Who is Ioannes Duns Scotus?June 25, 2021
John Duns Scotus, Scottish philosopher who lived between 1265 and 1308. Although he adopted Aristotle’s logic and metaphysics, the philosopher, who was mostly in the Augustinian tradition, opposed both Averroes and Thomasism.
He made a distinction between metaphysics and theology and made a distinction between all beings and argued that metaphysics, which seeks principles common to all beings, cannot grasp God.
According to him, God enters the subject of theology. According to Scottus, there must be an initiator of movement and change in the universe, a prime mover of beings in the universe, which is God. God is a necessary being, one, simple in essence, and has free will.
Regarding universals, Scottus, who said that they firstly existed as forms in God’s mind, claimed that they appeared secondly in the nenes as the essences or general natures of objects. Universals, according to him, finally exist as abstract concepts in our minds. According to Scottus, who adopts willism, the most important role in achieving the goal of union with God is played by will, not intelligence or intelligence.
Thomas is a Dominican priest. The Franciscan order is against Thomas. This order especially represented the last period of the Scholastic.
Now we will talk about the two most important personalities of the Franciscan order. One of them is the Scotsman Duns Scotus. Duns is fundamentally different from Scotus Thomas. We know that for Thomas the spectacle life is essential. However, Duns Scotus, on the contrary, finds the meaning of life “without action and behavior. With the importance he gives to this action and behavior, and the value he gives to this action, Duns Scotus in a way prepares the Renaissance.
According to Duns Scotus, God is a willing and “willed” being. God created the universe out of his own free will, with a voluntary behavior. Moreover, moral values were created by Allah. Therefore, we cannot justify the universe and morality only with reason, only with a rationalist method. “Good” is what Allah likes. But other things may also please God. God’s will, the knowledge of which we cannot comprehend, has determined “good” and “evil” in their present forms. We cannot ask why God did it this way. We need to accept this as just an “event” and bow before Allah.
Duns Scotus connects this “action and behavior” with individualism (individualism). According to him, every individual is a personality. A person has a characteristic only with his personality that has come to the world once. The real, then, is not the universal, but the individual. With this “action and behavior” and individualism (individualism), Duns Scotus prepared the last period of Scholastic. He is already on the borders of the heyday and last period of Scholasticism.
Iohannes Duns Scotus argued that the human mind is inherently empty, and argued that individual existences are first perceived by the senses and then grasped by the mind through abstraction. According to Duns Scotus, the highest powers of man are reason and will. The mind is divided into active and passive. Contrary to what Aquinas advocates, the active mind turns directly to the audible object and creates universal concepts from the intelligibility of that object. According to Duns Scotus, intuitive knowledge is knowledge of real things in the realm of reality. Abstracting information may also be related to abstractions that do not exist in the world of reality.
Scotus argued that in at least three areas, reason can obtain certain knowledge: 1) First principles and everything deduced from them. 2) Laws deduced from regularity in observables 3) Our own actions. Duns Scotus followed a parallel line with the doctrine of knowledge in the proof of God and presented an a posteriori proof of God. In other words, he progressed from effects to causes, first examined the effects of God in the universe and reached God, who is the cause of these effects. God, as the first of all productions in the universe, is the first producer. Duns Scotus’ morality is shaped around his thoughts on the will.
He argued that the will is formally separate from the mind and is a faculty higher than the mind. The will is rational in so far as it freely chooses its object known to the mind. The will walks towards the goal it has freely determined, by acting freely on the things that will carry it to that goal. This goal is the “good in itself”. Good is a property of all beings. In other words, it is based on morality, reason and freedom. Duns Scotus thinks that the place where righteous reason arises is natural law embodied in God’s will. The limited will, that is, the human will, commands to do good and avoid evil; because limited man is existentially surrounded by the commands of his unlimited creator.
The life and works of Ioannes Duns Scotus
Philosophy of knowledge of Ioannes Duns Scotus
The moral philosophy of Ioannes Duns Scotus
God attestation by Ioannes Duns Scotus
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Ataturk University