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Composing the WorldHarmony in the Medieval Platonic Cosmos$
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Andrew Hicks

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190658205

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190658205.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

Knowing the World

Knowing the World

Music, Mathematics, and Physics

(p.67) 2 Knowing the World
Composing the World

Andrew Hicks

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the discursive creation of the world in books, specifically the late-ancient and medieval encyclopedic organizations of knowledge through the division of philosophy. Tracing the vicissitudes of the two primary models inherited from antiquity—the Peripatetic bipartition into theory and practice and the Stoic/Academic tripartition into logic, ethics, and physics—the chapter documents the shifting orders and subdivisions that brought the discipline of music into close contact with both mathematics and physics, numbers and things. The proper application of the division of philosophy is both an exegetical strategy, which ensures that arguments are analyzed within the disciplines to which they properly belong, and an ontological hierarchy, which ensures that the ascent to true knowledge proceeds along the proper “order of learning,” from lower to higher realities.

Keywords:   division of philosophy, Aristotle, Plato, encyclopedism, medieval commentaries, Boethius, Hugh of St. Victor, Bernard of Chartres, William of Conches, Bernard Silvestris

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