Problems with the text of 3.1 Dialogus

John Kilcullen

The text tradition is very thin. The witnesses are the following: Mz, Fr, Pz, Ly, Lm and Gs. I have analysed their relationships in 3.1 Dial., 1, and I believe the same relationships hold throughout 3.1 Dial. In my opinion, Gs derives from Ly and Lm derives from Pz, in both cases without any other source. I believe also that Ly derives from Pz alone, though the editor of Ly has thought hard and made many intelligent amendments -- but all conjectural, in my opinion. This reduces the independent witnesses to Mz, Fr and Pz.

Mz and Fr seem to derive from very similar exemplars. When it differs from Mz, Fr is often clearly wrong. In effect, what Fr contributes beyond Mz is a set of mistakes. However, there are a few plausible marginal corrections in Fr -- either intelligent conjectures or borrowings from some superior MS not now extant. Pz seems to me independent of Mz.

So the independent witnesses to the text come down to two: Mz and Pz. When we follow Mz or Pz or both we do not draw attention to the fact in the critical apparatus, but when we follow any of the low-grade witnesses against Mz and Pz we signal the fact by inserting the siglum of the witness before a colon, thus: "proficiendi] Fr: perficiendi Mz Pz Ly" -- meaning that we have adopted "proficiendi" from Fr despite the fact that better MSS read "perficiendi".

In many places the text of both Mz and Pz is unsatisfactory. In many of those places we have conjectured, or taken probably conjectural readings from Ly. In several places we have taken over marginal corrections from Fr, which may also be conjectural. In some other places we have followed the original text of Fr.

The first problem with the draft edition, therefore, is that it contains many readings that are certainly or probably conjectural or taken from a low-grade witness. Places in which this happens are marked in the draft edition by "[TEXT?]", bold.

Places in which there are editors' conjectures:

3.1 Dial. 1: 1, 4 (6 times), 5 (twice), 6, 7 (5 times), 8 (twice), 9, 11, 12 (twice), 13, 14 (twice), 16, 17 (5 times).

3.1 Dial. 2: 1 (4 times), 2 (four times), 4, 5, 6 (4 times), 7, 9 (twice), 10, 13 (twice), 15 (3 times), 17 (3 times), 18 (twice), 19 (twice), 20, 22 (twice), 23, 24, 27, 30.

3.1 Dial. 3: 3, 4 (twice), 6, 7 (twice), 8, 10, 11 (6 times), 12, 13 (twice), 17, 18 (3 times), 19 (6 times), 23 (twice), 25.

3.1 Dial. 4: 2, 3 (four times), 4, 5, 6, 7 (twice), 8, 9 (three times), 12, 13 (twice), 14 (twice), 15 (twice), 18, 20, 24.

Places in which we have followed Ly (probably conjecture):

3.1 Dial. 1: 7, 11, 14, 16, 17.

3.1 Dial. 2: 1, 3 (twice), 6, 14 (twice), 15, 16, 17 (twice), 18 (twice), 19 (twice), 20 (twice), 21, 22, 23, 24 (3 times), 25 (twice), 26, 28.

3.1 Dial. 3: 3, 13 (3 times), 14 (twice), 15, 16 (twice), 18 (4 times), 19 (4 times), 22 (twice), 23 (twice), 26 (4 times).

3.1 Dial. 4: 2, 3, 4 (twice), 18, 20, 23.

Places in which we have followed Frm, Frb (could well be conjecture):

3.1 Dial. 1: 5, 17.

3.1 Dial. 2: 8, 23.

3.1 Dial. 3: 5, 26 (twice).

3.1 Dial. 4: 24.

Places in which we have followed Fr:

3.1 Dial. 1: Pr, 2, 3, 4, 15.

3.1 Dial. 2: 1, 2, 13, 20, 22 (twice), 27.

3.1 Dial. 3: 9 (twice), 13, 14, 18 (three times), 22, 26.

3.1 Dial. 4: 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 19.

Problem passages

In addition to the general problem of a thin textual tradition there are quite a few problem passages, some of which follow. (In these passages, "(* *) {}" mark variants, "(+ +) {}" mark references.)

3.1 Dial., 2.22: Ad primam, quae fundatur in hoc, quod omnes Christiani non possunt contra ordinationem Christi, respondetur per (*ea*) {ea Fr Pz Ly; eam Mz} quae (*conata*) {conata Pz Ly, condita Mz Fr} (*sunt*) {sunt Pz Ly; fuit Mz Fr} probare, capitulo (*20*) {10 Pz, 21 Ly}, quod videlicet necessitas et utilitas faciunt licitum aliquod quod alias, tanquam ordinationi Christi contrarium, esset illicitum.

A. One possibility is to follow Mz and  read "eam... condita fuit". Translation: "...it is answered through that [opinion] which was laid down to prove, in c. 20, namely that ...".  This is awkward: "capitulo 20" should go before "probare", the "videlicet" is pointless. If "probare" were omitted (though it is in all witnesses) the trext would mean: "which was laid down in c. 20, namely that..." -- this would be more appropriate to what follows, which does not argue from the premisses laid down in c. 20 to prove the proposition that necessity excuses, but from that proposition.  

B. The other possibility is to read "per ea que conata sunt". "Conatur probare" or the like is found in many places, for example:

1. In the Pz Ly version of the passage above: respondetur per ea que conata sunt probare c. 20...

2. Quod aliter quam prius probare conatur. (3.1 Dial. 1.22)

3. Tu vero narra quomodo ad hoc opinio eadem respondere conatur. (3.1 Dial. 3.4).

4. Per istam distinccionem conatur ista opinio declarare prescripta, (3.1 Dial. 3.6)

5. cuius contrarium tenet et probare conatur prima opinio superius 1o c. recitata. (3.1 Dial. 3.8)

6. Indica quomodo antedicta opinio ad alias allegaciones supra c. 1o huius tercii adductas respondere conatur. (3.1 Dial. 3.9)

7. Intellexi quomodo improbatur responsio suprascripta. Nunc indica qualiter respondetur ad motiva quibus se munire conatur. (3.1 Dial. 4.18)

8. Sunt nonnulli qui opinionem prescriptam falsam, periculosam, perniciosam ac hereticalem estimant, quod multipliciter probare conantur. (3.1 Dial. 1.5)

9. ut alibi conantur ostendere per scripturas et exposiciones sanctorum doctorum. (Marsilius, quoted 3.1 Dial. 4.3)

10. Quia sicut antea dixi, multi vel omnes tenentes Christum constituisse beatum Petrum caput et principem aliorum apostolorum per illa verba Christi, “Pasce oves meas”, hoc principaliter probare conantur, ideo... (3.1 Dial. 4.10)

"Conor" is deponent, "I attempt". In most of the examples above, it is easy to identify the subject making the attempt (3-6, opinio; 7, responsio;  8, nonnulli; 9 "they" understood, meaning Marsilius; 10, multi), and examples (3)-(10) the syntax seems straightforward. 

In example 2, the context does not suggest what would be the subject of "conatur". Possible translation: (a) "Which it (the opinion) or he (the proponent of the opinion) tries to prove".  Another possible translation: (b) "Which it is attempted to prove" -- this makes "conor" impersonal and passive. The English is not good; perhaps the translation could read:  "An attempt is made to prove this..."  If "probare" were "probari", "conatur" would not be impersonal, though it would be passive; the translation might be: (c) "Which is attempted to be proved" -- again, not good English. Of these (a) seems best, but the subject of "conatur" remains unclear.

In example 1, the subject of "conata sunt" must be neuter plural, "que", antecedent "ea". Translation: (d) "the things or points that were attempted to prove in c. 20" (though in fact there was only one point, "quod videlicet..."). "Probare" is awkward. If it were "probari" the passage might be translated: (e) "the things that were attempted to be proved" (cf. (c) above). Both (d) and (e) take "conata" as passive rather than deponent; this seems inevitable, given the plural "conata sunt". 

On balance A seems better, i.e. to follow Mz, but deleting "probare".

3.1 Dial., 2.24: Quantum ad primum dicitur quod Christiani quicumque non habent potestatem dispensandi contra praeceptum divinum seu Christi, nisi "dispensatio" interpretatio sive iuris declaratio appelletur, qualiter (+glossa, 25, q. 1, super capitulum Sunt quidem, loqui videtur, dicens quod "papa dispensat in evangelio interpretando ipsum".+) {Gloss, s. v. apostoli, col. 1439} Cui concordare videtur assertio quorundam iuristarum [reference?] dicentium: "Dispensatio dicitur declaratio sive commutatio. Sic potest dispensare", scilicet papa, "de voto, et de his quae fiunt de iure divino et naturali, dummodo subsit necessitas vel utilitas et compensabilitas".

The quotation marks in the last few lines are guesswork. We need a reference to the jurists.

3.1 Dial., 3.6: debentque singuli, etiam qui assertionem contrariam antea tenuissent (non tamen fuissent certi), explicite pro assertione concilii generalis praesumere et quasi conditionaliter adhaerere---si scilicet non est contraria catholicae veritati---ita ut publice non teneant opinionem contrariam, etiam opinando in mente; tamen possunt opinari contrarium et sollicite scrutando Scripturas quaerere veritatem.

"Etiam opinando in mente" seems odd after "publice", and before the statement "tamen possunt opinari contrarium..."

3.1 Dial., 3.7: Quo ad alia autem quae taliter minime cognoscuntur sed solummodo arguendo ex aliis (*quorum accipitur*) {Ki: accipitur eorum Ww} notitia a (*peritis*) {apertis Pz; petitis et Ly} (*scientibus*) {scientiis Pz} argumenta sophistica a veris discernere, non est necessarium tantam credulitatem praestare concilio generali, eo quod notum est (*et*) {omitted Pz; per Ly} certum plures literatos et qui periti putantur, quantumcumque sint in concilio generali, nescire in multis sophismata a veris argumentis discernere. Quia (*tamen*) {cum Mz Fr} (*plurimi*) {plurium Mz Fr} fallaciarum naturam (*ignorantes*) {omitted Mz Fr}, etiam qui memoriam literarum supra alios habere noscuntur, non solum in theologia et philosophia sed etiam in scientiis legalibus (*paralogisant*) {paralogisantur Pz Ly}, credentes demonstrationem et infallibile facere argumentum quando, quamvis ignoranter, sophistice omnino (*procedunt*) {procedant ideo Pz Ly}, quando (*igitur*) {omitted Pz Ly} in generali concilio congregati, praesertim si pauci sint (sicut aliquando (*fuerunt*) {fuerint Pz} solummodo undecim, quemadmodum probatum est prius) et in scientia discernendi sophisticas rationes a veris sunt minime eruditi vel non sunt notabiliter excellentes, non est tanta fides adhibenda eisdem quando ratiocinando ex aliis (quamvis indubiis) aliquam assertionem determinant quanta adhibenda esset eis si aliquid quod facti est assertive proferrent, firmiter affirmando hoc vel per se ipsos evidenter cognoscere vel per illos quibus omnino in huiusmodi est credendum.

Translation: With respect to other matters, however, that are not known in this way but only by arguing from other [propositions] knowledge of which is acquired from learned men who know how to distinguish sophistical arguments from true ones, it is not necessary to show so much belief in a general council, because it is well known and certain that many who are learned and thought to be experts, in many cases -- however much they are in a general council -- do not know how to distinguish sophistical arguments from true ones. Because, however, many, ignorant of the nature of fallacies (even those who are known to have a memory of literature above others), reason falsely, not only in theology and philosophy but also in the legal sciences, believing that they are producing a demonstration and an infallible argument when they are proceeding (though in ignorance) completely sophistically, therefore, when gathered together in a general council -- especially if there are few of them (as there were sometimes only eleven, as was proved above) and they are not skilled in the science of distinguishing sophistical arguments from true ones, or are not notably distinguished -- such great trust should not be given to them when they decide on some assertion by a process of reasoning from other [assertions] (even if undoubted) as should be given to them if they put forward assertively some matter of fact that they firmly declare they manifestly know directly or from others who should be completely believed in matters of this kind.

Comment: In the passage above there is a choice between "quia tamen" and "quia cum", neither of which makes very good sense of the paragraph. What is the thread of argument? Apparently something like this: In matters requiring expertise in recognising fallacious reasoning a council cannot be trusted too much, because even experts err; indeed councils often consist of people ignorant of the nature of fallacies (though perhaps learned in other respects). If we adopt "tamen", it is not clear what adversative force it can have. If we adopt "cum" we would have to remove the full stop before quia, making the cum clause the explanation for the igitur clause, which would itself be the explanation ("quia") for the "eo quod" clause": "We need not... because it is well-known..., because (since... therefore...)". This would be very clumsy.

3.1 Dial., 3.11: Respondetur quod cum accipiunt "frustra dedisset Christus legem salutis aeternae si (*eius*) {omitted Pz Ly} verum intellectum, et quem credere fidelibus est necessarium ad salutem, non aperiret eisdem hunc quaerentibus et pro ipso invocantibus simul, sed circa ipsum fidelium pluralitatem errare sineret", (*si*) {Ki: quod si Mz Fr, respondetur quod Pz Ly} per "pluralitatem" fidelium (hoc est Christianorum recte credentium) intelligant totam ecclesiam seu congregationem fidelium, loquendo de vero intellectu cuiuscumque contenti in lege divina qui est necessarius ad salutem (secundum quod verba eorum praetendunt) et de apertione talis intellectus per Scripturas vel revelationem congregatis in concilio generali (*sive aliis qui essent extra concilium generale*) {concedo antecedens Pz Ly} ((*nam*) {tum Pz Ly} et quando celebratur concilium generale et quando non celebratur, multa necessaria ad salutem aperiuntur vel aperiri possunt, tam per Scripturas quam per revelationem miraculosam, illis qui non sunt in concilio generali, per quos ad existentes in concilio generali (*poterunt*) {potuerunt Pz Ly} pervenire, si (*digni*) {digne Pz Ly} (*extiterint*) {extiterit celebratum Pz Ly} vel fuerit necessarium Christiano populo ad salutem [omitting the "et" that appears in all witnesses], ita ex hoc probari non potest quod necesse sit credere "determinationes conciliorum generalium in sensibus Scripturae dubiis a Spiritu Sancto suae veritatis originem (*sumere*) {habere Pz Ly}" illo modo quo scripturae divinae eius sunt scriptoribus inspiratae: Tum quia intellectus legis necessarius ad salutem potest aliis aperiri, vel per Scripturas vel per miraculosam operationem. Quod non debet mirabile vel incredibile reputari, cum plures saepe sapientiores et meliores non conveniant ad concilium generale quam sint ibi congregati, possitque generale concilium intentione corrupta vocari, et etiam quamvis intentione recta fuerit congregatum poterit tamen non rite postea celebrari, cum ibi congregati non sint nec in fide nec in gratia et bonis moribus confirmati, sed forte aliquando vel omnes vel plures (*fuerint*) {fuerunt Mz Fr} aut esse (*poterint*) {poterunt Mz Fr} peccatis gravibus involuti. Et ideo lex Christi non est "inutilis" nec "in hominum tradita perniciem", quia, sive verus intellectus ipsius reveletur vel aliter manifestetur existentibus in concilio generali sive non venientibus ad idem concilium generale, utilis poterit esse ad salutem aeternam ipsam pie quaerentibus atque recte. Multa enim quo ad intellectum legis divinae revelavit Deus et in modis aliis manifestavit peritis viris et sanctis---et imperitis---qui ad generale concilium minime (*convenerunt*) {convenerant Pz Ly}, et non solum quia (*non*) {omitted Pz Ly} (*celebrabatur*) {Ki: celebratur Ww} generale concilium, sed in tempore concilii generalis, et adhuc potens est Deus facere idem. Tum quia intellectus legis ad multa potest aperiri per considerationem Scripturarum absque hoc quod Spiritus Sanctus modo speciali aperiat quibuscumque intellectum ipsarum. Tum quia in concilio generali multa dubia circa fidem declarari possunt quae non sunt necessaria ad salutem. Tum quia ostensum est prius quod concilium generale, seu quod concilium generale a maiori parte Christianorum putatur, potest errare contra fidem.

Si vero taliter opinantes per "pluralitatem" fidelium intelligant maiorem partem fidelium sive Christianorum, et per intellectum legis intelligant absque omni exceptione intellectum cuiuscumque contenti in lege divina, et intelligant loqui de quaerentibus intellectum ipsum pro omni (*tempore*) {nego antecedens added Pz Ly}, (*quotiesque*) {Ki: item quia Mz Fr, item si Pz Ly} quaesierint huiusmodi intellectum et pro ipso invocaverint, multipliciter (*errant*) {errare possunt nihilominus tamen antecedens non haberet veritatem quod patet Pz Ly}: Primo, quia non frustra esset lex salutis aeternae data (*a*) {omitted Pz Ly} Christo quamvis maior pars fidelium, immo omnes praeter paucissimos vel praeter unum, errarent, (*non*) {solum added Pz Ly} damnabiliter sed execrabiliter, circa (*ipsam*) {Sc: ipsum Ww}, etiam circa intellectum qui est necessarius ad salutem. Nec esset frustra data lex licet omnes Christiani praeter paucos vel unum damnabiliter errarent circa (*ipsam*) {Sc: ipsum Ww}, quia tota fides Christiana absque hoc, quod frustra esset data lex salutis aeternae, in uno solo posset salvari, quemadmodum in triduo tota fides in sola matre Redemptoris nostri permansit. Secundo, (*quia*) {omitted Pz Ly} multa sunt contenta in scripturis divinis quorum verus intellectus primus et literalis non est omni tempore necessarium ad salutem, quamvis ab existentibus in concilio generali quaeratur solutio, tam per meditationem vehementem in Scripturis quam per orationem, ita ut ipsum omnino diffinire proponant. Non (*est*) {igitur added Pz Ly} necessarium credere quod Deus aperiat ipsis per Scripturas vel per revelationem miraculosam huiusmodi (*verum intellectum*) {omitted Pz Ly}, quia, quamvis Deus non deficiat ecclesiae suae, scilicet congregationi fidelium, in necessariis, tamen non semper praebet se ad illa quae non sunt necessaria ad salutem, sine quibus potest esse salus, quamvis ipsa nitantur precibus continuis impetrare.

The underlined bold words are conjectures made for the sake of making the argument of the chapter clear. The punctuation and paragraphing fits this interpretation. For translation see A Letter to the Friars Minor, pp. 216ff. The underlined italic words are the rejected readings of Pz, which give an interpretation of the argument that I do not find quite convincing. Is there a better way?

3.1 Dial., 3.14: Ex quibus aliisque quampluribus colligitur manifeste (*quod*) {omitted Mz} plura dixit Christus apostolis quorum (*tamen*) {omitted Pz Ly} verum intellectum minime tunc habuerunt. Ex quo concluditur quod verus intellectus illorum tunc non erat apostolis necessarius ad salutem. Cum igitur [WHY IGITUR?] tunc essent in statu salutis, nihil defuit eis quod tunc erat eis necessarium ad salutem. Et tamen constat quod tunc Christus non (*dixit*) {dixisset Pz Ly} talia frustra.

3.1 Dial., 3.16: Secundum Hieronymum etiam in prologo in libris Proverbiorum (*et*) {8 Mz Fr; c. Pz} (*Gregorium*) {gregorius Pz} in Moralibus, liber Iudith, Tobiae et Machabaeorum (*ac*) {omitted Ly} Ecclesiasticus atque liber Sapientiae non sunt recipiendi ad confirmandum aliquid in fide. Dicit enim (+Hieronymus, sicut Gregorius, "(*Sicut*) {PL: omitted Ww} Iudith et Tobiae et Machabaeorum libros (*legit*) {leget Pz} quidem (*eos*) {omitted PL} ecclesia, sed inter canonicas scripturas non recepit, sic et haec duo volumina", scilicet Ecclesiastici et Sapientiae, "(*legit*) {legat PL} ad aedificationem plebis, non ad auctoritatem ecclesiasticorum dogmatum (*confirmandam*) {confirmanda Mz Fr}".+) {PL vol. 28, col. 1308.}

Comment: We have not found anything like this in Gregory's Moralia or elsewhere in his works. Is it possible that the references to Gregory are due to some corruption in Ockham's text?

3.1 Dial., 3.19: Nonnulli concedunt quod verba Scripturae de quorum primo intellectu per certitudinem (*non*) {omitted Mz Fr} constat (*adduci*) {omitted Mz Fr} ad probandum (*per*) {omitted Pz Ly} illa sola quae in contentionem veniunt aliorum non debent.

Translation: Some people grant that words of scripture of which the primary meaning is not established with certainty should not be brought forward to prove through them alone matters which come into contention from others.

What is the meaning, construction, of "contentionem aliorum"? Does it mean, "are brought into contention by other people"? Or have some words dropped out?

3.1 Dial., 3.23: Saepe igitur testimonio fide dignorum omni exceptione maiorum, (*qui*) {Ly: quae Mz Pz, quae qui Fr -- Ly seems right, since the antecedent of the relative pronoun should be [men] worthy of belief"} reprobari aut convinci de falsitate non (*possunt*) {potest Mz Pz}, est credendum, quamvis per ipsum certitudo infallibilis haberi non possit.

What is the meaning of "omni exceptione maiorum"? In 4.14 there is: "Fide dignis viris sine omni exceptione maioribus est credendum...". In 4.14 also: "Sed fide digni viri omni (*exceptione*) {acceptione Mz} maiores sententialiter asserunt... " There are many other passages containing "absque/sine omni exceptione", in which "exceptione" means "exception" (DMLB "exceptio" sense 3 (logical)). However, in the three passages above I think it means "objection" (sense 4 (legal)). In each of the above passages "maior" agrees with "vir" or equivalent: "dignorum... maiorum", "viris... maioribus", "viri maiores". It seems to mean something like: "men worthy of trust who are greater (maior) than every objection", i.e. trustworthy beyond any objection, of a trustworthiness unshaken by any objection... In DMLB "exceptio" sense 4 there is a similar passage: "quod... per testes exceptione majores probare parati sumus".

3.1 Dial., 3.24: Et ideo assertiones eorum in his quae sunt scientiae seu peritiae nec sunt taliter necessario recipiendae a legentibus, nisi easdem vel per scripturas sacras vel per irrefragabilem rationem vel approbationem (*universalis*) {universalem Pz} ecclesiae vel (*per operationem*) {participationem Mz Fr} miraculi possint ostendere quod sint consonae veritati.

Translation: And their assertions in matters of [theoretical] knowledge and skill, therefore, should not necessarily be accepted by readers in this way unless they [the readers? the writers?] can show -- by the sacred scriptures, by unshakeable reason, by the confirmation of the universal church, or by the operation of a miracle -- that these assertions are in agreement with the truth.

Is "easdem... ostendere quod..." good grammar? It looks like an accusative ("eas") and infinitive construction that turned into a "quod" clause.

3.1 Dial., 3.26: Respondetur quod impia sapere contingit dupliciter, (*scilicet*) {sed Mz} impie seu pertinaciter, vel non impie et non pertinaciter, quemadmodum etiam in his quae fidei sunt contingit errare pertinaciter et non pertinaciter, et ita contingit errare impie et non impie. Numquam autem vel raro discreditur doctoribus ab ecclesia approbatis, quando dicta eorum possunt haberi, impia (*sapiendum*) {sapiendi Fr, sapiendo Pz Ly} nisi impie, quia raro, et eorum quidam in nullis penitus, erraverunt. Sed saepe contingit impia (*sapiendum*) {sapiendo Pz Ly}, non impie tamen, non credere doctoribus ab ecclesia minime approbatis, cum etiam (*sapiendum*) {sapiendo Ly} impia contingat in multis non credere eis, cum in multis errent, quod ex contrarietate inter ipsos (*perpenditur*) {Ly: propenditur Mz Fr Pz} evidenter. Propter quam contrarietatem tam crebram (*et*) {etiam Mz} fantasticorum assertionem pro assertionibus eorum est minime praesumendum. Et ideo aliter credendum est doctoribus ab ecclesia approbatis quam aliis. Propter sanctitatem enim et veritatem ac utilitatem doctrinae doctorum ab ecclesia approbatorum reverentia tanto merito debetur eisdem ut nemo qui non est certus eos (vel (*eorum*) {vel added Pz} aliquem) defecisse debeat quodcumque dictum eorum (vel alicuius ipsorum) negare, contrarium sapiendo, aut aliquam assertionem alicuius eorum ad falsum aut perversum trahere intellectum antequam mentem et motiva eorum (vel alicuius eorum), si potest, viderit diligenter. Sed tantam reverentiam non tenemur doctoribus ab ecclesia minime approbatis necessario exhibere, praesertim cum studere in libris eorum, propter diversas opiniones (*inutiles*) {indociles Pz Ly} et fantasticas ac vix opinabiles assertive vel opinative insertas in eis, impedimentum maximum praestet scientiae necessariae et utili ecclesiae Dei.

The problem is the meaning of "impia sapere". Translation: 

The reply is that it is possible to "think impious thoughts" in two ways, that is impiously or pertinaciously, or not impiously and not pertinaciously, just as also in matters of faith it is possible to err pertinaciously and not pertinaciously; and so it is possible to err impiously and not impiously. 

Never or rarely, however, are doctors approved by the church disbelieved "thinking impious thoughts" except impiously [i.e. pertinaciously], when what they have said can be had [e.g. their books obtained -- text corrupt?], because they [the doctors] have erred rarely and some of them in nothing at all. 

But it is often possible for someone "thinking impious [i.e. erroneous] thoughts", but not impiously, not to believe doctors not approved by the church, since it is possible [without pertinacity] even for someone "thinking impious thoughts" not to believe them in many matters, since they err in many matters, which is clearly understood from the opposition among them. Because of this very frequent opposition and their assertion of imaginary things there should not be a presumption in favour of their assertions [so disbelieving them, even when they are actually right, is not evidence of fault]. 

And therefore doctors approved by the church should be believed differently from others.

Is this the meaning?

3.1 Dial., 4.3: Quae tamen sententia his temporibus impugnatur, et ad motiva (*quae in*) {Ki: in quibus Ww} scriptura divina fundari (*videntur*) {Ki: videtur Ww} ex intentione seriosius respondetur.

Comment: The conjectures reverse the meaning of the text given by the witnesses.

3.1 Dial., 4.6: Ad (*evidentiam*) {evidentem Pz} illarum allegationum et multarum aliarum primo dicitur esse notandum quod Christus non sic commisit (*curam*) {etiam Ly} pastoralem Petro super apostolos omnes et cunctos fideles ut ea quae ipse fecerat (*circa apostolos revocaret [subject: Christ], vel potestatem revocandi (presertim*) {revocandi potestatem Pz Ly} absque causa iusta) Petro concederet, nec sic ut ab omni regimine et cura apostolorum et aliorum fidelium, etiam innotescente fidelibus, abstineret [subject: Christ]; quinimo (*voluit*) {noluit Pz} quod illa quae fecerat servarentur, et fidelibus saepe innotuit [subject: Christ] ipsum, post ascensionem (*suam*) {suum esse vicarium added Ly}, et postquam fecit Petrum vicarium suum, plura fecisse [ipsum... fecisse accusative and infinitive after innotuit?] miraculose et potestative erat fidelis (omitted Ed}per hoc. 

Translation: To make clear those arguments and many others, it is said first that it should be noted that Christ did not commit to Peter pastoral care over the other apostles and the rest of the faithful in such a way that he [Christ] revoked, or that he conceded to Peter the power to revoke without just cause, those things which he [Christ] himself had done in regard to the apostles, nor was in such a way that he [Christ] would abstain from all rule and care of the apostles and other faithful, even abstaining from making things known to the faithful. Nay rather, he wanted those things that he had done to be preserved, and often after his ascension, and after he made Peter his vicar, he [Christ] made known to the faithful that he had done many things miraculously, and through this was faithful in power.

The point seems to be that Christ's continued action through agents, such as Peter and the other apostles, is not inconsistent with Peter's superiority.

Comment: "Potestative" must mean not "powerfully" but "through power" or "in respect of power". But why "fidelis"? Nothing in the context prepares for that word; there was no objection that unless..., Christ would not have been faithful. 

The sentence division could be different, as in Ly: "... plura fecisse miraculose et potestative. [reject "erat fidelis" MF and begin a new sentence and paragraph] Per hoc dicitur ad illud quod allegatur..." But in fact what is said next is not "per hoc", but is an entirely separate argument.  

3.1 Dial., 4.8: Verbo enim generaliori usus est in praeficiendo Petrum, scilicet verbo pascendi, quod communius est quam verbum docendi vel baptizandi aut aliud tale, (*quibus*) {qualibet Mz, qualibus Fr} verbis usus est in concedendo (*potestatem*) {in added Pz Ly} aliis apostolis.

Construction: "or some other such, which words were used..."

3.1 Dial., 4.8: nisi quantum ad officium praedicationis, baptizandi, ligandi et solvendi a peccatis, et si qua alia Christus expressit quando eis contulit aliquam potestatem.

Construction: "baptising... , and anything else, if there was anything, that Christ expressed..."

3.1 Dial., 4.11: Putant quidam quod huic allegationi potest faciliter responderi. Nam licet tam in iudicatis [iudicatis probably not right -- what should it be?] quam in (*aliis*) {gap added Mz} [what could Mz not read?] non semper verbum indefinite prolatum generaliter debeat intelligi, tamen quando alicui committitur potestas super aliquos, verbum indefinite prolatum generaliter (*debet*) {debeat Ly} intelligi, [See Brev., book2, ch. 14] ut nullus tunc intelligatur exceptus nisi per alia possit probari exceptus. Cuius ratio assignatur, quia, sicut iudices non debent esse incerti, quia de similibus simile iudicium est habendum, ergo quando committitur potestas seu praelatio alicui super aliquos (*(*per verbum*) {prove Pz} indiffinite*) {omitted Ly} (*prolatum*) {tantum indefinite debet intelligi added Ly}, quemadmodum nec (+procuratores nec tutores nec arbitri (sicut testantur leges tam canonicae quam civiles,+) {Cf. gloss, Extra, De arbitris, Innotuit, s. v. legali, col. 517} et ratio hoc suadet), ita et praelati et subditi non debent esse incerti; immo omnes quibus idem est commune debent intelligi, nisi aliunde possit ostendi quod aliqui sint excipiendi. Aliter enim subditi in illo casu essent incerti. Ergo per illa verba, "Pasce oves meas", omnes fideles Christi debent intelligi ne oves pascendae a Petro sint incertae, nisi de aliquibus aliunde ostendatur quod sint exceptae. Quod de apostolis ostendi non potest, sicut dicunt multi respondentes ad omnes allegationes quibus ostenditur quod apostoli erant a potestate Petri excepti.

Comment: I looked in the law texts for a passage like: "iudices non debent esse incerti... nec procuratores, nec tutores nec arbitri debent incerti", from which Ockham wants to infer (quia de similibus simile iudicium est habendum) that prelati et subditi non debent esse incerti. The passages I found do not quite fit the bill.

3.1 Dial., 4.10: (*qui*) {quia Mz; omitted Pz} nihil excipit et potuit excipere totum concessisse seu commisisse videtur, ut (+sacri canones protestantur+) {See gloss, Extra, De iure patronatus, Ex literis, s.v. non excepto, col. 1320; Extra, De translatione, Inter corporalia, s.v. non invenitur, col. 215}.

Can my list of canons be improved on?

3.1 Dial., 4.13: (*Quamvis*) {Ki: quam Mz Fr, quia Pz Ly} enim, ut leges civiles astruunt et (+glossa 24, q. 1, super c. Pudenda notat, "Nihil est ita indubitatum quin (*sollicitam*) {solitam Mz Fr} recipiat dubitationem"+) {Gloss, col. 1401} et etiam contradictionem, et (*ideo*) {non Mz Fr} contra multorum verborum scripturae sacrae catholicum sensum multa possunt obiici et adduci etiam apparenter (nam secundum beatum Clementem, (*ut*) {Ly: etiam Mz Fr Pz} recitatur (+dist. 37, c. Relatum, "Sunt multa verba in scripturis divinis quae (*possunt*) {possent Pz Ly} trahi ad eum sensum quem sibi unusquisque praesumpserit"), tamen hoc fieri minime debet, quia, ut dicit ibidem beatus Clemens, "Ex ipsis scripturis sensum capere veritatis oportet, et ideo oportet ab eo scientiam discere (*scripturarum*) {Fb: omitted Ww} qui eam a maioribus secundum veritatem sibi traditam servat, ut ipse possit eam quam recte (*suscepit*) {suscipit Pz Ly} competenter (*asserere*) {et added Pz Ly}".+) {col. 139} (*Oportet ergo asserere*) { Sc: omitted Ww} intellectum verborum Christi cum (*dixit*) {dicit Mz Fr}, "Tu es Petrus", etc., (*qui*) {quae Mz Fr} accipi ex scripturis potest (*ut*) {et Mz Fr} eas intelligunt praecipue viri probati qui (*eum*) {eam Mz Fr} a maioribus, et praecipue ab apostolis, didicerunt.

Translation: For although, as the civil laws affirm and the gloss on 24, q. 1, c. Pudenda [col.1401] notes, "Nothing is so certain that it does not admit of very careful doubt", and even contradiction, and against the catholic meaning of many words of sacred scripture, therefore, many things can be objected and brought forward even with plausibility (for according to blessed Clement, as we find in dist. 37, c. Relatum [c.14, col.139], "There are many words in the divine scriptures which can be dragged to the sense that anyone invents for himself"), nevertheless this ought not be done, because as blessed Clement says in the same place, "We must take the truthful meaning from those writings, and therefore we must acquire knowledge of the scriptures from him who maintains it according to the truth handed on to him by his predecessors, so that he can assert correspondingly that which he has rightly received." [We must therefore assert] the meaning of Christ's words when he says, "You are Peter", etc., that can be taken from the scriptures as they are understood especially by men who have been approved and who have learnt it from their predecessors, and especially from the apostles.

Comment: Conjecture at two important places. Is there any other way of making sense of the passage?

3.1 Dial., 4.14: Fide dignis viris omni exceptione maioribus est credendum in his quae vocaliter seu sententialiter cognovisse se asserunt per (*se*) {omitted Pz Ly} ipsos vel per alios quibus credere tenebantur, seu quae dicuntur tanquam a se (*cognita*) {tamquam added Mz Fr} altero modorum illorum.

What is the point of the clause after the second seu? It seems to repeat the meaning of the earlier clause.

3.1 Dial., 4.17. Una est opinio dicens quod Petrus sicut et quilibet (*successor*) {successorum Pz Ly} duplicem habuit potestatem, unam scilicet ratione ordinis et aliam ratione administrationis. Hanc duplicem potestatem ponit (+glossa dist. 21, super cap. In novo.+) {Gloss, s. v. pari, col. 95} Prima potestas promissa fuit Petro per illa verba, (+"Tibi dabo claves regni coelorum et quodcumque ligaveris",+) {Matthew 16:19} etc. Secunda promissa fuit sibi per illa verba, (+"Super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam".+) {Matthew 16:18} Primam autem recepit ante secundam, quia primam recepit simul cum aliis apostolis, quando Christus dixit sibi et aliis apostolis, (+"Accipite spiritum sanctum. Quorum remiseritis peccata",+) {John 20:23} etc.; tunc enim omnes illi potestatem ligandi atque solvendi receperunt, quia potestas retinendi vel remittendi peccata est potestas ligandi et solvendi. (*Secundam*) {secunda Pz Ly} autem potestatem recepit quando Christus dixit sibi, (+"Pasce oves meas",+) {John 21:15-17} et licet ista potestas pascendi (*fuerat*) {fuerit Pz Ly} data Petro post potestatem ligandi atque solvendi, tamen absque ipsa potest inveniri. Istam enim potestatem habet quilibet electus in summum pontificem quamvis non sit sacerdos (qui solus habet potestatem ligandi et solvendi), et est tunc verus papa quantum ad hanc potestatem ((+dist. 23, In nomine).+) {col. 78; see para. 6.} Et per istam potestatem quam ultimo (*percepit*) {praecepit Mz} Petrus factus fuit Petrus, ceteris omnibus superior et praelatus; et ideo per illa verba, "Super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam", fuit primatus Petro promissus.

Whose opinion is this?

Places in which we have followed MSS, but doubtfully.

3.1 Dial., 3.1: Una (*est*) {omitted Ly} opinio tenens quod (+nullam scripturam irrevocabiliter veram credere vel fateri tenemur de necessitate salutis aeternae nisi eas quae canonicae appellantur vel (*eas*) {eis Marsilius} quae ad has (*ex*) {de Ly} necessitate sequuntur, aut scripturarum sanctarum sensum dubium habentium (*eas*) {eis Marsilius} (*interpretationes*) {interpretationibus Marsilius} seu (*determinationes*) {determinationibus Marsilius} quae per generale fidelium seu catholicorum concilium essent factae, in his praesertim in quibus error damnationem aeternam induceret, quales sunt articuli fidei Christianae.+) {Marsilius, II.xix.1; 384.23-31}

Comment: We have not restored what Marsilius wrote, though it makes somewhat better sense than the version in our witnesses -- writings do not follow from writings. Marsilius moves from accusative (thinking of fateri) to dative (thinking of credere), whereas Ockham sticks to the accusative.

3.1 Dial., 3.9: (*Imperfecte tamen et aliquo modo concedi potest quod concilium generale*) {omitted Pz Ly} (*illam*) {tamen added Pz Ly} congregationem apostolorum et aliorum repraesentat et quodammodo sibi succedit, quemadmodum papa cum collegio cardinalium aliquo modo repraesentat congregationem eandem et aliquo modo succedunt, qui tamen tam in pertinentibus ad fidem quam in moribus possunt errare: et ita per repraesentationem et successionem huiusmodi probari non potest quod concilium generale errare nequit.

Comment: Singular or plural?

3.1 Dial., 4.22. Non enim legitur, (*nec*) {et Pz Ly} videtur probabile, quod populus Graecorum antequam dividerentur a Romana ecclesia secutus non fuerit doctrinam catholicorum doctorum (*graecorum*) {omitted Pz Ly}.

Comment: singular subject of dividerentur -- collective treated as plural?.

3.1 Dial., 4.22. ne facto videretur praecepisse ecclesiae quod caput secundum optimum modum regiminis minime sustinerent.

Comment: singular subject (ecclesia) of sustinerent.

Comments are welcome: john.kilcullen@mq.edu.au