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Scotus At Paris On The Criteria For Scientific Knowledge

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Chapter Summary

John Duns Scotus often aired his ideas on exactly what it took to make knowledge scientific. Aristotelian paradigm profoundly shaped his assumptions and his approach, it also tempted him to be critical and to want to imagine how the same paradigm might have to be circumvented in the ongoing effort to get to know. This chapter argues that this critical rethinking of 'science', apparent in Duns's works from nearly first to last, took a special turn while he was at Paris. The bones he picked with Aristotelian science were more or less the same in his Parisian lectures as they had been when he taught at Oxford. At Oxford he seemed intent on drawing out potential limitations of literal adherence to an Aristotelian canon for scientific thought. In Paris, his energies seem to have gone to show how greatly even an alternative paradigm might retain the spirit of Aristotle's original.

Keywords: Aristotelian science; John Duns Scotus; Oxford; Paris; scientific knowledge



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