Tuesday, May 15, 2012

On the Compatibility of Liberty and Necessity

Duns Scotus, Rep. IA d. 10 q. 3 (Wolter-Bychkov I, 402):

I respond, therefore, to the question and I say that necessity in acting goes together with liberty.  First, I demonstrate this; secondly, I explain how it is possible.  The first I show in this way:
liberty is some condition intrinsic to the will in respect to its action.  Hence, what is not repugnant to the will in respect to its action is not repugnant to its liberty. But necessity is not repugnant to the will in respect to its produciton; indeed--as has been proved--the will is a principle necessarily producing love, etc.; therefore neither is necessity repugnant to liberty of the will in respect to the same production.

The first bit of the argument sounds like a definition; here it is again, in the original:  libertas est aliqua condicio intrinseca voluntatis ut comparatur ad suam actionem.

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