- The Fate of Ancient Greek Natural Philosophy
in the Middle Ages: Islam and Western Christianity
Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 61, No. 3 (243), March 2008,
- Thomas Aquinas and John Duns Scotus:
Natural Theology in the High Middle Ages
Alexander W. Hall.
Philosophy in Review (Comptes rendus philosophiques), Vol.
28, No. 1, February 2008, pp. 19-21.
- Albert the great and the revival of
Aristotle's zoological research program
Michael W. Tkacz.
Vivarium, Vol. 45, No. 1, 2007, pp. 30-68.
- Demonstration and Scientific Knowledge
in William of Ockham: A Translation of Summa Logicae III-II:
De Syllogismo Demonstrativo, and Selections from the Prologue
to the Ordinatio
John Lee Longeway and William Of Ockham.
Notre Dame: Univ Notre Dame Pr, 2007,
This book makes available for the first time an English translation
of William Ockham's work on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics,
which contains his theory of scientific demonstration and
philosophy of science. John Lee Longeway also includes an
extensive commentary and a detailed history of the intellectual
background to Ockham's work in the Latin Middle Ages. Longeway
puts Ockham into context by providing a scholarly account
of the reception and study of the Posterior Analytics in the
Latin Middle Ages, with a detailed discussion of Robert Grosseteste,
Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and Giles of
Rome. In a series of appendices, Longeway includes shorter
translations of some important related work by Giles of Rome
and John of Cornwall. In his introductory discussion, Longeway
examines the exact character of the highest sort of demonstration
(demonstratio potissima), the relations of the empirical sciences
to mathematics, natural causation and the manner in which
natural laws come to be known, the possibility of natural
knowledge, our knowledge of God, and the relation of theology
to the other sciences. (publisher, edited)
- William of Ockham's The Sum of Logic
Topoi: An International Review of Philosophy, Vol. 26, No.
2, 2007, pp. 271-277.
Topoi's "Untimely Reviews" are designed to take a "classic"
of philosophy and review it as if it had just been published.
Can Ockham's Summa Logicae still provide inspiration? It is
a classic of metaphysics, not of logic. Ockham uses a work
on logic to defend his central reductive ontological theme.
As a work of logic, it is embedded in its own cultural milieu;
as a work of metaphysics, it is timely and timeless. It is
a model of analytical philosophy whose reductive metaphysics
is as arresting now as it was in 1324.
- Albertus Magnus and the Categorization
Thomist: A Speculative Quarterly Review, Vol. 70, No. 2,
April 2006, pp. 203-235.
Albert, in his paraphrase of the Physics, gives a faithfully
Aristotelian analysis of motion when he explicates the definition
of motion, but he contradicts this analysis when he tries
to explain how it is that motion is related to the four categories
(substance, quantity, quality, and place) in which motion
is found. In arguing that motion itself and the terminus of
motion are essentially the same, Albert implies that motion
can be reductively understood as a kind of act, but to do
so to fail to appreciate that motion is a peculiar mixture
of act and potency.
- Medieval Education
Ronald B. (eds ). Begley and Joseph W. (eds ). Koterski.
International Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 46, No. 183,
September 2006, pp. 377-378.
- Medieval Science and Truth. A Linguistic
Study of the Expression of Truth in Vernacular Scientific Discourse
David A. Trotter.
Zeitschrift fur romanische Philologie, Vol. 122, No. 3, 2006,
- Was There No Evolutionary Thought in
the Middle Ages? The Case of William of Ockham
Sharon M. Kaye.
British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Vol. 14, No.
2, May 2006, pp. 225-244.
This paper shows how the concept of evolution was preserved
and advanced in the Middle Ages, especially by William of
Ockham. It begins by tracing the "official history" according
to which Empedocles' original suggestion of natural selection
lay dead at the hands of Aristotle, Aquinas, and Giles of
Rome. It then supplies the "missing history" in which the
idea lives on, gaining momentum from John Philoponus to Averroes
to Ockham. Ockham was critical of Aristotle's teleology. In
challenging Aristotle's argument against Empedocles and in
promoting nominalism, Ockham lays important groundwork for
Darwin's revolutionary theory.
- Philosophy, God and Motion
New York: Routledge, 2005,
In the post-Newtonian world motion is assumed to be a simple
category which relates to the locomotion of bodies in space,
and is usually associated with physics. This work shows that
this is a relatively recent understanding of motion and that
prior to the scientific revolution motion was a broader and
more mysterious category with profound significance for metaphysics
and theology. Beginning with Plato's Timaeus and moving through
studies of medieval natural philosophy and Newtonian theology
and physics, Oliver argues that motion can be analogically
related to a transcendent source. Moreover, such nonmechanistic
and analogical understandings of nature are more akin to contemporary
cosmology than early modern science.
- Reason and Authority in the Middle
Ages: The Latin West and Islam
Oxford: Oxford Univ Pr, 2005, 40-58
The scientific values and civic virtues embedded in Aristotle's
natural philosophy were applied to improve the quality of
government in France during the reign of King Charles V (1338-1380).
Separation of church and state and the study of Aristotle
in the medieval universities with its emphasis on reason,
and rejection of authority, shaped a "scientific temperament"
that paved the way for early modern science. Islam, by contrast,
was a theocracy wherein natural philosophy was marginalized
as a threat to religious faith, eventually subverting the
study of the exact sciences, which had previously attained
the highest level in the civilized world.
- "Roger Bacon and Language"
Britannia Latina: Latin in the Culture of Great Britain
from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century
London, England: Warburg Institute, x, 42-54
- "Time and Nature in Twelfth-Century Thought:
William Of Conches, Thierry of Chartres, and the 'New Science'"
Reading Medieval Culture
Notre Dame, IN: U of Notre Dame P, ix, 89-110
- Boethius and the problem of paganism
[Boèce et le problème du paganisme]
John (1) Marenbon.
The American Catholic philosophical quarterly, Vol. 78, No.
2, 2004, pp. 329-348.
Problem of paganism is my name for the set of questions raised
for medieval thinkers and writers, and discussed by some of
them (Abelard, Dante, and Langland are eminent examples),
by the fact that many people-especially philosophers-from
antiquity were, they believed, monotheists, wise and virtuous
and yet pagans. In this paper, I argue that Boethius, though
a Christian, was himself too much part of the world of classical
antiquity to pose the problem of paganism, but that his Consolation
of Philosophy was an essential element in the way medieval
writers saw and resolved this problem. In particular, because
it was a text by an author known to be Christian which discusses
philosophy without any explicitly Christian references, it
opened up the way to treating texts by ancient pagan philosophers
as containing hidden Christian doctrine.
- The provocative razor of William of
European Review; 12 (2) May 2004, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp.185-190
2004, pp. 185-190.
A consideration of medieval astronomy and the views of the
philosopher William of Occam leads to a consideration of the
ambiguities in the application of the principle of Occam's
razor as it applies to problems in science, including the
constants applicable to Einstein's Theory of General Relativity
and cosmology. The principle can both be used to eliminate
unnecessary irrelevancies, but also to constrain the development
of imaginative theories. (Original abstract)
- Scientific Imagination in the Middle
Perspectives on Science: Historical, Vol. 12, No. 4, Winter
2004, pp. 394-423.
Following Aristotle, medieval natural philosophers believed
that knowledge was ultimately based on perception and observation;
and like Aristotle, they also believed that observation could
not explain the "why" of any perception. To arrive at the
"why," natural philosophers offered theoretical explanations
that required the use of the imagination. This was, however,
only the starting point. Not only did they apply their imaginations
to real phenomena, but expended even more intellectual energy
on counterfactual phenomena, both extracosmic and intracosmic,
extensively discussing, among other themes, the possible existence
of other worlds and the possibility of an infinite extracosmic
space. The application of the imagination to scientific problems
during the Middle Ages was not an empty exercise, but, as
I shall show, played a significant role in the development
of early modern science.
- "The medieval church encounters the classical
tradition: Saint Augustine, Roger Bacon, and the handmaiden
When science & Christianity meet; When science & Christianity
David C. Lindberg.
Chicago ; London: Univ of Chicago Pr, 7-32,288-291
- Tracing the Logic of Force: Roger Bacon's
De Multiplicatione specierum
Richard A. Lee Jr.
Epoche: A Journal for the History of Philosophy, Vol. 8,
No. 1, Fall 2003, pp. 103-120.
Roger Bacon's On the Multiplication of Species is an attempt
to analyze efficient causality in terms of forces that are
multiplied from agent to patient. This essay argues that this
has significant implications for the traditional distinction
between appearance and reality in that Bacon refuses to think
efficient cause in terms of some other reality that does not
appear and yet is the ground of appearance.
- Adelard of Bath and Roger Bacon: early
English natural philosophers and scientists [Adelard of Bath
et Roger Bacon : les premiers spécialistes en philosophie et
science naturelles anglais]
Jeremiah M. (1) Hackett.
Endeavour (English ed.), Vol. 26, No. 2, 2002, pp. 70-74.
The image of Roger Bacon as a 'modern' experimental scientist
was propagated as historical truth in 19th century scientific
historiography. Twentieth century criticisms attacked this
tradition, arguing that Bacon was primarily a medieval philosopher
with 'medieval' scientific interests. However, recent scholarship
has provided a more careful and critical account of Bacon's
science, and identifies his greatest achievement in terms
of his successful attempt to assimilate the worlds of Greek
and Islamic optics. It can be justly claimed that Roger Bacon
was the first Western thinker in the middle ages to have mastered
most of the Greek sources and the central Islamic source in
optics. He made this scientific domain understandable for
a Western Latin-reading audience. Yet, Bacon himself acknowledged
Adelard of Bath, whose translations and commentary of Euclid's
Elements set the foundations for a science of optics, as the
- Lead and Tin in Arabic Alchemy
Bassam I. El-eswed.
Arabic Sciences and Philosophy: A Historical Journal, Vol.
12, No. 1, March 2002, pp. 139-153.
The present article is devoted to two issues. The first is
the identification of lead and tin in medieval Arabic alchemy.
The second is the investigation of whether Arabic alchemists
differentiate between these problematic substances or not.
These two issues are investigated in the light of a comparison
which is made between the facts that are stated about the
two problematic substances in the original Arabic alchemical
works and those stated in modern chemical literature. It is
proved that Arabic alchemists made a sharp distinction between
lead and tin. (edited)
- Hypothetical Syllogistic and Stoic
Anthony Nicholas Speca.
- Bringing astronomical instruments back
to earth - the geographical data on medieval astrolabes (to
David A. King.
Between demonstration and imagination: essays in the history
of science and philosophy presented to John D. North, Leiden,
Boston, Köln, Brill, 1999, 3-53
Surveys the information on the engraved metal plates of early
medieval astrolabes, particularly geographical data. Appendices
include a list of surviving eastern and western Islamic astrolabes
(9th-11th cs.), Byzantine ones, and a selection of medieval
- Conversations with His Nephew: On the
Same and the Different, Questions on Natural Science, and On
Adelard Of Bath and Burnett,Charles (ed & Trans).
Anales del Seminario de Historia de la Filosofia, Vol. 16,
1999, pp. 318-320.
- "1277 and Late Medieval Natural Philosophy"
Was ist Philosophie im Mittelalter; Was ist Philosophie
John E. Murdoch.
Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 111-121
- The Discovery of Nature : The Contribution
of the Chartrians to Twelfth-Century Attempts to Found a Scientia
Traditio, Vol. 52, 1997, pp. 135-151.
- Dragmaticon philosophiae. Summa de
philosophia in vulgari
William of Conches, Italo Ronca, Lola Badia and Jaime Pujol.
Turnhout: Brepols, 1997, 610
- What is the science of the soul ? A
case study in the evolution of late medieval natural philosophy
[Qu'est-ce que la science de l'âme? Une étude de cas dans l'évolution
de la philosophie de la nature du Moyen-Age tardif]
J. (1) Zupko.
Synthese (Dordrecht), Vol. 110, No. 2, 1997, pp. 297-334.
This paper aims at a partial rehabilitation of E. A. Moody's
characterization of the 14th century as an age of rising empiricism,
specifically by contrasting the conception of the natural
science of psychology found in the writings of a prominent
13th-century philosopher (Thomas Aquinas) with those of two
14th-century philosophers (John Buridan and Nicole Oresme).
What emerges is that if the meaning of empiricism can be disengaged
from modem and contemporary paradigms, and understood more
broadly in terms of a cluster of epistemic doctrines concerned
with the methodology of knowing, it characterizes very appropriately
some ofthe differences between the ways in which late-medieval
thinkers both understood and practised the science of psychology.
In particular, whereas Aquinas thinks psychology is about
reasoning demonstratively to the real nature of the soul from
its evident operations (thereby assimilating psychology to
metaphysics), Buridan and Oresme, both of whom doubt whether
real animate natures can be known empirically, focus on giving
detailed accounts of those operations themselves (thereby
assimilating psychology to physics).
- Science and rhetoric in the middle
ages : the natural philosophy of William of Conches
Journal of the history of ideas (Print), Vol. 56, No. 1,
1995, pp. 1-24.
L'A. étudie la création et la légitimité de la philosophie
naturelle dans « Philosophia », traité écrit par William de
Conches en 1125
- Adelard of Bath: the first English
London: British Museum Press, 1994, 125
- Some Considerations of the Role of
the Teaching of Philosophy in the Medieval Universities
John M. Fletcher.
British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Vol. 2, No.
1, February 1994, pp. 3-18.
- Essays in Medieval Astronomy and Optics
S. C. Mccluskey.
Journal for the history of astronomy, Vol. 22, No. 4, 1991,
- The Role of Comets in the Copernican
Peter Barker and Bernard R. Goldstein.
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Vol. 19, September
1988, pp. 299-319.
We reconstruct the copernican revolution around the contributions
of toscanelli, Regiomontanus, And brahe, Presenting comets
as the crisis-Causing anomaly missing from kuhn's account,
But historical analysis reveals three defects. First, Toscanelli's
cometary observations lie within a tradition of medical astrology.
Second, Regiomontanus's parallax method for cometary distances
appeared in a fourteenth century work by levi ben gerson.
Third, Brahe adopted the prevailing optical theory of comets
which had already supplanted aristotle's. We conclude that
sixteenth century work on comets was continuous with medieval
astronomy, And that revolutionary models have misrepresented
early modern science.