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Time and Eternity in Mid-Thirteenth-Century Thought$
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Rory Fox

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285754

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199285756.001.0001

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Temporal Simultaneity

Temporal Simultaneity

(p.50) 2 Temporal Simultaneity
Time and Eternity in Mid-Thirteenth-Century Thought

Rory Fox

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines 13th century views of ‘simultaneity’ and their implications. It shows that medieval Latin word ‘simul’ (simultaneous) had a wide set of meanings and uses, only some of which were reserved for discussions of temporality. Since 13th century thinkers clearly valued Aristotle’s insights, the tendency was to follow his approach and understanding of temporal simultaneity, defining it in terms of temporal priority and temporal posteriority. While this approach was reductively simple, it also had the consequence of defining out of consideration the set of issues which contemporary thinkers refer to as the question of whether time can be disunified or not. Essential to formulating that question is the possession of a metaphysics and language, which will make it possible to talk of instants which are neither before nor after each other, without that entailing that the instants are temporally simultaneous.

Keywords:   time, temporal unity, simultaneity, 13th century, Aristotle

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