The view (traceable no doubt to the Aristotelian definition) that equity mitigates the hardships of the law where the law errs through being framed in universals, is to be found in some of the earlier writings.
In connexion with the problem of universals, he held that the diversity of individuals depends on the quantitative division of matter (materia signata), and in this way he attracted the criticism of the Scotists, who pointed out that this very matter is individual and determinate, and, therefore, itself requires explanation.
In general, Aquinas maintained in different senses the real existence of universals ante rem, in re and post rem.
In the matter of Universals, Duns was more of a realist and less of an eclectic than Aquinas.
On the question of universals he endeavoured to steer a middle course between the pantheistically inclined realism of Duns Scotus and the extreme nominalism of William of Occam.
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