John Duns Scotus adopted a distinction made by Anselm: the will can operate in conformity to an affection for the advantageous (affectio commodi) or it can operate in conformity to an affection for justice (affection justitiae). When the will acts as an affectio commodi, it acts as a nature, as something moved by another. When a will acts as an affectio justitiae, it as acts truly as a will, as something self-moved.
The affectio commodi as a nature seeks its own fulfillment so that it is “no more an elicited act of the will than is the natural appetite in a stone.” The affectio commodi as a nature does not act freely. The affectio commodi seeks a kind of natural beatitude. It is incapable of attaining of loving something or something for its own sake. This affection for the advantageous requires a checkrein. The affectio justitiae restrains the affectio commodi and allows the will transcend nature and attain the supernatural. The affectio justitiae seeks the intrinsic good of something or someone in and of itself. The affection for justice allows the will to love God for himself and love one’s neighbor for himself. Charity or love is made possible by the innate presence of the affectio justitiae. Without this latter affection, the will would not be free and thus not truly capable of love.