Research Programs: Collaborative Research

Period of Performance

8/1/2009 - 7/31/2012

Funding Totals

$195,000.00 (approved)
$195,000.00 (awarded)

John Buridan's Questions on Aristotle's De Anima (On the Soul): A Critical Edition with an Annotated Translation

FAIN: RZ-50988-09

Fordham University (Bronx, NY 10458-9993)
Gyula Klima (Project Director: November 2008 to July 2013)

Preparation for publication of three bilingual Latin-English volumes of an annotated critical edition and translation of John Buridan's Questions on Aristotle's De Anima, with a fourth volume of expository and interpretive essays. (24 months)

A critical edition and annotated English translation of John Buridan's Questions on Aristotle's De Anima (QDA, for short) in three volumes, to be prepared by an international group of scholars. The proposed volumes, containing the critical edition of the Latin text and the annotated English translation on facing pages, will be published by Fordham University Press, in the new series Medieval Philosophy: Texts and Studies, edited by the project director, Gyula Klima. The impact of Buridan's logic and cognitive psychology was enormous in his time. Bridging the linguistic and conceptual gap between his time and ours, the proposed volumes will allow Buridan's ideas to have their impact on contemporary philosophical discussion concerning such fundamental issues as the nature of the human mind, its relation to the human body, and the proper analysis of its basic cognitive functions, such as perception, memory and understanding.

Associated Products

Aquinas vs. Buridan on the Soul – Phil 7090 – 2012 Spring (Course or Curricular Material)
Title: Aquinas vs. Buridan on the Soul – Phil 7090 – 2012 Spring
Author: Gyula Klima
Abstract: This course compares and contrasts the respective “philosophies of mind” of the moderate realist Thomas Aquinas (ca. 1225-1274) and the nominalist John Buridan (ca. 1300-1361). Since Buridan knew, understood and respected, but respectfully disagreed with, Aquinas’ doctrine, the discussions focus especially on Buridan’s deviations from and criticisms of Aquinas’ characteristic theses and arguments concerning the Aristotelian doctrine of the soul (such as the unity of substantial forms, the distinction of the powers of the soul, the co-formality of object and subject in intentional reception, the role of intelligible species in concept formation, the provability of the immateriality of the intellect, etc.) to find out exactly where Buridan’s nominalist Aristotelianism parts company with Aquinas’ consistent hylomorphism, why it does so, and whether with good reason. Also discussed is how Buridan’s ideas prepared the ground for many recalcitrant dilemmas of modern philosophies of mind, quite justifiably invalidated by Aquinas’ approach (dualism vs. materialism; freedom vs. determinism; representationalism vs. direct realism; externalism vs. internalism, etc.). The basic texts used are Aquinas’ “Questions on the Soul” and “Commentary on Aristotle’s De Anima”, and the critical text and English translation of books II and III of Buridan’s “Questions on Aristotle’s De Anima”, being prepared by an international team in the framework of an NEH-funded project (for more info, see: While focusing primarily on the philosophical content, the course offers opportunities for students to experience in practice the work involved in the preparation of a critical text and translation.
Year: 2012
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Faculty web site.
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: The Buridanica project web site.
Audience: Graduate

Questions on the Soul by John Buridan and Others: A Companion to John Buridan's Philosophy of Mind (Book)
Title: Questions on the Soul by John Buridan and Others: A Companion to John Buridan's Philosophy of Mind
Editor: Klima, Gyula
Abstract: This volume features essays that explore the insights of the 14th-century Parisian nominalist philosopher, John Buridan. It serves as a companion to the Latin text edition and annotated English translation of his question-commentary on Aristotle’s On the Soul. The contributors survey Buridan’s work both in its own historical-theoretical context and in relation to contemporary issues.
Year: 2017
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Springer's page
Access Model: eBook and printed edition
Publisher: Springer
Type: Edited Volume
ISBN: 9783319517636