Boethius (c.480-c.525/6), though a Christian, worked in the tradition of the Neoplatonic schools, with their strong interest in Aristotelian logic and Platonic metaphysics. He is best known for his Consolation of Philosophy, which he wrote in prison awaiting execution. His works also include a long series of logical translations, commentaries and monographs and some short but densely-argued theological treatises, all of which were enormously influential on medieval thought. But Boethius was more than a writer who passed on important ancient ideas (...) to the Middle Ages. The essays here by leading specialists, which cover all the main aspects of his writing and its influence, show that he was a distinctive thinker, whose arguments repay careful analysis and who used his literary talents in conjunction with his philosophical abilities to present a complex view of the world. (shrink)
The discussion of sameness and difference in the three versions of the Theologia has been analyzed by a number of recent writers (for example, Ian Wilks, JeffBrower, and Peter King). Despite some disagreements, they concur that Abelard’s views are best expressed in the Theologia christiana and that he is putting forward a theory that—perhaps adapted—can help philosophers now in considering the material constitution of objects. By contrast, I argue that his views, which should be seen as developing and reaching their (...) final form in the Theologia “scholarium,” are much more closely linked than these scholars have thought to the particular theological problems involved in discussing the Trinity. (shrink)
The specialized essays in this collection study whether non-Aristotelian traditions of ancient logic had a role for medieval logicians. Special attention is given to Stoic logic and semantics, and to Neoplatonism.
Introduction to Medieval Philosophy combines and updates the scholarship of the two highly successful volumes Early Medieval Philosophy (1983) and Late Medieval Philosoph y (1986) in a single, reliable, and comprehensive text on the history of medieval philosophy. John Marenbon discusses the main philosophers and ideas within the social and intellectual contexts of the time, and the most important concepts in medieval philosophy. Straightforward in arrangement, wide in scope, and clear in style, this is the ideal starting point for students (...) beginning the subject. (shrink)
: My article surveys philosophical discussions of Abelard over the last twenty years. Although Abelard has been a well-known figure for centuries, his most important logical works were published only in the twentieth century and, so I argue, the rediscovery of him as an important philosopher is recent and continuing. I concentrate especially on work that shows Abelard as the re-discoverer of propositional logic (Chris Martin); as a subtle explorer of problems about modality (Simo Knuuttila, Herbert Weidemann) and semantics (Klaus (...) Jacobi); as a metaphysician before the reception of Aristotle's Metaphysics (Peter King); and as an ethical thinker who echoes the Stoics (Calvin Normore) and anticipates Kant (Peter King). (shrink)
“Problem of paganism” is my name for the set of questions raised for medieval thinkers and writers, and discussed by some of them (Abelard, Dante, and Langland are eminent examples), by the fact that many people—especially philosophers—from antiquity were, they believed, monotheists, wise and virtuous and yet pagans. In this paper, I argue that Boethius, though a Christian, was himself too much part of the world of classical antiquity to pose the problem of paganism, but that his Consolation of Philosophy (...) was an essential element in the way medieval writers saw and resolved this problem. In particular, because it was a text by an author known to be Christian which discusses philosophy without any explicitly Christian references, it opened up the way to treating texts by ancient pagan philosophers as containing hidden Christian doctrine. (shrink)
This book offers a brief, accessible introduction to the thought of Boethius. After a survey of Boethius's life and work, Marenbon explicates his theological method, and devotes separate chapters to his arguments about good and evil, fortune, fate and free will, and the problem of divine foreknowledge. Marenbon also traces Boethius's influence on the work of such thinkers as Aquinas and Duns Scotus.
Combining the latest scholarship with fresh perspectives on this complex and rapidly changing area of research, this work considers the rich traditions of medieval Arab, Jewish and Latin philosophy. Experts in the field provide comprehensive analyses of the key areas of medieval philosophy and its most influential figures, including: Avicenna, Averroes, Maimonides, Eriugena, Anselm, Abelard, Grosseteste, Aquinas, Henry of Ghent, Duns Scotus, Peter Aureoli, William of Ockham, Wyclif, Suarez, and the enormous and enduring influence of Boethius on the medieval Latin (...) West. Special attention is devoted to the seminal, but lesser-known figures in each period, and to the cultural context of medieval philosophy in Islam and the Christian West. Medieval Philosophy can be purchased individually or as part of the 10 volume Routledge History of Philosophy series. There is a 10% discount off each volume with all standing orders. (shrink)
This book offers a major reassessment of the philosophy of Peter Abelard (1079-1142) which argues that he was not, as usually presented, a predominantly critical thinker but a constructive one. By way of evidence the author offers new analyses of frequently discussed topics in Abelard's philosophy, and examines other areas such as the nature of substances and accidents, cognition, the definition of 'good' and 'evil', virtues and merit, and practical ethics in detail for the first time. The book also includes (...) a discussion of Abelard's life and works, and considers problems of chronology and canon (including the question of the authenticity of the correspondence with Heloise). '... not only an outstanding exposition of Abelard's philosophy, but a work that opens up for specialists and non-specialists the world of twelfth-century thought.' The Times Literary Supplement. (shrink)
Although Abelard arrived at a view ofens nearer to Aristotle''s than his sources would suggest, unlike thirteenth-century thinkers he did not work out a view of transcendentals in terms ofens, its attributes and their convertibility. He did, however, regard unity (though not goodness or truth) as an attribute of every thing. At first, Abelard suggested that unity, being inseparable, could not be an accident according to Porphyry''s definition (that which can come and leave a subject without the subject being corrupted): (...) either it is some type of form not classified by Porphyry, or not a form at all. In his later logical work, Abelard argued differently. Unity, he said, is an accidental form, but Porphyry''s definition of an accident must be understood negatively, not as asserting something about what could happen in reality (since the form of unity could never leave its subject) but rather something about an absence of connection: were it,per impossible, to occur, the loss by a subject of its form of unity would not lead to the loss of its specific or generic status. (shrink)
Later Medieval Philosophy (1150-1350) provides an introduction to philosophy in the Latin West between 1150 and 1350. Part I describes the medieval thinker's intellectual and historical context, by examining the structure of courses in the medieval universities, the methods of teaching, the forms of written work, and the translation and availability of ancient Greek, Arab, and Jewish philosophical texts. Part II examines the nature of intellectual knowledge by explaining the arguments given by Aristotle, his antique commentators, and the Arab philosophers, (...) Avicenna and Averroes. (shrink)
This study is the first modern account of the development of philosophy during the Carolingian Renaissance. In the late eighth century, Dr Marenbon argues, theologians were led by their enthusiasm for logic to pose themselves truly philosophical questions. The central themes of ninth-century philosophy - essence, the Aristotelian Categories, the problem of Universals - were to preoccupy thinkers throughout the Middle Ages. The earliest period of medieval philosophy was thus a formative one. This work is based on a fresh study (...) of the manuscript sources. The thoughts of scholars such as Alcuin, Candidus, Fredegisus, Ratramnus of Corbie, John Scottus Eriugena and Heiric of Auxerre is examined in detail and compared with their sources; and a wide variety of evidence is used to throw light on the milieu in which these thinkers flourished. Full critical editions of an important body of early medieval philosophical material, much of it never before published, are included. (shrink)