A Possible Trace of Oresme’s Condicio-Theory of Accidents in an Anonymous Commentary on Aristotle’s Meteorology

In: Vivarium
Stefan Kirschner University of Hamburg

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In his commentary on Aristotle’s Physics, Nicole Oresme (c. 1320-1382) propounds a very specific theory of the ontological status of accidents. Characteristic of Oresme’s view on accidents is that he does not consider them accidental forms, but only so-called condiciones or modi of the substance. Unlike the term “modus”, the term “condicio” seems to be very characteristic of Oresme’s own terminology. Up to now it has been unknown whether Oresme exerted any influence with his condicio-theory of accidents. This paper presents an anonymous 14th-century commentary on Aristotle’s Meteorology (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 4375, ff. 19r-46v), in two Questions of which the term “condicio” occurs in an ontological context. Moreover, the text shows further striking coincidences with known works by Oresme, and this makes an influence by Oresme appear all the more probable.

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