Life. Durandus of St. Pourçain, Doctor
Resolutissimus , was born at St. Pourçain, in Auvergne,
towards the end of the thirteenth century. He joined the order of St.
Dominic, and was at first a most ardent defender of the doctrines of
St. Thomas. About the year 1313 he taught theology at Paris. After
spending some years in Rome as Master of the Sacred Palace during the
reign of John XXII, he returned to France and occupied successively the
sees of Limoges, Puy, and Meaux. He tells us himself that he was bishop
of Puy.  The year 1332 is the most probable date of Durandus' death.
 Ecclesia Aniciensis cui praefui (In
IVum Sent., Dist. XXIV, Q. III);
cf. also Chartul., II, 218, note 11.
Sources. The most important of Durandus' works is entitled
Super Sententias Theologicas Petri Lombardi Commentariorum Libri
Quatuor. It was published in Paris in 1550. Trittenheim mentions
several minor treatises. (cf. Praefatio to above edition.)
By his independence of thought and his advocacy of certain principles
which his contemporaries considered dangerous, Durandus earned the
title of Doctor Resolutissimus. Still, he
never exceeded the limits of orthodoxy. Indeed, the independence which
he advocated, and which he formulated in the principle "Naturalis
philosophia non est scire quid Aristoteles aut alii philosophi
senserint, sed quid habeat veritas rerum," had been professed before
his time and formulated almost in the same words by St. Thomas and the
other great schoolmen. Such independence of thought was recognized as
the birthright of every philosopher, and the fact that Durandus
exercised this right without incurring ecclesiastical censure is the
best refutation of the calumny that the Church refused to tolerate
independent thinking as long as she could enforce obedience to her
commands. Durandus manifested his independence:
1. In rejecting the Sensible and Intelligible Species. The
reason which he adduces is a priori rather than empirical, and
is based on a misconception of the Scholastic doctrine of species. In
his Commentary on the Books of Sentences,  he first gives his
opinion that the doctrine of species was introduced to explain
sense-perception, and was transferred to the explanation of intellectual
knowledge; he then proceeds to criticise the doctrine of sensible
species as follows:
Omne illud, per quad, tamquam per repraesentativum, potentia cognitiva
fertur in alterum, est primo cognitum; sed species coloris in oculo non
est primo cognita seu visa ab eo, immo nullo modo est visa ab eo ergo
per ipsam, tamquam per repraesentativum, non fertur in aliquid aliud.
 Lib. II, Dist. III, Q. VI, Nos. 9 and 10.
Now this argument is simply irrelevant. The predecessors of Durandus,
so far from teaching that the species is a medium
repraesentativum, maintained, on the contrary, that it is merely a
medium by which the object becomes present to the subject -- what may
be called a medium praesentativum, that is to say, a medium
communicationis. It is owing to a similar misunderstanding that
later nominalists and so many modern writers regard the scholastic
doctrine of species as untenable.
2. In rejecting the Active Intellect. This follows as a natural
consequence from the rejection of the species. Durandus teaches that
there is no more need of an active intellect than of an active
sense.  Here, again, he misunderstands the Scholastic doctrine. There
is need of an active intellect, because, although the object of
intellectual knowledge -- the universal nature -- exists in the world
of sense-phenomena, it exists there clothed in material conditions, of
which it must be divested before becoming actually intelligible, and
the task of separating the universal from these material conditions is
the work of the active intellect.
 Cf. In Ium Sent., Dist.
III, P. II, Q. V.
3. In his Advocacy of Nominalism. This follows from the
rejection of the active intellect. Durandus teaches that the object of
the intellect is the individual as it exists, and that the universal
exists nowhere outside the mind.
Universale non est primum objectum intellectus, nec praeexistit
intellectioni, sed est aliquid formatum per operationem intelligendi .
. . esse universale, esse genus vel speciem dicuntur entia rationis. 
 Op. cit., Lib. I, Dist. III et Dist. IX.
Durandus, however, does not openly profess nominalism, that is, he does
not teach expressly, as the followers of Ockam do, that the only
universality is the universality of names.
4. In his Doctrine of the Principle of Individuation. Durandus
teaches that the principle of individuation is not distinct from the
specific nature of the individual, since everything is individuated by
actual existence. "Non oportet praeter naturam et principia naturae
quaerere principia individui." 
 Op. cit., Lib. II, Dist. III, Q. II.
5. In his Rejection of Divine Cooperation with Secondary Causes.
This is the doctrine by which Durandus places himself in most
pronounced opposition to the current teaching of his time. The
Scholastics of the thirteenth century unanimously taught that God is
not only creator and preserver of all finite things, but also
cooperator in all the actions of secondary causes. Durandus
maintains that all the actions of the creature proceed from God
inasmuch as it is God Who gave creatures the power to act, but he
denies that there is an immediate influxus of the Creator in the
actions of the creature.
Non oportet quod Deus immediate coagat, sed solum mediate, conservando
-- naturam et virtutem causae secundae.  Deus non est causa actionum
liberi arbitrii, nisi quia liberum arbitrium ab Ipso est et
 Op. cit., Lib. II, Dist. I, Q. V.
The theological doctrines of Durandus are still more at variance with
current teaching, and on some points his dogmatic opinions cannot
without difficulty be reconciled with Catholic belief.
 Ibid., Dist. XXX VII, Q. I.
Historical Position. If Duns Scotus is the Kant, Durandus is the
Locke of Scholastic philosophy. His treatment of the most serious
problems of psychology and metaphysics is marked by superficiality. He
seemingly took no pains to make himself acquainted with the doctrines
which he criticised, and his own solution of many a problem stops short
of the point where the real problem begins. Simplicity, even at the
expense of thoroughness, appears to have been his motto.
Life. Peter d'Auriol (Aureolus), Doctor Facundus,
was born about the end of the thirteenth century at Toulouse.  In
1318 he became master of theology at the University of Paris. In the
following year he was made provincial of the Franciscans in Aquitaine.
In 1321 he was promoted to the metropolitan see of Aix.  He died in
 Verberie (Vermerie)-sur-Oise is usually given as the place of his
Sources. The works of Aureolus, Quodlibeta and
Commentaria in Libros Sententiarum, were published at Rome
(1596-1605) in four folio volumes.
 Cf. Chartul., II, 225.
Aureolus was at first a Scotist. Later, however, actuated apparently by
the idea which inspired Durandus to simplify Scholasticism, he arrived
at conclusions which are practically
identical with those of the Doctor Most Resolute. He denied the
reality of universals, the existence of species and of the active
intellect, the distinction between essence and existence, and the
distinction between the soul and its faculties. Referring to the
doctrine of species, he says:
Unde patet quomodo res ipsae conspiciuntur in mente, et illud quod
intuemur non est forma alia specularis sed ipsamet res habens esse
apparens, et hoc est mentis conceptus, sive notitia objectiva. 
 In IIum Sent., Dist. XII, Q. I,
The expression forma specularis, and the word idolum
which occurs in the same article, both being used to designate the
species, show that Aureolus was as far as Durandus was from
understanding the rôle which the great schoolmen assigned to the
Historical Position. The doctrines of Aureolus as well as those
of Durandus prepared the way for the outspoken conceptualism of Ockam.