Place and Space in Albert of Saxony's Commentaries on the Physics

Albert of Saxony, master of Arts at Paris from 1351 until 1361/62, has left two commentaries on the Physics of Aristotle. Since he was well aware of the tradition, his writings may serve for an analysis of the transmision of ideas from the ancient and Arabic philosophers into the fourteenth century. In this paper, this is exemplified by the problems of place and space, especially by those of the definition of place and of the immobility of place, of natural place and of the location of the last and outermost sphere. As a result, four modes emerge how an author of the fourteenth century may have been influenced by tradition. Ancient Greek or Pre-Socratic philosophers were mainly known through Aristotle, and thus their opinions were mostly refuted; the same holds true for later ancient or Arabic authors known through the commentaries of Averroes; the influence of the authors of the thirteenth century was present though their texts may not have been directly consulted; and, finally, the contemporary authors were known, but nearly never quoted. Thus, though there was a line of tradition from Aristotle into the fourteenth century, there was also room for proper solutions
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DOI 10.1017/S0957423900002599
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