Świat możliwy versus świat realny w koncepcjach średniowiecznych, czyli o boskiej mocy absoluta i ordinata

Elżbieta Jung


Possible World versus Actual World in Medieval Thought, or about God’s Power absoluta and ordinata

The present paper offers a review of medieval theories concerning the problem of God’s power. Over almost fifteen centuries medieval thinkers carried on debates on God’s possibility of acting. Since God has an infinite power of acting the main question, with regard to this problem, was as follows: Does God change the established order in reality or is it only a theoretical/logical possibility. The problem strongly connected to this issue is related with the question of determinism, namely does future contingents events being predict by God are necessary, and consequently human’s decisions are determined by God’s will or the choices of humans are the results of free will. The other questions were concerned the mode of understanding of “infinity”, treated as an infinite set composed of infinite subsets and the development of the procedure secundum absolutam Dei potentiam, which allowed to built hypothetical cases in order to solve problems in theology and philosophy of nature, which had serious consequences for the development of modern 17th century science.

Keywords: medieval theories of God’s power; potentia absoluta et ordinata, medieval theology and modern science; Peter Damiani; Alexander of Hales; Thomas Aquinas; John Duns Scotus; Wilhelm Ockham; Ryszard Kilvington; Walter Charleton.

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