Walter Burley, Peter Aureoli and Gregory of Rimini
- Walter Burley, Peter Aureoli and Gregory of Rimini Stephen Brown THE END OF THE GREAT ERA Immediately after the glorious age of Bonaventure and Thomas Aquinas, the University of Paris, as we have seen, had a number of outstanding teachers. Henry of Ghent, following in the path of Bonaventure, was the reigning figure until about 1285 ([15.14] 121–78; 221–3).1 Godfrey of Fontaines, the pupil of Aquinas and his defender against the 1277 condemnation of propositions associated with the great Dominican thinker, developed his own voice and gradually replaced Henry as the principal master at the university ([15.32] xv–xxi, 382–5; [15.14] 3– 41 and passim; [15.21] 193–207). Giles of Rome, a student of Aquinas from 1269 to 1272, whose teaching was delayed by a censure against him in 1277, was restored to good standing by Pope Honorius IV in 1285 ([15.14] 223–5). He established an early form of Augustinian teaching that held sway with the Augustinian Hermits until a more English-influenced approach was established in 1342–4 by Gregory of Rimini ([15.29] 182–207). As the fourteenth century began, the most outstanding figure was a visitor from Oxford, John Duns Scotus. His lectures at Paris survive in the form of student reports, bearing the appropriate name, Reportata Parisiensia. With the death of the Subtle Doctor in 1308, an era of famous Parisian teachers came to an end. The influence of these great thinkers, however, remained at Paris in the period (1308–50) that now concerns us. Henry, as we shall see, is the opponent of Peter Aureoli on the unity of the concept of being and on God’s knowledge of future contingents. Although many Parisian authors continued to criticize his theory of illumination, Henry still found a staunch ally in Hugolinus of Orvieto (see [15.16] 151–4). Godfrey was a strong influence on the Carmelite John Baconthorpe, who taught in Paris as well as England and on John of Pouilly, who quoted him favourably in his Quodlibeta ([15.32] 386). Giles influenced members of his order at Paris in different ways: Gerard of Siena and Thomas of Strasbourg stayed close to Giles in their teaching, whereas Michael of Massa in his later writings sacrified the metaphysical interests of Giles to the study of natural philosophy in order to refute William of Ockham’s teachings on physics ([15.36] 196–214). Scotus had so many followers at Paris in the decade after his death that one might even speak of them (William of Alnwich, Antonius Andreas, Hugh of Newcastle, Francis of Marchia, Francis Meyronnes, and others) as forming the first Scotist school ([15.14] 9–24). WALTER BURLEY If, however, we want to move beyond the echoes of Henry, Godfrey, Giles and John Duns to the new philosophical voices of the era after Scotus’s death, we might well begin with Walter Burley. Burley, as is known, did his early and his late work in England. However, he arrived in Paris before 1310 to study theology and he stayed there until 1327. In effect, then, the central years of the life and activity of Walter, who was born around the year 1275, were spent in Paris. The Tractatus primus (First Treatise), which is Walter’s defence of certain theses of his Commentary on the ‘Sentences’ that were attacked by Thomas Wilton, was written in Paris. So was his Treatise on Forms, perhaps his first reaction to William of Ockham’s physics. If the first version of his De puritate artis logicae (On the Purity of the Art of Logic), with its attack on Ockham’s theory of supposition, did not have its origin in Paris, it at least existed there in a number of copies—one, an abbreviation—before 1350. His detailed attack on Ockham’s physics began with his Exposition of Aristotle’s ‘Physics’, whose books I–VI were completed at Paris ([15.31] 180–6). Around 1340 Walter’s continued influence at Paris is confirmed by the Danish commentator on the Prior Analytics, Nicholas Drukken, who defended Ockham’s position on supposition against Burley, whom he explicitly names and cites ([15.27] 51–3). Certainly he must be considered one of the great voices of Parisian realism. Burley served as an envoy of Edward III at the papal court in Avignon from 1327 to 1330. Although he finished his career in England, often under the patronage of Richard of Bury, the Bishop of Durham, he made frequent trips to the Continent ([15.30] 30–8). During his later years in England, he commented on the Ethics, wrote his Super artem veterem (On the ‘logica vetus’), and produced an Exposition of Aristotle’s ‘Politics’, books VII and VIII of which were heavily indebted, even in phraseology, to the Parisian commentary of Peter of Alvernia ([15.31] 186–8; [15.27] II: 13–22). The early works of Walter Burley place him at Oxford in 1301 and 1302, though he seems to have lectured there even earlier. We have, for example, at least four different commentaries by him on Aristotle’s On Interpretation that have survived. It is the Questions on ‘On Interpretation’ that dates from 1301. This work, however, in a quaestio format, is somewhat advanced. There is a more basic commentary, a précis of Aristotle’s work, found along with parallel abbreviations of Porphyry’s Isagoge and Aristotle’s Categories in Cambridge, MS St. John’s College 100, ff. 47ra–54vb. Such cursory lectiones, which simply list the general content of Aristotle’s works for beginners, most likely antedated the more developed quaestiones arising from the Aristotle’s text and aimed at an advanced group of scholars. Such summary works do not reveal much about Burley. Anyone could have done such summaries. Also among the works associated with the years 1301 and 1302 is a Treatise on Supposition ([15.1] 16, [15.3] 200–1). What is characteristic of these early works, as we should well expect, is the total absence of any reference to William of Ockham or his philosophy. In other words, during his early days at Oxford we find no conflict between Burley’s form of realism and the nominalistic realism of Ockham. The Treatise on Supposition is very instructive, since it was both a positive and negative source for Ockham’s Summa logicae. Ockham, in his presentation of the supposition of relative terms, copied extensively from Burley’s work, and in treating improper supposition, summarized his statements. Ockham, however, disagrees with Burley over simple and personal supposition. One must, however, tread softly in establishing the interplay of the two authors. The Venerable Inceptor’s own words inform us that Burley is not his only opponent: ‘From this argument the falsity of the common opinion which declares that simple supposition takes place when a term supposits for its significate is clear’ ([14.5] II, 141). Burley himself, when he attacks Ockham’s Summa logicae in the later De puritate artis logicae, implies his own agreement with the traditional way by informing us that William is out of accord with the ancients ([15.11] 7). BURLEY’S REALISM AND OCKHAM’S NOMINALISM Walter Burley did not see his form of realism as something new. Yet, despite its claim to roots in the ancients, it does have its own peculiarities. In his 1301 Questions on ‘On Interpretation’ he asks: Does a spoken word signify a thing (res) or a concept (passio animae)? Realizing that Aristotle had answered this question by saying that a spoken word does not signify a thing but the passio animae or concept, Burley explains: a spoken word does not signify the thing (res) with its individuating differences; it signifies the passio animae. But what is this passio animae or concept, for him? Claiming to follow Ammonius, Burley contends that the passio animae is the thing itself in so far as it is proportionate to the intellect. A name is imposed on something only to the degree that it is known by the mind. Now nothing is known by the mind except in so far as it is capable of moving the intellect. So a name cannot be imposed on anything unless it is proportionate to the mind. There is, according to Burley, a parallel between the act of signifying and the act of knowing. In regard to the act of knowing, Burley explains, there are three things to be considered: the thing known, the intellect knowing, and the species by means of which a thing is known. The species is not what is first known; the res or thing is the first object known even though it is known by means of the species. Likewise, the act of signifying has three elements: the word which is signifying, the thing signified, and the species by means of which the thing is signified. And just as the species is not that which is first known, so it is not that which is first signified. The thing itself is that which is first signified, though by means of the species ([15.3] 211). In a later commentary on On Interpretation, which bears the title Middle Commentary because it fits between the Questions and the late Commentary of 1337 both in size and time, he holds the same position as in the Questions. He adds, however, a second point: not only are there universal concepts and singular concepts, but because the concept is the thing itself, there are in propositions universal things as well as singular things ([15.2] 84–5). In the last redaction of his On Interpretation commentary, he underscores this point even more forcefully: ‘Supposing, nonetheless, that universals are things outside the mind—which is the more true position—we have to state that the name of a first intention is the name of a thing as it falls under the first concept of the intellect.’ In a direct attack on William of Ockham in the same work he establishes a third point, declaring, ‘It can be noted that outside the mind there are some universal things and some singular things… Propositions are composed of things outside the mind which are universal and things that are singular. These are both outside the mind. And still such noteworthy considerations are not pleasing to the moderns who do not posit universals outside the mind and who do not admit that propositions are made up of things outside the mind’ ([15.9] ff. 67va, 75vb). When one sees these three theses of Burley’s commentaries on On Interpretation, it is hard to resist the conclusion that William of Ockham had him (and perhaps also Walter Chatton) in mind in the prologue to his Commentary on ‘On Interpretation’, when he attacks an opinion that claims: That the concept is the thing outside the mind as conceived or understood (res extra concepta sive intellecta) in the way that some grant that besides singular things there are universal things, and that singular things conceived are subjects in singular propositions and universal things conceived are subjects of universal propositions. Now this opinion, in regard to this: that it places some things outside the mind besides the singulars and existing in them, I think altogether absurd and destructive of the whole philosophy of Aristotle and all science and all truth and reason, and that it is the worst error in philosophy and rejected by Aristotle in Book VII of the Metaphysics, and that those holding such a view are incapable of science. ([14.5] Op. Phil. II: 362–3) For Ockham himself there are no such res universales in singular things which correspond to our common names. As he declares near the end of the Book II of his Commentary on ‘On Interpretation’, ‘Names of this type, “man”, “animal”, “lion”, and universally all first intention names primarily and principally signify the things themselves outside the mind. The word man primarily signifies all men, and the word animal primarily signifies all animals. And the same holds for other words of this type’ ([14.5] Op. Phil. II, 502). For Ockham, ‘man’ and ‘animal’ signify that men and animals are really alike, and they are really alike prior to any activity of the mind that recognizes that they are alike; yet they are similar because they are men or animals, not because of some common similarity that exists in each of them ([14.5] Op. Th. IV: 287–310). These competing theories concerning common nouns and the objects they signify took on the already existing labels ‘realism’ and ‘nominalism’, even though in the works of Burley and Ockham these positions might have some particular characteristics of their own. The debate over the significates of common nouns led realists—and Burley claims his position is the traditional one—to hold that supposition is simple when a common noun stands for its significate ([15.11] 7). The nominalists—and Ockham claims that he is opposing the common position—hold that supposition is personal when a common noun stands for its significate. For the nominalists, supposition is simple when a term stands for the intention or concept in the mind, which properly is not the significate of the term, for such a first intention term signifies true things and not concepts (see [14.5] Op. Phil. I: 196). In brief, Ockham, whose theory of supposition parallels his theory of universals, rejects any common reality existing among and in individuals and interprets earlier theories of simple supposition, like that of Burley, as holding a common reality corresponding to our common concepts. Ockham redefines simple supposition by declaring that the supposition of a term is simple when the term supposits for what is common: the concept. For Ockham and the nominalists, when the suppositing term in a proposition stands for its significate (a real thing) then you have personal supposition, since the only true things are individuals. It is, in Ockham’s judgement, this error—the error of those realists, like Burley, who believed that there is something in things besides the singular thing itself, and that humanity, for example, is some thing distinct from singular men and found in them, and that this distinct thing is their essence—that led them astray both in their theories of signification and supposition ([14.5] Op. Phil. I: 204). Both camps held that common nouns signified things. The realists and nominalists differed because the first focused on common things, while the second denied the existence of common realities. Burley entitled his work De puritate artis logicae, to return to the pure logic of the ancients in contrast to the contaminated logic of Ockham’s Summa logicae. In this work, Burley claims to follow Aristotle, Boethius, Priscian and Averroes when he argues that when someone employs the word ‘man’ in a meaningful or significative way, he is not directing his attention to Peter or John or any other particular person that is now present. He is rather focusing on that which is common to Peter, John or anyone else. In other words, ‘man’ does not signify particular men but rather the common reality by which each individual is a man ([15.11] 7–8). Perhaps the example that Burley believes best illustrates the differences in signification and supposition theory between the realist and nominalist positions is the proposition ‘Man is the most noble of all creatures.’ What possibly could you mean when you make such a statement? Surely you do not want to say, when you make this declaration, that some particular man is the most noble of all creatures. In this statement, ‘man’ has simple supposition since it stands for its significate, i.e. for something common, the species ‘man’, which is the most noble of all creatures ([15.1] 24, [15.11] 7). Burley also disagreed with Ockham in regard to the nature of the ten categories. In cases where they are dealing with singular substances, both men would treat such substances as things, and there would be no controversy. However, as we have seen, Ockham denies that there are universal substances. Since science is of the universal, then, for Ockham, science cannot, strictly speaking, be about things, since all things are particular. For Walter Burley, scientific propositions stand for universal things outside the mind. This understanding was, in his judgement, the only way to guard real sciences. Since, in Ockham’s theory, universals are only concepts, all sciences are about concepts. According to him, this does not obliterate the distinction between real and rational sciences. Such a division, he argues, depends not on whether the science is about things or concepts, but whether the concepts which are the components of all scientific propositions stand for things or for other concepts. In the former case we have a real science; in the latter we have a rational science ([14.5] Op. Th. II: 136–8; [15.18] 112–15). When they deal with inhering qualities, such as whiteness, sweetness or heat, both William and Walter consider them to be things. In Ockham’s analysis of reality, however, not all qualities are inhering qualities and thus not all qualities express things distinct from their substances. The same holds for all the remaining categories: they signify something real but not a distinct thing existing subjectively in singular substances like individual inhering qualities. Ockham’s favourite example should help us understand what he means. ‘Similarity’ signifies something real. It does not, however, signify a thing over and above the really inhering quality (e.g. whiteness) in two or more subjects. ‘Similarity’ does not itself signify a further really existing quality (i.e. similarity) in the white subjects. If this were the case, argues Ockham, the distinction of the categories would be obliterated, since the category of relation would be reduced to the category of quality ([14.5] Op. Phil. I: 167–8). If Socrates is white and Plato is white, then Socrates is, without the addition of any other thing, similar to Plato. The white Socrates does not gain a new reality in Plato’s becoming white. He gains a new predicate, a new denomination, and it is a real predicate he gains, but it is not a new predicate signifying a new res or thing. By the very fact that both Socrates and Plato are white, they are similar. Given this condition that both are white, even God cannot take away their similarity. Furthermore, they are similar independently of our mind, so they are really similar. Yet neither Socrates nor Plato has similarity as a quality subjectively inhering in them. If Plato ceases to be white, he would lose an inhering quality of whiteness, but he would not lose an inhering quality of likeness to Socrates according to whiteness. He would lose such a predicate or denomination, but not a res (see [15.18] 120). As it is in the case of ‘similitude’, which expresses one type of relation, so is it with the remaining categories. They do not signify things, but are nomina (concepts or words) which signify something real but not things distinct from substances and inhering qualities. Even some terms in the category of quality do not signify inhering qualities. Some terms indicating the figure of something, e.g. that something is curved or straight, do not signify a new res added to that thing. As Ockham states in the Summa logicae, ‘Such predicables “curved” and “straight” are able to be affirmed successively just because of local motion. When something is straight, if its parts afterwards, simply by local motion and without the arrival of any new thing, are closer together so that they are less distant than before, it is said to be curved’ ([14.5] Op. Phil. I: 180). A discrete quantity also is a concept or word which does not signify a distinct reality over and above the things which are numbered. When we speak about two men, one in Cambridge and one in Paris, we do not signify by the term ‘two’ a duality that exists subjectively in them. If ‘two’ signified a thing over and above the men, would it exist subjectively in each? In this case each man would be two, since this thing ‘duality’ would exist in each. If one part of the accident ‘duality’ existed in one man and another part in the other, then two parts of an accidental quality distinct in subject and place, even by hundreds of kilometres, would make one accidental quality or res—which seems unimaginable. ‘Two’ thus does not signify a distinct thing over and above the two things, which makes the two things two; it stands for the two things themselves and connotes that the two things do not make a per se unum ([15.18] 121).2 Ockham in the Summa logicae goes through each of the categories attempting to show that they do not signify distinct things from substances and inhering qualities and arguing that terms in each of the distinct categories do not necessarily signify distinct things. Burley, in his late Commentary on Aristotle’s ‘Categories’, attacks the nominalistic view of the categories presented by Ockham. The categories cannot simply signify names or concepts; they must signify things. If we look at Ockham’s favourite example, that of similarity, we see that there are many reasons that militate against similarity being reduced to a name or concept. A likeness, for instance, admits of degrees: things can be more or less like one another. When we look at two things we can see that they are more alike than two other things. Yet names or concepts do not admit of degrees. Furthermore, it is impossible to know one of the things that are relative without knowing the other. But you can know one noun or concept without knowing another noun. Moreover, according to Aristotle, relative things exist at the same time, so that if one of them is destroyed, then the other is affected. If a father is killed, then his son ceases to be actually a son anymore. But if you destroy a word, such as ‘father’, the word ‘son’ is not affected ([15.7] ff. e4vb–e5ra). Neither is the nominalist account of discrete quantity acceptable to Burley. What a nominalist like Ockham assumes is that every accident that is numerically one has to have a subject that is numerically one. Yet this is not the way that Averroes explains discrete quantities in his Commentary on Book III of Aristotle’s ‘Physics’. There he explains that it is characteristic of a discrete quantity that it is present in many subjects by reason of its parts. When we are talking about two things, then, this does not mean that ‘duality’ taken as a whole is in each subject. What it means is that the parts of a duality each exist in a subject, so that one of its parts is in one subject and another of its parts is in another subject. It is in this way that an accident that is numerically one can be in diverse subjects even separated by great distances. There is no reason why an accident that is per se one in the sense of being one discrete quantity has to have a subject that is per se one ([15.7] f. e2rb). In a way parallel to Ockham’s treatment in the Summa logicae and his Commentary on Aristotle’s ‘Categories’, Burley thus unfolds his realistic interpretation of all the categories in his On the ‘logica vetus’. Nor is the story different if we compare Ockham and Burley’s views concerning natural philosophy. Basically the same principles are at work. For Ockham, many of the terms of natural philosophy, i.e. ‘change’, ‘motion’, ‘time’, ‘instant’, etc., are interpreted as absolute terms that point to things that exactly correspond to them. According to Ockham, many such terms of physics are not absolute terms; they are connotative terms. What does this distinction mean? If you take a word like albedo (‘whiteness’), it is an absolute term that signifies a colour. However, if you take a word like albus, it signifies more than one thing. To avoid complications, let us say albus signifies ‘a man who is white’ or ‘whiteness in a man’. In short, it just doesn’t signify one thing; it signifies one thing and co-signifies or connotes another. Ockham explains that a word like ‘motion’, because it is a noun, can lead us into thinking that there is an absolute thing that corresponds to it. In fact, he argues, ‘motion’ is not an absolute term, but is a short hand way of saying ‘something is moving’. Another way of saying this is that ‘motion’ is a connotative term that signifies more than one thing. It is a term that we should really translate into connotative language (‘something is moving’) in order to avoid thinking it is an absolute term that has a distinct or separate reality corresponding to it. In his Exposition of Aristotle’s ‘Physics’ he expresses well the problem he sees: ‘Wherefore, this proposition “Something is moving” is more explicit and more clear than the proposition “A motion exists”. The latter statement is ambiguous, because some understand by it that there is something distinct from a movable object and other permanent things that exists, the way some moderns do. Others, however, do not understand by the statement “A motion exists” anything more than “Something is moving”, where you convert the noun form into a verbal form. It is for this reason alone that Aristotle says that “motion” is not something that you can point to; and he says the same about other terms of this kind’ ([14.5] Op. Phil. V: 243). Walter Burley certainly belonged to the first, realist group of interpreters. ‘Motion’, ‘change’, ‘time’, ‘instant’—all such words point to exactly corresponding realities. In Book I of his Exposition on the Books of Aristotle’s ‘Physics’ he announces boldly, ‘Fourthly, I prove that an instant is something in reality, something that is completely indivisible’ ([15.10] col. 38A). Burley is not the only champion of realism at Paris in the first half of the fourteenth century, but his is a strong voice and one that found followers and opponents during this period. Ockham, likewise, is not the only champion of nominalism. In fact, he was not then an actual presence, except through some of his writings and followers, as well as through the voice of some of his opponents like Burley (see [15.23] 53–96). Burley’s voice is a real one. It was in Paris that he began his attacks on Ockham’s logic and physics. PETER AUREOLI If one could debate whether Burley was an English thinker or a Parisian one, there is no doubt about the Parisian association of Peter Aureoli. He was in Paris during the first decade of the century and perhaps was a student of Scotus. Even if he was not an actual student of Scotus, he later became central in the life of Parisian Scotism. After teaching at Bologna (1312) and Toulouse (1314), this French Franciscan returned to Paris where he lectured from 1316 to 1320. His most famous work, the Scriptum in primum Sententiarum (Writing on the First Book of the ‘Sentences’), was produced before he taught at Paris. His Paris production is a complex issue that will not be settled until the First Book of his Reportatio (student reports) there is edited. Two important issues from the First Book show the independent character of his thought. The Unity of the Concept of Being The first issue concerns the unity of the concept of being. Aureoli treated the matter both in his earlier Scriptum and in his Paris Reportatio. The treatments are substantially the same, even though Aureoli has reworked his Reportatio presentation in such a way that the two works have no text in common. The account in both is the same, although the Scriptum rendition provides names. Aureoli has a number of authors as opponents. Henry of Ghent, for example, sets the framework for Aureoli’s discussion. For Henry, our concept of ‘being’ is a confused concept. This has to be understood in a very precise sense: ‘Confused’ has the sense of ‘con-fused’. In other words, we do not have one concept of being unless we take one concept in the sense of a psychological unity. When we analyse what we at first think is one concept we find that we have two concepts. One of these concepts is the concept of ‘privatively undetermined being’. In short, this concept of being is arrived at by examining creatures and then leaving aside or depriving them of their many differences. The other concept is the concept of ‘negatively undetermined being’. This concept of being is proper to God alone, since God cannot be determined or limited at all; he is totally undetermined or unlimited. Since the concept of being predicable of creatures is a concept that is a common concept of created being without the differences included and the concept of being predicable of God is a concept of a being that admits no limits or differences, our mind mistakes them and views the two kinds of indetermination as one. When we analyse the nature of the indetermination and divide it into privatively and negatively undetermined being, we realize that we are dealing with two different concepts of being: one predicable of God, the other predicable of creatures. Furthermore, for Henry, because of his theory of illumination, the first concept we have is the concept of negatively undetermined being, or of God. We only know other things because of the light of divine being. We are not aware of the divine being when we perceive created beings, but when we examine how we can know created beings, we realize that God provides the light that makes their being and truth shine forth—somewhat in the way that the light behind a stained glass window allows us to see the colours and shapes of the windows. We focus on the colours and shapes, so that is what we think we know first. Yet, when we analyse the situation of seeing the colours and shapes we realize that the light is in a sense the first thing we know, even though it is not the first thing we focus on. John Duns Scotus rejected Henry’s theory of illumination and had to find another explanation for our knowledge of being. For Scotus, our concept of being is not a confused concept in the way that Henry meant ‘con-fused’. ‘Being’ is the most distinct concept we have. ‘Being’ leaves aside all determinations or differences. Of course, the realities have their differences: created beings are finite and the uncreated being is infinite. But we can, according to Scotus, leave these differences outside our concept of being. Modes of being, such as ‘infinite’ or ‘finite’, if left outside our concept of being, provide us with a distinct concept of being in contrast to the con-fused concept that Henry affirms. Whatever could confuse it is left outside. We thus end up, according to Scotus, with a concept of being that is univocal. It is predicable of God and creatures in the same sense, since whatever could compromise this single sense is left outside the concept.3 Aureoli’s third set of opponents are the Dominican Hervaeus Natalis (Hervé Nedellec or Hervé Nöel) and the Carmelite Gerard of Bologna. Each of these Parisian thinkers treads a middle way between the equivocal concept of being that is affirmed by Henry of Ghent and the univocal concept of being defended by John Duns Scotus. In effect, they lean more toward Henry by declaring, like Aristotle, that ‘being is said in many ways’. They follow the model of Aristotle in Book IV of the Metaphysics: ‘Being’ is like ‘health’. We say that many different kinds of things are healthy. Not only is a man healthy, but also the diet that preserves his energy, the complexion that indicates that he is robust, the urine sample that a doctor takes to test the state of his condition, all are called ‘healthy’. They have this name because they all are connected with the health of a man. So with ‘being’: whatever is related to a substance, the primary meaning of ‘being’, is also called ‘being’. The colour of a substance, the size of a substance, the location of a substance also are ‘being’ in some sense, since they are all related to the substance in the same way that diets, complexions, and urine samples are related to the health of a human being or other animal. ‘Being’, then is said ‘in many ways’, but because of the relation of all the different types of being to the substances to which they are linked, they are united in some way. There are thus many concepts of being, but because of the connection among the realities they signify, they are in a certain way unified. They are, in short, analogous. Peter Aureoli’s own position will contest each of these three opposing theories concerning the unity of the concept of being, yet it will in a way include elements from each of them. In contrast to Henry, Gerard and Hervaeus, he will side with Scotus and stress the true simple unity of the concept of being. Yet the concept of being is not univocal in the sense that it leaves outside its ambit the differences. It is thus not a distinct concept, since it includes all the differences of being within it. Like Henry, at least in his vocabulary, Aureoli’s view of the concept of being is that it is a confused concept. However, he does not understand it as a con-fused concept that needs to be corrected. It is confused in the sense that the simple concept of being includes all differences within it. The realities that can have ‘being’ predicated of them have, of course, their real differences; but still we can, Aureoli argues, have a most indistinct concept that can be predicated of all of them. The transcendental concept of ‘being’ is a certain total implicit ratio and the categorical concepts of substance and accidents are explicit partial rationes. There is not in a stone one ratio which makes it a being and a diverse ratio which makes it a stone. The ratio making it a stone and everything in a stone is formally being. In this way, Aureoli separates himself from the ‘health’ employed by Aristotle that is so strongly stressed by Gerard of Bologna and Hervaeus Natalis. ‘Healthy’ points to the formal presence of health in a man or other animal; diets, complexions, etc. are not formally healthy. With ‘being’ the case is different. Each kind of being is formally being. The analogy of extrinsic attribution, exemplified by ‘healthy’, does not tell the whole story, according to Aureoli. All realities and all aspects of reality are formally being. There must be a concept predicable of all of them. It is an implicit concept containing all rationes of being. A proper concept of a particular thing is attained not by adding some ratio that is not being or some ratio that is being in another sense of the term ‘being’; it is an explicit concept of ‘a particular kind of being’ in contrast to the implicit concept of being that is predicable of all that is not nothing (see [15.17] 117– 50; [15.19] 118–120). Aureoli’s position on the unity of the concept of being was attacked by a number of the followers of John Duns Scotus. Walter Chatton defended Scotus against Aureoli’s challenge both in his London Reportatio of 1321–3 and his Oxford Lectura of 1328–30 (see [15.4] 127–77). Peter Thomae attacked Aureoli’s teaching in his Questions on Being, disputed at the Franciscan house of studies in Barcelona around 1325 (see [15.25] 216). Gerard Odon, at Paris, distinguished between Aureoli’s logical concept of being and the metaphysical concept of being that was defended by Duns Scotus (Geraldus, MS Paris BN 6441, ff. 7va–9rb). God’s Knowledge of Future Contingent Events The second issue that garnered immediate attention for Aureoli was his theory concerning God’s knowledge of future contingent events. Although his treatment of this issue arises immediately from the discussion of it in John Duns Scotus, the problem, as he treats it, has its more precise origin in William de la Mare’s representation of Thomas Aquinas’s position on God’s knowledge of future contingent events, an interpretation that Henry of Ghent judged to be true and to be the position of Aquinas. According to this view temporal things, not just causally but actually, have a reality in the eternal ‘now’ of God. Most likely, Henry introduced this understanding to establish the point that changes in this world do not entail any change in God’s knowledge of them. To escape the implication that the eternal presence of things to God’s knowledge entails their actual eternal existence, Aureoli refuses to speak of the presence of creatures in the eternal ‘now’. It is improper to speak of future things as present to eternity, since what is not present in itself is not able to be present to something else. He forges a new word to describe how God knows temporal things. Temporal things are non-distant (indistantes) to God’s eternity. Aureoli’s new term ‘non-distant’ expresses a negative relation: it means ‘present, but not in a temporal way’. Future contingent events, then, are not future to God; but neither are they present in a present-tense manner that points to a present temporal moment (see [15.13] 114–24). Since God’s knowledge of events that for us are future is not future, and thus does not precede the event, Aureoli contends that singular propositions about future contingent events are neither determinately true nor determinately false in themselves. For him, they are completely neutral or indeterminate. If, he argues, they were determinately true or false because God knew them before they happened, then all future events would take place immutably. This position was strongly attacked by John Baconthorpe, Francis Meyronnes, Francis of Marchia, Landulph Caracciolo and a number of other masters who taught at Paris before 1350 (see [15.13] 126–31, 78). Aureoli had to wait for Peter of Candia, who commented on Book I of the Sentences at Paris in 1378, before he found an ally for the possibility of his position. Aureoli’s effect on this issue, however, was long-lasting: his position was revived by Peter of Rivo at Louvain in the 1460s in a battle with Henry of Zomeren. This debate led to the censure of Peter of Rivo in 1473 for ‘opinions ill-sounding, scandalous and offensive to Christian ears’. Some of the censured statements also might be attributed to Peter Aureoli (see [15.26] 12–15). If Aureoli is significant for the independent power of his thought, he is also important for the thorough knowledge of his contemporaries whom he blended into his own synthesis. Francis Meyronnes praises him highly for his portrait of the positions of others when he simply declares, ‘If you want to see the opinions of others presented distinctly, look everywhere in Aureoli’ ([15.24] 24). Almost a hundred years later, Capreolus uses Aureoli as a main source book. This is immediately evident in the question on the unity of the concept of being, where it is easy to see that Capreolus does not know Henry of Ghent, Duns Scotus, Gerard of Bologna or Hervaeus Natalis directly. All of them people his text, yet all their citations are taken verbatim from the text of the Scriptum of Peter Aureoli. In short, Capreolus’ knowledge of these and many other authors is through the reports of Peter Aureoli (see [15.12] xxii). GREGORY OF RIMINI Our final focus will be on Gregory of Rimini, an Augustinian Hermit, who brought to Paris a more detailed knowledge of William of Ockham, along with a developed knowledge of Ockham’s English critic, Walter Chatton, as well as Ockham’s somewhat independent follower, Adam Wodeham. It was also Gregory who introduced the thought of Richard Fitzralph, and to a lesser degree that of Thomas Bradwardine, Richard Kilvington, William of Heytesbury, Thomas Buckingham, and Robert of Halifax to Paris. In effect, these influences led Gregory in his own works to supplant the Augustinian Hermit tradition of Giles of Rome with his own more English-initiated philosophy and theology (see [15.22] 311–13).4 Gregory had been a student in Paris from 1323 to 1329, before teaching at the Augustinian houses of Bologna, Padua, and Perugia. He returned to Paris in 1341 or 1342 to prepare for his lectures on the Sentences of Peter Lombard. His Lectures on Books I and II of the Sentences (1342–3 or 1343–4) show that during this preparatory year he deepened his acquaintance with Ockham, Chatton and Wodeham. When we spoke above of Ockham’s and Burley’s views of science, we stressed that science is of the universal and necessary. Since there are universal and necessary realities for Burley, science has as its object the universal and necessary realities that exist in individual things and make them to be the kind of things they are. Since there are no universal realities for Ockham, the objects of science for him are then the propositions or conclusions that alone are universal and necessary. Ockham’s position was not only attacked by Burley; it was also attacked by Walter Chatton. Ockham’s student Adam Wodeham disagreed with both his teacher and Chatton and forged a new alternative, which was endorsed by Gregory. The alternative was based on the argument against Chatton that there are no necessary beings besides God. Creatures then cannot be the objects of science since they are neither necessary nor universal. Yet Adam Wodeham and Gregory disagreed with Ockham as well. The objects of science are not identified with propositions, but are somehow real. They are not the real contingent things, but rather a real state of affairs. The universal and necessary knowledge of science is located by them in the total overall significate of the conclusion of a syllogism. The total significate of the proposition ‘Man is rational’ is thus neither the proposition ‘Man is rational’, nor individual contingent men, but rather the state of affairs that might be expressed as ‘manbeing- rational’. It is thus the dictum or state of affairs that is expressed by the proposition that is the object of scientific knowledge (see [15.5] 66–70; [15.35] 40–3).5 If Gregory disagrees with Ockham on the object of knowledge, there are other places where he follows him quite closely. He argues that ‘a universal is not some thing outside the mind but is rather a concept created (fictus) or formed by the soul that is common to many things’ ([15.6] I: 396). This fictum theory concerning the nature of the concept seems to have originated with Henry of Harclay. It was frequently defended as one alternative explanation by Ockham. Ockham does not make it his explanation of choice in his Quodlibet, where he has to pick one explanation over any other, but (as Gregory shows) Walter Chatton’s critique of the fictum theory was not definitive. In his natural philosophy, Gregory follows the more economical theories of Ockham, denying that motion, time, and sudden change are distinct entities in themselves. ‘Sudden change’ does not, for Gregory, signify some thing beyond the permanent things involved in the change. There is the subject that is changed, the form gained by the subject that was not there before, and the form lost by the subject that previously had it. There is no need to posit any extra entities. The Augustinian background of Gregory is very developed. He chides Peter Aureoli for inexact citations of Augustine. He quotes long passages from the On Free Will to establish our intellectual knowledge of singulars. His claims of loyalty to Augustine appear most staunch, however, when he criticizes Ockham and Wodeham about man’s powers. He accuses them of being modern Pelagians and underscores the weakness of fallen human nature. According to Gregory, we are wounded both in our ability to know what we should choose or avoid and also in our ability to carry out properly our tasks even if we were to have the correct knowledge (see [15.22] 194). Philosophy at Paris in the first half of the fourteenth century is still in need of a great deal of exploration. As we indicated, one of the principal conflicts that developed gradually was the debate between the realists and the nominalists. But the labels of realism and nominalism swelled from an affirmation or denial of real entities corresponding to our universal concepts to include numerous other points. The investigation of the exploding aspects of these two orientations will complete the introductory treatment and manifestation of some of the riches to be found that we have presented. NOTES 1 See also above, Chapter 13. 2 See also below, Chapter 17, pp. 418–20, for Ockham’s idea of connotation. 3 For a detailed discussion of Henry of Ghent’s and Duns Scotus’ contrasting views on whether ‘being’ is an equivocal or univocal term, see above, Chapter 13, pp. 297–321. 4 Further discussion of Gregory of Rimini’s relation to Oxford thought will be found in Chapter 16, pp. 391–3. 5 See also below, Chapter 17, pp. 410–11 for discussion of the complexe significabile. BIBLIOGRAPHY Original Language Editions 15.1 Brown, S.F. ‘Walter Burley’s Tractatus de supposition and its relation to William of Ockham’s Summa logicae’, Franciscan Studies 32 (1972): 15– 64. 15.2 ——‘Walter Burley’s Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s Perihermenias’, Franciscan Studies 33 (1973): 42–139. 15.3 ——‘Walter Burley’s Quaestiones in librum Perihermenias’, Franciscan Studies 34 (1974): 200–95. 15.4 Fitzpatrick, N. ‘Walter Chatton on the univocity of being: a reaction to Peter Aureoli and William of Ockham’, Franciscan Studies 31 (1971): 88–177. 15.5 Gál, G. ‘Adam Wodeham’s question on the complexe significabile as the immediate object of scientific knowledge’, Franciscan Studies 37 (1977): 66–102. 15.6 Gregory of Rimini Lectura super primum et secundum Sententianum, 7 vols, ed. D.Trapp, V.Marcolino, Berlin, De Gruyter, 1979–87. 15.7 Walter Burley In Categorias etc., Venice, 1478. 15.8 ——Super artem veterem, Venice, 1497. 15.9 ——In artem ueterem, Venice, 1541. 15.10 ——In Physicam Aristotelis, Venice, 1589. 15.11 ——De puritate artis logicae tractatus longior, ed. P.Boehner (Franciscan Institute text series 9), St Bonaventure, NY, Franciscan Institute, 1955. 15.12 Paban, C. and Pèques, T. Joannes Capreolus, defensiones theologiae Thomae Aquinatis, Turin, Albred Cattier, 1900. 15.13 Schabel, C. ‘Peter Aureoli on divine foreknowledge and future contingents: Scriptum in primum librum Sententiarum, dd. 38–39’, CIMAGL 65 (1995): 63–212. 15.14 Wielockx, R. Aegidii Romani, Apologia (Opera omnia III.1), Florence, Olschki, 1985. Studies 15.15 Berubé, C. ‘La première école scotiste’, in Z.Kaluza and P.Vignaux (eds) Preuve et raisons à l’Université de Paris: logique, ontologie et théologie au XIVe siècle, Paris, Vrin, 1984. 15.16 Beumer, J. ‘Erleuchteter Glaube: die Theorie Henrichs von Gent und ihr Fortleben in der Spätscholastik’, Franziskanische Studien 37 (1955): 129–60. 15.17 Brown, S.F. ‘Avicenna and the unity of the concept of being’, Franciscan Studies 25 (1965): 117–50. 15.18 ——A modern prologue to Ockham’s natural philosophy’, Miscellanea Mediaevalia 13, 1 (Sprache und Erkenntnis in Mittelalter) (1981): 107–29. 15.19 ——‘Nicholas of Lyra’s Critique of Scotus’ Univocity’ in B.Mojsisch and O.Pluta (eds) Historia Philosophiae Medii Aevi. Studien zur Geschichte der Philosophie des Mittelalters. Festschrift für Kurt Flasch zu seinem 60. Geburtstag. Amsterdam, Philadelphia, B.R.Grüner, 1991:115–127. 15.20 ——‘Guido Terrena, O.Carm., and the analogy of being’, Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale II–1 (1994): 237–69. 15.21 ——‘Godfrey of Fontaines and Henry of Ghent: individuation and the condemnations of 1277’, Société et église (Rencontres de philosophie médiévale, 4) (1995): 193–207. 15.22 Courtenay, W.J. Schools and Scholars in Fourteenth-century England, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 1987. 15.23 Courtenay, W.J. and Tachau, K. ‘Ockham, Ockhamists, and the English- German nation at Paris, 1339–1441’, History of Universities 2 (1982): 53–96. 15.24 Dreiling, R. Der Konzeptualismus in der Universalienlehre des Franziskanererbischofs Petrus Aureoli (BGPTMA, XI, 6). Münster, Aschendorff, 1913. 15.25 Dumont, S. ‘The Univocity of the Concept of Being in the Fourteenth Century: II: The De ente of Peter Thomae’ Mediaeval Studies 50 (1988): 186–256. 15.26 Etzkorn, G.J. and Brown, S.F. ‘A Symposium on God’s Knowledge of Future Contingents’, Miscellanea Francescana 96 (1996): 561–620. 15.27 Flüeler, C. Rezeption und Interpretation der Aristotelischen ‘Politica’ im späten Mittelalter (Bochumer Studien zur Philosophie 19), Amsterdam and Philadelphia, Pa., B.R.Grüner, 1992. 15.28 Green-Pedersen, N.J. ‘Nicholaus Drukken de Dacia’s commentary on the Prior Analytics, with special regard to the theory of consequences’, CIMAGL 37 (1981): 42–69. 15.29 Trapp, D. ‘Augustinian theology of the 14th century’, Augustiniana 6 (1956): 146–274. 15.30 Uña Juárez, A. La filosofia del siglo XIV: contexto cultural de Walter Burley, Real Monasterio de el Escorial, 1978. 15.31 Weisheipl, J. ‘Ockham and some Mertonians’, Mediaeval Studies 30 (1968): 163–213. 15.32 Wippel, J. The Metaphysical Thought of Godfrey of Fontaines: a Study in Late Thirteenth Century Philosophy, Washington, DC, Catholic University of America Press, 1981. 15.33 Würsdorfer, J. Erkennen und Wissen nach Gregor van Rimini (BGPTMA 20), Münster, Aschendorff, 1917. 15.34 Zumkeller, A. ‘Die Augustinerschule des Mittelalters: Vertreter und philosophisch-theologische Lehre’, Analecta Augustiniana 27 (1964): 167–262.
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