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In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis

Abstract

This article examines the doctrine of minima naturalia (i.e., the smallest quantity of matter able to preserve the substantial form of a material substance) in three of the earliest extant Latin commentaries on Aristotle’s Physics: the two traditionally ascribed to Roger Bacon (1214/1220–1292), i.e., Questiones supra libros octo Physicorum Aristotelis and Questiones supra libros quatuor Physicorum Aristotelis, and the anonymous In Physicam Aristotelis, which Rega Wood attributes to Richard Rufus of Cornwall (fl. 1231–1256). The position presented by Bacon in Questiones supra libros octo Physicorum displays striking similarities with the one adopted by the author of In Physicam Aristotelis, but also important differences. Moreover, the fact that the view defended in Questiones supra libros quatuor Physicorum is openly rejected in Questiones supra libros octo Physicorum provides additional support to Silvia Donati’s hypothesis that the former is not an authentic work by Bacon.

In: Vivarium
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Abstract

This study aims to shed new light on Nicholas of Cusa as a reader of Plato by examining the autographic marginalia transmitted in the Codex Cusanus 177, the most significant Platonic collection within Cusanus’s extant library. More specifically, the article focuses on Cusanus’s reading of three Platonic dialogues translated into Latin by Leonardo Bruni (Apology of Socrates, Phaedo, and Phaedrus) and illustrates their common reception in a specific phase of Cusanus’s production, from the composition of the Apologia doctae ignorantiae (1449) to the redaction of the Idiota trilogy (1450). The article not only shows how the thought of Cusanus developed in the margins of the Platonic manuscripts, but also reconstructs Cusanus’s specific working method. Finally, it proposes an interpretation of Cusanus’s reading practices against the background of the critique of book learning and authority that he developed in his works of the period.

In: Vivarium
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Abstract

This article explores Bonaventure’s thinking on the lunar substance. Focusing upon his discussion of the moon’s opacity and illumination by the solar radii, and how it relates to his appropriation of Aristotelian colour theory, it shows that there is a connection between Bonaventure’s discussion of the moon in his early Dubia circa litteram magistri and that found in the Sentences commentary of the Oxford Dominican Richard Fishacre and the De generatione stellarum, often attributed to Robert Grosseteste. As we will see, Bonaventure not only seems alert to the highly unusual thesis which Fishacre and the De generatione stellarum share concerning the lunar body – namely, that it is composed of one or more of the four terrestrial elements rather than the celestial quintessence as Aristotle teaches – but he also critiques this position and repeatedly defends the Aristotelian interpretation, often by appealing to the thinking of Averroes. The argument is made that it is Fischacre’s text which Bonaventure is critiquing and that the convergences between the text of his dubium and the De generatione stellarum are to be explained through his knowledge of Fishacre’s Sentences commentary given the latter’s clear dependence on the De generatione stellarum. In turn, it is argued that Bonaventure’s theory of the lunar body shows that his natural philosophy possesses a much stronger peripatetic flavour to it than is usually acknowledged.

Open Access
In: Vivarium
In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis