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Stamatios Gerogiorgakis

Medieval Discussions of Temporal Parts and Wholes_ From Handbook of Mereology


ISBN: 978-3-88405-627-1

Price: €14.80 (including 19 % tax)


Medieval authors meant by temporal parts something different from what contemporary philosophers usually refer to by this term. Today, temporal parts are usually considered to be ‘stages’ or ‘time slices’ of entities like human persons or artifacts (for explanations of the terms ‘stages’, ‘time slices’ and ‘temporal parts’ in this sense cf. Lewis 1983: 76-77; 1986: 202; Sider 1997: 197). Medieval authors were not interested in temporal parts in this sense. When they spoke of temporal wholes and parts, they meant entities like years, months, days, hours and the like. We find discussions of temporal wholes and parts in medieval authors as different in their general views as Peter Abelard (1079–1142), Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), Peter John Olivi (about 1248–1298), Francis of Marchia (about 1285– after 1343) and William of Ockham (about 1285 – about 1349). These discussions are usually based upon Aristotle’s analysis of temporal wholes and parts in his Physics 218 a 3-30. Some of the questions at stake are: 1. Are temporal wholes integral wholes or universals? (whereby universals = distributive wholes) 2. Must all the temporal parts of a whole exist, as long as the whole exists? 3. Are there any single time segments of the kind that their existence entails the existence of the temporal whole, of which they are parts? 4. Does time or any time segment consist of a series of consecutive ‘nows’?  …




 





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