Ronca, Italo, trans.; Curr, Matthew, trans., A Dialogue on Natural Philosophy: Translation of the New Latin Critical Text (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press)
Text name(s): Dragmaticon Philosophiae; A Dialogue on Philosophy
Number of pages of primary source text: 175
Dates: 1140 - 1150
- Translated into English.
Translation Comments: The translation is based on the Latin critical edition of Italo Ronca (Corpus Christianorum CM CLII, 1997).
- Philosophic Work
- Treatise - Scientific/Medical
- Classics / Humanism
- Philosophy / Theology
- Philosophy - Platonic / Neo-Platonic
- Philisophy - Aristotelian
- Science - Astronomy
William of Conches was a Norman philosopher and theologian active in the mid-twelfth century who ultimately directed his humanistic study of the secular classics (especially Plato) and knowledge of Arabian philosophers toward writings on the empirical sciences. He was a student of Bernard of Chartres, a teacher of John of Salisbury, and served as tutor to Henry Plantagenet. The Gragmaticon Philosophiae is a revision of William’s earlier Philosophia and stands as his pre-eminent scientific treatise. The work takes the form of a dialogue between the Duke of Normandy and an unnamed philosopher (intended to be William himself) and covers such topics as the elements, the movement of the planets, meteorology, and anatomy.
The introduction (9 pp.) discusses the current controversies surrounding William’s life and the dating of his works, and includes a brief background on the Dragmaticon (the origin of its title and its purpose).