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SOURCES FOR OCKHAM'S PROLOGUE TO THE SENTENCES — II In the first part of this article (Franciscan Studies, 1966) we presented the texts of John of Reading and Richard of Conington, two authors cited in the third and fifth questions of the Prologue of Ockham's Commentary on Book I of the Sentences. In the present article we will publish the texts of Robert Cowton and William of Alnwick. Cowton and Alnwick are cited in the eleventh and twelfth questions of Ockham's Prologue1. ROBERT COWTON C. Balic has estimated that the Oxford Franciscan Master Robert Cowton wrote his Commentary on Book I of the Sentences between 1303 1308a. Robert cites the Lectura prima of Scotus but not his Ordinatio. Dom O. Lottin has indicated the complicated interplay between the Commentary on Book III of Cowton and the various redactions of Scotus' Book III, and has suggested that Robert's Commentary is posterior to the oral teaching of Scotus but anterior to the Ordinatio. Cowton, according to Lottin, is a faithful echo of the oral teaching of Scotus and is therefore a valuable representative of the new-born Scotistic school3. Parts of Cowton's Commentary have already been edited. H.Schwamm has published Distinctions 38 and 39 of Book I4. T. Graf has edited the first question of Distinction 33 of Book III5. M. Schmaus and O. Lottin have also provided many citations from various areas of Cowton's works6. 1 Guillelmus de Ockham, Scriptum in I Sententiarum. Opera theologica (St. Bonaventure, N.Y., 1967) I, 277—279 (Robert Cowton); 325—328 (William of Alnwick). 2 According to a letter quoted by O. Lottin, Psychologie et Morale aux XII' et XIII' siècles, t. VI (Gembloux), p. 426. 3 O. Lottin, Psychologie et Morale . . ., t. VI, pp. 440—-441. 4 H. Schwamm, Robert Cowton O.F.M. über das göttliche Vorherwissen (Philosophie und Grenzwissenschaften 3, 5), Innsbruck, 1931. 5 T. Graf, De subiecto psychico gratiae et virtutum, pars I (Studia Anselmiana , 3—4), Rome, 1935. 6 M. Schmaus, Der Liber propugnatorius des Thomas Anglicus (Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie und Theologie im Mittelalter, 29, 1), Münster, 1930; O. Lottin, Psychologie et Morale . . ., t. VI, pp. 425—-441. 40STEPHEN F. BROWN, O. F. M. The text cited by Ockham has never been edited. It concerns the nature of praxis. This subject, however, is treated within the discussion of the nature of theology. In the seventh question of his Prologue to Book I of the Sentences Cowton examines the position of Scotus regarding the practical character of theology and rejects the Subtle Doctor's teaching that theology is a practical science. For Cowton theology is a speculative science. A speculative science deals with necessary and eternal things, whereas a practical science is concerned with contingent things. Praxis is an action dealing with contingent things or things which are means to an end. It is an action which passes over into the powers below the intellect and will. Here too Cowton differs from Scotus who did not specify that the act of an inferior power is necessary for praxis. According to Scotus it is sufficient that the act be done by a power different from the intellect but not necessarily by a lower power. On both these points we find then that Cowton is at odds with the Subtle Doctor. Many manuscripts of Cowton's Sentences exist in both their original form and in the abbreviated form given them by Richard Snetisham7. For our edition we have used the text of Merton ms. 93s (if. 24va—28vb) as the basic text and where necessary we employed the Balliol ms. 1999 (ff. 45va—53ra) for corrections of evident faults and omissions. Both manuscripts are of excellent quality and come from the fourteenth century. We will use the letter M to signify the Merton manuscript and the letter B to indicate the Balliol text. We filled in the minor evident omissions of the Merton text only when justified by the Balliol manuscript and we employed brackets to show that they are not in the Merton text. (Roberti Cowton Commentarium in I Sent., Prol., q. 7) Utrum habitus theologiae sit speculativus vel practicus...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 39-107
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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