What Is Medieval Philosophy?

How can you [God] be omnipotent if you cannot do all things? How can you do all things if you cannot be corrupted, or lie, or make false what is true – which would be to make what exists into non being – and so forth? If this is so, how can you do all things? Or is it that these things proceed not from power but from powerlessness?

- St. Anselm of Canterbury, Proslogion, Opera Omnia, I

Podcast of the Day

Peter launches the series of podcasts on philosophy in medieval Latin Christendom with a look ahead at what’s to come.

Listen to: Arts of Darkness: Introduction to Medieval Philosophy on the History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps Podcast

Video of the Day

Short Article of the Day

Let us start by considering three points. First, medieval philosophy came from a period when philosophy was under attack: the proponents of religious faith felt that the claims of the philosophers concerning the superiority of reason were false and this led to medieval philosophers such as Aquinas and Averroes having to defend the purpose and the existence of philosophy from first principles. Second, many of the texts, especially those of Judaeo-Muslim medieval philosophy, have a richness and complexity that texts of other periods simply lack – philosophy written as poetry, philosophical stories which make major points, etc...

Continue reading Mark Daniels' article: An Introduction to Medieval Philosophy

Further Reading

Here is a recipe for producing medieval philosophy: Combine classical pagan philosophy, mainly Greek but also in its Roman versions, with the new Christian religion. Season with a variety of flavorings from the Jewish and Islamic intellectual heritages. Stir and simmer for 1300 years or more, until done.

This recipe produces a potent and volatile brew. For in fact many features of Christianity do not fit well into classical philosophical views...

Continue reading the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Medieval Philosophy by Paul Vincent Spade

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