Late medieval philosophy, 1350–1500

Late medieval philosophy, 1350–1500 Zénon Kaluza INTRODUCTION No fact in philosophical or other history underlies the commonlymade division of fourteenth-century philosophy around the year 1350, except perhaps the Black Death of 1348–9, which overcame the Oxford masters and destroyed an original style of thinking and doing philosophy. Things happened differently on the Continent, at least in 1348–9, so that this division does not apply there. The great philosophers of the Middle Ages who have a place in history were not all dead before 1350; and some, indeed, continued to think and write after this time. The chapter-division in this volume is, then, more than anything a reflection of the state of knowledge of historians, who have been more interested in the first half of the fourteenth century than in the second, so that our knowledge of the years 1300–50 is surer than that of the years 1350–1400. And since, as a general rule—to which this chapter is an exception—historians prefer to speak of what they know, they also adopt the breaks which indicate the limits of their knowledge of the past: breaks which are ‘historical’ only by convention. This applies also to the other limit of the period, the year 1500, the rough textbook boundary between the Middle Ages and modern times. Such text-book divisions exist to show that there is a moment when every beginning comes to its end and makes way for a new beginning. The period 1350–1500 is, then, little studied. This is true not only of the philosophers and theologians, but also of the universities where they taught. For speculation—what is called ‘medieval speculation’— did not take place outside universities except to a very limited degree. It was always the work of clerics teaching in studia. The only important exception is Italy, where the development of humanism began by introducing philosophical thought into chancelleries and then later made itself a place of its own—the academies. But that is another story which, traditionally, does not belong to ‘medieval philosophy’. The century and a half from 1350 is precisely the period of development of the universities. It saw the foundations of several dozen universities everywhere in Europe, especially in Central Europe, but also in Italy, the south of France, Scandinavia and Scotland. Although they are not entirely indistinguishable, the history of medieval philosophy is also, at least in its origins, the history of the university as an institution. That is why, before discussing doctrines, we must consider the intellectual and institutional context of late medieval philosophy. THE INSTITUTIONAL CONTEXT After the tragic years of 1349–50, the University of Oxford became an important centre for realist philosophy, where logicians (who were already well known) worked alongside philosophers and theologians, such as the two secular clerics, Nicholas Aston and Richard Billingham, the Franciscan Richard Brinkley, the Carmelite Osbert Pockingham and the Augustinian Hermit Godfrey Hardeby. The years 1360–80 are notable for the intellectual activity of John Wyclif (c. 1328–84), the author of various works in English and Latin, of logic, philosophy and theology, politics, of sermons and of polemic. Pope Gregory XI condemned a set of his political positions in 1377, but it was not until 1380 that the criticisms of his theological doctrines began in England. In the following years, his positions and his writings would be condemned several times at Oxford and London, at Prague and at the Council of Constance. Among his critics we find several outstanding and prolific philosophers and theologians, such as the two Carmelites, Richard Lavenham (d. 1381/3) and Thomas Netter (in his Doctrinale antiquitatum). To the same group belongs the Dominican Thomas Claxton (d. 1430), a Thomist and member of the commission which condemned the writings of Wyclif in 1411. With Netter and Claxton we are already in the fifteenth century.1 John Wyclif has a decisive position in the intellectual history of Europe for two reasons. First of all, he added weight to the attack on nominalism, and his realism and reformism would profoundly influence the new University of Prague. They underlie the Czech reform and all its political and religious repercussions.2 Second, after the fairly universal rejection of nominalism at the beginning of the fifteenth century, the criticisms of Wyclif and his condemnation stimulated and perhaps accelerated the return to the great scholastic thinkers of the thirteenth century. This return (which seems to us today to be the first version of neoscholasticism) took place in England at the very time of the anti- Wyclifite polemics. It was thus earlier than the parallel movement on the Continent. In Paris, the second half of the fourteenth century continued on the path already set until the beginning of the Great Schism (1378–1414), a period of political and doctrinal crisis for the university. After 1378 the influence of Oxford on Paris was diminished and relations between the two universities, which had already been weakened by the Hundred Years War, became openly hostile. Two schools engaged in explicit polemic: the nominalists (the followers of John Buridan) and the Scotists. A third, Thomism, was attacked brutally and publicly by Peter d’Ailly. In the faculty of theology a number of doctrines were current, and this led in the general direction of eclecticism. But the faculty of arts was dominated by the nominalist school, which seemed to have imposed its textbooks and methods. This position would change in about 1395, the time when Pierre d’Ailly gave up the position of Chancellor. From this date onwards, the realists—especially the Thomists, but also the followers of Albert the Great—made up lost ground and ended the nominalists’ monopoly. The 1339 prohibition on teaching Ockham’s doctrines, which was considered in the fifteenth century to be a ban on all forms of nominalism, would remain in force until 1481, when Louis XI lifted the prohibition of books and doctrines held to be nominalist. Italian universities, sometimes older than those north of the Alps, developed in a different way from other studia. This came about for three main reasons. First, the great universities of Padua and Bologna opened their theology faculties (the faculties in which doctrinal speculation tended to be most developed) relatively late: Padua in 1363, Bologna in 1364. Other theology faculties would be opened even later. Without the natural support which theology gave it in the northern universities, philosophy as practised in Italy did not succeed, in our period, in producing doctrinal schools. But, for this very reason, the most gifted philosophers, Francis of Marchia, Gregory of Rimini, John of Ripa and many others, went to Paris and became famous there. Second, in Italy the faculties of liberal arts prepared young people for practical careers as physicians or lawyers and placed little emphasis on philosophical speculation. In Italy philosophy consisted most of all in the task of commenting on the writings of Aristotle and the set-books of grammar, astronomy and optics. Indeed, the important Italian philosophers of this period were often also medical doctors. All the same, towards the end of the fourteenth century, a tradition was born, and some people set themselves to studying English logicians and philosophers, then to studying Averroes, Aquinas and Duns Scotus, whilst others were drawn to the novelty which is called ‘humanism’. Humanism is the third important factor in the development of philosophy in late medieval Italy. Everything which is most original and productive in the intellectual life of the late Middle Ages belongs to the broad movement of humanism, which Petrarch and an extraordinary series of chancellors of Florence, beginning with Coluccio Salutati (1375– 1406) and Leonardo Bruni (1410–11, 1427–44), created and continued ([18.47]). These chancellors, assisted later by many ‘humanists’ (grammar teachers), brought into being the movement which would finally change the course of philosophy. They were attracted to a different sort of philosophy from that of the universities. For, whereas the university philosophers devoted themselves especially to logic, natural philosophy and metaphysics, the humanists were particularly interested in moral and political philosophy, ancient philosophy, literature and philology. The fifteenth century witnessed at once scholastic resistance to humanism and a mingling of the two currents of thought.3 Their exponents did not always have friendly relations. Sometimes the humanists attacked university philosophy, which was heavily influenced by the English, complaining of Suissenicae quisquiliae, subtilitates Anglicanae and barbari Britanni.4 Perhaps they were right, since not only the fourteenth century, which finished with Peter of Mantua (d. 1400), but also the fifteenth, which began with the teaching of Biagio Pelacani (d. 1416) and Paul of Venice (Paolo Nicoletti, d. 1429), and continued with Gaetano da Thiene, was very influenced by English logic and philosophy, that of the calculatores and Merton College in particular. In the second half of the fifteenth century, however, and later, humanist philology also conquered the universities and did great service for philosophy, encouraging work on texts, new translations and paraphrases and new commentaries. To it Aristotelianism owed its vigorous revival.5 The situation with regard to philosophy was different in the Empire and the countries bordering on it. The University of Prague, which was established in 1347, developed normally until about 1400. Its theologians were allowed great freedom and were influenced by the Church Fathers and twelfth-century writers such as St Bernard, the Victorines and Alan of Lille. Among the philosophers, who enjoyed a similar liberty, John Buridan’s doctrines, equated with nominalism, were popular; but, from 1390 to the early 1400s, Wyclif often replaced Buridan as the model. Fairly soon, to Wyclifite philosophy there was linked Wyclifite theology and various attempts at ecclesiastical reform. The Wyclifites became a part of the reform movement and were linked with nationalism. The statute of Kutná-Hora (1409), abolishing the system of voting by nation, shook the university. Those who objected to it—the Germans especially—left to teach and study in German universities, especially Leipzig (founded in 1409). After the condemnation of Jan Hus and Jerome of Prague at the Council of Constance and their burning at the stake (in 1415 and 1416), the Hussite revolution broke out, destroying the economic base of the university, the system of colleges and benefices. By cutting off the university from the rest of Europe, it caused philosophy to disappear from Prague for many years. The University of Kracow, though established in 1364, only began functioning properly in 1400, with masters trained at Prague. Students of the following generations sometimes went to study at Cologne, Erfurt or Leipzig. The University of Vienna, founded in 1365, and refounded in 1384, was able to continue despite its difficult beginnings, thanks to the untiring work of Albert of Saxony and of the reorganizers of the university, Henry of Langenstein and Henry of Oyta. All three had previously studied at Paris. At Kracow, Vienna and in the new German universities of the fourteenth century— Cologne, Heidelberg and Erfurt—John Buridan had become the unchallenged authority in the faculty of philosophy. This nominalist schola communis persisted for varying lengths of time from place to place: in Paris until about 1395, at Cologne up until 1420/1, in Heidelberg until the 1450s, in Vienna right up until almost the end of the fifteenth century. Each of these schools made its own decision on whether it should continue with this or that philosophy.6 ENGLISH PHILOSOPHY The mainstream of English philosophy after 1350 was realist. Realist philosophers looked to two points of reference in the recent past, which they used in order to define their own identity: the philosophy of William of Ockham and Thomas Bradwardine’s De causa Dei (In God’s Defence). As a general rule, the writers rejected Ockham’s teaching. Such, for instance, was the attitude of the Franciscan Richard Brinkley. His summa of logic continues, in this respect, the pseudo-Campsall’s tradition of anti-Ockhamist logic.7 For Wyclif, Ockham and his followers would always be doctores signorum, masters whose teaching is about words which signify things, but tells us nothing about the things themselves. By contrast, Bradwardine’s masterpiece was criticized only on points of detail, whilst it is very often a rich source of inspiration, particularly in the cases of Thomas of Buckingham and Nicholas Aston. Nicholas Aston, a theologian and philosopher, is interesting in a number of ways. He read the Sentences between 1352 and 1354, and then in 1358 he became a doctor of theology. He was Chancellor of the university from 1358 or 1359 to 1361, and finally Dean of Chichester in 1362. Aston seems to have wanted to make theology and philosophy subordinate to his logical concerns. His treatise on insolubilia, which remains lost, is quoted in his commentary on the Sentences (still unpublished). This commentary raises a good many logical problems, such as the signification of affirmative and negative propositions, the nature of contradictory, contingent and false propositions, and the rules of inference. It is as a logician that he raised the great question of God’s existence, since he believed that logic is the only discipline accepted by everybody without reservation and that the proof which it could provide would not depend on any philosophical presuppositions. This is to say that he rejected the proofs of God which had been devised previously. In particular, he criticized Bradwardine’s proof, which is based on the concept of possibility (De causa Dei, I,1). Yet Aston is also Bradwardine’s follower, especially in his critique of Duns Scotus’s notion of impossibility and in his discussion of the view that the propositional content Deum non esse (that God is not) necessarily contains a contradiction (De causa Dei I, 13 and 14).8 Aston’s own demonstration of God’s existence is based on three definitions, three suppositions and two principles, one of which is important for us: ‘every false proposition is either contingent or includes a contradiction’ (omnis propositio falsa est contingens vel contradictionem includens). The main proof (called ‘Achilles’) takes the following form: 1 If God exists, and if there is a proposition p which asserts that God does not exist, then p contains a self-contradiction. 2 p contains a self-contradiction if it is the case that God does not exist just as it does if it is the case that God does exist. 3 Therefore, in both cases, p is self-contradictory. (2) is based on the principle that no change in things can prevent a selfcontradictory proposition from being self-contradictory. Aston proves (1) in this way. Granted that God exists, suppose that the p, which denies his existence, is not self-contradictory. It must then be false. Now, according to the principle mentioned above, every false proposition is either contingent or self-contradictory. But p is not contingent because, by virtue of the definition of contingents, the statement ‘God exists’ would equally be contingent and so God, what is designated by the subject term, would be a contingent being. And so the statement ‘God does not exist’ is and will always be selfcontradictory and so ‘impossible’.9 This proof—one which, to our eyes, shows as much, or more faith in logic than in God—gave rise to lengthy discussion in England, France, Bohemia and even in Italy. These discussions are interesting not for what they prove, but because of the subjects they touch on, the main one of which is the definition of impossible and self-contradictory propositions. This is, for example, the problem faced by the Augustinian, Godfrey Hardeby, and the Franciscan, Brinkley. Brinkley did not think that a ‘simple negative’ consisting of a subject and a verb, could be self-contradictory, but merely true or false.10 In the final years of the fourteenth century, Biagio Pelacani, an Italian physician and philosopher, went on with the discussion of the same problem, and now linked it to causality. He knew very well the English debates about the statement ‘God does not exist’ ([18.40]). As far as we can discern today, the discussions which took place at Paris seem to have taken another direction. The scholars there tried to show the contradictory character of ‘God does not exist’ in a more commonplace way, by reference to the Neoplatonic definition of God as pure being (esse purum), or by recourse to Anselm’s concept of the most perfect being. In each case this being cannot not exist. Brinkley’s discussion of the ‘logical proof of God’s existence was just one of the reasons for the popularity in Paris of his commentary, dating from 1350 to 1360. In fact the Parisian masters were also interested just as much in problems about the first contingent being (prima contingentia) and how contingent beings can be produced by a necessary cause, and those about the status of theology as a science and about the causes and nature of assent to the articles of faith. The two first problems are linked. They concern the reply to the question of whether the notion of creation is conceivable and, if so, whether the contingency of the effect presupposes a certain contingency in its cause. Bradwardine had followed others in putting this question. He had replied that the first and highest freedom and contingency, which causes all other freedom and contingency, is in the divine will (II, 5; 624B). This position was taken up by the Franciscan, John of Ripa and his disciple, Louis of Padua, but it was condemned in 1362 by the theology faculty of Paris. But Brinkley had already rejected it. He held that contingency derives from created things, not God: only being which changes is contingent. To answer the question, however, Brinkley presents God’s productive action in an original way—by noun and by adverb: modo necessario and necessario (‘in a necessary way’, ‘necessarily’) modo contingenti and contingenter (‘in a contingent way’ and ‘contingently’). The noun modus implies and determines the nature of the cause which acts. It cannot, therefore, be the case that God can act modo contingenti because, being a necessary being, he always acts modo necessario. By contrast, the adverb describes God’s action in terms of its result, which is sometimes necessary (as in the persons of the Trinity), sometimes contingent (as in created things). The two assertions, that God acts modo necessario and that he acts contingenter are not concerned with the same thing and do not rule each other out. Rather, they are complementary. With regard to proving God’s existence, Richard Brinkley rejects every sort of proof, whether a priori or a posteriori. Most frequently he makes clear his differences from the tradition of Duns Scotus and Ockham, in particular on whether passio can be demonstrated, rejecting any formulation of the univocity of being and arguing against the trinitarian theology of Scotus.11 Brinkley bases his semantics on two concepts: imposition and subordination. To summarize it very briefly: Brinkley maintains that a conventional sign (such as a word) signifies exactly the same thing as the corresponding natural sign (a concept) does—that is to say, an object outside the mind, not a concept. The only conventional signs that signify concepts are those especially imposed to do this. Otherwise, signification is immediate (sign natural/conventional>thing), so we can move from language directly to the world of things. Since conventional signs come after natural signs, their function as signifiers is based on a temporal relationship (prius/posterius). Brinkley adds that no conventional sign depends on any other conventional sign; and he rules out any hierarchy of languages, since every language depends in the same way on natural signs. The relations between mental, spoken and written propositions are explained in the same way, and so is the concept of truth. Brinkley’s view of imposition also affects his theory of obligations.12 John Wyclif became a member of Merton College in 1356, a master at Balliol in 1360 and a doctor of theology in 1372. A number of the writings of this energetic polemicist are gathered in two collections, the Summa de ente (Textbook on Entities) and the Summa theologiae (Textbook of Theology). Wyclif considered himself close to the tradition of Richard Fitzralph and Thomas Bradwardine, and he often described himself as a ‘realist philosopher’, in this way marking his opposition to the ‘doctors of signs’. Wyclif’s metaphysics is founded on two principles, the one positive, the other negative. The negative principle, ‘Nothing is and is not at the same time’ (nihil simul esse et non esse) is one of the many variants of the principle of non-contradiction. Wyclif considers it as a first and pure negation. The positive principle, that being exists (ens esse), is the first indubitable and indemonstrable truth. Being, the existence of which is asserted by this principle, is taken in general (in communi). Being is transcendent, and everything which exists participates in it. It exists, then, in singular things: it is impossible to know transcendent being without knowing a singular, and vice versa. Being is identical to entity, one, the true and the good and it is the first object of knowledge (primum cognitum) of our intellect. As the first object known, it is also the first signabile, that is to say, the first that is able to be designated by a word, to be signified by an expression. Being is eternal, not because the singulars which contain it are eternal, but by virtue of the first, uncreated being and also by virtue of the universals which are ideal reasons (rationes ydeales que vocantur universalia) and other eternal truths, such as the future and past states of things, negations, distinctions and numbers. This transcendent being is unique and the attributes which apply to created things cannot be predicated of it except analogously. It is not made of parts, but the human intellect is capable of distinguishing six transcendental attributes: being, thing, something (aliquid), one, true and good: the last three are ‘qualities of being’ (passiones entis). It should, all the same, be emphasized that for Wyclif the notion of analogous being has a special sense, derived from Augustine’s theology of creation. He holds analogous being to have been created by a sudden and simultaneous act of creation, and he defines it—looking to the Book about Causes (Liber de causis) IV, 37 as the ‘first created being’ (esse primum creatum) or ‘first of created things’ (prima rerum creatarum). When he created it, God placed in this being the models and measures of the genera and species. Afterwards, all particular things were made according to these models. This second act of creation is called by Wyclif ‘administration’ (administratio). Wyclif’s two-stage scheme of creation echoes Augustine’s distinction between ‘first creation’ (prima conditio) and ‘administration’. For this reason it is legitimate to think of the models contained in analogous being as Wyclif’s version of the causal reasons (rationes seminales) discussed by Augustine.13 The ideal reasons mentioned in the paragraph before last are just one group among universals. In fact, universals are divided in two different ways into three groups. Following Avicenna (Logica 3) and Eustratius, Wyclif distinguishes between universals ante rem, the divine ideas; universals in re, the common natures in singulars; and universals post rem, concepts. In fourteenth-century fashion, he also distinguishes universals by causality, by communication, and by representation. The first way of dividing follows the universals’ way of being, whereas the second mixes their way of being and their function. For instance, the divine ideas are universals by causation, because they cause genera, species and singular things, but they are also ante rem, for the very reason that they precede everything of which they are the cause.14 Universals by communication are the common natures in which singulars participate, although they are formally distinct from them. Universals by representation are terms predicated in propositions. Wyclif goes against tradition by identifying real universals with the genera and species listed in Genesis—that is, roughly speaking, with natural kinds. In this way he combines the word of Scripture, philosophical analysis and our everyday perception of biological differences. Yet the point of his consideration of universals is simply to gain fuller knowledge of the Bible and the mystery of the Trinity: ‘The knowledge of universals is particularly useful because it enables the literal sense of the scriptural passages which talk of universals to be understood and it reveals the paralogisms which arise in talking about the Trinity’.15 In fact the mystery of the Trinity is explained by using the idea of formal distinction (that between the persons and the divine essence) and of communication (the divine essence which communicates itself to the persons). But Wyclif denies that there are any real distinctions in God (so as not to make his essence plural) and that what is common, the divine essence, is in any way prior to what is individual (the persons)—although this priority is found in the theory of universals. The formal nature of the distinction between God’s essence and the divine persons is based on the epistemological idea of the ‘first known’ or that which is ‘known principally’ (principaliter intellectum) in God: at one moment this is essence (communicability), at another a person (incommunicability); but the two remain unmixed ([18.6] XIV: 143, 149). Wyclif’s doctrine of universals by causality was inspired by the passages in St Augustine on divine ideas. These universals—also called exemplars, ideas and archetypes—are in God. They are the very essence of God, and so ‘essentially’ God, whilst formally they are the reason by which God knows created things. The only distinctions between themselves, and between themselves and God, are formal. Wyclif and his followers used this opinion of St Augustine’s to show that, thanks to the (universal) ideas, the action and the result of creation are intelligible: without them God would have created something without having knowledge of it. There is another way, too, in which universals make the world intelligible. Granted the priority of what is common and of the universal over the particular, we know a singular in so far as we contemplate its intelligibility, its ‘passive intellection’, which is the universal in God, placed in the Word, but present in the whole Trinity.16 As for the number of the ideas, Wyclif merely distinguishes between ideas of singulars, those of universals and that of analogous being (the ontological status of which is not easy to grasp). Every created thing is singular in its existence, belongs to a natural kind, participates in being and reflects in itself the ideal world of causal reasons. And, since the causal chain is finite and infinite regress is impossible, there is no room for talk of ideas of ideas ([18.5] I, c. X: 72). Wyclif’s theory of universals must be clearly distinguished from the ontology of forms devised by the Franciscan Francis of Meyronnes. Whereas Wyclif identified the ideas in the mind of God, taken from Augustine, with universals, Francis left ideas in the mind of God to the theologians, whilst as a philosopher keeping Platonic ideas. His theory is, indeed, a new interpretation of Platonism—and a more philosophical one than Wyclifs.17 Spurred by Duns Scotus and Avicenna, Meyronnes imagines a world of formal quiddities, which gives the lie to Aristotle’s caricature of Platonic ideas: ‘If they exist, they are monsters.’ Francis argues that, in Plato’s view, essential predication, definition, demonstration and division are all based on ideas, since all these intellectual operations imply a specific nature which is unchangeable and unmoveable and set apart from any material conditions. These operations cannot even take place without there being formal quiddities: if they are to be true and necessary, the links between the terms must be made in the first instance outside the mind and not depend in any way on its workings. These quiddities must be pure and separated from everything which would determine them in a concrete being. For this reason, they must be attributed the same sort of being as Avicenna’s essences. And so, if it is necessary to posit ideas, they must be formally separated from everything which has put them into an individual being: place, duration, haecceitas (this-ness). To put it in another way: their being is abstract by their nature, not as a result of an intellectual operation. To the final question, ‘How can the esse in pluribus (being in many) which defines universals fit with quiddities?’, Meyronnes has a simple reply: accidit. It so happens that a universal is in particulars or in our concept. But, from the point of view of its nature, it is there by accident; whereas from the point of view of the particulars, it is there by necessity.18 To return to Wyclif himself. Older views of the ‘extreme realism’ of his philosophy are not justified, if such extremism is taken to embrace the existence of genera and species outside singulars, and the existence of divine ideas outside the divine essence or really distinct from it. Wyclif rejects such a philosophy. On the question of universals, he places himself between Thomas Aquinas and Walter Burley, and with regard to ideas he accuses Aristotle of having been foolish to claim that Plato thought that ideas were separate essences. Wyclif’s realism is not, then, extreme. Its unwonted nature reflects its unusual source of inspiration: it is a theological realism, because it derives from a literal reading of the word of Scripture. Several Oxford masters adopted Wyclif’s doctrine of universals, along with the metaphysics and logic which underpinned it. They carried on teaching a sort of Wyclifism until the 1420s, but they are hardly known to us.19 At the same time, in the last decade of the fourteenth century, the University of Prague provided excellent ground for the development of Wyclifism, first in the person of Stanislas of Znaim (later the enemy of Wyclif and Hus; d. 1414) and his followers, John Hus (d. 1415) and Stefan Palec (later the enemy of Wyclif and Hus; d. 1423), and later still in Jerome of Prague (d. 1416), Jacobellus of Misa (d. after 1430) and others.20 All of these men shared Wyclif’s teaching, especially his doctrine of universals as being at once divine ideas, common forms and terms or concepts. For the Wyclifites of Prague, however, universals were of especial interest in their first function, as ideas. Znaim, Palec and Jerome presented, as the basis of their teaching, a nourishing world of ideas, which merited love and adoration because of their real identity with God’s essence—a view once rejected by Duns Scotus. None the less, only Znaim—so far as we know—set out to demonstrate at length the existence of universals on the basis of Genesis (cf. [18.26] n. 795). PHILOSOPHY IN PARIS If, at Oxford, the second half of the fourteenth century and the fifteenth century were dominated by realism, the situation was very different in Paris, despite the ban on teaching Ockham’s doctrines. To consider just the second half of the fourteenth century: the faculty of arts was dominated by ‘Parisian nominalism’, or the school of Buridan, and this went on to win over the other universities on the Continent. The most famous masters of this school were Albert of Saxony (who went on to become the first rector of the University of Vienna), Themo the Jew, Dominic of Clavasio, Marsilius of Inghen (who became the first rector of Heidelberg), Henry of Langenstein, Peter d’Ailly, Henry Totting of Oyta and John Dorp, all of them famous in the history of science, or the history of logic, or as theologians.21 Given the relative silence of the other schools, it was the disputes between the ‘Ockhamists’ (hereditas filiorum Ocham) and the different intellectual inheritors of Duns Scotus which were witnessed by the faculty of theology. These ‘Scotists’ showed unceasing originality and independence of mind in relation to their doctrinal master. The case of a Spanish Dominican, Juan of Monzon, shows the sad state of Thomism in Paris at the time. It also gave Peter d’Ailly, the future chancellor, a better chance than he could have hoped to attack Aquinas’s teaching publicly, at the university and at the court in Avignon. In the aftermath, the Dominicans withdrew from the University of Paris (1388–1403). The nominalist school in theology is not well known: we cannot even be sure that it existed between the time of Gregory of Rimini and Peter d’Ailly. True, a statute of Louis XI, dated 1474, forbidding nominalism names as nominalist theologians Ockham, Wodeham, John of Mirecourt, Gregory of Rimini and Peter d’Ailly. Yet, of the three Parisians, Gregory and Peter are considered followers of Ockham, whilst John was rather a realist, who followed English writings closely and plagiarized them energetically. All the same, since Peter d’Ailly also seems to have been as much of a plagiarist, it is hard to speak of his original ideas with confidence until there is a critical edition of his writings and their sources have been established. None the less, for our present purposes it is tempting to reconstruct the main decisions taken by the university and the main disagreements between the schools, since the first as much as the second affected the doctrinal teaching and the institutional life of the University of Paris. We have arranged them around three events which made apparent the situation of the various doctrinal schools: the statutes of 1339 and 1340; Peter d’Ailly’s fight against Thomism; and Gerson’s fight against the Scotists. On 25 September 1339, the faculty of arts of Paris instituted a ban on commenting in public or private on the writings of Ockham, and on citing his opinions in disputations. This statute should not be taken, as some scholars have exaggeratedly read it, as a decision made against nominalism, but as a measure directed personally against Ockham, his writings and his teachings. And, since the faculty did not take the statute to go beyond these limits, nominalism was able to develop in Paris better than elsewhere. It was during the doctrinal struggles of the beginning of the fifteenth century, when Ockham was identified as the father of nominalism, that the broader interpretation of the statute was probably first entertained. Louis XI’s law of 1 March 1474, which forbade all nominalist teaching and books, refers to the decision of 1339 as a prohibition of nominalism. Between 1339 and 1474 the meanings of terms had slipped and coalesced, and Ockham, Ockhamism and nominalism were considered one and the same. We should note, all the same, finally that the same Louis XI, in 1481, gave permission for nominalist doctrines to be taught, and, at the same time, removed all the earlier prohibitions. The statute of 29 December 1340 was not a condemnation of Ockham and his own doctrine, nor a decision taken by the realists against the interest of the nominalists. Rather, it was a faculty measure taken against certain Parisian masters who said they were Ockhamists. No other reading is possible, since the text of the statute follows the letter and spirit of Ockham’s and Buridan’s doctrine. The central problem in the statute, which occurs in four out of six articles, is that of the distinction between two senses of a proposition: the proper or literal sense (virtus sermonis, sensus proprius) and the improper sense, which however is considered as proper when it fits the imposition and use of the words, and when it is determined by a materia subiecta, that is to say, according to Aristotle and his commentators, a subject belonging to and treated in a determinate discipline.22 We can call them ‘proper sense’ and ‘improper sense’ (which is ‘proper’ in a given language). With these two possibilities in mind, the authors of the statute set out to consider every proposition in the light of two rules: 1 If a proposition p is false in the proper sense but true in the improper sense, it is accepted. 2 If a proposition p is true in the proper sense, but false in the improper sense, it is rejected. These rules were known to Buridan, but they were used especially in theology by Peter d’Ailly and Gerson. They determine whether propositions are accepted or rejected, since, by the statute, only those propositions which accord with the first rule can be admitted, and all those which fall under the second rule must be rejected and left to ‘sophists’. The statute of 1340 can be judged as favouring nominalism. It derives from fresh thought about the idea of ‘the force of speech’ (virtus sermonis) and about the division of knowledge into disciplines, each of which has its own language with its special characteristics. Altogether, logic apart, the virtus sermonis exists only within a language determined either by the subject being treated, or by the discipline to which the language and the subject belong. By stressing, like Aristotle, the importance of subject matter, the statute introduces another meaning of the term ‘certainty’ besides the certainty of our act of knowing (already the subject of epistemological discussion): the certainty of a demonstration within a given discipline. In this way, the statute takes the problem of certainty from the domain of epistemology and places it within the context of questions about how we build up a scheme of knowledge and about probability and evidence. With these remarks in mind, we can see the position of the Parisian Ockhamists. The statute criticizes them for having too rigid a view of the proper meaning of terms, a meaning which can be verified always and everywhere, especially using personal supposition, to which they gave absolute priority. They limited themselves to this universal, logical analysis probably because their interests did not go beyond signs, for the simple reason that they thought that terms and propositions are the only object of human knowledge. The School of Buridan answered this ‘Ockhamist’ position by showing the flexibility of language and adopting rules of analysis for the technical languages of the different branches of knowledge. What has come to be known as ‘the Monzon affair’ (1387–9) was a dramatic series of events with important institutional repercussions. The events are well known, but more often than not the institutional repercussions are presented solely as the abandonment of the University by the Dominicans. The subject of the dispute was the Immaculate Conception, in which Peter d’Ailly, his brilliant pupil Gerson and the faculty of theology believed, but which Monzon and the Dominicans rejected. The dispute acted as a pretext for a battle between the theology faculty and the powerful Dominican Order, and between nominalists and realists. Quickly, the Monzon affair came to centre on Thomas Aquinas and his doctrine, and it was exactly this development which made the Dominicans leave the university. The decisive episode in the struggle took place at Avignon, before the Pope, his court, some Dominican doctors and a delegation of Paris theologians ([18.49] 197–8). Peter d’Ailly’s long and skilful sermon raised a number of fundamental problems for the Church and the Paris theology faculty: in particular the question of the order of the jurisdiction of the various different ecclesiastical authorities which are empowered to define doctrine, and the hierarchical order of those who are allowed to teach the Word. Here d’Ailly holds that Aquinas is at the bottom of the hierarchy, placed after Peter the Lombard, among his commentators. In the course of giving his answers to these questions, d’Ailly also examines the value of the teaching of Aquinas itself. And it is here that we can see the young theologian attacking the authority of the ‘holy doctor’. He gives his views in two sets of three conclusions. The first series gives a general estimation of the doctrine, and the second consists of a wide-ranging demonstration of Aquinas’s errors. Conclusions 1– 3 state the following: although Aquinas’s doctrine might be accepted as being useful and probable, we must not believe that it is true in every part, nor that it is entirely without error or heresy. And Conclusions 4–6: in the Summa contra Gentiles (II, 29–30), Aquinas’s doctrine on the absolute necessity of created things is literally false (de virtute sermonis), blemished with errors and in part suspect. Even if, when understood correctly in accord with its author’s intention, it is to a certain extent correct (aliqualiter vera), it should not be taught without its correct meaning first being established.23 The final conclusion has the air of a gratuitous concession, although it fits perfectly with the first of the 1340 rules, which d’Ailly quotes and uses in this very sermon. D’Ailly admits that he has been using the style of the polemic, where one must show up an enemy’s weaknesses (de virtute sermonis) and disguise his strong points: in the end, Aquinas’s thesis can be taught when the distinction of the two senses of virtus sermonis is made. Peter d’Ailly was able to show at Avignon the errors and contradictions of Thomism, and to make himself noticed. In the aftermath of this victory, the faculty of theology succeeded in making the Dominicans leave the university and the office of almoner, whilst d’Ailly was given two appointments: first, to be the royal almoner, and second (on his nomination from Avignon) the chancellorship of the university (1389). The Monzon affair took place, then, when the university was dominated by the nominalists, and this would continue until d’Ailly left the chancellorship in 1395. We know very little about this period and we cannot talk about it with confidence. It seems very likely, however, that the ban on commenting Aristotle following a realist author, which is mentioned by John of Nova Domus (Maisonneuve) at the beginning of the fifteenth century, could well have come between 1388 and 1395. We know of several conflicts between theological schools, thanks to the work of Ehrle on Peter of Candia. They are of interest to historians of philosophy in so far as they concerned speculative matters, and also because they afford a precious opportunity to trace the divisions of schools as they were perceived and described by the very participants in these disputes One of the rivalries, in the 1370s and perhaps later, was between the nominalists and the formalizantes mentioned above. Although there was some slowing down in the production of Scotist books towards the end of the fourteenth century and at the beginning of the next century, Gerson sustained this conflict up to his death in 1429. He accused the Scotists and formalizantes (formalists) of three errors. First, they introduced into theology a principle of causality—‘from the same in so far as it is the same nothing but the same can come’ (ab eodem in quantum idem non provenit nisi idem)—which turns free creation into a necessary act. Second, in order to safeguard the reality of our knowledge, they asserted that a thing in the extramental world corresponds to each of our concepts. Third, by distinguishing between the divine essence and its attributes, they introduced a formal distinction within God.24 To Gerson, the thinker principally responsible for these errors was John of Ripa. At this time, the Scotist school was not particularly important at Paris. During the first half of the fourteenth century the school had developed quickly (we need merely mention Francis of Meyronnes, Nicholas Bonet and Peter Thomae); and at the end of the fifteenth it would flourish again (in the treatises de formalitatibus by Stephen Brulefer and Antonius Sirect, on which several commentaries were written at Padua). But, during Gerson’s working life, Scotism was going through a period of torpor. None the less, there were good reasons for Gerson to criticize the Scotists. Their ontology of forms—especially the priority of formalitates to the act of knowing them—contradicted the bases of Gerson’s own thought, which owed much to the tradition of Buridan and d’Ailly. Moreover, when eighteen articles of Louis of Padua were condemned in 1362, this was also a condemnation of John of Ripa. When they introduced formal distinction into the absolutely simple being of God, Louis and John had asserted, among other things, that ‘something in God is his real being which is not his formal being’ and that ‘something intrinsic in God is contingent’.25 Finally, there was the question of theological language, linked to Buridan’s idea that the proper meaning of words is limited to a determinate discipline. Throughout his work, Gerson held that the theological vocabulary of Scotus and the Scotists (and that too of Raymond Lull) was improper and had departed from the tradition of an Aristotelian way of speaking ([18.55] 39–40, 51). CONCLUSION: FIFTEENTH-CENTURY STAGNATION In a letter which he wrote in 1400 to the young theologians of the College of Navarre, Gerson advised his readers to study the great scholastics of the thirteenth century. As for more recent theologians, Gerson said that they were excellent in many ways, but beneath the covering of theological language they had busied themselves with problems of physics, metaphysics and logic ([18.1] II, n. 5). This call for a return to classical scholasticism was in harmony both with Gerson’s own underlying ideas and with the new intellectual tendencies of his time. Faithful to the school of Buridan, to the 1340 statute and to the programme which Pope Clement VI had given the university in a letter of 1346, Gerson always fought against the mixing of disciplines and their languages. The revival of realism in Paris began in 1395–1400 (see [18.54] and [18.76] 279–394). Here, as at Cologne, it took the form of a minor intellectual rebellion against the obligation to study only nominalist treatises, in particular those about the properties of terms. Among the rebels there were also a good number of Thomists and Albertists. As the conflict developed, three different ideas of university freedom came into play. There was that of the conservative establishment, who upheld the exclusive position of nominalism although they allowed the chance for realist philosophers to be mentioned (Cologne, 1414). There was that of the Albertist John of Nova Domus, who proposed confining himself to the Christian—that is to say, Aristotelian—tradition, from which he excluded the nominalists (Paris, before 1418). Finally, there was that of the Cologne realists who allowed all the university traditions. By contrast with the tradition of the school of Buridan, which separated the disciplines and their principles, the realists put forward the old model in which knowledge is unified: its basis is metaphysics, from which all the particular disciplines derive. They also insisted on the unity of the principles governing all philosophical and theological speculation. Clearest about this was the University of Cologne which, in 1425, declared that the links binding philosophy and theology were indissoluble, and took St Thomas for its model, because ‘in his two Summae he uses the same principles as he does in expounding the works of Aristotle’ (in omnibus Summis suis utitur eisdem principiis, quibus usus est libros Philosophi exponendo). The nominalists responded to this exaltation of the great thirteenthcentury scholastics by looking to the founders of their own school, John Buridan and Marsilius of Inghen. Indeed, strange to say, round about the year 1400 philosophers decided that they would no longer do philosophy on their own account and no longer take any personal responsibility for their philosophical positions. Rather, they spent the whole of the fifteenth century fighting among themselves, with prescriptions and prohibitions as their weapons, not in order to impose on everybody their own thought, but that of their distant models: Thomas Aquinas, Albert the Great, Duns Scotus, Giles of Rome and Buridan. Universities passed statutes to remove undesirables and to close themselves to new ideas. None of these decisions rose above the level of factional in-fighting. This upholding of traditions and the related and unceasing conflicts (especially in the German universities) were institutional rather than doctrinal in their basis. Historians describe them by the German word Wegestreit. Sometimes by their violence and length these conflicts turned universities into a battleground where scholars fought to re-establish one of the old schools, whether realist or nominalist. The courses in these universities were limited to the revival of the thought of one or another great master of the past. Likewise, the practice of teaching centred on the great names of the past. In England, Wyclif was attacked in the name of St Thomas. In Paris, a predominantly Thomist realism became the established doctrine by the last quarter of the century. In Germany, the choice of doctrine was regulated by the statutes of the different universities. Since this return to old scholasticism was the first of a series of such deliberate returns, it is certainly right to call it the first neoscholasticism. In Italy alone this type of institutional conflict had no place: there philosophers at once followed the English tradition of 1300–50 and the Parisian traditions of Averroism and Buridanism, as well as the traditions of Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus. (translated by John Marenbon) NOTES 1 For a general picture, see Catto and Evans [18.37], Hoenan et al. [18.52], Robson [18.72] and Courtenay [18.39] 327–80; 384–413, with bibliography. Richard Billingham’s theological writing has not yet been recovered; that of Nicolas Aston is unpublished; that of Richard Brinkley is known only in abbreviated form; that of Godfrey Hardeby, preserved in two manuscripts, has recently been identified by A.Tabarroni [18.75] 341, 348–53. Thomas Netter’s Doctrinale antiquitatum fidei ecclesiae catholicae (completed in 1437) has been printed several times: see Stegmüller [18.27], n. 9055. Thomas Claxton was critical of Wyclif as well as of Ockham and Duns Scotus. He wrote a commentary on the Sentences and a Quodlibet consisting of seven questions (which is why it is—wrongly—called Quodlibeta); qq. V and VI were edited by M. Grabmann in 1943: see Riva [18.71]. 2 H.Kaminsky, A History of the Hussite Revolution, Berkeley and Los Angeles, Calif, 1967; F.Smahel, La révolution hussite, une anomalie historique, Paris, 1985. 3 See, on the whole of the period 1350–1500, B.Nardi, Saggi sull’aristotelismo; A Poppi, Introduzione, Padua, 1970; and the studies by Kristeller listed in the bibliography. C.B.Schmitt has given especial attention to problems of methodology in [18.73] and [18.74] ch. 1. 4 See Garin [18.45] 141–77; Vasoli [18.77] 9–27; Murdoch [18.69]. We should remember, as Kristeller has pointed out, that these mocking comments were not always taken in earnest. 5 For details, see notes 3 and 4; Maierù [18.67]; Garin [18.44]; Schmitt [18.73] ch. 3; Federici Vescovini [18.41]. 6 Gabriel [18.42] 457–83. It seems that it was only in the faculties of arts that a via (‘method’, later: ‘school’) had to be followed. 7 Fitzgerald [18.10] 18 n. 44, suggests ‘the possible identification of Richard Brinkley with the author of the Logica contra Ockham’. But I have shown in my study of Brinkley ([18.11] 266 n. 38, 269 n. 60) that this identification must be rejected. 8 Thomas Bradwardine, De causa Dei I, 13, 207C: ‘aliter et forte melius potest dici, quod Deum non esse necessarissime contradictionem includit’; and I, 14, 209E–210A. The ground for this idea is prepared through a long discussion of esse (being) and necesse esse (necessary being). But the doctrine as a whole and its consequences rely on a type of metaphysics called by Etienne Gilson a ‘metaphysics of Exodus’ (in reference to Exodus 3:14), where the primacy of esse is emphasized. In accord with this metaphysics, Bradwardine defines the first necessary, affirmative principle (ibid., I, 11–12). Thus it is the necessary divine being which makes its negation a contradiction. Aston’s thought would leave metaphysics and examine the question from the logical point of view. But the Parisian thinkers would return to Bradwardine’s more congenial way of thinking. 9 Ms. Worcester, Cathedral Library, F 65, f. 46va; Oxford, Oriel College, 15, f. 221rb: ‘Aliter arguo quod Deum non esse contradictionem includit, et hoc argumentum est mihi Achilles. Et arguo sic. Si Deus est, et aliqua propositio est significans praecise Deum non esse, propositio sic praecise significans contradictionem includit; igitur, sive Deus sit sive non sit, si aliqua propositio est significans praecise Deum non esse, ipsa propositio praecise sic significans contradictionem includit. Primo probo consequentiam. Propositio aliqualiter significans et contradictionem includens, quacumque mutatione facta ex parte rei, dummodo ipsa sit semper eodem modo significans praecise, ipsa semper erit contradictionem includens. Verbi gratia, ista propositio “Rex sedet et nullus rex sedet” contradictionem includit rege existente; consimiliter…rege non existente… Item probo antecendens…et arguo sic. Antecedens est una consequentia, quae si non valeat, pono oppositum consequentis stare cum antecedente, utpote quod Deus est et quod propositio aliqua est significans praecise Deum non esse, et tamen propositio sic praecise significans contradictionem non includit…’ See Bender [18.32]; Courtenay [18.39] 343–6; Kaluza [18.54]. 10 Godfrey Hardeby has been known for some time as the Augustinensis subtilis of Oxford. A copy of his commentary of the Sentences is found in Paris, Bibl., nat., lat 16535, f. 75–110. Q. III: Utrum Deum non esse contradictionem inferat manifestam, has been edited by L.A.Kennedy, ‘A fourteenth-century Oxford Augustinian on the existence of God’, Augustiniana, 36 (1986):28–47. A. Tabarroni has found a new manuscript of the commentary which has allowed him to make the identification between Godfrey and Augustinensis subtilis (see n. 1). On Richard Brinkley, cf. Kaluza [18.11] 230–2, 262–5, nn. 29–33. 11 For a general account, see Kaluza [18.11]. 12 Gál and Wood [18.43]; Fitzgerald [18.10] 18–28; Ashworth [18.30] 15fF. We summarize briefly here the Summa logicae, Treatise I and part of Treatise V, which is still unpublished. 13 Wyclif [18.4] I, tr. I, c. 1–3. These three chapters are dependent on the On the Nature of Genus c. 1, attributed to Thomas Aquinas; cf. S.Thomae Aquinatis Opuscula philosophica, I, ed. J.Perrier, Paris, 1949, pp. 495–9. See also Catto [18.37]. On double creation, see Augustine, Literal Commentary on Genesis, IV, iii–xii and V, xx–xxiii; Wyclif [18.5] II, ch. 3 and [18.14] ch. 12, and Kaluza [18.56], which also discusses univocity and analogy of being. 14 See especially [18.4], I, tr. 1, c. 4–5, and Tractatus de universalibus, passim. For an account of the doctrine, cf. P.V.Spade, in the Introduction to the translation of Wyclif’s On Universals [18.14] and A.D.Conti, in the doctrinal study following his edition [18.2] 298–309. The second distinction is found here and there in the fourteenth century. Most frequently, it is used to explain the word universale (taken either as a noun or an adjective). For example, John Buridan recognizes a causal universal, which he distinguished from the universal as a term: ‘Uno modo aliquid dicitur universale secundum causalitatem, quia causa est multorum. Et sic universalissimum in causando esset Deus, et consequenter intelligentiae, et corpora caelestia… Alio modo docitur universale secundum praedicationem vel significationem’ (In Metaphysics, I, q. 15, Paris 1518, f. 50va). Making the distinction between universale and particulare, Ockham (Summa logicae, I, 14; Opera philosophica, I, p. 49, 47–52) asserts: ‘Indeed, we call the sun a universal cause, because it is the cause of several things.’ The origin of the distinction is unknown. The shift in its meaning is also found in Wyclif: ‘From all this it is clear—I think—that all envy or actual sin is caused by the lack of an ordered love of universals,…because every such sin consists in a will preferring a lesser good to a greater good, whereas in general the more universal goods are better’; [18.14] 3, p. 22, 145–50. 15 [18.4] I, tr. I, c. 5, p. 57, 17–20; cf. Conti [18.2] 298. For the whole discussion, see the texts and studies cited in n. 14. A sign is called ‘universal’ by metaphor: ‘magis remote dicitur universale quam urina dicitur sana’; [18.4], p. 55, 3–6. Wyclif recognizes three distinctions: essential, real and formal. Formal distinction is not ‘by reason’ or ‘notional’ but by ‘formal reason’. Conti [18.2] 301–3, indicates various difficulties raised by the relations between the three types of distinction. Wyclif s English followers would abandon this part of his teaching. 16 Wyclif [18.5] I, c. VIII–IX, p. 66, defines ‘idea’ thus: ‘ydea est essentialiter natura divina, et formaliter ratio, secundum quam Deus intelligit creaturas’. The treatise De ideis (part of the Summa philosophica) is still unpublished. It is probably with the ‘ontological place’ of the ideas in the Word that Wyclif s partisans put into his mouth the adage, Qui negat ideas, negat Filium Dei. The adage is almost always attributed to Augustine and it was certainly coined before the time of Wyclif: it was known by John of Paris, In I Sent., q. 119; by Master Eckhart, Expos. Gen., I, 5; Thomas Aquinas, De ver., q. 3, a. 1, sed contra; Albert the Great, In II Sent., d. 35, a. 7, n. 4; and William of Auxere, S. aur., II, tr. I, c. 1. The formalist ontology of Francis Meyronnes presents an analogous case. Here the being of essence (the quiddity, the idea) has a separate formal being, which can become concrete ‘by chance’. Francis asserts that whoever denies the existence of quiddities must deny the existence of everything (qui negat quidditates habet omnia negare), Quodl., q. 8. 17 Nicholas of Autrecourt provides a third example, but sadly only a sketch of it, preserved on the last page of his unfinished Exigit ordo, is known. 18 For a general account, see Vignaux [18.78] 265–78, cited here. 19 Cf. Conti [18.2] 226–7, 309–17. The main figures are John Sharp (Rector in 1403), Robert Alyngton (d. 1398), William Milverley, John Tarteys, Roger Whelpdale (d. 1423), several of whose works have been edited by Conti, and William Penbygull (d. 1420). See also Hudson and Wilks, From Ockham to Wyclif. 20 See Spunar [18.26], s.v., and Bartos and Spunar [18.16]. On Znaim, see also Nuchelmans [18.70]. 21 On the history of the school of Buridan, see Michael [18.68] 321–89. 22 Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis, II, n. 1042. Art. 1: ‘nulli magistri, baccalari vel scolares…audeant aliquam propositionem famosam illius actoris cuius librum legunt dicere simpliciter esse falsam, vel falsam de virtute sermonis…; sed vel concedant eam, vel sensum verum dividant a sensu falso…; cum sermones sint recipiendi secundum materiam subiectam; art; 3: ‘nullus dicat quod nulla propositio sit distinguenda’; art. 4: ‘nullus dicat propositionem nullam esse concedendam, si non sit vera in eius sensu proprio’; ‘Magis igitur oportet in affirmando vel negando sermones ad materiam subiectam attendere, quam ad proprietatem sermonis’; art. 6: ‘nullus asserat absque distinctione vel expositione, quod Socrates et Plato, vel Deus et creatura nihil sunt’. The distinction between suppositions had been known and followed for a long time. What was new in the 1340 statute was the distinction in the sense of propositions according to their ‘matter’. Article 1 refers to the Nicomachean Ethics, II, 2, 1104a 3, but the problem is in fact considered in Book I, c. 3. For the detailed interpretation of this text, see Kaluza [18.57] 223–55. 23 Full edition in C.Du Plessis D’Argentré, Collectio judiciorum, I–2, Paris, 1728, p. 116a, concl. 1; 116b, concl. 2; 117a, concl. 3; 124a, concl. 4; 125a, concl. 5; 128b, concl. 6. 24 A.Combes, Gerson commentateur dionysien, pp. 305–11; 568–687; Kaluza [18.55] 50–60; de Libera [18.65]. Gerson’s criticisms of John of Ripa sometimes follow those of Peter d’Ailly. The formal distinction is also called a distinction ex natura rei sed non realis, so as to differentiate it from a distinction ex natura rei, which is not formal. Scotists made either three distinctions (rationis, formalis, realis), or five (adding a distinctio modalis and a distinctio essentialis), or eight (adding distinctions: ex natura rei, se totis subiectiva and se totis obiectiva). A formal distinction pertains between two formalities, that is to say two quiddities or formal reasons, one of which does not belong to the essence of the other and each of which is known by a distinct act of the thought—for instance, all the quiddities, definable or indefinable, which are most specific (humanity), subalternate (animality), most general (quantity) and transcendent (entity). These formalities exist before they are known by the human intellect: ante omnem operationem intellectus. It is for precisely this realism that Gerson criticizes the Scotists. 25 A.Combes, p. 644ff. BIBLIOGRAPHY Original Language Editions 18.1 Jean Gerson, Oeuvres complètes, 10 vols, ed. P.Glorieux, Paris, Tournai, Rome, New York, Desclée & Cie, 1960–73. 18.2 Johannes Sharpe, Quaestio super universalia, ed. A.D.Conti, Florence, Olschki, 1990. 18.3 John Wyclif, Tractatus de universalibus, ed. I.J.Mueller, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1985. 18.4 John Wyclif, Summa de ente, Libri primi tractatus primus et secundus, ed. S. H.Thompson, Oxford, 1930. 18.5 John Wyclif, Trialogus, ed. G.Lechler, Oxford, 1869. 18.6 John Wyclif, Tractatus de Trinitate, ed. A.duPont Breck, Boulder, Colo., University of Colorado Press, 1962. 18.7 Paul of Venice Summa philosophiae naturalis, Venice, 1503; repr. Hildesheim and New York, G.Olms, 1974. 18.8 ——Super primum Sententiarum Johannis de Ripa Lecturae abbreviatio. Prologus, ed. F.Ruello, Florence, Olschki, 1980. 18.9 Peter d’Ailly Tractatus contra Johannem de Monzon (Apologia universitatis), in C.Du Plessis D’Argentré, Collectio iudiciorum, Paris, 1728, I, pars 2, pp. 71–135. 18.10 Richard Brinkley’s Theory of Sentential Reference: ‘De significato propositions’ from Part V of his Summa nova de logica, ed. M.J.Fitzgerald, Leiden, E. J.Brill, 1987. 18.11 (Richard Brinkley), Kaluza, Z. ‘L’Oeuvre théologique de Richard Brinkley, O.F.M.’, Archives d’histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Age, 56 (1990): 169–273. 18.12 Thomas Buckingham, De contingentia futurorum, in B. de la Torre Thomas Buckingham and the Contingency of Futures, Notre Dame, Ind., University of Notre Dame, 1987. 18.13 Thomas Buckingham, De contingentia futurorum, in J.-F. Genest, Prédéstination et liberté créée à Oxford au XTVe siècle: Buckingham contra Bradwardine, Paris, Vrin, 1992. English Translations 18.14 John Wyclif, On Universals (Tractatus de universalibus), Text translated by A.Kenny, with Introduction by P.V.Spade, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1985. 18.15 (John Wyclif), Selections from English Wycliffite Writings, ed. A.Hudson, Cambridge, 1978. Richard Brinkley De significato propositions [18.10] contains an English translation. Bibliographies and Manuscript Catalogues 18.16 Bartoš, F. and Spunar, P. Soupis pramenůk literárni cinnosti M.Jana Husa a M.Jeronyma Pražskeho, Prague, 1965. (A new edition is planned at Wroclaw, Ossolineum, in Studia Copernicana.) 18.17 Gabriel, A.L. 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