Sunday, October 23, 2016

What Happened to the Quadrivium?

In short...
This summer I was reacquainting myself with Book III of Iohannes Kepler’s Harmonices Mundi – (usually only Chapter V detailing his astronomical discoveries are translated), but it is important to note that the previous books he provides equal dedication and care to the other arts of the Quadrivium: Arithemtic, Geometry, and Music (largely borrowed from the discussions of Vincenzo Galilei (Galileo’s dad) experimental science on the subject.

(n.b. With “School of Athens” mural we have adorning our stairway wall, positions Plato (with the Timaeus) and Aristotle (Ethics) at the very top.  At the very bottom are the Four Arts of the Quadrivium.  The Quadrivium texts were always used as foundational studies, but any one reading the authors throughout the Middle Ages discussed and wrestled with the fact that they did not represent our sense data - (Robert Gosseteste, Nicola Oresme, Roger Bacon, Copernicus, etc.)  
It was with Kepler and the Galilei’s (et al.) that Experiemntal Sceince an inquiry of the world began to take off.
Anyway, after working through the a Latin copy I found on, I found this 1997 translation by members of the American Philosophical Society. 

The Scientific Method becomes the marriage between Mind and Experience...

...As I was thinking about this, last night I started rereading Chapter 10, from Dewey’s The Quest for Certainty in which he begins by providing a general review of philosophical discourse, and proceeds to describe the Socratic method as demonstrated by Plato—how it has been utilized over the past 2500 years and shaped his own approach.
I also discovered this paper on the open-review academic website Academia. Which describes provides a succinct introduction into Dewey’s relationship with Classical Philosophy (apart from the straw man misrepresentations Kern and Veith provide.). 

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