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Nicole Oresme And Hasdai Crescas On Many Worlds

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Chapter Summary

The two most creative thinkers in the new physics of the late fourteenth century were arguably Nicole Oresme, grand maître of the College of Navarre at the University of Paris and later Bishop of Lisieux, and Ḥasdai Crescas, Rabbi of the Jews of the Crown of Aragon and advisor to its kings. This chapter compare the views of Oresme and Crescas on the problem of many worlds. Both philosophers discuss the problem primarily in response to Aristotles thesis in De caelo, I, 8 9, 276a279b, that there is one and only one world. Although Oresme eventually accepts Aristotles thesis and Crescas explicitly rejects it, the approaches of the two philosophers to the problemare inmany respects similar. The argument from beneficence is known in the Scholastic literature, beginning with William of Auvergne, and found famously in Thomas Aquinas.

Keywords: Ḥasdai Crescas; Aristotles thesis; late fourteenth century; Nicole Oresme



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