Chapter 4. Questiones de anima

CHAPTER 4. Questiones de anima


John of Jandun’s Commentaries on the De anima


John of Jandun’s commentaries on the De anima form an intricate ensemble, which cannot be neatly disentangled before the manuscript tradition will have been thoroughly studied. In the actual state of knowledge we can list three different items: 1. a first redaction of a commentary in the form of questiones, transmitted in at least nine extant manuscripts; 2. the second redaction of the questiones, of which we know at least fifteen manuscripts (and as many printed editions) and which can probably be dated around 1315-1318; 3. a literary exposition, called Scriptum, of book III, which is dated in one of the manuscripts as composed in 1321.

As MacClintock and Schmugge observed, John’s Questiones on the De anima are the result of several years of teaching and discussing. John lectured on this text several times at the College of Navarre; he also presided over more than one disputation concerning one of its aspects. Thus, the second version of his commentary certainly is a combination and reformulation of earlier texts (notes, redactions, etc.). The third book has possibly been composed at first as an independent treatise, for it has its own preface. Likewise, the question II, 16 on the sensus agens had circulated independently before being incorporated into the question commentary.

The following presents the actual state of our knowledge:


A. Questiones de anima (I)

(Repert. p. 94; MacClintock n° 8, p. 121; Schmugge, pp. 123-125; 129-130)


Inc. Circa istum librum queritur primo utrum de anima possit esse scientia. Et arguitur primo quod non […]

Expl. Ad alias rationes patet solutio per distinctionem positam. Hec itaque sufficiant in presenti de eis que super istum librum potui congregare. In quibus ea que fides catholica refutat falsa esse non dubito, reliqua autem vera esse aut probabilia non diffido.

Colophon (ms. Florence, n.a. 494 f. 126va) : Expliciunt questiones notabiles Iohannis de Gianduno super tribus libros De anima complecte per me Venturinum de Crema die 10 mensis octobris M°CCCC°LVIIII° in civitate Tarvisii. Scriptoris munus sit bos vel equus unus.


This first redaction of John’s questiones is already an extensive commentary, as judged by the number of folios in several manuscripts, for instance Florence, B.N.C. nuovi accessioni 494 f. 1r-126v. Here, the first book contains 11 questions, the second has 35 questions and the third book, always the longest, is composed of 41 questions, making a total of 87 questions[1]. In contrast to the second redaction, the commentary lacks a prologue.

It has to be noted that none of the known manuscripts seems to have been digitized[2]. I will give some details about the Florence manuscript[3].

The scribe’s colophon tells us that he wrote this manuscript copy in the town of Tarvisio, in the north-east of the Udine region, close to the actual frontier with Austria. In 1458, John’s commentary had already reached not strictly academic circles and later went from hand to hand (a possessor’s note on f. 131v reads: “Hic liber est mei fratris B., quem emi 1461 prima die augusti”; another one, on the inner side of the cover, dates from the sixteenth century) until it was bought by the Florence library in 1916 from the bookseller Carlo Bruscoli[4].


B. Questiones de anima (II) (1315-1318)

(Repert. pp. 94-95 ; MacClintock n° 8, p. 121; Schmugge, pp. 123-125; 129-130)


Inc. (prol.) Inest enim mentibus hominum veri boni naturalis inserta cupiditas, sed ad falsa devius error adducit […] (text.) Omissis autem ceteris partibus philosophie solum de naturali est presens intentio et non de quacumque sed solum de illa que scientia de anima nominatur. Et primo circa ipsam queritur utrum de anima possit esse scientia […]

Expl. Ad alias patet solutio per distinctiones positas in corpore questionis. Hec itaque sufficient in presenti de eis que super istum librum potui congregare. In quibus ea que fides catholica refutat falsa esse non dubito, reliqua autem vera esse aut probabilia non diffido. Ad laudem Dei beatissimeque virginis Marie. Amen.


As mentioned above, this second version of the Questiones de anima has been transmitted in at least fifteen extant manuscripts; all the early printed editions, the first dating from 1473, represent this redaction[5]. As MacClintock notes: “It is somewhat more extensive than the first redaction, having a few more questions and an interesting prologue which discusses the utility of philosophy and the classification of the sciences. In addition, some of the questions are rephrased, without, however, any essential modification in the meaning”[6]. Some questions have been rewritten, sometimes a question has been replaced by a new one, and new questions are added; however, after book II, qu. 5, the text seems to be alike in both redactions. In a Hebrew translation from the second half of the thirteenth century an unknown question is inserted between II, 8 et II, 9, on the topic of the potentie anime[7].

A super-commentary has been composed fairly soon after John’s time by a certain Theodoric, rector of Notre Dame at Erfurt (ms. Krakow, Jagell. 742).


C. Scriptum super III librum De anima (1321)

Inc. dedic.: Ad gloriam et honorem Dei altissimi et amorem atque gratiam ingenui viri domini Stephani Gagnetani (Garetarii) qui significavit mihi se appetere hoc quod sequitur. Temptabo colligere expositionem tractatus Aristotelis de anima intellectiva […] (text.) De parte autem anime. Iste tractatus prima sui divisione potest dividi in quinque capitula principaliora […]

Expl. quodcumque necesse est phantasmata aliquod speculari.

Colophon (ms Erfurt F. 318): Explicit scriptum super tertium De anima ordinatum per reverendum virum litteratum magistrum Johannem de Ganduno anno Domini m°ccc°xxi° 23 Decembris hora quasi nona. Hoc opusculum benigne suscipiat vestra sedulitas et deminuta supplere, superflua resecare et male dicta, si qua sint, corrigere laboretis.


This literal commentary on book III has been transmitted in 6 manuscripts, among which ms. Erfurt, Amplon. 318 f. 17-33. It has been written, as indicated in the dedication, at the demand of a certain Stefanus Gagnetani or Garetarii, probably Cardinal Iacopo Caetani Stefanesci, to whom we will come back later[8].


In the following, I will discuss the question commentary on the three books of the De anima. The literal commentary on the third book, a later work, will be the object of Chapter 11.



The Questiones de anima


The commentary (B), as noted above, is the result of various lectures and disputations. It starts with a prologue and has the character of a careful redaction of the master’s thoughts about Aristotle’s treatise. It is an extensive commentary, reworking and completing the earlier one (A).

The first sentence of the commentary proper : “Omissis autem ceteris partibus philosophie solum de naturali est presens intentio et non de quacumque sed solum de illa que scientia de anima nominatur” can be translated as follows: “Leaving aside the other parts of philosophy, the present intention is only about natural philosophy and not about whatever part but only about that which is called the science of the soul”. Could this suggest that the De anima is the first book of Aristotle’s natural philosophy John commented on? In that case, the dating of this[9] as well as of the other commentaries would have to be revised. However, the sentence more probably indicates a narrowing of the subject matter after the much larger prologue.


The number of questions


In the printed edition of 1483, book I is composed of 12 questions, book II of 37 questions, book III of 43 questions[10]. This repartition clearly shows John’s limited interest for the first book (which is not unusual), and the slightly more extensive treatment of book III in comparison to book II; so, he conforms to the usual balance of interest focussing mainly on questions concerning the intellect, although the number of questions for Book II is rather important compared to other commentaries.


The prologue


As the prologue gives interesting information, I will provide a complete transcription based on the edition Venice 1483 and the ms. Vaticano, Vat. lat. 2156 f. 1ra-2rb. It can be found in Appendix 1.

For the moment, we must note that in the last part of the prologue John situates the subject of the De anima in the context of the other sciences and thus provides us with his version of the division of the sciences:


Ista autem philosophia sic naturaliter appetita prima sui divisione sic dividitur a quibusdam, videlicet philosophia alia practica et alia speculativa, comprehendentes philosophiam organicam sub speculativa et ipsam solum dividentes contra practicam. Qui quidem modus dividendi michi non placet, quia […].


After mentioning the division into ‘practical’ and ‘speculative’ science, which does not please him, he gives his own elaborate division of natural philosophy, mainly based on Aristotle’s writings. Then he adds two points of doubt, first concerning the definition of metaphysics, secondly about a part of the division of natural science (see Appendix 1).

The fact that he introduced his commentary on this Aristotelian treatise in this way seems to indicate that he considered it, rightly, as an important text, which had to be firmly situated in the context of natural philosophy (although it also interested, of course, the theologians). It also suggests that he was at this moment still at an early stage of his teaching career. His prologue on the Physics, probably somewhat earlier than the present one (if the date ca. 1315 is correct), is also preceded by an extensive prologue, as we saw before, and also contains a division of the sciences. Although the prologues as a whole are quite different, in the division of sciences they are similar, as one could expect[11].


The commentary proper


John’s commentary on the De anima has been subject of various studies, more or less detailed. Most of them discuss doctrinal issues and John’s possible sources. I will just mention some of them here (without addressing the topics myself), concerning the doctrine, the sources, the discussions with colleagues, and finally the influence of the commentary.



An extensive discussion of John’s doctrine can be found in Jean-Baptiste Brenet’s study Transfert du sujet. La noétique d’Averroès selon Jean de Jandun (Paris 2003), which is clearly centred on the reception of Averroes in John’s commentary. Another important publication is the very complete monograph of Sander de Boer, The Science of the Soul. The Commentary Tradition on Aristotle’s De anima, c. 1260-c. 1360, Leuven 2013, a comprehensive study of the various commentaries on the De anima during a crucial period.

Thus, in De Boer’s study John’s commentary is discussed in comparison to the other known commentaries of the period. The main themes are: 1. the possibility of a science of the soul; 2. Aristotle’s definition of the soul; 3. the relation between the soul and the interior powers (or faculties, or virtues) and the relation between these powers[12]. Often, the parallels with Radulphus Brito’s commentary[13] are revealing. In some places it is clear that John reacts directly to Brito’s theories[14].

In Brenet’s study mentioned above[15], centred on the theory of knowledge, we find for instance a thorough discussion about the intentiones and the relation between the cogitative virtue and memory. The relation between the cogitative virtue and the intellect is treated in an article by the same scholar[16].

This topic is very interesting also because of Jandun’s approach to the notion of the forma hominis: the intellect, being one for the whole human species, is not essentially bound to any single bodily subject, but it still is the ‘form’ of the body. The question is in what sense it is ‘form’[17]. It is not form in the same way as inferior, material ones, but it is a form as operans intrinsecus. Moreover, it is not the only form of the human body, because there is also another form, the most noble among the material virtues: the cogitative soul, by which man is subject to generation and corruption. Thus the forma hominis is double: the intellect and the cogitative faculty.

One of the most interesting features of John of Jandun’s philosophy of mind is his theory of sense perception, exposed in detail in Book II of the commentary on the De anima. One of the remarkable features is the fact that John assumes the existence of an ‘agent sense’ in addition to the five external senses, whose task is to make the species received from the material object more spiritual, thus making them capable of being taken on by an inner sense faculty[18]. In fact, according to John, each of the five external senses has a passive and an agent sense, which is not an extra sense, but an aspect of sense modality.

The sensus agens was a lively discussed topic in this period. MacClintock has exposed the relation between the sophisma on the subject by Bartholomew of Bruges, John’s treatise De sensu agente (as found in the manuscript Paris, BnF lat. 16089), and an anonymous author, whose treatise appears next in the same manuscript[19]. John’s treatise is opposed to Bartholomew’s sophism and the anonymous author attacks them both. Finally John composed a further question on the topic, replying to Bartholomew and the anonymous author; this question is found alone in some manuscripts, but it has also been incorporated in his final question commentary on the De anima, where it is found in most manuscripts and editions[20].

On the subject of the internal senses, we must mention the interesting paragraph of Paola Bernardini’s recent publication on the study of the De anima at the Faculty of Arts[21]: secundum medicos, on the discussion of medical doctrines in the commentaries on the De anima. In this context, we see that John repeats and amplifies Averroes’ criticism of Galen, held responsible for the serious error of regarding the intellect as an organic faculty. John retraces the explanation of the genesis of the error, saying that Galen was wrong because he identified the intellect with the last of the organic faculties, proper only to the human species, i.e. the cogitative faculty. More in general, John readily discusses medical matters, but when the subject exceeds his competence, he readily recognises this[22].

The intellect being the part of the soul which interests most scholars, one can find numerous mentions of John’s commentary – among others – in publications on medieval psychology, on topics as the active intellect, the possible intellect, etc. Likewise, in the studies on John’s writings in general these topics are often discussed, for instance in the classical monograph on John of Jandun by MacClintock (Perversity and Error).

One of the basic questions about the intellect, the question about intellectual self-knowledge has benefitted from a recent study by Michael Stenskjaer Christensen[23]. After a historical overview and a doctrinal discussion, two authors are singled out for special treatment, one of them being John of Jandun[24]. Among his questions on Book III of De anima, three are dedicated to the problems of self-knowledge: qu. 13 “Utrum intellectus possibilis possit intelligere suam intellectionem existentem in eo”; qu. 27 “Utrum intellectus possibilis possit intelligere seipsum”; qu. 31 “Utrum intellectus possibilis semper intelligat intellectum agentem eadem intellectione numero”. Without entering this very complex subject and relying instead on Christensen’s analysis, we can note that John himself found it an intricate problem and that he actually presented two different answers[25].

Another recent study of Christensen[26] concerns the question whether the intellect can understand multiple things simultaneously (Book III, qu. 32). The traditional answer is negative, but John goes against this tradition. The reasons why he delves into the analysis of this idea are, according to Christensen, not only an effort to get closer to the truth and provide an answer to an existing philosophical problem within his philosophy, but also to engage a dialogue with contemporary discussions on the topic. He argues that John’s question may have been occasioned by contemporary debates (in particular, John follows Thomas Wylton in his conclusions), but that he treats it so extensively out of philosophical curiosity and to connect the issue with his general psychology[27]. Let us note that John gives, apart from the counter-arguments to the critics of the idea, one positive argument in its favour and this “is based on the analogy between intellect and sensation”: “if it is possible to have simultaneous sense perceptions it must also be possible to engage in two simultaneous acts of understanding”[28]. This once again shows the importance of sense perception in John’s philosophy of the mind.

On a different aspect of knowledge, the problem of the possibility of intellectually knowing singular sensible objects (or concrete material individuals), John is clearly indebted to Siger of Brabant, as has been pointed out by Paola Bernardini[29]; but, differently from Siger, he acknowledges that the intellect, although being completely separate from the internal senses, still has some kind of access to the sensory representation.


Sources, relations with colleagues and influence


First, one can easily see from the prologue to this commentary that John had a certain knowledge of classical and early medieval sources. Apart from Aristotle and Averroes – his usual sources -, John quotes Avicenna, Simplicius, Alexander of Aphrodisias, but also Seneca, Boethius, Hugh of Saint-Victor, as well as, closer in time, Robert Kilwardby, Thomas Aquinas, and, often, Albertus Magnus, whom he considers as particularly reliable in these matters. These are the authorities present at all times. Apart from them, he actively interacts with a number of contemporary scholars.

Indeed, in this commentary John engaged a discussion with several more or less contemporary colleagues, like Radulphus Brito (mentioned above[30]), Bartholomew of Bruges and Durandus of Saint-Pourçain, among others[31]. Another important interlocutor is Thomas Wylton, an English theologian who seems to have been teaching in Paris between 1311 and 1316, and again around 1320[32].  He was a member of the circle of young scholars patronized by cardinal Stefaneschi[33] and probably was one of John’s masters.

The relationship between John and Thomas Wylton has been analysed by Seńko in an article on the sources of John’s commentary[34]. According to Seńko, John largely borrowed from Wylton’s question De anima intellectiva when writing his own questions on the De anima and he even imitated his ‘sarcastic’ style. To demonstrate this thesis Seńko concentrates on the question “An intellectus sit unus numero in omnibus hominibus” (III, 7) and quotes several passages from both authors which show close resemblances. In one of them John refers not only to “aliqui” (“Ad hoc dicunt aliqui”, and then “Unde dicunt isti”), but explicitly to “aliqui sustinentes opinionem Commentatoris”. In the next argument he adds: “Alii dicunt aliter”. He probably refers in part to Wylton’s question[35]. Wylton’s influence on John is undeniable. However, Brenet has shown that John made a critical use of Wylton’s writings[36]. Dragos Calma has shown how Thomas Wylton’s Questio de anima intellectiva (probably composed between 1315 and 1317) was immediately used by John of Jandun[37].

A less known Dutch philosopher, Hugo de Traiecto, master of arts in Paris in the beginning of the fourteenth century, also wrote a question commentary on De anima (at least Book I and II), of which the manuscript tradition is closely interlaced with John’s questions[38]. His doctrine is also very close to John’s. Among John’s contemporaries, we can also mention Maino de Maineri[39] (a pupil of John, already mentioned above[40], who was still teaching as a master of arts in Paris in 1329), Peter of Modena (pupil of John and author of a question De quidditate substantiarum sensibilium, disputed in Paris in 1313) and Walter Burley (in Paris from 1310 and socius of the Collège de Sorbonne), who wrote a commentary on the third book of De anima[41].

As for the younger generation of scholars, the slightly younger Italian philosopher Taddeo of Parma, in his questions on De anima, has clearly been influenced by John’s commentary; this is especially evident on the topic of the sensus agens, as has been noted already by Charles Ermatinger[42].

John’s commentary has been influential not only in the later Middle Ages – as we can also see from the fact that a super-commentary has been composed in Erfurt soon afterwards – but also during the Renaissance, as is clear from Nicoletto Vernia[43] and Agostino Nifo, the latter full of admiration in his youth[44]. He was attacked for his interpretation of Averroes for instance by the Erfurt Averroists, and still more by humanists like Pic of Mirandola and Nicoletto Vernia; even Nifo changed from love to despise, accusing him of betraying Averroes, philosophy and faith at the same time[45].

Anyway, John of Jandun’s writings, including the important questions on the soul, have been largely copied, as the manuscript tradition attests, and he was widely used and quoted[46]. In the opinion of Ernest Renan: “Peu d’auteurs ont été plus cités et ensuite plus oubliés que Jean de Jandun »[47].


Character and style of the commentary


Here, as in the other chapters, I will look at the same text in a different way: I will try to show the master at work, explaining Aristotle’s treatise, using earlier accounts, discussing with contemporary masters, and sometimes with his own students.


After the interesting prologue and the statement of the subject of this commentary in one sentence (“Omissis autem ceteris partibus philosophie solum de naturali est presens intentio et non de quacumque sed solum de illa que scientia de anima nominatur”), John develops the questions composing his commentary. There are only twelve questions for the first book. I will take some for example.

The first question is a traditional one: “Et primo circa ipsam queritur utrum de anima potest esse scientia”. It is also developed in a traditional manner: first, arguments for the negative answer (five arguments, quoting Aristotle and Averroes), then one argument for the opposite, affirmative position (consisting in the simple mention of the authority of Aristotle, Averroes, Themistius, Avicenna, and “omnes qui nobis tradunt scientiam de anima”). The solution (“omissis opinionibus Eracliti et Platonis dicendum est …”) develops two arguments in which John quotes a number of authorities, not only various works of Aristotle and Averroes[48], but also Boethius on the Topics. He then adds a notandum (“Sed est intelligendum propter solutiones quarumdam rationum”), in which he distinguishes between two ways of interpreting the term sensibile, and a dubium (“Sed dubitaret aliquis circa dicta”). His refutation of this argument starts with the repetition of his answer: “Ad hoc dico quod de anima est scientia, et cum dicitur ‘est intelligibilis per accidens’, dico quod aliquid intelligi per accidens potest intelligi dupliciter”, a distinction again; he concludes his argumentation by refuting the ‘probatio’ of his opponents, which goes against Averroes’s opinion:


Et tunc ad probationem que vadit directe contra verba Commentatoris : ‘nec aliquid est sensibile’ etc., dico quod hec propositio Commentatoris solum veritatem habet quantum ad bonitatem vel malitiam, ut sit sensus quod illud quod est bene vel male sensibile sit bene vel male intelligibile, sed non habet veritatem quantum ad per se et per accidens ; quare etc. (ed. f. 2va).


So, the proposition has been misused according to John. Finally, he proceeds to refuting the arguments for the opposite position given at the beginning of the discussion. In the refutation of the last one, he mentions the intellectus agens, a subject to which he will return in another question of this commentary.

On the whole, this question is conventional in its form, strictly conform to the usage of the time, but certainly interesting in the discussion with unnamed opponents.

The second question (“Utrum scientia de anima sit naturalis”) runs along similar lines. Here too, arguments are first given for the negative answer, and the affirmative answer, which of course is the correct one, consists only in the citation of authorities (“Oppositum patet per Philosophum et Commentatorem ac Themistium in isto loco. Item per Avicennam sexto naturalium”), the usual scheme in disputed questions. And here too, John argues with unnamed opponents:


Sed est intelligendum secundum aliquos quod anima intellectiva potest accipi dupliciter : uno modo secundum se et absolute, et quia ut sic est quedam intelligentia de ipsa, ut sic non est scientia naturalis sed magis spectat ad metaphysicum. Alio modo potest considerari ut est principium motuum et operationum in corpore humano, et isto modo de ipsa est scientia naturalis ; et simile est sicut dicunt de ipsa et motoribus corporum celestium, quia si considerentur secundum se et absolute pertinent ad metaphysicum, considerati tamen ut motrices pertinent ad naturalem, ut dicit Commentator secundo Physicorum. Ex ista distinctione conantur solvere rationes, sed in veritate credo quod ista distinctio non sit bona, quia si sic esset, sequeretur quod Aristoteles in metaphysica fuisset insufficiens […] (ed. f. 3ra).


Thus, an argument of ‘some’ commentators, involving a distinction of the intellective soul, is rejected by John, who says that the distinction is not good, for if it were, Aristotle would have been ‘insufficient’ in his Metaphysics. So, here he takes his distance with a traditional position of arts masters and is thus obliged to discuss the subject thoroughly. He refutes the position of the aliqui, and also a possible objection involving the sensus agens (“Et si dicatur […], possumus ad hoc dicere quod […]), before refuting, as usual, the arguments for the negative answer given in the beginning of the question.

Let us now take a question on a much discussed subject[49], the relation between universalia and particularia, Book I, qu. 8: “Queritur utrum universalia sint priora singularibus aut posteriora” (ed. f. 6vb-10vb). In the early edition, the question takes up almost fifteen columns of 71 lines, thus constituting a rather substantial treatise within the commentary[50].

The first part of the question, as usual listing the arguments for both positions (“arguitur primo quod sint priora”; “Oppositum arguitur”) takes only 27 lines, merely complying to the traditional form of such questions.

To introduce his answer, John begins with a notandum on the difference between Plato and Aristotle on this point:


Ad evidentiam questionis est intelligendum quod opinio Platonis de universalibus fuit alia ab opinione Aristotelis. Opinio enim Platonis dicitur fuisse quod universalia, scilicet genus et species individuorum sensibilium sunt separata in re extra animam a singularibus sensibilibus, et huiusmodi quidditates universales a singularibus separatas ipse vocavit ideas, verbi gratia […] Et hoc ipse probat multis rationibus et subtilibus, sed ad presens recitabuntur tres vel quattuor propter exercitationem iuvenum, quia magis habet hec perscrutatio locum super septimo Metaphysice (f. 6vb).


After developing some of Plato’s arguments (only some of them ‘for the exercise of the students’), John addresses Aristotle’s position: “Hanc autem opinionem destruit Aristoteles multipliciter” (7ra). John concludes in favour of Aristotle: “patet igitur ex his quod genera et species singularium sensibilium non sunt separata realiter a suis singularibus” (7rb) and goes on to add other arguments for this position. In the next section he refutes Plato’s arguments: “Nunc solvende sunt rationes Platonis” (7va).

Apart from various works of Aristotle, he quotes of course Averroes, but also Robert Grosseteste, Alexander of Aphrodisias, Galen, and Avicenna. Sometimes he expresses his opinion about an argument in no obscure terms (“consequens autem est absurdum et ridiculum”), but he also sometimes expresses his approval (7va:8 “Item aliter dicunt aliqui et multum subtiliter ut mihi videtur”; 8ra: “Hanc autem expositionem reputo pulcram et subtilem”). On the topic of the generation of animals, he notes: “Sunt autem quedam alie habitudines notabiles que habent declarari super De generatione animalium et alias collegi eas in questionibus de formatione corporis humani” (8ra); he refers to his lost treatise Questiones de formatione fetus, but the topic is treated rather extensively also in this place.

Follows the discussion of the original question:


Visa ergo opinione Platonis et improbata solutisque rationibus eam fulcientibus remanet dicere ad questionem propositam, in qua queritur utrum universale sit prius singularibus vel posterius (8rb).


As usual, he starts with a note explaining the terms of the question (“Et est considerandum ad evidentiam questionis”), saying that the term “universale” can be taken in two ways (“pro intentione” and “pro re”), and he then announces the organisation of his solution in three points:


Tunc dico tria: primo quod universale pro intentione est posterius singularibus; secundo quod universale pro re et quidditate apta nata reperiri in multis speciebus, scilicet universale pro re que denominat genus est prius realiter ipsis speciebus quantum ad suam formam generalem, ut animal quantum ad suam formam est prius realiter homine et asino, et sic de aliis formis specificis; tertio dico quod universale pro re que denominatur species specialissima non est prius ipsis essentiis suorum singularium, ut quidditas hominis non est prius realiter quidditatibus Sortis et aliorum singularium suorum; similiter autem in aliis (8va).


These three points are then ‘proved’ or ‘showed’ (“probatur”, “ostenditur”) and in this context the word “conclusio” is used (“Tunc ostendetur secunda conclusio”, “Et hec fuit secunda conclusio. Tunc ostenditur tertia”), in the sense of ‘thesis’ or ‘short proposition’, as we have seen above[51]. The three short formulations are considered as “conclusiones”, which need a demonstration. In the demonstration of the third “conclusio”, Boethius’s De divisionibus and Porphyry are mentioned. The style is sometimes colloquial: “Scio bene quod nonnulli ponunt” (9ra), evoking the French expression “Je sais bien que”; then the third point is concluded rather hastily: “sed de hoc nil plus ad presentem questionem”.

However, John is not happy with the discussion of the second point: “Sed contra secundam conclusionem sunt multe difficultates quas non bonum est silentio pertransire” (9ra). He goes on to discuss these difficulties, quoting for instance Averroes’s treatise De substantia orbis, and the concludes:


Multe autem alie rationes et multe auctoritates difficiles sunt contra illam conclusionem, scilicet omnes iste quibus improbatur pluralitas et gradus formarum, sed nimis est longum eas hic ponere et alias diligentius prosecute fuerunt, propter quod ad presens dimitto (9ra).


He thus leaves a certain number of difficulties aside, because they have been discussed elsewhere (in his treatise De pluralitate formarum)[52]. However, he proceeds to discuss and resolve the ‘difficulties’ mentioned above:


Ad primum dubium potest dici […] Item, […] Sed alii instant quod […] Ad hoc facile est respondere, ut mihi videtur […]

Ad aliam difficultatem, cum dicitur quod […] Sed logici hic litigant quia […] Ad istam questionem multipliciter responsum est in questione de compositione speciei sive de pluralitate et gradibus formarum. Sed ad presens dico breviter quod […] Hanc solutionem ponit Robertus in quodam suo tractatu De ortu scientiarum et ipse fuit magnus defensor huius opinionis quod forme generales non sunt eedem cum formis specialissimis. Item aliter potest dici quod […] Unde sicut illi qui tenent quod forma generis non est substantialiter diversa a forma specie, dicunt quod ipsum nomen generis (9va) significat totum aggregatum ex forma et materia  […] Etiam sic nos possumus dicere quod nomen generis […] Nunc autem non est ita, immo nomen generis significat […]

Ad aliud, cum dicitur quod unum ens etc., possumus dicere […] Item, […] Aliter potest dici […] (9vb) Sed diceres […] Dico quod […]

Ad aliam difficultatem, cum dicitur quod forma substantialis hominis esset accidens […] Modo dico quod […]

Ad aliam, cum dicitur quod tunc forma substantialis non uniret etc., dicendum quod […] Ad auctoritatem Commentatoris, cum dicit quod impossibile est unum etc., dico quod […] Et quod illa sit intentio Commentatoris in illo loco patet diligenter inspicienti, cuius ostensionem relinquo iudicio fidelis expositoris illius tractatus et aliorum dictorum Commentatoris.

Aliarum vero rationum et auctoritatum solutiones requirat cui cura fuerit in questione de pluralitate formarum substantialium specierum et generum (9va-10ra).


As we see, this part of the question, a thorough discussion of the doubts and difficulties raised against his second “conclusio” (“quod universale pro re et quidditate apta nata reperiri in multis speciebus, scilicet universale pro re que denominat genus, est prius realiter ipsis speciebus quantum ad suam formam generalem, ut animal quantum ad suam formam est prius realiter homine et asino et sic de aliis formis specificis”) occupies a long section (almost four columns in the edition), because of the importance of the topic: the plurality of forms. Here too, John refers to his treatise De pluralitate formarum. Among the authorities quoted here we find Robert Kilwardby and his treatise De ortu scientiarum, a less common source than the other authorities quoted above. And he also refers again to the “faithful expositor” of Averroes, whom we can probably identify as Albertus Magnus.

We now come to the last part of the question, the refutation of the preliminary arguments for the answer opposite to John’s solution: “Ad rationes in principio questionis satis patet ex dictis”. The refutation occupies less than two columns, but John is systematic and clear, leaving no doubt about his opinion about possible objections, for example: “Si quis autem fantastice motus vel cavillare volens diceret quod …” (10ra). At the end, Aristotle’s criticism of Plato’s theory is explained:


Ad auctoritatem Aristotelis cum dicit universale aut nihil esse aut posterius, verum est universale quod posuit Plato separatum secundum esse extra animam a singularibus suis, illud in rerum natura nihil est, et si esset, non esset proprie prius singularibus, ut dictum fuit. Exponunt etiam aliqui quod universale pro intentione que est conceptus intelligibilis quidditatis cui non repugnat esse in pluribus, est posterius singularibus; et hoc licet sit verum, non tamen credo hoc Aristotelem intendisse, sed primo modo, ut visum est prius (10rb).


Thus, this question of the first book of De anima is treated as it deserves, concerning an important and difficult subject on which opinions diverse. Going back to the fundamental difference of Plato’s and Aristotle’s philosophy, John takes into account a vast amount of earlier discussions in order to explain the various opinions and possibilities, referring not only to the usual authorities, like Averroes, Themistius, Alexander of Aphrodisias and Avicenna, but also to more recent ones, like Robert Grosseteste and Robert Kilwardby, both well-known thirteenth-century philosophers, and of course to many anonymous sources (“aliqui”, etc.).

We have also discovered that this commentary has been written for an audience of students, for he explicitly says that he will treat some of Plato’s arguments “propter exercitationem iuvenum”, for the training of the youths, but the subject will be properly discussed when commenting the seventh book of the Metaphysics.

The second book of the De anima on the substance of the soul, its relationship with the body, the powers or faculties of the soul (“potentie anime”), and the senses, is treated in 37 questions, among which 24 concern the senses, at first in general, then the various sensus exteriores: vision, audition, smell, touch, but nothing about taste; follow some questions about the relationship between the senses and the sensibilia ( qu. 29 “Utrum sensibile positum supra sensum faciat sensationem”; qu. 30 “Utrum illa propositio sit vera: omnis sensus est susceptivus specierum sine materia”; qu. 31 “Utrum species rei sensibilis recepta in sensu sit idem cum ipso sentire”; qu. 32 “Utrum sensus sint quinque et non plures”; qu. 33 “Utrum sensus particularis cognoscat suam propriam operationem”; qu. 34 “Utrum sensibile agat in sensum”; qu. 35 “Utrum excellens sensibile corrumpat sensum”), and finally two questions on the internal senses: the sensus communis (qu. 36 “Utrum sensus communis sit unus sensus”) and the fantasia (qu. 37 “Utrum fantasia sit idem cum sentire”).

All these questions follow the order of Aristotle’s treatise as for the general discussion and the external senses (De anima II, 1-11), but the last section of Aristotle’s Book II (II, 12) benefits of nine questions. This is not unusual in the medieval commentaries, because the relationship between senses and sensible objects, and the topic of the inner senses interested them much more than the preceding section. In John’s commentary, the only exception is question 16: “Utrum anima sensitiva sit aliquis sensus agens”, occupying several pages in the edition (27vb-32vb). The sensus agens was of course a subject amply discussed in John’s time, on which he also composed a separate treatise (probably in 1310)[53].

We will take as example Book II question 36, which I already addressed in the context of my earlier research on the common sense[54]. After the formulation of the question (“Queritur hic utrum sensus communis sit unus sensus »), four arguments are given for the negative answer and one for the opposite position (« oppositum vult Aristoteles in littera »). Here too, John starts the development of the question with notanda :


Ad evidentiam questionis est considerandum quod unus sensus particularis non cognoscit proprium sensibile alterius, ut visus non cognoscit sonum nec auditus colorem et similiter in aliis ; et hoc manifestum est per se. Unde et Aristoteles in isto secundo capitulo “Dicendum autem secundum unumquemque sensuum”[55] dicit quod sensibile proprium est illud quod non contingit altero sensu sentiri.

Ulterius est intelligendum quod nulla virtus potest cognoscere differentiam inter aliqua duo nisi cognoscat utrumque eorum et hoc etiam manifestum est quasi per se, sed Aristoteles declarat in simili. Si enim unus homo cognosceret album et ignoraret dulce et alius cognosceret dulce et ignoraret album, licet realiter esset differentia inter album et dulce, tamen nullus eorum cognosceret differentiam. Sic est in proposito, quia anima nihil cognoscit nisi mediante aliqua virtute cognoscitiva : si una virtus cognosceret album et penitus ignoraret dulce et alia econverso, non cognosceretur differentia inter ista.

Ulterius accipio quod differentia seu diversitas inter album et dulce et sonum est sensibilis, id est cognoscibilis ab anima sensitiva, quia differentia sensibilium videtur esse sensibilis aliquo modo, sicut differentia intelligibilium est intelligibilis ; sed album et dulce et sonus sunt sensibilia ; quare etc. (45ra).


After these points, which seem more or less evident (for instance the second : « no virtue can know the differerence between two things without knowing both of them »), he announces the organisation of his answer :


Tunc dico ad questionem duo : primo quod preter quinque sensus particulares de quibus habitum est, necesse est quendam alium sensum esse ; secundo dico quod iste sensus est unus cognoscitivus omnium sensibilium propriorum et communium.


The first point, that apart from the five particular senses some other sense necessarily exists, is easily demonstrated. For the second point, the unity of the sensus communis, the distinction ‘one and not one’ at the same time is not easy to understand, says John, and he adds the example given by Aristotle :


Et quia istud fuit difficile intelligere[56], ideo Aristoteles induxit sermonem in via exempli, ut dicit Commentator[57]. Videmus enim quod punctus in medio circuli existens est unus secundum se et tamen secundum quod est terminus alterius et alterius linee ducte ab ipso (45va) ad circumferentiam, diversificatur ; aliud enim est ipsum esse terminum huius linee et aliud est ipsum esse terminum alterius. Proporcionabiliter autem est in proposito, nam ille sensus communis est una virtus secundum suam essentiam, sed differt secundum diversa esse que recipit a diversis sensibilibus, quorum immutationes perveniunt ad ipsum ; et secundum quod est alius et alius cognoscit illa diversa sensibilia, ut per formam albi cognoscit album et per formam dulcis dulce. Secundum autem quod est unus et informatus specie diversitatis, sic cognoscit differentiam inter illa duo, ut vult Aristoteles in littera et in sexto Ethicorum[58].


The comparison with a point which is in the middle of a circle, a classical example, helps to understand how something, in this case the common sense, can be one and multiple at the same time. He then adds some considerations of Averroes, the first one saying that although this faculty is one according to its form, it is multiple by its instruments:


et ut sit ad unum dicere[59] instrumentum eius est copulatum cum instrumentis omnium quinque sensuum particularium, quia aliter non posset immutari ab ipsis sensibilibus particularium sensuum, nisi suum instrumentum quamdam commixtionem haberet cum instrumentis sensuum que primo sunt nata immutari ab illis. Et propter hoc melius est, dicit Commentator[60], ut virtus primi sentientis dicatur esse una secundum formam et multa instrumentis copulatis cum ea per que transeunt motus sensibilium quousque copulentur cum ea, quam dicere ipsam unum secundum subiectum et multa secundum formam.


The second remark of Averroes is that this faculty can be considered in two ways :


Item notandum diligenter secundum Commentatorem[61] quod ista virtus potest dupliciter considerari. Uno modo secundum quod est recipiens, alio modo secundum quod est iudicans diversa esse diversa. Et inquantum ipsa est recipiens, necesse est esse multiplicatam instrumentis aliquo modo ; inquantum autem est iudicans diversitatem inter aliqua, sic oportet esse unam secundum formam quoquemodo, quia nisi poneremus eam esse unam secundum formam, non possemus invenire aliquid per quod anima sensitiva iudicet diversa esse diversa. Nec est mirum quod sic distinguimus de ista virtute, quia recipere aliquid est aliud a iudicare illud et ideo debent inveniri in aliquo duobus modis diversis.


Thus, Averroes says that the faculty of common sense can be distinguished as, first, receiving information from the proper senses and, secondly, judging the diversity of the information. And it is not amazing, John adds, that we distinguish this faculty in this way, « because receiving something is something else than judging that thing, and therefore they have to be found in somebody in two different ways ».

The conclusion is clear :


Patet igitur quod sensus communis est una virtus quoquemodo vel plures et qualitate una.


The last section consists as usual in the refutation of the preliminary arguments. It contains some discussion within the first point (« Aliter dicunt quidam […] Sed hoc non videtur bene dictum […] »), and an interesting observation somewhat further on concerning the degrees of abstraction:


Ad aliam nego consequentiam ; et cum dicitur quod natura dedit animalibus quinque sensus etc., verum est, sed sensus ille communis non potest immutari ab ipsis sensibilibus nisi mediantibus sensibus propriis. Unde per illud unum non potuit facere quod facit per plura[62]. Verum est igitur quod si sensus communis potest immutari a sensibilibus propriis immediate, superfluerent sensus particulares, sed non ita est. Et si quis quereret que sit causa quod sensus communis non potest immutari a sensibilibus nisi mediantibus propriis sensibus, dicendum est quod hoc est ex ordine graduum abstractionis forme sensibilis, nam adeo perfectam abstractionem seu spiritualitatem habet forma in sensu communi quod natura forme non potuit generare eam nisi mediante specie recepta in sensu, quia natura non procedit ab uno dissimilium ad alterum nisi per medium ; ideo etc.


Thus, “if somebody asks which is the cause that the common sense cannot be changed by the sensible things unless by intermediary of the proper senses, we should say that this is because of the order of the grades of abstraction of the sensible form, for the form in the common sense has such a perfect abstraction or spiritual character that the nature of the form could not generate it unless by mediation of the species received in the sense, because nature does not proceed from one of two dissimilar things to another unless by an intermediary”.

As we see, it is a short question, occupying less than three columns in the edition (45ra-45vb)[63] and it is not very original in its contents. It is simply one of the questions designed to teach the topic in a clear and complete pedagogical explanation.

The following question, the last one of book II, is on the topic of the fantasia. It is not only longer, but also more interesting. A complete transcription can be found in Appendix II[64].

After question II, 37, the final one of Book II, the second book is formally closed by the colophon: “Expliciunt questiones supra secundum librum De anima Magistri Johannis de Janduno”, in the printed edition. But in the manuscript Vat. lat. 2156 (f. 125va) we find a small question on odour (numbered 36) :


Queritur utrum animalia respirantia et non respirantia habent eundem odoratum.

Et arguitur quod non quia habent diversas operationes […]


And at the end we read: “Expliciunt questiones supra primo et secundo de anima Johannis de Gandavo”. This seems to indicate that book III was originally conceived as a separate entity, although it had been planned all along, as is clear from the various references to a third book[65].


Book III, a separate entity?


As for the questions on Book III, on the anima intellectiva, they are, as in all commentaries on the De anima, the most numerous and follow Aristotle’s commentary until the end. However, the beginning of John’s commentary on the third book is interesting in several respects. First, it suggests that this part may have been composed separately (already suggested by the colophon mentioned above), because of the formal introduction, the equivalent of which is totally lacking at the beginning of book II:


“Ex parte autem anime qua etc.” Volo congregare quedam de anima intellectiva, aliqua ex dictis Aristotelis, aliqua ex quibusdam sollempnibus doctoribus, nonnulla autem que mihi doctor veritatis per diligentem sollicitudinem prebuit intelligere. Procedam autem modo disputativo, ut dubitationes tollantur et veritas manifestetur iussu dei.

Prima ergo sit questio: utrum naturalis philosophus debeat considerare de intellectu (47va).


John explicitly mentions his sources: Aristotle, some ‘solemn doctors’ (probably referring to the other authorities he usually quotes), and the ‘teacher of the truth’, undoubtedly Averroes. Moreover, he mentions his method, the ‘disputative mode’, which he already followed in his questions on the first two books, as if this had to be pointed out expressly.

It is possible that this solemn introduction points to a special occasion, for instance the beginning of a year of teaching at the College of Navarre. As we saw before, in 1315 John is listed as one of the original members of the Collège de Navarre and he is designated in its statutes as magister artistarum in charge of 29 students[66]. Could this part of the commentary correspond to this particular situation?

Another argument for the separate character of book III may be that in the manuscript Vatican 2156, book III begins on a new page (f. 56vb is left void), with an ornated initial, but this is also the case of book II. The end of book I is followed by a short colophon, mentioning John “as artium et medicine doctor”; the colophon closing book II also mentions the name of the scribe:


Expliciunt questiones magistri Johannis de Janduno supra primum et secundum libris de anima. Scriptum per manus Henrici de Echtelt de prope Tyelam Gelrie partis in alemania[67], anno domini m°xliiii xlm° xiii° die mensis Iulii.


Moreover, a particularity of the printed edition of 1483 must be noted here: the Tabula questionum found at the beginning numbers all questions in Arabic (in print), but the folio numbers, added after the entries by a reader in a modern hand, stop at the end of book II[68]. This is amazing, because generally the third book finds the most interest. This also seems to suggest that the third book was in some way a separate entity.

Book III naturally contains a certain number of interesting questions concerning the intellect in general, the agent intellect, the intellectus possibilis, etc. At the end, we find some smaller questions, corresponding to the end of Aristotle’s treatise. Thus, question 41: “Utrum voluntas vel homo per voluntatem possit non velle bonum quod ab intellectu iudicatur esse bonum simpliciter etc.”[69], qu. 42: “Utrum vivens aliquando sit in tempore status”, qu. 43: “Utrum gustus et tactus sint necessarii omnibus animalibus”. The last chapter of Aristote is indeed about the sense of touch, necessary for all animals (in the translation of Pierre Thillet: “nécessairement, c’est le seul sens dont la privation entraîne la mort des animaux” (435b). The fact that John thus follows the order of Aristotle’s treatise until the end shows, again, that his purpose was educational as well as intellectual.

After this last, short, question[70], treated in the usual way (“Ad evidentiam questionis est intelligendum”, “His visis dico primo ad questionem”) and quoting the distinction between different groups of animals introduced by Averroes, John concludes his commentary in the following words:


Hec itaque sufficient in presenti de his que super hunc librum potui congregare, in quibus ea que fides catholica refutat falsa esse non dubito; reliqua vero esse vera aut probabilia non diffido ; ad laudem Dei beatissimeque virginis Marie. Amen.


The usual, but short, ‘disclaimer’ (if something is against the catholic faith, then I do not doubt that it is false) seems rather hypocrite, but it was probably necessary to escape trouble. We will come back to this topic and similar passages in the conclusion.


In short, this long and complete commentary, while being partly composed ‘for the benefit of the young’, contains many treasures and would amply merit a full critical edition.

Let us note here some recurrent features of John’s commentaries: his personal style, often using the word ego, especially when he gives his opinion, critical or appraising, of the arguments developed in the mentioned sources; his colloquial expressions, sometimes reminding us of a French ‘tournure’; and the habit of explaining the important terms before coming to the discussion itself (expositio terminorum), a habit that can be found for instance in the commentaries and questions of Italian philosophers[71].

Beneath the philosopher we see the man and his character, sure of himself, critical, conscious of his intelligence, perhaps a little arrogant, but a thorough and brilliant scholar and teacher.



[1] See the « Tabula tituli questionum istius libri de anima » on f. 130v.

[2] A list of ten manuscripts is given by A.M. Mora-Marquez, in CIMAGL 83 (2014) pp. 207-256 (238-241).

[3] I did not see the manuscript myself, but Paola Bernardini, whom I sincerely thank for her help, sent me hand taken photographs of some parts, enabling me, for instance, to compare the two redactions for the question concerning the sensus communis.

[4] Cf. I Manoscritti datati della Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, III, Firenze 2011, p. 87.

[5] See MacClintock, pp. 121-122.

[6] Id., p. 122. This description seems correct. I compared the two redactions for question II, 36 on the common sense and found only some ameliorations or different formulations (see below). See also Z. Kuksewicz and C. Vitali, « Note sur les deux rédactions des Quaestiones de anima de Jean de Jandun », in Mediaevalia Philosophica Polonorum 27 (1984) pp. 3-24 ; C. Vitali, « Taddeo de Parme et les deux rédactions des Quaestiones de anima de Jean de Jandun », in Mediaevalia Philosophica Polonorum 28 (1986) pp. 3-13.

[7] See M. Zonta, “Un’ignota versione ebraica delle Quaestiones in De anima di Jean de Jandun e il suo traduttore », in Annali di ca’Foscari 32/3 (1993) pp. 5-34.

[8] See below, Chapter 11. The much later Stephanus Gaietanus Thienensis, born in 1387, died 1465, was the author of a commentary on the De anima, edition Padova 1475.

[9] About the date of this commentary (1315-1318), cf. D. Calma, Etudes sur le premier siècle de l’Averroïsme latin, Turnhout 2011, pp. 334-335 et notes 7-8.

[10] For a list of the 43 questions, see Mora Marquez, “Singular Intellection in Medieval Commentaries on Aristotle’s De anima”, in Vivarium 57 (2019) pp. 293-316.

[11] A comparison of the two divisions of the sciences, as well as with the passage in the Questiones in De sensu (see above Chapter 1) about the scientia de anima, will aim to determine the place John of Jandun assigns to the science of the soul in the hierarchy of sciences.

[12] For the relation between the ‘powers of the soul’, see also J. Biard, “Le système des sens dans la philosophie naturelle du XIVe s. (Jean Buridan, Jean de Jandun, Blaise de Parme) », in Micrologus 10 (2002) pp. 335-351.

[13] For Brito, see this website, section VI.C.

[14] See for instance De Boer, p. 181. John’s question III, 7 is an answer to question III, 6 of Brito’s commentary (cf. Lambertini  &  Tabarroni, p. 63, n. 9).

[15] Brenet, Transferts, pp. 213-227.

[16] J.-B. Brenet, « Ame intellective, âme cogitative. Jean de Jandun et la duplex forma propria  de l’homme », in Vivarium 46 (2008) pp. 318-341. See also id., « Du phantasme à l’espèce intelligible : la ruine d’Averroès par l’ ‘averroïste’ Jean de Jeandun », in M.C. Pacheco, J. Meirinhos (eds.), Intellect et imagination dans la Philosophie médiévale. Intellect and Imagination in Medieval Philosophy, Turnhout 2006, II, pp. 1179-1190 ; J. Biard, « Le sujet de l’intellect chez Jean de Jandun », in Oriens-Occidens. Sciences, mathématiques et philosophie de l’Antiquité à l’Age classique 4 (2002) pp. 127-140. For earlier studies, see Weijers, Le travail intellectuel 5, pp. 94-96.

[17] P. Bernardini, Aristotle’s De anima at the Faculties of Arts, 13th-14th Centuries, Turnhout 2023,, pp. 170-171; Brenet 2008, saepius.

[18] J.F. Silva, “From Agent to Active Sense: Was there an Augustinianism-Averroisant?”, in V. Decaix, A.M. Mora-Marquez (eds.), Active Cognition, Springer Nature Switzerland 2020, pp. 79-101.

[19] MacClintock, pp. 31 sqq.

[20] Question II, 16 « Utrum anima sensitiva sit aliquis sensus agens ». For a full discussion of this topic, with edition of several texts (including John’s treatise), see A. Pattin, Pour l’histoire du sens agent. La controverse …, Leuven 1988. Paola Bernardini has investigated the origins of the doctrine: “La passività del senso nei commenti alla Vetus del De anima. Le origini della dottrina del sensus agens, in DSTFM 25 (2014) pp. 243-288. See also D. Calma, « La connaissance réflexive de l’intellect agent », in J. Biard, D. Calma, R. Imbach (eds.), Recherches sur Dietrich de Freiberg, Turnhout 2009, p. 83.

[21] P. Bernardini, Aristotle’s De anima at the Faculties of Arts, 13th-14th Centuries, Turnhout 2023, pp. 51-62 (esp. 58-59).

[22] Bernardini, op. cit., pp. 58-59.

[23] M.S. Christensen, Intellectual self-knowledge in Latin commentaries on Aristotle’s De anima from 1250 to 1320. Qualitative and quantitative analyses, PhD Dissertation at the Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen 2018.

[24] Op. cit., pp. 161-175.The other one is a certain Simon magister, author of a literal commentary on the De anima.

[25] Christensen, op. cit., pp. 162-170.

[26] Christensen, “John of Jandun on How to Understand Many Things at the Same Time”, in Forms of Representation in the Aristotelian Tradition, ed. C.T. Thörnqvist & J. Toivanen, Leiden/Boston 2022, pp. 205-235.

[27] Christensen, p. 222.

[28] Christensen, p. 234.

[29] Bernardini, op. cit., pp. 170-180. See also Mora-Marquez (2019, pp. 300-305).

[30] See also R. Lambertini, A. Tabarroni, pp. 62-63.

[31] Cf. Brenet, Transferts, pp. 28-29.

[32] Cf. W. Seńko, « Jean de Jandun et Thomas Wilton. Contribution à l’établissement des sources des ‘Quaestiones super I-III de anima’ de Jean de Jandun », in Bulletin de Philosophie Médiévale 5 (1963) pp. 139-143. See also Senko’s edition of the Questiones de anima de Wylton, 1964.

[33] Wylton has been mentioned above, concerning John’s commentary on the Physics (see Chapter 2).

[34] W. Senko, op. cit. (1963), n. 39.

[35] Op. cit. p. 142. See also Bernardini, op. cit., pp. 156, 170. And see above.

[36] J.-B. Brenet, « Jean de Jandun et la Questio de anima intellectiva de Thomas Wylton », in Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Theologie 56/2 (2009) pp. 309-340.

[37] See D. Calma, op. cit., pp. 341-342. He shows that John sometimes quotes Albertus Magnus via Wylton, probably without knowing what was really coming from Albert.

[38] See Z. Kuksewicz, “Hugo d’Utrecht (de Traiecto), un averroïste parisien du XIVe siècle », in Bulletin de Philosophie Médiévale  28 (1986) pp. 185-190. John’s Book III has sometimes been transmitted following Hugo’s Book I and II in the manuscript tradition.

[39] See for instance A. Côté, « Maino of Milan’s Durandian Theory of the Intellect », in BPhM 64 (2022) pp. 243-311; id., « Jean, Thaddée, Maino et les autres maîtres ès arts, parisiens surtout, face au défi de la noétique durandienne » , in the proceedings of the congress SIEPM 2022.  See also the earlier studies by Senko (1963) and Brenet (2009).

[40] For Maino, cf. Chapter 2 (John’s commentary on the Physics).

[41] Cf. Brenet, Transferts, pp. 28-29 and n. 29 n. 1.

[42] Ch. Ermatinger, “Ninth Saint Louis Conference”, in Manuscripta 27 (1983) pp. 7-8. See also V. Sorge, “Taddeo da Parma e la dottrina del senso agente”, in G. Federici Vescovini, V. Sorge, C. Vinti (eds.), Corpo e anima. Sensi interni e intelletto dai secoli XIII-XIV ai post-cartesiani e spinoziani, Turnhout 2005, pp. 223-224.

[43] Cf. E. Mahoney, “Nicoletto Vernia’s Annotations on John of Jandun’s De anima”, in Historia Philosophiae Medii Aev (Festschrift für Kurt Flasch), ed. B. Mojsisch and O. Pluta, Amsterdam/Philadelphia 1991, p. 573, about a ms having belonged to Vernia.

[44] Cf. Brenet, op. cit., pp. 11-12.

[45] Ibid., pp. 16-17.

[46] For instance by Pomponazzi, as explained at the beginning of his commentary on De anima (cf. A. Poppi, Corsi inedita, II, Padova 1970, n. 4).

[47] E. Renan, Averroès et l’averroisme, réédition Paris 1997, p. 240.

[48] We find twice the expression in prohemio huius, and once Commentator in prohemio huius, referring to the prologue of Averroes.

[49] This subject has also been treated in one of John’s independent disputed questions: De notioritate universalium (see my study on the ‘disputatio’: Weijers 1996, 102-106).

[50] The disputed question mentioned above, dating, according to the colophon, from 1314, has been inserted in the commentary. The two texts should of course be compared in detail, in order to see if John has copied it without change, or with more or less important modifications.

[51] See above, chapter 3.

[52] This treatise is dated in a colophon from 1317, but the formulation of the colophon seems to suggest that the copy in this manuscript has been completed in that year : « Explicit questio de pluralitate formarum et diversitate generis et specie ordinata per magistrum Johannem de Leuduno (sic) et completa anno Domini 1317, 23 Januarii » (ms. Reims, B.M. 493 f. 166v).

[53] Cf. Repert. 5, pp. 99-100 ; MacClintock, pp. 10-50 ; Pattin, Pour l’histoire du sens agent, pp. 111-234.

[54] See this website under Part VI, C texts n° 18

[55] De anima II, 6. Here, the first redaction of the commentary is somewhat shorter and less comprehensible: “ut dicit Aristoteles in isto secundo capitulo: Dicendum autem est quod non contingit alio sensibili sentienti” (ms. Florence, BNC n. a. 494 f. 56rb).

[56] « difficile à comprendre » ; translation into Latin of a French expression.

[57] Averroes, In De an. II, 149, p. 356.

[58] Arist., Ethica 6: locum non inveni. In the first redaction (in the Florence ms.) this reference to the Ethics is lacking; it has clearly been added in the second redaction.

[59] The first redaction has “ut sit aliquid unum”.

[60] Averroes, In De an., ibid.

[61] Averroes, In De an., ibid. p. 359.

[62] Here, I prefer the reading of the manuscript ; the edition reads: « Unde per illum modum non potuit natura facere que facit per plura ».

[63] Less than four columns in the Florence manuscript of the first redaction (56ra-57ra).

[64] See Appendix 2.

[65] See also MacClintock, p. 107; Schmugge, p. 125.

[66] See above, Introduction. Cf. N. Gorochov, Le Collège de Navarre …, pp. 183-184. However, Gorochov notes that apart from this mention in the statutes of 1315, we have no trace of his passage at the Collège de Navarre (ead., p. 195).

[67] This refers to the city of Tiel in the province called Gelderland (Guelre). The place name transcribed here as ‘Echtelt’ is now spelled as Echteld.

[68] The manuscript does not contain a table of contents, but the at the beginning of each question its number is mentioned in the text (for instance, 54vb : « Trigesimo sexto queritur circa capitulum de fantasia utrum […] »).

[69] On this question, see L. Tomanek, « Necessity, Contingency, and Free Will in John of Jandun and John Aurifaber of Halberstadt », in M. Michalowska and R. Fedriga (eds.), Willing and Understanding. Late Medieval Debates on the Will, the Intellect, and Practical Knowledge, Leiden/Boston 2023, pp. 290-325 (esp.305-307).

[70] f. 91va-vb.

[71] Cf. O. Weijers, In Search of the Truth, p. 143.



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