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

388. Thomism in the Fifteenth Century. Capreolus. Antoninus of Florence. -- The best known among the Dominicans who defended the flag of Thomism in the fifteenth century is JOHN CAPREOLUS. Born about 1380 at Rodez, where he received his early education and imbibed his love for St. Thomas, he finished his studies at Paris (about 1409), then went to Toulouse and finally back to Rodez, where he died in 1444. It was at the convent of his native town that he completed (about 1432) the monumental work, Libri Defensionum, which has won for him the title Princeps Thomistarum. The one single aim of this work, he tells us himself, was to restate and establish the teaching of St. Thomas and defend it against the objections of "Aureolus, Scotus, Durandus, John de la Rive, Henry of Ghent, Warron, Adam and other adversaries of St. Thomas".{1} The writings of Capreolus are therefore an authentic source of Thomist teaching, brought into comparison with Scotism and Ockamism; they constitute an encyclopedia of the scholastic controversies of two centuries. Unfortunately they are not free from certain defects of method which mar the scholasticism of the decadence.

ANTONINUS OF FLORENCE (1389-1459) became a Dominican in 1406 and bishop of Florence in 1446. His principal work, a Summa Theologica, embodies the discussion of important questions on social, political and domestic right (e.g., riches, means of production, value, price, money, property, labour-contract; prudentia regnativa, de dominis temporalibus, the rights of war; education). The treatment is mainly from the point of view of general ethics; but his work contains valuable data for the history of economic and social theories in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Convinced adherent of St. Thomas as he was ("quem omnibus propono," he writes in his Prologue), Antoninus of Florence knew how to apply his master's principles to new materials in fresh departments of research.

{1} Proëmium.

<< ======= >>