Chapter 8. Questiones in librum De bona fortuna

CHAPTER 8. Questiones in librum De bona fortuna (doubtful)


Inc. Circa libellum qui de bona fortuna inscribitur querendum est primo utrum de bona fortuna sit scientia. Arguitur primo quod non, quia …

Expl. Argumenta autem procedunt viis suis, sicut intuenti patet etc.


Repert. 5, p. 97; MacClintock, pp. 126-127 ; Schmugge, p. 131.


Ed. Venezia 1505, 1570, 1589 (with the Parva Naturalia, edited by Zimara).


The treatise De bona fortuna, ascribed to Aristotle, was added to the collection of Aristotle’s works around 1270 and has since been commented upon along with the other small treatises, especially the Parva naturalia. Its origin is explained by Valérie Cordonier and Carlos Steel in their study Guillaume de Moerbeke traducteur du Liber de bona fortuna et de l’Ethique à Eudème[1]. I quote the abstract :


Around 1270 a new Aristotelian treatise entitled Liber de bona fortuna with a provocative subject – the role of good luck in moral life – started to circulate at the university of Paris and entered the corpus recentius of Aristotle’s work. The treatise is in fact a combination of two chapters on eutuchia respectively taken from the Magna Moralia (1206b30–1207b19) and the Eudemian Ethics (1246b37–1248b11). The second chapter originally belonged to a larger extract translated from book VIII of the Eudemian Ethics which also included the last chapter on kalokagathia (1248b11–1249b25). In this study we propose to attribute the translation of these extracts to Wilhelm of Moerbeke on the basis of an extensive study of the manuscript tradition, and of a close stylistic analysis of the translation method. We also clarify the relation between Moerbeke’s translation of the chapter of the Magna Moralia and Bartholomaeus of Messina’s version of the same chapter. We conclude that Moerbeke not only discovered and translated the extracts, but also communicated them to Thomas Aquinas.


Not many arts masters commented on this treatise, first known to Thomas Aquinas and since included in the Corpus recentius. Neither the important commentator of Aristotelian works Radulphus Brito, nor later John Buridan, as far as we know, thought it important enough for a commentary. However, Giles of Rome analysed the Liber de bona fortuna (ca. 1275) and debated with Henry of Ghent about it[2]. Giles explicitly ranged the treatise among the books on ethics, as is clear from the explicit: “hic libellus morali negotio sit annexus”.

The commentary discussed here has been included in the early editions as one of John of Jandun’s works. It is ascribed to “Franciscus de Neapoli” in one of the two manuscripts known to us[3]. According to Valérie Cordonier the question of the authorship (Francesco or John of Jandun) remains open, but the question if this Francesco is identical with Francesco Caracciolo has to be investigated. She notes that parallel passages between this commentary and other works of Jandun are rare and that the doctrinal content of the last question is opposed to ideas expressed in his other works[4]. However, the format and style of the commentary are similar to those of the ones on the Parva naturalia, and the constant effort to defend Averroes’ position is also in favour of his authorship.

Assuming John’s authorship[5], why did he treat the De bona fortuna and why in this place, following the other small Aristotelian treatises ? In Zimara’s edition, John’s questions on the Parva naturalia (the last being the Questiones super libro de Morte et vita, which is followed by the Questiones super libro de Motibus animalium), the questions on De bona fortuna follow without interruption. The incipit (in the edition of Zimara), as we saw above, simply announces the first question and gives no clue about the possible reasons of the inclusion. We can only say that in the manuscript tradition of Aristotle’s works the small treatise was often copied in this place, following the Parva naturalia[6], which seems natural with regard to its limited volume, but does not give an indication for the moment at which John (if he can be considered as the author) treated it[7].

The reason for which John would have commented on this pseudo-Aristotelian treatise may be the fact that he was aware of the discussion about the Liber de bona fortuna between John Duns Scot, in his last Quodlibet, composed in Paris in 1306 or 1307, and Henry of Ghent[8]. This discussion, analysed by Valérie Cordonier, shows that Duns Scot borrowed certain ideas, in particular the role of the bona nativitas in attaining good fortune, from Henry rather than from Giles of Rome, but in the context of a far more positive appreciation of Aristotelianism, closer to the interpretation of Thomas Aquinas[9]. And the quodlibetical disputation of Duns Scot was certainly known to John of Jandun, maybe directly but anyhow in its redaction, for he clearly refers to it in one of his questions[10]. Moreover, he considered the treatise De bona fortuna as one of Aristotle’s works, and the “provocative subject” was quite in line with John’s natural inclinations.

As for the composition of Jandun’s commentary on this small treatise, it consists in seven questions : 1. Utrum de bona fortuna possit esse scientia ; 2. Utrum scientia de bona fortuna sit speculativa ; 3. Utrum bona fortuna sit in hoc libro subiectum ; 4. Utrum bona fortuna sit aliquid ; 5. Utrum in bonis exterioribus, quorum est fortuna domina, consistat felicitas ; 6. Utrum bona exteriora sint a causa indeterminata ; 7. Utrum bona fortuna sit a Deo.

That John considered the treatise as an authentic work of Aristotle, is clear for instance from the oppositum of question 1:


Ad oppositum est Aristoteles in principio tractatus istius tradens simul possibilitatem et necessitatem scientie de bona fortuna: tunc dicit sine existentibus bonis quorum domina est fortuna non contingit felicem esse, determinandum itaque de bona fortuna (f. 74va).


The organisation of this first question, like that of the following ones, is similar to the one of his other commentaries: after five arguments for the negative answer and the oppositum quoted above, John first gives some preliminary remarks: he announces that before answering we have to consider three points.

In the development, he often quotes other works of Aristotle, in particular the Ethics[11] and the Metaphysics. Introducing the second point, concerning what exactly is considered by science, he speaks of ‘great doctors’ :


Circa secundum principalem sciendum est quod magni doctores dicunt aliqua quatuor modis esse posse de consideratione scientie. Quedam enim sunt que sunt de consideratione scientie per se et primo et principaliter et per omnem modum, secundum quod dicimus ens esse de consideratione metaphysici […].


But later on he criticizes this distinction into four categories and proposes a better one :


Aliter distingui potest et brevius, immo melius quantum ad propositum spectat, quod alique possunt esse de consideratione scientie dupliciter, uno modo sic quod ipsa sint primo et per se intenta in scientia, alio modo […].


So, he distinguishes only two categories, considering this a shorter and better way. Then he gives his determination :


His premissis, cum queritur utrum de bona fortuna possit esse scientia, dico duo : unum est quod de ipsa non potest esse scientia tanquam de aliquo primo et per se intento ; aliud est quod de ipsa potest esse et est scientia tanquam de aliquo cuius consideratio facit ad notitiam alicuius prioris per se intenti in scientia.


To the question if a science about good fortune is possible he answers also by way of distinction: in a primary way this is not possible, but it is possible if we consider it as something which, taken into consideration, helps to know something prior which is in itself subject of science. He then explains the two points : « Primo declaro sic », « Dico tamen secundo », and proceeds to the refutation of the arguments : « Ad argumenta faciliter respondetur his visis ». In the course of the refutation, John once again shows that he takes the treatise for a work of Aristotle :


Neque obstat quod Aristoteles in libelli principio ipsam dicit causam inordinate et ut accidit ; hic enim argumentando et dubitando dicit, ut patet literam inspicienti, que talis est: “primum quod igitur super hoc utique quis veniens et considerans dubitavit etc.” ; unde in sequentibus veritatem determinans concludit: “est ergo bona fortuna sine ratione natura”; concesso tamen quod bona fortuna non esset causa, ut sepe, vel semper, sed solum per accidens non concludit argumentum, quia non oportet ad hoc ut de aliquo sit scientia, quod ipsum sit semper, vel sepe in esse reali, sed sufficit quod sit tale quoad rationem que de ipsa formari potest, ut est ex habitis manifestum; et talis est bona fortuna (f. 75va)[12].


The refutation of the last argument for the opposite position ends with a demonstration ex absurdo and the expression of his conviction that the cause of good fortune is a natural disposition and that bona nativitas (being well born) is equivalent to bona fortuna:


Prima tamen solutio melius est, ut credo, quia illa naturalis dispositio non est complexive bona fortuna, sed est bona nativitas, que est idem ex toto quod bona fortuna (f. 75vb).


All along the discussion of the question John quotes various works of Aristotle and, of course, the Commentator. In short, the treatment of this question resembles the way in which he treated the Parva naturalia.

Let us take question 4: “Utrum bona fortuna sit aliquid”, to go somewhat more into detail. After the formulation of the question John lists four arguments for the negative answer; the oppositum consists in the reference to three passages of Aristotle (the second book of the Physics, the second book of the Magna Moralia and the first book of the Ethics). He begins his determination, as usual, with preliminary remarks:


Hic primo declarandum est quod fortuna et casus sunt secundum aliquem modum, secundo quod bona fortuna est aliquid, et tertio quod tam fortuna quam bona fortuna stant cum Dei providentia (78va).


For the first point, John quotes two opinions of other scholars (quidam) based on a passage of the Physics, and then declares that these opinions proceed from a false supposition, for “they seem to suppose that every cause is necessary and per se, but this is completely false”, and he demonstrates this with references to Boethius’s De consolatione and to Aristotle’s Metaphysics, the Perihermenias and the second book of the Physics. Then he adds an amusing passage:


licet aliquo modo secunda opinio possit trahi ad bonum intellectum; fortuna enim non est aliquid distinctum a natura et proposito, que sunt cause per se; nisi imaginaremur ipsam esse deam quondam ad modum Gentilium duas habens facies, secundum unam quarum modo blanditur prosperis, modo terrorem incutit adversis, more quorum loquens Boethius in principio De consolatione dicebat: “Nunc quia fallacem mutavit nubila vultum, protrahit ingratas impia vita moras”; quod tamen falsum est et absurdum […] (78va-vb).


So, he says that we could imagine a pagan goddess with two faces, one benign and the other menacing, like Boethius in the beginning of his De consolatione philosophiae, speaking of the goddess Philosophy, but, he adds, this is absurd.

The determination of the question itself is composed of three parts, the first beginning like this : “Dicendum ergo primo secundum veritatem quod fortuna et casus sunt, quod patet, primo sic: […]”, followed by the second part: “Secundo principaliter declarandum est bonam fortunam esse aliquid, quod primo sic declaratur …”, and the third part: “Nunc tertio restat ostendere quod tam fortuna quam bona fortuna stant cum divina providentia et eius necessaria scientia […]”. Thus, not only good fortune is something, but it is compatible with divine providence and it is something in itself.

The three parts of the determination are duly argued and then the four arguments for the opposite answer are refuted, as usual. In all, the form of the question is just like that of the rest of the commentary: well organised and thoroughly discussed. Its interest is in the way in which John defends his opinion and his sometimes personal expressions.

The last question, Qu. 7, is the longest (nine and a half columns in the edition) and touches upon a difficult problem for a philosopher at that time: “Utrum bona fortuna sit a Deo”[13], if good fortune comes from God. From the point of view of Christian doctrine, the answer is of course affirmative; but according to Aristotle it is not and thus, we have to make a distinction, as usual in this kind of situation.

Therefore, after four arguments for the affirmative answer, the oppositum is this time not limited to one or more authorities, (as the solution will not be a simple yes or no), but it is also argued in four arguments. Then, John begins his determination, as usual, with preliminary points, two in this case:


In hac questione primo videndum est utrum Deus sit causa efficiens alicuius secundum mentem et intentionem Philosophi, et secundo, dato quod sic, utrum sit causa efficiens alicuius de novo et immediate secundum eundem; his enim visis statim apparebit quid de questione dicendum sit (78va).


About the first point, whether God is the efficient cause of something according to the mind of Aristotle, John declares that according to several (scholars), who follow the Philosopher and his Commentator narrowly (ad unguem), “we are forced to hold, which was to their mind, that God is not the efficient cause of anything; and if their opinion is true, it is clear what we have to hold about the question, for we should hold simply that God is not the cause, at least the efficient cause, of good fortune”. So here, presented as the answer of those who closely follow Aristotle, we have the negative answer to the question.

That this is in fact the intention of Aristotle and the Commentator is proved with three extensively discussed arguments and five auctoritates. The last, based on the treatise De substantia orbis[14], is lengthily explained:


Quinta eiusdem expressissima in libello eodem, capitulo eodem, ubi dicit: “Debes scire quod istud corpus celeste non indiget virtute movente in loco semper tantum, sed indiget virtute largiente in se et sua substantia permanentiam eternam, quoniam […]”. Et infra in eodem tractatu : “Videmus celum habere unam virtutem, scilicet eternam, que est sibi causa, non tantum moventem omnia, sed agentem et conservantem. Sed agentium quoddam est prius tempore acto, sicut omne quod sit in spera mundi, scilicet inferioris […] Et cum ignoraverint quidam esse de opinione Aristotelis, dixerunt ipsum non dicere causam agentem totum (lege totam), sed tantum causam moventem, et illud fuit valde absurdum. Et non est dubium in hoc quod agens ipsum est movens ipsum, et hoc patet ex auctoritate illa consequens expresse quod secundum Aristotelem Deus est causa efficiens universi. Et qui hoc negant decipiuntur ex ignorantia distinctionis agentium, quorum quoddam est prius tempore acto, sicut patet in mundo sensibili, quoddam vero prius tantum natura et non tempore; et tale secundum Aristotelem mundi eternitatem ponentem est Deus respectu separatorum et eternorum” (83rb).


Thus, the movement of the sky is caused by an intrinsic and eternal force, which is agent and conservative. However, some did not see the important distinction of the agent cause (between agent prius tempore acto and before nature only) and said that Aristotle “did not speak about the whole agent cause, but only the moving cause, and that was very absurd”; and there is no doubt in this that the agent cause itself is the moving force itself, and “this is clear from that authority, following expressly that according to Aristotle, God is the efficient cause of the universe. And those who deny this are deceived by their ignorance of the distinction of the agent cause, of which one is before the creation of time (prius tempore acto), as is clear in the sensible world, but the other is prior only to nature and not to time; and such according to Aristotle, supposing the eternity of the world, is God in respect to separate and eternal things”.

Following which John explains and defends Averroes’ sayings: with this distinction, with which the Commentator agrees here, all the passages in which he seems to say the contrary, can be explained in accord with his intention. “And in this way the Commentator should be explained and understood wherever he is found to deny the agent force in eternal things”. Thus, John explains the distinction between the agent cause before the creation of time and the agent cause before nature only, and he defends Averroes’ opinion, which had sometimes been misinterpreted. Then, John refutes the arguments of the ‘adversaries’ saying that God is not the efficient cause of anything (regardless of the above explained distinction).

Next, the second point made in the beginning of the determination is discussed, that is, the question whether God is the immediate cause of good fortune in new or different actions:


Nunc restat videre utrum Deus sit causa immediata bone fortune in aliquo de novo vel cuiuscunque alterius sit de novo immediate causa (83va) (formulated in short by the author of the marginal notes as “Num a Deo immediate possit esse pluralitas”).


He starts again with preliminary remarks: “for the solution of this doubtful point (dubium) we have to know that […]”. He first quotes Avicenna saying that God is only immediately the efficient cause of the first intelligence or pure intelligence. But this opinion, says John, is against the truth of faith and against Aristotle’s intention, “as we have seen earlier, where it has been made clear that God is since eternity the cause of all eternal things immediately according to his intention”. In his demonstration he quotes for instance the Liber de causis (the first proposition) and Proclus (“quia causa secunda tam substantiam suam quam virtutem agendi habet a causa prima secundum Proculum”)[15]. The conclusion is that, as God’s virtue is simply infinite according to Aristotle in his commentary on the Physics[16], so he can be the cause of renewed action.

But this is not enough for everybody, for “however much this is true according to faith, some try to prove that the same is true for the Philosopher, and these are of two kinds”:


Sed quantumcumque hoc verum sit secundum fidem, nituntur aliqui idem astruere esse de opinione Philosophi, et hi bipartiti sunt: quidam enim eorum dicunt hec sensisse Philosophum ex dictis in processu libelli huius […] (83vb).


Some (i.e. Henry of Ghent[17]) say that either this booklet (libellus, i.e. the De bona fortuna) is not of Aristotle, or Aristotle contradicts himself here and in Book 8 of the Physics. Others (i.e. Duns Scotus[18]) want to avoid this contradiction and argue in this sense, but, says John at the end of this discussion, Aristotle does not agree with the truth imposed by faith, and both the first and the second group mentioned above have failed:


Sed retenta fidei veritate, quod Deus possit esse causa alicuius effectus de novo et immediate, tamen hoc non fuit de intentione Aristotelis, sicut isti sibi imponunt; unde utrique salva eorum reverentia videntur deficere tam primi quam secundi (84ra).


And he explains why they err, quoting Averroes, who mentions earlier philosophers (Alexander of Aphrodisias is mentioned explicitly, and also the more general term ‘Peripatetici’), and stating his own conviction about the first opinion (“Dico igitur […]”) and about the second (“Secunda etiam opinio non est de intentione Aristotelis neque Commentatoris”).

Finally, he gives his determination of the question:


Ex his igitur patet quid sit dicendum ad questionem, quod videlicet bona fortuna non est immediate a Deo; pro quo notandum est quod fortuna non est aliqua causa per se distincta ab intellectu et a natura sine proposito, sicut aliqui pueriliter imaginantur fortunam esse quandam deam separatam habentem duas facies, quarum una est bona et benefactiva hominibus, alia vero mala et malefactiva[19]. Sed intelligo quod fortuna est idem secundum substantiam et secundum subiectum cum intellectu practico. Et similiter casus est idem subiecto cum agente naturali, tamen diversimode, quia […] (84rb).


Thus, good fortune is not directly due to God. John explains what, according to him, fortuna and casus mean: they are not independent entities, but identical with intellectus practicus  (‘practical intellect’, referring to the scientia practica or ethics) and with agens naturale, both in their own way. Then he comes to bona fortuna, which is the same as bonus effectus fortuitus:


Bona autem fortuna idem est quod bonus effectus fortuitus; talis autem bona fortuna a Philosopho in isto libello distinguitur penes ea in quibus consistit dupliciter, et est prima distinctio ista: fortuna bona est penes ea que non in nobis existent, hoc est quorum non sumus domini, sicut inquit: nobilem bene fortunatum dicimus et totaliter, cui talia existent quorum non dominus est; alio modo bona fortuna est in his que sunt in nobis […] Ista distinctio bone fortune penes effectus videtur esse in illud quod est proprie tale et in illud quod est communiter minus proprie tale, nam […] Alia est distinctio bone fortune penes effectus, scilicet per se et per accidens; effectus per se (84va) / (84vb) est bonum sumere, effectus per accidens est malum non sumere. Et hec distinctio sepe tangitur in isto libro.


Thus, this bona fortuna is distinguished by Aristotle in the present treatise in two kinds, according to the things in which it consists; the first kind concerns the things which are not in ourselves and which we do not dominate (for instance the noble is bene fortunatus), the other concerns the things which are in us. And “this distinction according to the effect seems to be in that which is properly such and that which is commonly less properly thus”. And he adds: “There is another distinction of good fortune according to the effect, that is in itself and by accident; effect in itself is taking the good, effect by accident is not taking the bad. And this distinction is often mentioned in this book”.

Finally, he sums up:


His igitur stantibus, cum bona fortuna, ut dictum est, nihil aliud sit nisi bonus eventus fortuitus, iste immediate sine aliqua causa media non est a Deo, quia, ut dictum est, ab ente omnino immobili in istis inferioribus nihil immediate provenire potest secundum fundamenta philosophorum; tamen cum Deus concurrat ad quemlibet effectum hic inferius existentem mediantibus causis secundis, sic dicendum est bonam fortunam mediate esse a Deo.

Per hoc autem patet solutio ad questionem.

Argumenta autem procedunt viis suis, sicut intuenti patet, etc.


This conclusion is clear: as good fortune is nothing else than a fortuitus good event, it does not immediately and without some intermediary cause come from God, since, as said before, from a completely immobile being nothing can come immediately according to the “fundaments of philosophy” (philosophers in the plural), good fortune does not come directly from God, but only indirectly, through secondary causes. “And thus the solution of the question is clear”. The arguments speaking for themself, he esteems that the refutation of the contrary position is not necessary.


This is also the end of the commentary. As we have seen, this apparently simple question is in fact a very complex problem for philosophers in a Christian context[20], and this is perhaps one of the reasons why John of Jandun – if he was actually the author – decided to comment on this treatise.



[1] In the volume The Letter before the Spirit: The Importance of Text Editions for the Study of the Reception of Aristotle, ed. A.M.I. van Oppenraay, Leiden/Boston 2012, pp. 401-446. The Magna Moralia is a treatise on ethics traditionally attributed to Aristotle, though the consensus now is that it represents an epitome of his ethical thought by a later, if sympathetic, writer (however, several scholars disagree with this).

[2] Valérie Cordonier, « Qu’est-ce qu’une lecture radicale d’Aristote ? L’exemple de la réception du Liber de bona fortuna (1275-1205475) », lecture presented at the Congress of the SIEPM in 2022. Giles of Rome’s Sententia super libro De bona fortuna is preserved, among other manuscripts, in Paris BnF lat. 16158 and has been printed several times (Venezia 1496, 1525, 1551). John’s commentary has not been the object of much attention. I only know the recent studies by Valérie Cordonier.

[3] V. Cordonier, op. cit. infra n. 8, pp. 749-750.

[4] See V. Cordonier, op. cit. n. 2 (2022).

[5] In the following, I assume that John of Jandun is the author of the commentary and thus use his name without repeting that his authorship is doubtful.

[6] V. Cordonier,  « Aristotle theologized : the importance of Giles of Rome’s “Sententia de bona fortuna” to the Late Medieval and Renaissance peripatetism », in M. Benedetto, Fr. Marrone et P. Porro (éd.), Doctor Fundatissimus. Giles of Rome : His Thought and Influence, = Quaestio 20 (2020) pp. 137-157 (139-140 and n. 9).

[7] The theme of bona fortuna is also treated in the commentary on the Rhetorics, in relation to happiness : « Consequenter potest queri utrum bona fortuna sit pars felicitatis » (qu. 21), see Cordonier, op. cit. (2022). In the discussion of this question he refers to « Aristoteles in De bona fortuna », « secundum Aristotelem in illo libello ». He does not refer to a commentary of this book by himself.

[8] V. Cordonier, « Réussir sans raison ». Autour du texte et des gloses du Liber de bona fortuna Aristotelis dans le manuscrit de Melk 796 (1308) », in 1308. Eine Topographie historischer Gleichzeitigkeit, ed. V. Cordonier, A. Speer, D. Wirmer, De Gruyter 2010 (Miscellanea Medievalia), pp. 705-758.

[9] Op. cit. n. 7, p. 749. For Henry’s critical discussion of Giles’ Sententia de bona fortuna, see also V. Cordonier and T. De Robertis (ed.), Chr. Javelli’s Epitome of Aristotle’s « Liber de bona fortuna », Leiden 2021, p. 21sqq.

[10] Ead., op. cit. n. 7, pp. 749-750.

[11] Commentaries on the Ethics and the Politics written by John of Jandun are not known to us, but he certainly knew these texts (cf. Introduction).

[12] Cf. Guillelmus de Morbeka translator Pseudo-Aristotelis – De bona fortuna (i.e. textus compositus ex Magnis Moralibus II, 8, 1206b30-1207b19 et Ethicis Eudemicis VIII, 14-15, 1246b37-1248b11). The text of this small work has been transmitted in at least 145 manuscripts.

[13] Cf. about this question V. Cordonier, « Jean de Jandun sur la fortune et la bonne fortune », in Jean de Jandun et son temps. Nouvelles perspectives de recherche (conference Paris 17-18 November 2022), forthcoming.

[14] The commentary on this treatise attributed to John of Jandun may not be authentic ; see below.

[15] The quote very likely stems from: Thomas de Aquino, In librum De causis, lectio 1, p. 7, ll. 5-10, ed. Saffrey: «Proclus autem expressius hoc sic probat: causa enim secunda, cum sit effectus causae primae, substantiam suam habet a causa prima; sed a quo habet aliquid substantiam, ab eo habet potentiam sive virtutem operandi; ergo causa secunda habet potentiam sive virtutem operandi a causa prima».

[16] Arist., Phys. ? « secundum Philosophum 8. Physi.t.c. 79 » Fortasse Averroes, In Physicorum libros, VIII, comm. 84, ed. Juntina : « Post dixit : sed primus motor movet motu eterno, tempore infinito, idest virtus eius est infinita.» My hypothesis is that John could have assumed Physics VIII as the staple reference for discussing God’s potency and then projected this assumption onto this passage, together with his substitution of the First Mover with God (comm. of Michele Meroni).

[17] Cf. Cordonier, op. cit., n. 12.

[18] Cf. ibid.

[19] Here, he comes back to what he said in question 4 (see above), referring to Boethius’ De consolatione. There he qualified this image as ‘absurd’, here he talks about ‘puerile imagination’.

[20] One may compare with the independant questio disputata studied and edited by A. Maurer (« Utrum eternis repugnet habere causam efficientem »), « John of Jandun and the Divine Causality », in Mediaeval Studies 17 (1955) pp. 185-207. I quote Maurer (p. 185): « It also reveals their [i.e. the Averroists] concern to set aside revelation in discussing a philosophical problem and to appeal to the philosophers alone for a solution, which they generally interpret to be in opposition to the teaching of faith ».


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