PHILOSOPHY IN THE MIDDLE AGES by Paul Vignaux

PHILOSOPHY IN THE MIDDLE AGES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Thought in the Middle Ages was Theology. And Theology was often a ""firm faith in quest of precise rationalization."" Vignaux in the third edition of this introductory work, goes beyond a history of the thought of the time to examine its philosophy, and under the influence of the great medievalist Gilson, he corrects popular misconceptions in the attempt. The Middle Ages are shown as a period of intellectual dispute and strife, rather than of complete harmony and order. Throughout, a thread of Hellenistic humanism promulgated by Duns Scotus winds along toward Renaissance fruition. Aristotelian naturalism-thanks to Aquinas and the Scholastics-opposes mysticism. And with the coming of Abelard, the scholars of the University of Paris broaden their investigations in logic and in Moslem and Judaic religious concepts. There are the men:- John the Scot, Roger Bacon, Williams Of Ockham; and there are the themes:- disputes over the value of Nature, value of empirical knowledge, morality. Together they are examined with a succinct thoroughness that produces a surprisingly complex view of those centuries. The theme of ""a humanism embracing a naturalism"" emerges. Stimulating for a middle ground of readers who have some knowledge of history, yet probably inadequate for those engaged in advanced scholarly pursuits. Laudable too for a sincere and disinterested opposition to historical cliche.

Pub Date: Nov. 20th, 1959
Publisher: Meridian