Unum Verum Bonum. International Colloquium on Medieval Philosophy location:Lisbon date:3-6 April 2013
John Duns Scotus distinguished the ‘convertible’ transcendentals (unum, verum and bonum), from ‘disjunctive’ transcendental pairs (infinite-finite, uncreated-created, necessary-contingent, etc.) The latter are mutually exclusive pairs that together cover all of being. This paper investigates the distinctive modal metaphysical account based on the necessary-contingent pair of disjunctive transcendentals, developed by Scotus in approaching the problem of divine foreknowledge and future contingents. Although Scotus commented several times on this problem, only in his Reportatio did he explicitly add a succinct exposition distinguishing between two kinds of contingency and two kinds of necessity.
This double understanding of the necessary-contingent pair is first of all systematically and schematically presented in the paper. Subsequently, instead of continuing with the problem of divine foreknowledge as such, the implications of this Scotist framework for an adequate metaphysical understanding of the human will and its freedom will be drawn out. Finally, these schemes are compared to recent literature on the central role of contingency in Scotus’s thought, especially to the research of A. Vos on synchronic contingency and J. Söder on operative contingency.