Apologetics, Blessed John Duns Scotus, Franciscan Intellectual Tradition, Metaphysics, Philosophy, The Franciscans

Bl. John Duns Scotus & the Metaphysical Primacy of Being

metaphysical-being“Being is the first and most basic object of intellection. Avicenna’s discussion of the primacy of being in his Metaphysics was the foundation for most thirteenth century speculation on Aristotelian insights as they relate to the question of knowledge and its relationship to reality. Although it is the most basic and most general of all concepts, prior to all determination, being is not a genus. Indeed, being cannot be a genus because, if it were, then the modal intensity of finite or infinite would represent the specific difference. As we have seen, modal intensity represents not a species within being, but a perfection of being. Prior to logic, being is the foundational and necessary concept for any cognitional act, the horizon within which knowing inscribes itself. Non-being, while it can be represented linguistically, cannot be conceived in a manner other than the absence or negation of being. Thus, in order to be understood, even the concept of non-being requires the prior concept of being.”

– Mary Beth Ingham, The Philosophical Vision of John Duns Scotus

 

– Lucas G. Westman

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