John Duns Scotus

John Duns Scotus : Introduction to His Fundamental Positions

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Etienne Gilson's Jean Duns Scot: Introduction A Ses Positions Fondamentales is widely understood to be one of the most important works on John Duns Scotus' texts, famous for their complexity. James Colbert's translation is the first time that Gilson's work on Scotus has been put into English, with an introduction by Trent Pomplun and an afterword by John Millbank.

Scotus contributed to the development of a metaphysical system that was compatible with Christian doctrine, an epistemology that altered the 13th century understanding of human knowledge, and a theology that stressed both divine and human will. Gilson, in turn, offers a thoroughly comprehensive introduction to the fundamental positions that Scotus stood for. Explaining Scotus's views on metaphysics, the existence of infinite being and divine nature, the matter of the physical spiritual and angelic, intellectual knowledge and will and Scotus' relationship with other scholars, Gilson and Colbert show how deeply Scotus left a mark on discussions of such disparate topics as the semantics of religious language, the problem of universals, divine illumination, and the nature of human freedom.

This work has been translated from the original work in French Jean Duns Scot. Introduction a ses positions fondamentales ( (c) 1952 by Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin).
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Product details

  • Hardback | 632 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 35.56mm | 1,057g
  • T.& T.Clark Ltd
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0567678687
  • 9780567678683
  • 1,580,510

Table of contents

Translator's Preface

Chapter 1: The Object of Metaphysics
Chapter 2: The Existence of Infinite Being
Chapter 3: The Divine Nature
Chapter 4: Origin of the Contingent
Chapter 5: Angels
Chapter 6: Matter
Chapter 7: The Human Soul
Chapter 8: Intellectual Knowledge
Chapter 9: The Will
Chapter 10: Duns Scotus and the Philosophers

A, Bibliographical Information
B, Biographical Information
C. Alphabetum Scoti

Afterword: The Dissolution of Divine Government: Gilson and the 'Scotus Story'

Index of Names
Index of Terms
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Review quote

This classic book offers a way of understanding Scotus, as well as contemporary interpretations of Scotus. In his Preface, Gilson cautions that 'it is always imprudent to extract in Scotus's name consequences that he has not deduced.' The timeliness of this warning--which henceforth I intend to heed--makes clear the importance of this translation. * Matthew Levering, James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary, USA * At long last we have a highly readable translation of Etienne Gilson's Jean Duns Scot. This book is utterly indispensable for three reasons. First, it offers a lucid introduction to the most important medieval thinker after Aquinas; secondly, it illuminates the thought of the most prominent mediaevalist of the 20th century; and thirdly, John Milbank's interpretative Afterword is a genuine masterclass in its own right. * Rik Van Nieuwenhove, Durham University, UK * Why translate into English today a six hundred eighty-page history of a medieval author's treatment of diverse metaphysical issues, published in French back in 1952? Probably for many of the same reasons that this work was translated into Italian only in 2007. Gilson's original Preface and the translator's Appendices provide the perspective to see the worth of translating the mammoth text: together they all offer an invitation to pursue today a deeper understanding of Scotus's collection of metaphysical themes. * Stephen F. Brown, Boston College, USA * ...Colbert delivers to English readers a translation of a difficult and expansive book. This translation is not only lucidly rendered, as well as faithful to Gilson; it is also a deeply learned volume. Colbert distinguishes this translation throughout by profound immersion in the complex theology and philosophy of Duns Scots-and of medieval scholastic thought in general. For the herculean effort, assiduity, and deep erudition that this volume required, [...] readers of Gilson and of Scotus, as well as historian of medieval Christian history and thought, owe Colbert their enthusiasm and gratitude. * Kevin Madigan, Harvard Divinity School, USA *
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About Etienne Gilson

Etienne Gilson (1884-1978) was a French philosopher and historian of philosophy.

James Colbert is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Fitchburg State University, USA. He has published translations from French, Spanish, and Italian.
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