Friday, April 19, 2013

Scotus as Underrated Philosopher


An excerpt:

Which brings me to his greatest philosophical achievement: the only proof of God’s existence I’ve ever seen worth the name. Sure, there are others like Pascal and Kierkegaard who write great arguments for believing in God, but to make a good argument that the Big Honkin’ Omnieverything that’s not respectable for someone who reads Simone de Beauvoir to think exists really does exist, and it does all the things a BHOe should do…well, that’s impressive.** Sure, it takes him 70 pages to do it, which is 69 more than most intro philosophy courses think Scholastic Godproofs should get, but what you get out of them…
It’s one thing to write a Godproof that logically works, getting you from premises to some conclusion. It’s another thing entirely to write one that’s so compelling, such a brilliant work of the intellect, that it forces you to agree with it, even if you’re suspicious of Godproofs on general principle.
And so the proof puts along in its rather disorganized and cosmological fashion, showing the triple primacy, that Aquinas’s five ways are really three ways, and then can be shown to be, in the end, synonymous (and thus referring to the same being, rather than five different beings), that this triple primacy does God things, and that Anselm’s ontological argument can be saved.