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By Copleston, Frederick
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Additional info for A History of Philosophy - Ockham to the Speculative Mystics (Christian Library)
Again, Petrus Aureoli was a Franciscan, not a Dominican, and he was not under any obligation to accept the teaching of St. Thomas. Of these three philosophers, then, it is only Durandus whose departures from Thomism might be called ‘revolutionary’; and, even in his case, his opinions can be called ‘revolutionary’ only in regard to his position as a Dominican and to the obligation on the members of his Order of following the teaching of St. Thomas, the Dominican Doctor. In this restricted sense he might be called a revolutionary: he was certainly independent.
Koch, another Dominican, Nicholas of St. Victor. But, as we have seen, Durandus did not turn against or reject the thirteenth-century tradition as such: on the contrary, his interests were in metaphysics and in psychology much more than in logic, and he was influenced by speculative philosophers like Henry of Ghent. But, though one can hardly call Durandus or Petrus Aureoli a precursor of Ockhamism, if by this one means that the shift of emphasis from metaphysics to logic, coupled with a critical attitude towards metaphysical speculation as such, is a feature of their respective philosophies, yet it is probably true that in a broad sense they helped to prepare the way for nominalism and that they can be called, as they often have been called, transition-thinkers.
In 1323 John Lutterell, former Chancellor of Oxford, arrived at Avignon where he brought to the attention of the Holy See a list of 56 propositions taken from a version of Ockham’s commentary on the Sentences. It appears that Ockham himself, who appeared at Avignon in 1324, presented another version of the commentary, in which he had made some emendations. In any case the commission appointed to deal with the matter did not accept for condemnation all the propositions complained of by Lutterell: in its list of 51 propositions it confined itself more or less to theological points, accepting 33 of Lutterell’s propositions and adding others of its own.