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English Commentaries before Scotus. A Case Study: The Discussion on the Unity of Being

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Chapter Summary

This paper explores the English commentary tradition of the Metaphysics before Scotus. After a brief description of each single representative of the tradition, it provides some insight into the nature and the distinctive features of this tradition by focusing on the exemplary case of the debate about the unity of being. As a parallel exploration of the commentary tradition of the Physics has shown, the 13th-century English commentators developed an original solution to this problem, which is not found in contemporary continental commentaries. This solution first appeared in the commentaries of around 1250-60 but underwent an evolution during the following decades. It was then adopted by John Duns Scotus when he first addressed the issue of the unity of being in his philosophical commentaries in the 1290s, before proposing his new theory of the univocation of being in his theological works.

Keywords: Metaphysics; English commentary; John Duns Scotus; philosophical commentaries; theological works



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