Apr 13, 2008

A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages

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Jorge J. E. Gracia, Timothy B. Noone "A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages"
Wiley-Blackwell | 2003-03-03 | ISBN: 0631216723 | 768 pages | PDF | 3,1 Mb

This comprehensive reference volume features essays by some of the most distinguished scholars in the field. Provides a comprehensive "who's who" guide to medieval philosophers.

Offers a refreshing mix of essays providing historical context followed by 140 alphabetically arranged entries on individual thinkers. Constitutes an extensively cross-referenced and indexed source. Written by a distinguished cast of philosophers. Spans the history of medieval philosophy from the fourth century AD to the fifteenth century.

The Middle Ages is not only the longest period of philosophical development in the West, but also one of the richest and more complex. Its roots go back to ancient philosophy and we are still living with some of its consequences today. Indeed, a very large part of our philosophical vocabulary, whether in English, Spanish, or any other western European language, was developed in the Middle Ages, and most of the philosophical problems about which we still worry were first formulated in the version in which we know them in this period. The historical importance of the Middle Ages and its influence in the subsequent history of western thought is difficult to overestimate.

In spite of this, however, the study of the philosophy of the Middle Ages was, until relatively recently, rare outside Roman Catholic contexts. Secular universities, and even Christian colleges from denominations other than Roman Catholicism, rarely offered courses in medieval philosophy, and their faculty seldom did research in the field. The medieval period was mentioned in two kinds of courses: in history of philosophy sequences, the Middle Ages was usually appended to the ancient period, as an afterthought, and was generally given little emphasis; in courses in the philosophy of religion, where arguments for the existence of God were examined, mention was usually made of Anselm’s so-called ontological argument and Aquinas’s “five ways.”

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