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Warriors of the CloistersThe Central Asian Origins of Science in the Medieval World$
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Christopher I. Beckwith

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691155319

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691155319.001.0001

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The Recursive Argument Method of Medieval Science

The Recursive Argument Method of Medieval Science

Chapter:
(p.11) Chapter Two The Recursive Argument Method of Medieval Science
Source:
Warriors of the Cloisters
Author(s):

Christopher I. Beckwith

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691155319.003.0002

This chapter examines the recursive argument method of medieval science. The distinctive argument method used in scientific literature from the High Middle Ages to the Enlightenment was the “scientific method” until the scientific revolution. It is traditionally known in earlier scholarly literature as the “scholastic method” or quaestiones disputatae “disputed questions” method. Unfortunately, because of increasing scholarly confusion about the origins and meaning of the traditional term “scholastic method,” and even of the term quaestiones disputatae, it has been necessary to adopt a purely descriptive term, namely recursive argument method, also called recursive method or recursive argument. Many medieval scholars who wrote works using the recursive argument method also wrote treatises. The chapter compares the recursive argument with the treatise and dialogue argument structures and considers diffrent types of formal recursion.

Keywords:   recursive argument method, medieval science, scientific method, scientific revolution, scholastic method, quaestiones disputatae, disputed questions, argument structure, formal recursion

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