In this paper I examine what John Buridan has to say in his Quaestiones in Analytica Posteriora relevant to the subalternate mathematical sciences, particularly astronomy. Much previous work on the scholastic background to the Scientific Revolution relies on texts that were written in the late sixteenth or seventeenth centuries. Here I am interested in texts that might reflect the context of Copernicus, and, in particular those before 1500. John Buridan and Albert of Saxony were fourteenth century authors influential in Cracow (...) in the fifteenth century, whose conception of science may be characterized as "critical realism." Their view would support the autonomy of astronomy, as well as the idea that sciences may progress over time. (shrink)
In a long question, "Whether there is motion to quality," which became part of his Oxford Expositio omnium librorum Physicorum cum questionibus optime disputatis, composed before 1310, Walter Burley supported the succession-of-forms theory of qualitative change. After commenting on Peter Lombard's Sentences at Paris, Burley took part in disputations on controversial questions in the early 1320s, resulting in his De primo et ultimo instanti and his Tractatus Primus and Tractatus Secundus de intensione et remissione formarum. In these independent controversial works, (...) Burley advanced and defended the succession-of-forms theory with greater detail and precision. This paper examines the treatment of the mathematics of alteration in Burley's final Parisian Expositio in libros octo de physico auditu in light of this earlier controversial work. (shrink)
In his De primo et ultimo instanti, Walter Burley paid careful attention to continuity, assuming that continua included and were limited by indivisibles such as instants, points, ubi, degrees of quality, or mutata esse. In his Tractatus primus, Burley applied the logic of first and last instants to reach novel conclusions about qualities and qualitative change. At the end of his Quaestiones in libros Physicorum Aristotelis, William of Ockham used long passages from Burley’s Tractatus primus, sometimes agreeing with Burley and (...) sometimes disagreeing. How may this interaction between Burley and Ockham be understood within its historical context? (shrink)
The core Oxford Calculators developed a science of kinematics in which the key concept was the "latitude of velocity." Based upon the concept of "latitude," the Calculators developed parts of a mathematical physics in deductive format that could be applied to quite various situations.
As its modern edition appears in the Synthese Historical Library, Adam WodehamThis book is an important contribution to the history of philosophy.It will be of interest to all medievalists, particularly to those concerned with medieval science, philosophy, and logic. Theologians and historians of mathematics will also find it useful.Whether charity or [any] other incorruptible form is composed of indivisible forms.Because this difficulty is the same for all composite divisible things, whether intensive or extensive, which are of one and the same (...) species or homogeneous, therefore I will briefly inquire indifferently concerning the former and the latter.” 3 The solutions Wodeham then proposes to the questions he asks rely nearly always on logic. (shrink)
Money performs its economic functions best when its value remains stable over time. This Article explores how that desideratum was achieved, or not achieved, under five identifiable monetary regimes in economic history. Transitions from one regime to another resulted from the demands of economic growth, which some regimes met better than others. The modern fiat money regime is optimal in most economic respects. Whatever amount of money needed to accommodate growth can be supplied at minimal costs. But political control over (...) money creation can be used to increase the short-term control over economic resources of those in power and their constituents. When such debasements of money have occurred, the political economy of every regime interfered with achieving optimal long-term economic outcomes by unleashing inflation. How might the modern fiat money regime avoid that result? (shrink)
In the United States, big government was a child of the Progressive Era. Much recent work in American history, especially that of the ?organizational? school, shows that big business played an active, perhaps dominant, role in the Progressive Era push for big government. This work undercuts an older, liberal interpretation emphasizing conflict between business and government. But why big business pushed for big government is still unclear. This paper advances the hypothesis that the push did result from a conflict between (...) business and government, namely, a conflict between big business and state government in the late nineteenth century. As the power and influence of big business grew, it saw big government at the federal level as the solution to many of its problems resulting from the conflict with state government. (shrink)