The research group examined basic questions about the nature of space, spatial objects and their relations that were raised in ancient philosophy, physics, mathematics, and applied sciences such as mechanics.
The group analyzed the fundamental concepts of these disciplines and their theoretical use by applying methods of contemporary philosophy and reconstructing theoretical frameworks within their historical contexts. It continued and extended the work of two research groups from the first funding phase of Topoi (Topoi 1), “The Ontology of Space’ (D-II-1) and “Place, Space and Motion” (D-II-2), which dealt respectively with the metaphysics of space and with the physics of space. The new scope took in mathematical theory as well, including the interaction of mathematics and physics. Chronologically, the Medieval Latin, Arabic, and Hebrew traditions were incorporated. Methodologically, approaches of contemporary philosophy such as metamathematics and formal ontology were applied.
- (D-3-1) Philosophical issues in the history of mathematics
- (D-3-2) Space and time in Neo-Platonism and scholasticism: Isomorphisms of topos and chronos and the location in space-time and ability to act of non-corporeal substances
- (D-3-3) Knowledge of space and spatial entities in Plato and the Platonic tradition
- (D-3-4) Formal theories of bodies and space