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A NOTE ON A SHORT TREATISE ATTRIBUTED TO OCKHAM: THE "SUPER TÉRMINOS NATURALES" I. Introduction Since 1942, in his description of the Franciscan manuscripts of the Collegio di Spagna Library in Bologna, F. Celestino Piaña signaled the existence of an opusculum attributed to Ockham, which covers ff. 368r-370v of Codex 47 and has the following incipit: Quia Philosophus in primo libro Physicorum tractât de principiis, ideo dicendum est de illis1 Until now, to my knowledge, this short work has received no attention in the competent literature, with the sole exception of the insertion of its initium in the list compiled by F. Gaudens Mohan.2 This is in no way a surprising fact. Regarded as a literary output ofa medieval scholar, the work in question is rather negligible: it is very short and written in an elementary fashion, showing the introductory nature typical of the works that Martin Grabmann classified under the general title of "Methoden und Hilfsmittel des Aristotelesstudiums im Mittelalter ."3 Finally, it was considered, up to now, as extant only in one manuscript. 1 Cf. Celestino Piaña, "Descriptio codicum franciscalium necnon S. Thomae Aquin. in Bibliotheca Albornotiana CoUegii Hispani Bononiae asservatorum ," Antonianum 17 (1942): 114-116. 2 Gaudens Mohan, "Initia operum franciscalium (XIII-XVs.), I-Q," Franciscan Studies 37 (1977): 346. 3 Martin Grabmann, Methoden und Hilfsmittel des Aristotelesstudiums im Mittelalter (München: Verl. der Bayer. Akad. der Wiss., 1939) now also in 330ANDREA TABARRONI The discovery of other texts closely related to this opusculum has led me to a more attentive consideration of the content of this short treatise and of its relationships with similar works, such as the relatively widespread Termini naturahs, attributed in some manuscripts to a leading figure of the Merton school: William Heytesbury.4 As is easily understandable, in the case of such minor works, it was not possible to find any definite answer to the question of Ockham 's authorship. And, to tell the truth, anyone who is acquainted with the powerful and unmistakable style ofOckham's argumentation will be most hesitant to attribute this elementary tract to the Venerabilis Inceptor—despite the fact ofone manuscript's positive indication—, at least until more evidence could be adduced. In any case, I think the Super términos naturales is worth attention in itself, as a symptom ofthe diffusion ofOckham's natural philosophy, even at a less sophisticated level, in the early XVth century. First, I will make some observations on the manuscripts; secondly , I will concentrate my attention on the text, which is reported in different versions, and on its relations with Ockham's physical works, on the one hand, and with similar short tracts, such as Heytesbury's Termini naturales, on the other hand. Finally, I will consider a particular witness of the presence of our text at the University of Erfurt in the early XVth century. ?. The Manuscripts Here is a list of the manuscripts I have examined, together with the information I was able to gather concerning the works contained in them and the identity ofthose who actually produced them. Given the preliminary and the limited purpose it has to serve, the following Martin Grabmann, Gesammelte Akademieabhandlungen (Paderborn-MünchenWien -Zurich: Schöningh, 1979): II, 1447-1637. 4 See on him Curtis Wilson, William Heytesbury: Medieval Logic and the Rise of Mathematical Physics (Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1956) and James A. Weisheipl, "Ockham and some Mertonians," Mediaeval Studies 30 (1968): 163-213. For a list of the MSS of Termini naturales ci. James A. Weisheipl, "Repertorium Mertonense," Mediaeval Studies 31 (1969): 216-217 and cf. also n. 31 below. 'Super Términos Naturales' Attributed to Ockham331 is not intended as a formal description of each manuscript.5 (B) BOLOGNA, Biblioteca Albomoziana del Collegio di Spagna 47 This Codex dates back to the XVth century and is composed of two parts. The first one, which is also by far the longest one, contains the Conflatus and the De esse essentiae et exsistentiae (or, which is the same, the q. 8 ofthe Quodlibet) of Francis of Meyronne.6 From the explicits of the two works, which cover together ff. l-358r we learn that this...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 329-349
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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