a1 Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies
Duns Scotus's famous proposition was first attacked in a short polemical treatise attributed to Thomas of Sutton. By the time of Ockham, the proposition was known as the propositio famosa, so called by Walter Chatton, Ockham's colleague at Oxford and London, who defended it against Ockham's lengthy critique. At Paris, during the same period, it was called the propositio vulgata and was used approvingly by Francis of Meyronnes, Peter of Navarre and Durandus St. Pourçain. This “famous proposition” was so controverted because on it depended the acceptance, with Duns Scotus, or the rejection, with Ockham, of theology as a strict, propter quid science. As its detractors and defenders must have realized, it also struck at the heart of the divergent philosophical outlooks of Duns Scotus and Ockham. For all of this, Duns Scotus's famous proposition and its history have all but escaped notice.