PREFACE SILVIA DONATI Thomas-Institut, Universität Köln One of the results of the pioneering studies of Pierre Duhem, Anneliese Maier and Marshall Clagett is the notion that the uni- versities of Paris and Oxford were the two most important sites of natural philosophy in the fourteenth century. As a consequence, scholars have since taken a particular interest in the "school" of John Buridan at Paris and in Oxford's Merton College. One striking difference between the two centers lies in the liter- ary format in which natural philosophy was presented. The Paris- ian philosophers seem to have preferred the commentary format; in this way, they covered the entire corpus of Aristotle's libri natu- rales. The Mertonians, by contrast, usually presented their views in independent treatises in which natural philosophy, logic and math- ematics were often blended. An exception to this practice is the "early" Mertonian Walter of Burley. He wrote at least two commentaries on Aristotle's Physics in the form of an expositio with embedded quaestiones. The first commentary originated at Oxford and was certainly written before 1316; the last was written in two stages at Paris, possibly beginning in 1324.' Thus, Burley was one of the few philosophers who
Early Science and Medicine – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2001
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