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Document Details :

Title: John Duns Scotus's Reportatio Parisiensis Examinata
Subtitle: A Mystery Solved
Author(s): DUMONT, Stephen D.
Journal: Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume: 85    Issue: 2   Date: 2018   
Pages: 377-438
DOI: 10.2143/RTPM.85.2.3285395

Abstract :
This study resolves a fundamental dilemma in the extant manuscript sources of the first book of John Duns Scotus’s great Parisian commentary known as Reportatio Parisiensis I-A. This work survives in five witnesses, one of which, manuscript Vienna, ÖNB, 1453 (= V) ends with the statement: 'Explicit reportatio super primum sententiarum sub magistro iohanne scoto et examinata cum eodem venerando doctore'. This explicit was discovered by Auguste Pelzer, who believed that the Vienna codex and its affiliated manuscripts transmitted a version of the Reportatio Parisiensis 'examined and approved by Scotus himself'. Recent research, however, has raised seemingly fatal objections to imputing such a meaning to the Vienna explicit. Most notably, numerous passages in the Vienna manuscript were found to correspond verbatim to a later abbreviation of the Reportatio I-A called the Additiones magnae. Since the Additiones are thought to have been compiled after Scotus’s death, these anachronistic passages in the Vienna manuscript seemed to preclude any personal examination by Scotus himself. Current scholarship has accordingly rejected the significance of the Vienna explicit for the reconstruction of Scotus’s Parisian commentary. The present contribution restores the significance of the Vienna explicit and reconciles it with the state of its manuscript text, particularly with the alleged contamination by the Additiones magnae. First, it is shown that in a century of scholarship the explicit in manuscript V has not been correctly interpreted. The examination at issue in explicit of V has nothing to do with a personal inspection by the author for textual mistakes or revision. It rather concerns the statutory examination required by the mendicant Orders of new books before they can be published or circulate outside the Order. Second, the presence in Scotus’s Reportatio I-A of the Additiones magnae is resolved and shown not to contradict his personal redaction of the text. It is first established that additiones represent a literary technique in mendicant Sentences commentaries developed to preserve lectures given by an author at different places. Finally, it is shown that this is not chronologically impossible, since long recognized evidence attests that Scotus himself redacted the Additiones for the first book, at least for the prologue.

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