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William Duba

Abstract

The most studied source for Gerald Odonis' doctrine of the beatific vision is the text of his Advent 1333 disputed question known as his Quodlibet. The polemic nature of the question and its structural idiosyncrasies have led to difficulties in interpreting Odonis' theory of the “middle vision” of the divine essence that the separate souls of the blessed have, as well as in understanding his defense of Pope John XXII's controversial opinion (which excludes such a middle vision). By relating Odonis' 1333 disputation to his earlier commentary on the Sentences, most notably his systematic discussion of the beatific vision in book IV, this paper shows how Odonis tried to fit his doctrine of the “middle vision” with his previous discussion, which itself reflects the influence of the 1317 publication of the acts of the 1311-12 Council of Vienne.

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William O. Duba

Abstract

In a seminal article, Simo Knuuttila and Anja Inkeri Lehtinen drew attention to a “curious doctrine” holding that contradictories can be true at the same temporal instant, and identified the major defenders of the doctrine as John Baconthorpe, Landolfo Caracciolo, and Hugh of Novocastro. Normann Kretzmann later asserted as fact the suggestion by Knuuttila and Inkeri Lehtinen that the doctrine comes from a misreading of a passage from Aristotle’s Physics. In fact, a study of the relevant texts reveals that Hugh of Novocastro first elaborated the doctrine by building on the Scotist doctrines of synchronic contingency and simultaneous causation. As these doctrines require at the same instant of time an order of priority and posteriority between possibility and actuality, cause and effect, so, Hugh says, there must be prior and posterior different states of affairs. Landolfo Caracciolo made this doctrine notorious outside the Franciscan convent by using it in his principia debates, directly engaging the circle of Cardinal Iacopo Stefaneschi (Thomas Wylton, John of Jandun, and Annibaldo di Ceccano). John Baconthorpe, the first to (mis)cite the Physics passage, did not have any noticeable effect on the development of the doctrine.

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William O. Duba

In a seminal article, Simo Knuuttila and Anja Inkeri Lehtinen drew attention to a “curious doctrine” holding that contradictories can be true at the same temporal instant, and identified the major defenders of the doctrine as John Baconthorpe, Landolfo Caracciolo, and Hugh of Novocastro. Normann Kretzmann later asserted as fact the suggestion by Knuuttila and Inkeri Lehtinen that the doctrine comes from a misreading of a passage from Aristotle’s Physics. In fact, a study of the relevant texts reveals that Hugh of Novocastro first elaborated the doctrine by building on the Scotist doctrines of synchronic contingency and simultaneous causation. As these doctrines require at the same instant of time an order of priority and posteriority between possibility and actuality, cause and effect, so, Hugh says, there must be prior and posterior different states of affairs. Landolfo Caracciolo made this doctrine notorious outside the Franciscan convent by using it in his principia debates, directly engaging the circle of Cardinal Iacopo Stefaneschi (Thomas Wylton, John of Jandun, and Annibaldo di Ceccano). John Baconthorpe, the first to (mis)cite the Physics passage, did not have any noticeable effect on the development of the doctrine.

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Chris Schabel and William Duba