Antenna Guru

RF is not 'black magic' – It's Synthesis, Optimization, Analysis and Realization.

Tag Archives: Middle Ages

The Myth of Matter, p. 3

Hylomorphism [1]

William of Ockham, from stained glass window a...

Atoms violated "Occam's Razor." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The winners of the argument thought matter was continuously variable. They argued convincingly that pure matter came in simple shapes, such as lines, planes, circles, spheres, pyramids and so on, and that matter became objects in a way similar to how we use primitive shapes to create a computer drawing. Let’s call them ‘morphists’ for short.

Morphists had iron-clad mathematical reasons to support their point of view. The reasoning went like something like this:

  1. Let us pick two numbers, say 1 and 11/3.
  2. Isn’t it true that there is number between those two numbers, like 11/6?
  3. Isn’t it true that there is a number between 11/6 and 11/3?
  4. Can’t we go on finding in-between numbers forever? (And isn’t it also true that they don’t have to be made with fractions?)
  5. Then why shouldn’t we consider the rest of reality to operate the same way?
Table I: Fourteenth Century Atomists and their Critics[2]

Atomists

‘Morphists’

Henry of Harclay William of Alnwick
Walter Chatton Adam Wodeham
William Crathorn Thomas Bradwardine
John Wycliffe William of Ockham
Gerard of Odo Roger Rosetus
Nicholas Bonetus Walter Burley
John Gedo John the Canon
Marcus Trevisano
Nicholas Autrecourt

The Middle Ages’ strongest mathematical reasoning was augmented with really powerful theological ideas that everyone –even the atomists– believed by faith. The combination of (inadequate) mathematical reasoning and (inflexible) religious orthodoxy is illustrated in the story of John Wycliffe.


[1] ‘Hylo’: matter, ‘morph’: form; Greek

[2] Christophe Grellard and Aurélien Robert, eds., Atomism in Late Medieval Philosophy and Theology, Brill,Leiden, 2009.

Advertisements
Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Being Rebekah

A journey towards excellence for Christ

Life Garden

Homestead Gardening for the 21st Century

Kimberly A. Vogel

Building bridges | Connecting families | Through LOVE

Tommy Lasorda's World

I've told thousands of baseball stories, and I've got a lot more to share with you. Please join me all year to talk some baseball here on my official MLBlog.

celtic straits

bradstrait.com -- real life stories from a christian mystic

clotildajamcracker

The wacky stories of a crazy lady.

One Movie, Our Views

www.onemovieourviews.com - Movie Reviews & More

Lola's Curmudgeonly Musings

Poietes ramblings about life, love, and other trifles

We're moving...

Think Free is merging with Earthpages.org

A Business Guy's Guise

I gave up everything only to see that everything would always be right here

Gentlemen of Sport

Analysis of sports, culture, women, & life. We are curious college students & this is the world through our eyes.

%d bloggers like this: