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Love, Power and Consistency: Scotus' doctrines of God's power, contingent creation, induction and natural law

Ledsham, Cal (2010) Love, Power and Consistency: Scotus' doctrines of God's power, contingent creation, induction and natural law. Sophia, 49 (4). pp. 557-575. ISSN 0048-3893

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Abstract

I first examine John Duns Scotus' view of contingency, pure possibility, and created possibilities, and his version of the celebrated distinction between ordained and absolute power. Scotus' view on ethical natural law and his account of induction are characterised, and their dependence on the preceding doctrines detailed. I argue that there is an inconsistency in his treatments of the problem of induction and ethical natural law. Both proceed with God's contingently willed creation of a given order of laws, which can be revoked and replaced with a new order of laws. In the case of ethical natural law God promulgated the Decalogue, for example; in the case of nature, there are physical laws which can be known by induction. Scotus exalts the freedom of God and the mutability of ethical natural law, in order to explain exceptions to it disclosed by revelation (for example, the Old Testament command to Abraham to kill Isaac). Yet he treats ethical natural laws as (mostly) not universal and immutable. In contrast, he holds that we can arrive at knowledge of the universal and immutable laws of nature, except for those regularities that result from free will. Finally, I present several ways of characterising this tension between Scotus' doctrines.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: John Duns Scotus, eithical natural law, induction
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: A - Philosophy
College/Association with University of Divinity: CTC: Catholic Theological College
Depositing User: Users 112 not found.
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2011 04:37
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2012 02:26
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/899

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