Ed Buckner

Ed Buckner studied and taught philosophy at the University of Bristol in England. He has a number of publications in the area of both analytic philosophy and medieval logic and philosophy. He is the author, with Jack Zupko, of Duns Scotus on Time & Existence, a translation of an early work by the philosopher-theologian Duns Scotus, with a comprehensive and detailed commentary. Now mostly retired, he curates the Logic Museum, a collection of primary sources in the history of logic.


  1. So the bible says - Trinities
    May 14, 2016 @ 6:20 am

    […] The point is that the subject of the verb ‘said’ is ‘the Bible’, and as Joshua Harris objects, the Bible cannot ‘say’ anything, as it’s ‘an inanimate object, not an intellectual […]

  2. Joshua Harris
    May 10, 2016 @ 1:18 pm

    But the Bible doesn’t “say” or “use” anything because it’s not the kind of thing that “says” or “uses” (it’s an inanimate object, not an intellectual agent). The people composing the Bible said/used the words “God” and “Moses,” and we continue to use the same words for various purposes.

    Also, Dr. Tuggy, I hate to be an annoying Thomist but the position you describe as “in contrast” to Spinoza and Aquinas is affirmed by Aquinas explicitly.

  3. Dale Tuggy
    May 8, 2016 @ 7:34 am

    “whenever we indirectly quote the scriptures, e.g. ‘Exodus 3:1 says that Moses was setting out for Egypt at the command of God’, we are specifying what the Bible says by using the names ‘Moses’ and ‘God’ exactly as the Bible uses them.”

    Nice post, Ed. “specifying”…

    I’m inclined to say that such a person does *refer to* what the Bible says. But it’s not at all clear that he’d be entertaining what the Bible says. Suppose he has a goofy and anachronistic interpretation of the Bible, on which both God and Moses are avatars of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Then what the Bible actually asserts may hardly enter his mind, as he’s indirectly quoting it. But I think he’s still be referring to what it actually asserts, by using the phrase that you’ve said. What do you think?

    For those readers without a big philosophical background. Part of what has the Maverick Philosopher exercised is that these two have unusual ideas about “God.” Spinoza says that “God” aka “Nature” is the one real thing, and it seemingly is the cosmos as a whole. Aquinas says that God is “Being Itself” and that any term we can use applies to God only “analogically” and never in exactly the same sense as when that term is correctly applied to creatures. In contrast, most Christians think that God is distinct from the cosmos, and the creator of it, and that terms like these literally apply to God: exists, conscious, powerful, loving, free.