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Creation, Generation, Force, Motion, Habit: Medieval Theoretical Definitions of Nature

Isabelle Draelants 1, 2, 3
2 Atelier Vincent de Beauvais
IRHT - Institut de recherche et d'histoire des textes, LHSP - Laboratoire d'Histoire des Sciences et de Philosophie - Archives Henri Poincaré, Centre de Médiévistique Jean-Schneider
Abstract : To illustrate the theoretical definition of nature in the mid-13th century that was commonly shared in Europe, we chose to translate and comment on the definition of nature as given in the Encyclopedia of Sciences (Speculum doctrinale, XV, ch. 4) compiled by the Dominican friar Vincent de Beauvais in the mid-13th century. This complex European “universal” definition, in four points, mirrors in a certain way all the theoretical conceptions of nature valid at this time, including all the literary heritage available, the theological definitions, and the new inputs from natural philosophy (Arabo- and Greco-Latin translations). It synthetizes the conceptions of nature, some of which go back to Augustin d’Hippone (5th c.), to Guillaume de Conches (12th c.), to Aristote, and to Medica Salernitana of the beginning of the 13th century.
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Isabelle Draelants. Creation, Generation, Force, Motion, Habit: Medieval Theoretical Definitions of Nature. Florence Bretelle-Establet; Marie Gaille; Mehrnaz Katouzian-Safadi. Making Sense of Health, Disease, and the Environment in Cross-Cultural History : The Arabic-Islamic World, China, Europe, and North America, Springer, pp.27-60, 2020, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 978-3-030-19081-1. ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-19082-8⟩. ⟨halshs-02494219⟩

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