Dale Tuggy

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.

4 Comments

  1. JT Paasch
    April 24, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

    I don’t know if Scotus would say they are not relevant to us. I think he would just that they are going to be useful as ‘persuasive’ proofs rather than knock-em-sock-em-dead deductive proofs.

    Unfortunately, I don’t know which terms Scotus thinks are not evident. If I knew the reference to Sent. 2.1, that’s probably where the answer would be!

  2. Dale
    April 21, 2010 @ 8:09 am

    Thanks a lot JT!

    So his point is something like this: EVEN IF Richard’s arguments are sound – and if they are sound, they will be necessarily so – this isn’t relevant to us, because we could not (IF they were sound) know them to be sound.

    Is that right?

    If so, I’m still not clear why the last part – what terms are they that keep us from knowing Richard’s premises to be true?

  3. JT Paasch
    April 18, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

    Oh, I forgot one other thing. Scotus mentions ‘terms’ that are not known to us. A ‘term’ in this context is a word in a sentence (a premise). Typically, premises in Aristotelian logic are atomic subject-predicate sentences, but there can be other terms (like quantifiers) too.

  4. JT Paasch
    April 18, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

    Well, I don’t have access to Sent. 3.24.un., and I can’t see what the Rep. prol. text has to do with Scheeben’s point, but here is the text from Sent. 1.42.un., n. 4 (Scotus is asking whether one could prove that God is omnipotent):

    Ad auctoritatem Richardi. Dico quod etsi sint necessariae rationes ad omnipotentiam probandam, sicut et ad quaedam alia credita tamen non sunt evidenter necessariae et verae, sicut illa ratio quae probat Trinitatem, propter duplicem productionem ad intra in divinis, quia licet sit ex necessariis, non tamen praemissae sunt necessariae evidentes, quia non sunt notae ex terminis nobis notis, neque ex immediatis nobis tonis possibile est hoc inferre, sicut dictum est distinct. 2, quaest. 1.

    “As for the text cited from Richard [of St. Victor], I say that even if there are necessary arguments for proving [God’s] omnipotence, just as [there are necessary arguments for proving] other things we believe, nevertheless, it is not evident that they are necessary or true, just like that argument [of Richard’s] which proves [that God is] a Trinity because of [the fact that there necessarily must be] a double internal production in God. For although [that argument proceeds] from necessary [premises], nevertheless, it is not evident that those premises are necessary, for they are not known from terms that are known to us, nor is it possible to infer this [conclusion] directly from [premises] that are known to us, as I said in distinction 2, question 1.”

    The word ‘evident’ in these scholastic cats roughly means ‘not obvious’ or ‘unable to be proven’. That doesn’t mean you can’t know a premise that is not evident, it just means you can’t prove it with a syllogism. At best, you can buttress it with a lot of argumentation to make it very plausible, but you can’t offer a deductive proof for it.

    I do not know the reference Scotus is referring to in I Sent. d. 2, question 1, so if anyone knows where it is, do let us know!