A principal concern of the author in writing these articles has been to elucidate the conceptual structures that underlie the scientific thought of the Middle Ages - the philosophical and cultural assumptions, presuppositions and motivations that determine the way concepts are formed and questions are answered. In the first group of articles Professor Eastwood focuses on astronomy in Latin Europe in the 5th-11th centuries, looking especially at the use, development and interpretation of diagrams in works on planetary motion. The following studies turn to optics and visual theory. They examine Robert Grosseteste’s views on the rainbow, refraction and empirical knowledge, and study specific instances of how medieval thinkers, both in the Latin and Islamic worlds, reinterpreted and reformulated the concepts they had inherited.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Kepler as historian of science: precursors of Copernican heliocentrism according to De revolutionibus 1,10; The chaster path of Venus (orbis Veneris castior) in the astronomy of Martianus Capella; The diagram Spera celestis in the Hortus deliciarum: a confused amalgam from the astronomies of Pliny and Martianus Capella; Notes on the planetary configuration in Aberystwyth N.L.W. MS 735C, f. 4v; Characteristics of the Plinian astronomical diagrams in a Bodleian palimpsest, MS d’Orville 95, ff. 25-38; MSS Madrid 9605, Munich 6364, and the evolution of two Plinian astronomical diagra ms in the 10th century; Robert Grosseteste’s theory of the rainbow; Grosseteste’s ’quantitative’ law of refraction; Medieval empiricism: the case of Grosseteste’s optics; Uses of geometry in medieval optics; Philosophical aspects of medieval optics: the changing status of geometricals; Metaphysical derivations of a law of refraction: Damianos and Grosseteste; Al-Farabi on extramission, intromission and the use of Platonic visual theory; The elements of vision: the micro-cosmology of Galenic visual theory according to Hunayn ibn Ishaq; Alhazen, Leonardo and late-medieval speculation on the inversion of images in the eye; Descartes on refraction: scientific versus rhetorical method; Indexes.