Byzantine Philosophy and Its Ancient Sources

By Katerina Ierodiakonou | Go to book overview
Save to active project

9
The Anti-Logical Movement in
the Fourteenth Century

KATERINA IERODIAKONOU

The debate among Byzantine philosophers and theologians about the proper attitude towards ancient logic is just one episode in the turbulent history of the reception of ancient philosophy in Byzantine thought, but it certainly raises one of the most complicated and intriguing issues in the study of the intellectual life in Byzantium. For there are many Byzantine authors who explicitly praise and themselves make use of, to a lesser or greater extent, the ancient logical traditions; yet, at the same time, there are also many others who fiercely reject the logical doctrines of pagan philosophers and their use, especially in theology. What I am particularly interested in, here, is to examine how the Byzantine attitude towards ancient logic differs from one author to another and from one period to another, what exactly the arguments presented in favour and against relying on these ancient theories are, and to what extent ancient logic, or some more developed form of it, actually is used by Byzantine thinkers.

There is no doubt that ancient logic, and more specifically Aristotle’s syllogistic, was taught extensively throughout the Byzantine era as a preliminary to more theoretical studies. This is amply attested not only by biographical information concerning the logical education of eminent Byzantine figures, but also by the substantial number of surviving Byzantine manuscripts of Aristotle’s logical writings, in particular Aristotle’s Prior Analytics, and of the related Byzantine scholia, paraphrases, and logical treatises. In fact, the predominance in Byzantium of Aristotle’s logic is so undisputed that, even when Byzantine scholars suggest changes in Aristotelian syllogistic, or attempt to incorporate into it other ancient logical traditions, they consider these alterations only as minor improvements on the Aristotelian system. Nevertheless, Byzantine authors are not all unanimous as to the importance of the study of Aristotle’s logic, and more generally, as to the importance of any kind of logical training. There is plenty of evidence that, in different periods of Byzantine history, some Byzantine philosophers

-219-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Byzantine Philosophy and Its Ancient Sources
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 312

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?