ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf

333. General Principles of Physics. -- Scotus boldly rejects the theory of the rationes seminales, so dear to the earlier Franciscan school. He attacks St. Bonaventure's main argument for the inductio formarum in matter.{1} Dealing with the interplay of the three factors that concur in the generation of things, Scotus is inclined to lay great stress on the Divine intervention (294).

Vital action is irreducible to the plasticity of the matter in which it is found: it reveals an agency of a higher order. Wherefore, besides its material or corporeal form, every living organism possesses a distinct vital form. Scotus is more liberal than Henry of Ghent; but he does not admit the necessity of multiplying substantial principles in chemical combinations (mixta) (Alexander of Hales, Albert the Great), or, a fortiori, in the simple elements (St. Bonaventure).

{1} "Neque est necessaria haec ratio seminalis ad vitandam creationem aut annihilationem" (Report. Paris., L. ii., dist. 18, p. 354, t. xi.). Scotus gives a restricted meaning to ratio seminalis.

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