Nicholas of Amsterdam

Commentary on the Old Logic

Critical edition with introduction and indexes

| Leiden University
ISBN 9789027214683 | EUR 120.00 | USD 180.00
ISBN 9789027266477 | EUR 120.00 | USD 180.00
Master Nicholas of Amsterdam was a prominent master of arts in Germany during the first half of the fifteenth century. He composed various commentaries on Aristotle’s works. One of these commentaries is on the logica vetus, the old logic, viz. on Porphyry’s Isagoge and on Aristotle’s Categories and On Interpretation. This commentary is edited and introduced here.
Nicholas is a ‘modernus’ – as opposed to the ‘antiqui’, who were realists – which means that he is a conceptualist belonging to the university tradition that accepted John Buridan (ca. 1300-1360 or 1361) and Marsilius of Inghen (ca. 1340-1396) as its masters. In medieval philosophy, a parallel between thinking and reality is generally upheld. Nicholas makes a sharp distinction between the two; this may be interpreted as a step towards a separation between the two realms, as is common in philosophy in later centuries.
Other characteristics of Nicholas are that he defends the position that science has its place in a proposition, and does not simply follow reality. Furthermore, he emphasizes the part played by individual things.
Fifteenth-century philosophy has hardly been studied, mainly because that century has long been considered unoriginal. Nicholas of Amsterdam certainly deserves the historian’s interest in order to evaluate how medieval philosophy prepared the way for modern philosophy.
[Bochumer Studien zur Philosophie, 58]  2016.  liv, 383 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Preface and acknowledgements
1. Preliminary remarks
2. Nicholas of Amsterdam: life and works
3. Curriculum of the philosophical faculty of the University of Rostock
4. Form of the questions
5. The commentary as an exercitium ('exercise')
6. Principles of Nicholas' philosophy in his Commentary on the ars vetus
7. Equivocal concepts
8. Category of quantity
9. Nicholas of Amsterdam on modal propositions
10. Principle of non-contradiction
11. Conclusions
12. Manuscript Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Clm 500
13. Edition basis, orthography, syntax
Appendix: Nicholas of Amsterdam and a tract on Insolubilia
Edition of Nicolai Theoderici de Amsterdam. Exercitium veteris artis. MS München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, CLM 500, ff. 146r–254v
Tabula quaestionum
Tabula siglorum
Tituli quaestionum
Exercitium in Porphyrium
Exercitium in Praedicamenta
Exercitium in Peri hermeneias
Indices to the edition
Index of terms
Index of ancient and medieval names
Index of ancient and medieval texts referred to
Index of manuscripts referred to
“Nicholas is selective about which of his immediate predecessors’ views to adopt and defend, and his commentaries are consistently interesting philosophically, not least because of Nicholas’s resolute and detailed project of getting clear about meta-logical issues; and the commentaries are a well-crafted and relatively late entry in a very highly developed and interesting tradition.”
“Die vorbildliche Edition, welche E. P. Bos von den Ars Vetus-Kommentaren des Nikolaus von Amsterdam vorgelegt hat, ist ein wichtiger Baustein für die weitere Erschließung der philosophiegeschichtlichen Entwicklung im 15. Jahrhundert.”



MS Munich
, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Cod. Clm 500.
, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Cod. Clm 7709.

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BIC Subject: HPCB – Western philosophy: Medieval & Renaissance, c 500 to c 1600
BISAC Subject: PHI012000 – PHILOSOPHY / History & Surveys / Medieval
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2016026251