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Faith and Philosophy

Volume 14, Issue 1, January 1997

Richard Cross
Pages 3-25

Duns Scotus on Eternity and Timelessness

Scotus consistently holds that eternity is to be understood as timelessness. In his early Lectura, he criticizes Aquinas’ account of eternity on the grounds that (1) it entails collapsing past and future into the present, and (2) it entails a B-theory of time, according to which past, present and future are all ontologically on a par with each other. Scotus later comes to accept something like Aquinas’ account of God’s timelessness and the B-theory of time which it entails. Scotus also offers a refutation of his earlier argument that Aquinas’ account of eternity entails collapsing past and future into the present.

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