Medieval Philosophy studies the philosophy that occurred in the "Middle Ages," the thousand years beginning roughly in the middle of the Sixth century (550) and ending roughly in the Sixteenth century (1500). Due to their connection to, and influence on, later Medieval Philosophy, we will study some "technically" non-medieval, Christian authors, principally St. Augustine (354-430), but also some of the early Church Fathers. Philosophy in the Middle Ages reached a kind of crescendo in the Thirteenth century, which also achieved a kind of "ecumenical" dialogue between the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic traditions. A wide spectrum of issues were addressed by the medievals, but perhaps the two topics for which Medieval philosophy is most famous, are the relationship between faith and reason, and the so-called problem of universals. However, medieval philosophers were also keenly interested in questions about the nature and division of philosophy itself, problems of law and ethics, the nature and existence of the human soul, and the nature of human knowledge.
Students taking this course will learn to
SHORT ASSIGNMENTS (60%). Students will be required to write 4 of 5 assignments summarizing a philosophical view of the philosophers we will be studying. Some of these will form the basis of the class discussion for that day; others will simply be to elicit some thought from you about the meaning, implications or applications of certain passages. Topics of these will vary, and the assignments will be staggered equitably throughout the semester.
EXAMS (40%). One midterm exam, worth 20% of your
final grade, and a final exam, worth 20% of your final grade. The exams are
essay exams, and I may solicit suggestions for exam questions from the class
before the exam, and circulate the exam questions before each exam.
Lawhead, William F. The Medieval Voyage, 100-1400. [Part of The Voyage of Discovery: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy, 2nd Edition.] Wadsworth: 2002. ISBN: 0-534-56157-8
Edwards, Anne Michaels. Writing to Learn. McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 0-07-365504-X
Other texts to be announced and provided.
Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Reference Room, Corrette
Copleston, S.J., Frederick C. Medieval Philosophy. New York and Evanston: Harper Torchbooks, 1961. (On Library Reserve)
Gilson, Etienne. History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages. (On Library Reserve)
Knowles, David. The Evolution of Medieval Thought. New York: Random House, 1962. (On Library Reserve.)\
ON MEDIEVAL LEARNING
MacIntrye, Alasdair, "The Augustinian Conception of Moral Enquiry," Ch IV in Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry: Encylopedia, Genealogy, and Tradition. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1990.
BOOKS WITH CHAPTERS DEVOTED TO SPECIFIC PHILOSOPHERS*
Copleston, S.J., Frederick A History
of Philosophy, Vol II & III (Both on Library Reserve)
McInerny, Ralph M. Philosophy from St. Augustine to Ockham. (On Library Reserve)