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Fabri’s Discrete Analysis

  • Michael Elazar
Chapter
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 288)

Abstract

This chapter examines the philosophy behind Fabri’s free fall analysis. First, it describes the Jesuit’s basic concept of a “finite” (or “physical”) instant according to his Metaphysica demonstrativa. Despite his basic discrete approach, Fabri’s instant turns out to be not an entirely discrete entity after all: according to Fabri, a physical instant, while being indivisible “actually intrinsically”, is also divisible “potentially extrinsically”, a fact which allows us (according to Fabri) to find a smaller instant than any given one. This characterization is important in the context of Fabri’s subsequent proof that his law of natural numbers “converges” to Galileo’s law of fall (the odd numbers rule). This chapter also refutes the common claim that that Fabri “inherited” his (basically) discrete mathematical approach from the fourteenth century pioneers of impetus theory, Jean Buridan and Albert of Saxony.

Keywords

Free Fall Discrete Approach Heavy Body Physical Instant Double Space 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for the History of ScienceBerlinGermany

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