Date of Award
Dissertation - Restricted
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
James H. Robb
Francis C. Wade
Harry J. Klocker
Beatrice H. Zedler
My aim in writing this work has been to present for the first time the philosophical doctrine concerning the human soul according to the Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard by Peter of Tarantasia, O.P., who became Pope under the name of Innocent V.
Peter, along with some other masters of scholasticism, has been neglected by scholars of medieval thought. Most scholars have concentrated heavily on the great masters of scholasticism, such as Albert the Great, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, to mention but the most important. I have tried to show in writing this thesis that among the lesser known masters of medieval philosophy there are some who also have something to contribute. The doctrines of lesser known figures may serve to pave the way and t o smooth the valleys so that the philosophical and theological thought of the great masters could be understood more adequately. Without the work of these lesser known masters, the thought and systems of the great medieval thinkers might have been impossible Among these lesser known masters of medieval philosophy is Peter of Tarantasia, O.P.
Certain trends in twentieth century philosophical thought seem to dismiss the scholastic movement completely or at least give it a very inadequate and short account. Another trend of our century seems to view the scholastic period in a sympathetic way; oftentimes; however, from the point of view of the German Idealism and Transcendentalism.
It seems to me that the medieval period, like any other period in the history of the philosophical thought and development, has to be viewed in itself and not according to the standards of other systems of philosophical thought. In compiling this study I have aimed to show how Peter, among many other masters of the medieval thought, managed to pave the way for the great revolution in philosophical thought of those times. It must be borne in mind that it is erroneous to think that medieval philosophy arose as a mere evolution from the Greek philosophy. It is far from the truth to consider the philosophy of Thomas, for example, as being a simple development of Aristotelian philosophy. The philosophy of Aquinas sprang up as a revolution in relation to the Greek Philosopher. Aquinas introduced a new metaphysics of being. For Thomas the act of being (esse) is the actuality of all acts, and consequently, the perfection of all perfections. Peter made his own personal contribution and his writings helped in the development of the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. Not only did Peter help, but he was also influenced by Aquinas. As a result of this mutual influence, it seems to me that Peter's writings ought, at least, to be brought to light and examined.
As the vastness of the heavenly skies is the object of interest for the astronomer who is not bewildered merely by the great nebulae and other gigantic systems and stars, but who keeps also a watchful eve on smaller heavenly bodies which may cross his telescope, so also the true scholar must not neglect those lesser known masters and contributors to the development of philosophical thought. With this in mind I hope that my present work will be succeeded by further studies. May this study of Peter's doctrines kindle in the minds of other scholars of medieval thought the incentive to investigate other dimensions of Peter's philosophical and theological thought. My goal is partly that of a pioneer. It has been to initiate studies of this man who has contributed in his way to the development of medieval philosophy and theology. I have tried to present him as best as I could, but obviously further investigations need to be made. This I propose to do in the future. I shall welcome any suggestions, comments and help which will enable me to acquire a better understanding of Peter's philosophical and theological thought.