Scotus on Mind and Being: Transcendental and Developmental Psychology
Keywords:John Duns Scotus, Henry of Ghent, Thomas Aquinas, Theory of Knowledge, Object of the Intellect, Ideogenesis, Metaphysics, Epistemology
This article esamines the sources for Scotus’s critique of Aquinas and Henry of Ghent regarding being as the first object known and its role in the development of our intellectual knowledge. Viewing Aquinas’s and Henry’s own treatments against the background of what might be called Scholastic developmental psychology and in particular the thesis that God is the first object known, the article sketches out Aquinas’s view that being and not God is the first object of the intellect, even though it is not in confused manner. Turning to Henry’s theory that God is the first confused object of awareness, but being the first concept distinctly known, the article then lays out Scotus’s critique of both of these alternative views. What emerges, apart from the details of the critique, is that Scotus’s theory has adapted elements from both Thomas and Henry in his own quite distinctive theory of the relationship between mind and being.