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Philosophy of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

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Alex Sparta

on 17 October 2013

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Transcript of Philosophy of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Philosophy of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Middle Ages
AD 400- 1500 between the downfall of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance
Three distinct periods:
Dark Ages: 400-1000
High Middle Ages: 1000-1300
Later Middle Ages: 1300-1500
1300-1650, following Middle Ages
Cultural movement
Northern Italy rest of Europe
Culture, Science, Literature and Art transformations
Began to question previous ideas and philosophies on viewing world
Led to discovery of...
St. Augustine
Born in North African region of Tagaste
First major medieval philosopher
Philosophized about faith, certainty, divine illumination, time, evil, human will, and foreknowledge
Later Middle Ages:
Economic stagnation, wars, and Black Plague
Unity of Catholic church also came under fire
Brought middle ages as a whole to an end
High Middle Ages:
Dark Ages:
Renaissance Humanism
Dominant philosophy
Individualism and recognizing man's worth
Shifted from Middle Ages Philosophy of...
Christianity and power of Church
Skepticism- curiosity, doubting previous ideas
Focus on present day
Education-more professions
Living content, independent life!
Renaissance Humanism
Petrarch-classical literature
15th century-Greek texts
New ideas
Biblical texts in original languages
Leads to discrepancies with Catholic Church
Literature expands to classical ideas and theater tells stories
Less religious
Renaissance Humanism
Curiosity and Experimentation widely accepted, leads to...
Empirical Method-new scientific outlook
Basing knowledge on observation
Using your senses too!
Used to make new discoveries
Innovations spread of new ideas
Renaissance Humanism
Middle Ages
Theology based
Saints- halos
Hieratic Scale
Gold Background
Less interested in depicting Church and religion
Halos disappear
Ordinary people
Natural Landscapes
Perspective shown through: mathematical formulas and oil paint
Starting point of Augustine's philosophy
relation between faith and reason
"Faith seeking understanding"
There are four main areas of knowledge that skeptics cannot even question
1. Knowledge of our own existence
2. Certainty of math
3. Certainty of logic
4. Immediate sense experience
Divine Illumination
First, we develop our beliefs on our own, then God illuminates our minds to allow us to know if they are true or not
God justifies our beliefs
Has no meaning apart from our minds
Present is the only time because the past relies on the present and the future does not exist yet
God only has an indirect role in the cause of suffering
God's goodness means he does no evil
God's justness means he rewards the good and punishes evil
Foreknowledge and Human Will
Cause of all evil is ......
All blame rests on our shoulders, not on Gods
Reason for divine punishment
God's foreknowledge of your choice does not interfere with your freedom

Desire all things in their appropriate manner
Reserve our most supreme desire for God
Heavenly city vs. Earthly city
New forms of education emerged in Western Europe
Four main types of educational practices
Monastic Schools
Individual "masters"
Cathedral schools
Christianity is seen as the predominant philosophy of life
In natural philosophy and philosophy of science, medieval philosophy was strongly influenced by Aristotle
No longer a matter of interpreting Aristotle or commenting on the works of "old/new logic"
Period of germination and growth
Belief in Christian revelation VS approaching Christian truths with reason
No difference between philosophy and theology
Philosophy becomes a specialized discipline
The problem of:
The compatibility of the divine attributes
The compatibility of divine foreknowledge with human free will
St. Thomas Aquinas
Focused on the notion of beauty
Definition of beauty: Beauty is that which gives pleasure when seen
Is beauty transcendental?
Four primary standards of beauty
Beauty resides in the object
Beauty is not a concept in the mind of the beholder imposed onto a given object
If beauty is objective, then there must be some criteria by which we discover whether something is beautiful
Beauty and goodness differ logically
Medieval Literature
The middle ages saw the beginnings of a rebirth in literature
Scholars and poets traveling to the Crusades learned of new writing styles
New interest in romantic prose
Scholars at universities began to question convention and write social commentary and poetic fiction
Language developed further
Books were considered treasures
These humorous short stories were the most popular medieval works
Enjoyed by an immense audience
Most were developed from earlier folk tales but authors added social commentary into the fable
Characters were visible in everyday life
Why this was important
To help round out the spiritual needs of men and women
The Penitential Psalms
The Office of the Dead prayer
"Book Of Hours"
Decline in:
Population increased and intellectual thought was revitalized
Emergence of medieval universities:
Developed philosophical method scholasticism
Blended philosophy and theology
Popular religious book which had a bible verse for each hour of the day, and a calendar showing all the church's feast days
For 300 years the Book of Hours was the bestseller of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance
It was easy and even enjoyable to use
Book of Hours
The Book of Hours allowed direct, uninterrupted access to God, and the saints
How people felt about their Book of Hours is reflected in the varied marks of ownership
Vast audience with a shared mindset
Book of Hours linked church and home
Transformed one's chamber into a chapel
The Penitential Psalms
Recited to help one resist temptation to commit any of the seven deadly sins
"Happy the man whose offense is forgiven, whose sin is remitted. a happy the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, in whose spirit is no guile. I kept it secret and my frame was wasted. I groaned all the day long, for night and day your hand was heavy upon me. Indeed, my strength was dried up as by the summer's heal. But now I have acknowledged my sins; my guilt I did not hide."
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