Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

List of Abbreviations

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

John van den Bercken

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pp. ix-xii

While studying philosophy, a long time ago, I got an assignment for a paper on Scotus’s De primo principio, which I did not complete, as I decided to switch to a study of psychology instead. I do not regret the switch at all, but throughout my career there were at times those intrusive thoughts about a project once pursued but never completed. So when I retired I decided to revisit Scotus and, as Anthony Kenny so nicely put it, to “enter more fully into the intellectual...

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Outline of Ordinatio 1.3

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pp. 1-8

Part 1: On the possibility of having knowledge of God

Question 1: Can God be known naturally by the intellect of the wayfarer?
Question 2: Is God the first thing that is naturally known by us in our present state?


• Initial arguments for both questions nn. 1–9
• Clarification of the first question...

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Introduction. Scotus on being and cognition: Ordinatio 1, distinction 3

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pp. 9-38

Scotus’s Ordinatio is a commentary on the Sentences written in order to fulfi ll the requirements for becoming a master in theology. The four books of Sentences as composed by Peter Lombard are a compendium of theological learning accumulated over the centuries leading up to Lombard ’s time (the first half of the twelfth century), and it soon became the basic handbook for students of theology. Yet it also covered a number of topics...

Part 1. On the possibility of having knowledge of God

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Question 1. Can God be known naturally by the intellect of the wayfarer?

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pp. 41-42

1 As for the third distinction, I start with questions concerning the knowability of God. The first one is whether God can be known naturally by the intellect of the wayfarer.

[Interpolation] “For the Apostle says”: as regards the first part of this distinction, where the Master [i.e., Peter Lombard] treats God’s knowability, five questions are asked. The first is whether God can be known naturally by the intellect...

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Question 2. Is God the first thing that is naturally known by us in our present state?

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pp. 42-82

6 In this context I ask whether God is the first thing naturally known by us in our present state.

For a positive answer: “Each thing is related to cognition just as it is related to being (esse), from Metaphysics II.”8 But God is the first being. Therefore, he is the first thing known.

7 Also, nothing is known in a perfect way unless God is known in a perfect way. Hence, nothing...

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Question 3. Is God the first natural and adequate object of the human intellect in its present state?

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pp. 83-113

108 Following up what has been said in the third article of the second question concerning the first adequate and precise object of the intellect [cf. nn. 69, 99], we now face the question of whether God is the first natural and adequate object with respect to the intellect of the wayfarer.

INITIAL ARGUMENTS

Arguments [of Henry of Ghent] for a positive answer: from the preceding question we have that God...

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Question 4. Can we know a certain and genuine truth by natural means without any special illumination?

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pp. 114-144

202 Finally, concerning the question of what can be known, I ask if the intellect of the traveler can know any certain and genuine truth by natural means without any special illumination from the uncreated light.

INITIAL ARGUMENTS

I argue for a negative answer. In chapter 6 or 15 of On the Trinity IX, Augustine says, “Let us look at the unbreakable truth from which we determine how the mind of man...

Part 2. On the trace of the Trinity

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Single Question. Is there in every creature a trace of the Trinity?

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pp. 147-164

281 Regarding the trace I ask if there is a trace of the Trinity in every creature.

[Interpolation, at “Regarding the trace”] “Now it remains to show, etc.” Concerning the second part of the third distinction, where the Master treats the possibility of God’s being known by means of a trace, one question is asked....

Part 3. On the image of the Trinity

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Question 1. Does the intellective part of the soul contain memory as having an intelligible species naturally preceding the act of thinking (intelligendi)?

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pp. 167-196

333 Concerning the third part of this distinction, about the image, I ask whether memory as having an intelligible species that is naturally prior to the act of thinking resides (sit) in the intellective part, taken properly.

[Interpolation, atConcerning . . . properly”] “But now, etc.” Concerning the third part of this distinction, where the Master discusses the image, there are four questions. The first is whether memory, having an intelligible species that is...

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Question 2. Is the intellective part of the soul, taken properly, or a component of it, the total cause generating actual knowledge or the reason for generating it?

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pp. 197-247

401 My second question concerns knowledge as generated (notitia genita): what is its generating cause, or what is the reason (ratio) of generating it? Specifically, I ask, is the intellective part [of the soul] taken properly or a component of it the total cause in generating actual knowledge or the reason of generating it?

INITIAL ARGUMENTS

Arguments for a negative answer: [First], in the second book of On the Soul,1 the Philosopher...

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Question 3. Is the object, as present in itself or in a species, or the intellective part of the soul the main cause of the production of a cognition?

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pp. 248-253

554 Concerning relative importance of the two partial causes in the production of cognition, I ask, is the object as present in itself or in a species, or the intellective part of the soul itself the main cause in the production of cognition?1

[Note by Scotus] Here it would be appropriate to discuss the question of whether the agent intellect is a principle with respect to intellections, and then we could touch...

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Question 4. Is there an image of the Trinity distinctly present in our mind?

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pp. 254-268

569 As for this distinction, my final question is whether an image of the Trinity is distinctly pres ent in our mind (in mente).

INITIAL ARGUMENTS

I argue that it is not. An image represents that of which it is an image. Therefore, the mind (mens) would distinctly represent the Trinity. But this is false. Proof: for one thing, in that case Trinity could be inferred by natural cognition, by knowing...

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Notes to the Translation

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pp. 269-276

The various kinds of editorial changes attributed to Scotus himself (cf. Balić 1968) are treated as follows: the additiones are inserted directly in the text itself, in curly brackets {}. The adnotationes and interpolations of unknown origin are not retained as footnotes at the end of a page but as notes to the relevant paragraph itself. The cancellationes are not included; after all, they were...

Notes

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pp. 277-286

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Further Reading

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pp. 287-292

If you are using this text you are prob ably sufficiently familiar with medieval philosophy and Scotus in par tic u lar so as to be able to find your way in the relevant literature. Nevertheless, for the sake of completeness I list here some titles that have a direct bearing on the subject matter of Scotus’s Ordinatio 1.3. Further lit er a ture may be found in Hoffmann’s extensive Scotus...

References

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pp. 293-300