Neil Lewis Brings Medieval Text Back to Life
January 13, 2012
Neil Lewis, Associate Professor of Philosophy, and Rega Wood, Professor of Philosophy at Indiana University, have published an edition of Richard Rufus of Cornwall’s commentary on Aristotle’s De generatione et corruptione with the British Academy. Richard Rufus was an early Scholastic philosopher-theologian who taught at the Universities of Paris and Oxford between 1231 and 1255. In those years he played a vital part in the transformation of philosophy and theology in early thirteenth-century Western Europe, pioneering the teaching of metaphysics, physics, chemistry, psychology, and ethics. At Paris Rufus gave the earliest lectures on Aristotelian physics and metaphysics of which a record survives. Although acknowledged as a great scholar in his lifetime, his devotion to the Franciscan ideal of humility led him deliberately to seek obscurity and for 500 years his work was lost or misattributed. This is the second volume of Richard Rufus's writings in the Auctores Britannici Medii Aevi series, a companion to In Physicam Aristotelis edited by Rega Wood.
De Generatione et corruptione is particularly notable for its accounts of divisibility, growth and Aristotelian mixture. This edition transforms our understanding of the introduction of Aristotelian natural philosophy to the West and provides insight into the early history and prehistory of chemistry.