Galileo and the Scotists
Galileo’s fame as the “Father of Modern Science” derives from his work, much studied by historians, while a professor of mathematics at the University of Padua (1592–1610). Previous to that he was associated over a period of ten years with the University of Pisa (1581–1591) both as a student and a lecturer, and these earlier years have recently interested historians also, especially for the light they shed on Galileo’s knowledge of the medieval tradition. In notebooks that he wrote while at Pisa Galileo records the teachings of scores of prominent medieval and Renaissance thinkers on matters relating to the heavens, the elements, and scientific methodology.1 Among these he mentions the views of John Duns Scotus in eight different contexts, and in elaborating on them he also cites Antonius Andreas, Joannes Canonicus, Franciscus Lychetus, and the Scotistae. An examination of these citations may help to shed light on Scotus’s influence within the late sixteenth century, as well as provide background on Galileo’s early philosophical orientation.
KeywordsSixteenth Century Relevant Passage Philosophical Orientation Habentes Species Reidel Publishing Company
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