In what way does Roger Bacon make a contribution to medieval thought, and what are some of his main arguments?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Roger Bacon can be regarded as an early exemplar of the medieval philosophy that came to be known as nominalism.  Thus one of his earliest and most characteristic contributions to universals was the position that universals do not have existence independent from the individuals in which they are manifested, a position ultimately derivable from Aristotle’s critique of the Platonic notion of ideas.

Bacon was one of the earliest philosophers to teach Aristotle as viewed through his major Arabic commentators in Paris and later Oxford, and in his work on Aristotle’s physics, began to emphasize the importance of the Liber Mundi in theology.

Subsequently, his focus shifted from philological to scientific and experimental and he made important discoveries about optics as well as contributing to the development of alchemy.


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