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Sample text

The college de plein exercise was a fifteenth-century development in Paris, in which some of the residential colleges of the university had started to teach philosophy courses independent of the university faculty of arts — perhaps to provide instruction in nominalist philosophy at a time when the faculty had abandoned it. A. to applicants from the colleges. The College Royal (in which Gassendi held his chair of mathematics from 1645 to 1649) was slightly different from the other colleges, in that it gave specialised courses to students who had usually already been to another college.

A. course, and no doubt much of the student's work would in fact be governed by the syllabus specified for the determination. A. A. A. and determination, they studied higher grammar (elementary grammar having been mastered at an earlier school), rhetoric, some elementary mathematics, the logical works of Aristotle (Prior and Posterior Analytics, Sophistici Elenchi, Topica, Categories, De Interpretatione) and his De Anima. This set of texts was sometimes described as those pertaining to the 'seven liberal arts'.

There were two ways in which the ideas of a philosopher could come to be known in this invisible republic; one was, of course, through the appearance in print of his ideas, but the other was through the remarkable network of letters which writers across the continent exchanged with one another. European scholars had always been busy letter-writers; Erasmus complained that he had to write more than ten a day, and his surviving correspondence bears witness to his labours. 35 But in general, it was perfectly possible to carry on an extensive and speedy correspondence.

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