John Duns Scotus

On the Beatific Vision

Excerpted from Quaestiones quodlibetales 6.1

From this distinction to the proposition: The act of beatific comprehension cannot be an abstract understanding, but it is necessarily intuitive, because the abstract is equal in the case of things that exist and those that do not exist, and so beatitude could be in a nonexistent object, which is impossible. Also, the abstract can be longed for, although the object would not be attained in itself, but only its likeness. But beatitude is never possessed unless the beatified object itself is attained directly, in itself. This is why some call the intuitive comprehension the “face-to-face vision,” and rightly so; this comes from the apostle in 1 Corinthians 13[:12]: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.”

original latin

Ex his patet maior: Quia si actus beatificus est necessario intuitivus ipsius obiecti, ergo eius ut existentis et in existentia propria praesentis; ergo omnis conditio, quae est obiecti per se beatifici, est eius per se ut in existentia reali, imo, ut in ipsa reali existentia praesentis; ex quo habemus maiorem.

Probatur minor. Probatio minoris, quod scilicet infinitas sit per se conditio obiecti beatifici: Nullus intellectus, nec etiam boluntas, in aliquo obiecto perfecte quietatur, nisi sit in eo tota plenitudo primi obiecti, quanta, scilicet, compossibilis est primo obiecto.

{T]alis plenitudo primi obiecti intellectus vel voluntatis non potest esse nisi infinitas.

Ergo nulla potentia beatificabilis potest quietari in aliquo nisi sit infinitum; et per consequens infinitas est per se conditio obiecti quietativi, et ita beatifici.