Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Henrik Lagerlund

Vital du Four

  • Roberto L. Plevano
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1151-5_516-2


Vital du Four (lat. Vitalis de Furno) was a prominent French Franciscan friar active from the last decade of the thirteenth century to the first quarter of the fourteenth century. He studied theology at the University of Paris and later on taught in Montpellier and Toulouse. Philosophically, he opposed Peter John Olivi’s views about the active nature of the human cognitive faculties, and stressed the necessity of the senses in forming intellectual knowledge. He posited sensible and intelligible species as a medium in the cognitive process, but he nevertheless allowed for the intellectual cognition of singulars.

He was provincial minister of Aquitaine in 1309 and was created cardinal bishop in the see of Albano in 1321. He took part in the Conventual side of the Franciscan Order against the spiritual factions. In the last part of his life, he fought strongly against Pope John XXII’s ruling on Christ’s poverty.

His large output of works includes university treatises (on physics, metaphysics, and psychology, readings on the Sentences, disputed and quodlibetal questions), a treatise on medicine, sermons, biblical commentaries, polemical and doctrinal writings.

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Primary Sources

  1. Delorme, F. M. (1927). Le Cardinal Vital du Four. Huit Questions disputées sur le problème de la connaissance. Archives d’histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Age, 2, 151–337.Google Scholar
  2. du Four, V. (1947). Quodlibeta tria. In F. Delorme (Ed.), Spicilegium Pontificii Athenaei Antoniani (p. 5). Rome: Pontificium Athenaeum Antonianum.Google Scholar

Secondary Sources

  1. Godefroy, P. (1950). Vital du Four. In Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique (Vol. 15, pp. 3102–3115). Paris: Letouzey & Ané.Google Scholar
  2. Lynch, J. E. (1972). The theory of knowledge of Vital du Four. St. Bonaventure: The Franciscan Institute.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scotus ProjectThe Catholic University of AmericaWashingtonUSA