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Taylor & Francis
Philosophic Classics, Volume II: Medieval Philosophy / Edition 4

Philosophic Classics, Volume II: Medieval Philosophy / Edition 4

by Forrest Baird, Walter KaufmannForrest Baird
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The abundant selections in this anthology of medieval philosophical readings helps the reader put philosophical inquiry into context and features some of the best translations available today. KEY TOPICS: The readings in this anthology represent the towering medieval thinkers-Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and William of Ockham-discussing a variety of topics, including questions on the nature of universals, the nature and essence of God, the relationship of God to time and creation, and the ability of humans to know God and creation. MARKET: For anyone who wants a readable and accessible collection of metaphysical and epistemological selections from medieval philosophy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780130485571
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 06/28/2002
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 527
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Forrest E. Baird is Professor and Chair of Philosophy & Religion at Whitworth College, Spokane, Washington.

Table of Contents

PROLOGUE I: EARLY CHRISTIANITY Justin MartyrClement of AlexandriaTertullianOrigen PROLOGUE II: OTHER FOUNDATIONAL DOCUMENTS Philo of Alexandria On the Account of the World's Creation Given by Moses (2-6, 44-46) Plotinus. Enneads (Ennead I, Tractate 6)-new translation Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagite. The Divine Names (Chapter 4, Sections 18-21, 30; 7,3) AUGUSTINE On the Free Choice of the Will (Book II)Confessions (Book VIII, 5, 8-12; and XI, 14-28)City of God (Book VIII, Chapters 1-12; XI, 26; XII, 1-9; XIX, 11-17) EARLY MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY Boethius. Commentary on Isagoge of Porphyry (Book I, Chapters 10-11)The Consolation of Philosophy (Book V, Chapter 6) John Scotus Eriugena Periphyseon: On the Division of Nature (Book I, Chapters 1-7, 11-12, 13-14) Anselm (and Guanilo). Proslogion (Preface, Chapters 1-4)Guanilo and Anselm: Debate Peter Abelard On Universals (selections)Ethics (Prologue, Chapters 1-3, 10-12) Hildegard of Bingen. Scivias (Book I, Vision 4, Chapters 16-20) John of Salisbury Metalogicon (Book II, Chapter 17)Statesman (Policratus) (Chapters 1-3) ISLAMIC AND JEWISH PHILOSOPHY IN THE MIDDLE AGES Avicenna Essay on the Secret of DestinyConcerning the Soul (Chapters 1-2, 4, 6, 12-13) Al-Ghazali. The Incoherence of the Philosophers (Introduction and Preface One) Averroes The Decisive Treatise Moses Maimonides The Guide for the Perplexed (Part I: Chapters 51-53, 58-60; II: Introduction, 13, 17; III: 12) THIRTEENTH-CENTURY PHILOSOPHY Robert Grosseteste. On Light Roger Bacon. The Opus Majus (Part IV, 1,3; VI, 1-2) Bonaventure The Mind's Road to God (Prologue, Chapters 1-3)On the Eternity of the World (selections) THOMAS AQUINAS Summa Theologica (selections)Treatise on Creation: Q. 48, a. 1, 3 (POE)Treatise on Man: Q. 75, a. 1, 3, 6Treatise on Law (I-II) Q. 91, a. 1, 2, 3; Q. 92, a 1The Principles of Nature. On Being and Essence LATE MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY John Duns Scotus A Treatise on God as First Principle (Chapter 3)Reportata Parisiensia (in part)Prologue to the Ordination William of Ockham On Universals (Summa Logicae, Part I, Chapters 14-16)On Being (Summa Logicae, Part I, Chapter 38)On Knowledge (Quodlibetol Questions, First Quodlibet, Question 13)On God (selections)On Politics (Eight Questions on the Power of the Pope, Question 2, Chapters 1, 7) Meister Eckhart Sermon #1 Catherine of Siena Letter #58. The Dialogues (1-3, 4, 7, 23, 79) RENAISSANCE PHILOSOPHY Nicholas Cusanas (1401-1464) On Learned Ignorance (Chapters 1-4, 26) Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola Oration on the Dignity of Man (1-7) Machiavelli The Prince, chapter 15-18, 25 MontaigneApology for Raymond Sebond, Chapter 3


The Middle Ages have been depicted as a time of intellectual sterility obsessed with trivial and tiresome questions; as a valley between two great mountain ranges-Greek philosophy on one side, which medievalism distorted, and modern philosophy on the other, which happily rejected medieval precedents entirely. As late as the 1960s, medieval philosophers were described by many as being incapable of independent thought, saddled with a "sacramental" view of a God-pointing world. For example, W.T. Jones wrote in The Medieval Mind (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1969),

It can hardly be denied that this sacramental point of view was a block to progress . . . and to many it seems equally obvious, now that this
viewpoint has disappeared, that men have rid themselves of much that was a liability—ignorance, superstition, intolerance. (p. xix)

This attitude led many to skip almost two millennia of human thought—from the Hellenistic philosophers to Francis Bacon or René Descartes—with only a passing nod to Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.

Much has changed. Most scholars no longer see Bacon and Descartes as the saviors of philosophy from a long medieval night. Following the lead of Étienne Gilson and others, philosophers now recognize that modern philosophy cannot be understood apart from its roots in medieval thought, that medieval philosophy was much richer than previously believed, and that medieval philosophers were as intelligent and thoughtful as the philosophers of any age. Although it is true that most debates during the medieval period were framed in a "sacramental" way and that themedievals considered some answers unacceptable for religious reasons, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim thinkers in this period did original philosophical work. Furthermore, whereas medieval topics may often appear only theological, they are, in fact, related to virtually every area of philosophy.

The readings included in this volume of the Philosophic Classics series represent the towering medieval thinkers—Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and William of Ockham—discussing a variety of topics, along with representative texts of other medieval figures. The readings consider ethics and politics, but the focus is on metaphysics and epistemology—questions on the nature of universals, the nature and essence of God, the relationship of God to time and creation, and the ability of humans to know God and creation.

For this fourth edition, a number of small changes have been made, including the translations for Plotinus, Anselm, and Pico and additional material from Augustine's City of God, Boethius's The Consolation of Philosophy, Anselm's Proslogion, and Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica. In choosing texts for this volume, I have tried wherever possible to follow three principles: (1) to use complete works or, where more appropriate, complete sections of works (2) in clear translations (3) of texts central to the thinker's philosophy or widely accepted as part of the "canon." To make the works more accessible to students, most footnotes treating textual matters (variant readings, etc.) have been omitted and all Greek words have been transliterated and put within angle brackets. In addition, each thinker is introduced by a brief essay composed of three sections: (1) biographical (a glimpse of the life), (2) philosophical (a ésumé of the philosopher's thought), and (3) bibliographical (suggestions for further reading).

Those who use this volume for a one-term course in medieval philosophy, philosophy of religion, or metaphysics will find more material here than can easily be read in a normal semester. But this embarrassment of riches offers teachers some choice and, for those who teach the same course year after year, an opportunity to change the menu.

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