Sunday, September 13, 2009

Theoremata Scoti, Pars IV

The fourth part of Scotus' Theoremata contains little worthy of comment. It consists of a (largely scattered and unconnected) series of notes on some of the questions in books VIII and IX of Scotus' QQ in Metaphysicam. The notes are mostly about the construction of a composite substance, the causes of its constituents and of the whole, and of the causation effected by each. There are no settled conclusions and no immediately discernible order in the notes, and so I'm going to omit any translation from the text.

Part IV supports what I've been suspecting about the nature of the Theoremata, namely that it seems to be a set of--not drafts, exactly--but of preliminary studies on questions that interest Scotus and which he discusses at much more length elsewhere. He's working out in a systematic way the consequences of various approaches to the problems set out in the various parts. Because of this none of it should be taken as Scotus' final word on anything without confirmation from one of the more authoritative works.

This sketch of an interpretation is particularly relevant for how to approach part V, which contains much of interest and which is very disconcerting at first. We'll see tomorrow how plausible it is.

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