The Power Distinction: Working Notions

Lawrence Moonan

in Divine Power

Published in print April 1994 | ISBN: 9780198267553
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683282 | DOI:
The Power Distinction: Working Notions

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This chapter provides a working notion of Power Distinction. Power Distinction refers to a (purported) distinction between two ways in which we may consider God's power (to do things extrinsic to his nature): (1) in its (supposed) actual effect (or manifestation), the actual created order (of those who maintain that there is such a thing), and (2) in abstraction from whether any such thing is to be instantiated or not in extra-mental reality, provided such a thing is susceptible of instantiation by an unrestrictedly active power (such as was, in one way or another, attributed to God); typically expressed in such adverbial modifications as de potentia ordinata sua and de potentia absoluta sua, when modifying potest or potest F-ere, when the grammatical subject of the verb is being understood to stand for the divine nature; and in essentially the sense(s) established in the medieval schools, and dominant if not unchallenged in the period covered by this book: from around 1215, to the decade of the condemnations of 1270 and 1277.

Keywords: Power Distinction; God; divine nature; power; potest; de potentia absoluta sua; de potentia ordinata sua

Chapter.  13410 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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