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This conception of logic formed the basis of the Realism CHAP. IL of Duns Scotus, and the inferences he derived therefrom struck deeply at the foundation of all theories concerning education. The Cartesian dogma was both forestalled and exceeded; for it is evident that in postulating for all the arbitrary divisions and distinctions marked out by the intellect a reality as complete as that of all external individual existences, the theory which claimed for every distinct conception of the mind a corresponding objective reality, was at once involved and still further extended. With Scotus the conception was itself the reality; and hence, as an inevitable corollary, there was deduced an exaggerated representation of the functions of logic altogether incompatible with a just regard to those sciences which depend so largely for their developement upon experience and observation. Logic, no Logic the longer the handmaiden, became the mistress,-the 'science sciences. of sciences;' men were taught to believe that the logical concept might take the place of the verified definition, and that à priori reasoning might supply that knowledge which can only be acquired by a patient study of each separate science'. Mathematics and language, which Bacon had regarded as the two portals to all learning, were to give place to that science where alone could be found the perfect circle, and the remedy for the inaccuracy and vagueness of nomenclature and diction. The reproach which Cousin so unjustly cast upon Locke,-in reply to the almost equally
conclusion as Scotus. See Dean Mansel's Introduction, pp. xlv and xlvii.
While I wish to speak with all respect of a work like Dean Milman's Latin Christianity, I may venture to observe that in his statement of Duns Scotus's philosophy he has exactly inverted the order of the Scotian argument. A comparison of his account (Bk. XIV c. 3) with that given by Hauréau and Prantl will prove this.
1 Prantl remarks that both Albertus and Duns Scotus attempted to prove the existence of Universals from our subjective conception of them: weil es ja von dem NichtSeienden keine Erkenntniss geben
könne und somit dem Universale
CHAP. II. unjust assertion of the latter, that theological and scientific disputes are generally little more than mere logomachies,that he regarded science as nothing more, to use the aphorism of Condillac, than une langue bien faite', may, with the change of a single word, be applied with perfect propriety to the Subtle Doctor. 'Cela posé,' says Hauréau, after an able exposition of the Scotian theory, 'cela posé, il va sans dire qu'à toutes les pensées correspondent autant de choses, qu'on peut indifféremment étudier la nature en observant les faits de conscience ou en observant les phénomènes du monde objectif, et qu'une logique bien faite peut suppléer à toute physique, à toute métaphysique".'
Important results of the
of the By
It will not repay us to follow our laboricus guide through introduction those minute and subtle enquiries whereby he has demonstrated the presence of the new element in the applied logic of Scotus,-our object being not to resuscitate the pedantry of the fourteenth century, but to trace, if possible, the direction of the activity that then prevailed, and its influence upon subsequent education. Nor will the foregoing outline appear irrelevant to such a design if we remember that in this Byzantine logic are to be discerned not only the influences that raised the logician's art to so oppressive a supremacy in the schools, but also the germs of the ultra-nominalism developed by William of Occam,-the rock on which the method of scholasticism went to pieces in our own country; though in the obscurity that enveloped alike dogma, philosophy, and language, men failed at first to perceive the significance of the new movement. But before we pass from Duns Scotus to his pupil and successor, it is but just that we should give some recognition to that phase of his genius which honorably distinguishes him from Albertus and AquiThe logician who riveted thus closely the fetters of the schools, was also the theologian who broke through the barriers which his predecessors had so complacently constructed; and it must be regarded as an important advance
Limits which nas.
must be obthe applica
to revealed truth.
1 Philosophie de Locke, 5th edit., p. 232; Cf. Locke, Essay on the Human Understanding, 111 2, 4; Mill,
Logic, 16 197.
Philosophie Scolastique, 11 313.
in philosophic apprehension, that Scotus could. admit the CHAP. 11. fact, that there were in the province of faith not merely truths to which the human reason could never have attained unaided, but also mysteries which even when revealed transcended its analysis. It is true that in the theory of the principium individuationis which he maintained, he sought to escape from the perilous position of Aquinas by a solution satisfactory to the comprehension; but there were also many other points in relation to which he could say with Tertullian and Augustine, Credo quia absurdum'. The strain beneath which the formulas that Albertus and Aquinas had constructed were before long to give way, grew heavy under the supremacy of the Subtle Doctor. He saw, too, far more clearly than they, the real tendency of Aristotelian thought, and that the theory of the vital principle pointed unmistakeably to a renunciation of the doctrine of a future life. And, while he recognised in all its force that desire for Unity3, which has proved both the polar star and the ignis fatuus of philosophy, he avoided with equal insight that theory of reabsorption, towards which the mysticism of Bonaventura had advanced so closely, and preferred simply to regard the belief in human immortality as a revealed truth.
If, accordingly, we compare Duns Scotus with Roger and Roger Bacon, there will be found, as we have already remarked, pared. consent as well as contrast in their views. Both were distinguished by their devotion to the mathematics of their time; both said that knowledge must have its beginnings in experience, and in Duns Scotus we perhaps discern the
CHAP. II. first signs of the gravitation of controversy towards the question with which, since the commencement of the seventeenth century, it has been mainly occupied; both regarded logic as essential to the right acquirement of knowledge', though differing widely with respect to its relative importance; both relegated to theology those deeper mysteries which the thinkers of the preceding century sought to determine by dialectics".
tion of the influence of
in the universities.
The reputation of Duns Scotus in our universities is Duns Scotus rivalled by that of Aquinas alone, and in all but theological questions the influence of the former was probably far the greater. His realism, it is true, was displaced by the nominalism of Occam, but his authority as a logician and a theologian remained unimpaired. The literature to which his theories with respect to isolated questions gave birth, would alone form a considerable library. Even so late as the seventeenth century, almost a hundred years after he had been dragged so ignominiously from his pedestal at Oxford, Edition of his an edition of his entire works appeared under the auspices of
works of 1639.
Schoolmen after Duns Scotus.
the Irish Franciscans at Lyons, unsurpassed by any edition of the schoolmen for beauty of typography and accuracy of execution; while in the dedication of the work to Philip IV of Spain, John Baptista a Campanea, the general of the order, unhesitatingly claims for his author the fame that belongs to ingentis familiæ notissimus præceptor, amplissimæ scholæ nobilis antesignanus3.
Among the most distinguished schoolmen in the generation that succeeded Duns Scotus were Mayronius, Petrus Aureolus, bishop of Aix, and Durand de Saint-Porçain; of these the first was long a text-book in our universities; the
tal tendencies of Roger Bacon ex-
carried into metaphysics and theology, and so became the founder of the great Middle Age sect which bears his name.' Moral Phil. p. 5.
1 'Et certe si logicam nescivit, non potuit alias scire scientias, sicut decet.' Comp. Studii, c. 8.
Opus Majus, cc. 4, 46.
3 Opera Omnia, cura Lucasi Waddingii, Lugduni, 1639.
second is credited by Hauréau with having been the leader CHAP. II. of the attack on the theory of Universals; while the third acquired distinction by his denial of some of the chief doctrines of the Thomists,-among them that of the 'first intelligible' and that of representative ideas. Both approached the confines of that border land where the phantasies of realism were to be seen fleeing before the approaching light. It is impossible indeed to follow the reasoning of the most eminent logicians from the time of Aquinas without perceiving that clearer and juster metaphysical thought was being evolved from the long discussion. It needed but a few bold strides, and the regions of realism, so far at least as the theory of Universals was concerned, would be left behind. It is hardly necessary to add that such an advance was soon to be made, and that it was to be made by William of Occam.
The demagogue of scholasticism' is no inappropriate William of title for one who, at little more than twenty years of age, d. 1347. defied the authority of Boniface VIII, in a treatise against the spiritual power of the Pope'; who, in mature life, stood forth in defence of the vow of poverty and of his order against John XXII; and who so far reversed the tradition of the
1 Hauréau, Phil. Scolastique, II 410 416. Prantl, Geschichte der Logik, 1 292.
2 That the Disputatio super Potestate was written during the lifetime of Boniface seems certain. (See Goldastus, De Monarchia S. Romani Imperii, ed. 1612, p. 13). Occam could therefore, if born in 1280, have been little more than one or two and twenty, for Boniface died Oct. 11, 1303. The Disputatio is in the form of a dialogue between a soldier and a priest, and it is certainly somewhat startling to find sentiments like the following proceeding from the pen of a Franciscan of the fourteenth century. Clericus. Immo certe contra omne jus, injurias innumeras sustinemus. Miles. Scire vellem, quid vocatis jus. Clericus. Jus voco, --decreta patrum et statuta Romanorum pontificum. Miles. Quæ illi statuunt, si de temporalibus statuunt,
vobis possunt jura esse, nobis vero
Milman, Latin Christianity, VII 377. Bk. XII c. 6.