The target of Lectura I 39

  • John Duns Scotus
Part of the The New Synthese Historical Library book series (SYNL, volume 42)


In Lectura I 39 Scotus poses a very important problem which has been extensively discussed in Christian theology, namely that of God’s knowledge of future and contingent states of affairs (‘futura contingentia’). This problem traditionally functions as a focal point of central questions and it is here that Christian theology most impressively stamps its unique character, as distinct from the philosophical thought of the ancient world.


Christian Theology Contingent Future Contingent Reality Modal Ontology Counter Position 
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  1. 39.
    As studies of Schwamm, Langston, Craig and Hoenen incorrectly assume. Cf. H. Schwamm, Das göttliche Ibrherwissen bei Duns Scotus und seinen ersten Anhängern,Innsbruck 1934, 29–30, 78–91; D.C. Langston, God’s willing knowledge, The influence of Scotus’ analysis of omniscience,University Park (Pennsylvania)/London 1986, 39–52, 119–128; W.L. Craig, The problem of divine foreknowledge and future contingents from Aristotle to Suarez,Leiden/New York/ Copenhagen/Cologne 1988, 136–139, 144 f.; M.J.F.M. Hoenen, Marsilius van Inghen (+ 1396) over het goddelijke weten, Zijn plaats in de ontwikkeling van de opvattingen over het goddelijke weten ca. 1255–1396,Nijmegen 1989 (Volume I: Studies; volume II: Text-edition of: Marsilius van Inghen, Quaestiones super QuattuorLibros Sententiarum,Lib. I Quaestt. 38 and 40), 164–166. Also see our comments at Lectura I 39, §§ 62–63.Google Scholar
  2. 41.
    This term `principle of plenitude’ and its definition stem from A.O. Lovejoy: The great chain of being, A study of the history of an idea,Cambridge (Massachusetts)/London 197814 Google Scholar
  3. 52.
    Lovejoy stated (op. cit., 55) that Aristotle did not hold the principle of plenitude, but J. Hintikka showed that he did and demonstrated how this principle is related to his view of contingency, see J. Hintikka in: Time & necessity, Studies in Aristotle’s theory of modality,Oxford 1973, 93–113; Aristotle on modality (In collaboration with U. Remes and S. Knuuttila), Acta philosophica Fennica, col. 29, no. 1, Amsterdam 1977; ‘Aristotle on the realization of possibilities in time’, in: Knuuttila (ed.), Reforging the great chain of being,57–72. Cf. also section 6a of this introduction.Google Scholar
  4. 80.
    For a brief exposition of this theme, see: H. Veldhuis, Een verzegeld boek, Net natuurbegrip in de theologie van J. G. Hamann (1730–1788),Sliedrecht 1990, 357–364.Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

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  • John Duns Scotus

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