David of Dinant

(fl. 1200)

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naturalist and philosopher. He probably came from Dinant in Belgium. He described himself as a physician and he wrote a treatise on anatomy. Innocent III in 1206 called him his ‘chaplain’. In 1210 a provincial Council of Sens ordered that his writings be burnt. The surviving fragments show knowledge of the original text of the physical works of Aristotle; they also set out some startling doctrines. David held that all distinctions in real being are to be explained by a primal possible being, which he identified with the Divine Being. All things, material, intellectual, and spiritual, have one and the same essence, that is God. The circulation of such views in Paris led to the condemnation there of the study of Aristotle's Metaphysics and his works on natural philosophy.

Subjects: Christianity.

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