Friday, September 28, 2007

Guest Post

Here is a quote sent in by Michael, from Monadology.

Longpré, E., "Gonsalve de Balboa et le Bx Duns Scot." Études
Franciscaines XXXVI (1924), 640-645. [Attribution of the Conclusiones
to Gonsalvus, acquaintance with Scotus, etc.] 644: "Ainsi qu'il
résulte du titre de ces Quaestiones, Gonzalve de Balboa aborde, dans
le cadre très souple d'une série de disputes sur la louange divine,
les problèmes essentiels du volontarisme augustinien et franciscain.
Tout contribue à donner à son oeuvre un intérêt puissant . . . Ces
Quaestions en effet ont été disputées à Paris, très probablement entre
1300 et 1302", given parallels with William Ware and Eckart. 645: "The ideas of the Marian Doctor [Scotus] on the will and its role in the psychological life, his arguments against Godfrey of Fontaines in
favor of the liberty and spontaneity of the will, his conception of
theology as a practical science, all this is already presented and
defended with flair [éclat] by Gonsalvus of Balboa." A bit later, "it
will be easy to follow the admirable continuity of Franciscan thought
from 1260 until Duns Scotus. What then will remain of the hateful
judgments brought against the voluntarism of the Marian Doctor, the
successive denunciations of pragmatism, modernism, exaggerated
determinism and autocracy? Nothing, absolutely nothing, save a sad
page in history which it would be an honor never to mention again."

A few random comments from ly Faber: In John Inglis' book on medieval philosophical historiography (in which he identifies the "seraphic" doctor as Duns Scotus) there is a discussion of the two Inglis sees as being responsible for the Thomas-centered historiography of the 19th century which infuenced much of the twentieth, Stockl and Kleutgen. They had an even worse view of Scotus. According to them, Scotus, the founder of the "formalist" movement thought that individuation was through form. Now, since scotus only paid attention to form and not matter/subject, this logically entails that forms inhere in the 'world' as a subject, that is, there is only one subject which means scotus was a pantheist. By positing individuation as being a formal element, then, Scotus really neglected the particular, which is the Scylla to Ockham's Charybdis of claiming only particulars exist and destroying science; that is, the two Hegelian horns that the Thomistic synthesis sailed between. Sadly, it took 50 years after these two were writing for someone to challenge the pantheist claim, Parthenius Minges in the 1920's. Interestingly, Garriogu-Lagrange seems to have known about this defense, as he never accuses Scotus of pantheism (which I have no doubt he would have had he been able).

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