Letting Scotus Speak for Himself

Letting Scotus Speak for Himself

Ingham, Mary Beth (Loyola Marymount University)

Medieval Philosophy and Theology 10 (2001)


In “The Unmitigated Scotus,” Thomas Williams calls for another, better reading of the Subtle Doctor: one in which he is able to “speak for himself.” In this and other articles, Williams criticizes recent Scotist scholarship for its misguided attempt to save Scotus from “the unpalatable position” he actually held, that is, a libertarian voluntarist divinecommandmoral philosophy.

He presents his position as one that, finally, allows Scotus to speak for himself. Williams’s position involves three distinct claims. First, that Scotus’s voluntarism is not moderate. Second, that he defends a libertarian notion of freedom, both in the divine and human wills. Third, that, as a result of the first two claims, natural reason is unable to know moral truths without some sort of supernatural revelation or immediate moral intuition.

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