ANDREW OF KOKORZYN—a philosopher and theologian, professor of the Kraków Academy, b. around 1379, d. around 1435.
Andrew, son of Wisław, came from Kokorzyn near Kościan. He studied the arts in Prague. In 1399 he obtained the degree of bachelor. In 1402 he became a master. In that time John Hus was the dean. In 1404 Andrew became a lecture in the faculty of arts in Kraków Academy. Around 1409 he began theological studies in Kraków. He became a bachelor of theology in 1411, a sententiarius around 1414, and a doctor of theology around 1425. In 1406 and 1407 he was dean of liberal arts. He was rector of the Academy three times: in 1408, 1426, and 1429. In 1408 he was ordained a priest and in 1428 he was the arch-deacon of Kraków. In 1417 he was sent to the Council of Constance as a delegate of Władysłw Jagiello to obtain a dispensation for the king to marry Elizabeth Granowska.
Andrew of Kokorzyn’s literary work includes the following: Introductory Lecture to the First Book of Peter Lombard’s “Sentences” (ms. BJ 1525, n. 26–43)—a basic treatise for learning Andrew’s philosophical views; a treatise on the moral value of free human acts (ms. BUWr I F 290 b, n. 149–152 v); a treatise on sanctions for offenses (ms. Public Library of the Sciences, Lw 3297, n. 264 v-265); a treatise of polemics against the Hussites on the reception of communion under both species—Tractatus de communione sub utraque specie, (ms. BJ 425, n. 191–268; ms. Vat. Ottob. Lat. 138, n. 185–257 v); a lecture on the canon of the Holy Mass—Expositio canonis missae (ms. BJ 2600, n. 285–358; BJ 2213, n. 147–191)—this is part of an unfinished work called Speculum sacerdotum intended for the clergy of the diocese of Kraków On the liturgy of the mass); on the material goods of the priest (ms. BJ 2014, n. 236 v–166 v); an act of accusation against Henry Czech (ms. BJ 2014, n. 129–141; BJ 2513, n. 270–278); a commentary on Aristotle’s Physics—Quaestiones super octo libros Physicorum Aristotelis (BJ 1946, n. 89 r-121 v).
His contemporary, Andrew Gałka of Dobczyn, in a letter to Zbigniew Oleśnickim, called Andrew of Kokorzyn the most excellent professor of Kraków. Andrew of Kokorzyn was one of the first professors to lecture at the renewed university. He influenced the formation of the university’s scientific orientation in several ways, including the propagation of the new philosophical ideas he learned while studying in Prague, especially nominalism colored by influences of Augustinian philosophy. In his lectures he chiefly used the works of Conrad of Sołtów, Henry of Oyta, and Gregory Rimini, and in his lectures on the Sentences of Peter Lombard he also used the commentary of Thomas of Strasburg.
His Introductory lecture to the first book of the “Sentences” merits particular attention. This work is composed of three parts: recommendatio sacrae scripturae (recommendation of the Bible); determinatio quaestionis (examination of the question); gratiarum actio (thanksgiving). The central problem in the Introductory Lecture is the problem of whether God can be known and to understand how the unicity of His essence can exist together with the Trinity of persons. Andrew of Kokorzyn thought that we can rationally demonstrate God’s existence and unicity.
Like other professors of Kraków Academy (Benedict Hesse, John of Słupcza, John of Głogów, and Miczael of Biestrzyków), Andrew of Kokorzyna also looked to the moderate nominalism of Buridan’s orientation in methodological questions, which was expressed by his desire to put greater value on experience and inductive proof. Andrew of Kokorzyn distinguished two types of proof: demonstratio quia and demonstratio propter quid. There is no intermediate type of proof between these two. Demonstration of fact (demonstratio quia) occurs in three cases: (1) when from a direct knowledge of an effect we arrive at knowledge of the cause (a posteriori reasoning); (2) when from a knowledge of an effect we know another effect; (3) when from a knowledge of a remote cause we know its proper effect: this is a kind of a priori reasoning in which we make an inference not from proper causes but from remote causes; we do not arrive at an infallible conclusion here, even though the reasoning has an a priori form. Explanatory demonstration (propter quid) is of two types: (1) in the proper sense (proprie dicta), which from a knowledge of the proper cause arrives at a knowledge of its effect; (2) in the colloquial sense (demonstratio communiter dicta), a demonstration that begins from a knowledge of what is better known in the natural order of knowledge. Andrew of Kokorzyn regarded this last type of proof as applicable to knowledge of God (as Duns Scotus and others thought). With respect to God, we can also use a demonstration of fact (following the approach of Thomas Aquinas). Andrew of Kokorzyn thought that mathematics, and geometry in particular. was the domain in which we should use explanatory demonstration in the proper sense (proprie dicta). We obtain perfect knowledge by way of definition. It also seems that Andrew of Kokrzyn was the first of the Kraków professors of the fifteenth century to clearly distinguish between sense experience and intellectual experience. He used this distinction to distinguish by intellectual and sensory knowledge self-evident propositions. The evidence of the first ones is determined by intellectual experience. The evidence of the second ones is based on direct or indirect sense experience.
He wrote his commentary on Aristotle’s Physics (Quaestiones super octos libros Physicorum Aristotelis) in 1406 and 1407. Andrew of Kokorzyn was then dean of arts and his duties including holding lectures on physics. The first edition of this work has perished and all that remains is a summary written probably in the 1450s. His commentary is modeled after John Buridan’s Sublimissimae quaestiones super octo libros Physicorum Aristotelis. In this commentary Andrew of Kokorzyn propagates the idea of a new physics. He passes on Buridan’s theory of impetus as this theory was modified under the influence of the prevailing tendencies in the Kraków milieu.
J. Fijałek, Studia do dziejów Uniwersytetu Krakowskiego i jego wydziału teologicznego w XV wieku [Studies on the history of Kraków University and its theological department in the fifteenth century], Kr 1898, 121–130; K. Morawski, Historia Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego [History of Jagiellonian University], Kr 1900, I 280–282; H. Barycz, PSB I 107; M. Markowski, Wykład Wstępny Andrzeja z Kokorzyna [Introductory lecture of Andrew of Kokorzyn], MHFS 2 (1962); idem, Poglądy filozoficzne Andrzeja z Kokorzyna [Philosophical views of Andrew ofKokorzyn], SMed 6 (1964), 55–136; P. Sczaniecki, Służba boża w dawnej Polsce. Studia o Mszy św. [Divine service in old Poland. Studies on the Holy Mass], Pz 1966; J. Zathey, Historia Biblioteki Jagiellońskiej [History of Jagiellonian Library], I, Kr 1966; M. Markowski, Burydanizm w Polsce w okresie przedkopernikańskim [Buridanism in Poland in the pre-Copernican period], SCop 2, Wr 1971 (passim); M. Zahajkiewicz, Msza św. w Polsce przed Soborem Trydenckim w świetle rodzimych komentatorzy (expositiones missae) [The Holy Mass in Poland before the Tridentine Council in the light of native commentators (expositiones missae)], TSP I 2, Wwa 1971; M. Markowski, Filozofia przyrody w pierwszej połowie XV wieku [Philosophy of nature in the first half of the fifteenth century], in: Dzieje filozofii średniowiecznej w Polsce [History of medieval philosophy in Poland], IV, Wr 1976; idem, Metodologia nauk [Methodology of the Sciences] in: Dzieje filozofii średniowiecznej w Polsce [History of medieval philosophy in Poland], II, Wr 1976; idem, Filozofia przyrody w drugiej połowie XV wieku [Philosophy of nature in the second half of the fifteenth century] in: Dzieje filozofii średniowiecznej w Polsce [History of medieval philosophy in Poland], X, Wr 1983.