John Buridan Term Paper by Shaad

John Buridan
An overview of the work of John Buridan towards the birth of Western science.
# 96322 | 1,425 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2007 | BD
Published by on Jun 29, 2007 in Philosophy (Science) , Physics (Mechanics) , History (General)

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This paper examines the career and accomplishments of John Buridan the fourteenth century genius who imbued the philosophy of nominalism and applied it towards fundamentally groundbreaking discoveries in science. Two underlying themes are explored. First, that nominalism is the philosophy that opens the doors to science, and not the opposing stance of realism, that which stakes claim to science entirely. Second, that Buridan did in fact lay a critical foundation stone of Western science, even though he suffered rejection and oblivion at the hands of immediate posterity.

From the Paper:

"The contempt shown by orthodoxy to John Buridan displays itself in the fact that his fame is limited to a deliberately misnamed anecdote called "Buridan's ass". The origin of this anecdote can be traced to a commentary on Aristotle's De Caelo, but the animal used in this anecdotal example was a dog, not an ass. By turning the dog into an ass the whole point of the example is being mocked by the proud determinists of later days. And with it the name of Buridan is being summarily dismissed as a medieval eccentric who somehow had made a big name for himself in those ignorant times."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Hodgson, Peter. "Pierre Duhem: historian of the Christian origin of science". Contemporary Review. 3 January. 1994.
  • "Ballade des dames du temps jadis" Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 13 March 2007. 26 June 2007. <>

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