Duns Scotus on Placement Problems

Marilyn McCord Adams

in Some Later Medieval Theories of the Eucharist

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199591053
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595554 | DOI:
Duns Scotus on Placement Problems

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Scotus argues that Thomistic transubstantiation is the wrong change. What needs to be explained is not the whole-being of Christ's Body, but its being present on altars where mass is said. Scotus resolves locomotion into two logically independent changes: a loss change and a gain change. What gets Christ's Body on the altar is a gain change without a loss change. To explain how Christ's Body exists on the altar, Scotus appropriates Giles' distinction and argues that it is possible for a body to have quantitative without categorial position and possible for the whole of a body to have an external relation to the whole of a place without the parts of the body having external relations to the parts of a place. Christ's Body actualizes these possibilities on earthly altars. Scotus reasons that if placement is simply a function of more or fewer external relations to places, then multiple location of extended bodies — many in one place and/or one in many places — is metaphysically possible. He works ingeniously to rebut arguments against it.

Keywords: Scotus; mass; gain change; loss change; Body

Chapter.  11787 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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