PHIL 201: Medieval Philosophy
Time Offered:3:05PM - 4:20PM
This course examines key themes developed by the philosophers from the long millennium between the fall of Rome and the rise of the Renaissance, many of whom responded to ancient Greek philosophy in the context of their theological commitments (Christian, Jewish, Muslim). The works of Augustine and Aquinas are at the core; readings may also include works by Boethius, Anselm, Abelard, Occam, Scotus, Avicenna, Al-Kindi, Maimonides, and Averroes. We ask: What is the fundamental nature of reality, and where do humans fit in? How ought we to understand essence and existence? Do abstract concepts correspond to real "universals" or are they mere names? What does a belief in free will and evil commit us to? What should we make of the arguments for God¿s existence? What are laws of nature, and in what respect might natural law govern our lives? To answer these questions, we examine the cultural and Greek/Roman background of medieval philosophy, and give close study to the significant philosophical and related texts of the tradition.