Mediaeval Philosophy Illustrated from the System of Thomas Aquinas

Mediaeval Philosophy Illustrated from the System of Thomas Aquinas

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Mediaeval Philosophy Illustrated from the System of Thomas Aquinas

Mediaeval Philosophy Illustrated from the System of Thomas Aquinas

Read FREE!

Excerpt

I. The place of Thomism in Mediaeval Philosophy.

II. Plan and Method.

I. The place of Thomism in Mediaeval Philosophy. Some years ago I made a circuit of the French Cathedrals under the guidance of a friend who is an archaeologist. "We shall visit first," said he, "the cathedral of Amiens, for it is the prototype of many other churches, and it is easier there than elsewhere to study the vaulting, pointing, pillars, buttresses, and all the other elements which enter into the grammar of Gothic architecture. After Amiens, we shall visit in turn Beauvais, Rheims, Paris, Laon, and Chartres. But, in doing so, we shall constantly refer back to what we have seen at Amiens, in order to point out resemblances or differences."

This wise procedure, to the happy results of which I can testify, can be applied with equal advantage in the study of the scholastic philosophy of the thirteenth century, a system of thought contemporaneous and intimately connected with the great productions of Gothic architecture. And just as in order to understand the structural methods of the mediaeval architects it is well to take some one building as a type or model, so also, in the study of the system of ideas known as scholastic philosophy, we could not adopt a better pedagogic method than the consideration of the typical expression of the system, as presented to us by Thomas Aquinas in the years about 1260-70. This procedure will enable . . .

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