Ideas of John Duns Scotus, by Theme

[Scottish, 1266 - 1308, Born at Duns, Scotland. Taught at the University of Paris. Known as 'Doctor Subtilis'.]

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7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / a. Nature of Being
The concept of being has only one meaning, whether talking of universals or of God [Dumont]
Being (not sensation or God) is the primary object of the intellect [Dumont]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 6. Criterion for Existence
Are things distinct if they are both separate, or if only one of them can be separate? [Pasnau]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 1. Nature of Properties
Accidents must have formal being, if they are principles of real action, and of mental action and thought
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 4. Uninstantiated Universals
Duns Scotus was a realist about universals [Dumont]
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / a. Nominalism
If only the singular exists, science is impossible, as that relies on true generalities [Panaccio]
If things were singular they would only differ numerically, but horse and tulip differ more than that [Panaccio]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / a. Individuation
We distinguish one thing from another by contradiction, because this is, and that is not
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / d. Individuation by haecceity
Scotus said a substantial principle of individuation [haecceitas] was needed for an essence [Dumont]
The haecceity is the featureless thing which gives ultimate individuality to a substance [Cover/O'Leary-Hawthorne]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 1. Unifying an Object / a. Intrinsic unification
'Unity' is a particularly difficult word, because things can have hidden unity
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 1. Unifying an Object / b. Unifying aggregates
It is absurd that there is no difference between a genuinely unified thing, and a mere aggregate
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / a. Substance
Substance is an intrinsic thing, so parts of substances can't also be intrinsic things
Substance is only grasped under the general heading of 'being'
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / d. Form as unifier
Matter and form give true unity; subject and accident is just unity 'per accidens'
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / c. Wholes from parts
What prevents a stone from being divided into parts which are still the stone?
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 2. Types of Essence
Avicenna and Duns Scotus say essences have independent and prior existence [Dumont]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 8. Leibniz's Law
Two things are different if something is true of one and not of the other
11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 1. Certainty
Certainty comes from the self-evident, from induction, and from self-awareness [Dumont]
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 1. Perceptual Realism / b. Direct realism
Scotus defended direct 'intuitive cognition', against the abstractive view [Dumont]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 2. Self-Evidence
Augustine's 'illumination' theory of knowledge leads to nothing but scepticism [Dumont]
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 2. Sources of Free Will
The will retains its power for opposites, even when it is acting [Dumont]
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 2. Divine Nature
The concept of God is the unique first efficient cause, final cause, and most eminent being [Dumont]
28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / a. Cosmological Proof
We can't infer the infinity of God from creation ex nihilo [Dumont]