Volume 21, 2018
The Concept of felicitas in Anonymous of Worcester, Questions on Ethics
In this paper, I discuss an anonymous Quaestiones super librum Ethicorum in the manuscripts of Worcester Cathedral Library (Q. 13) and the notion of felicitas (happiness) in this work. The question (commentary) has characteristics similar to those once called “Averroists’ commentaries”, i.e., the commentaries on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics written by Parisian masters of arts in the late 13th century. There are, however, elements peculiar to the Worcester commentary and others that resemble to aspects of the work written by John of Tytynsale, a contemporary Oxford master of arts. Like some of those Parisian commentaries, the Worcester text describes felicitas as “a conjunction with the first cause” (coniunctio primi principii). The anonymous author claims that the knowledge of divine essence obtained through this conjunction is non-demonstrative.