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The Physics of Duns ScotusThe Scientific Context of a Theological Vision$
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Richard Cross

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269748

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269748.001.0001

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Quantity and Continuity

Quantity and Continuity

(p.116) 7 Quantity and Continuity
The Physics of Duns Scotus

Richard Cross

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains how Scotus conceives of a body's position. A common view is that a body's extension is closely connected with the space that the body occupies; the extension of a body could be identified by the extension occupied by the body. According to Scotus, this view is wrong. To him, the extension of a body pertains to the category of quantity, whereas the relation of the body to the space it occupies pertains to the category of place. This explains why Scotus is strongly opposed to any theory claiming that things could be composed of atoms. The third section of this chapter considers Scotus's objections to the position that there are physical blocks to infinite divisibility. The fourth section explains Scotus's position regarding the surfaces and boundaries of quanta.

Keywords:   extension of a body, atoms, quanta boundaries, infinite divisibility, physical blocks, body's position

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