Medieval Social Epistemology:Scientia for Mere Mortals

Episteme 7 (1):23-41 (2010)
Medieval epistemology begins as ideal theory: when is one ideally situated with regard to one's grasp of the way things are? Taking as their starting point Aristotle's Posterior Analytics, scholastic authors conceive of the goal of cognitive inquiry as the achievement of scientia, a systematic body of beliefs, grasped as certain, and grounded in demonstrative reasons that show the reason why things are so. Obviously, however, there is not much we know in this way. The very strictness of this ideal in fact gives rise to a body of literature on how Aristotle's framework might be relaxed in various ways, for certain specific purposes. In asking such questions, scholastic authors are in effect pursuing the project of social epistemology, by trying to adapt their ideal theory to the circumstances of everyday life
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DOI 10.3366/E1742360009000793
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Gyula Klima (2008). John Buridan. Oxford University Press.

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