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Title: Ockham, the Principia of Holcot and Wodeham, and the Myth of the Two-Year Sentences Lecture at Oxford
Author(s): SCHABEL, Chris
Journal: Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume: 87    Issue: 1   Date: 2020   
Pages: 59-102
DOI: 10.2143/RTPM.87.1.3287584

Abstract :
Recently William Duba and I showed that lectures on the Sentences at the University of Paris in the early fourteenth century took only one academic year, not two as previously thought, and we questioned whether they had ever taken two years. Here I argue that there is no positive evidence for two-year lectures at the University of Oxford before the mid-1330s, when statutes make clear that they were lasting just one year. Moreover, supposing a one-year lecture better accounts for the known data of the alleged instances of biennial readings by Robert Holcot, Adam Wodeham, and William of Ockham. Indeed, the evidence that Holcot and Wodeham provide for the early Oxford adoption of principial debates, an exercise that appeared at Paris in the 1310s, reinforces the conclusion that Oxford lectures had a duration of only one year. Perhaps the belief in a biennial lecture on the Sentences in the golden age of Oxford theology is merely a consequent following from a false antecedent via an invalid consequence: ‘In this period at Paris Sentences lectures took two years, ergo at Oxford they took two years’.

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