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Some renaissance critiques of Aristotle's theory of time

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This paper offers a preliminary enquiry into a largely neglected topic: the concept of time in the post-medieval, pre-Newtonian era. Although Aristotle's theory of time was predominant in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, it was, in this period, subjected to the most serious attack since that by the ancient Neoplatonists. In particular, in the work of Bernadino Telesio, Giordano Bruno and Francesco Patrizi we have concerted attempts to reconsider Aristotle's definition of time. Although the approach of each is different, all three endeavour to dissociate time from movement and to conceive it as part of an independent duration. They were probably inspired by Neoplatonism, and they offer important antecedents to Newton's theory of absolute time.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The Warburg Institute, University of London, Woburn Square, London, WC1H OAB, England

Publication date: July 1, 1977

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