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THE CRITICAL VALUE OF QUOTATIONS OF SCOTUS' WORKS FOUND IN OCKHAM'S WRITINGS Comment to: La valeur critique des citations des oeuvres de Jean Duns Scot, by Charles Baue, O.F.M., in Mélanges Auguste Pelzer, Louvain 1941, pp. 531-556. Father Balic, the well-known prefect of the Scotus Commission in Rome, has devoted a special study to the problem of the critical value of quotations of works of Scotus encountered in the writings of other scholastics. The discussion centers mainly on three questions: (1) whether such quotations can serve as a secure basis in order to establish the original text of Scotus, (2) whether they help to fix the date of certain writings of Scotus, (3)whether they may be of assistance in solving the problem of the authenticity of certain works attributed to Scotus. Father Balic has confined his study exclusively to those scholastics who seem to be more significative in this regard. They are: Hervaeus Natalis, Thomas of Sutton, Robert of Cowton , William of Nottingham, John of Reading, William Ockham1, William of Alnwick and John Rodington. His main interest is focussed on Scotus' Ordinatio and the various Reportationes of the Doctor Subtilis, the other writings of Scotus being treated only incidentally. The general conclusion as regards the first problem is stated as follows: Les citations de l'Ordinatio de Duns Scot ne nous aident donc point á en connaître et á en fixer le texte original: exception faite cependant pour certaines affirmations où on dit, par exemple, qu'il a changé d'opinion, qu'il a changé tel ou tel mot ... (p. 553). We understand the author to mean by this that quotations are of no help whatsoever in re-establishing the original text, unless they indicate changes made by Scotus himself. 1. We prefer to call Ockham "William Ockham" and not "William of Ockham ", since many of the oldest manuscripts do so, as likewise Pope John XXII in official documents. 192 PHILOTHEUS BOEHNER, O.F.M.193 Concerning the second and third problem, the author is more optimistic. He summarizes his position in the following statement : Cependant, si les citations ne peuvent en général nous guider dans l'établissement du texte original, elles peuvent être tres précieuces pour le critique ayant en vue l'authenticité des textes scolastiques, leur authorité, leur succession chronologique, etc. (P- 555). The author points especially to Scotus' Reportatio examinata, the Lectura of Oxford, De Primo Rerum Principio, De Theorematibus , Additiones Magnae, to show the importance of such quotations. Since all of them are attributed to Joannes Scotus, already by authors of the first half of the 14th century, their authenticity is thus confirmed and hence they will find a place in the critical edition now being prepared. In this connection it will be of special interest to our readers to learn that Balic places the authenticity of De Primo Rerum Principio and De Theorematibus on the same level as the Summa Theologica of Alexander of Hales. That means the two works 2re authentic in this sense, that Scotus had the will to produce these works; that he has had the idea of them and has conceived their plan and indicated the material to be used (qui a volu l'oeuvre, en a eu l'idée, en a conçu le plan et indiqué la matière p. 556). For the rest, it is immaterial whether the style is different and the whole execution of the work not completely in line with the manner of the "author" himself. If this be so, then we may legitimately ask whether BaUc wishes to admit that such a work of an "author" may even contradict his certainly and absolutely genuine works. Since he cites the case of the Summa Halensis, it appears he is willing to go even this far. For he also gives the prudent advice which we ourselves wish to emphasize : Tâchons de ne pas confondre Ordinatio et Reporterions, de distinguer dans un texte écrit la part vraiment sienne de celle qui revient aux collaborateurs et fut rédigée par eux sous sa direction ou selon son programme (p. 556). We gather from this: A student...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 192-201
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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