The Language of Time

Rory Fox

in Time and Eternity in Mid-Thirteenth-Century Thought

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780199285754
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603563 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

The Language of Time

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This chapter examines some of the key language and terminology used by 13th century thinkers. Thirteenth-century thinkers distinguished between logically indivisible boundaries and divisible parts. As applied to time, this distinction allowed them to identify and refer to two temporal elements: temporal parts and temporal boundaries. Altogether, they seem to have deployed 10 basic terms to refer to temporal elements: instans, praesens, nunc, periodus, momentum, duratio, mora, diurnitas, protensio, and quando. Although each of these words have what appear to be obvious English translations, the medieval Latin terms often contained multiple nuances which were not always reflected in the typical English words used to translate them.

Keywords: language; temporal terminology; 13th century; time; Aristotle; Aquinas

Chapter.  12979 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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