Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Prof Michael W Dunne
The Oxford Calculators and Their Milieu on Ethics
"Richard FitzRalph on Virtues, Measure Languages, and Proportional Change"
Medical University of Łódź, Poland
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
Although Richard FitzRalph was not a student of Merton College (he was first at Balliol and then at University Hall), because of the style of his construction of arguments he has often been seen as close to the Calculators. Probably originating in the now lost dispute with Richard Kilvington, FitzRalph in his Lectura on the Sentences formulated an understanding of the “common view” on infinity (as it was called by Gregory Rimini) using many of the terms and methods deriving from the so-called mathematization of theology. Of course, the debates were not limited to questions arising from natural philosophy, but the language of this discipline found its way into topics such as the Beatific Vision and, obviously, of morality. Intertwined with the question of God’s absolute power, many of the foundations of morality were questioned from the point of view of divine voluntarism, and FitzRalph’s discussion of the moral problems arising from this generated a number of moral dilemmas, which he attempted to solve by using analytical tools from measure languages. As a result of the particular formulation of the problems, FitzRalph’s arguments were taken up and discussed by his contemporaries such as Holcot and Wodeham. I will in particular look at how the habitus of certain virtues such as caritas are regarded by FitzRalph as being affected by change and proportionality and some of the solutions he proposes.
National Science Centre Poland