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PHL206H1 (1)

Maurer, Medieval Philosophy: Chapter VII to IX

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Deborah Black

thPHL 206S1 Later Medieval PhilosophyJanuary 10 2012 Maurer Medieval Philosophy Chapter VII Introduction to Scholasticism y From 11501250 a large number of Greek Arabian and Jewish philosophical writings were translated into Latin profoundly transforming Christian theology and philosophy y This resulted in scholasticism in Western culture y The Fathers of the Church dedicated themselves to deeper understanding of truths of faith y But discovery of new philosophical literature put fresh ideas and methods at their command resulting in new types of theology and philosophy y The most important of new writing were works of Aristotle y W translation into Latin of his Topics and Analytics schoolmen learned the Aristotelian methods of disputation and science and these become their own techniques of discussion and inquiry y Theologians like St Thomas Aquinas adapted Aristotelian notion of science to theology which now became science of sacred doctrineThe New Translations y New translations made mainly in Mediterranean countries esp Italy Sicily and Spain where Christians Moslems and Jews mingled and spoke each others language y 1128 James of Venice translated from Greek to Latin Aristotles Topics Prior and Posterior Analytics and Sophistical arguments y These became known as the New Logic Logica Nova in distinction to the Old Logic Logica Vetus which included the Categories and De Interpretatione y At the request of St Thomas William of Moerbeke a Flemish Dominican undertook new and more faithful translations of Aristotles Greek texts to be sued by the Angelic Doctor for his commentaries y As work of translating progressed scholastics gained more complete and accurate knowledge of Aristotelianism and learned to distinguish it from Neoplatonism y Aristotles Greek and Arabian commentaries freely mingled Neoplatonic ideas w his own y When William of Moerbeke translated Proclus Elements of Theology St Thomas immediately realizes the true percentage of Aristotles Book of Causes incorporated into it y In recognizing the Platonic character of this work and dissociating Aristotle from many of the Neoplatonic accretions of his commentaries St Thomas helped the Middle Ages achieve a sounder understanding of Aristotelianism y Greeks and Moslems taught schoolmen the meaning and method of philosophy y Since their writings were products of human min unassisted by revelation they opened up unexpected reaches of reason and gave the schoolmen enormous confidence in the power of the human mind thy This confidence sustained them through the 13 century where they reaches the peak of their philosophical achievement
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