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The Spirit of Medieval Philosophy 1930–1932

Etienne Gilson

Summary

Table of Contents

Abstract

The central thesis of Etienne Gilsonĺs Spirit of Mediaeval Philosophy is that, contrary to the commonly held view, the Middle Ages did indeed have a distinctive philosophy of its own and that philosophy was the distinctively Christian one. Through comparisons with Plato and Aristotle, he principally examines Aquinas, Augustine, Duns Scotus and St Bonaventure. He is concerned with the relation of faith to reason in light of the very concept of a Christian philosophy, and shows how the mediŠvals drew upon but radically recast Platonic and Aristotelian metaphysics of being, necessity and contingency in light of the spirit of Christianity. Through accounts of nature and beings as created by being itself, Gilson demonstrates that the mediŠvalsĺ accounts of providence, liberty and morality are rational yet distinctively Christian in inspiration. Though the spirit of mediŠval philosophy floundered, Gilson suggests that that is where we should look in order to resurrect a Christian philosophy.
Sam Addison
University of Aberdeen
KEY WORDS: Christian, Self-knowledge, Scholasticism, Augustine, Aquinas, Necessity, Contingency, Faith, Reason, Plato, Duns Scotus, Aristotle, Grace, History

Publication Data

OnlineCharles Scribner's Sons1936
OriginalJ. Virn1932
Not Available
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Templeton Press