Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Henrik Lagerlund

Gerald Odonis

  • Christopher SchabelEmail author
  • Maria Sorokina
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1151-5_186-2


Gerald Odonis (c. 1285/90–1349) was a Franciscan from the south of France who taught theology at Toulouse in the 1310s and lectured on the Sentences at Paris in 1327–1328. He was elected minister general of his order in 1329 and, after a controversial reign in which he supported Pope John XXII on the issue of apostolic poverty, was named patriarch of Antioch and administrator of Catania in 1342. Gerald wrote an influential Ethics commentary, an important set of questions on the Sentences, a Quodlibet, an economics treatise, and numerous tracts on topics in logic, metaphysics, and natural philosophy. Although his thought can be characterized as Platonist in many ways, he is most conspicuous for being intrepid. As a natural philosopher, Gerald is best known as an atomist, but he also held innovative views on projectile motion, the plurality of worlds, and the cessation of celestial motion after the Last Judgment. As a theologian, Gerald defended unpopular positions on a number of issues, most famously the beatific vision. In metaphysics, he was a strong realist. In ethics, where his impact was most pronounced, Gerald espoused opinions that furthered the voluntarist tendencies of his order. Even as an economic theorist, Gerald’s defense of the legitimacy of what were considered usurious practices put him outside the mainstream of his time.

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History and ArchaeologyUniversity of CyprusNicosiaCyprus
  2. 2.De Wulf-Mansion Centre for Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance PhilosophyKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium