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Le problème de la quantification des formes au Moyen Âge (ca. 1250–1370)
Author: Sylvain Roudaut
How many times does a body under constant acceleration travel in the second half of its motion the distance covered in the first half of it? Is it possible to compare the whiteness of a pearl to that of snow? Is a human being two times, three times or infinitely more perfect than a horse? In the late Middle Ages, these questions were hotly debated in relation to the problem of quantifying forms. This book is about understanding why these questions arose and how some of them contributed to the development of scientific knowledge.

Combien de fois un corps en accélération constante pendant un temps donné parcourt-il dans la seconde moitié de son mouvement la distance traversée durant la première ? Peut-on comparer la blancheur d’une perle à celle de la neige ? L’être humain est-il deux fois, trois fois, ou infiniment plus parfait que le cheval ? À la fin du Moyen Âge, de telles questions furent au centre de vifs débats autour du problème de la quantification des formes. Comprendre pourquoi ces questions se posèrent et comment certaines d’entre elles nous devinrent étrangères, quand d’autres contribuèrent directement au développement du savoir scientifique, est l’objet de cet ouvrage.
In Alfonso de Cartagena’s 'Memoriale virtutum' (1422) María Morrás and Jeremy Lawrance offer a new edition from the manuscripts of a compilation of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics addressed by the major Castilian intellectual of the day, bishop Alfonso de Cartagena, to the heir to the throne of Portugal, crown prince Duarte.
The work was a speculum principis, an education for the future king in the virtues suitable to a statesman; Cartagena’s choice of Aristotle was thus a significant index of the advent of new Renaissance ideas. This edition shows how the “memorial” throws light on the ideological transformation of society those ideas would bring, setting new ethical guidelines for the ruling class at the crossroads between medieval feudalism and Renaissance absolutism.