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Survey of Medieval Philosophy: The relation between human being and God

Class at Faculty of Arts |

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6.10: Introduction. Do philosophy and theology go hand in hand? (Augustine, texts from De doctrina christiana)


13.10: Maimonides and the via negativa (texts from the Guide of the Perplexed)


20.10: Anselm of Canterbury (texts from Monologion and Proslogion)


27.10: The 13th century: universities and censorships (text: Siger of Brabant, On the intellective soul)


3.11: Thomas Aquinas and the project of natural theology. What can I know about God? (ST Ia q. 12 a.



10.11: What can I know about manhood? Aquinas against Avicenna and Averroes (ST Ia qq. 75-76)


17.11: What can I know about the world? (ST Ia q. 84-85)


24.11: A different project: illuminationism vs natural theology. Bonaventure (text: the scholastic sermon “Jesus my only master”)


1.12: John Duns Scotus’ natural theology. How can I know God? (Ord. I.2)


8.12: How can I know the world? (Ord. I.3)


15.12: Scotus’ epistemology. Follow up


5.1: William of Ockham (texts on intuition and abstraction from Ord. I)

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NB: Permanent link to Zoom meetings on Moodle. Please register to the Moodle page of this course to access it!


Revolving around the theme of the relation between creature and creator, this course will target medieval philosophical texts that are considered as the most representative of the Middle Ages. From Augustine to Anselm, passing through the major works of Aquinas and Scotus, we will examine the solutions of these philosophers to spell out, on the one hand, how human beings depend on God and, on the other, what is properly and entirely human. The course will be structured into two modules: the first one (corresponding to the first hour of the course) will consist in a frontal lesson by the teacher and the second, in the general discussion of a text presented by one or two students.