Arquivo para December 7th, 2023

Duns Scotto and moderate realism

07 Dec

Duns Scotus is the most typical thought of moderate realism, as it linked the question of language as part of the essence of being (as the question is presented today) to the existence of universals, but he knew that he also admitted nominalism in part.

He was a philosopher and theologian from the 13th century, his main theological thesis is that God exists through the question: “whether there is among beings an infinite being currently existing” (Ordinatio I, part 1, qq. 1-2) and for him universals how “truth” and “goodness” really exist.

Duns Scotus supported a universal foundation in things (some philosophers will call it quiddity) that was stronger than those supported by Thomas Aquinas, and the entity proper to common nature that serves as the basis for individuation (so there are horses and there is the “ horse” particular to a breed, color, etc.) as well as to the universality that it adds, leaving it as if untouched (the specific horse remains a universal “horse”).

The argument that separates the “contemplative” from the “active” is in this origin of thought, the idea that the Universal is outside the intellect with the same way of being that is in the intellect and was what the scholastics called “naive realists”, returning to Plato, there are two worlds: the sensible world and the world of ideas (eidos, different of modern concept).

Even though eidos may be different from post-Kantian idealism, there remains within this thought a conception of the world “of ideas” different from the real world, that is, a radical nominalism whose Aristotelian categories were transformed into “concepts”.

Plato’s fundamental idea, and don’t be alarmed, is at the basis of modern thought, is that the truth is out there and not inside man, where he sees it through a process of meditation or contemplation, as Arendt (and others) have already argued. interpreters of philosophy) see the cave myth differently, argued Byung-Chul.

It is not this type of “parreheia” (opening of the Truth) that Duns Scotus speaks of, and Augustine of Hippo also spoke of, but rather that truth that dwells within every man.

It is in the fifth argument that Scotus uses Augustine: “If we both see that what you say is true, and if we both see that what I say is true, where, I ask, do we see it? Neither I, without a doubt, see it in you, nor you in me, but we both see it in the immutable Truth that is above our intelligence.”

Something similar is said by Socrates: “the truth is not with men, but among men”.

Scotus, John Duns. (1973) Text Selection. In: Os Pensadores (Braziliam Collection). São Paulo: Abril Cultural.