Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Reportatio IV Now Available!

There is a new Scotus publication from Franciscan Institute Publications!

Now we have a working text of Reportatio IV from Oleg Bychkov and Trent Pomplun.

Publisher's description:

This book, gives the reader, both in Latin and in English translation, a solid working text of the Examined Report of the Paris Lecture of John Duns Scotus, known to scholars as Reportatio IV-A. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

New Book on Baroque Scotism

There is a new book on baroque Scotism about to hit the shelves. The author is Claus Andersen (profile here). The book is: 

Metaphysik im Barockscotismus: Untersuchungen zum Metaphysikwerk des Bartholomaeus Mastrius. Mit Dokumentation der Metaphysik in der scotistischen Tradition ca. 1620-1750


Here is the English description:


Baroque-age Scotist philosophy was, on the one hand, characterised by recourse to the Medieval thinker John Duns Scotus and, on the other hand, by an adaptation to trends in contemporary scholasticism, first of all that of the Jesuits. What kind of metaphysics did this particular constellation within the history of philosophy produce? In order to answer this question, the present book analyses the work on metaphysics by the most important representative of early modern Scotism, Bartolomeo Mastri (1602-1673). In addition, the book investigates a multitude of scarcely or never studied works on metaphysics from the Franciscan scholastic tradition of the 17th and 18th centuries. The peculiar profile of a forgotten philosophical tradition with its astonishing plurality becomes apparent. By focusing on a phenomenon from the history of philosophy outside the mainstream, this work contributes to a more differentiated view on the intellectual culture in early modern Europe.


It seems well documented: 1004 pp.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Lagerlund on Cross

Here is Henrik Lagerlund's review of Richard Cross' book on Scotus' theory of cognition. Lagerlund does not take issue with any of Cross' interpretations of Scotus, at least insofar as they are grounded (or not) in the texts of Scotus.

There still has not been a review from within the Scotus guild. Some criticism of Cross' interpretations can be found in John van den Bercken's recent essay on the powers of the soul. Pini, in his essay on objective being and Scotus seems generally dismissive, and I have some criticisms forthcoming hopefully later this year (I hope... it's been done since 2014). But no review from establishment Scotism.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Umberto Eco: RIP

See Hurtado's blog for some ruminations.

Ashworth on Analogy


"Despite the vast modern literature devoted to Aquinas's theory of analogy, he has very little to say about analogy as such."


Friday, February 19, 2016

Another Review of Brad Gregory

Rather late in the game, a new review of Brad Gregory's Unintended Reformation has appeared, here, by Michael Horton.

He is quite dismissive of the Scotus Myth, even mentioning the names of scholars that actually know things about Scotus (!!!).

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New Volume of the Scotus Opera omnia Released!

Announced here.

Available for 215 euros, here.

Note it is the first of two volumes of indices,  not texts.

Here is the google-translated announcement:

The first volume of indices, the XV.1 the Vatican series, collects onomastici indexes, bibliographic, of direct and indirect sources of all the volumes of the Ordinatio and the Lectura, as well as the full list of parallel loci of the two works and a concordance updated edition of the Vatican and that of the Wadding-Vives. More than a simple collection of the indexes already appeared in the individual volumes, it is a real reprocessing of those data. A meticulous work was made, first of all, necessary to even out the inevitable methodological inconsistencies within the indexes of the individual volumes published so far, and this extensive revision is also an opportunity for many additions and corrections. The indices have also been updated keeping in mind the publication over the years of numerous critical editions of many scotiane sources. Thus, for example, for all citations of Augustine's works we are now the reference to the three most famous editions: the Corpus Scriptorum ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (CSEL); the Corpus Christianorum Series Latina (CCSL) and the Patrologia Latina (PL), while in the first volume there was limited only to Patrologia Latina; while quotations of the works of Aristotle has been added, where absent, the reference all'Aristoteles latinus, in addition to those already present all'incunabolo published in Venice in 1483, to that edition Iuntina of 1562 and, of course, to Bekker . The same principle has been clearly adopted for all authors.

The book is thus composed of 546 pages of material that, for printing needs, has a typographical body slightly lower than that of other volumes, but thanks to which it is now possible to search the entire work of the Ordinatio and the Lectura as well from a single reference.

All material is preceded by an introduction of some forty pages, which has a triple ambition. First, it constitutes, as is natural, a true to the book's introduction in which you seek to clarify, through examples, the criteria used in the indexing of the sources, in the hope of helping the reader to become familiar with the system of citations. Beyond that, it is, if not primarily, a sort of conclusion to the Commentary on Book IV, which had been published without his editorial annotations. And finally, from these considerations on the Commentary on Book IV are of course also sprung more general considerations on the entire work which, although modest, can be regarded as conclusive.

For these reasons, in this introduction, it was considered useful to offer also the complete list and ordered the manuscripts and editions that have been used for the edition of each volume, clarifying, through a pattern, distribution and use in comment by Scotus to several books Ordinatio is that the Lectura. The codes have been grouped, according to the criterion that led all the work in accordance with their "classes", or the breakdown by key families, and their "reviews", ie according to their greater or lesser harmony with the code in the famous code 137 of the Municipal Library of Assisi, considered by publishers the closest version to unfortunately lost Liber Scotus, which regularly reports on the margin any abnormalities.

Another issue on which we focused in this introduction is that the external and internal evidence proving the authenticity of the work and, in particular, the Commentary on Book IV. It refers here, in particular, to those marginal notes or to those internal textual references that, referring to other parts of the Commentary, in addition to certify the authenticity, also sufficient to enable a work internal chronology.

Monday, February 15, 2016

New Grosseteste Edition

An important new edition of Grosseteste has come out, his commentary on pseudo-Dionysius' De caelesti hierarchia. Available here. For a cool 210,00 euro (!)

I've already added it to the notes of my edition of Petrus Thomae's De ente. (yes, Scotists read Grosseteste and ps.-Dionysius: Mayronis wrote commentaries on the Dionysian corpus).

This edition was begun in the 60's as a dissertation, and handed on to several generations of scholars being published only in 2015. What I found utterly shocking was the mention that McEvoy taught in a department of "Scholastic Philosophy", which eventually closed, perhaps in the 70's. Such bygone times I can't conceive of them, or even imagine what it would be like to be part of a mainstream movement (even if only in the Catholic world).

One nice thing about this edition is that they have retained the internal divisions of the text as it was read in the middle ages. Maybe this wasn't an issue since it is a medieval book. I'm thinking here of the Aristoteles Latinus and Avicenna Latinus editions, which do not report the medieval chapter and book divisions, only Bekker's. This makes it difficult to actually find anything with medieval citation practices (aside from sitting down and reading it straight through, of course). This I find stupid because scholars who work on Aristotle and Avicenna read their works in the original language and pay no attention to medieval translations. And rightly so. These editions are only going to be used by people working on medieval latin material, but the editors have made it more difficult for us on purpose! But, again, happily this is not the case for the volume under discussion here.

Anyway, buy this book and read it:

Corpus Christianorum

Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis (CCCM 268)

Robertus Grosseteste

Versio Caelestis Hierarchiae Pseudo-Dionysii Areopagitae cum scholiis ex Graeco sumptis necnon commentariis notulisque eiusdem Lincolniensis

D. A. Lawell (ed.)

XLII+330 p., 155 x 245 mm, 2015

ISBN: 978-2-503-55593-5

Languages: Latin, English


The publication is available.

Retail price: EUR 210,00 excl. tax

Robert Grosseteste's translation of and commentary on the Celestial Hierarchy of Pseudo-Dionysius.

This volume contains Robert Grosseteste's translation of the Pseudo-Dionysius's Celestial Hierarchy. The Latin text is accompanied by Grosseteste's translation of the Greek scholia as well as his commentary and notes made on the Celestial Hierarchy and scholia. Grosseteste's work presents another insight into the renaissance of Dionysian studies which took place in the thirteenth century, as witnessed by commentators on the Areopagite such as Aquinas, Albert and Thomas Gallus. Grosseteste's commentary is greatly informed by his command of the Greek language which resulted in not only a detailed philological understanding of the Greek but also in a rich interpretation of the mind of Dionysius.

Declan Lawell is a Teacher of Latin in Liverpool. He has already published volumes by Thomas Gallus in the Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis series.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Cross on Scotus on Faith and Reason

From Richard Cross, "Fides et Ratio: The Harmony of Philosophy and Theology in Duns Scotus," Antonianum 83 (2008), 589-602.

This article was a response to Benedict XVI's Regensburg address. Benedect has said something to the effect of voluntarism and maybe nominalism arose with Scotus and led to bad modern things and was similar to Islamic voluntarism. My interest in posting the following excerpt is in Cross pointing out that Scotus treats arguments.

" I have suggested in a different context, scholastic writers are not doxographers; they offer arguments for the theories they adopt. so here, even if the proposed account of Scotus were accurate, it is not sufficient simply to disagree with the position ascribed to Scotus. Scotus presents arguments - he does not adopt positions just to be perverse - and any intellectually principled engagement with his views would need to consider as well the arguments he proposes in favor of his conclusions."

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Happy Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas!

Happy Feast, unless  you prefer to celebrate on March 7. In the meantime, here are some fun quotes from Fides et Ratio:

49. The Church has no philosophy of her own nor does she canonize any one particular philosophy in preference to others. The underlying reason for this reluctance is that, even when it engages theology, philosophy must remain faithful to its own principles and methods. Otherwise there would be no guarantee that it would remain oriented to truth and that it was moving towards truth by way of a process governed by reason. A philosophy which did not proceed in the light of reason according to its own principles and methods would serve little purpose. At the deepest level, the autonomy which philosophy enjoys is rooted in the fact that reason is by its nature oriented to truth and is equipped moreover with the means necessary to arrive at truth. A philosophy conscious of this as its “constitutive status” cannot but respect the demands and the data of revealed truth.

51. This discernment, however, should not be seen as primarily negative, as if the Magisterium intended to abolish or limit any possible mediation. On the contrary, the Magisterium's interventions are intended above all to prompt, promote and encourage philosophical enquiry. Besides, philosophers are the first to understand the need for self-criticism, the correction of errors and the extension of the too restricted terms in which their thinking has been framed. In particular, it is necessary to keep in mind the unity of truth, even if its formulations are shaped by history and produced by human reason wounded and weakened by sin. This is why no historical form of philosophy can legitimately claim to embrace the totality of truth, nor to be the complete explanation of the human being, of the world and of the human being's relationship with God.

78. It should be clear in the light of these reflections why the Magisterium has repeatedly acclaimed the merits of Saint Thomas' thought and made him the guide and model for theological studies. This has not been in order to take a position on properly philosophical questions nor to demand adherence to particular theses. The Magisterium's intention has always been to show how Saint Thomas is an authentic model for all who seek the truth. In his thinking, the demands of reason and the power of faith found the most elevated synthesis ever attained by human thought, for he could defend the radical newness introduced by Revelation without ever demeaning the venture proper to reason.

By the way, comments are still open on the "Thomism and the Magisterium" post!

Update: A reader sent in a link to his blog, with some reflections germane to this topic. It treats the encyclical Humani generis and its relation to Thomas Aquinas.

Monday, November 9, 2015

O'Regan: Scotus the Nefarious

The following is a quotation from an article in the Newman-Scotus Reader:

Cyril O'Regan, "Scotus the Nefarious: Uncovering Genealogical Sophistications," p. 637-38.

This Essay has provided a sketch of what amounts to a montage of negative constructions of Scotus which do not evince serious engagement with his thought and in fact discourage it (a) by suggesting that it is fatally flawed from the ground up and (b) implicating it in lines of modern discourse which are either demonstrated or assumed to be pernicious. My aim has not been so much to defend Scotus' actual positions as to protest against the apriorism of each of these individual schemes and their cumulative ideological effect which is to make impossible a hearing of what Scotus has to say.  We are talking here about procedural fairness denied a thinker, but we are also talking about the way in which superficial engagements with a thinker's thought and superficial readings of the history of effects compromises the claims of the discourses being supported and in the process also serve to undermine the very enterprise of genealogy.


Although indirectly, the essay is a form of plea for the unaligned for opening up the plurality of the tradition This was the instinct of Gilson when he wrote his book on Scotus over sixty years ago. The fact that the instinct gets compromised in the performance is hardly unimportant, but it is not constitutive. What is needed is another Gilson in the very new situation, a new century with more derogatory discourses, a new century in which scholarship has considerably changed the textual landscape what belongs to the historical Scotus and what does not, a new century in which while there is much highly technical work done on Scotus, there is no book that takes a comprehensive look at the work of Scotus and shows its comprehensiveness, its seriousness, and its beauty.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Happy Feast of Scotus!

Enjoy the day. Here's a link to some interesting reflections, including a paper on Scotus and reductive physicalism.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

New Scotus Edition

A new edition of a work by Scotus has just been published: the Logica Scoti, also known from one of its colophons as the Quaestio de formalitatibus. It is Scotus' final discussion of the formal distinction.

The Logica Scoti is being published in the Bulletin de philosophie medievale 56 (2014), available here.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

New Simpson Translations

Some more news: Peter Simpson (webpage here) has recently completed a translation of Franciscus de Mayronis' Tractatus de univocatione entis, probably an excerpt from the Conflatus. He has also started translating a commentary on the Sentences attributed to Antonius Andreas. Simpson notes in the preface to the latter translation that:

The Subtle Doctor’s theology, just as such and without the scholars' qualifications and updatings, deserves to much more widely known and so needs to be made available in easier forms. Not everyone has to be a scholar or familiar with the scholars' findings to attain a basic and salutary grasp of Scotism.