Authors
Jon McGinnis
University of Missouri, St. Louis
Abstract
The forma fluens/fluxus formae debate concerns the question as to whether motion is something distinct from the body in motion, the flow of a distinct form identified with motion , or nothing more than the successive states of the body in motion, the flow of some form found in one of Aristotle's ten categories . Although Albertus Magnus introduced this debate to the Latin West he drew his inspiration from Avicenna. This study argues that Albertus misclassified Avicenna's position, since Albertus could not conceptualize motion at an instant, whereas it is claimed here this was the very position Avicenna adopted. The paper includes an overview of Albertus's discussion and a brief survey of the Avicennan sources upon which Albertus drew. The heart of the paper treats Avicenna's analysis of motion at an instant. Avicenna's general argument was that since spatial points have no extremities, nothing in principle prevents a moving object from being at a spatial point for more than an instant, understood as a limit. It is then argued that Avicenna had the philosophical machinery to make sense of a limit, albeit not in mathematical terms, but in terms of an Aristotelian potential infinite
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DOI 10.1017/s0007087406007941
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The Groundbreaking Physics of Averroës.Nader El-Bizri - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):210-214.
The Reception of Avicenna's Theory of Motion in the Twelfth Century.Asad Q. Ahmed - 2016 - Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 26 (2):215-243.

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