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The categories, Michael de Massa, and natural philosophy at Paris, 1335–1340

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Chapter Summary

Much of the recent debate over the introduction of William of Ockham's thought into Paris and the crises of the years 1339 and 1340 has centered on hermeneutics, semantics, and the logic of propositions. Much of the evidence, however, suggests that a major issue separating the two sides in the debate over Ockham was Ockham's understanding of the categories and its implications for his natural philosophy. After briefly sketching the stages in the conflict over the categories at Paris in the 1330s and 1340s, this chapter analyzes the arguments of Michael de Massa, and then reexplores the connections on this issue between natural philosophy and the logic of propositions. The text of Massa's question on motion is provided at the end of the chapter. The statute of September 1339, the one that prohibits the use of Ockham in public or private teaching refers to Ockham's doctrina.

Keywords: doctrina; Michael de Massa; natural philosophy; Parisian lectures



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