Monday, February 15, 2010
Robert Andrews on Augustinus de Ferraria
The following quote is from the introduction to the edition of Augustinus de Ferraria (died Dec. 1 1466), Quaestiones super librum praedicamentorum Aristotelis, p. xxv-xxvi.
"Augustinus de Ferraria was a Scotist, and by that standpoint he stood in contrast to the Ockhamism and nominalism which was the other major philosophical school of late-medieval Europe. To be a Scotist was not necessarily to agree with Scotus, or to follow closely in his work. In fact, Scotus' logical works (all of the manuscripts of which are relatively late) circulated more commonly in the clarifying versions of Antonius Andreas. And Augustinus never explicitly names Duns Scotus, although two of his scribes cite him ("quam tangit Doctor") in a note (q.7 final note). Rather, the Scotism of Augustinus takes the form of an agreement with the major principles of Scotus, such as a realism as regards universals; the univocity of being, and the unity of forms. In practie, Augustinus follows the tendencies of Scotus which most irritated his rivals: a willingness to draw numerous distinctions, and the inclination to hold that distinctions in language correspond to ontological states of the world. Thus Augustinus subscribes to the existence of quiddities, haecceities, aliaeties, and other suspicious entities which were anathema to the Ockhamists. Indeed, Augustinus' work is filled with distinctions, different wasy, types, modes, and grades; so much so that his work might be regarded as a dictionary of philosophical distinctions."