See the Preliminary
comment to Part 1, Book 6, chapters 1-15
The following sources have been universally collated for the reconstruction of 1 Dial. 7.52-64:
Tradition A: Bb Fi An Na*
Tradition B: Vg
Tradition C: Ax
Tradition D: Di
Tradition E: Vc We
Incunabulum: Ly (basically tradition B)
Variant convergence accuracy level of witnesses in this segment:
[NB.: reconstructed text at 100.0%.] These figures measure the closeness of particular witnesses to the reconstructed text as to those variants which are not universally shared. The relatively “low” results for Di, Ax, and Ly don’t necessarily imply that the totality of their text for 1 Dial. 7.52-64 is seriously corrupt, because the universally shared variants amount to approximately 80% of the whole in this segment.
If one wishes to extrapolate from this to an overall evaluation of a particular source’s integrity, one would obtain the following approximate figures for 1 Dial. 7.52-64:
As noted previously (cf. Introduction to 1 Dial. 6.51-67) Ax represents a somewhat corrupt version of tradition C, veering towards tradition D. Its low accuracy level in the current segment parallels that of Di, and is explained to some extent by 120 erroneous readings converging with those of Di, though scribal idiosyncracies and systematic inattentivenesses in the analyzed representatives of both traditions contribute even more in this regard.
The adequacy status of Vc (Ancona E) remains in significantly deteriorated mode in these chapters, as in all previously posted portions of Book 7, because of continuing close contacts with the erroneous components of tradition B (something Vc had largely avoided in Books1-6). There are no less than 123 such common Ly/Vg/Vc readings in the reconstructed passages of the segment under review, as well as frequent Vc scribal textual innovations. We, on the other hand does not exhibit much affinity towards those options of tradition B which are less reliable, and therefore, in spite of a good many “corrections” of the A tradition, presents us with a much better text than Vc, Vg, or Ly.
I t is the tradition A manuscripts (representing, I believe, the earlier posthumous edition of ca. 1348-1349) which come closest here to Ockham’s intentions. Na (contaminated in Books 1-5, but systematically tradition A- oriented thereafter) is particularly impressive in this regard, displaying many less errors of omission than Bb, Fi, and An. It is indeed a pity that this manuscript is very faded in many folios of Part 1 of Dialogus, and hence sometimes very difficult if not practically impossible to decipher on its own, though even in such situations a comparison with other tradition A manuscripts and careful word and letter measurements allows us fairly safe surmises as to Na’s textual integrity. Happily, this important witness is quite readable (save for a few lines) in 1 Dial. 7.52-64.
For some brief comments on the context of this segment see Fragments of Ockham hermeneutics, p. 115.
Revised February 2008