Hervaeus Natalis (c. 1250–1323)

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(c. 12501323)

Hervaeus Natalis, or Harvey Nedellec (c. 12501323) was one of the first followers of Thomas Aquinas, but also an original thinker, especially in the areas of intentionality and the mental word. Hervaeus was born in Brittany in the mid-thirteenth century. He entered the Dominicans in 1276 and studied at the University of Paris, where he commented on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, later received the degree of Master of Theology, and served as regent master in theology from 1307 to 1309. He was elected Provincial of France in 1309 and became Master General of the Dominicans in 1318. In the years following the condemnation by Étienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, of 219 propositionsmany of which touched upon the teaching of Thomas AquinasHervaeus defended Aquinas's theological method in his Defensio doctrinae fratris Thomae and his theory of knowledge in his Quodlibeta. He actively promoted the canonization of Aquinas and died at Narbonne in 1323 on his way to it. Due largely to the work of Hervaeus, Aquinas became the official doctor of the Dominican Order, despite the conservative Augustinian atmosphere in the period after 1277.

Although he strongly promoted Aquinas's thought, Hervaeus did not follow Thomas on some of his most distinctive teachings, such as the real distinction between essence and existence in creatures and the five ways of proving the existence of God. Of the latter, Hervaeus retains only the ways of efficient causality and of degrees of perfection. It is noteworthy that in the conservative theological atmosphere following 1277 Hervaeus develops strictly philosophical proofs for the existence of God in his De cognitione primi principii. In his conflicts with Durandus of Saint Pourçain, a Dominican who leaned toward a more Augustinian position, Hervaeus upheld Thomism, but a Thomism that manifests the influence of Duns Scotus's thought. Hervaeus's still unpublished Tractatus de secundis intentionibus is the first treatise in the Middle Ages devoted to the topic of intentionality.

See also Durandus of Saint-Pourçain; Thomas Aquinas, St.


primary works

In quattuor libros sententiarum commentaria and De potestate papae. Farnborough, U.K.: Gregg, 1966.

The Poverty of Christ and the Apostles. Translated by J. D. Jones. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1999.

Quolibeta with De beatitudine, De verbo, De eternitate mundi, De materia, De relationibus, De unitate formarum, and De virtutibus. Ridgewood, NJ: Gregg, 1966.

secondary works

Conforti, P. "Hervé de Nédellec et les questions ordinaires De cognitione primi principii." Revue thomiste 97 (1997): 6382.

Iribarren, Isabel. "The Scotist Background in Hervaeus Natalis's Interpretation of Thomism." The Thomist 66 (2002): 607627.

Lowe, Elizabeth. The Contested Theological Authority of Thomas Aquinas: The Controversies between Hervaeus Natalis and Durandus of St. Pourçain. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Mannath, Joseph T. "Harvey of Nedellec's Proofs for the Existence of God: 'De Cognitione Primi Principii, Qq. III-IV.'" Salesianum 31 (1969): 46112.

Perler, Dominik. "Teil IV: Das Modell der intentionalen Präsenz: Petrus Aureoli und Hervaeus Natalis." In Theorien der Intentionalität im Mittelalter, pp. 253317. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Klostermann, 2002.

Trottmann, C. "Verbe mentale et noétique thomiste dans le De verbo d'Hervé de Nédellec." Revue thomiste 97 (1997): 4762.

Roland J. Teske (2005)

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Hervaeus Natalis (c. 1250–1323)

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