Saturday, May 9, 2009

23 John Duns Scotus

Saint Augustine believed in divine illumination. Thomas Aquinas believed in the ratio. Both in search for certainty of knowledge.Knowledge of God, of virtues and moral values.

By the end of the scolatic period we meet two great minds, Duns Scotus and Occam. Where Thomas Aquinas thought you could justify belief by using logic and the ratio, now we see how belief and ratio are drifting apart.

For that is happening in these days around 1300. Belief and reason get their own territory. Philosophy is dealing with being as such and its properties/attributes. Theology is only concerned with the being of God and his properties/attributes.

Both domains were not, as Thomas believed eachothers complements. They were separate. Reason can not confirm what is revealed by God, because all revelation is a matter of belief and not of sensory experience.

Let me give you an example. Thomas Aquinas tried to proof the existence of God like this: we see that A causes B. But what caused A. Something else...has to...and what caused that something else...and so on.

So at some moment this causal chain must have started. There thence has to be one uncaused cause: that can only be God.

What you see in this reasoning is that we go from conclusions based on sensory experiences to a conclusion regarding a theological matter. And that step was declined by Duns Scotus.

The theological truths lay outside the realm of concrete observable things and thence they are not suited for argumentations based on natural observations.

On the other hand, Metaphysics could not 'transcend' being and thence cant describe (the being of) God, except that he simply IS.

Here we see an interesting approach which we will see in a lot of metaphysical theories through the ages. It is the idea that we can know thing, have real knowledge of what is beyong our sensory experience.

The reasoning is something like this: The concept of Being is the most universal and certain of all human knowledge. To say it in simple terms: we all know damn well that there exists something and if we deny the existence of everything (it is all a dream) there at least has to be me who says so. (You already hear Descartes !)

Due to the fall of Adam we only can know this being by abstraction and we are not able to grasp the truth immediately, for we have to rely on our sensory experiences.

Therefore we can not get to the real and true core of being, like this shows itself in the individual things except by abstraction. And this describing of being by al kinds of ways of abstraction will become a great hobby of philosophers on metaphysics for the coming 500 years.

Soon metaphysics (and real physics) will go their own way, like theology will do too. Both worlds will change dramaticaly. We are heading for real science on the one hand, which will get in conflict with religion and on the other hand we are heading for dramatic changes in religion itself in the Reformation.

Here at the end of the scolastic period you already see the very early stages of this development. An exciting perspective.

The Discussion

[13:17] Herman Bergson: If you have any question or remark..feel free..:-)
[13:18] Cailleach Shan: I don't understand the reference to 'The fall of Adam' would you elaborate on that please Herman.
[13:18] Cailleach Shan: How does it relate to the topic.
[13:18] AristotleVon Doobie: Knowledge?
[13:18] Herman Bergson: I was refering to eating that apple and being driven out of paradise
[13:18] Cailleach Shan: Ah.... pre. Adam... no nous!
[13:19] AristotleVon Doobie: Deprived of the tree of knowledge.
[13:19] Herman Bergson: Right Aristotle
[13:19] Cailleach Shan: I'm a bit slow this it was all that porridge..
[13:19] hope63 Shepherd: deprived BY the tree of knowledge i think
[13:19] Gemma Cleanslate: LOL
[13:19] bundy Razor: yess hope
[13:19] bundy Razor: he ate from it
[13:20] AristotleVon Doobie: Could be the devil, could be women...something to lame it on anyway.
[13:20] AristotleVon Doobie: blame
[13:20] Herman Bergson: Duns Scotus, when you read about him, was a very complex philosopher...
[13:20] hope63 Shepherd: you make a difference ari?lol
[13:20] Herman Bergson: a lot of his work is known nowadays...
[13:21] Herman Bergson: but it would be to much to go into such detail..
[13:21] Herman Bergson: Besides...
[13:21] Herman Bergson: these philosophers spend a lot of time thinking about the existence of God and a lot of theological matters
[13:21] Herman Bergson: and that isnt so interesting for me
[13:22] AristotleVon Doobie: We like to think there is a point of origin.
[13:22] hope63 Shepherd: he was one of the first to seperate reason and reasoning from belief.. and paved the way.
[13:23] Herman Bergson: Yes he was...and that is for us the most interesting about this moment in history and the development of mind and thinking
[13:23] hope63 Shepherd: god or black hole.. we still look..
[13:23] hope63 Shepherd: sorry bigang.
[13:23] hope63 Shepherd: bang
[13:23] Georg Janick: But surely that separation doesn't begin with Scotus
[13:23] Kerya Beresford: so he developed a demarcation principle, like karl Popper?
[13:23] Georg Janick: The Arabs philosphers had been grappling with the problem for centuries
[13:24] Herman Bergson: In a way he did kerya
[13:24] Kerya Beresford: ok
[13:24] Herman Bergson: yes indeed Georg
[13:24] Georg Janick: Otherwise there would have been no need for them to have attempted to reconcile faith and reason
[13:24] Herman Bergson: which I think is amazing..
[13:24] AristotleVon Doobie: Was he a rebel?
[13:24] Herman Bergson: No..not so much a rebel...
[13:25] Georg Janick: Then what is modern or just about modern with Scotus?
[13:25] bundy Razor: explain georg
[13:25] AristotleVon Doobie: How did his peers see him?
[13:25] Herman Bergson: I think the fact he gave reason and belief their own playground
[13:25] Herman Bergson: and broke the link between the two
[13:25] Georg Janick: I see
[13:26] AristotleVon Doobie: Good thing.
[13:26] Kerya Beresford: like Averroes?
[13:26] Gemma Cleanslate: what did he think ot Thomas Aquinas??
[13:26] Georg Janick: so he no longer thought it was necessary to attempt to reconcile the two
[13:26] Herman Bergson: it is a new step in the development
[13:26] Georg Janick: since each had its proper domain?
[13:27] Herman Bergson: ..theology and metaphysics had their own epistemological justification
[13:27] hope63 Shepherd: i think he saw the impossibility to reconcile.. because the appoach must be different..
[13:27] Cailleach Shan: And so it continues to the present day.
[13:27] Herman Bergson: Reason got free then...
[13:28] AristotleVon Doobie: Oil and water.
[13:28] Gemma Cleanslate: yes still
[13:28] hope63 Shepherd: lit the candle for future philosophers.
[13:28] Herman Bergson: we will see men who reason and the church has to get used to like that
[13:28] Maphisto Mapholisto: uncontextualised reason also gave us los alamos
[13:28] Cailleach Shan: Get used to it!!! I don't believe the Church has ever got used to it.
[13:29] hope63 Shepherd: davy crockett?
[13:29] Osrum Sands: and the french revolution
[13:29] Maphisto Mapholisto: and the double cheese burger
[13:29] AristotleVon Doobie: No if we could only go back to the good old days.
[13:29] Georg Janick: Two out of three appeal to me
[13:29] Cailleach Shan: Iraq
[13:30] Osrum Sands: slow down all
[13:30] Herman Bergson: The church lost its grip the more science (reason) grew through history
[13:30] AristotleVon Doobie: And so it should be.
[13:30] Herman Bergson: That is only an opinion Aristotle
[13:31] Maphisto Mapholisto: fundamentalism would still like to put the genie back in the bottle
[13:31] Georg Janick: But what in Scotus' conception of reason prepared the way for modern science?
[13:31] AristotleVon Doobie: You are right.
[13:31] hope63 Shepherd: so the probem of islam is that they still have a grip on thier believers..
[13:31] AristotleVon Doobie: I base my opinion on thought only.
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: not just the islamists
[13:31] Georg Janick: I stil don't have a handle on it
[13:32] AristotleVon Doobie: No religion is different in their attempt to dominate.
[13:32] Herman Bergson: It all began with Aristoteles, Georg...
[13:32] Georg Janick: Aquinas thought that faith and science were not in conflict
[13:32] Herman Bergson: Right
[13:32] Georg Janick: though it was Aristotle's science
[13:33] Georg Janick: Scotus comes before Galileo
[13:33] Herman Bergson: Yes...
[13:33] Herman Bergson: Let me explain...
[13:33] Georg Janick: who is very different than Aristotle
[13:33] hope63 Shepherd: geog.. because science was walking in the footprints of the church.
[13:33] Georg Janick: but how does Scotus prepare the way for him?
[13:33] Herman Bergson: Thomas Aquinas thought that you can combine knowledge derived from sensory experiences with statement s on belief matters
[13:34] Herman Bergson: Duns Scotus made clear that you can come to true knowledge about being through the senses, but there it stops
[13:34] Herman Bergson: the senses dont tell a thing about matters of beleif
[13:35] Georg Janick: So the sensory world becomes an independent domain of inquiry
[13:35] AristotleVon Doobie: So is the definition of faith.
[13:35] Herman Bergson: yes...and one step further....
[13:35] Herman Bergson: you can gain kknowledge about the unseen, what is behind the things, the essence of being through abstraction
[13:36] Kafka Schnabel is Online
[13:36] Herman Bergson: that is why Duns still could be a realist (plato) regarding universals
[13:36] AristotleVon Doobie: Faith and truth are two different things.
[13:36] Georg Janick: As was Galileo
[13:36] Georg Janick: I see the connection
[13:37] Cailleach Shan thinks poor old John as a Franciscan must have been in constant chaos.
[13:37] Herman Bergson: He only reached the age of 38 Cailleach..a short life
[13:38] Herman Bergson: Next class we'll see what will be the next step...ultimate nominalisme of Occam..:-)
[13:39] Herman Bergson: I hope to see you then again....
[13:39] Ze Novikov: thanks
[13:39] AristotleVon Doobie: Thanks Herman
[13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: interesting discussion
[13:40] Alarice Beaumont smiling:
[13:40] Alarice Beaumont: thank you; Herman
[13:40] Herman Bergson: Yes....most of our discussions are, I think, Gemma..:-)
[13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: if you can get a word in edgewise
[13:40] Herman Bergson: My pleasure....and thank you all for your attention and good discussion again
[13:40] hope63 Shepherd: thanks herman,, have to go rl..
[13:41] hope63 Shepherd: by everyone..
[13:41] hope63 Shepherd is Offline
[13:41] Osrum Sands: by hope
[13:41] AristotleVon Doobie: Bye Hope.
[13:41] Alarice Beaumont: Herman.. could i join the next class, too?
[13:41] Zara Kraft is Offline
[13:41] Herman Bergson: I can join you to the group if you like...
[13:41] Gemma Cleanslate: yes do
[13:41] Herman Bergson: then you receive all notifications and invitations for class
[13:42] Kerya Beresford: maybe th ekey question is universalism, did scotus see the two different things as paths to the same truth?
[13:42] Alarice Beaumont: oh, that really would be nice
[13:42] Osrum Sands: A Q Herman - Do you think that Science and Religion / or spirituality are making moves back towards each other ?
[13:43] Herman Bergson: Just a sec.....multiple questions...
[13:43] Alarice Beaumont laughing and thinking.. oh not really
[13:43] Cailleach Shan: Not in NZ Os..
[13:43] Herman Bergson: Osrums question is easy...I would say no ..not at all
[13:43] Osrum Sands: hahah
[13:43] AristotleVon Doobie: They tried that in Pensylvania.
[13:43] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:43] AristotleVon Doobie: With intelligent design.
[13:43] Osrum Sands: I disagree
[13:43] Herman Bergson: creationism is such a fun the US
[13:43] Osrum Sands: but shall do up a note card re my thinking
[13:43] Osrum Sands: for later
[13:44] AristotleVon Doobie: We are full of reformists
[13:44] Osrum Sands: no not creationism
[13:44] Osrum Sands: thats crap
[13:44] Osrum Sands: higher level then that
[13:44] Herman Bergson: But Kerya's remark....universalism....what do you mean with that term Kerya?
[13:44] Osrum Sands: like at the level of the Big bang theory etc
[13:44] Kerya Beresford: stil working on it
[13:44] Kerya Beresford: lol
[13:44] AristotleVon Doobie: There is a conserted effort on all religins part tohave control.
[13:45] Kerya Beresford: I think it is a key question for post modernism#
[13:45] Osrum Sands: I do not see it that way as contrioll
[13:45] Osrum Sands: rather to know truth
[13:45] AristotleVon Doobie: Whos got yhe biggest fgroup?
[13:45] Kerya Beresford: universalism versus relativism
[13:45] Herman Bergson: it means that every individual should seek and put effort in the welfare of all, I think
[13:45] Gemma Cleanslate: see you next time Thursda
[13:46] AristotleVon Doobie: Do no harm, would work.
[13:46] Herman Bergson: Be well Gemma..:-)
[13:46] Kerya Beresford: I mean a universal truthh system, that obtains everywhere
[13:46] Osrum Sands: not sure if post modernity is a reality
[13:46] Cailleach Shan: Bye Gemma
[13:46] Osrum Sands: when you consiuder the elements of modernity they still exist only on a biger way
[13:46] Osrum Sands: consider the globalisations of modernity
[13:46] Herman Bergson: A universal truth system.....hmmmmmm...quit a project
[13:47] Cailleach Shan: Neither do I Os... I think it's a clever way of saying 'I haven't a clue'
[13:47] AristotleVon Doobie: If we could only agree.
[13:47] Kerya Beresford: what was the social context of his ideas?
[13:47] Maphisto Mapholisto: lol, Calli
[13:47] Kerya Beresford: maybe then we can pin him down a bit
[13:47] Osrum Sands: ]Post modernity sems to be simply a way of bring cxonfusion rather then doing the hasrd thinking
[13:48] Osrum Sands: post modernity is also a way of saying that what ever I want to beleive is right
[13:48] Cailleach Shan wonders how many av's you can squeeze onto a pixel.
[13:48] AristotleVon Doobie: Right is a relative term.
[13:49] Osrum Sands: exactly
[13:49] Herman Bergson: Just a moment....let's get back to the idea of a universal truth system...
[13:49] Osrum Sands: but not in science or math
[13:49] Alarice Beaumont: yes.. it's always to the opinion of the viewer
[13:49] Osrum Sands: sorry proff
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: The center of the world.
[13:49] Osrum Sands: you got me going there
[13:49] Kerya Beresford: yes but the church has always claimed that it represented a universal truth something tru regardless of subjective viewpoint
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: What about universal truth? Sounds impossible.
[13:50] Herman Bergson: yes..that is what I hear in such an expression....another religion...
[13:50] Kerya Beresford: that may have been mistaken but look at all the discoveries made by jesuits
[13:50] Kerya Beresford: scientific discoveries
[13:50] Kerya Beresford: exploratio etc
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: Were they just pretending?
[13:50] Osrum Sands: I think the distinction between the 'institution called the church' and the church should be held
[13:50] Maphisto Mapholisto: maybe they made those despite the claim to universalism
[13:51] Herman Bergson: that is one thing Osrum
[13:51] Herman Bergson: But I think that we have to look closer at some other aspects of scientific knowledge
[13:52] Herman Bergson: what we see now is that reason gets it own realm and isnt anymore a tool for religious questions
[13:52] Alarice Beaumont: sorry.. bye everybody :-)
[13:52] AristotleVon Doobie: Bye.
[13:52] Rodney Handrick: bye
[13:52] Kerya Beresford: ok
[13:52] Cailleach Shan: Bye Ala
[13:53] Maphisto Mapholisto: bye ala
[13:53] hannibaal Alekseev: byeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
[13:53] AristotleVon Doobie: Reason is the King.
[13:53] Cailleach Shan: Where does that leave the mystics?
[13:54] Maphisto Mapholisto: a king without a parliament is a dangerous thing
[13:54] Herman Bergson: reason will evolve during time and we will meet philosophers that made good use of it.But what is mor e important....nowadays we are willing to accept the fact that at the very base of all our knowledge, how we ground our claims for certainty of knowledge, we find ourself with beleives
[13:54] Osrum Sands: I think people like Stephen Hawkins and George Smoot would say that science and religion (in its best sence) have similar fields in part
[13:54] AristotleVon Doobie: :) so true Maff.
[13:54] Kerya Beresford: reason is still for Scotus created by God?
[13:54] Herman Bergson: still wa sin his days
[13:54] Cailleach Shan: Did he say mathmatics is the language of God.
[13:55] Herman Bergson: not that I know of Cailleach
[13:55] AristotleVon Doobie: But I fear it the perversion of reasoned thought that is dangerou.
[13:55] baby Hotaling is Online
[13:55] Cailleach Shan: I mean Stephen Hawkins.
[13:55] Osrum Sands: dont know
[13:56] Maphisto Mapholisto: reason without ethics is a dangerous thing
[13:56] AristotleVon Doobie: Do no harm.
[13:56] Herman Bergson: Yes true....
[13:56] Herman Bergson: but it is reason that analysis the ethical principles...
[13:57] Maphisto Mapholisto: humans cannot live on reason - it too thin .. we need heart for full stomach
[13:57] AristotleVon Doobie: Amen.
[13:57] Osrum Sands: Why do we say do no harm when all around we see a universe that is violent and distructive
[13:57] AristotleVon Doobie: Evil universals.
[13:58] Osrum Sands: sorry folk must go the garbage truck is coming
[13:58] Osrum Sands: bloody thing
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: Take care Os.
[13:58] Cailleach Shan: Hahahaha.....priorities.
[13:58] Maphisto Mapholisto: for that kilt?
[13:58] Ewa Aska: byee Osrum
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: lol
[13:58] Maphisto Mapholisto: cya os
[13:58] Kerya Beresford: maybe the demarcation idea is a powerful one, Newton was a believer in magic and witchcraft they tell me, but the law of gravity is still a useful idea, except in sl of course, lol
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: Herman is evil a universal?
[13:59] Herman Bergson: I think so is a property of things and acts
[14:00] Maphisto Mapholisto: i think our species is good at compartmentalisation, Kerya
[14:00] Cailleach Shan: I think we have to compartmentalise in this time... it's the only way to stay sane.
[14:00] AristotleVon Doobie: Who here is sane?
[14:01] Maphisto Mapholisto: tha'spost-modernism talking, Caill, lol
[14:01] Cailleach Shan: Hahahaha..... true..... am I sane..... I don't think so..
[14:01] Herman Bergson: I
[14:01] AristotleVon Doobie: :)))
[14:01] AristotleVon Doobie: Only me!
[14:01] Cailleach Shan: If I know I am not sane then how do I know.
[14:02] AristotleVon Doobie: Well lovely folks I have to go. Good bye everone.
[14:02] Cailleach Shan: I think it's time I left... thanks Herman.
[14:02] Maphisto Mapholisto: me 2
[14:02] Maphisto Mapholisto: bi all
[14:02] Herman Bergson: thnx for you participation..:-)
[14:02] AristotleVon Doobie: Wow what an unseating.
[14:02] Rodney Handrick: bye Cal
[14:02] Cailleach Shan: Bye everyone..
[14:03] Ewa Aska: ~~$$~~Tschüssi~~$$~~
[14:03] Ewa Aska: bye Cal
[14:03] AristotleVon Doobie: Whoopee
[14:03] Herman Bergson: Hi quiet..:-)
[14:03] Maphisto Mapholisto: till next time ... tnx herman
[14:03] Ewa Aska: yes I sneeak in lol
[14:03] Herman Bergson: bye Maff
[14:03] Rodney Handrick: thanks Herman
[14:03] Ewa Aska: ty herman
[14:04] adil Heron: bye all
[14:04] Ewa Aska: byee ..caio
[14:04] Kerya Beresford: thanks herman
[14:04] Herman Bergson: What is your impression you like the class?
[14:05] Kerya Beresford: i appreciate it
[14:05] Kerya Beresford: It has been a new sl experience for me
[14:05] Herman Bergson: do you know the blog of the class?
[14:05] Kerya Beresford: it is difficult to discuss in these circumstances
[14:05] Kerya Beresford: but worth it
[14:05] Kerya Beresford: some of the people seemed to have broad agendas
[14:06] Kerya Beresford: so I appreciate what you are doing
[14:06] Herman Bergson: thnx
[14:06] Herman Bergson: have a look at
[14:06] Kerya Beresford: is there a group I can join in sl?
[14:06] Kerya Beresford: I would enjoy attending
[14:06] Herman Bergson: oh sure..just a minute...
[14:07] Kerya Beresford: Thank you so much
[14:08] Kerya Beresford: see you soon

Posted by herman_bergson on 2007-11-27 15:53:03

No comments:

Post a Comment