By Joseph W. Koterski
Through exploring the philosophical personality of a few of the best medieval thinkers, An advent to Medieval Philosophy presents a wealthy review of philosophy on the earth of Latin Christianity.
- Explores the deeply philosophical personality of such medieval thinkers as Augustine, Boethius, Eriugena, Anselm, Aquinas, Bonaventure, Scotus, and Ockham
- Reviews the significant positive factors of the epistemological and metaphysical challenge of universals
- Shows how medieval authors tailored philosophical rules from antiquity to use to their spiritual commitments
- Takes a wide philosophical process of the medieval period by,taking account of classical metaphysics, basic tradition, and non secular themes
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Additional resources for An Introduction to Medieval Philosophy: Basic Concepts
The second of the spiritual levels is the moral sense. In the course of exhortatory treatises on virtue and vice, one sees in a particularly strong way the medieval sense of the collaboration expected between reason and faith. One finds this moral level of meaning not only in those passages concerned with the commandments and beatitudes, various exhortations to virtue and admonitions against vice, prophetic invectives against idolatry, and morality tales 44 like the stories of Noah and Job; this level is also evident in the moral lessons that can be drawn from the stories about the sinful habits and practices of even some of the Bible’s greatest heroes, such as Abraham’s readiness at one point to sell his wife Sarah in order to make his own escape, the account of David’s adultery with Bathsheba, and the betrayal of Jesus by Peter.
For a discussion of a similar strategy used by scholastic philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas in their discussion of the “preambles of the faith,” see McInerny (2006), esp. pp. 159–306. 11 See Dillon (1990), Dillon (1996), and Rist (1985). 12 One of the central features of Platonic philosophy is the notion that there are archetypal Forms or Ideas for every kind of thing. The use of Form and Idea as synonyms for these archetypes serves both metaphysically as a way to unify the multiplicity of instances within a kind by their “participation” in a common Form, and epistemologically as a way by which we can recognize in an Idea what is common to these many instances.
Anselm does so by considering the topic of unbelief. It would not just be a matter of asking what someone of this faith should believe on specific questions, but of asking philosophical questions about belief itself. It is not Anselm’s position that reason can decide what the content of faith should be, but simply that good reasoning can provide a special kind of security for faith. What is believed on the basis of faith need not be thought to be destroyed when submitted to natural reason. Rather, there is a complementarity.
An Introduction to Medieval Philosophy: Basic Concepts by Joseph W. Koterski