Fondazione Centro Italiano di Studi sull'Alto Medioevo (C I S A M)
Documenti e Studi sulla Tradizione Filosofica Medievale vol:23 pages:321-355
This article contains a discussion and edition of two questions on the eternity of the world in Galfridus de Aspall’s Questiones super De celo et mundo (book I), viz. his question of whether the world is generable and perishable speaking about proper generation (i.e., generation from pre-existent matter) (q. 99) and his question of whether it was Aristotle’s intention to argue that the world began in some way (q. 100). These questions are preserved in the mss. Cambridge, Peterhouse 157, ff. 17va-b (on which the edition is based) and Todi, Biblioteca Comunale 23, ff. 210ra-vb. Aspall holds, on the one hand, that the world is generable and perishable in this sense that it has from itself a potentiality to non-being. On the other hand, the elements in their totality are ungenerable, because their inclination to non-being is stopped by the power of the celestial orb. Aspall interprets Aristotle’s statement that the world is ungenerable and imperishable in this sense that Aristotle meant that the world is not generated from pre-existent matter, but that he did not hold that the world did not begin by creation. The main source of Aspall’s questions is Averroes’ Commentarium magnum on De celo. In q. 99 Aspall holds that he agrees with Averroes’ interpretation, but he misunderstands Averroes’ position. In q. 100 he states that he disagrees with Averroes’ interpretation of Aristotle.