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Journal Article

From the Quadrivium to Modern Science


Valleriani,  Matteo
Department Structural Changes in Systems of Knowledge, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Max Planck Society;

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Valleriani, M. (2022). From the Quadrivium to Modern Science. HoST - Journal of History of Science and Technology, 16(1), 121-132. doi:10.2478/host-2022-0007.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-AE81-0
The ultimate objective of this work is to demonstrate that it is possible to reconsider the emergence of modern science as a process of disintegration of the quadrivium, which was considered a stable scheme for the organization of knowledge. The argument considers the quadrivium according to the Boethian systematization that was used to organize the curricula of the late medieval universities. This argument follows the development of each of its disciplines and illustrates the practical turn they underwent. The period between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries is explored, and shows that during this period, the quadrivium potentially included a fifth autonomous discipline, calendric. The article concludes by describing epistemological considerations to the mechanisms of disintegration of knowledge structures