Medieval philosophy is a term used to refer to the philosophy that existed through the Middle Ages, the period roughly extending from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century to the Renaissance in the 15th century. Medieval philosophy, understood as a project of independent philosophical inquiry, began in Baghdad, in the middle of the 8th century, and in France, in the itinerant court of Charlemagne, in the last quarter of the 8th century. The history of medieval philosophy is traditionally divided into two main periods: the period in the Latin West following the Early Middle Ages until the 12th century, when the works of Aristotle and Plato were rediscovered, translated, and studied upon, and the "golden age" of the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries in the Latin West, which witnessed the culmination of the recovery of ancient philosophy, along with the reception of its Arabic commentators, and significant developments in the fields of philosophy of religion, logic, and metaphysics. Modern historians consider the medieval era to be one of philosophical development, heavily influenced by Christian theology. Medieval philosophy places heavy emphasis on the theological. With the possible exceptions of Avicenna and Averroes, medieval thinkers did not consider themselves philosophers at all: for them, the philosophers were the ancient pagan writers such as Plato and Aristotle. Thomas Aquinas, following Peter Damian, argued that philosophy is the handmaiden of theology (ancilla theologiae). Despite this view of philosophy as the servant of theology, this did not prevent the medievals from developing original and innovative philosophies against the backdrop of their theological projects. all the medieval philsophers' work are:
One of the most heavily debated topics of the period was that of faith versus reason. The boundaries of the early medieval period are a matter of controversy. It is generally agreed that it begins with Augustine (354–430) who strictly belongs to the classical period, and ends with the lasting revival of learning in the late eleventh century, at the beginning of the high medieval period. In later periods, monks were used for training administrators and churchmen. Much of the work of Aristotle was unknown in the West in this period. Scholars relied on translations by Boethius into Latin of Aristotle's Categories, the logical work On Interpretation, and his Latin translation of Porphyry's Isagoge, a commentary on Aristotle's Categories. Two Roman philosophers had a great influence on the development of medieval philosophy: Augustine and Boethius. Some of his writing had an influence on the development of early modern philosophy, such as that of Descartes. His influence on the early medieval period was also marked (so much so that it is sometimes called the Boethian period). He intended to translate all the works of Aristotle and Plato from the original Greek into Latin, and translated many of Aristotle's logical works, such as On Interpretation, and the Categories. This introduced the problem of universals to the medieval world.
This period also witnessed a revival of scholarship. The period from the middle of the eleventh century to the middle of the fourteenth century is known as the 'High medieval' or 'scholastic' period. The 13th and early 14th centuries are generally regarded as the high period of scholasticism. The early 13th century witnessed the culmination of the recovery of Greek philosophy. His work formed the basis of the major commentaries that followed.
Following Anselm, Bonaventure supposed that reason can discover truth only when philosophy is illuminated by religious faith. Thomas Aquinas, whose artful synthesis of Greek rationalism and Christian doctrine eventually came to define Catholic philosophy. All the main branches of philosophy today were a part of Medieval philosophy. Medieval philosophy also included most of the areas originally established by the pagan philosophers of antiquity, in particular Aristotle. Medieval philosophy is characteristically theological. Subjects discussed in this period include:
After the 'rediscovery' of Aristotle's Metaphysics in the mid-twelfth century, many scholastics wrote commentaries on this work (in particular Aquinas and Scotus). The problem of universals was one of the main problems engaged during that period. In natural philosophy and the philosophy of science, medieval philosophers were mainly influenced by Aristotle. However, from the fourteenth century onward, the increasing use of mathematical reasoning in natural philosophy prepared the way for the rise of science in the early modern period. The great historian of logic I. M. Bochenski regarded the Middle Ages as one of the three great periods in the history of logic. In the earlier period, writers such as Peter Abelard wrote commentaries on the works of the Old logic (Aristotle's Categories, On interpretation, and the Isagoge of Porphyry). Medieval philosophy of mind is based on Aristotle's De Anima, another work discovered in the Latin West in the twelfth century. It was regarded as a branch of the philosophy of nature. It has its origins in medieval philosophy. Writers in this area include Saint Augustine, Duns Scotus, Nicholas of Autrecourt, Thomas Aquinas, and William of Ockham.
Writers in this area include Anselm, Augustine, Peter Abelard, Scotus, Peter of Spain, Aquinas, and Ockham.
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