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In: The Multiple Meaning of Scripture


Ramon Martí’s Pugio fidei (Dagger of Faith, ca. 1280) is beyond any doubt a hallmark in the history of Christian-Jewish polemic. Nonetheless, it has been claimed that the Catalan Dominican had hardly any influence on subsequent authors. This paper draws attention to the Franciscan Ponç Carbonell (ca. 1260-ca. 1337), an eminent Biblicist of the early 14th century, who is one of the first authors to quote the Pugio explicitly. In doing so, the paper also questions the traditional scholarly distinction between Dominican mission on the one hand and Franciscan Hebraism on the other.

In: Medieval Encounters

Starting with a survey of the terminology that was used to describe the epistemological status of the mantic arts during the Middle Ages, this article focuses on the connections between the theoretical assumptions of these arts and of other prognostic disciplines of the time. While during the thirteenth century, mantic disciplines, medicine and meteorology were classified altogether as conjectural sciences that were all based on the interpretation of signs, during the fourteenth century, a more differentiated model of scientific prediction developed in medical theory as well as in meteorology. This model took into account the conditional probability of the expected events, which allowed the option to falsify or at least to revise and adapt a prognosis. Against the backdrop of the epistemological models of prognosis, it becomes obvious that when the mantic disciplines were ultimately excluded from the Western canon of the sciences, it was due not alone to moral and theological concerns.

In: Early Science and Medicine
In: Islamic Thought in the Middle Ages
In: Latin-into-Hebrew: Texts and Studies 
This volume offers a critical edition of the only extant Arabic manuscript of the Nicomachean Ethics.
A comprehensive introduction by the late Douglas M. Dunlop describes the influence this major Aristotelian work had on Arabic literature. Dunlop’s annotated English translation includes important references to the Greek text of the Ethics. The appendix includes a select Greek-Arabic glossary.


A number of studies have investigated how the renewed interest in Plato's Timaeus led twelfth-century natural philosophers to take a growing interest in the material aspects of nature. By contrast, the implications of the resulting theories for the development of scientific knowledge have so far received but scant attention. But, as is shown in this paper, William of Conches, one of the most important natural philosophers of that age, not only broadened the material understanding of nature in his early text Philosophia, but also introduced a systematic distinction between the particular validity claims of philosophy and of physics. As we demonstrate, this distinction allowed for the formation of different disciplines, each having its particular methodology and explanatory force. Thus philosophy and physics could consider the same object, viz. the generation of the world, under the different and partly even contradictory perspectives of divine creation and the nature(s) of beings. This article analyzes the range of application of this distinction and its systematic consequences for the study of nature (e.g. the elements) as well as its importance for the elaboration of a theory of knowledge.

In: Early Science and Medicine