American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 97, Issue 2, Spring 2023

The Philosophy of John Buridan

Peter G. Sobol
Pages 249-265

The Use of Theological Terms in the De anima Commentaries of Nicole Oresme and John Buridan

Historian of science Edward Grant believed that, by counting and classifying the uses of theological terms in commentaries on some of Aristotle’s natural books, he could show that medieval natural philosophy had no theological agenda. But his broad-brush approach may not reveal differences in the way individual authors used theological terms. A census of such terms in the De anima commentaries of John Buridan and Nicole Oresme undertaken in this paper suggests that Buridan was more mindful of theological scrutiny of the Arts faculty than Oresme, perhaps because Buridan’s career began when the effects of the Condemnation of 1277 were more strongly felt than they were a generation later when Oresme began to teach.