Students of Thomas Aquinas have so far lacked a comprehensive study of his doctrine of the transcendentals. This volume fills this lacuna, showing the fundamental character of the notions of being, one, true and good for his thought. The book inquires into the beginnings of the doctrine in the thirteenth century and explains the relation of the transcendental way of thought to Aquinas's conception of metaphysics. It analyzes 'Being', 'One', 'True', 'Good' and 'Beautiful' individually and discusses their importance for the (...) philosophical knowledge of God. Medieval Philosophy and the Transcendentals: The Case of Thomas Aquinas is intended as a contribution to the question 'What is philosophy in the Middle Ages?' It argues that the doctrine of the transcendentals is essential for understanding medieval philosophy. (shrink)
Aquinas presents his most complete exposition of the transcendentals inDe veritate 1, 1, that deals with the question What is truth?. The thesis of this paper is that the question of truth is essential for the understanding of his doctrine of the transcendentals.The first part of the paper (sections 1–4) analyzes Thomas''s conception of truth. Two approaches to truth can be found in his work. The first approach, based on Aristotle''s claim that truth is not in things but in the (...) mind, leads to the idea that the proper place of truth is in the intellect. The second approach is ontological: Thomas also acknowledges that there is truth in every being. The famous definition of truth as adequation of thing and intellect enables him to integrate the two approaches. Truth is a relation between two terms, both of which can be called true because both are essential for the conformity between thing and intellect. (shrink)
This essay examines Aquinas’s analysis of the human desire to know, which plays a central role in his thought. (I.) This analysis confronts him with the Aristotelian tradition: thus, the desire for knowledge is a “natural” desire. (II.) It also confronts him with the Augustinian tradition, which deplores a non-virtuous desire in human beings that is called “curiosity.” (III.) Aquinas connects the natural desire with the Neoplatonic circle motif: principle and end are identical. The final end of the desire to (...) know is the knowledge of God. (IV.) Aquinas also connects the end of the natural desire to know with Christian eschatology, teaching that man’s ultimate end is the visio Dei. This end, however, is “supernatural.” (V.) Duns Scotus severely criticizes central aspects of Aquinas’s account. (VI.) As a rejoinder to Scotus’s objections, we finally consider Aquinas’s view on the proper object of the human intellect. (shrink)
The paper presents the sources and the development of the medieval doctrine of transcendentals. In Aertsen's opinion transcendental philosophy of the Middle Ages differs considerably from the ontological doctrine of the Ancients as well as from the modern theory referring to the sphere of cognition. The beginnings of the medieval doctrine of the transcendentals were inspired mostly by considerations concerning primary conceptions of human mind included in Avicenna's "Metaphysica". Furthermore, they were connected with the Aristotelian idea of science, the Boethian (...) axiomatic method of "common conceptions of the soul", and theologians' interest in the horizon of human intellectual knowledge. Beside the Aristotelian-Avicennian reduction to the most universal predicate Albert the Great acknowledge another reduction (originating from the Christian-Neoplatonic tradition): reduction to the first cause. In his opinion, these two resolutions are complementary to each other. In the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, transcendentals are most fundamental insofar as they are the foundations of theoretical and practical science. The principle of contradiction – considered as the beginning of theoretical science – rests on the understanding of "being", and the first precept of natural law is founded on "the good". The development of the doctrine of the transcendentals in 13th century aloows to call the period "the second beginning of metaphysics" – since it changes the understanding of the proper subject of First Philosophy. In Albert the Great, for example, matephysics ceases to be the science of the divine, and becomes the science concerning what is first and the most fundamental – "being-as-being". In St. Bonaventure's philosophy, the doctrine of the transcendentals undergoes a theologizing transformation: that, which is first in the cognitive order is, at the same time, first ontologically. For Bonaventure, the latter "first" is God. (shrink)
In the Middle Ages more than in other periods, eschatology informed the way people understood humankind and the world. The papers in the present volume are devoted to the complexity and interconnectivty of the eschatological orientation of the Middle Ages. Central topics are questions of the influence and formation of eschatological themes in philosophy and the significance of ideas of the final end in medieval political thought. In addition, there is a consideration of further themes from history, theology, art and (...) literature. The 29th volume of the Miscellanea Mediaevalia contains the papers delivered to the 32nd Cologne Medieval Studies Conference plus additional contributions. The volume includes five papers on the 50-year history of the Thomas Institute, which has been organising the Cologne Medieval Studies Conference for the last half century. (shrink)
The 13th century is often regarded as the epitome of the Middle Ages. The present volume aims to demonstrate new perspectives in research into this century. The main topics in the book are questions from the fields of theoretical and practical philosophy, theology, the history of institutions, problems in literature, art, learning and education, and cultural contact. This 27th volume of the Miscellanea Mediaevalia contains the papers delivered to the 31st Medievalists’ Conference held in Cologne in September 1998, together with (...) a number of additional contributions. In keeping with the basic idea of the Cologne Medievalists’ Conferences, the volume is divided into 10 sections containing the 38 papers from philosophy and history, literary history and theology, and the history of learning and the arts. (shrink)
Die MISCELLANEA MEDIAEVALIA präsentieren seit ihrer Gründung durch Paul Wilpert im Jahre 1962 Arbeiten des Thomas-Instituts der Universität zu Köln. Das Kernstück der Publikationsreihe bilden die Akten der im zweijährigen Rhythmus stattfindenden Kölner Mediaevistentagungen, die vor über 50 Jahren von Josef Koch, dem Gründungsdirektor des Instituts, ins Leben gerufen wurden. Der interdisziplinäre Charakter dieser Kongresse prägt auch die Tagungsakten: Die MISCELLANEA MEDIAEVALIA versammeln Beiträge aus allen mediävistischen Disziplinen - die mittelalterliche Geschichte, die Philosophie, die Theologie sowie die Kunst- und Literaturwissenschaften (...) sind Teile einer Gesamtbetrachtung des Mittelalters. (shrink)
In this volume specialists of medieval music and philosophy put the medieval 'musica' into the context of ideas and institutions in which it existed. The significance of 'musica' cannot be understood from a modern point of view since 'music' does not match the medieval 'musica'.
Averroes the philosopher was the Commentator of Aristotle. In this, the project of his life coincided with the perception of his contemporary readers & with the esteem governing four centuries of European Aristotelianism. It has been the purpose of the 4th Symposium Averroicum to contribute to a better understanding of this philosophy: both on the basis of Averroes' works & in the light of his sources. The Symposium, held in conjunction with the 6th Editors Conference of the Averrois Opera, brought (...) together eminent scholars & researchers on Averroes & adjacent areas. Their contributions are presented in four sections: * The Project of Averroes * Averroes & the Hellenistic Commentators * Averroes, the Commentator * Averroes & the Latin Tradition A bibliography of editions & contributions to the text is appended (to date 1998). (shrink)
Nach wie vor wird das Verhältnis des späten Mittelalters zur anbrechenden Neuzeit kontrovers diskutiert. Manche sehen im 14. und 15. Jahrhundert eine Periode des Verfalls, andere betonen die prägende und innovative Rolle dieser Epoche für die Neuzeit. Der 31. Band der Miscellanea Mediaevalia wirft einen interdisziplinären Blick auf diese Zeitspanne und wendet sich dabei auch kritisch klassischen Einschätzungen zu. Die über dreißig Beiträge behandeln die Philosophie des Spätmittelalters, spätmittelalterliche Wissenschaftsinstitutionen, die Architektur, die Wirtschafts- und Rechtsgeschichte, die Spiritualität im Spätmittelalter, aber (...) auch so prominente Figuren wie Jean Gerson und Nikolaus von Kues. (shrink)
Suarez's Disputationes metaphysicae, first published in 1597, is the first systematic treatise on metaphysics in the West, and it summarizes the metaphysical thought of medieval Scholasticism. Gracia and Davis present an English translation of Disputations X and XI which together provide us with a comprehensive analysis of good and evil. The text is not easy to understand for a modern reader. To facilitate its being understood, the translators have added a substantial introduction.
The focus of this article is on an ambivalent conception in medieval thought, namely the term ‘transcendens’, which on the one hand signifies a reality beyond created beings, i.e. God, and on the other hand signifies something common to all beings. Armandus de Bellovisu, in his Declaratio difficilium terminorum, has thematized exactly this difference between transcendence that follows from ‘nobility of being’ and that which follows from ‘commonness of predication’ . The medieval term ‘transcendens’, because of its ambiguity, thus includes (...) two fundamental concepts, which represent divergent philosophical tendencies concerning the specification of First Philosophy: the one understands it as «Philosophy of Transcendence», the other as «Transcendental Philosophy». The history of metaphysics is characterized by the tension between these two tendencies, but as we shall see, it also shows that they are intimately connected. (shrink)