Frasi di Roberto Grossatesta

Roberto Grossatesta foto
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Roberto Grossatesta

Data di nascita: 1175
Data di morte: 9. Ottobre 1253

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Roberto Grossatesta fu vescovo di Lincoln, teologo, scienziato e statista.

Frasi Roberto Grossatesta

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„All causes of natural effects have to be given through lines, angles and figures, for otherwise it is impossible for the reason why“

— Robert Grosseteste
Context: The consideration of lines, angles and figures is of the greatest utility since it is impossible for natural philosophy to be known without them... All causes of natural effects have to be given through lines, angles and figures, for otherwise it is impossible for the reason why (propter quid) to be known in them. De Lineas, Anguilis et Figuris (On Lines, Angles and Figures) as quoted in Neil Lewis, [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/grosseteste/ "Robert Grosseteste"] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2007, 2013) citing Baur, Ludwig (ed.) Die Philosophischen Werke des Robert Grosseteste, Bischofs von Lincoln (1912) pp.59–60

„But the reasoning does not know this to be actually universal except after it has“

— Robert Grosseteste
Context: Because the purity of the eye of the soul is obscured and weighed down by the corrupt body, all the powers of this rational soul born in man are laid hold of by the mass of the body and cannot act and so in a way are asleep. Accordingly, when in the process of time the senses act through many interactions of sense with sensible things, the reasoning is awakened mixed with these very sensible things and is borne along in the senses to the sensible things as in a ship. But the functioning reason begins to divide and separately consider what in sense were confused.... But the reasoning does not know this to be actually universal except after it has made this abstraction from many singulars, and has reached one and the same universal by its judgement taken from many singulars.

„The first corporeal form, which some call corporeity, I hold to be light.“

— Robert Grosseteste
Context: The first corporeal form, which some call corporeity, I hold to be light. For light of its own nature diffuses itself in all directions, so that from a point of light a sphere of light of any size may be instantly generated, provided an opaque body does not get in the way. Corporeity is what necessarily follows the extension of matter in three dimensions, since each of these, that is corporeity and matter, is a substance simple in itself and lacking all dimensions. But simple form in itself and in dimension lacking matter and dimension, it was impossible for it to become extended in every direction except by multiplying itself and suddenly diffusing itself in every direction and in its diffusion extending matter; since it is not possible for form to do without matter because it is not separable, nor can matter itself be purged of form. And, in fact, it is light, I suggest, of which this operation is part of the nature, namely, to multiply itself and instantaneously diffuse itself in every direction. Therefore, whatever it is that produces this operation is either light itself or something that produces this operation in so far as it participates in light, which produces it by its own nature. Corporeity is therefore either this light, or is what produces the operation in question and produces dimensions in matter in so far as it participates in this light itself and acts by virtue of this same light. But for the first form to produce dimensions in matter by virtue of a subsequent form is impossible. Therefore light is not the form succeeding this corporeity, but is this corporeity itself.

„But simply through magnitude a body does not receive motion“

— Robert Grosseteste
Context: One cause, in so far as it is one, is productive of only one effect. I do not rule out several efficient causes of which one is nearer and another more remote in the same order. Thus when I say simply 'animal', I do not exclude another substance or particular substance. Hence motion, in so far as it is one, is productive of only one effect. But motion is present in every body from an intrinsic principle which is called natural. Therefore an efficient cause simply proportional to the motion is present in all bodies. But nothing is present in common in every body except primitive matter and primitive form and magnitude, which necessarily follows from these two, and whatever is entailed by magnitude as such, as position and shape. But simply through magnitude a body does not receive motion, as is clear enough when Aristotle shows that everything that moves is divisible, not, therefore, simply because of magnitude or something entailed by magnitude is a body productive of motion. Nor is primitive matter productive of motion, because it is itself passive. It is therefore necessary that motion follow simply from the primitive form as from an efficient cause.

„That is better and more valuable which requires fewer“

— Robert Grosseteste
Context: That is better and more valuable which requires fewer, other circumstances being equal, just as that demonstration is better, other circumstances being equal, which necessitates the answering of a smaller number of questions for a perfect demonstration or requires a smaller number of suppositions and premises from which the demonstration proceeds. For if one thing were demonstrated from many and another thing from fewer equally known premisses, clearly that is better which is from fewer because it makes us know quickly, just as a universal demonstration is better than particular because it produces knowledge from fewer premises. Similarly in natural science, in moral science, and in metaphysics the best is that which needs no premisses and the better that which needs the fewer, other circumstances being equal. i. 17, f. 17<sup>vb</sup>

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„Power from natural agents may go by a short line, and then in its activity greater“

— Robert Grosseteste
Context: Power from natural agents may go by a short line, and then in its activity greater... But if by a straight line then its action is stronger and better, as Aristotle says in Book V of the Physics, because nature operates in the shortest way possible. But the straight line is the shortest of all, as he says in the same place. De Lineas, Anguilis et Figurisas quoted by A.C. Crombie, Robert Groseesteste and the Origins of Experimental Science 1100-1700 (1953) citing Baur, Ludwig (ed.) Die Philosophischen Werke des Robert Grosseteste, Bischofs von Lincoln (1912)

„The experimental universal is acquired by us,“

— Robert Grosseteste
Context: The experimental universal is acquired by us, whose mind's eye is not purely spiritual, only through the help of the senses. For when the senses several times observe two singular occurrences, of which one is the cause of the other or is related to it in some other way, and they do not see the connection between them... And from this perception repeated again and again and stored in memory, and from the sensory knowledge from which the perception is built up, the functioning of the reasoning begins. The functioning reason therefore begins to wonder and to consider whether things really are as the sensible recollection says, and these two lead the reason to experiment... But when he has administered many times with the sure exclusion of all other things [that could be mistaken for the cause]... then there is formed in the reason this universal... and this is the way in which it comes from sensation to a universal experimental principle. i. 14, ff. 13<sup>vb</sup>-14<sup>rb</sup>.

„Nor is primitive matter productive of motion, because it is itself passive.“

— Robert Grosseteste
Context: One cause, in so far as it is one, is productive of only one effect. I do not rule out several efficient causes of which one is nearer and another more remote in the same order. Thus when I say simply 'animal', I do not exclude another substance or particular substance. Hence motion, in so far as it is one, is productive of only one effect. But motion is present in every body from an intrinsic principle which is called natural. Therefore an efficient cause simply proportional to the motion is present in all bodies. But nothing is present in common in every body except primitive matter and primitive form and magnitude, which necessarily follows from these two, and whatever is entailed by magnitude as such, as position and shape. But simply through magnitude a body does not receive motion, as is clear enough when Aristotle shows that everything that moves is divisible, not, therefore, simply because of magnitude or something entailed by magnitude is a body productive of motion. Nor is primitive matter productive of motion, because it is itself passive. It is therefore necessary that motion follow simply from the primitive form as from an efficient cause.

„The diligent investigator of natural phenomena can give the causes of all natural effects... by the“

— Robert Grosseteste
Context: The diligent investigator of natural phenomena can give the causes of all natural effects... by the rules and roots and foundations given from the power of geometry. On the Nature of Places, a continuation of the treatise On Lines, Angles and Figures as quoted by Amelia Carolina Sparavigna, "Translation and discussion of the De Iride, a treatise on optics by Robert Grosseteste" [http://arxiv.org/abs/1211.5961 arXiv:1211.5961v1] @arXiv.org, Cornell University (2012)

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