Abstract Two distinguishing marks of voluntaristic conceptions of human action can be found already in the 12th century, not only in the work of Bonaventura’s successors: 1. the will is free to act against reasons’s dictates; 2. moral responsibility depends on this conception of the will’s freedom. A number of theologians from the 1130s to the 1170s accepted those claims, which have been originally formulated by Bernard of Clairvaux. Robert of Melun elaborated them in a systematical way and coined the terminological distinctions which were controversely discussed in the following centuries. The paper edits and interprets some of his texts about voluntary action. Furthermore, it shows that Bernard’s and Robert’s ideas have been transported by their intellectualist critics in the 13th century.
Abstract Does Duns Scotus identify the natural will with the affectio commodi? This identification has become the standard view. In this paper, I will challenge this view through an analysis of some key texts. The main thesis of the paper is that Scotus allows for two scenarios related to the will’s dual affections. The first is the real situation of the created will: the will is a free potency and possesses two affections. The second is a hypothetical case; Scotus suggests the fictive case of a will that only possesses the affectio commodi. Accordingly, it can be concluded that: (i) when considering the will in its real condition, both affections belong to the will’s free appetite; (ii) in the hypothetical case the natural will, the intellectual appetite and the affectio commodi are all identified; (iii) in the real condition of the will, the natural will is a passive inclination to receive perfection.
Abstract An anonymous manuscript from the fourteenth or early fifteenth century, recently discovered, apparently transmitted Thierry of Chartres’s philosophical theology to Nicholas of Cusa around 1440. Yet the author of the treatise is not endorsing Thierry’s views, as both Cusanus and modern readers have assumed, but in fact is writing in order to refute them. Curiously the author never mentions Thierry’s best known triad of unitas, aequalitas and conexio. But a careful comparison of the structure of the author’s argument to Thierry’s extant works shows that the author was nevertheless quite familiar with the Breton master’s writings. The reatise’s author offers an incisive critique of Thierry’s theory of “four modes of being” and rejects two of the modes in particular. From this new perspective, the manuscript can be valued as the first known evidence of Thierry of Chartres’s late medieval reception.
Abstract The aim of the paper is to reassess the role of British Aristotelianism within the history of early modern logic between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as a crucial moment of cultural transition from the model of humanistic rhetoric and dialectic to that of facultative logic, that is, a logic which concerns the study of the cognitive powers of the mind. The paper shows that there is a special connection between Paduan Aristotelianism and British empiricism, through the mediation of British Aristotelianism. British Aristotelians took the ideas of the Paduan Aristotelian tradition and carried them to an extreme, gradually removing them from the original Aristotelian context in which they were grounded and developing what would later become the fundamental ideas of British empiricism.