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John Dumbleton was also at Merton, and then at Queen’s, at about the same time. What characterized the work of these men was a belief that properties – or, more strictly, forms – could be quantified and represented by a geometrical model. Geometry was their mathematical ideal, but their material was always chosen on the strength of its relevance to natural philosophy. In his Geometria Speculativa Bradwardine had made a private excursion into the problem of angle sums in star polygons and the problem of isoperimetry, with theorems not to be found in Euclid.
Are there finite numbers of indivisibles in a continuum, as the atomist Walter Chatton maintained? ) When Bradwardine wrote a book on the continuum he could list five different doctrines held in his day, a fact that speaks volumes for the vitality of the discussion. Why he is particularly interesting, however, is not for such things as his anticipations of Galileo on motion, but for the way he examined different theories with a view to their mutual consistency and their compatibility with Euclidean geometry.
From the start this very similarity has provoked attempts to create 30 | oxford figures or characterize differences between the two universities, although the most measured judgement must be that of J. I. Catto and Ralph Evans:28 Together, in tandem or in counterpoint, the two collegiate universities would eventually form a single, empirical tradition of ideas. – the free flow and interchange of scholars between the universities over the centuries is evidence of this. Nonetheless, attempts have long persisted to contrast Oxford and Cambridge.