Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

An Introduction to Medieval Philosophy: Basic Concepts

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

An Introduction to Medieval Philosophy: Basic Concepts

Article excerpt

AN INTRODUCTION TO MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY: BASIC CONCEPTS by Joseph W. Koterski, SJ. Wiley-Blackwell, 256 pages, $29.95

Fr. Joseph Koterski, a philosophy teacher at Fordham University and editor in chief of International Philosophical Quarterly, has penned a lovely little introduction to the basic themes of medieval philosophy. With chapters devoted to such central concepts as faith and reason, God, transcendentals, and the soul, the book offers students and scholars alike a brief yet sophisticated overview of the philosophical ideas that formed the medieval mind.

While Koterski emphasizes the continuity in medieval thought, he is also careful to remind readers that philosophy in the Middle Ages was hardly monolithic. For instance, he illuminates the various medieval approaches to philosophical questions with his discussion of the problem of universale.

This was a recurring theme in the Middle Ages because of the question's metaphysical, epistemologica! …

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