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Author: Mark Thakkar

Abstract

Francis of Marchia (c. 1290-1344) is said to have challenged Aristotelian orthodoxy by uniting the celestial and terrestrial realms in a way that has important implications for the practice of natural philosophy. But this over-looks Marchia's vital distinction between bare potentiality, which is actualizable only by God, and natural potency, which is the concern of the natural philosopher. If due attention is paid to this distinction and to its implications, Marchia's position no longer seems to be revolutionary.

In: Vivarium
In: Quantifying Aristotle
Author: Mark Thakkar

Abstract

Rudolf Schuessler has argued that sixteenth-century thinkers developed a concept of equal probability that was virtually absent before 1500 and that may have contributed to the birth of mathematical probability shortly after 1650. This note uses additional textual evidence to argue that the concept of equal probability was in fact generally available to medieval thinkers. It is true that ascriptions of equal probability are comparatively rare in medieval texts, but this can be explained without positing a conceptual blind spot.

Open Access
In: Early Science and Medicine
Author: Mark Thakkar

Abstract

Two recent publications have greatly increased the amount of Wyclif available in translation: the Trialogus, translated by Stephen Lahey, and a thematic anthology translated by Stephen Penn. This review article documents the failings that make these translations worse than useless. A post mortem leads the author to claim that the publication of these volumes, the first of which has already been warmly received, is a sign of a gathering crisis in medieval studies, and one that we should take steps to avert.

Open Access
In: Vivarium