•  26
    When I think that I am now thinking about a rose, are there two mental acts present in the intellect at once, the one direct (about the rose) and the other reflex (about the thought about the rose)? According to a generally accepted principle in medieval psychology, a given mental power cannot have or elicit multiple mental acts at the same time. Hence, many medieval thinkers were unwilling to admit that during such a case of mental reflection there are two acts present in the mind. In this p…Read more
  •  49
    The relation-theory of mental acts proposes that a mental act is a kind of relative entity founded upon the mind and directed at the object of perception or thought. While most medieval philosophers recognized that there is something importantly relational about thought, they nevertheless rejected the view that mental acts are wholly relations. Rather, the dominant view was that a mental act is either in whole or part an Aristotelian quality added to the mind upon which such a relation to the ob…Read more
  •  65
    Durand of St.-Pourçain's Theory of Modes
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 60 (2): 203-226. 2022.
    Early modern philosophers, such as Descartes and Spinoza, appeal to a theory of modes in their metaphysics. Recent commentators have argued that such a theory of modes has Francesco Suárez as its primary source. In this paper, I explore one explicit source for Suárez’s view: Durand of St.-Pourçain, an early fourteenth-century philosopher. My aim will be mainly expository: I will put forward Durand’s theory of modes, thus correcting the persistent belief that there was no well-defined theory of m…Read more
  •  159
    Some of my mental states are conscious and some of them are not. Sometimes I am so focused on the wine in front of me that I am unaware that I am thinking about it; but sometimes, of course, I take a reflexive step back and become aware of my thinking about the wine in front of me. What marks the difference between a conscious mental state and an unconscious one? In this paper, I focus on Durand of St.-Pourçain’s rejection of the higher-order theory of state consciousness, according to which a m…Read more
  •  198
    Once Socrates has thought something, he comes to acquire an item such that he is then able to think such thoughts again when he wants, and he can, all other things being equal, do this with more ease than he could before. This item that he comes to acquire medieval philosophers called a cognitive habit which most medieval philosophers maintained was a new quality added to Socrates' intellect. However, some disagreed. In this paper, I will examine an interesting alternative theory put forward by …Read more
  •  788
    The present dissertation concerns cognitive psychology—theories about the nature and mechanism of perception and thought—during the High Middle Ages (1250–1350). Many of the issues at the heart of philosophy of mind today—intentionality, mental representation, the active/passive nature of perception—were also the subject of intense investigation during this period. I provide an analysis of these debates with a special focus on Durand of St.-Pourçain, a contemporary of John Duns Scotus and Willia…Read more
  •  165
    Durand of St.-Pourçain on Cognitive Habits: Sent. Bk. 3, D. 23, QQ. 1-2
    In Magali E. Roques & Jennifer Pelletier (eds.), The Language of Thought in Late Medieval Philosophy, Springer. pp. 331-368. 2017.
    Durand of Saint-Pourçain's earliest treatment of cognitive habits is contained in his Sentences Commentary, Book 3, Distinction 23. In the first two questions, he discusses the ontological status of habits and their causal role, establishing his own unique view alongside the views of Godfrey of Fontaines and Hervaeus Natalis. What follows is the Latin text and an English translation of Durand's Sentences (A/B) III, d. 23, qq. 1-2.
  •  209
    As we now know, most, if not all, philosophers in the High Middle Ages agreed that what we immediately perceive are external objects and that the immediate object of perception must not be some image present to the mind. Yet most — but not all — philosophers in the High Middle Ages also held, following Aristotle, that perception is a process wherein the percipient takes on the likeness of the external object. This likeness — called a species — is a representation (of some sort) by means of which…Read more
  •  186
    We are affected by the world: when I place my hand next to the fire, it becomes hot, and when I plunge it into the bucket of ice water, it becomes cold. What goes for physical changes also goes for at least some mental changes: when Felix the Cat leaps upon my lap, my lap not only becomes warm, but I also feel this warmth, and when he purrs, I hear his purr. It seems obvious, in other words, that perception (at least, and at least under ordinary conditions) is a matter of being affected by the a…Read more
  •  138
    Thomas Aquinas and Durand of St.-Pourçain on Mental Representation
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 30 (1): 19-34. 2013.
    Most philosophers in the High Middle Ages agreed that what we immediately perceive are external objects. Yet most philosophers in the High Middle Ages also held, following Aristotle, that perception is a process wherein the perceiver takes on the form or likeness of the external object. This form or likeness — called a species — is a representation by means of which we immediately perceive the external object. Thomas Aquinas defended this thesis in one form, and Durand of St.-Pourçain, his Domin…Read more