Defending Boethius

Among those who study medieval philosophy there is a divide between historians and philosophers. Sometimes the historians chide the philosophers for failing to appreciate the historical factors at work in understanding a text, a philosopher, a school, or a system. But sometimes the philosopher may justly criticize the historian for failing to engage the past philosopher adequately as a philosopher. Here I defend a philosophically charitable methodology and offer two examples, taken from John Marenbon’s book Boethius, as instances where exercising more philosophical charity would likely have resulted in more adequate or complete interpretations. The examples are taken from Marenbon’s analyses of the conclusion of Boethius’s discussion of freedom and divine foreknowledge and ofBoethius’s argument against Euthyche’s understanding of the Incarnation
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0019-0365
DOI 10.5840/ipq201151225
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