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ENGLISH TRANSLATION Thirdly, I ask: Could the separated soul remember past events which it knew when it was joined to the body? [INITIAL ARGUMENTS PRO AND CON] [1] For the negative: The Philosopher in his book On Memory and Recollection assumes the memory is a sensitive power. And Damascene in The Orthodox Faith, Bk. II, in the chapter "On Memory" asserts the same. But no sensitive power remains functional in the separated soul so far as the possibility of having an act [of sensation] is concerned. Also, the object of the intellect is the universal, according to Physics, Bk. II and On the Soul, Bk. II. But the universal abstracts from the here and now, the past and the future, and such conditions as regards existence. Memory, however, regards the specific existential condition of being past. Therefore, memory is opposed to the intellective part, and hence does not remain in the separated soul. Furthermore, it would follow by the same token, then, that the beatified souls would remember all of their past, and hence the soul of one beatified would remember the sins it committed. But the consequent is false, for according to Isaiah 65: "Behold, I will create a new heaven," and this follows [the assurance that] "your earlier sorrows shall be consigned to oblivion." Gregory explaining this dictum commenting on the above says that the blessed will never suffer misery. But this remembering would be a cause of great misery, because of the severe displeasure. For the blessed could not take complacency in some of the acts committed, neither could one be neutral, taking neither pleasure nor displeasure, because this would be inconsistent with perfect charity; therefore the blessed would have to be displeased about something that could not be revoked, and would be sad. [2] To the contrary: In Luke 16, Abraham says to the rich man: "Son, remember the good things you received in your life; and the evils Lazarus received ." JOHN DUNS SCOTUS: MEMORY AND INTUITION213 Also, Augustine in his comment on that passage of the Psalms; "May his children be orphans" and in his Confessions, Bk. I, says that the dead have their memories. Also, if they did not [recall their past sins], there would be no reason to be thankful to God for his mercy. This too is Gregory's argument, alluding to Psalm [89]: "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever," where he asks: "How may one sing of his mercy forever, who will not recall his misery?" [I. — GENERAL INTRODUCTORY REMARKS ABOUT MEMORY] [3] Regarding this question, our first inquiry must be whether memory, properly speaking (i. e., a remembrance of the past), is in the sense part. Secondly, whether it is in the intellective part. These two, however, have something certain common to both parts, namely that there is in us some act of knowing the past as past. This is clear, because otherwise we would lack the first part of prudence, which according to Tullius [Cicero] is a remembrance of the past. It would follow also, secondly, that the virtuous could not equitably recognize they were being rewarded justly nor the vicious that they were being punished justly, for reward and punishment will be meted out because of past good or evil. For, on the contrary hypothesis, neither the one nor the other would know of their past and hence would not recognize the justice of their reward or punishment. This conclusion would destroy all civil order, because it would eliminate all just ordering of rewards and punishment based upon law. Furthermore, more truth exists about the past than about the future. Proof: The truth about future events is contingent, whereas that about the past is necessary, according to Bk. VI of the Ethics: "For this alone is lacking to God, to make undone things that have once been done." Now we can have some knowledge of the future as future, as we know from experience; otherwise we could not provide for what we need or avoid what is disadvantageous. All the more so, then, can we have some knowledge of the past as past, and hence some remembrance. [4] [Definition and nature of remembering] Assuming...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 212-230
Launched on MUSE
2013-07-03
Open Access
No
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