Cover image for The Cambridge companion to medieval philosophy
The Cambridge companion to medieval philosophy
McGrade, Arthur Stephen.
Publication Information:
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xviii, 405 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Subject Term:

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B721 .C36 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Spanning a millennium of thought extending from Augustine to Thomas Aquinas and beyond, this volume takes its readers into one of the most exciting periods in the history of philosophy. It includes not only the thinkers of the Latin West but also the profound contributions of Islamic and Jewish philosophers such as Avicenna and Maimonides. Leading specialists examine what it was like to study philosophy in the cultures and institutions of the Middle Ages. Supplementary material includes chronological charts and biographies of the major thinkers.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

McGrade (emer., Univ. of Connecticut) writes in his introduction that this book "seeks to enhance fascination while diminishing incomprehension." Although the exposition is too bland and noncommittal to inspire, in the latter goal this survey of Western philosophy from Augustine to Wycliffe succeeds. Original essays by a roster of qualified scholars provide clear introductions to medieval treatments of major topics such as logic, ethics, political philosophy, and, of course, God. Chapters on the social backdrop of medieval philosophy and its influence on subsequent thought provide valuable historical context. The book is generally well organized, although there is occasional overlap between essays, and the discussion of epistemology is indexed under "cognition" instead of more typical keywords like "epistemology," "knowledge," "belief," or "rationality." Medieval aesthetics, to which such notables as Jacques Maritain and Umberto Eco have devoted entire books, is here completely disregarded. The book will be most helpful to the undergraduate student who has some familiarity with philosophical concepts, but graduate students and faculty might also consult it for brief discussions of lesser-known figures. Useful end matter includes a chronological chart of philosophers' lifetimes, capsule biographies, and an extensive bibliography. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty. C. S. Seymour Wayland Baptist University

Table of Contents

A. S. McGradeSteven P. MarroneJohn Marenbon and D. E. LuscombeE. J. AshworthTherese-Anne DruartIdit Dobbs-WeinsteinStephen P. MennEdith Dudley SyllaGyula KlimaRobert PasnauBonnie KentJames McEvoyAnnabel S. BrettP. J. Fitzpatrick and John HaldaneThomas Williams
Notes on contributorsp. xi
Prefacep. xv
Abbreviations and forms of referencep. xvii
Introductionp. 1
Entry pointsp. 2
Othernessp. 3
What is medieval philosophy?p. 4
Going furtherp. 7
A final image: medieval philosophy and freedomp. 8
1 Medieval philosophy in contextp. 10
Emergence of medieval philosophy in the late Roman Empirep. 11
Monastic discipline and scholarshipp. 16
Islamp. 19
The rise of the West and the reemergence of philosophyp. 21
Rationalization in society: politics, religion, and educational institutionsp. 28
Aristotle and thirteenth-century scholasticismp. 32
The contested fourteenth centuryp. 36
The place of authority in medieval thoughtp. 40
Philosophical sourcesp. 43
Genresp. 43
2 Two medieval ideas: eternity and hierarchyp. 51
Eternityp. 51
Hierarchyp. 60
3 Language and logicp. 73
Sources and developmentsp. 73
The purpose and nature of language and logicp. 77
Signification, conventional and mental languagep. 81
Paronymy and analogyp. 85
Reference: supposition theoryp. 90
Truth and paradoxp. 92
Inference and paradoxp. 93
4 Philosophy in Islamp. 97
Philosophy, religion, and culturep. 100
Psychology and metaphysicsp. 108
Ethicsp. 113
5 Jewish philosophyp. 121
The roots of knowledge--Saadiah Gaonp. 122
Universal hylomorphism--Ibn Gabirolp. 126
The limits of reason--Moses Maimonidesp. 128
A purer Aristotelianism--Gersonidesp. 137
Jewish-Christian interactionsp. 141
6 Metaphysics: God and beingp. 147
Physical and metaphysical proofs of Godp. 147
Avicenna's argument and some challenges to itp. 150
Essence and existencep. 154
Only one necessary being?p. 157
Challenges to essence-existence compositionp. 158
Challenges about God and essep. 160
Univocity, equivocity, analogyp. 162
7 Creation and naturep. 171
Creationp. 173
Nature as epiphany: natural philosophy through the twelfth centuryp. 174
Astronomy and astrologyp. 177
Scholastic natural philosophyp. 179
Interactions of natural philosophy and theologyp. 187
8 Natures: the problem of universalsp. 196
Exemplarist realism: universals as divine reasonsp. 196
Common natures, singular existents, active mindsp. 201
Common terms, singular naturesp. 204
9 Human naturep. 208
Mind and body and soulp. 208
Cognitionp. 213
Will, passion, and actionp. 221
Freedom and immortalityp. 224
10 The moral lifep. 231
Augustine and classical ethicsp. 232
Happiness and moralityp. 235
Evil, badness, vice, and sinp. 243
Virtues, theological and otherp. 246
11 Ultimate goods: happiness, friendship, and blissp. 254
Augustine and the universal desire for happinessp. 255
Boethius: philosophy has its consolationsp. 259
Thomas Aquinasp. 261
Happiness in the intellectual lifep. 266
Theories of friendshipp. 271
Happiness and peace at the end of history: Joachim of Fiorep. 273
12 Political philosophyp. 276
The one true cityp. 278
Reason, nature, and the human goodp. 280
Election and consentp. 285
Hierarchy and gracep. 288
History, autonomy, and rightsp. 290
Conclusionp. 295
13 Medieval philosophy in later thoughtp. 300
The Renaissance and seventeenth centuryp. 300
Current engagementsp. 316
14 Transmission and translationp. 328
Channels of transmissionp. 329
Three case studiesp. 334
Translating medieval philosophyp. 338
Pairs and snaresp. 341
A word of encouragementp. 343
Chronology of philosophers and major eventsp. 347
Biographies of major medieval philosophersp. 350
Bibliographyp. 360
Indexp. 398