John Duns Scotus on the Passions of the Will

Ian Drummond

in Emotion and Cognitive Life in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199579914
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745959 | DOI:
John Duns Scotus on the Passions of the Will

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Medieval philosophers usually explained the passions of the soul in terms of a bodily change, John Duns Scotus rejects this view and explains the passions in terms of the inclinations of appetitive powers as such, regardless of whether they have a material aspect. The will therefore, even though it is a purely spiritual and immaterial power, can be the proper subject of emotions such as joy and sadness; these passions are ultimately voluntary, argues Scotus, because the inclinations of the will are due to its own free acts of volition. However, if the will is naturally inclined as the rational appetite to the good of the whole human being, some passions of the will seem not to be traceable to any free act. It is thus not clear whether Scotus can reconcile the traditional conception of the will as the rational appetite with his account of its free self-determination

Keywords: emotions; passions; will; inclination; John Duns Scotus; passions; rational appetite; freedom; self-determination

Chapter.  13830 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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