“Scotus, however, holds that the divine essence is distinguished by attributes and by persons, and the divine attributes among themselves by a formal-actual distinction ex natura rei, which is antecedant to the consideration of our mind. According to Scotus, it can only be affirmed that God punishes by justice adn not by mercy; for this is required that these two attributes are formally actually distinct in God, before the consideration of our mind, almost as in our soul the intellect and will are formally-actually distinguished.
The foundation of this theory is the immoderate realism of Scotus, according to which now in creatres formally-actually distinguished in whatever metaphysical grade, namely in Peter humanity, vitality, substantiality, entity. From this it follows that being is univocal in God and in creatures as Scotus maintains explicitly. Nor is it to be marvelled at that being is univocal, if it is formally-actually distinguished before the consideration of our mind from substantiality, from vitality, namely, from the modalities of being.
Criticisms. a. This formal-actual distinction, thought out by Scotus, if truly it is more than virtual, that is, as we have now noted: if truly it exists in re before the consideration of the mind, then (iam) it is a real distinction, howsoever small it is, and then it is opposed to the highest simplicty of God, for, as the Council of Florence (Denziger 703) says, ‘in God all are one, where opposition of relation does not prevent it.” In other words, Scotus so apporaches immoderate realism and to a certain anthropomorphism, inasmuch as he posits in God a distinction which is not except in the human mind. It is the extreme opposite of nominalism and agnosticism. So Scotus did not pull back enough from the immoderate realism of Gilbertus Porretanus, condemed by the Council of Rheims (Denz. 391) as contrary to the highest simplicity of God.
b. The metaphysical grades are not distinguished in act in re prior to the consideration of our intellect ... because they are reduced to the same concept of humanity, of which animality is the genus, and rationality the specific difference, so they correspond to the same reality which is in them but virtually multiple.
c. Indeed if being formaliter-actualiter would be distinguished from the modalities of being, those modalities would be outside being, and therefore they would be nothing. In this there is danger of pantheism: if being would be univocal, it would be single (unicum), because the univocal is not diversified unless through differences extrinsic to itself, and outside being there is nothing. In fact being is included in its own modalities, and containes them implictly in act. Furthermore, it is not univocal (as a genus, whose differences are extrinsic) but analogous. Being expresses something [aliquid...one of Thomas’s transcendentals from De Veritate q. 1?] not in an unqualified way, but proportionally the same in Being from itself, in created substantial being, in accidental [being]. Therefore this doctrine of Scotus does not seem to be in conformity with the fourth Lateran Council (Denz. 432) where it can be read: ‘between creature and creator such a similitude cannot be observed, rather between them a greater dissimilude must be known.’ This is just as the definition of analogy, inasmuch as the ratio of analogy is not absolutely [simpliciter] the same in God and in creatures, but proportionally the same, as wisdom which in God is the cause of things and in us is measured by things.
Whence while the nominalists approach the equivocity of being, Scotus holds the univocity of being. The opinions are radically opposed to each other.”
There follows a note: “But when Scotus substitutes his own formal distinction in place of the real distinction of saint Thomas, for example bewtween the faculties of the soul, he opens the way to nominalism.”
“Third is posited the difficult question about the identification of divine perfections in God...
The difficulty is chiefly proposed by Scotus, and he defends his distinctionem formalem-actualem ex natura rei between the divine attributes, because he thought their formal identification to be impossible. For Scotus, in order that the divine attributes are formally in God, it is necessary that in Him they should be formally distinct and more than virtually [distinct].”
[omitted: some unintelligble point by Cajetan, about the ratio of justice and the ratio of wisdom not being each other but that being ok because together they do not make up a third ratio.]
G.-L. Quoting Cajetan, “‘in the second place, it can be understood, if we maintain that the ratio of wisdom and the ratio of justice are eminently contained in one formal ratio of a superior order and to be identified formally.’”
Back to Garrigou: “This is the Thomistic sense of this expression, ‘formally, eminently’: ‘formally’ he signifies both ‘substantially’, and not causally, ‘properly’ and not metaphorically, but ‘analogically’. ‘Eminently’ excludes the formal actual distinction of the attributes of God, and expresses their identification or rather identity in the most eminent formal ratio of deity, whose proper mode, hidden in itself, is not known in via except negatively and relativly.”
Back to me. The claim of GL that the formal distinction entails univocity is a strange one. It seems kind of true, in that one cannot fall back so easily on mystery and 'eminent' ways of containment of perfection terms are univocally common, but I tend to think of these as separate issues. No serious scholarship has been done on this as far as I know.