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The Questions on the Metaphysics by John Duns Scotus: A Vindication of Pure Intellect

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Chapter Summary

John Duns Scotus authored two works on Aristotle's metaphysics, the Questions on the Metaphysics and the Remarks on the Metaphysics. The Questions were copied several times and were soon regarded as one of Scotus's major works. Apart from the intrinsic interest of this issue, a close study of Scotus's views on the nature, method, and limits of metaphysics in the Questions provides an access key to an otherwise intractable work. Scotus had a particularly lofty conception of metaphysics as the discipline that both considers anything whatsoever with regard to its most general features and inquires into the deeper structure of reality. Scotus was acutely aware of some severe cognitive limitations that actually mar our current practice of metaphysics. Scotus developed an original conception of how it is possible to overcome the current cognitive limitations and grasp the deeper structure of reality by the exercise of purely intellectual powers.

Keywords: Aristotle's metaphysics; cognitive limitations; intellectual powers; John Duns Scotus; Questions on the Metaphysics; Remarks on the Metaphysics



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