By Roger Ariew, Pierre M. Duhem
Those choices from Le système du monde, the vintage ten-volume background of the actual sciences written by way of the good French physicist Pierre Duhem (1861-1916), specialize in cosmology, Duhem's maximum curiosity. by means of reconsidering the paintings of such Arab and Christian students as Averroes, Avicenna, Gregory of Rimini, Albert of Saxony, Nicole Oresme, Duns Scotus, and William of Occam, Duhem validated the sophistication of medieval technological know-how and cosmology.
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Additional resources for Medieval Cosmology: Theories of Infinity, Place, Time, Void, and the Plurality of Worlds
41 In fact, Ockham affirms in several works that indivisibles, such as points, lines, and surfaces, are only pure negations, that they represent nothing positive. Sometimes he formulates the assertion as an incidental proposition when dealing with questions of physics; sometimes he takes it as the formal subject of his discussion. "42 The first of these two questions, which has as its object the refusal to admit any positive reality to points, is the longer discussion; it is a remarkable example of the penetrating discussions for which the mind of Ockham is marvelously well suited.
Besides, shape follows the surface in an absolutely proper fashion ... 39 To attack the opinion that seems most probable to Duns Scotus was one of the favored tasks of William of Ockham. We have previously described the treatise in which a disciple of Ockham sketched his teacher's doctrines;40 let us quote from this treatise: According to the preceding principle he posits that one must not admit indivisibles such as those commonly conceded, such as points, lines, surfaces, and things of that kind.
I would like to take this occasion to thank a number of them, while apologizing for the many others that should have been acknowledged but will inevitably be left out. The Bibliotheque Nationale was extremely kind in allowing me to use its marvelous facilities and incomparable collections-although I am sure that Charles V might have been upset if he knew that a commoner would be allowed to use some books and manuscripts from his library. I must thank the University of Chicago's Humanities Collegiate Division and William Rainey Harper Fellow Program (Braxton Ross, then Master of the Humanities), and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's (Virginia Tech) Department of Philosophy for giving me release time to work on the project; moreover, Virginia Tech's Center for Programs in the Humanities (Wilfred Jewkes, Director) was charitable enough to award me a stipend to travel to France, and Virginia Tech's Center for the Study of Science in Society Preface XXXI (Arthur Donovan, then Director of the Center) graciously provided me with two excellent typists (Bonnie Meredith and Becky Cox) to input my manuscript into a word processor.
Medieval Cosmology: Theories of Infinity, Place, Time, Void, and the Plurality of Worlds by Roger Ariew, Pierre M. Duhem