IU prof puts spotlight on medieval scholar's works

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An Indiana University scholar is using a $315,000 federal grant to better acquaint the world with a little-known medieval philosopher credited with helping spur the scientific discoveries that swept Europe in the 17th century

The National Endowment for the Humanities grant is allowing IU professor of philosophy Rega Wood to prepare for online and print publications the writings of Richard Rufus of Cornwall. His long-lost 13th century translations and commentaries on Aristotle's Metaphysics were rediscovered in 1950 in libraries and collections.

Wood says Rufus not only restated Aristotle's arguments for his contemporaries, but frequently challenged them in writings that greatly influenced later philosophers.

IU Professor Emeritus Edward Grant says Rufus' works were fundamental to Western science and the scientific revolution of the 17th century "could hardly have occurred" without them.

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