University of Erfurt

Projekt von Dr. Monika Mansfeld

The Abbreviations of Walter Burley's Parva naturalia Commentaries

Walter Burley was an English philosopher and theologian active in the first half of the 14th century, mostly known for his polemics with William Ockham. His most recognized works were commentaries on Aristotle’s works in logic and natural philosophy, among which a set of commentaries on Parva naturalia written during his regency at the Faculty of Arts in Oxford can be listed. It encompasses five works devoted to problems on the edge of physiology and psychology: De somno et vigilia, De longitudine et brevitate vitae, De sensu et sensato, De memoria et reminiscentia, and De motu animalium.

A codex, kept nowadays in Biblioteca Amploniana in Erfurt (CA 4o 312), which was believed to contain another copy of these commentaries, contains, in fact, an abbreviated version of them. It appears to be the only copy of the abbreviation and for that reason is an invaluable source for studying the reception of Burley’s natural philosophy in the Later Middle Ages. The main objective of my project is to investigate the manuscript itself, the doctrinal content of the abbreviations, and establish the dependence of the abbreviations on Burley’s Parva naturalia commentaries through a detailed comparative analysis of the transcribed text of four abbreviations and the critical editions of the latter. More broadly, the project addresses history of natural science as well as the relationship between the book and its object.


Monika Mansfeld is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Łódź in Poland. She received her PhD in 2015 from the University of Silesia, Katowice, where she also completed her MA and BA in both Philosophy and Classical Studies. In her work, she focuses on the late medieval philosophical commentaries on Aristotle’s works, her interests ranging from logic and metaphysics of so-called Parsian nominalism (John Buridan, Marsilius of Inghen, Albert of Saxony, and their mid-European successors) to realist natural philosophy (Antonius Andreae, Walter Burley). Her projects cover not only doctrinal analyses of the commentaries, but also involve historical studies on their manuscript tradition and preparing their critical editions.



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