An Introduction to Medieval Philosophy: Basic Concepts by Joseph W. Koterski

By Joseph W. Koterski

Through exploring the philosophical personality of a few of the best medieval thinkers, An creation to Medieval Philosophy presents a wealthy evaluate of philosophy on this planet of Latin Christianity.

  • Explores the deeply philosophical personality of such medieval thinkers as Augustine, Boethius, Eriugena, Anselm, Aquinas, Bonaventure, Scotus, and Ockham
  • Reviews the primary positive aspects of the epistemological and metaphysical challenge of universals
  • Shows how medieval authors tailored philosophical principles from antiquity to use to their non secular commitments
  • Takes a extensive philosophical procedure of the medieval period by,taking account of classical metaphysics, normal tradition, and spiritual themes

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Accordingly, philosophically inclined Christian apologists in the early centuries struggled with the problem of how best to articulate Christianity’s beliefs in lands and cultures outside those of their origination (Palestine and Judaism). What could be explained in categories recognizable to Jews, such as the fulfillment of promises recorded in the Hebrew prophets, had to be explained to Gentiles in terms intelligible for them, yet without compromising the particularities of the new Christian faith.

1–4, in Augustine (1991b). 6; see also his classical treatment of this problem in On Free Choice of the Will in Augustine (1982b). In the remainder of the Confessions (esp. 7–17) Augustine recounts how what he learned, particularly from the Neoplatonists, emancipated him from an overly corporeal way of thinking. 18–21) he describes his need for Christ’s grace to liberate him from his sinfulness and the emotional chains that kept him from faith. In book VIII we read the story of his conversion experience.

45 Bernard tended to distrust not just Abelard but the entire movement toward dialectical philosophizing, then still new, that later came to flourish with the rise of scholasticism. But despite Bernard’s efforts, the general movement in this direction proved unstoppable. The rise of the universities encouraged the responsible use of the new methods of reasoning. With the renewal of appreciation for Aristotle’s theory of science (especially as articulated in the Posterior Analytics) after the recovery of his texts in natural philosophy, scholastic philosophers worked to provide a scientia of ethics, and thinkers like Thomas Aquinas developed an ethics that balanced respect for the sovereign will of God with a vigorous naturalism that combines both the virtue ethics that medieval thinkers saw with fresh eyes in the Nicomachean Ethics46 and the incipient form of natural law theory (discussed at greater length in chapter 6 on cosmos and nature) that Christian asceticism had received from ancient Stoicism.

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