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The Physics of Duns ScotusThe Scientific Context of a Theological Vision$
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Richard Cross

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269748

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269748.001.0001

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Introduction: Physics and Duns Scotus

Introduction: Physics and Duns Scotus

(p.1) 1 Introduction: Physics and Duns Scotus
The Physics of Duns Scotus

Richard Cross

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the central concepts in Duns Scotus's natural philosophy and physics. One of them is his theory of individuation, where each individual has a own non-repeatable property called ‘haeccecity’. Almost as famous as this theory is his defence of what philosophers call ‘contra-causal’ freedom, freedom to bring about ‘not-a’ even if all the conditions are necessary for bringing about ‘a’. The chapter offers historical, philosophical, and theological reasons for examining Scotus's physics. It also cites his theological theories — divine timelessness, angels and the human soul, grace, the Incarnation, the Immaculate Concepcion, and transubstantiation. Lastly, it provides a brief outline of the topics discussed in the chapters that follow.

Keywords:   individuation, haeccecity, Scotus, contra-causal freedom, theological theory, Scotus's physics

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