Thursday, July 13, 2017

New Book on the Rise of Scotism

An important new tome has appeared from the hand of William Duba. Buy it here, for a suprisingly reasonable price.

Here is part of the publisher's blurb:

A rare survival provides unmatched access to the the medieval classroom. In the academic year 1330-31, the Franciscan theologian, William of Brienne, lectured on Peter Lombard’s Sentences and disputed with the other theologians at the University of Paris. The original, official notes of these lectures and disputes survives in a manuscript codex at the National Library of the Czech Republic, and they constitute the oldest known original record of an entire university course. An analysis of this manuscript reconstructs the daily reality of the University of Paris in the fourteenth century, delineating the pace and organization of instruction within the school and the debates between the schools. The transcription made during William’s lectures and the later modifications and additions reveal how the major vehicle for Scholastic thought, the written Sentences commentary, relates to fourteenth-century teaching. As a teacher and a scholar, William of Brienne was a dedicated follower of the philosophy and theology of John Duns Scotus (+1308). He constructed Scotist doctrine for his students and defended it from his peers. This book shows concretely how scholastic thinkers made, communicated, and debated ideas at the medieval universities. Appendices document the entire process with critical editions of William's academic debates (principia), his promotion speech, and a selection of his lectures and sources.​

Buy it now, I say.

It puts me in mind of this old gem...


Jim Given said...

Thanks so much for recommending this beautiful, scholarly $100 book. I decided immediately I had to have it! (If you get an angry phone call from my wife, just claim I was the one that recommended it to you-

Jim Given

Lee Faber said...

um, sorry about that. But $100 from Brepols is a bargain.

Daniel said...

When will translators take seriously that the Latin Sententiae means "Opinions" not Sentences? Lol.

Bubba said...

Well, I'd take sententia in this context to be what Scholastics end up using auctoritas for, namely an authoritative argument, since you can have apparently-contradictory sententiae and auctoritates, but not really opiniones. In any case, "sentence" has meanings beyond the grammatical one, and I have no problem calling the textbook The Four Books of the Sentences, which almost* everyone does.

*The exceptions being poor souls who gained notoriety with such infelicities as "The Book of Four Sentences".

Jim Given said...

No discussion yet of the book itself. I ordered it a month ago, but it has not shipped yet. Does the book in fact exist? Just wondered; I'm not worried because I have great experience with small presses and scholarly books.

Lee Faber said...

Sorry, generally too busy for substantial discussion of anything these days. I do have a pdf of the finished book, ergo it must have at least esse electronicum. so hopefully your volume is just in the mail somewhere.

Bubba said...

I will confirm that material copies exist. There are numerically distinct instances of it in reality. The printing allegedly took place in the middle of July.

At some point (usually reached on the way to the Ph.D.), most people involved in academic stuff rarely get the time to read anything they're not teaching, directly citing, or evaluating. I should add, however, that such a limitation doesn't stop them from talking about such unread works with the strongest opinions.

Some books are even written for such people. They have whole sections that can be comfortably skipped.

Jim Given said...

Thanks for your advice here.

Bubba, that sounds rather Thomist of you. Numerically distinct archangels exist, but there are no material copies available.

I am a recovering academic. I now make a living somewhere quite different. It frees me to be a consumer, and sometime participant in academic disputes, largely free of many constraints like the one you describe (well known to all of us). I can enjoy the best, and ignore the rest of academic production.

Thanks again for bringing these fine objects to my attention.

Bubba said...

If I were a Thomist, I would have just said "there are distinct instances of it in reality." And adding that phrase was necessary, because at some point, I had a material copy in my hand, and I was unsure that there were any others. So it certainly had specific and numeric identity, but was it numerically distinct?

Cheers, and enjoy. I hope you find something fun in it.