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Autonomous and Handmaiden Science: St. Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham on the Physics of the Eucharist

  • Edith Dudley Sylla
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 26)

Abstract

It is a commonplace of the history of science that the rise of modern science involved the breaking off of the specific disciplines of modern science from theology and from philosophy in general.1 This is supposed by some to have occurred mainly in the seventeenth century and later and by others to have had its origins in the Middle Ages or earlier. Sociologists of science have suggested various external social or cultural factors that might have allowed or supported such specialization. In his classical study of seventeenth century England, Robert Merton pointed to religious, economic, and technological factors.2 In a more recent study extending to the medieval origins of specialization, Joseph Ben-David suggests that the medieval university guilds acted as a buffer between the practical goals of public service set by outside society for university graduates and the individual professor who might be inclined to pursue his special interests in conjunction with colleagues.3

Keywords

Thirteenth Century Fourteenth Century Absolute Power Intuitive Cognition Real Presence 
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Notes

  1. 2.
    Robert K. Merton, Science, Technology and Society in Seventeenth-Century England (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1970). Originally published in Osiris 4, Part I I (1938).Google Scholar
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  33. 86.
    Sent. IV, Q. 6 F: Ideo dico quod duplex est mutatio, una acquisitiva alia deperditiva. Aquisitiva est in corpore Christi quia accipit esse ubi prius non habuit esse. Sed deper-ditiva est ipsius substantie panis que non manet et prius mansit. Ockham here follows Duns Scotus’s view of transubstantiation. The Thomist and Scotist interpretations of transubstantiation are both considered orthodox. Cf. S.T., p. 66, fn. e. See also Gabriel N. Buescher, O.F.M., The Eucharistie Teaching of William of Ockham (Washington, D. C.: The Catholic University of America, 1950 ).Google Scholar
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    H. Denifle and A. Chatelain (eds.), Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis (Paris: 1889-1897), vol. 1, p. 551: Quod Deus non potest facere accidens sine subiecto nec plures dimensiones simul esse.Google Scholar
  35. 101.
    For Aegidius Romanus, see Anneliese Maier, Die Vorläufer Galileis, pp. 28-41. Walter Burley’s treatment of this aspect of the physics of the Eucharist occurs in his Tractatus Primus. Cf. Anneliese Maier, Ausgehendes Mittelalter, vol. 1, pp. 219-226, and Edith Sylla, The Oxford Calculators and the Mathematics of Motion, 1320–1350, Unpublished Dissertation, Harvard University, 1971.Google Scholar
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    Cf. Guelluy, Philosophie et Théologie, pp. 14–21.Google Scholar
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    For the “double truth” see Gilson, Reason and Revelation in the Middle Ages, pp. 58–66. Also Wilpert, “Boethius von Dacien,” p. 149ff.; Maier, Metaphysische Hintergründe, pp. 3–44.Google Scholar
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    James B. Conant, Modern Science and Modern Man (Garden City, N.Y.: Double- day and Company, Anchor Books, 1953), pp. 166–178: As to the unifying, materialistic World HypothesisGoogle Scholar
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    Cf. L. Baudry, ed., Le Tractatus de Principiis Theologiae attribué a G. d’Occam (Études de Philosophie Mediévale, 13, Paris: J. Vrin, 1936), p. 125: Pluralitas nunquam ponenda est sine necessitate ponendi. Exponit autem quid vocat necessitatem ponendi et dicit quod est ratio vel experientia vel auctoritas scripture, cui contradicere non licet, et auctoritas ecclesie. Hoc autem rationabile principium est quia sine istis liceret res ad placitum multiplicare.Google Scholar
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    Cf. Maier, Metaphysische Hintergründe, pp. 159–160,166, fn. 34, 167.Google Scholar
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    Ockham-Birch, De Sacramento Altaris, p. 336: Ista sunt subtiliter dicta, nullus tamen amator veritatis debet offendi si causa veritatis inquirendae et exercitii impug- nentur. Si enim vera sunt, expedit audire obiectiones ut solvantur ut sic Veritas clarius innotescat. Si falsas sunt, expedit ut convincantur. See also pp. 158–160,196, 210, 240.Google Scholar
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    Cf., e.g., Stanley Jaki’s introductory essay in Pierre Duhem, To Save the Phenomena. An Essay on the Idea of Physical Theory from Plato to Galileo (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1969 ), pp. xix-xxii. Also Pierre Duhem, ‘Physics of a Believer’, published as an appendix to Duhem’s, The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory ( New York: Atheneum, 1962 ).Google Scholar
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    Originally, La ThéoriePhysique: Son Objet, Sa Structure, 2nd edit., ( Paris: Marcel Riviere, 1914 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht-Holland 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edith Dudley Sylla
    • 1
  1. 1.North Carolina State University at RaleighUSA

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