Peter of Auvergne's Commentary on Aristotle's "Categories": Edition, Translation, and Analysis.

Dissertation, Cornell University (1988)

This study comprises an analysis of the Categories commentary of Peter of Auvergne, based upon an edition from the manuscripts, and supplemented by a translation. Much information about other Categories commentaries has been included to place the work in its historical and philosophical perspective. ;Peter of Auvergne, active in Paris in the late thirteenth century, had a long career as an Aristotelian commentator and continuator of Thomas Aquinas. His Categories commentary provides me the occasion to survey the genre of Categories commentaries from the early Middle Ages, with special emphasis on those few commentaries known to immediately precede Peter of Auvergne, and on those he influences. Peter is an early representative of the modistae, philosophers who stressed the parallel connections among being, understanding, and signifying, and who are typified by their use of the modi significandi as a tool of analysis. ;This study, the first full-length analysis of a medieval Categories commentary, serves as a guide to the issues generated by Aristotle's Categories. As a comparative study it shows that the genre of Categories commentaries, within a fairly invariant format, allows for a continuous adaptation and development of ideas. As a specific study of an individual commentary, it shows the details of Peter of Auvergne's interests in linguistic analysis, theology, and the exegesis of Aristotle. ;The questions in Peter of Auvergne's commentary are generalizably of two kinds: short, superficial questions which imitate earlier traditions, and more complex questions which attempt original interpretations. Not suprisingly, the latter sort of question finds more parallels in later commentators, including Simon of Faversham, Radulphus Brito, and John Duns Scotus. ;This dissertation, beginning from a thorough exegesis of a central figure, by tracing derivative and influencing themes, gives a dependable picture of the debates conducted in connection with the Categories in the High Middle Ages. I have had the responsibility of editing many of the primary sources I needed. The extensive appendices contain, besides an edition of Peter's Questiones super Praedicamentis, a transcription of another related commentary, Anonymus Matritensis: Questiones super Praedicamentis, and many relevant texts grouped by category
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