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Document Details :
Title: Numbering the Divine Persons
Subtitle: Mental Existence of Numbers in Duns Scotus, Henry of Harclay, and Peter Auriol
Author(s): SOROKINA, Maria
Journal: Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume: 87 Issue: 2 Date: 2020
At the beginning of the fourteenth century, three authors are particularly dissatisfied with the realist theory of number: John Duns Scotus, Henry of Harclay, and Peter Auriol assert that it leads to several paradoxes and therefore postulate the purely mental existence of numbers. However, although all three expound the conceptualist theory of number, they do not define the form of number in the same way. For this reason, while Scotus and Harclay admit the existence of number in divine persons, that is totally impossible for Auriol, even if a number is an ens rationis and not a real accidental form. According to Auriol, the concept of number is a sum of units that is produced by the intellect; since the human mind cannot conceive of the divine persons separately from each other, it cannot produce this sum.