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Ousia In The Categoriae Decem And The Periphyseon Of John Scottus Eriugena

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows how Eriugena exploits the Categoriae decem, expanding the several notions of ousia contained therein and fitting them into a larger metaphysical framework. Eriugena’s understanding of ousia does not create confusion from what is obvious, as Marenbon suggests, but rather develops out of a legitimate reflection upon the philosophical content of the Latin paraphrase. While in no way diminishing the significance of more prominent influences on Eriugena’s thought, the Categoriae decem may be the most important source for explaining Eriugena’s notion of ousia, in its full, epistemological and potentially theological richness. Author argues that what Eriugena finds in the Categoriae decem in the way of a doctrine of ousia is clearly that of Aristotle’s Categories—not, he thinks, a radical claim. In the Periphyseon, Eriugena addresses the ambiguity permitted by the distinct senses of ousia and their inexplicit relation.

Keywords: Aristotle; Categoriae decem; John Scottus Eriugena; metaphysical framework; ousia; Periphyseon



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