Quaestiones super librum Posteriorum
M. C. Sommers (ed.)
224 p., 175 x 260 mm, 2000
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This volume contains an edition of Walter Burley's twelve Questions on the Posterior Analytics from two fourteenth-century Latin manuscripts, along with an introduction to the author and his work, and an extensive index. The twelve questions, probably connected to Burley's teaching of the logic of Aristotle as part of the arts curriculum, are organized around major themes of Aristotelian scientific method.
The first three questions deal with Aristotle's presuppositions: that logic is a science in its own right; the existence of demonstration; and the possibility of discursive knowledge. The next three questions concern the scope of scientific knowledge: does it extend to all possible conclusions or only those that are naturally knowable; does it extend to subalternated sciences; does it extend to knowledge of all causes.
Question 7 discusses the problem of predication in Aristotle and the various distinctions in this topic. Questions 8 to 10 cover four particular questions pertaining to demonstration as discussed by Aristotle ('that is', 'the reason why', 'if something is' and 'what something is'). The last two questions address problems relating to the middle term in a demonstration.
The influence of Walter Burley on his contemporaries and on philosophical thought well into the sixteenth century was considerable and there is abundant contemporary interest in his ideas, particularly his logic and natural philosophy. Once thought of as an unworthy opponent of Ockham, closer study of his work has revealed that he was one of the most significant thinkers of the Middle Ages.