Il dolore dell’anima separata. Giovanni di Napoli e il consolidamento dell’escatologia tomista

Noctua 10 (1):106-134 (2023)
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q. 16 of John of Naples’ Quodlibet III – Utrum dolor vel passio damnatae animae separatae sit, sicut in subiecto immediato, in eius essentia vel potentia – evokes one of the most delicate debates, both from a theological and philosophical point of view, of scholastic eschatology between the end of the 13th century and the first decades of the 14th: that relating to the action of hellfire (considered, due to the auctoritas of Gregory the Great, corporeal and identical in essence to sublunar fire) on an immaterial reality such as the soul in its state of separation (i.e. in the period between the individual death and the final judgement). The article retraces the way in which (in the well-known q. 2 of Quodlibet VI) John of Naples defends Thomas Aquinas from the suspicion of incurring, with his position, the condemnations of Tempier in 1270 and 1277, and how Aquinas himself tries to explain (especially in q. 26 of his Quaestiones disputatae de veritate) the passio or pain of the soul (both in the state of separation and in that of conjunction), through the double distinction between passio corporalis and passio animalis, and, within the former, between laesio and experimentalis perceptio laesionis. It then analyses q. 16 of Quodlibet III, in which John of Naples identifies the rational appetite – i.e. the will – as the immediate subject of the separate soul’s pain. In the appendix, an edition of John’s question is provided on the basis of the manuscripts Napoli, Biblioteca Nazionale, VII.B. 28 (= N) and Tortosa, Biblioteca de la Catedral, 244 (= T).


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