Scholasticism

978-1-58731-750-7
Paper $13
Translation by Richard and Clara Winston, 192 pages, 5½” x 8½”, originally published in English in 1960, preface, notes, index

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Scholasticism

Personalities and Problems of Medieval Philosophy

Pieper, Josef

In this amazing tour de monde medievale, Josef Pieper moves easily back and forth between the figures and the doctrines that made medieval philosophy unique in Western thought. After reflecting on the invidious implications of the phrase “Middle Ages,” he turns to the fascinating personality of Boethius whose Consolation of Philosophy is second only to the Bible in the number of manuscript copies. Neo-Platonic figures Dionysius and Eriugena are the occasion for a discussion of negative theology. The treatment of Anselm of Canterbury’s proof of God’s existence involves later voices, e.g., Kant. Pieper is enamored of the twelfth century, which is regularly eclipsed by accounts of the thirteenth. He does justice to both, and he gives a thorough and lively account of the struggle between Aristotelians and anti-Aristotelians, and the famous condemnations that put the effort of Saint Thomas Aquinas at risk.

The book closes with Pieper’s thoughts on the permanent philosophical and theological significance and the Middle Ages.