Free «Medieval Philosophy» UK Essay Paper
Medieval philosophy is a long period in the history of European philosophy, which is directly connected with the Christian religion. In Europe, medieval philosophy was associated with the spread and dominance of Christianity as it was formed simultaneously with the emergence of Christianity as a world religion. Medieval philosophers had a strong influence on the creation of Christian philosophy and its principal dogmas. The goal of this essay is to analyze the medieval period of philosophy and its most prominent representatives.
The relationship between religion and philosophy was explored during the medieval period of philosophy (Lagerlund, 2010). Medieval philosophy was developed mainly by clergymen (Lagerlund, 2010). In fact, the Christian view of the world, new ideas about God, and causality had a huge impact on medieval thought and became the main themes discussed at that time. However, it does not mean that medieval thought was uniform (Lagerlund, 2010).The existence of different philosophical trends and disputes between them suggest that philosophy was independent of the church and moved in the direction specified by Christianity (Lagerlund, 2010). Depending on the aims of philosophical thought and key issues, medieval philosophy is divided into patristic and scholastic periods (Lagerlund, 2010).
Despite the fact that the first period of medieval philosophy chronologically coincides with the ancient era, its heritage belongs not to the ancient but to the medieval culture (Duignan, 2011). The need for separation from the ancient tradition and commitment to the protection of the Christian doctrine from paganism marked the beginning of medieval philosophy (Duignan, 2011). The Fathers of the Church, whose works were later considered to be the conceptual basis of the Christian doctrine, solved the problem of the relation between Christianity and the ancient philosophical heritage. One of the most important events that occurred at that time was the introduction of the idea of the Trinity (Duignan, 2011). The most influential representative of the patristic era was Augustine of Hippo. In fact, his works were imbued with medieval thought. Moreover, Augustine’s reflections on time and consciousness approached the theme of modern and present philosophizing (Duignan, 2011). Augustine offered a solution to the problem of the relationship between faith and knowledge. He concluded that people of faith could develop their cognitive capabilities because knowledge confirmed faith. In addition, the search of knowledge led Augustine to notice that knowledge was justified by the certainty of consciousness (Duignan, 2011).
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The rationalization of the Christian faith became the general doctrine of the scholastic era (Koterski, 2011). The goal of this period was to organize scholastic dogmas and make them understandable to illiterate people. Thus, philosophy was recognized as a primary mean of ordering the Christian doctrine. In fact, early scholasticism was associated with the revival of interest in knowledge (Koterski, 2011). The thinking at that time was characterized by greater autonomy in the formulation of questions. Among the main problems of early scholasticism were the relationship between faith and knowledge, harmonization of Aristotelian logic, and coordination of mysticism and religious experience. The most famous philosopher of this period was Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury (Koterski, 2011). He concluded that the true way of thinking could not be contrary to faith. Anselm believed that the truths of faith were justified by natural reason, but faith should be preceded by the mind. The rise of scholasticism was associated with the emergence of universities. The creation of these universities and the existence of qualified teachers led to the appearance of large systematic works (Koterski, 2011). One more representative of this period was Thomas Aquinas, who attempted to reconcile Aristotle's teachings with Christian philosophy (Koterski, 2011). The era of late medieval scholasticism was marked by the decline of philosophizing. In fact, nominalism criticized the metaphysical systems of the old school but did not give new ideas.
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To summarize, medieval philosophy mainly explored the relationship between religion and philosophy. It is divided into patristic and scholastic periods. The representatives of the patristic period sought to protect Christian doctrines and promote the idea of the Trinity. Among the best-known philosophers was Augustine of Hippo. The representatives of the scholastic period tried to streamline doctrines and make them comprehensible to everyone. Among the most famous philosophers were Anselm and Thomas Aquinas.
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