Volume 93, Issue 4, Fall 2019
Garrett R. Smith
The Analogy of Being in the Scotist Tradition
It is widely believed today that John Duns Scotus’s doctrine of the univocity of being ushered in various deleterious philosophical and theological consequences that resulted in the negative features of modernity. Included in this common opinion, but not examined, is the belief that by affirming univocity Scotus thereby also denied the analogy of being (analogia entis). The present essay challenges this belief by recovering Scotus’s true position on analogy, namely that it obtains in the order of the real, and that complex concepts of creatures are analogically related to complex concepts of God. Scotus’s doctrine is then compared to the later Scotist tradition. The common opinion of the Scotist school from the fourteenth century onward followed Scotus’s position on analogy and considerably expanded upon his scattered remarks.