Atomism in Late Medieval Philosophy and Theology


This book is the result of a collective attempt to give a general survey of the development of atomism and its critics in the late Middle Ages. All the contributors focussed on the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries atomists and anti-atomists, with a thorough examination of some important figures, as Nicholas of Autrecourt or John Wyclif, and lesser known as Gerard of Odo or William Crathorn for example. From those essays on particular authors a new way of understanding the discussions of atomism in late medieval philosophy and theology emerges. This volume demonstrates the existence of strong and complicated connections between natural philosophy, mathematics and theology in the medieval discussions of the atomistic hypothesis. All chapters present a new research that will be of interest to historians of medieval philosophy, science and theology. Contributors include: Joël Biard, Sander W. de Boer, Jean Celeyrette, Christophe Grellard, Elżbieta Jung, Emily Michael, John E. Murdoch, Robert Podkoński, Aurélien Robert, and Rega Wood. Medieval and Early Modern Science, 9
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Biographical Note

Aurélien Robert, PhD (2005) in Philosophy, is researcher at the École Française de Rome and at the Centre d'Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (CNRS). He has published several papers on medieval epistemology, and more specifically on William of Ockham. Christophe Grellard, PhD (2001) is associate professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris 1 -Sorbonne. He has published Croire et savoir. Les principes de la connaissance selonz Nicolas d'Autrécourt (Vrin, Paris, 2005) and numerous articles on medieval epistemology and history of sciences.

Table of contents

Preface List of Authors Introduction, Christophe Grellard & Aurélien Robert 1. Beyond Aristotle: Indivisibles and Infinite Divisibility in the Later Middle Ages, John E. Murdoch 2. Indivisibles and Infinities: Richard Rufus on Points, Rega Wood 3. Richard Kilvington on Continuity, Elżbieta Jung & Robert Podkoński 4. The Importance of Atomism in the Philosophy of Gerard of Odo (O.F.M.), Sander W. de Boer 5. Nicholas of Autrecourt’s Atomistic Physics, Christophe Grellard 6. William Crathorn’s Mereotopological Atomism, Aurélien Robert 7. An Indivisibilist Argumentation at Paris around 1335 : Michel of Montecalerio’s Question on Point and the Controversy with John Buridan, Jean Celeyrette 8. John Wyclif’s Atomism, Emily Michael 9. Blasius of Parma facing Atomist Assumptions, Joël Biard Bibliography Index


The volume will be relevant for all scholars interested in late medieval intellectual history, with a special focus on history of sciences, as well as for historians of modern philosophy interested in the roots of atomism.