A History of Twelfth-Century Western Philosophy by Peter Dronke PDF

By Peter Dronke

This is often the 1st complete examine of the philosophical achievements of twelfth-century Western Europe. it's the collaboration of fifteen students whose specified survey makes obtainable the highbrow preoccupations of the interval, with all texts mentioned in English translation all through. After a dialogue of the cultural context of twelfth-century hypothesis, and a few of the most streams of inspiration - Platonic, Stoic, and Arabic - that quickened it, comes a characterisation of the recent difficulties and views of the interval, in medical inquiry, speculative grammar, and good judgment. this is often by way of a more in-depth exam of the unique good points of a few of the main cutting edge thinkers of the time, from Anselm and Abelard to the varsity of Chartres. a last part indicates the impression of newly recovered works of Aristotle within the twelfth-century West.

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Perhaps we should begin by asking in more general terms how the achievement of twelfth-century philosophy is to be measured. Within philosophy itself, strictly defined, the most important original work in the period is probably Abelard's use of dialectic to explore the relations of language, thought, and reality. But despite his innovative brilliance, Abelard's influence was limited, and this is only partly due to the suspicions raised against his work on doctrinal grounds. Recent historians have tended to view his achievement in logic less as a new departure than as a culmination, the fullest development of a movement which begins in the early eleventh century, and which is cut off from later developments by limited access to the 'new logic' and other works of Aristotle.

39); = P. L. 172, 56. 24 Southern 1979, p. 29. Philosophy, cosmology and the Renaissance 29 recovery of new sources, and the tentative exploration of new areas of study. Adelard of Bath, for all his Platonist eloquence, is a case in point. The passage quoted above echoes Boethius, Plato and the Asdepius, but its stress on the soul's power to read nature for evidence of things to come is astrological, and reflects a growing respect for Arabic thought. Adelard was to contribute actively to the undermining of the scientific authority of the Timaeus by his assiduous cultivation of the Quadrivium.

135-42; B. Stock, Myth and Science in the Twelfth Century (Princeton 1972), pp. 138-62; Gerard Verbeke, The Presence of Stoicism in Medieval Thought (Washington 1983). PP- 35-4414 Richard McKeon, 'Medicine and Philosophy in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries: the Problem of the Elements', The Thomist xxiv (1961) 211-56, at pp. 231-43; Heinrich 26 Background Asdepius, widely influential in the period, dwells at length on the importance of contemplation of the cosmic order to the recovery of man's lost capacity for rational conduct and understanding of God.

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