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Indivisibles And Infinities: Rufus On Points

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Chapter Summary

Accounting for indivisibles consistently sometimes seems beyond even Aristotles capacity. Medieval authors who held that one infinity could be greater than another include Robert Grosseteste, Henry Harclay, Adam Wodeham, and also Richard Rufus of Cornwall, author of the first known Western commentary on Aristotles Metaphysics. In this chapter, the author considers Rufuss response to only three questions: are points parts of external objects, are points and lines substances and parts of substances, and are some infinities of indivisibles greater than others. Mathematical objects can be considered in abstraction from the external objects in which they are embodied, since they are unconnected with motion and change. Rufus tells that points can be numbered either by substance or account. There are not as many points at the center of the circle as there are in a maximal line.

Keywords: Aristotle; external object; indivisibles; points substance; Richard Rufus



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