Review of Metaphysics 51 (2):405-407 (1997)

“Is there a medieval philosophy?” The work opens with critiques of answers by Gilson, The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy, and Alain de Libera, and then, on the basis of first-person singular statements by Bonaventure, Aquinas, Scotus, and Eckhart, each of which concerns a doctrine of prima, communia, or transcendentia, proposes its own. “Over time, my conviction has grown that medieval philosophy can be regarded as a way of transcendental thought, as a scientia transcendens...”. The look back to the middle ages must see through Kant’s erroneous assessment of the doctrine, as well as his influential appropriation of the term “transcendental” to refer to a priori modes of cognition, an appropriation that has infected the very study of medieval transcendental thought ; still, it is striking that, for Aquinas, transcendentals, while not a priori forms, “are the prima of the cognitive order”. The exemplary case of Aquinas is presented both to prove the general conviction and to supply a serious lack in Thomistic studies.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1997512132
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