Nicholas of Autrecourt’s Quaestio de intensione visionis Revisited: The scola Oxoniensis and Parisian Masters on Limit Decision Problems

in Vivarium
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Previously, the author tried to show that some arguments in one of the two versions of Nicholas of Autrecourt’s Quaestio de intensione visionis are taken almost verbatim from the anonymous Tractatus de sex inconvenientibus. This paper concentrates on the arguments themselves in order to consider two main issues: (a) the ‘translatability’ of limit decision problems, manifest in Autrecourt’s juxtaposition of questions de maximo et minimo, de primo et ultimo instanti, and the intension and remission of forms; (b) the importance of Parisian discussions of limit decision problems prior to the adoption of the new analytical languages developed at Oxford. Thus, the paper is divided in two sections, the first concerning some arguments of Autrecourt’s question, the second focusing on the link between one of Autrecourt’s arguments and the medieval tradition of commentaries on Aristotle’s De caelo, in which it is possible to find some antecedents of the analytical approach that later Parisian scholars (Autrecourt among them) would apply to these problems.

Nicholas of Autrecourt’s Quaestio de intensione visionis Revisited: The scola Oxoniensis and Parisian Masters on Limit Decision Problems

in Vivarium




J.R. O’Donnell“Nicholas of Autrecourt,” Mediaeval Studies 1 (1939) 179-280at 268-280.


See also discussion in KaluzaNicolas d’Autrécourt200-204. It could also be argued that Autrecourt might have made use in the context of a theological dispute of some arguments devised and arranged earlier in the context of the Faculty of Arts. Alternatively if Autrecourt continued to teach in the Faculty of Arts after his Sentences lectures in 1335-1336 it is possible to conceive that both versions were devised roughly around the same time arranging the same arguments in each case for different academic purposes. For details of the academic career of Nicholas of Autrecourt see W.J. Courtenay “Arts and Theology at Paris 1326-1340” in Nicolas d’Autrécourt et la Faculté des Arts de Paris (1317-1340) ed. S. Caroti and C. Grellard (Cesena 2006) 15-63 as well as Kaluza Nicolas d’Autrécourt 9-73.


Caroti“Nuovi linguaggi” 210-226. In the case of Albert of Saxony there is also a special treatise De maximo et minimo elaborated from material from his De caelo commentary; see D. Di Liscia “El tractatus de maximo et minimo según Albert von Sachsen en el manuscrito H65 [580] de la Biblioteca Comunale Augusta de Perugia” in Studium Philosophiae. Textos en homenaje a Silvia Magnavacca ed. C. D’Amico and A. Tursi (Buenos Aires 2014) 147-163.


Caroti“Nuovi linguaggi” 183. This kind of distinction advanced in order to save Aristotle from apparent or real contradictions is in fact rather common; see. S. Ebbesen D. Bloch J.L. Fink H. Hansen and A.M. Mora-Márquez History of Philosophy in Reverse. Reading Aristotle Through the Lenses of Scholars from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Centuries (Copenhagen 2014) 43-55.


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