An Introduction to Medieval Philosophy: Basic Concepts by Joseph W. Koterski

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By Joseph W. Koterski

By way of exploring the philosophical personality of a few of the best medieval thinkers, An advent to Medieval Philosophy offers a wealthy review of philosophy on this planet of Latin Christianity.

  • Explores the deeply philosophical personality of such medieval thinkers as Augustine, Boethius, Eriugena, Anselm, Aquinas, Bonaventure, Scotus, and Ockham
  • Reviews the primary good points of the epistemological and metaphysical challenge of universals
  • Shows how medieval authors tailored philosophical principles from antiquity to use to their non secular commitments
  • Takes a wide philosophical process of the medieval period by,taking account of classical metaphysics, normal tradition, and spiritual themes

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15 Likewise, he felt perplexed by the reality of evil in the world. He could not reconcile the claim of an all-good God who was the creator of everything in the universe with the reality of pain, suffering, and wickedness until he came to understand the privative character of evil and the genuine freedom possible in human choices. Release from this set of stumbling-blocks on the road to faith came with the philosophical insight that evil is not a being in its own right but the absence of the goodness that ought to be present in a given being.

But now philosophical reason is being used for examining faith itself. Anselm does so by considering the topic of unbelief. It would not just be a matter of asking what someone of this faith should believe on specific questions, but of asking philosophical questions about belief itself. It is not Anselm’s position that reason can decide what the content of faith should be, but simply that good reasoning can provide a special kind of security for faith. What is believed on the basis of faith need not be thought to be destroyed when submitted to natural reason.

With his penchant for clever use of words, he puts the issue in terms of the rhetorical choice between uti and frui. 73ff, in Augustine (1995a). 62 44 The principle of double effect, so important to later medieval casuistry, seems to have been developed primarily to handle questions about killing in self-defense. 45 For the lives of Abelard, Héloïse, and Bernard of Clairvaux, see Clanchy (1997), Mews (2005), and Evans (2000). 46 See Kent (1995). -P. Torrell explains: “Contrary to a deductive method that is sometimes attributed to him but which is not his, Thomas does not want to prove the truths of the faith, nor to demonstrate other truths from those that he holds in faith.

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