ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf

260. Later Disciples of St. Bonaventure. Richard of Middleton. -- To the second generation of Franciscan masters who drew from St. Bonaventure, belong the following: WILLIAM OF FALGAR, third lector at the Sacred Palace, Bishop of Viviers in 1284, author of Quaestiones Disputatae; NICHOLAS OCKAM; JOHN OF PERSORA; HUGH OF PETRAGORIS; ROGER MARSTON, of whom more below (Ch. V.); ALEXANDER OF ALEXANDRIA, general of the order, died 1314, made a compendium of St. Bonaventure's Commentaries on the Sentences, author of Quaestiones Disputatae and Commentaries on Aristotle's Metaphysics, published in 1572 as the work of Alexander of Hales. Of greater importance than any of those is RICHARD OF MIDDLETON.

In 1281 we find Richard occupying the chair of the Franciscans and commenting on the Sentences of the Lombard. In 1283 he was one of the judges of Peter John Olivi (259), and from 1285 till his death, about the end of the century, he was tutor to St. Louis of Toulouse. Among his numerous works are the Quodlibeta, Commentaries on the Sentences, Quaestiones Disputatae of great value, and Commentaries on the Quodlibeta of Peter of Auvergne and of Henry of Ghent. All these works are still unedited. Richard was a loyal disciple of St. Bonaventure, but on certain points he follows the Thomistic tradition. He defends the temporal creation of the world, the identity of the soul with its faculties, the plurality of forms; he rejects the doctrine of the rationes seminales; he is doubtful about the hylemorphic composition of spiritual substances, and he does not differ from SS. Thomas and Bonaventure in his interpretation of the Augustinian theory of the rationes aeternae.{1} Richard was highly esteemed among the Franciscans: he was their greatest master during the interval between St. Bonaventure and Duns Scotus: his disciple gave him the title of Doctor Solidus, Fundatissimus.

At the end of the thirteenth, and all through the fourteenth century, St. Bonaventure's Commentaries on the Sentences were themselves the text of numerous commentaries in the various branches of the Franciscan order. The Quaracchi editors enumerate seven philosopher-theologians whose exegesis of St. Bonaventure remains still unedited, and twenty-three whose works have been printed.{2} However, the success of Scotism lessened and finally extinguished the study of St. Bonaventure among the Franciscans.

{1} Judging from the extracts from the "quaestio disputata" published in the De Hum. Cognit. Rat., etc., pp. 220 sqq.

{2} T. x., p. 34.

<< ======= >>