desire to triumph over an opponent, injustice has been done on both sides; when one looks into some of the literature on this controversy, it is very difficult to discover just precisely what the point of difference is supposed to be. Here we will first give a brief summary of the position according to which "being" is analogically, and not univocally, common to substance and accident or to God and creature. Then we will look at precisely what Scotus meant when he maintained the opposite. Most importantly, we shall ask if there is a real or only a verbal opposition.

In our chapter on Aquinas we went to some lengths to portray his conception of what an analogous term is, and we want now only to recall salient aspects of that presentation. A term is univocally common to many if it is predicated of them with exactly the same meaning. A term is equivocally common to many if it is predicated of them in such a way that it has a totally different and unrelated meaning in each occurrence. An analogous term is one which is neither univocal nor equivocal in the sense defined. For Aquinas a term is analogously common to many if it has the same res significata, and that reality is signified in different ways or modes in each occurrence. The great example, we recall, was "healthy." Health is the res significata, but when an animal, its coat, and its exercise are called healthy, that res is being signified in various related ways: the subject of health, the sign of health, the preserver of health. For Aquinas "being" is an analogous term as common to substance and accident. The reality signified is existence, esse, but the way in which it is signified varies insofar as substance is called being or quantity, quality, and so forth are called being. Substance is that which exists per se; the accidents are various modes of inherent being, of inherence or modification of substance. The parallel with the example of healthy is clear, the verdict expected: "being" is an analogous and not a univocal or equivocal term.

Scotus maintains that "being" is univocal. Now one thing is perfectly clear. If Scotus means by univocal what Aquinas means by it, then there is a contradiction. However, and obviously, if the two men have different understandings of what "univocal" means, the opposition between them is verbal and may cover an agreement when the verbal discrepancies are cleared up.

What now does Scotus mean by a univocal term? "Lest there be

any quibble about the term 'univocation,' by a univocal concept I mean one that is one in such a way that its unity suffices for contradiction when it is affirmed and denied of the same thing. It is sufficient as well for it to be a syllogistic middle term, such that the extremes united in the middle are one in such a way that the conclusion follows without the fallacy of equivocation." (Oxon., 1, d. 3, q. 2, n. 5) While not unrelated to what Aquinas meant by a univocal term, these two stipulations of the univocal term that Scotus gives would not be for Aquinas peculiar to what he, Aquinas, means by a univocal term, but would be characteristics common to univocal and analogous terms. What Aquinas meant by a univocal term, again, is one which is common to several things according to exactly the same meaning. Can one conclude that Scotus has, by making quite clear what he meant by univocal, made it equally clear that there is no dispute between Aquinas and himself on this matter?

One is tempted to think so. It has often been pointed out that the adversaries Scotus had in mind when he insisted on the univocity of "being" as common to substance and accident, or on the univocity of terms common to God and creature, did not include Thomas Aquinas. Furthermore, it must be said that the way in which some opponents of Scotus on this matter define the unity of the analogous term is unintelligible in itself and not the position of Aquinas. Thus, many Thomists have held that the analogous term has many meanings which are similar to one another, but not in the sense that there is a common component of the various meanings, but rather in some obscure sense of similarity of structure. As a matter of fact, many attempted explanations of the unity of the various meanings of an analogous term are a postponement of an explanation rather than an explanation. For example, in discussing what is going on when "being" is predicated of God and creatures, many Thomists have said that what this means is that as existence is related to the created essence so is existence related to the divine essence, where the similarity is imperfect and where no term in the one proportion bears the same meaning as it has in its occurrence in the second proportion. But surely this comes down to saying that there is no intelligible community of meaning between "being" said of God and "being" said of a creature. On this understanding the analogous term, as Scotus suggests, neither permits contradiction nor escapes the fallacy of equivocation.

It is necessary to admit the force of Scotus' opposition to the unity of the analogous term thus "explained." At the same time it must be stressed that the explanation Scotus opposes is not to be found in Aquinas. If there is a ratio communis of an analogous term, as there most assuredly is for Aquinas, this is so because of what Aquinas called the res significata. The common notion of being as predicable of substance and accidents is, for Aquinas, habens esse or id quod habet esse. The key thing signified by being, the res significata, is esse, existence, actuality. For Aquinas, when a thing is said to be, it is not said to be actuality but to be actual; what is is a mode of being, a way of being actual. Substance is actual in one way and accident in another, and when an accident is said to be, we must understand the actuality of substance. The kind of actuality substance has is the proper notion of being, and that proper notion is referred to when anything else is said to be actual. Thus, while it is necessary to insist that substantial existence is one thing and accidental existence another, the second kind of existence cannot be understood without reference to the first.

The great flaw in the explanation of the relationship between the two meanings of being, accidental and substantial, that Scotus rejects is that it imagines these as two unrelated kinds of being which in some mysterious way are related. There is nothing mysterious about the way they are related for Thomas Aquinas. Accidental being is a secondary mode of being which, in order to be explained, must be referred to substantial being. For Aquinas, then, what insures the unity of the meanings of "being" is, not esse considered abstractly, but the proper mode of existing which is substance. When "being" occurs as a middle term in a syllogism, consequently, it must be understood either as meaning substantial being directly or by way of reference. Undeniably this complicates discussions of contradiction when "being" occurs as the predicate in two propositions where the subject of one may be a substance and that of the other an accident. The point for Aquinas, however, is that substantial and accidental being are not distinct and autonomous modes; rather one is primary and the other secondary, and the secondary must always make reference to the primary.

Is this sufficient to bring Scotus and Aquinas into agreement? Unfortunately not. What Scotus wants to maintain is that "being" has a meaning which is quite independent of substantial and accidental modes of being. He wants being to have a common notion or meaning such that there is no difference whatsoever in what is meant when one says that Socrates is a being and that red exists. Scotus does not deny, of course, that the substantial mode of existence is one thing and the accidental mode of existence another, but he feels that we can prescind from or ignore this further difference and understand "being" as meaning some utterly one and simple thing as said of substance and accident. One might feel that it was not necessary for him to make this claim in order to insure the possibility of contradiction and the avoidance of the fallacy of equivocation; nevertheless, Scotus clearly thought it was necessary and there is, consequently, a divergence between him and Aquinas on this point. This is true, despite the undeniable historical fact that Aquinas was not the opponent Scotus had in mind. Scotus' critique of such men as Henry of Ghent is well taken, and the Thomist who has a correct understanding of the behavior of analogous terms can accept that critique; furthermore, he can accept as necessary the stipulations Scotus lays down for "being" as common to substance and accident and for terms common to God and creature, namely, that they must have sufficient unity of meaning to permit significant contradiction, on the one hand, and to avoid the fallacy of equivocation, on the other.

What he must nonetheless recognize as a great difference between Scotus and Aquinas is the former's insistence that being has a common meaning which makes no reference to, say, substantial being and accidental being, and which is accordingly absolutely one and the same. The long prominence in Thomistic circles of discussion of "analogy of proper proportionality" should not be permitted to obscure this fundamental difference. "Analogy of proper proportionality" involves much confusion, but it is historically inaccurate to suggest that Aquinas and Scotus are as one, once this confusion is recognized and "analogy of proper proportionality" is put in proper perspective. Scotus wants "being" to be univocally common to substance and accident in such a way that "univocal" involves, besides the two characteristics he mentions, precisely the meaning it has for Aquinas. That is, Scotus wants "being" to be common to substance and accident in such a way that it has exactly the same meaning as predicated of both. This Aquinas emphatically denies. Scotus and Aquinas are unalterably opposed on the matter of the univocity of "being."

The Scotist's Reply. Father Allan Wolter has addressed himself to this question, and it may be well to examine his critique of analogous terms, a critique launched in behalf of Scotus and in an effort to clarify what Scotus had to say. Father Wolter asks us to consider the following syllogism: Whatever is divine is God. But the Mosaic law is divine; Therefore, the Mosaic law is God. This syllogism involves a fallacy of equivocation since the middle term is analogous and does not mean the same thing in its two occurrences. The Mosaic law can be said to be divine, not because it is God, but because it issues from God. Furthermore, and consequently, we can say of the Mosaic law both that it is divine and that it is not divine. If "good" is an analogous term, we can say of God that he is good and that he is not good. And so forth. All this is perfectly true; equally, it is true that it is this sort of thing that bothers Scotus. What is interesting here is that it indicates to us the nature of Scotus' moves. One might be inclined to say that since "divine" has diverse meanings, we are going to have to be careful in understanding sentences in which it occurs. And so too with "good," "wise," and so forth. It is this inclination that led to the development of the notion of analogous meaning. Scotus, on the other hand, bridles at this ongoing diversity of meaning in the terms of our language. He does not like it. He wants to insist that underneath this diversity there is a unity that is absolute and simple and unalloyed. That, for example, when we say that substance is and that an accident is, although on one level we must recognize that our verb means different things, on a more profound level it means exactly the same thing. Let us not ask how this would work out with the syllogism originally offered for our consideration, since even Scotus himself would be hard pressed to find a meaning for "divine" that enabled him to escape the fallacy of equivocation that syllogism involves. Let us not detain ourselves any further with the way in which "being" is common to substance and accident. I think it is fair to say that anyone who thinks he is making an identical claim when he asserts that men exist and that colors exist is confused about men and colors rather than in possession of a more profound grasp. What really motivates Scotus all along is the question of how our language can function when we talk about God. It is terms common to God and creature that are Scotus' true interest.

The Divine Names. The way in which "being" (and other names) is common to God and creature differs from the way it is common to substance and accident. In the latter case we want to say that one limited or finite mode of being is prior to others and must be referred to in understanding the secondary modes. This, of course, is the basis for claiming that the science of being as being is principally concerned with substance, the primary mode of finite being. The categorical modes of being are participated modes. Substance is not existence, but a mode of existing. When we turn to predicates common to God and creature, the tendency is to say that the created mode of perfection is participated and the divine mode is unparticipated. That is, Socrates is wise, but God is wisdom. We do not mean exactly the same thing when we say Socrates is wise and God is wise. Wisdom is an accident in Socrates; it is something he comes to possess and, alas, might come to lose. To say that God is wise is to speak of what he is. Now "wise" is a word of our language, and it acquires the uses it has with reference to the things we know and are likely to speak about. If we assume that it signifies something we first encounter in creatures, when we say that God is wise we are speaking of him, denominating him, from his creatures. But we would also want to say that in this case what we first noticed and spoke of in creatures is an effect in them of God, a sharing or imitation in something that God is, not in the sense that he shares in it, but in the sense that he is it. Thus, we might want to say that, taking all this into account, the creature is denominated from God.

Scotus will object to this as the final word on the matter, since it clearly invokes the notion of analogy. Such a term as "wise" has different meanings as said of God and creature. What he wants is to insist on some core meaning of the term owing to which, given that meaning, the term means the exact same thing as said of creatures and God. In short, he wants the term to be univocal, and not only in his sense but in the sense univocity has for someone like Aquinas.

Scotus is confronted with something far more difficult here, since what univocity is being called upon to bridge is the difference between finite and infinite being. Let there be no mistake about it. Scotus is not inadequately aware of the radical difference between God and creature. He does not want to say that being in the sense of unparticipated being is univocally common to God and creature, or that being in the sense of participated being is common to God and creature. What he wants is a meaning of "being" which prescinds from finitude and infinitude, a meaning owing to which we can understand "being" as univocally common to God and creature. In his search for that meaning he asks a most important question: Whence comes our knowledge of God?

The explanation of analogy that Scotus rejects maintained that "being" has two meanings, one of which was proper to God and the other of which was proper to creatures. Analogy was then invoked to speak of the relationship between these two proper meanings. But, Scotus asks, where do we get the meaning of "being" which is proper to God? Do we just have it? Is it given to us directly by God by way of some kind of illumination? The Aristotelian teaching on the origin of intellectual knowledge had it that all our concepts are formed against the background of our knowledge of sensible things. But sensible things are all of them finite, and thus it would seem that all our concepts have the limitation of finitude. How then can the terms signifying such concepts be predicated of infinite being? Scotus is asking, in effect, how we can abstract knowledge of the infinite from knowledge of the finite. The effect here would then be so incommensurate with its cause that the claim seems at the least shaky.

Scotus maintains that we have no concept, gained as a result of abstraction, that expresses what is proper to infinite being. Any concepts expressive of something proper to God (for example, Pure Act. First Cause, Infinite Being) are the results of reasoning and not products of abstraction. Now if concepts expressive of what is proper to God are arrived at in the conclusion of an argument, there must be in the premises of the argument a concept functioning as middle term which bridges the gap between the finite and infinite. Thus, if we should reason to the view that God is infinite being, we are in the conclusion restricting or modifying the concept of being which figured in the premises, and in the premises our concept of being must be such that it is open to this modification. Thus, what is proper to God is infinite being, not being; likewise, what is proper to the creature is finite being, not being. Being, prescinding from finite and infinite, is common to them both. In short, the being proper to creatures and the being proper to God involve a common sort of being which is proper to neither.

At this point we must take into consideration a passage in Scotus that has often puzzled students. It is a passage in which Scotus denies that "being" is predicated univocally of all things. "As to the question, I grant that 'being' is not predicated univocally of all things. Neither is it predicated equivocally, for something is said to be predicated equivocally when those things of which it is predicated are not attributed to one another. For when they are attributed, then it is predicated analogically. But because it ('being') does not have one concept corresponding to it, it signifies all things essentially according to their proper perfection and simply equivocally according to the logician. But because those things which are signified are essentially attributed to one another ('being' is predicated) analogously, according to the metaphysicians." (Metaph., 4, q. 1, n. 12) This passage had led to the gleeful claim that everything we have been concerned with earlier, while it is undeniably to be found in Scotus, is not his only, and perhaps not his final, view on the matter. Father Wolter does not find that the passage presents any particular difficulty. For him, all Scotus is admitting is that when "being" occurs in two propositions and in one of them bears the meaning of substantial being and in the other the meaning of accidental being, or when it occurs in two propositions and in one bears the meaning of finite being and in the other the meaning of infinite being, then the term "being" is not univocal but analogous. But, he goes on to say, this is true because what is under consideration are two proper meanings of "being," proper meanings which imply and/or contain a common meaning, and when it is this common meaning we have in mind, then "being" is univocally common.

It seems to me that Father Wolter's interpretation is valuable. Considered all by itself, it may seem excessively subtle, but after all it is the teaching of the Doctor Subtilis that is being examined, and and Father Wolter's subtle explanation has the great merit of retaining a unified Scotistic doctrine (and we must remember that the writings of Scotus were not composed over a great span of time). It is of course a further question whether one can accept the claim that being, owing to a common as opposed to proper meaning, is univocally common to substance and accident, or to God and creature.

C. Faith and Reason

Like the majority of medieval thinkers, Scotus was conscious of the limits of human reason and of the necessity of revelation. As a theologian he considered the teachings of the philosophers from the vantage point of his faith and, not surprisingly, found them inadequate on a number of crucial points. The question has been raised whether Scotus recognized anything like an independent or autonomous philosophy. Our earlier considerations will have prepared us to recognize this as an extremely tricky question. For the man of faith, needless to say, what the philosophers have had to say about man, his nature and destiny, and about God will seem insufficient. Insofar as the insufficiency and inadequacy are assessed from the viewpoint of faith no judgment of philosophical inadequacy is being passed. It could hardly be construed a fault on Aristotle's part if he failed to speak of man's supernatural destiny, of the Incarnation and the Trinity, and so forth. Philosophy is never enough for the Christian; for him what men can come to know by their natural powers must be supplemented by what God has chosen to reveal. Many who point this out go on to suggest that for many medievals, and Scotus is said to be one of them, philosophy as philosophy requires the influence of faith in order to achieve its own goals. This claim too is ambiguous, however, since it may mean simply that the Christian mentality should provide an impetus to do philosophy and that the faith of the believer gives extrinsic guidelines to philosophy. Sometimes the suggestion seems to be that for such a thinker as Scotus truths of faith are regulative within philosophy. That this suggestion is less than well-founded in the case of Scotus is best seen by consulting his work on the First Principle, Tractatus de primo principio. That this is a philosophical work by a believer is manifest from the beginning when Scotus invokes the aid of God in his effort to show by reason alone that God is what he has revealed himself to be in Exodus, namely, being. The whole direction of the work is such that it is clear that the arguments formulated are taken to be conclusive for establishing what is attributed to God, conclusive in such a way that none of them makes any appeal to faith or revelation. Scotus' attitude as a believer provides the personal setting for this effort, but the whole point of the work is that one who follows the arguments must, on the basis of the arguments, assent to the conclusions reached. In the same way, many of Scotus' judgments of the inadequacy of philosophical positions are such that he wants to show that inadequacy on philosophical grounds. That his personal motivation, that the starting point of his own suspicion of inadequacy, may have been his Christian faith is neither here nor there in assessing the validity of such attempts to show philosophical inadequacy. The relations between belief and reasoning are various and nuanced in the most straightforward of medieval thinkers; we should expect that they will be yet more subtle in the case of Scotus, as indeed they are. On the face of it, almost a priori, it is unlikely that Scotus would have held to a simplistic position according to which philosophizing is theologizing. A few soundings in his works suffice to convince that here as elsewhere he is incorrigibly complicated and nuanced, and this in response to the phenomenon in question.

Bibliographical Note

The Vives Edition of the Opera omnia in twenty-six volumes will eventually give way to critical editions. Father Balic and the Scotist Commission began to publish a critical edition in 1950 which is projected to something like half a hundred volumes. Muller has published a critical edition of the work on the First Principle: Ioannis Duns Scoti Tractatus De Primo Principio (Freibourg, 1941). A. Wolter, Duns Scotus: Philosophical Writings (Edinburgh, London, 1962). Wolter's article on Duns Scotus in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (ed. Paul Edwards) is recommended, as is his classic, Transcendentals and Their Function in the Metaphysics of Duns Scotus (St. Bonaventure, N.Y., 1946). Cf. Roy Effler, O.F.M., John Duns Scotus and the Principle "Omne quod movetur ab alio movetur" (St. Bonaventure, 1962). Volume three of Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy, John Duns Scotus, 1265-1965, edited by John K. Ryan and Bernadine Bonansea (Washington, 1965) is an important collection of pieces on Scotus. The proceedings of the Scotus Congress, held at Oxford, Edinburgh, and Duns in September, 1966, soon to be published, will be of great usefulness.

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