Medieval Philosophy

Medieval Philosophy - Medieval Philosophy 1. Introduction...

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Medieval Philosophy 1. Introduction There are various means of deciding what is true. Not all give the same answer. Therefore, a society must put more faith in one approach than another. The order in which various approaches are accepted determines the pattern of thought of the society. Shifts in the order provide us with the basic paradigm of the history of philosophy in the west. Ancient Early Middle Ages High Middle Ages Modern Era Reason Authority Reason Experience Experience Reason Experience Reason Authority Experience Authority Authority 2. The Ancient or Rationalist Period. The ancients prefered reason and logic above observation and experience, because the senses can easily be deceived, and they lacked the equipment to enhance the senses, make precise observations, and record the data. They also noted that, although one can deduce various laws governing triangles, spheres, circles, and the like, such things do not exists in nature and so are outside of human experience. That is, there can be no triangle in nature found with exactly180 interior degrees, any more than one can find a precisely straight line. In there use of reason, they prefered demonstrative logic , the demonstration of derivations from known principles. The basic operation in demonstrative logic is the syllogism . The syllogism consists of three parts: a. The major premise : Socrates is a man , which simply states that Socrates belongs to a category of object which we call "man." b. The minor premise : all men are mortal . All categories are defined by their characteristics, some of which are essential and some of which are accidental. The accidental characteristics of the category of "man" include such things as height, IQ, skin color, number of arms and legs (if less than three), and so forth. Essential characteristics are such things as bipedal, mammal, and rational. The minor premise simply specifies one if the essential characteristics of the category "man." c. The conclusion : Socrates is mortal . The major premise is based upon the observation that "Socrates" displays the necessary essential characteristics to place him in the caetegory of "man." If so, then Socrates has all of the essential characteristics of the category. A note: the categories are usually referred to as universals.
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Medieval Philosophy - Medieval Philosophy 1. Introduction...

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