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Medieval philosophy

This entry is concerned with the development of philosophy during the medieval era.

The philosophy of the era now known as the Middle Ages (the period roughly extending from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance) is a widely varied period in the history of philosophical thought. However, one defining feature which distinguishes this period, in the western world, is the degree to which competing or contradictory philosophical views and systems were brought into dialogue with each other.

From the Neoplatonic (John Scotus Eriugena, St. Anselm) figures who dominated the early middle ages, to the Peripatetic debates of the 12th and 13th century, to the Nominalist and Voluntarist conflicts of the 14th and 15th, it is hard to find a similar period in the history of recorded thought so populated with figures who believed their ideas could be reconciled, given enough debate and inquiry. In fact, this belief is the very essence of the philosophical mode of inquiry most closely associated with the Medieval Period, Scholastic philosophy.

The Thirteenth Century (sometimes referred to as the greatest of centuries) saw and explosion of renowned philosophical figures: Alexander of Hales, St. Bonaventure, Bl. Albertus Magnus, St. Thomas Aquinas, Godfrey of Fontaines, Henry of Ghent, Giles of Rome, and Duns Scotus.

See Christian Philosophy, Early Muslim philosophy, Jewish philosophy, Scholastic philosophy

External Links:


History of Western philosophy: Medieval philosophy

Some medieval Jewish philosophers

Reccomended reading:

Armand Maurer, Medieval Philosophy, Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies Press. Frederick Copelston, S.J. Medieval Philosophy.

"Readings in Medieval Philosophy" Edited by Andrew B. Schoedinger, Oxford University Press. "The most comprehensive collection of its kind, this unique anthology presents fifty-four readings--many of them not widely available--by the most important and influential Christian, Jewish, and Muslim philosophers of the Middle Ages."