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Steven Marrone

This book is about the development of scholastic argumentation in thirteenth-century Europe. It traces the rise of a formal model of science and resulting accommodations in traditional attitudes towards human cognition, especially with regard to the role of divine illumination.
Investigated are ten theologians from Robert Grosseteste to Duns Scotus, all commonly associated with a so-called Augustinian current. The analysis focuses on theory of knowledge and of mind, relating both to the account of human understanding of divinity in the world.
Of interest to historians of medieval culture and historians of science, the book lays bare the intellectual transformations ultimately setting the stage for the emergence of modern science. It furthermore advances a novel argument about the reality of "Augustinianism" and "Aristotelianism" in high-medieval thought.
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Steven Marrone

Abstract

The turn to modern science in the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century is typically characterized as dependent on the novel adoption of a mechanical hypothesis for operations in nature. In fact, the Middle Ages saw a partial anticipation of this phenomenon in the scholastic physics of the thirteenth century. More precisely, it was just the two factors, denial of action at a distance and an emphasis on the primary materiality of causation, that constituted this early mechanism—or "protomechanism." The latter's emergence can be seen most clearly where scholastic thinkers—here, William of Auvergne, Thomas Aquinas and Giles of Rome—confronted the theoretical limits of natural cause and effect in their efforts to determine the reality of magic and locate its place in the natural world.

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Europe and the Breakup of Yugoslavia

A Political Failure in Search of a Scholarly Explanation

Steven P. Marrone