Debates in Medieval Philosophy: Essential Readings and Contemporary Responses

1st Edition

Jeffrey Hause

Published March 12, 2014
Reference - 422 Pages
ISBN 9780415505420 - CAT# Y133690
Series: Key Debates in the History of Philosophy

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Debates in Medieval Philosophy: Essential Readings and Contemporary Responses aims to de-mystify medieval works by offering an illuminating, engaging introduction to the problems that medieval philosophers from Augustine through Ockham wrestled with. Each of the volume’s 11 units presents a debate that will enable students to return to the primary texts prepared to think critically and imaginatively about them. Debates include:

  • Does Anselm have a hierarchical or a flat conception of free will?
  • Is Abelard’s ethics conceptually impoverished?
  • Does Avicenna teach that we acquire concepts through abstraction or emanation?
  • What is Aquinas’s purpose in writing the Summa contra gentiles?
  • How sound are Ockham’s criticisms of Scotus’s theory of universals and individuation?

The 10 essays newly commissioned for this volume will advance scholarship in medieval metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, logic, and philosophical theology, and in particular they will showcase what is philosophically distinctive and original in medieval philosophy. Students without experience in the history of philosophy will benefit from each unit’s clear, sharply written introductions that supply the necessary background to approach the debates intelligently.  In addition, the volume’s general introduction elucidates the value of studying the history of philosophy through debate, in particular the history of medieval philosophy.

Students will find in these debates models that will train them to formulate their own critical evaluations of a wide range of philosophical texts by thinkers with diverse philosophical commitments.


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