The Mediaeval Mind: A History of the Development of Thought and Emotion in the Middle Ages - Vol. 2

By Henry Osborn Taylor | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXVII
TWELFTH-CENTURY SCHOLASTICISM
I. THE PROBLEM OF UNIVERSALS: ABAELARD.
II. THE MYSTIC STRAIN: HUGO AND BERNARD.
III. THE LATER DECADES: BERNARD SILVESTRIS; GILBERT DE LA PORRÉE; WILLIAM OF CONCHES; JOHN OF SALISBURY, AND ALANUS OF LILLE.

I

FROM the somewhat elaborate general considerations which have occupied the last two chapters, we turn to the representative manifestations of mediaeval thought in the twelfth century. These belong in part to the second or "logical," and in part to the third or "meta-logical," stage of the mediaeval mind. The first or "grammatical" stage was represented by the Carolingian period; and in reviewing the mental aspects of the eleventh century, we entered upon the second stage, that of logic, or dialectic, to use the more specific mediaeval term. Toward the close of the tenth century, Gerbert was found strenuously occupying himself with logic, and using it as a means of ordering the branches of knowledge. At the end of the eleventh, Anselm has not only considered certain logical problems, but has vaulted over into constructive metaphysical theology. Looking back over Anselm's work, from the vantage-ground of the twelfth century's further reflections, one may be conscious of a certain genial youthfulness in his reliance upon single arguments, noble and beautiful soarings of the spirit, which however pay little regard to the firmness of the premises from which they spring, and still less to a number of cognate

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