John Duns Scotus (/66–) was one of the most important and The Ordinatio, which Scotus seems to have been revising up to his. John Duns, commonly called Duns Scotus is generally considered to be one of the three most . The standard version is the Ordinatio (also known as the Opus oxoniense), a revised version of lectures he gave as a bachelor at Oxford. Marenbon, J. (). Duns Scotus, Ordinatio, Prologue, part 1, qu. unica. [Other].

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Balic and others Rome,vol.

References to Aristotle and quotations from other authors come from the footnotes to this edition. Paragraph numbers in square brackets are also from this edition. Words in square brackets are not in the Latin text; ‘[thing]’ is often needed because English usually does not allow an adjective to function by itself as a noun, as Latin does.

The original Latin word or phrase is sometimes supplied in curly brackets. Fifth I ask whether a material substance is ‘this’ and individual through matter? Because according to the Philosopher in Metaphysics V, chapter ‘On One’ [ b], ‘One in number are those of which the matter is one’; therefore etc.

In Metaphysics V in the old translation [b ], ‘In the foundation of the nature nothing is distinct’. But what is not in itself distinct or diverse cannot be the first ratio [Note 1] of the diversity or distinction of something else; but matter is an altogether indistinct and indeterminate foundation of the nature; therefore it cannot be the first ratio of the distinction or diversity of something else. This is held especially because of many texts of Aristotle, which seem to mean this.

One of these is in [ Metaphysics ] VII [ a], that the generating generates another because of matter. Therefore it seems that matter lies outside the ratio [Note 2] of the quiddity, and of anything that has the quiddity primo[Note 3] and thus, since it is something among beings, it seems to be part of the individual, or the individuation of the whole; whatever is in the individual that is altogether repugnant with the ratio of the quiddity can be posited as the first ratio of individuation; therefore etc.

This argument – which proves the unity of the heavens from the unity of the mover, and the unity of the mover not only in species but in number, because it does not have matter – would not seem sound unless numerical distinction came about through matter; therefore etc. And later he adds: And later he adds, ‘Socrates is already from ultimate matter’, etc. Therefore he thus concedes a distinction of form, just as of matter, in the particular – and thus unity of matter in the common, dujs as of form; and therefore it is necessary still to ask, by what is the matter this?

The matter is the same in the generated [thing] and in the corrupted; therefore it has the same singularity in the generated and in the corrupted. Because then scotks determinant would be related to the nature as act to potency; therefore of the specific nature and that determinant there would be truly and properly a composite, which is unsuitable: Every inferior includes per se something not included in the understanding of its superior – otherwise the concept of the inferior would be just as common [i.

But this ‘something included’ is a positive entity scouts the solution of the rodinatio question [Note 6] and makes a per se unity with the nature from the solution of the fourth question [Note 7] ; therefore it is a per se determinant of the nature to singularity, or to the ratio of that inferior.


John Duns Scotus

But it does not seem possible to understand that anything is added belonging to the essence and nature of the individual, because the whole of it is said by the species, which is the whole being of individuals; therefore, if something is added, it seems to be something belonging to accidental nature. For indeed, in the predicamental line, division into the most specific species stands, because it includes the ultimate difference, beneath which it is not possible to take anything more determinate through which it could be more determined in the individual as happens in the species in respect of the genusunless there were a process to infinity; and therefore, as Plato says, we must rest in the singulars – so namely that there is not to be posited in them anything formal belonging to the essence and quiddity, beyond that which is included in the ratio and quiddity of the species.

Therefore, if anything is added by which the nature, according to itself common, is thus determined and contracted, it must be that it is something belonging to scous accidental nature [i. Therefore, quantity is per se the principle of one according to number, just as form. And according to these dubs, it seems it must be said that the formal principle or formal ratio of this distinction.

Authors/Duns Scotus/Ordinatio

The most special species is atoma [i. Though quantity is not the formal ratio of the division of something into subjective parts, yet when a quantitative whole is divided into quantitative parts, [Note 8] it is divided per se into [parts] which are of the same ratio ; but the principle of division into certain [parts] is the same as the principle of the distinction of those that divide; therefore, just as quantity itself is the principle of that division, so it is the principle of the distinction of those that divide.

But they are the subjective parts of the common nature; therefore quantity is the principle of the distinction of such parts. For according to the Philosopher, Physics I [ a32 – b5], ‘substance is of itself indivisible’, speaking of parts of the same ratio – and yet, upon the advent of quantity, it is divisible into such parts – indeed it then has such parts.

Thus, therefore, the nature of a species can be ‘this’ of itself, and yet through a nature advenient to it from outside it can be this and this. One, such that a material substance, as distinguished essentially from quantity, remains the same – altogether not distinguished according to the ratio of its proper and essential entity – and yet receives many quantities: This is to say, in plain words, that the same material substance, in itself not divided or distinguished, is informed by many quantities, and from this there are many individuals under the species.

First, because it would posit the idea that Plato posited. For Plato posited that the idea is a substance existing per sea separate nature, without accidents as the Philosopher attributes to himin which would be the whole nature of the species – which according to what Aristotle attributes to him would be said of any individual by a formal predication, saying ‘this is this’.


But this opinion posited that ‘this substance’ is said of anything of this species by a predication saying ‘this is this’, and yet it is under this and that accident.

Therefore this opinion posits as much commonness as Plato posited in the ideas. First, that no material substance can be generated and corrupted. Not generated, because if ‘this stone’ exists, there will be in it every substance that can be in any stone; yet such a quantity, and such, other in number, can be acquired to this substance of stone: Similarly, while this stone remains, the specific nature of stone remains in it; but all nature of stone is ‘that nature’; therefore while that nature remains, all the nature remains; therefore some material substance cannot be corrupted while that stone remains, though the quality or quantity is not the same.

And therefore they do not try to answer this objection, as being insoluble, but transfer themselves to other homogeneities, stone or water; and yet, if they had something for themselves from the ratio of ‘atomic’ specific nature, they would conclude of man just as of stone. They can therefore see that the principles from which they proceed are null, since manifest impossibilities follow from them.

Therefore, to say that a nature is of itself this according to the meaning earlier explained of a nature which is of itself thisand yet that is can be this and that by something else advenient, is to say contradictories. For truly substance, according to some position [of Thomas Aquinas, Godfrey of Fontaines], does not of itself have parts of the same ratioand yet it is not of itself non-having parts of the same ratio so that it is repugnant with it to have parts, because then it could not receive such parts formally through something advening to it.

And thus the nature of a most specific species is not of itself this, just as something divisible is not from its nature of itself this; yet it is not of itself not-this, so that it is of itself repugnant with it to be divided into many parts, because then it could not receive something through which formally such division would belong to it. But it does not result per se from the entity of the nature, because that has a real per se unity [Note 9] of its own, as was proved in the solution to the first question.

Therefore it follows upon some other entity that determines this one, and together with the entity of the nature it makes something one per se because the whole of which this is the unity is perfect of itself.

But those primo diversa are not the nature in this and the nature in that, because that by which some [things] agree formally is not the same as that by which they differ really, though the same [thing] can be distinct really and agreeing really: Therefore so it will be concerning unity. If there is some real unity less that numerical unity, either it belongs to something in numerically the same [thing], or in something else.

Not in the same in number, because whatever is in the same in number is one in number; not in two, because in them nothing is really one, because this is a property in the divine persons as Damascene’s statement was explained above.

As it was said in the solution of the first question on ordinatip topic, [Note 12] the nature is naturally prior to this nature, and the proper unity resulting from the nature as nature is prior naturally to its unity as this nature; under that ratio the metaphysical consideration of the nature takes dins, its definition is assigned, and there sscotus propositions per se in the first svotus.

I concede, therefore, that the real unity is not of something existing in two individuals, but in one. Whatever is in one species is one in species; therefore: For just as it was said elsewhere What this entity is from which there is this perfect unity can be clarified by comparison with the entity from which the specific difference is taken.

The specific difference, orfinatio the entity from which the specific difference is taken, can be compared [a] with what is below it, or [b] with what is above it, or [c] with what is alongside it. And there is ordinafio a difference in this, that the former unity of specific nature is less than this unity, and accordingly the former does not exclude all division according to quantitative parts, but only division into essential parts; [Note 17] the latter, however, excludes all division.

But sometimes the contracting [determinant] is different from the form from which the ratio of the genus is taken when the species adds some reality over and above the nature of the genus. But sometimes it is not another thing, but only another formality or another formal concept of the same thing. And according to this, some specific difference has a concept not ‘simply simple’, for example, that which is taken from a form, and some does have a concept ‘simply simple’, that which is taken from the ultimate abstraction of a form about this distinction of specific differences see dist.

This is proved from this, that understanding any quidditative entity – ordinnatio of a limited quidditative entity it is common to many, and it is not repugnant to be said of many of scotux each is itself; therefore that entity, which ordniatio of itself an entity other than a quiddity or quidditative entity, cannot constitute the whole of which it is part in quidditative being, but in being of ordiatio ratio.

And from this follows the logical [doctrine] that the former [the specific nature] is essentially formal, the latter [the individuating entity] material’, for the latter constitutes in the ratio of subjectable and the former in the ratio of predicable precisely; but the formal predicate has the ratio of form, the subjectable has the ratio of matter.

And in this respect I say that the individual difference is assimilated to the specific difference taken universally, because every individual entity is primo diverse from every scogus. For it is objected: Either this entity and that one are of the same ratio or not. If they are, then some entity can be abstracted from them, and this a specific entity; and concerning this it must be dns If of itself, then by like reasoning there could have been a stand in the nature of stone; if through another, therefore a process to infinity.

If those entities are of different ratiotherefore also the [things] constituted will be of different ratioand thus they will not be individuals of the same species. The ultimate specific differences are primo diverse, and therefore nothing one per se can be abstracted from them; however, it does not follow because of this that the [things] constituted are primo diverse and not of some one ratio.


For that some [things] are equally distinct can be understood in orsinatio ways: And in the first way it is true that the distinct [things] are equally diverse as those distinguishing [entities] for the distinguishing [entities] cannot be incompossible without the distinct [things] also ordinaito incompossible. In the second way universally it is impossible, because the distinct [things] include not only the distinguishing [entities] but something else that is quasi-potential with respect to the distinguishing entities, and yet the distinguishing entities do not agree in it.

And these ordinatiio realities cannot be thing and thing, as the reality from which the genus is taken and the reality from which the difference is taken from [both of] which the specific reality is taken can be – but in the same [thing] whether part or whole they are always formally distinct realities of the same thing.

For when it infers that every individual in which the nature is contractible is composite by its nature, [Note ordinatip I say that composition can be understood properly, as it is ordinatii an actual thing and a potential thing, or less properly, as it is from reality and reality, actual and potential, in the same thing.

In the first way the individual is not composite with respect to the specific nature, because it adds [to the specific nature] no reality because neither matter nor form nor composite, as the argument [in ] proceeds.

In the second way it is necessarily composite, because the reality from which the specific difference is taken is djns with respect to the reality from which the individual difference is taken, as if it were thing and thing; for the specific reality does not from itself have that by which it includes through identity the individual reality, but only some third [thing] includes those both through identity.

For it [divine simplicity] not only does not accept with itself a composition of thing and thing, actual and potential, but neither also actual reality with potential reality: But in the present case the specific entity does not include through identity the individual entity, nor the converse, but only sctous third [thing], of which both are quasi per se parts, includes them both through identity, and therefore removes ordinatioo most perfect composition that is from thing and thing.

John Duns Scotus (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

But not all [composition]: And therefore I concede that the singular is not definable by a definition other than the definition of the species, and yet there is a being per se adding some entity to the entity of the species; but the per se entity that it adds is not quidditative entity. To the arguments for the opinion.

And if division is taken strictly as it is into parts having a proportion to the whole, which either they constitute, or they are contained under it in determinate multitude or magnitude: And through this both Plato or Porphyry can be explained.

But if division is taken generally, as it is into whatever [things] share in the nature of what is divided whether they have such proportion dnus the whole in integrating or in subjecting, or notthe species per se is divided into individuals; and that division is reduced to the genus, in Boethius [ Book on Division]because the conditions and properties that Boethius assigns in the division of a genus befit this division of species into individuals.

And because the entity that the singular adds over and above the species is not quidditative being – I say that scotuss whole quidditative entity that is in the individual is the entity of the species, and therefore the species expresses the whole being of the individuals; but not thus does the genus express the whole being of the species, because the species adds quidditative entity.

Indeed, the concept that is according to itself common to the species is the ratio of its divisibility into species, but it is not the ratio of distinguishing the species from one another; but this species is distinguished from that one by the difference.

But in quantitative division, the whole quantity, as it confusedly contains all the parts, is the ratio of divisibility in the whole quantity: Yet that division is not the first division of individuals, but this substance and that one have a division from one another and a distinction, as this and this, that is naturally prior to the distinction as they were distinct quantitative parts per accidens for it happened to them to be parts ; yet when the division is made according to quantitative parts, per accidens a division comes about according to subjective parts.

For I concede that matter absolutely, as it is the nature, is not the ratio of distinction or individuation; for whatever is a nature is whatever genus, total or partial, is not of itself this – and therefore one must ask through what is it this.

I say that here he takes matter for the individual entity which constitutes in material being, but not in formal being in so far as quiddity expresses formbecause that entity is not quidditative. And this interpretation is clear from what he adds: Here ratio is taken for quiddity, which is called form in respect of individual being.

For I concede that there cannot be several first movers, because in a first mover there is not matter: However, the ‘what-something’ is what the thing primo is, and therefore what the ‘what something is’ belongs to per se is the same as it per sewhat [it belongs to] per accidens is the same as it per accidens and is therefore not simply the same and thus he maintains in ch.

In the first way ‘what something is’, both in material and in immaterial [things], is the same as that of which it is even primobecause primo it has the ‘what something is’. In the second way, what has is not the same, when it includes some entity outside the ratio of its quiddity; for then it is not the same as the ‘what something is’ primobecause the ‘what something is’ is not its primobecause what has includes some entity outside the ratio of that which is ‘what something’ primo.

But in [things] conceived with matter i. But whether according to the Philosopher lack of the matter that is the other part implies lack of such an individual entity will be discussed in a later question. For the particular agent has from its form that by which the affected resembles it, and the generator [that by which] the generated [resembles it], and it has from matter that it is distinct from the generated: