New PDF release: Augustine to Galileo. The History of Science A.D. 400-1650

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Extra info for Augustine to Galileo. The History of Science A.D. 400-1650

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C. Parmenides had brought philosophers to an impasse by pointing out that the earlier Ionian school's conception of one, homogeneous substance such as water, air or fire as the identity persisting through change would in fact make change impossible, for one homogeneous substance could do nothing but remain one and homogeneous. Change would then involve the coming into being of something out of nothing, which was impossible. Change was therefore unintelligible. In order to overcome this difficulty other philosophers later in the 5th century assumed that there were several ultimate substances and that the rearrangement of these produced the changes observed in the world.

43 Ill THE SYSTEM OF SCIENTIFIC THOUGHT IN THE 13TH CENTURY (i) EXPLANATION OF CHANGE AND CONCEPTION OF SUBSTANCE The system of scientific thought that was made to Western Christians in the 13th century came to them, in a collection of translations from Greek and Arabic, as a complete and for the most part coherent whole. This was a system of rational explanations in power and range quite beyond anything known earlier in the Latin West, and one the general principles of which in fact dominated European science until the 1 7th century.

By the 10th century nearly all the texts of Greek science that were to become known to the Western world were available in Arabic. Gradually the learning which had been amassed by the Arabs began to penetrate into Western Christendom as trading relations slowly revived between Christendom and 19 AUGUSTINE TO GALILEO Islam. By the gth century, towns such as Venice, Naples, Bari and Amain, later joined by Pisa and Genoa, were carry- ing on trade with the Arabs of Sicily and the eastern Mediterranean.

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Augustine to Galileo. The History of Science A.D. 400-1650 by a crombie


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