Peter Auriol on Habits and Virtues

  • Martin PickavéEmail author
Part of the Historical-Analytical Studies on Nature, Mind and Action book series (HSNA, volume 7)


Peter Auriol is a good example of the debate over the nature of habits, moral habits (i.e. virtues and vices) in particular, that raged at the University of Paris in the early fourteenth century. This chapter examines Peter Auriol’s basic understanding of habits and virtues in his quodlibetal questions and his commentary on the Sentences. The first part is devoted to the ontological status of virtues and other habitual dispositions and examines why, according to Auriol, habits are qualities. The second part turns to the unity of virtues. Since Auriol holds that one and the same moral virtue belongs to different psychological powers, the question arises of how to account for the unity of virtues and other similar dispositions. In the last part, the chapter turns to the question of what role virtues and practical habits have in the causation of action. Interestingly, Auriol denies that virtues have any direct causal role.


Peter Auriol Virtues Habits Dispositions Unity of virtue Moral psychology 


Primary Texts

  1. Aristotle. 1984. Ethica Nicomachea, ed. L. Bywater. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Giles of Rome. 1554. Theoremata de corpore Christi. Rome: Antonius Bladus. Reprint, 1968. Frankfurt am Main: Minerva.Google Scholar
  3. Hervaeus Natalis. 1513. Quodlibeta et tractatus VIII. Venice. Reprint, 1966. Ridgewood: Gregg Press.Google Scholar
  4. John Duns Scotus. 1959. Ordinatio: Liber primus, a distinctione undecima ad vigesimam quintam, ed. Carolus Balić et al. Opera Omnia 5. Vatican City: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis.Google Scholar
  5. ———. 2007. Ordinatio: Liber tertius a distinctione vigesima sexta ad quadragesimam, ed. Barnabá Hechich et al. Opera Omnia 10. Vatican City: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis.Google Scholar
  6. Peter Auriol. 1596. Commentariorum in primum librum Sententiarum pars prima et secunda. Rome: Ex Typographia Vaticana. (= Scriptum).Google Scholar
  7. ———. 1605. Commentariorum in secundum, tertium et quartum Sententiarum et Quodlibeti tomus secundus. Rome: Zanetti.Google Scholar
  8. ———. 1952–1956. Scriptum super primum Sententiarum: Prologue, Distinctions I-VIII, ed. Eligius M. Buytaert. 2 vols. St. Bonaventure: Franciscan Institute.Google Scholar
  9. Thomas Aquinas. 1888–1906. Summa theologiae, ed. Commissio Leonina. 9 vols. Sancti Thomae de Aquino Opera Omnia iussu Leonis XIII P.M. edita 4–12. Rome: Ex Typographia Polyglotta.Google Scholar

Secondary Literature

  1. Drummond, Ian. 2016. John Duns Scotus on the Role of the Moral Virtues. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Toronto.Google Scholar
  2. Friedman, Russell L. 2015. Peter Auriol. In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward N. Zalta. Accessed 1 Jan 2017.
  3. Graf, Thomas. 1934. De subiecto psychico gratiae et virtutum secundum doctrinam scholasticorum usque ad medium saeculum XIV, pars 1: De subiecto virtutum cardinalium. Vol. 2 vols. Rome: Herder.Google Scholar
  4. Gründel, Johannes. 1963. Die Lehre von den Umständen der menschlichen Handlungen im Mittelalter. Münster: Aschendorff.Google Scholar
  5. Hoffmann, Tobias. 2015. Peter Auriol on free choice and free judgment. Vivarium 53: 65–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kent, Bonnie. 1995. Virtues of the Will: The Transformation of Ethics in the Late Thirteenth Century. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press.Google Scholar
  7. ———. 2003. Rethinking moral dispositions: Scotus on the virtues. In The Cambridge Companion to Scotus, ed. Thomas Williams, 352–376. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Nielsen, Lauge O. 2000. The debate between Peter Auriol and Thomas Wylton on theology and virtue. Vivarium 38: 35–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. ———. 2002. Peter Auriol. In A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages, ed. Jorge J.E. Gracia and Timothy B. Noone, 494–503. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  10. Spade, Paul Vincent. 1972. The unity of a science according to Peter Auriol. Mediaeval Studies 20: 98–112.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations