Appendix II. Independant questions

John of Jandun wrote an important number of independent disputed questions, among which some have been often quoted and studied. Among them are, for instance, the question on divine causality : Questio utrum eternis repugnet habere causam efficientem[1], the Questio de simultaneitate contrariorum[2], and the Questio de specie intelligibili, with which John took part in the controversy on the intelligible species.

The questions are often closely related to his commentaries. Thus, we find some independent questions touching on the Physics:


Questio de notioritate universalium (Questio utrum species specialissima sit prius nota)

Inc. Queritur supra primum Phisicorum utrum species specialissima sit prius nota noticia confusa quam superiora eius.

Colophon: Explicit copia de not<i>oritate universalium data per magistrum Johannem de Ganduno anno Domini M ccc x iiii in festo Thome apostoli.


This question is found in ms. Uppsala, Univ. C 615 f. 97v-100v (MacClintock, n° 2, p. 118) and has been edited by Kuksewicz (Z. Kuksewicz, “La questio de notioritate universalium” de Jean de Jandun, in Mediaevalia Philosophica Polonorum 14 (1970) pp. 89-97). It probably dates from 1314 (as stated in the colophon), during the time he was working on the commentary on the Physics.

As I have showed in my early study on the ‘disputatio’[3], the question is based on an important disputation at the faculty of arts in Paris, involving several opponents and respondents; it contains traces of a real polemical disputation in which a fellow master called “quidam doctor multum subtilis et reverendus” participated, taking position for the affirmative answer, contrary to John’s position. Although presented as concerning the first book of the Physics, the question is in fact close to the theory of cognition and metaphysics.

Another question related to the Physics, also showing this speculative character is the following:


Questio super VII librum Physicorum (Questio de diversitate et ordine formarum generis et specie)

Inc. Queritur supra septimum Phisicorum utrum genus sit una natura. Et quia difficultas huius questionis specialiter provenit ex …

Colophon : Explicit questio de diversitate et ordine formarum generis et speciei disputata per magistrum Johannem de Ganduno.


This question is found in the well-known collection of disputed questions Vat. lat. 6768 (f. 213-216v) and in an incomplete form in Mantova, Bibl. Comunale D.III.9 (445) f. 13ra-rb. It has been mentioned for instance by Anneliese Maier in her article Die italienische Averroisten des Codex Vaticanus Latinus 6768[4]. The question is the short version of the well-known question (or treatise) De pluralitate formarum, preserved in ms. Reims, BM 493[5].

In my study La ‘disputatio’ dans les Faculté des arts au moyen âge[6], I often refer to the manuscript Vat. lat. 6768, which contains a large number of questions by Italian authors, but also by William of Alnwick and John of Jandun. In the same study I treated another question, related to the one mentioned above: Utrum forma substantialis perficiens materiam sit corruptibilis[7]. This is a complex question with a long discussion in which several opponents and respondents intervened. The solution of the master has been rewritten as an opusculum: “In presenti opusculo ponemus tria capitula”, but John refers explicitly to the previous disputation (“sicut tenuit respondens”, etc.). He closes his small treatise with the assertion that, if this is his opinion about the matter, he would not refuse to change his mind if somebody else came with better arguments[8].

Other questions are related for instance to the Metaphysics, or to the De generatione et corruptione (a treatise which John did not comment, as far as we know) : Questio utrum augmentatio sit possibilis and Questio utrum elementa sub propriis formis maneant in mixto[9].

Still another question merits to be mentioned here : the Questio de principio individuationis, found in the ms. Upssala, Univ. C.615 et édité par Kuksewicz (in MPP 11 (1963) pp. 95-106).



[1] Cf. A. Maurer, « John of Jandun and the Divine Causality », in Mediaeval Studies » 17 (1955) pp. 185-207.

[2] W.O. Duba, « Masters and Bachelors at Paris in 1319 : The lectio finalis of Landolfo Caracciolo, O.F.M. », in Th. Jeschke & A. Speer (eds.), Schüler Und Meister, De Gruyter, 2016, pp. 315-365 (here 349).

[3] « John of Jandun and the Divine Causality », in Mediaeval Studies  17 (1955) pp. 185-207.

[4] Maier, in Manuscripta 8, 2 (1964) p. 77.

[5] Cf. Repert. pp. 99, 102.

[6] Weijers, 2002.

[7] Weijers, 2002, pp. 38-41.

[8] Op. cit., p. 40.

[9] Cf. Repert. p. 103.


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