Monday, August 20, 2007

Divisions of the Will

For those of you out there who are just dying to hear about Scotus and the will, check out Ord. II d. 6 qq.1-2 (in vol. 8 of the vatican ed., for those privileged few who have obtained this volume). There we find almost all of the famous distinctions Scotus makes in the will. We have the amor amicitiae vs. the amor concupiscentiae, the affectio iusitiae and the affectio commodi. As far as I could tell, these are all found within the actus elicitus; at least, the actus imperatus was not mentioned (for this latter distinction see the prologues to the various sentence commentaries; the difference seems to be between an act willed only and an act willed as well as carried out...but that's just a guess).

There are certain oddities as well, as we would expect from Scotus. For example, he seems quite clearly to state that the affectio commodi (affection for the advantageous) is the will considered as a rational appetite. This provokes two reactions from me: 1. Will as rational appetite is the preferred way that Thomas talks about these matters, which means, as Scotus locates the native freedom in the will not in the affectio commodi but in the affectio iustitae that he probably thinks Thomas unable to account for free will in any fashion whatsoever, and 2. There is a possible contradiction. On the one hand, Scotus says that there is only one will, that the two affectiones are not two wills. But from book IX of his Questions on the Metaphysics we have a strong distinction between Will and Nature, Intellect being included in the latter as it is determined by its object. Indeed this is an important element of Scotus's voluntarism. But which is it, Will as an appetite of the Intellect, or Will as somehow separate from natural, determined processes. The answer undoubtedly lies in looking again at book IX, which I have not done in over a year.

1 comment:

Michael Sullivan said...

I haven't looked at QQ.IX in a long time either. One of many, many things to do . . .