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SOAN 2111 Lecture Notes - Medieval Philosophy, Bubonic Plague

Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2111
Linda Hunter

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September 24, 2012
Hobbes (compared to Rousseau), LOCKE AND ASTELL
Historical Background Around the Time of Hobbies: Renaissance to Baroque
- 17th century philosophers
o rationalism
o empiricism
people tended to think the whole world worked by magic
- Rationalism sees knowledge existing independently of physical reality
- Empiricism sees knowledge based on observable, physical reality
- During and after the 17th century empiricists Francis Bacon and John Locke
were rejecting the old magical ideas and arguing that physical reality works
according to mechanical principles
o Believed that they could figure out what these principles were, by
studying things empirically
A few notes on the Middle ages
- in monasteries, the copying of old manuscripts by hand
o studied by many medieval scholars
- the Church’s authority was supreme
o faith ruled but their was a time when there was introduction to
philosopher’s ideas
o those who did not believe in the Church strongly and had other beliefs
were a threat
o the philosophers began to become incorporated into the church
o philosophers had these people questioning the faith and looking for
start to self-reflect, look for reason that helped defend articles
of faith
- more time intellectual interests
- medieval philosophy joining of faith with reason
o revealed truths could be defended with the help of rational analysis
- Philosophy was that handmaid of theology; reason was subordinate to faith
- Tension between reason and faith was now heightened
- By 12th century books by Plato are available and philosophical battle is
- Religious authority on one side felt religious doctrine was enough versus
religious philosophers who were interested in combing the ideas in teaching
of the Greek philosophers
- 1348 Bubonic Plague (Black Death) small outbreaks of plague until
1600’s wiped out more than half of the urban population
o many city suffered catastrophes
o fleas on rats and spread it on to people but people felt it was
happening because of sin warning of sinful humanity
or fear or death intensified the desire to enjoy life
o infection in the lymphnodes
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