INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES EN HUMANIDADES Y CIENCIAS SOCIALES
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
The Preservation of the Whole and the Teleology of Nature in Late Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern Debates on the Void
Journal of Early Modern Studies
Año: 2013 vol. 2 p. 9 - 9
This study shows that an important number of late medieval, Renaissanceand early modern authors postulated the same teleological principlein order to argue both for and against the existence of the vacuum. Th at postulate,which I call the "principle of subordination", holds that in order topreserve the good of nature, the particular and specific natures must be subordinatedto the common and universal nature. In other words, in order topreserve nature as a whole, the individual tendencies of bodies must be subordinatedto the general tendency of nature. Throughout the wide range of casesaddressed in this study, a continuity is observed in the rationales underlyingthe discussions about the existence of the vacuum. All of them, tacitly or not,ascribed to nature the teleological principle of subordination, mostly by interpretingtraditional experimental instances. Although this continuity is clearlyrecognizable, variations in nuances and details are also present, owing to thevarious contexts within which each response to the question of the existenceof a vacuum emerged.