Pickstock Catherine ,
Modernity and Scholasticism: A critique of recent invocations of univocity,
Antonianum, 78/1 (2003) p. 3-46
Summary: Recently, Duns Scotus has been much invoked, both by ’postmodern’ thinkers and by Catholic thinkers trying to align Catholicism with modernity. The present author responds to this revived Scotism by: (1) agreeing that univocity of being is a logical and semantic theory, but (2) pointing out that Scotus newly logicised and semanticised the field of metaphysics as such, and then indicating why this move might be questionable; (3) agreeing likewise that univocity is a theological as well as an ontological thesis, but (4) arguing that the theology involved disparages embodiment and tends to divide reason from faith in such a fashion that reason pre-shapes a category of positive fact and willedness to which ideas of revelation must then conform; (5) suggesting that analogy and participation by comparison preserve both the mystery of revelation and the character of all being as gift; (6) pointing out that a representationalist epistemology, together with dualisms of reason and fact, fact and value, are questioned by most recent anglo-saxon analytic philosophy; (7) conceding to Scotus that analogy tends to break the law of excluded middle, but arguing that one can reconstrue analogy beyond the sway of this law; (8) defending the Catholic notion of the common good against political liberalism, but without in any way endorsing a conservative natural law position; (9) arguing that Thomist intellectualism offers a better ground for a theology of history and culture than Scotist semi-voluntarism.