The Division Of Nature (Periphyseon). John Scotus Eriugena. Book I. TEACHER: Often I investigate as carefully as I can and reflect that of all things which can. John Scotus Eriugena (c/) Works (Selected List). Periphyseon ( The Division of Nature, ) Such is the first division of nature into genera. Eriugena is mainly remembered for his volu- minous work the Periphyseon [On Nature] or, in its Latin title, De Divisione. Naturae [The Division of Nature).
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Johannes Scotus Eriugena c. He is best known for translating and commenting on the works of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. In this capacity, he helped to transmit Dionysian mystical theology to the Medieval Latin West. According eriugean the system, Nature is the totality of the things that are and the things that are not. Such is the first division of nature into genera.
John Scottus Eriugena (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
This division may be made in several ways:. The differentiae of these divisions are as follows: There are two pairs of species. The third is the opposite of the first, just as the fourth is the opposite of the second. Nture, the fourth is distinguished by its inability to be.
The first species is God, transcendent and self-existent. However, Eriugena asserts that God may be said to be created in creatures, thus raising a marked tension in his thought between the Augustinian theological legacy and Neoplatonic pantheism.
Some knowledge of God may be achieved, either in a cataphatic or an apophatic way, a la the Pseudo-Dionysius. Specific contradiction between the ways e. The categories do not apply to God—not even substance—so transcendent is God. We may learn from creatures that Idvision is but not what God is. However, Eriugena takes an interesting tack on this affirmation when it comes to the categories of suffering and making.
God does not suffer, he assures, but neither can God be a maker, for two reasons: For He alone truly is, and everything which is truly said to be in those things which are, is God alone. Yet he reaffirms creatio ex nihilo.
In regard to the relation of reason and authority, Eriugena gives reason priority but in this sense, that interpretation of revealed truths in scripture must be normed by truth discerned by natrue theological tradition is a tradition of more and less reasonable considerations of revealed dogma.
They are the prototypes of worldly things. Though the primordial causes eriugna multiple, they remain one in the Word, and thus Eriugena denies ontological plurality. There is but one ontological principle in nature, God.
Part II: The Carolingian Renaissance
Indeed, from the perspective of their status as divine ideas, the causes are divine. Creation is a theophany, but what is the nothing from which it was created, if it is nothing other than God? Since God transcends intellect God is duly nothing, so creation may be considered a divine process from nothing into otherness.
The term of this process is that God be all in all, a motif Eriugena picks up from I Cor. The world is created by God and so is other than God. The world is also eternal, for it is eriubena outside God: Thus, the fourth species is God, understood as that final cause toward which creation tends. All the divisions of nature, then, indicate that the only true reality is God. Human nature is distinguished by the presence of a rational soul in the person. That the image exists can be known by its effect human naturebut what it is, as nqture a cause in God, transcends our knowledge.
Thus humans participate in God but cannot grasp equality with God.
De divisione naturae – Wikipedia
By its standing in the hierarchy, human nature is a microcosm summing up creation. The uniquely incarnate Word leads fallen humankind back to God. The Word assumes human nature in order to redeem human nature, in which all persons have solidarity. The relation of Incarnation to the rather Neoplatonic stages of return of the soul to God, let alone the overall cosmic return, is unclear. Deification is meant to be understood not as a reabsorption into divine substance, but as a kind of return to human nature as it is in its causes.
Yet, the resurrection of the body is, by turns, caused by grace or by a natural telos. Eriugena works out damnation as a kind of privation: A History of PhilosophyBk. II, Augustine to Scotus. The Division of Nature extractsin Baird and Kaufmann eds. Upper Saddle River, N. Opera Omnia in Patrologia Latina with analytical indexes. If you want to use ideas that you find here, please be careful to acknowledge this site as your source, and remember also to credit the original author of what you use, where that is applicable.
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John Scotus Eriugena (c.810/815-877)
Works Selected List 3. Outline of Major Works 5. Relation to Other Thinkers 6. Bibliography and Works Cited 7.