In Pythagoras' Trousers, Margaret Wertheim states

we should note that the Oxford Calculators also attempted to apply mathematical analysis to qualities such as sin, charity, and grace. (54).

Her source for this claim is Lindberg's The Beginnings of Western Science (first edition). The page she cites states

We must remember that Aristotle and his medieval followers regarded motion as one of four kinds of change and that their analysis of change was not meant to focus on local motion, but rather to be applicable to all four classes of change. We also need to recognize that there is nothing obviously mathematical about most kinds of change. When we observe sickness yielding to health, virtue replacing vice, and peace emerging from war, no numbers or geometrical magnitudes leap out at us. (294)

He doesn't state the Oxford Calculators actually attempted to apply math to these concepts. Can anyone confirm if they did/provide a source for the claim?

  • 2
    Can you explain why the wiki entry and the examples of their work it gives, such as the Mean Speed Theorem, don't answer your question? Jan 29, 2020 at 8:43
  • Not the OP here, but, after a cursory reading, the wiki entries seems to only deal with what we would now call physics, and do not address “qualities such as sin, charity and grace” at all. So, at best, the wikipedia entries have no information on the question Jan 29, 2020 at 13:10


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