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I will describe the difference between “essentia l ism” and “existentialism” as defined by Gilson. Thus understood, they are contradictories. Then, I will as- sess the case for attributing “essentialism” to Scotus, based on an a s-sessment of Scotus texts and secondary scholarship. I will argue that ifwe adhere to the most straightforward characterization of the dispute between “essentialism” and “existentialism,” we see that Scotus act ual- ly endorsed the view that Gilson calls “existentialism”— consciouslyaccepting it, as an implication of his views. Therefore, he also would have rejected the view that Gilson calls “essentialism.” This shows that Scotus is closer to Aquinas, than Gilson thinks he is

Étienne Gilson, Duns Scotus, and Actual Existence: Weighing The Charge of "Essentialism" | PDF | Thomism | Essentialism

https://www.scribd.com/document/439935707/ETIENNE-GILSON-DUNS-SCOTUS-AND-ACTUAL-EXISTENCE-WEIGHING-THE-CHARGE-OF-ESSENTIALISM 

 

 

 

 
Studia Gilsoniana
 6:3 (July
 – 
September 2017): 331
 – 
364 | ISSN 2300
 – 
0066
Andrew C. Helms
University of Notre DameUSA
ÉTIENNE GILSON, DUNS SCOTUS,AND ACTUAL EXISTENCE:
WEIGHING THE CHARGE OF “ESSENTIALISM”
 
Étienne Gilson juxtaposes what he calls Aq 
uinas’s “existentia
l-
ism” to what he calls Scotus’s “essentialism.”
1
 
For Gilson, “existentia
l-
ism” is philosophical truth, the only view compatible with an authent
i-
cally Christian metaphysic, while “essentialism” is a Hellenic mistake
that seduces Christian philosophers by appealing to the idolatrous de-sire to reduce reality to what is intelligible. In this pape



 I will describe the difference between “essentia l ism” and “existentialism” as defined  by Gilson. Thus understood, they are contradictories. Then, I will as- sess the case for attributing “essentialism” to Scotus, based on an a s-sessment of Scotus texts and secondary scholarship. I will argue that ifwe adhere to the most straightforward characterization of the dispute  between “essentialism” and “existentialism,” we see that Scotus act ual- ly endorsed the view that Gilson calls “existentialism”—  consciouslyaccepting it, as an implication of his views. Therefore, he also would have rejected the view that Gilson calls “essentialism.” This shows that Scotus is closer to Aquinas, than Gilson thinks he is

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