This page features a collection of the best resources on Medieval philosophy. Just to be clear, there is no single best resource on Medieval philosophy. The best one will depend on your preferred learning style and the amount of time you want to spend learning about it.
To get started, simply choose one of the links below:
If you want an academic overview of medieval philosophy:
- Read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Medieval Philosophy. However, you should keep in mind that the SEP is often quite technical and this article may be difficult for beginners. It’s also quite long at around 9500 words. Here’s a short excerpt that introduces medieval philosophy:
“‘Medieval philosophy’ refers to philosophy in Western Europe during the “medieval” period, the so called “Middle Ages.” The notion of a “Middle Age” (or plural “Middle Ages”) was introduced in the fifteenth century for the period between the decline of classical pagan culture in Western Europe and what was taken to be its rediscovery during the Renaissance. The first known documented use of the expression (in the form ‘media tempestas’) is from 1469 (Robinson , p. 748).
The originators of the notion of the Middle Ages were thinking primarily of the so called “Latin West,” the area, roughly speaking, of Roman Catholicism. While it is true that this region was to some extent a unit, culturally separate from its neighbors, it is also true that medieval philosophy was decisively influenced by ideas from the Greek East, from the Jewish philosophical tradition, and from Islam. . . .”
If you’re looking for a somewhat shorter and more engaging introduction:
If you’d prefer a video introduction:
If you prefer audio and podcasts:
- Listen to Peter Adamson discuss Medieval Philosophy on the History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps podcast [20 mins]
Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can learn by using free online resources. If you want to learn more, check out this list of the best books on Medieval Philosophy.
For more introductory philosophy resources and reading lists check out this collection of Resources and Reading Lists.