periodization of philosophy. so roughly hewn:
to the 4C AD
5 TO 16C
17 to 19C
CONTEMPORARY (ANALYTIC & CONTINENTAL)
20C to now
periodization doesn't really do justice to anyone, but they are useful for navigating
to what extent is medieval distinguished? not really, it is just a place in the
AL-GHAZALI has some features similar to HUME (18C Scotland)
we can look at a medieval philosopher and compare them to their analogues in other
from ancient to medieval
- aristotle is mostly lost because of boetheus' execution. they are limited to the
aristotle they have, and it limits the questions of the latin west.
BUT ARISTOTLE DOESN'T DISAPPEAR, HE PERSISTS IN THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE! they speak
greek, keep their greek texts. then ARAB THOUGHT comes on the scene with the emergence
of the islam and its caliphs.
THE PHILOSOPHY THAT GOES ON THERE IS EXTRORDINARILY NUANCED.
THEY TRANSLATE ARISTOTLE INTO ARABIC,
the west was more platonist. they in fact use aristotle to understand plato.
for ISLAM, ARISTOTLE IS MOST IMPORTANT.
big arabic names to center us
AL-KINDI - directs the translation movement in bhagdad and damascus from greek into
arabic (the father of arabic philosophy)
AL-FARABI - part of what he does is the way in which he interprets aristotles
metaphysics definitively for the future
AVICENNA (IBN SINA) - reformulates metaphysics. extrordinarily brilliant. takes the
hodge podge of aristotle's metaphysics, he looks at it as a text, and reorders it and
reorients it and tries to ground metaphysics as a science. subject of metaphysics is
being as being (as opposed to god)
AL-GHAZALI - writes the incoherence of the philosophers. he critiques philosophy and
says avicenna sinned greatly in saying that the subject of metaphysics is being as
AVERROES (IBN RUSHD) - writes the incoherence of the incoherence (primarily
commenting back to aristotle. correcting al-ghazali and reformulating avicenna).
so medieveal phil is not one big umbrella topic... IS AL-GHAZALI AN OCCASIONALIST?
occasionalism - god is the cause of all change. he is both proximate and remote cause.
for all theists the question is: is god the proximate cause, or the remote cause?
most would think that god is the remote cause (he sets up the processes that allow for
the proximate causes to work)
IN OCCASIONALISM, GOD IS PROXIMATE AND REMOTE...
you have to believe in god to get that off the ground
aquinas or scotus or avicenna say that god is only the remote cause.
WE ARE JUST GOING TO DEAL WITH THIS QUESTION:
is there a NECESSARY relation between proximate cause and proxima