The Middle Ages and Renaissance

410 51 32MB

English Pages [286] Year 1965

Report DMCA / Copyright

DOWNLOAD FILE

Polecaj historie

The Middle Ages and Renaissance

Citation preview

THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY

THE MIDDLE A AND THE RENAISSANCE BY

EMILE BREHJER

TRANSLATED BY WADE BASKIN

B77 THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO CHICAGO AND LONDON

361S82

£5 PRESS ^

Originally published in 1931 as Histoire de la philosophic: le Moyen Age. Ill: Le Moyen Age ® 1931, Presses Universitaires de France

L'Antiquite et et la Renaissance.

The present bibliography has been revised and enlarged to include recent publications. These have been

supplied by the translator and Joseph Betz

SBN:

226-07218-^ (clothbound); 226-oj2ig-^ (paperbound)

The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 60637 The University of Chicago Press, Ltd., London ® 1 965 by The University of Chicago All rights reserved. Published 1965

Fourth Impression

1

970

Printed in the United States of America

1% CONTENTS The Early Middle Ages

I

II

The Tenth and Eleventh III

IV

V

VI

i

Centuries

The Twelfth Century

46

Philosophy in the East

88

The

Thirteenth Century

The Fourteenth Century VII

The Renaissance INDEX

265

215

113

183

27

THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES DURING THE FIFTH CENTURY the Unity o£ the Mediterranean civiHzation was shattered just shattered.

invasions

With came

as

poHtical

its

the destruction of towns that

marked

unity was

the barbarian

the disappearance of traditional centers of culture

throughout the West, and with the destruction of urban civilization

came

the collapse of the sophistical instruction that

had imposed

unity on the last part of the age of antiquity.

its

How

was

possible for instruction to continue

under the de-

plorable conditions that existed until the time of

Charlemagne?

it

Here we must age: attention

one general

recall

was directed

less

characteristic of the late

toward

than toward the development of the spiritual

need was met not by the

Museum

of

Alexandria, but by

the Therapeutae of Philo,

life,

and the universal

chairs of sophistry or of science,

gradually became philosophical schools.

Roman

intellectual training per se

modeled on

conventicles

spiritual

that

They had sprung up among

Lake Mareotis, described

in the writings of

and countless Pythagorean, Hermetic, and Platonic com-

munities flourished even within pagan

though the

spiritual Hfe

was

still

circles.

Furthermore,

need for rational organization paramount in certain stance,

among

Plotinians), in others

it

tended

respect a mystery cult with a set of formulas,

Thus

it

was not by

clination that all the

al-

pre-eminently intellectual and the

to

circles (for in-

become

rites,

in every

and sacraments.

violent revolution but through natural in-

remnants of

intellectual life

were preserved

2

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

in the Christian communities, particularly in monasteries, after the

West had solidly embraced Christianity. Almost imperceptibly, therefore, a remarkable change came about: intellectual life was completely subordinated to religious life; philosophical problems were studied against the background of man's destiny as conceived by Christianity. religious life

The

period during which the

remained dominant marked the boundaries



—which are

somewhat vague of the intellectual Middle Ages. The modern age began with acceptance of the autonomy of intellectual methods and problems a revolution so profound that even today we can scarcely comprehend all its consequences. naturally



I

Orthodoxy and Heresies

in the

Fourth and Fifth Centuries

On

this

point

we must

the East

we

detect the

West from

carefully separate

great religious controversies that

marked

East. In the

the end of antiquity in

same metaphysical preoccupation, the same

concern with determining the intelligible structure of things as in

Neo-Platonism of the same Christological

question— that

All of

era.

and the

Trinitarian question

them concern

is,

either the

of hypostases or the

interrelations

the relation between the

a divine hypostasis

and Jesus Christ

appeals to authority

and

man.

as a

And

to Scripture the divergences

Word

as

in spite of

between theo-

logians seem to be mainly philosophical.

On

the one

hand

modalists feared that

there were

making

the

the

heretics.

Word

the

Sabellius

Son

of

and the

God would

and Arius, in the same spirit, reversed the argument and accepted the Son of God as a person only on condilead to polytheism,

tion that

he be made the

first

of

all

God's creatures "but without

being eternal or coeternal with the Father, for

The whole Antioch but a

man

is

his principle."

^

school refused to see in Jesus Christ anything

perfected by divine grace,

combinations of

God

God and man, an

and

it

rejected metaphysical

idea that permeated Christianity

^Quoted by Harnack, Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte (3d

ed.), H,

191, n. 2.

THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES

3

following Nestorius and spread even to the Far East. All such opinions bore the stamp of the same rationaUstic inspiration directed

toward

classifying, avoiding confusion,

making

distinctions.

was orthodox dogma which sought

tering the heresies

Coun-

to reconcile

theocentrism (which eliminates any possibility of difference within divine unity) and the distinctions indispensable to the very existence

and the Council

of Christianity. Athanasius

Trent confronted

of

Arius with the argument of the unity of substance in

God

together

with the diversity of the three persons, and Cyril of Alexandria and the Council of Ephesus

human and

that the duality of

prevent

Mary from being

Conflicts

condemned Nestorius by arguing

(433)

abounded

divine natures in Christ did not

the Theotokos, the

in the

West

as well

Mother

of

God.

during the same

but

era,

they were of a different order. All issued, directly or indirectly, from

Church and

the need for the institution of the

was true Africa,

of Donatism,

and which had been

debate presided over by true of Pelagianism,

The Church

in

tion of divine grace

The

hierarchy. This

which

Augustine combated

St.

in

when

the

It

was

also

all

his

life.

in existence for a century

Augustine took place in 411.

St.

an institution necessary for the dispensa-

role as

its

its

which originated and almost prevailed

was incompatible with both of

these heresies.

Donatists held that the validity of a sacrament depended on

the spiritual state of the priest

meant

rejecting the

objective rules,

Church

who

and exposing

it

for stability,

and

is

it

it.

This would have

grounded on

to all the

appraisal of the morality of priests.

ment

conferred

as a society

strict, practical,

hazards of a subjective

Formalism

is

no more necessary

the prime requirefor the

jurist

As

who

decides

what

for Pelagianism,

is

right to be personally just.

the starting point of the conflict

attempt on the part of the form.

To

who Roman

one

confers the sacraments to be a saint at heart than for the

refute Christians

was an

monk Pelagius to promote monastic rewho used the weakness of the flesh as

an excuse for not complying with divine law, he preached that

man

has the strength to do good

powers of

human

nature.

He

if

he so wills and pointed to the

insisted "that the soul should not be

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

4

remiss or hesitant in the pursuit of virtue simply because

impotent and

is

ignorant of

with

to Stoicism

its

own

potential."

confidence in virtue; but

its

us the sin of another;

work

of a

and not it

presents Christ's

it

model teacher or

as the

work

a

model

of a victim

the negation of

is

it

God

original sin transmitted by heredity, since

feels

it

His view goes back

-

cannot impute to

work

as if

it

were the

doctor, such as a saintly Cynic,

whose merits

justify

denies that the vehicles of grace, the sacraments

man;

finally,

which the Church

provides for the faithful, are of any importance.

To

counteract such notions

St.

Augustine cited the personal ex-

perience of his conversion and the effective reality of the Church.

Pelagius were right,

If

man would

not have to ask through prayer

when he

be freed from temptation or to pray

to

The

erred.^

Pelagians strove to identify our good with that part of us which

not of God;

is

they granted that good will

if

was only because they put

God would

in this case

it

in the

same

follows that the good which comes

which comes from God. sequences of

this

with existence; and

class

St.

attitude:

man himself makes

from us

is

Augustine traced in

good can enter the

on merit acquired through grace, belongs only

God throughout damned;

justly

eternity; children

who

it

we

good,

superior to that detail the

soul,

original sin, only through a special grace; salvation,

by

this

also be the author of evil will; or if

grant that he produces only will and that it

came from God,

con-

corrupted by

which depends

to those predestined

die without baptism are

the heathen, never having been touched by the

grace of Christ, have never attained virtue.

This dual

conflict,

together with the solution proposed by St.

Augustine, throws light on the setting in which Western thought

was

to evolve: a

Church with

control over salvation.

full

The work

power of

thereafter to exercise full

Pope Gregory the Great was

to be the final consolidation of the spiritual

The

conflicts of the early

cal politics ^

Ad

^

Augustine

power of the Church.

Middle Ages have

to

(in the highest sense of the term)

Demetrium,

Ad

cited by Harnack, Lehrbuch, Marcellinum ii. i.

III,

i6i.

do with

ecclesiasti-

rather than with

THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES

5

dogma

in the Eastern sense, that

the metaphysical structure of

is,

when brought

the divinity. St. Augustine's thought, so rigid

human

bear on the reUgious U£e of the

dogma

to

in the strict sense.

For

soul,

is

to

vague with respect

instance, in the controversy over

the origin of the soul (whose solution seems, moreover, to constitute

an indispensable complement

hesitates

holds that tionism,

to his doctrine of grace),

he

without drawing a conclusion between traducianism, which

human

souls are propagated by generation,

which holds

that each soul

who

fiercely attacks those

believe that

whole nature

quality or his

as if

crea-

"man can

discuss his

own

no part of himself escaped him."

moment when

Furthermore, from the

power with Gregory the Great

and

created ex nihilo; and he

is

*

they seized undisputed

until the twelfth century, the popes

gave no encouragement to theological speculation. Politicians and

were more concerned with establishing

jurists before all else, they

and insuring the

drawn from

rights

souls than with giving direction to

The

II

It

was

Fifth still

an

spiritual

power over

movement.

and Sixth Centuries: Boethius

possible for the philosophical tradition to lend valuable

support to the verities of

faith.

Such was the conviction

nus Mamertus, a Provencal monk,

drew together

468)

their

intellectual

who

in

De

statu

of Claudia-

animae

(ca.

the views of the philosophical authorities on

the spirituality of the soul.

He

cited St. Paul to prove that philos-

ophers were not so ignorant of truth as their contemporaries ac-

cused them of being, and he took his colleagues to task for their intellectual indolence.

He

complained that Plato was treated with

contempt even though "many centuries before the Incarnation," long before

one

God had

God and

men

revealed the truth to men, Plato "discussed the

the three persons in him."

of the late

Middle Ages came

to

^

know

Through Claudianus, the views

on the

corporality of the soul expressed in the Phaedrus, the Timaeus, *

De

anitna et ejus origine

^Migne, Patrologia Latina,

iv. 2.

LIII, 746d.

in-

and

6

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE work

the Phaedo) his

also

table type of erudition,

was the

last

provided them with a model of a lamen-

which consisted of disconnected

and

extracts

descendant of the doxographies in which the age of

summed up its philosophical past as it was drawing to a close; in his work we find alongside the Greek philosophers (Pythagoreans and Platonists) the Roman philosophers (Sextius and

antiquity

Varro), then the barbarians (Zoroaster, the Brahmans, Anacharsis), and, of course, the Stoic Chrysippus, whimsically cited to prove the spirituality of the soul.

In the

work

of Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, "the last of

the Romans," born

in 480,

named

consul in 510, appointed to high

by Theodoric, and accused of magic practices and executed

office

Middle Ages had a

in 524, the late

comprehensive but more

less

substantial account of ancient philosophy. Boethius

had undertaken

the staggering task of translating into Latin the works of Plato Aristotle

and those

ceeded, his project, tury,

of several of their commentators.

which was not revived

would probably have changed

Had

and

he suc-

until the eighteenth cen-

radically the course of medieval

philosophy. Actually, however, his accomplishment was limited to the translation of gories, followed

some

of Aristotle's writings

on

logic: the Cate-

by a commentary inspired by Porphyry's;

pretatione, followed by

De

inter-

two commentaries; Porphyry's Isagoge,

lowed by a commentary inspired by Ammonius.

He

fol-

prepared hand-

books on categorical and hypothetical syllogisms and on topical differences, but

he translated none of Aristotle's other works on

logic.

Thus

on

a portion of Aristotle's writings

cogent representative of antiquity! This fact

logic stood as the sole is

and

categories of substance, quality, quantity, to things themselves, as Boethius indicated

as signifiers of things

is

first

of

corporeal thing.

all

It

a

name

follows

is

a

do not

refer

basis of Porphyry's

classes. Aristotle deals

and with things

words. For him, therefore, language

name

so forth,

on the

work, but neither are they simple grammatical with words

important. Aristotle's

human

as signified

institution

by

and any

that serves to designate a particular that

categories

and,

after

them, the

THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES

7

whole of logic are naturally adapted

and made

to corporeal things

for them.

This

the crux of the problem posed at the beginning of the

is

Isagoge: "As for genera and species (designated by words that no

longer signify corporeal, concrete things), have they an existence or are they only in our thoughts? If they exist, are they bodies or in-

corporeal things? If they are incorporeal things, are they separate

or do they exist only in sensible things?" Porphyry merely raised the

commenting on them indicated but did not

questions; Boethius in

sanction the solution proposed by Aristotle. is

patently

drawn from

The proposed

solution

the criticism of Plato's ideas: a genus exists

simultaneously in several individuals and obviously cannot exist in itself;

numerical unity of a being in

itself

is

incompatible with

dispersion of genus in species or of species in individuals.^

Boethius

also

completed some theological works which were

widely read and annotated until the twelfth century. They are closely linked to his dialectical writings; for instance, his

Trinitate

De

sancta

based on the question, "Are the rules of dialectic ap-

is

plicable to propositions enunciated

cautions are to be taken and

what

by the theologian?

What

pre-

particular rules are to be followed

in using discourse for subjects for

which discourse was not

de-

signed?" Boethius was also influential by virtue of his celebrated work,

The

Consolation of Philosophy, which he wrote in prison following

his disgrace. Its literary

Roman

There

form

diatribe

(a

is

hardly a trace of Christianity in the work."^

mixture of verse and prose)

and

its

substance

Platonic theodicy. His aim a victim: Is the course of

is

is

is

drawn from

modeled on the the Stoic and

to explain the injustice of

human

events, so disordered

which he

is

when com-

pared with the perfect order of nature, in the hands of blind fortune?

The

old theme appears in Plato's Gorgias and

Laws and

in Plotinus'

Enneads. His doubting and despair are dispelled by two types of ••

Ibid.,

LXIV, 82b-86a.

{Revue Critique, 1928, p. 377) finds almost no trace of a distinction between purgatory and hell (Patrologia Latina, LXIII, 806). '^Gilson

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

8

come

remedies. First

the "milder cures": Fortune, in a diatribe

shows Boethius that he has no reason

similar to that o£ Teles,

complain, that true happiness accommodates

bad luck has

shows that

Philosophy

resides solely in is

true

God, who

is

all

events, that even

Then come "more which

happiness,

the

Good and

violent cures":

is

independence,

perfect unity.

God, who

the author of nature, can direct beings only toward the good; and

evil, since it is

advantages.

its

to

to

cannot be produced by God,

nothing. All that remains

is

the affirmation of Providence to the fact that, as experience

fit

shows, the wicked prosper. Philosophy replies, through the Gorgias

and the Republic, wicked

men

that their prosperity

are actually unhappy.

The

depends on Providence, whose will natural forces.

The

quite different

from apparent

result

is

is

only apparent, for

is

fate of

all

each being in reality

executed in detail through

the realization of true justice,

And

which

the objection

is

is

raised

that such a view of destiny assumes the negation of freedom,

which

seems

to

justice.

if

be antithetical to divine prescience, Boethius at

first

answers

with Cicero that prescience does not prove the necessity of events,

and then

that

edge of God,

own

it is

wrong

who

for us to base

our concept of the foreknowl-

Hves and perceives in an eternal present, on our

type of reasoning.

A moving book in spite of its factitious one of the few testaments

to a

moral

character,

life

other than the spiritual powers of the day.

not be classed as unique

is

that the

works

it

long remained

inspired by something

The

only reason

it

can-

of Lucan, Vergil,

and

Cicero were also studied during the late Middle Ages. If to these

works we add

his treatise

De institutions arithmetica, De institutio musica, we

based on Nicomachus of Gerasa, and his see

the role that Boethius played in the

Western world

in the

transmission of Hellenic culture to the Middle Ages.

After Boethius, for

going

who was

to the sources

not original but at least deserves credit

and dealing with questions

in depth,

we

humble compilers who devoted their attention to preparing extracts and summaries of ancient works for the instruction find only

of clerics.

One

of their models

was Martianus Capella the African,

THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES

9

who, toward the end of the

Wedding

century, under the

fifth

Mercury and Philology, had written

of

The

title

manual

a

which

in

each book from the third through the ninth was devoted to one of the seven liberal

arts.

knowledge

of his

The to

author was himself a compiler

Varro.

The

who owed most

fourth book (the Dialectic), which

men

begins with a eulogy of the famous Latin scholar, acquainted of the

Middle Ages with the

property,

and

terms

five

—genus,

tions, propositions,

and

The

syllogisms.

sixth

details

book

some

in the

task of assembling

which he had

juxta-

positive theorems.

Cassiodorus (477-575), a friend of Boethius life

mainly

consists

from Euclid's Elements. The seventh book

poses a symbolic arithmetic and

of his long

and with opposi-

from Pliny the Elder,

of a long description of the earth, borrowed

and a few

species, difference,

accident; with the ten categories;

who

spent a part

monastery of Vivarium, took upon himself the

and transmitting the fragmentary knowledge

He

access.

to

wrote an encyclopedia of theology called

the Institutiones divinae and explained the liberal arts in Saccular es lectiones. In

knowledge put

the

first

of the

of the liberal arts

to the service of truth.

two works, however, he is

states

that

rooted in the Bible and must be

He cites

as basic the

grammar

of Donatus,

and QuintiUan,

the rhetoric of Cicero annotated by Marius Victor

a dialectic that does not go beyond that of Martianus Capella, and

summaries of Boethius' arithmetic and Euclid's elements. His

treatise

De anima

was based on

St.

Augustine and Claudianus

Mamertus. The author was aware of the duality of inspiration that sets

soul.

philosophy against religion in the matter of the nature of the

The

"masters of secular letters" define the soul as "a simple

substance, a natural form, different

from bodily matter, possessing

the use of the organs and the potency of of veracious doctors"

it

stance, the cause of life

mortal,

and capable

is

life."

But "on the authority

"created by God, spiritual, a true sub-

on the part of the body,

of turning to

good or

rational

evil."

separate proofs of immortality offered by secular

and im-

He was

able to

men of much

(mainly the proofs found in the Phaedo) from the

proof offered by the "veracious authorities" (that the soul

is

letters

easier

created

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

10

image

in the

God)

of

.

among men, he mentioned

philosophers

error

faith

conditions the question of the relation between reason

was not easy

An

to resolve.

not a

set of speculative verities that

ment

or conflict. It is first

constitutions or rules of that

human

follow

Reason and Faith

Under such and

"who

of evil

^

rather than the law of the creator."

III

knowledge

Finally, in discussing the

two kinds

law are imposed:

It

a spiritual city, one

This

city



as the starting point of philos-

grammar,

the arts of speaking

all

rhetoric,

and

dialectic

and discourse; and the

quadrivium, which includes the four subjects posited by Plato the starting point of philosophy

and music. Here liberal arts are

to other clerics

as

—arithmetic,

justified in

doing so only

advance knowledge of divine things.

drivium

Such

is

and Seneca, the

who

teaches

them

to the degree that they

trivium finds

its justifica-

and explaining Scripture and the

tion in the necessity of reading

writings of the

The

as

geometry, astronomy,

in the philosophy of Philo

not ends in themselves; the cleric is

im-

totality of propaedeutics, or the liberal arts that

embraces the trivium

which includes

is

to establish definitively.

and Seneca posited

like Philo

ophy.

it

political

knowledge: secular and divine. Secular knowl-

of

edge embraces the

men

is

can serve as a basis for agree-

imposed in the same way that

Augustinianism intended

plies

Church

institution like the

Church Fathers and

of teaching

dogma. The qua-

indispensable in liturgy and ecclesiastical computation.

restricted applications

do not focus attention on the need for

enlarging upon acquired knowledge and promoting these fields of

own

learning for their

sake; emphasis

is

placed instead on providing,

through encyclopedias that vary in scope, an inventory of the heritage of the past.

The

result

is

that

all

such knowledge

is

and lacking in autonomy, for all that is retained which has been inherited and can be of service to the Church.

rational

It is

purely is

that

not surprising, therefore, that before the time of Charlemagne

®Migne, LXX, 1279,

especially chaps,

i,

ii,

and

x.

THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES

II

encyclopedias were written in the regions of Europe where traces of the intellectual Hfe

still

subsisted,

namely

recalled in ancient books":

as

on the trivium and the quadrivium,

three books dialectic

some

in Ireland.

Bishop of Seville (570-636), wrote his Etymologies dealing

Isidore,

with "the origin of certain things

on

and

in Spain

which chapters

in

taken from Apuleius and Martianus Capella contain

of the elements of logic as well as the divisions of philosophy;

then seventeen books on everything that might interest a

cleric in

matters of the calendar, history, natural history, and geography.

Later the Venerable Bede (672-735) of the monastery of Jarrow

wrote a

De

natura rerum of the same quality. In

it

he copied Isidore,

but more often he relied on Pliny the Elder.

Knowledge ferent.

their

of divine things,

Authority

which

on

rests

arguments on authority, and the Arians

support their view.

St.

Vincent of Lerins

torium, written in 354, to resolve the

based on authority.

authority,

dif-

is

not something simple; even the heretics based

is

He

cited Scripture to

tried in his

difficulties raised

Commoni-

by arguments

laid bare the thought of the Middle Ages

as

he formulated standards for identifying the true tradition in matters of faith: one should

and look with

show preference

distrust

for the opinion of the majority

on private opinions;

if

heresy threatens to

spread, however, one should cling to the opinions of the ancients; if

these opinions are

found

to contain errors,

decisions of an ecumenical council or,

if

one should follow the

no council has been held,

question and compare orthodox teachers and hold to the opinions

common

to

organic;

it

all.

Tradition does indeed grow, but

never proceeds through

rather through development

addition

or

its

growth

innovation but

and elucidation. Thus from the

ginning of the Middle Ages standards were

set

up

is

be-

to allow spiritual

unity to be preserved without any intervention of philosophical

thought.

In contrast, medieval thought concerning divine things was influenced by St. Augustine and the Neo-Platonic tradition.

God

intelligence in the highest sense, the source of the intelligible;

knowledge or contemplation of God

is

is

and

the highest limit of intel-

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

12

knowledge. Like Plotinus,

lectual

the soul has been put in order,

communes with which

itself,

then

it

will dare to see

and the father

verities flow

all

Augustine thought that "when

St.

made harmonious and of

all

beautiful,

and

God, the source from truth."

Beneath

this

vision, reserved for the few, "the intelligent soul united naturally

with

intelligibles perceives truths in a certain incorporeal light identi-

cal in

nature with

The two themes

itself."

^

are unrelated

:

on the one hand, a

discussed by councils and synods as

if

the other hand, a free spirituality in

by

faith but

is

which knowledge

directed toward complete

Middle Ages

great paradox of the

set of

is

is

not limited

knowledge of God. The

the affirmation of their

darity: to understand the truth about

God

is

The

soli-

understand the

to

truths of faith; reason, viewed as enlightened intelligence,

summate

formulas

they were rules of law; and on

must con-

faith.

spirit of the

age

is

revealed particularly in works on the

instruction of clerics, such as the

De

clericorum institutione, by

Hrabanus Maurus (776-856), Abbot of the monastery The third book in the De clericorum institutione

in 822.

books in

pilation of the last three

Doctrine.

It relates all

wisdom,

St.

of the truths of religion revealed in Scripture.

perfection

chapter of the third book,

"is

the study of the

a

com-

Christian

knowledge

"The foundation and

Hrabanus Maurus wrote

of wisdom,"

On

Augustine's

directly or indirectly, to

Fulda

of is

Holy

in

the

second

Scripture."

And

the literary production of the period consists mainly of countless

commentaries of the Old Testament (especially of the work of the six days), the Gospels,

and the Episdes. For the most part these

commentaries merely repeat and amplify the commentaries of the great scholars of the preceding century, St. Hilary

The

rules for writing

and

St.

Augustine.

commentaries were drawn, through the

intermediary of the Greek and Latin Fathers, from Philo's allegorical all

commentaries.

The commentator

knowledge, whether

scientific or philosophical.

requires the cleric to have ®Cf. Boyer,

De

I'ldee

has a right to

knowledge

make

use of

Hrabanus Maurus

of pura Veritas historiarum

de Verite chez saint Augustin

(Paris,

1880), pp. 190, 199.

THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES

13

and

of

modi tropicorum locutionum

distinguish

must be interpreted

a lengthy dictionary of of

other words, to be able to

between Scripture that must be taken hterally and

Scripture that

names

— in

He

also provides

the allegorical interpretations of the

all

assembling

thus

people,

biblical

allegorically.

materials

com-

for

mentaries.

But the commentators go

further. All disciplines

must serve

their

end, even the doctrinae gentilium which include the "liberal arts"

and philosophy. From Boethius

to

Hrabanus Maurus we

detect in

doctrinal writings an intellectual tradition wholly alien to Christianity

and the Church. But our concern

enumeration of

is

not so

much

the

the remnants of ancient culture preserved in the

all

old encyclopedias as the assessment of the attitude of Christian

commentators toward the mass of knowledge transmitted

is,

them

to

without the key that would enable them to gain access to

it,

without the intellectual methods that had made possible

its

that dis-

covery.

Their attitude was somewhat ambiguous. There was (doubtlessly derived the heathen to the

from

Augustine)

same source of truth

truth emanates:

"The

of the century

must be

for these truths

St.

truths

found

as that

in the

a

tendency

to relate all doctrines of

from which Christian

books of the learned

men

Truth and Wisdom,

attributed solely to

were not estabUshed from the outset by those

whose books they

are

read;

instead,

in

they have emanated from

the eternal being and been discovered to the degree that Truth

and Wisdom have permitted learned men

to discover

everything must be related to a single term, whether

found

to

it

be useful in the books of the heathen or what

them; thus be what is

is

salutary

in Scripture" (chap. ii).

The method logical

method

discover

of science did not differ essentially of the

what God had

commentator was

commentator. The

from the

object of science

philo-

was

to

instituted in nature, just as the object of the

to discover

what God had

instituted in Scripture.

This entailed the separation of the bad sciences and the good sciences: the

bad sciences had

to

do with "the

institutions of

men"

14

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

(chap, xvi), that

and the good

with the worship of idols and the magical

is,

were

sciences

in turn divided into

relating to the corporal senses

—history,

two

classes: those

we know

through which

knowledge of the present through the

the past,

arts;

senses,

and con-

jectures concerning the future (for example, astronomy), based

experience {experimentum)

But the notion of

— and the seven liberal

arts.

unique source of truth tending

a

on

bring

to

about fusion and unity was counteracted by a wholly different principle.

According

nated

all else,

commentary

to this principle,

and inventories of the profane

of Scripture domi-

sciences should serve

only to provide materials for illuminating the spiritual meaning of

Grammar,

Scripture.

for example, contains in

view one element indispensable

Hrabanus Maurus'

understanding of the Psalter;

to the

dialectic will teach the rules

and

show what can be deduced

correctly

interrelations of truths that will

from the

truths taught by

and the science of numbers

Scripture; arithmetic

hidden meaning of Scripture, inaccessible

to

will reveal the

the ignorant;

geo-

metrical porportions utilized in the construction of tabernacles and

temples help us to penetrate the spiritual meaning of Scripture; and

astronomy

indispensable in reckoning

is

Knowledge

A

time.-"^^

same end

of the universe serves the

comprehensive image

is

as the liberal arts.

the prime requisite.

Bede

in the

De

natura rerum described the world according to the order of the elements: the sky with

its

planets

and

stars; the air

with

its

meteors,

comets, wind, thunder, lightning, rainbow; the waters, the ocean

with

its

tides, the

with

its

inner

Red

life,

its

Sea,

and the

rising of the Nile; the earth

De

temporibus gives a complete

volcanoes.

catalogue of the six ages of history, the

establishment of the these

vast,

ceptions,

Roman

all-inclusive

we

last of

which began with the

Empire. The information contained in

catalogues,

which, with but few ex-

in

find no trace of direct, personal experience,

which everything

is

in particular), appears in encyclopedias

Hrabanus Maurus, who derived "Migne, CVII, 395-98;

and

in

based on tradition (and on Pliny the Elder

cf.

Augustine

his

De

Hke the

De

universo by

knowledge mainly from

ordine

ii.

13.

Isidore

THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES

15

The work owes

of Seville.

unity) to

its

unity (to the extent that

whole universe in

vast allegorical interpretation of the

its

which every

detail has a spiritual

possesses

it

meaning. The inspiration of the

Holy Scripture permeates every page.

We

what

then,

see,

materials

culture:

salvation of

man.

it

philosophers,

after St.

circles,

warm

losophers were accorded a especially

the

things that are true and in essays,

we must

it

to

Augustine, the ancient phi-

arts,

are called

Hrabanus Maurus,

says

Platonists,"

who

"are found to have said

harmony with our

faith in their treatises

not be afraid but must wrest from them these

from wrongful

things, as

and putting

it

reception. "If those

following his discussion of the liberal

and

placed not on under-

is

from within but on cataloguing

In enlightened

use.

of effecting the

find not the slightest trace of the spirit that

animated the Hellenic age. The emphasis standing

work

the great religious

for

We

absorbed from the Hellenic

Christianity

possessors,

and make use of them" (chap,

xxvi).

we

If

try to picture to ourselves the

means

that a

man

of the

eighth century had of picturing to himself his philosophical heritage,

we

had three sources

find that he

a series of

from

of information.

The

first

was

works which, though authentic, were decadent, detached

their origin, disparate,

and linked together by a common Neo-

Platonic spirituality. Such were Chalcidius'

Commentary on

the

Timaeus, the translation of the beginning of the same dialogue by Cicero, and Macrobius' Commentary on the

which passed from Plotinus and Porphyry

Dream

to St.

of Scipio,

Augustine.

The

second source was the great number of doxographies that provided

many

historical

falsified

details,

which were increasingly is

offered by

Maurus,^^ were used by the Fathers as background Finally

and

with time, about schools that had disappeared. These

doxographies, a good example of which cation

distorted

of

pagan philosophical

the

come

to their identifi-

and Christian

heresies.

Boethius' technical treatises on logic, based on Aris-

tode.

" De universo

sects

Hrabanus

xv.

i

(Migne, CXI).

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

l6

The

catalogue of their philosophical heritage, incomplete and

distorted, explains the confidence as well as the distrust of

Maurus

and illuminated by rays of truth in the hands of

tool

dangerous when

is

Hrabanus

and others like him. Philosophy, indispensable as a logical

men

like Plato,

brings us to the brink of heresy.

it

Pedagogical concern dominates the work of Alcuin (735-804),

who was called from England by Charlemagne in 781 and whose name symbolizes the intellectual renaissance projected by the king of the Franks. Alcuin reformed the clergy of the Prankish

which had sunk

to its intellectual nadir,^^

Empire

and he estabHshed the

Palatine school for the purpose of promoting secular education.

His handbooks on education, grammar, his treatise

rhetoric,

on orthography added nothing

and

dialectic,

and

to earlier compilations.

Alcuin's correspondence shows that he wielded great authority in his

time and that he upheld the

utility

De

respect to theology. In his treatise trinitatis

he cited

St.

Augustine

to

of profane studies with

fide sanctae et individuae

prove that "rules of dialectic are

necessary and that the most profound questions concerning the

Holy Trinity can be elucidated only by

virtue of the subtlety of

the categories."

]ohn Scotus Erigena

IV

The work

of

John Scotus Erigena

is

the best introduction to the

philosophical preoccupations of the theologians of the period. Eri-

gena was the product of the Church of Ireland, which on several occasions

had manifested

its

independence of Rome. Bede in his

Ecclesiastical History quotes the letter in

him

which Pope John

criticizes

for being remiss not only in matters of discipline but also in

matters of doctrine; he was falling back into the Pelagian heresy.

The

were

classic poets

the ninth century,

" Cf.

the precept in

^Migne, XCV,

113.

still

read in Ireland, and Greek was

who was born

studied.^^ Erigena,

was one

De

still

in Ireland at the beginning of

of the "Scots" brought to the continent

spiritu: Disce ut doceas.

THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES

17

He

to teach.

840.

He

was welcomed

works of Dionysius the Areopagite

translated into Latin the

and those of

his

Charles the Bald around

to the court of

commentator, Maximus the Confessor. These works,

previously sent to France by the pope during the reign of Pippin,

were then handed over once again in 827

Louis the Pious by the

to

ambassadors of Emperor Michael IL Erigena's translation

is

made during

Middle Ages,

the

not

word. Like most of the

really a translation in the strict sense of the

translations

is

its

word-for-word

fidelity

exasperating and suggests that the author, like a mediocre school-

meaning

boy, tried to decipher the translated each until the

word

of the sentence only after he

was not translated again

separately. Dionysius

end of the twelfth century.

The works

of Dionysius

were one of the important sources of

the Neo-Platonic conception of things found in Erigena.

were not the

On

sole source

Predestination,

references to the

He

clearly.

shown by

is

which was written

works of Dionysius,

the fact that in his treatise

and which contains no

in 851 his

Neo-Platonism shows up

De

divisione naturae, in addition to

Dionysius and Maximus, he relied mainly on

Gregory of Nyssa,

less

and Epiphanius, and very

Origen, and

Jerome.

St.

St.

He

logic

on

rarely

St.

Ambrose,

often turned for support not only to the

Fathers but also to philosophers or the learned

on

Augustine, then on

frequently on Basil of Caesarea, Gregory

of Nazianzen,

the treatises

That they

refers in sufficient detail to his authorities to enable us

to identify his sources: in the

and

had

men

of the world:

by Boethius, which acquainted him with Cicero

Aristotle, Plato's

Timaeus, sometimes Pythagoras, more often

Pliny the Elder, and also the poets

Ovid and

Vergil.

He

Erigena, unlike his predecessors, was not simply a compiler.

had

a

mind

sufficiently strong

and independent

to enable

him

use his sources without being enslaved by them. His system

to

was

not a mixture, in different proportions, of Dionysius and Augustine; it

was

was

to

a carefully considered reply to the

dominate thinking

all

awesome question

during the

that

Middle Ages. The

Christian image of the universe and the Neo-Platonic image share a

common rhythm:

both are theocentric images that describe the

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

l8

way

dual motion of things, the their first principle

which things move outward from

in

and then return

to the principle. In the Christian

image the succession of these moments

which has

as its starting point a free initiative: creation

demption and a future successive

a series of events, each of

is

moments

life

of

bliss.

from a

are derived

sents a

change in that the same

as

it

first

fall, re-

natural, eternal necessity:

outward motion or movement away from the of absolute unity (the

and

In the Neo-Platonic image,

reality that

principle)

is

first

was

principle repre-

initially in a state

divided

more and more

proceeds through the lower levels of being, and the return

represents a reversal of the process of division,

which now gives way

to unity.

But the opposition between the two images of the universe by no means

is

as clear-cut as suggested here. Hellenic Christianity

was indisputably hypnotized by Neo-Platonism and tended (without ever succeeding completely) to interpret the sequence of events

recounted by the Christian myth as a sequence of sitated

by the nature of things. After the

dominated by the image of tween the emergence of

had of

a life of the universe alternating be-

God and

absorption in God, a pattern that

necessity profoundly influenced the Christian

tion, the fall,

This

Stoics, the

moments necesGreek mind was

work De

crea-

and redemption.

precisely the pattern rediscovered

is

image of

divisione naturae

is

by Erigena, and

his great

a comprehensive interpretation of

Christian theocentrism on the basis of Platonic theocentrism.

His

Neo-Platonism

Predestination.

appears

The monk

clearly

in

his

earlier

work On

Gottschalk posited the existence of dual

predestination, that of the elect

and

that of the

damned;

just as

divine predestination caused the elect to achieve justification eternal

demned

life,

so the other type of predestination forced the

to fall into

punishment.^* that orthodoxy

certain

men

From

a state of godlessness his

useless

Hrabanus Maurus, and

"/^/^., CXXII, 359c-36od.

to

suffer eternal

argument were deduced the conclusions

and good works were

to sin.

and

and con-

and later

that

God

forced

Hincmar, Arch-

THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES

19

bishop of Rheims, saw that the Church was in danger.

with having Gottschalk (849),

Hincmar is

with

stating,

actually refutes Gottschalk by

speculating on the divine essence: is

in

the

same cause cannot produce two opposite produce in him

found is

sin.

which

sin,

in St.



is

which

nothingness.

Good, and

is

evil

God

to

God—ac-

if

obvious that Erigena has

is

not a positive

interpreter to

God

:

God

reality.

rhythm

of Neo-Platonic

to his creature,

then the return

God; or moving through nature from God

as

obvious that his idea of rhythm

is

as end.-^^ It

drawn mainly from Maximus

show

is

the Confessor. Erigina quotes Diony-

that man's state after the fall will be

characterized by extreme division and digression ciple

and

a reality; he cannot be the

It is

divisione naturae follows the

from the creature

sius*

effects;

Furthermore God, being the supreme essence,

philosophy: procession from

principle to

dual pre-

Augustine two basic principles of Neo-Platonism

identical to the

The De

place,

produces justification in man, he cannot

the cause solely of good,

cause of

first

contrary to the unity of the divine essence, for the

cording to Gottschalk

is

Synod of Quierzy

the

Augustine, that the true phi-

St.

and

the true religion^^

destination

content

invited Erigena to write against him.

Erigena begins by losophy

condemned by

Not

from the

(God), while redemption will be followed by the

first

final

prin-

union of

beings with each other and with God. Furthermore, he states explicitly that the interpretation of

total reabsorption in

God

redemption as the beginning of

"has received scant attention" and that

only scattered references appear in the writings of the Fathers.

This rhythm simply denotes the division of nature according to all logical differences, as if reality

division of a genus into

and

is

not created, or

nature that

is

created

its

God and

were nothing but the

logical

comes nature that

creates

species. First

as the principle of things;

creates, or the

Word

that

is

then comes

engendered

by the principle and that produces the sensible world; then comes nature that "^

Ibid., 358,

" Cf.

is

created

and does not

according to Augustine

De

create, or the sensible

vera religione, CXXII, v.

the general plan, Migne, CXXII, 528c-d.

world;

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

20

comes nature that

last

supreme end tion

in

whom

terminated.

is

essential unity.

neither created nor creative, or

is

its

According

God is end. The

origin,

and the

Orphic formula, which Erigena

to the old

at the first

and

as the creator,^"

is

God

book) although unaware

middle term,

principle, the

God

with as the

the

as

principle,

is

end; the second with the

identical to the third, the created world;

and

the second

finally

first

same time the division,

identical to the fourth, with

Word

as the

But beneath these differences we detect an

quotes (in the eleventh chapter of the of

God

the motion of things in search of perfec-

third,

which together

constitute

shown through redemption

totality of created beings, are

the

to

be

identical to the fourth. It

ferences

By

presence in his thinking of these dif-

the simultaneous

is

and of

this identity that

seeking always to identify the

in the whole, he

imbues

his

permeates the work of Erigena.

whole in the parts and the

work with

the

same

parts

sort of tension that

we find in thinkers of his sort from Plotinus to Hegel and Bradley. What he is actually describing is the God of Plotinus, the God who seemingly moves from principle to end through the whole cycle of beings, but in

whom

there

find repose.

He

is

said to

in reality

is

tween motion and imm_utability, the

God who

move only because he (Book I). The

the motion of created beings

hypostases

no

is

identified with the Trinity, in

positive determination, while the

in all their simplicity

and

unity,

Erigena, with the help of beings

—the

St.

is

move

the principle of

Plotinian triad of

which the Father has

and the

Spirit distributes

them

of the Trinity

Augustine and Dionysius, finds

—in

turn symbolize the

manifestations, on the one hand, other, suggesting the

and the simple. On

ac-

which

movement

in

of procession or

evolution from the simple to the multiple, from hidden essence to

^'

to

triad essentia virtus operatic, the triad intellecttis ratio

sensus interior

on the

be-

Son contains the primary causes

The images

cording to genera and species.

no opposition does not

Among

the place of the word,

and from the idea

to its expression,

fundamental identity of the multiple

primary causes, cf.

its

De

as Plotinus states in dis-

divisione naturae

ii.

2

(Migne, CXXII, 526).

THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES

21

cussing his intelligibles, there

no inequaUty, no true diversity:

is

they are separated and isolated by inteUigence. That

is

and the

Spirit that contain

becomes a succession or progression,

in the eternal

their eternal unity

is

And

it is

marks the beginning that he

is

and

their properties.

God

and

of Genesis by Philo, he

the

enigma

is

at the

is

God

that

had

of the angels

and of things

notions perfect

vehicle for the return of

words, it

same time the being shaped from image of God. The solution of

of

are

them;

all

him

man

all

is

therefore the

is

in

him. But

man

from Paradise;

trans-

in other

and made him dependent on

way from it

the integrity of his essence.

will not only re-establish the

but will also be marked by the annihilation

and the

spiritualization of restrictions that

all

things.

must be imposed on

compare the system of Erigena and Neo-Platonism.

begin with, in the second part of his doctrine

concerns the nature of

man and

lowed the Fathers with scrupulous his state before

his

of his creator,

things to God, and because the return

This discussion indicates the to

He

inferior to himself.

to his animality

of the material world

man, before

primitive

all

at least as ideas

knowledge of himself and

the necessity of redemption:

any attempt

in him,

his fall resulted in his expulsion

tied

primitive state of

To

above animals with

an old interpretation

in the

but did not detract in any

Hence

is

to

through him, every creature

and it

but he

sought to create a microcosm in which

transgression,

gressed,

man

of

According

might be reunited; they his

effected

begins

an animal with respect to his senses,

intellect.

and through

is

is

and the being created

his creatures

The enigma

of the return, intervenes.

his nutritive life,

respect to his reason

from

here and only here that man, whose creation

a dual being: he

his passions,

it

simultaneous just as

After this extreme division the return of things to

(Book IV).

cause;

gradually evolved an arithmetic that progres-

numbers and

sively reveals all the

its

What was

represents but a further step in the division.

earth

the

world created and unfolded in time can no longer be

sensible

separated from the Son

is

why

and

the return to fidelity: the

after his transgression,

—the

part that

God—Erigena

fol-

dual nature of man,

man

as a

microcosm,

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

22 the

De

Ambrose's

De

of

interpretation

opificio

works.

And



of

all

of Nyssa's

turn from Philo's

in

De

imagine, and other

through these writers he managed

myth

things, a

myth

came from

notions

these

borrowed largely

paradiso,

mtindi, Gregory

tradition of the old

God and

Paradise

to reconstruct the

of Anthropos, the intermediary fully

between

developed in the writings of Philo

and completely absent from the works of Plotinus. Through them he also assimilated the anti-Hellenic idea (which he recognized such) of the end of the world and substituted order of Plotinus. There

nature to

is

God through man

If it is

we now

to recall the Plotinian retroversion in

first

God, being and

its

and unknown,

is

is

Word

visible

and unknown,

and

shall see that

will, are identical

primarily a theophany.

The

Of

is

manifested in us

course

terms; but

Father, invisible

Word; and

born in the same sense that intelligence,

the

at first in-

when we come

into con-

with sensible things; and the creation of the other things

simply an opportunity or a means for the fest.

we

emanation in which the

manifested through the divine

divine

is

principle to re-

influences through natural necessity.

willing, nature

the act of creation

its

as being.

part of the work,

not, in a strict sense, a true system of

principle radiates

tact

eternally to

and thus be constituted

return to the

as

for the eternal

nothing in the salvation or return of

which the emanative being returns ceive the overflow

it

Theophany and reabsorption

Word

to be

is

made mani-

in the first principle are differ-

ent from procession and retroversion in that the latter imply that reality

has a history and involves initiatives,

designate an eternal, unchangeable order.

while the former

Bibliography

Texts (und Theologie) des

Beitrdge zur Geschichte der Philosophic vols.

39

Miinster in Westfalen, 1891

Mittelalters.

.

Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum Latinorum. 77 vols. Vienna, 1855 Les philosophes Beiges. Louvain, 1901-42. Continued as Philosophes medie.

vaux. Louvain, 1948.

Migne,

J.

P. Patrologiae cursus completus.

"Series Latina." 221

vols.

Paris,

1844-64.

Useful Translations and Anthologies Fairweather, E. R.

A

Scholastic Miscellany:

Anselm

to

Oc^ham. (The Library

of Christian Classics, Vol. X). Philadelphia, 1956.

Fathers of the Church:

York, 1947

McKeon,

A New

Translation. Edited by R.

J.

Deferrari.

New

.

R. Selections from Medieval Philosophers. 2 vols.

New

York, 1929.

(Paperback reprint). Pegis, A. C.

The Wisdom

Histories

and Studies

of Catholicism.

of

J.

a la fin

Histoire de la pensee. Vol.

du XVI'

York, 1949.

Medieval Philosophy

Burch, C. B. Early Medieval Philosophy. Chevalier,

New

siecle. Paris, 1956.

New

II:

York, 1951.

La pensee

chretienne, des origines

A History of Philosophy. Vol. II: Augustine to Scotus. Vol. Ock^ham to Suarez. Westminster, Md., 1950, 1953. Medieval Philosophy. London, 1952. Curtis, S. J. A Short History of Western Philosophy in the Middle Ages. Westminster, Md., 1950. De Wulf, M. History of Medieval Philosophy. Translated by E, C. Messenger. 2 vols. New York, 1935. Gilson, E. History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages. New York, Copleston, F. Ill: .

1955.

23

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

24

La philosophic au moyen age. i vols. Paris, 1944. The Spirit of Medieval Philosophy. Translated by A. H. Downes.

Gilson, E. .

New

York, 1936.

and Bohner,

Die Geschichte der christlichen Philosophic von

P.

ihren Anjcingen bis Nil^olaus von Cues. Paderborn, 1937. Grabmann, M. Die Geschichte der scholastischen Mcthodc. 2 vols. Freiburg

im Breisgau, .

1909, 1911.

Die Philosophic dcs

und

Scholasti\

Haureau,

Mittelaltcrs. Berlin, 1921.

Geisteslebcn.

Mittclalterliches

.

Mysti}{. 3 vols.

B. Histoire

de

la

Abhandlungen

Munich, 1926, 1936,

zur

Geschichte

de

1956.

philosophic scolastique. 3 vols. Paris, 1872 and

1880. Leff, G. Mediaeval Thought: St. Augustine to Oc\ham. London, 1958. Maurer, A. A. Medieval Philosophy. New York, 1962. Picper, J. Scholasticism, Personalities and Problems oj Medieval Philosophy.

Translated by R. and C. Winston.

Ueberweg,

New

York, i960.

B. Geyer. Vol. II:

Die

patristische

und

Philosophy in the Middle Ages:

P.

E. C. Hall.

Weinberg,

J.

New York, A Short

R.

ed. Revised

by

scholastische Philosophic. Berlin,

1928. Vol. Ill: Philosophic dcs Mittelaltcrs. Edited

Vignaux,

nth

Grundiss der Geschichte der Philosophic,

F.

An

by

P. Wilpert.

1965.

Introduction. Translated by

1959.

History oj Medieval Philosophy. Princeton, N.J.,

1964.

Bibliographies

The

histories of

general

philosophy by

De Wulf,

and Ueberweg have good

Gilson,

critical bibliographies.

Bibliography of Philosophy. Paris, 1937 N. S. 1954 Bochenski, I. M. (ed.). Bibliographische Einfiihrungun in das Studium der .

.

Philosophic. Bern, 1948-53. Bulletin Thomiste.

Farrar,

Le Saulchoir, France, 1924

C, and Evans, A. Bibliography

Sources.

New

.

of English Translations

from Medieval

York, 1946.

Glorieux, P. Repertoire dcs maitres en theologie de Paris au XII I"

siecle.

2

vols. Paris, 1933, 1934.

McGuire, M. Introduction to Medieval Latin: A Syllabus and Bibliographical Guide. Washington, D.C., 1964. Progress of Medieval and Renaissance Studies in the United States and Canada. Edited by S. Harrison Thomson. Bulletin 22. Boulder, Colo., 1952.

Recherche de theologie ancienne et medievale. Separate theologie ancienne et medievale. Louvain, 1929 .

fascicle, Bulletin

de

THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES Journals Franzis\anische Studien. Paderborn, 19 14

.

Gregorianum. Rome.

Revue des

sciences philosophiques et theologiques. Paris, 1907-

Revista di filosofia Neo-Scolastica. Milan, 1909 Scholasti\. Freiburg

im

Breisgau, 1926

The Modern Schoolman. St. Louis, Mo. The New Scholasticism. Washington, D.C. The Thomist. Washington, D.C, 1937

.

.

.

I

Studies Harnack, A. Lehrbtich der Dogmengeschichte. 3 vols. Freiburg, 1894-97. J. Precis de I'histoire des dogmes. 6th ed. Vol. II. Paris, 192 1. 4th

Tixeront,

ed. Vol.

III.

Paris, 1919.

II

Texts Boethius. Opera. Migne, LXIII, .

The Consolation

LXIV.

of Philosophy. Translated by

H. Stewart and

E.

Rand. New York, 19 18. Claudianus Mamertus. Opera. Migne, LIU. Cassiodorus. Opera. Migne, LXIX, LXX. Martianus Capella. Opera. Edited by A. Dick. Leipzig, 1925.

Studies Barrett,

H. Boethius: Some Aspects of His Times and Wor\. Cambridge,

1940.

Courcelle, P. Les lettres grecques en Occident de

Macrobe a Cassiodore.

Paris,

1948.

K. The Propositional Logic of Grabmann, M. Die Geschichte der

Diirr,

1900, 1910. See

I,

148

Boethius.

Amsterdam,

1951.

scholastischen Methode, 2 vols. Freiburg,

ff.

H. The Tradition of Boethius. New York, 1935. Stewart, H. Boethius. London, 1891. Vann, G. The Wisdom of Boethius. Aquinas Paper No. Patch,

20.

Oxford, 1952.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

26

III

Texts Alcuin. Opera. Migne, C, CI. .

W.

Rhetorica, in

Hornell,

The Rhetoric

of Alcuin

and Charlemagne.

Latin and English translation. Princeton, N.J., 1941. Bede the Venerable. De natura rerum. Migne, XC. .

.

Historia ecclesiastica. Migne,

De

temporibus. Migne,

Hrabanus Maurus. De

De

.

XCV.

XC.

institutione clericorum.

Migne, CVII.

universo. Migne, CXI.

Isidore of Seville.

Etymologiarum

libri

XX. Migne, LXXXII.

Vincent of Lerins. Commonitorium. Migne, L.

Studies Duckett, E. Alcuin: Friend of Charlemagne. New York, 1951. Gillett, H. Saint Bede the Venerable. London, 1935. Gilson, E. Les idees et les lettres. Paris, 1932. Pp. 171-96 on Alcuin.

Turnau, D. Rabanus Maurus, praeceptor Germaniae. Munich, 1900. New York, 1892.

West, A. Alcuin and the Rise of the Christian Schools.

IV Texts John Scotus Erigena. .

De

De

translated in

CXXII, pp. 355-439. CXXII, 442-1022. Book IV, chaps.

praedestinatione. Migne,

divisione naturae. Migne,

McKeon,

Selections,

I,

7-9,

106-41.

Studies Bett,

H. Johannes Scotus Eriugena. Cambridge,

Webb,

C. "Scotus Erigena:

De

1925. divisione naturae," Proceedings of the Aristo-

telian Society, II (1892-94), 121-37.

THE TENTH AND ELEVENTH CENTURIES NOT UNTIL the end of the eleventh century was there a real revival of intellectual activity in the

Western world.

This does not mean, however, that the intermediate period was void or unimportant. Everywhere in monasteries and cathedral cloisters schools

were being founded. These centers were widely

separated but united by a

common

culture.

From

the ninth century

on, there were cathedral schools in Auxerre, Rheims, studies

and

Paris,

and

were pursued in Aurillac, Saint-Gallen, and Chartres. Ma-

terial difficulties

were always present:

the East, papyrus necessarily

after the

and parchment became

remained impoverished;

in

at

rare

that libraries

one of the

860

the library of Saint-Gallen, contained four intellectual revival

so

Arabs conquered richest,

hundred volumes. The

the end of the eleventh century coincided

with the creation of religious orders actively engaged in copying manuscripts, and during the twelfth century the library of

St.

Vincent of Laon contained eleven thousand volumes."^

We

know

with respect

the approximate holdings of the late to philosophical

Middle Ages

works: in the ninth century Saint-

Gallen, for example, possessed Apuleius' works on logic, works by

Cassiodorus, Isidore, Bede, and Alcuin, and Aratus' these

to ^

holdings

were

added

Boethius'

Phenomena)

Consolation,

L. Maitre, Les ecoles episcopales et monastiques de I'Occident depuis

jtisqu'a Philippe

Auguste

27

(Paris, 1866), especially pp.

278

fJ.

Lucan's

Charlemagne

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

28

and The Dream of Scipio (perhaps with Macrobius' commentary) in the tenth century, and Boethius' treatises on logic

Pharsalia,

The

in the eleventh. tellectual

horizon

which were very

We

have

glosses

at a

listing reveals

time when

the

culture

narrow

limits of the in-

was based

solely

on books,

rare.

practically

nothing from the period other than marginal

and commentaries

(most of them unpublished)

the

of

writings of Boethius or Martianus Capella. Education, apart from the Christian doctrine,

gus),

was given over almost exclusively

Eric of Auxerre (died in 876),

lectic.

who

Remi

of

to

dia-

Auxerre (or Remi-

taught in Chartres around 862, Bovo of Saxony, living at

the beginning of the tenth century, Gerbert of Aurillac,

came pope under the name

who opened

pupil Fulbert,

of Silvester II

be-

(999-1003), and his

a school in Chartres in 990, are the

principal authors of commentaries.

century had preserved a

who

A

document from

listing, in the

the eleventh

order in which they were

presented, of the subjects taught in dialectic at Chartres.^ Students

took up in succession: Porphyry's Isagoge, Aristotle's Categories,

Augustine's

Categories

Definitions, Cicero's

(with

a

preface

anonymous compositions

rhetoric, Boethius' Divisions, Gerbert's treatise

rationali,

and

Boethius'

Topics, Aristotle's and Apuleius' Peri Her-

meneias, Boethius' Topical Differences,

on

by Alcuin),

St.

finally Boethius'

De

ratione uti et

Categorical Syllogisms and

Hypo-

thetical Syllogisms.

The

art of discussion

was obviously perfected by such

a system of

education, which endured for years. Every art other than dialectic

would seem Geometry

to

have been neglected. The only exception

is

Gerbert's

983), which seems because of the methods of measurement employed in it to betray the influence of the Arab (ca.

mathematicians.^ But dialectic reigned supreme and inculcated in the

minds of men

tinctions

and

a predilection for discussion, for the endless dis-

divisions

that

dominated the whole of medieval

philosophy. * '

bei

Quoted by A. Clerval, Les ecoles de Chartres an Moyen age (Paris, 1895), p. 117. Wiirschmidt, "Geodatische Messinstrumente und Messmethoden bei Gerbert und den Arabern," Archiv der Mathematik, und Physil{ (1912), p. 315.

THE TENTH AND ELE\ENTH CENTURIES

29

The Controversy

I

What

of

Berengar of Tours

matters in the history of philosophy

is

as the art of discussion as the use to

which

it

to arrive at a conception of reality.

To

not so

much

dialectic

put in an attempt

is

be specific,

we

recall that

Boethius' collection posed several metaphysical problems, the

which

of

comes

celebrated text; next (just as in the case of St. Augustine)

no

the problem,

Middle Ages, of the

celebrated during the

less

The

limit of the application of categories.

ten categories or genera

and

of being apply only to the sensible world,

works only with the incapable in the problem

to

is

some

determine

we

how

it is

since

it

species,

is

dialectic,

embrace genera and

categories that

turn of attaining to a superior

its

reality. Finally,

to light

first

the problem of the reality of universals in Porphyry's

is

But then

reality.

possible to refer to a superior

note that in his commentaries Boethius brought

of Aristotle's technical notions of philosophy, for ex-

ample, the notions of form and matter and of act and potency.

Much more

We

is

involved here than the simple art of discussion.

notice this in Fredegisus' Epistola de nihilo et tenebris,

according to Prantl, the historian of logic,

The

less."

Gerbert's

little treatise

De

it is

nothing

"Since reasonable

said of this difference;

sumed by

is

and

this difference."

rule of logic

which holds

to

is

imply that

rationali et rationalibus uti

art-

is

it

is.

more

in-

Porphyry says in the Isagoge

structive than such artless realism. :

and

rather "stupid

author, a pupil of Alcuin, maintains that nothingness

{nihil) exists, for to say that

(vii)

is

which

the specific difference, using reason it is

is

also said of all species of beings sub-

One might

confront Porphyry with the

that the predicate

must have an exten-

sion superior or at least equal to that of the subject.

violated since the term reasonable

is

a potency

Here

whose

the rule

act

is

is

using

reason, with the result that the subject has an extension superior to its

predicate.

Gerbert replies by

making

a

distinction

between

predicates that are a part of the essence of the subject, as reasonable is

a part of the essence of

man, and

accidental predicates, such as

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

30

using reason

when

only to predicates of the

The

rule of logic applies

type.

first

sharp distinction between essential and accidental attributes

makes

problem of universals. For

possible a clear statement of the

universals,

whose

reality

was the subject of speculation, are nothing

but the genera and species

which

The

said of reasonable.

it is

—for

example, "animal" and "man"

are essential attributes of an individual like Socrates.

point Boethius' commentators, such as Pseudo-Hrabanus

(whose Super Porphyrium the eleventh

generally assigned to the

is

On

Maurus

first

that appeared

century), followed the hints

this

half of in

the

writings of their master and that had their source in Aristotle.

They

repeated what had been said by Boethius and also by Simpli-

cius: that the Categories, the study of attributes,

cannot refer to

things (since res non praedicatur) but only to words as signifiers of things.

Hence

the problem of universals predicates

imbued with

the solution,

essential

to

genus and species

:

We

is

sometimes

reality

exist

only by virtue of

"Individuals,

individual.

the

genus are one and the same not, as

the spirit of Aristode, of

(eadem

res),

species,

and

and universals are

something different from individuals."

stated,

hear an echo of Aristotelian thought, through the intermediary

of Boethius, in the statement that genus to the individual as

The

matter

is

to

and

species

is

form.

middle of the eleventh century, (died

changed into the

also involved dialectic. Paschasius

had taught

860)

ca.

"through the power of the is

to species

controversy over the Eucharist, which took place in the

Radbertus

wine

is

of transubstantiation implied,

and blood of

first,

in

consecration

the

substance of the bread and

Spirit, the

flesh

that

Christ."

an omnipotent

His theory

God whose

will

is

restricted

by no law of nature and, second, radical independence

of

what the

eyes perceive through the senses

faith, since "in the visible species the

more than

that

which

sight

and

and the mind through mind apprehends something

taste

can perceive." Berengar of

Tours had no intention of denying that the Eucharist was a

ment

in the sense in

which the word

is

used by

St.

sacra-

Augustine: a

sacred sign that takes us beyond the sensible appearance to an in-

THE TENTH AND ELEVENTH CENTURIES

31

telligible reality.

We

or an apostate.

ist

must guard against making of him

Imbued with

a rational-

the dialectical teaching of Fulbert

of Chartres, however, he could not conceive of transubstantiation,

which requires us simultaneously wine are on the

altar after the consecration, since

cannot be allowed to stand in

entirety

its

down."* The question implied

struck

and deny that bread and

to affirm

is

right to contradict ourselves in formulating

Many

the

On

same ambiguity.

that neither dialectic nor philosophy

On

establishment of a dogma.

no

real contradiction

The

stantiation.

Adelmann

of Liege,

philosophy:

of

have the

dogmas?

is

had anything

to

do with the

a

good example of the in

its

first line

entirety because of

pagans

and

its

of argument.

biting criticism

but also about the world and what

who

itself

believe in the

same manner recede from

as sailors

God

Timaeus, in the

see shores

the

more reason why,

stars are motionless, that

is

not

Chalcidius'

*

^

human

the

that

snow

is

black." All

from grace



senses nor is

appre-

faith.

wrote toward the end of the controversy,

also took the authoritarian viewpoint:

solved "not by

which

commentary on

dogma, neither our

in matters of

who

trees

dismisses the opinion of those

warm and

a virtue that issues

Alger of Liege,

in the

with their towers and

our intelligence can enable us to apprehend that which

hended only by

more

is

dismisses Heraclitus' old notion,

knew through same way that he

believe that "the sun

What

motion of the sky are deceived

the eleventh century

who

it.

the

with a rapid rotary motion, and that

who

them?"^ He

in

is

have

philosophers

noble

absurd than stating that the sky and the those

that

written by his schoolfellow from Chartres,

"Certain

the earth turns on

told

hand he was assured

rightly been scorned for their false opinions, not only about creator,

were

hand he was

the one

the other

is

was entailed by the affirmation of transub-

letter

might well be quoted

It

Do we

this:

parts

its

different refutations appealed to Berengar, but they

marked by

all

"an affirmation

one of

if

reason,

which

Exposition by Lanfranc (Migne, CL, 41 6d). In Heurtevent, Durand de Troarn, p, 290.

the question is

must be

re-

completely inadequate,

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

32

but by the testimony of Christ himself with regard to his saints."

He

explained the relation between reason and faith by the follow-

ing comparison: our intellect with regard to

God

our senses

like

is

comparison with intelligence or one sense in comparison with

in

another, that,

unable to understand but forced to believe what

is

the fundamental discontinuity of the mind.

And

manner

yet the

same Alger,

It

at the

was no contradiction

the reference

on the altar:

is

end of

show

his treatise, tried to

in transubstantiation.

not the same

and when we

altar

"With

it

more

radical

there

would hardly be

possible to state in a

does not understand.

when we

state that the

respect to their appearance

ments are bread and wine; with respect

He

state thaat

explained that

bread

body of Christ

and

that

is

present

is

on the

their form, the ele-

to the substance into

which

they have been changed, the bread and wine are truly and distinctly the

body of Christ."

Finally, criticizing

same way Lanfranc, Abbot

the

in

^

of

Le

Bee,

while

Berengar "for abandoning the sacred authorities and

sorting solely to dialectic,"

and while asserting

fer to settle the debate solely

on the

that he

basis of authority

would

re-

pre-

and "that

in

treating of divine things, he desires neither to propose dialectical

questions nor to answer such questions," nevertheless pointed up his

shortcomings with respect to "the rules of discussion."

And

al-

though Lanfranc censured him for "putting nature before divine power, as

everything,"

dogma

in

settled

^

he

could not change the nature of anything and

still

was unable

to grant that there

that contradicted dialectic.

was anything

Thus, while the question was

by convoking synods that upheld faith (the synods of

and Verceil

Rome

God

if

in

in

1050,

1050 and

tempt was made

to

which condemned Berangar, the synods of

1079,

which forced him

make dogma conform

reason. ^

Migne,

^

Ibid.,

CLXXX,

CL, 419c.

Rome

74oc-d and

7530!.

to recant), every at-

to the rules of

common

THE TENTH AND ELEVENTH CENTURIES

33

Criticism of Philosophy Until the

II

End With

of the Eleventh Century

and the movement toward

the reform of the monastic orders

asceticism that characterized the last part of the eleventh century

(intense

faith

culminated in the crusade of

on the

the need for placing stricter limitations discipHnes. Peter

who

in 1057,

Damian

people

1095),

named Cardinal

(1007-1072),

the solitude of a hermitage,

is

who

one of the reformers

must not arrogantly usurp

proclaimed

his

condemnation? The famous

sibility of

a rule of logic eliminated the

freedom of God, the very foundation of ciously observed that rules

do not have reference

were invented

to the essence

of discussion."

^

it

lies

be-

(first

and the impos-

omnipotence and complete faith.

Peter

Damian

judi-

for use in syllogisms, "they reality

but to the

This meant a return, brought about by a

definitions to be indemonstrable.

method

fate

and matter of

sure instinct, to the doctrine of Aristotle,

and

What

contingent futures by means of the principle of contradic-

Thus

method

stated

argument

dialectical

framed by the Megarians) that demonstrated tion.

He

the role of a master but

be like the servant of a mistress {ancilla dominae)^

hind

of Ostia

sought to shun honor and fame by withdrawing to

the complete inadequacy of dialectic in matters of faith. "that dialectic

felt

role of the profane

who had

So long

of thinking than the syllogistic one,

to the status of a simple

as there

was

it

organon and not

declared premises

was no other

fitting to

to try to

reduce

make

it

the

instrument for investigating reaUty.

But

in addition to dialectic,

tive ease to its role of

bius'

Commentary on

which could be relegated with

rela-

organon, profane books, particularly Macrothe

Dream

of Scipio, spread doctrines about

God and

the world that were diametrically opposed to the Christian

doctrine.

Through them

tions

access

on the transmigration

was given

of souls

and

^ De divina ommpotentia v (Migne, CXLV, 604); and Roman Age (Chicago, 1965), pp. 3-8.

to Pythagoras' specula-

Plato's cf.

concept of the

E. Brehier,

The

Hellenistic

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

34

fabrication of the

tween

Platonists

world

and

mortality of the soul

soul, to say

impHed

nothing of the discussion be-

which suggested

Aristotelians

divinity. In

its

that the im-

them

was

it

stated

were on the earth inhabited but inaccessible regions,

that there

necessitating the conclusion that Jesus

them was something more than

had not saved

all

men. In

a conception of the

dialectic:

world in which salvation through Christ had no place. Manegold

Lautenbach (who died in 1103 in an Alsatian monastery) turned

of

on

adversaries,

his

declaring that readers too

attentive

to

such

dangerous philosophers were under diabolical inspiration.^

Nothing

is

easier in theory

than to separate theology and phi-

losophy, but in practice nothing

words such

is

more

difficult.

Theology used

and was forced to consult Aristotle's CateManegold himself, conceding the kinship

as substantia

gories for definitions.

between certain philosophical doctrines and

accepted the

faith,

Plotinian division that he found in Macrobius of political, purifying,

and purified

virtues.

On

was characterized by the

the whole, then, the eleventh century

inability

dispense with

of thinkers to

profane philosophy or to determine the Hmitations of

applicabil-

its

ity.

St,

Ill

That

Anselm is

why

the reasoning of St.

of great interest.

is

Anselm

of Aosta (1033-1109)

Taking up the Augustinian

tradition

every effort in his teaching at the monastery of

Le

Bee,

he made

where he

succeeded Lanfranc, to establish a more stable equilibrium between reason and faith.

The

reasoning of

St.

Anselm,

who

in 1093 be-

came Archbishop

of Canterbury, is easy to follow: Scripture and Church impose dogmas on our faith, such as those of the existence of God and the Incarnation; man accepts them solely on the

the

basis of authority,

standing. But reflect •*

when

and reason contributes nothing faith exists,

on dogmas and

man

CLV, 147-76).

his

under-

has in addition a tendency to

to seek to understand them.

Contra Wolfelmum (Migne,

to

As

Isaiah puts

it

THE TENTH AND ELEVENTH CENTURIES

35

(7:9), "If

you

will not believe,

you

will not understand." Further-

more, faith seeks to understand {fides quaerens intellectum) and

dogmas

the illumination of this

way

is

that one can acquire by reasoning in

an intermediary between pure

like

faith

and the

direct

vision the elect will have of the divine reality. St. Anselm's attitude is

in turn

mal

an intermediary between fideism that rules out any nor-

and mysticism

exercise of reason

vision into this It is clear

through

that St.

Anselm, through the strength of

on the works of

his meditation

elements of Plato's

which

leads

St.

faith to

to the beatific vision

from

set of

become

faith, that

man

elect

only by the grace of

dogmas on which depends man's become the

tellectual intuition has

Man

by the grace of God.

closely related to

is

and from

a theogonic virtue that reaches

and a

understanding

belief to discursive reflection

the latter to intellectual intuition; but belief has is,

and

his genius

Augustine, rediscovered

The path from

dialectic.

and from understanding dialectic,

that introduces the beatific

life.

is

salvation,

beatific vision

God

and

in-

accorded to the

incapable of taking the initiative

from the

and of attaining the end: the

intellectus receives

from

understand. Except for this datum,

faith, that

which

requires nothing

it is

more than

to

the dialectical subtlety that

outside, it

Anselm took

pains to have his pupils acquire through exercises such as those in the

De

grammatico; separated from

line of reasoning

which seems

We

to

however, the most subtle

to certainty,

but merely

states "that

me."

should note that

cal consideration

logical

cannot attain

faith,

arguments

St.

which to

Anselm's work

is

dominated by a

befitted a prince of the

Church. By using

prove the necessity of the Incarnation, for ex-

ample, he was trying to refute the objections of the infidels that the Christian faith contradicted reason. culiar character of his works, at the

:

common arguments and

said

pe-

clearly

nothing that he said must be

grounded on the authority of Scripture; he must write cussion in

who

That explains the

which he himself pointed out

beginning of the Monologium

ing only

practi-

clearly, us-

restricting himself to simple dis-

which everything was based on "the

necessity of reason

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

36

and the

This meant freeing himself completely

clarity of truth."

from the

conventions of his age and from slavish de-

literary

And

pendence on scriptural commentary.

though we must approach caution,

St.

Anselm

here

we

even

see that

with some degree of

his "rationalism"

took pains to determine what

nevertheless

reason could accomplish independently.

His

effort

was of course

The Monologitim and

restricted to purely theological matters.

the Proslogium, written in that order be-

God

tween 1070 and 1078, dealt successively with the nature of

and the existence of God. The

De

subject the radical unity of

truths in

all

show

was

and conversion of

infidels;

had

it

his

very

He

attempted to

a place in the salvation

he did not show the slightest concern

independent development of reason for

for the

Yet

helpful, that

as its

God. The Cur deus homo,

completed in 1098, explained the Incarnation. that reason

work, had

veritate, a later

own

its

method (and completely apart from

sake.

the

end he

sought to attain) implied conclusions on the nature of reason which

were of universal import and which were independent of his subject.

To

method

begin with, he rediscovered in the

Monologium

the Platonic

that posits for each category of similar things perceived by

the senses

and reason the existence of

a

model

The whole work might

ticipate as equals.

which they

in

bear as

its

par-

epigraph the

fundamental theorem of Proclus' Elements of Theology: "A term equally present to if it is

terms in a

all

not in one of them or in

In the same

way

by virtue of a

St.

all

Anselm saw

common

series

of

them but

that

a

to

prior to

good things

essence, the good,

good and then supremely good. Thus

shown by experience

can explain them

which

only

of them."

are as they are

is

independently

for each category of qualities

be of higher or lesser degree, he estabUshed

supreme greatness through which things are

being through which they there are just things.

all

all

He

are,

a

supreme

great,

justice

an absolute

through which

demonstrated that these terms

all

desig-

nate the same reality since there can be but one supreme nature.

Thus

dialectic leads

fect reality,

from imperfect multiplicity

from the per aliud

to the

per

se.

to a unique, per-

Moreover, the unique

THE TENTH AND ELEVENTH CENTURIES

37 being,

if

exists, exists of itself

it

would be

inferior to

(ex se)

for

;

if

it

had

cause. Finally, the universe

its

and was created or produced by

it

a cause

it

comes from

it

from nothing, but

in a rational

manner which would have been impossible had there the mind of the creator "something resembling a model to be

done

standard."

putting

or, It

Word,

things are in the it is

Word

the

is

a better

it

God,

of

of the thing

a resemblance, or a

him:

identical to

all

created

just as design exists in art not only

produced but before

It is

way, a form,

not been in

and

existence

its

when

after its disappearance.

Monologium two

easy to untangle in the arguments of the

elements that never quite interpenetrate: on the one hand, the Platonic dialectic, which

a general

is

ing from the sensible to the

from per aliud this

method

per se

is

per

to

diversity to unity,

and on the other hand,

a transformation of

world

God

as

no if

which being

the Creator ex nihilo of Genesis

Word. Alselm's confusion

the

plained by the Timaeus, with those

consisting in proceed-

from

into a religious metaphysics, as a result of

defined as

intelligible

se,

method

intelligible,

who from

Philo to

justification for

St.

its

demiurge and

is

and the

surely ex-

model, and by

its

Augustine perpetuated

it,

but there

all is

it.

The Monologium had determined what reason knows of God, he exists. The Proslogium (chaps, ii, iii) demonstrated his exist-

ence by means of a unique argument that has immortaUzed the

name

of St.

Anselm:

"We

believe that

you are something greater

than which no other being can be conceived to exist {quo nihil

majus

cogitari possit). Is

possible that such a nature does not

it

exist because a fool has said in his heart: 'There

the very least this fool,

on hearing

me

he hears; and that which he understands does not understand that this thing its

existence.

.

.

.

And

no God'? But

at

say 'something greater than

which no other being can be conceived to

being implies

is

exist,'

is

exists.

in his

The

understands what

mind, even

if

he

very idea of such a

surely the Being that

is

some-

thing greater than which no other being can be conceived to exist

cannot be solely in the mind; indeed, even

one can imagine a being

like

him who

if

he

is

only in the mind,

exists also in reality

and who

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

38

therefore greater than he.

is

who

mind, the being

is

follows that

It

he were only in the

if

something greater than which no other be-

ing can be conceived to exist would be such that something greater could be conceived to exist."

His proof

starts

not from the contemplation of Providence as

re-

vealed through nature, but from meditation on God, for which St.

"No

Augustine had provided the model.^^

he had

soul,"

said,

"has ever been able or will ever be able to conceive of anything better

than you

.

.

.

and

if

you were not incorruptible,

through thought to something better than thought

is

the

same one can surely :

my

could attain

I

God." The trend of

attribute to

God

that

cannot deny him without diminishing his perfection. things that are of that

was the

God

are in every

way

perfect," Plato

starting point of all rational speculation

had

which one

"God and said.^^

And

on God. But in

no instance had the notion been advanced of making existence an attribute that could not be denied

him by

virtue of his greatness

and

the immensity of his perfection. Philosophers implicitly acknowl-

edged the existence of clinch their

God

because this alone could in some

tion of the heavens without Aristotle's rationality of things verse.

that

way

image of the universe: there would be no eternal moprime mover, no perfect

without a Stoic logos that permeates the uni-

God is implied by the drama man and is, as in every other Anselm, who did not conceive

In Christianity the existence of

is

to

end with the salvation of

instance, a revealed truth.

But

St.

God in his relation to a cosmic order to which he is indispensable, and who did not wish by supposition to make use of revelation, had

of

but one aim: to prove God's existence by the same method of meditation that allowed

him

to conceive

God. His

is

not, as has

been aptly observed,^^ an ontological proof that goes from essence God's essence

to existence, for

proof has as tion of

God

its

as

is

unknown

to us.

starting point, not the essence of it

exists in

our understanding and as

"According to Draeseke, Revue de philosophic (1909), ^Republic 381b. Koyre, ed. and trans., Proslogium (Paris, 1930), p. 201,

p. 639.

n. i.

Therefore his

God it

but the nois

revealed

THE TENTH AND ELEVENTH CENTURIES

39

only through sedulous meditation.

how remote

ter

ence of

its

from

it is

It is this

notion which, no mat-

real essence, allows us to infer the exist-

object.

All these proceedings imply the affirmation of the possibility of a type of meditation that consists in sharpening our awareness of

God

the notion of

that

is

meant

at the

The

name

was

in truth attacking St. Anselm's

reality that

benefit of the in-

Anselm's proof in

St.

based wholly on apprehension. Gaunilon

is

whole theological method "The :

God—that I do not know. Nor me even to guess what

is

is

similar that will enable

you yourself else."

of

state that

is

it

that

we are unable him. The implied

firm or deny anything about

and

is

in theology

is

veritate.

starts

new

offered a

Here,

instance the

by Anselm

that takes us

legitimately to af-

conclusion

tions), of the senses,

shows

is,

and of

how

essences.

all

these truths

certain standard or rectitude.

which it is

ion; an act of will

same way

in the

The mere enumeration

the problem of truth

character of

the

elect.

method

De

He

right intention), of actions (right ac-

relates also to will, to the senses,

what

revelation,

depicts in a particular

The common

signifies

that

multiplicity to unity.

judgment but

signify that

is

multiplicity of truths: the truths of enunciations, of

opinions, of the will (that

these truths

from

nothing

to intellectus as the

application of his

Monologium, he

as in the

movement

from the

to

esse in intellectu

intermediary between faith and the vision of the

Anselm

like. Besides,

no method other than authority and

this negates the role assigned

St.

there anything

which can be likened

notion of God,

:

there

it

Gaunilon challenged Anselm's premise, the

God having no

It

argument by which

line of

Gaunilon, Prior of Marmoutiers, countered the

was indeed

this

end of the eleventh century.

on God without

that one could meditate

struction given by the Church.

of the fool

and

in our understanding,

make

a daring affirmation to

is,

A

is

and

is

true

actions

when

and the

its

aim

is

what

it

is

intended to

when

true

intended to signify; the same is

to the essences.

their conformity to a

verbal statement

and the statement

of

not restricted to

is

is

it

actually

true of an opin-

should be; and in

senses, taken in themselves, are al-

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

40

what

true because a sense always does

ways

should do;

it

finally,

the essences are true in the sense that things always have the es-

God

sence which

they should be. a

has willed that they should have and are what

The

notion of truth refers in every instance, then, to

supreme standard that

not because

it

exists eternally, to a truth that

must be something, but because

other truths are reduced.

it is,

would be impossible

It

and

is

to

rectitude,

which

all

to provide a clearer

statement of theocentric rationalism, which originated with Stoicism

and Neo-Platonism and truths,

not the

is

immanent method

eminent and unique

and

faith

intellect

it

formed

on the one hand

:

intelligible

Both views bend

is

a

human

is

the Christian

God

of

and transcendent world reason toward a region it

must be

trans-

deep-rooted divergence between the two theo-

hand

drama

the divine

discontinuous universe, whose events

of Christianity with

—creation,

sin,

and redemp-

—are due to unforseeable initiatives on the part of a free being;

on the other hand

whose order

is

a continuous universe

eternal

and

plainly in the Incarnation,

are separated in Platonism

invariable.

homo, to the

and

— the

divine and the

new

human — and

law. In the

that in-

Cur Dens

Anselm applies his method of fides quaerens intellectutn dogma of the Incarnation and tries to show the necessary character of the death of Christ.

If

nothing were

concerning the death of Jesus, reason would show that

cannot be happy unless a only

Their divergence shows up

St.

rational

known

without a history, and one

which binds together two natures

troduces into the universe a radically

To

the

into a vision.

centrisms: on the one

tion

them but

obvious in this

Anselm's work, that the contrast be-

cannot be exercised normally and where

But there its

is

particular

mainly the contrast between two ways

and on the other the

of Neo-Platonism.

where

St.

is

of presenting theocentrism

salvation

that discovers

reality that they represent. It

whole of

treatise, as in the

tween

which reason, transcending

in

God

God-man

men

appears and dies for them, for

can atone for a sin that has offended the divine majesty.

be sure,

Anselm does not reduce

Christian truth to a necessary

phase of an eternal order; but once sin has been posited, he

in-

THE TENTH AND ELEVENTH CENTURIES

41

troduces a rational necessity that directs

him toward

the Platonic

vision of things.

IV

Roscelin {Roscellinus Compendiensis) Despite

seemed

its

from

difference

Christianity, Platonism

must have

Anselm, when he saw the consequences of the doctrine

to

dogma

of Roscelin of Compiegne, to be linked by necessity to the of the Trinity. Roscelin's views, label of

known

Roscelin's views are

who

contradicted

recalled, held

whole of the

words

which

are

summed up under

the

nominalism, seem to be grounded on the logic of Boethius. only through a few extracts from those

him (Anselm and Abelard).

will be

it

with Simplicius that Aristotle's Categories and the dialectic

engendered referred not

it

and

as signifiers of things,

Roscelin said the same thing:

between genus and

and

to things but to

was but the

that the Isagoge

terms through which they are expressed.

classification of the five

distinctions

Boethius,

all

the distinctions

species, substance

human

relate to

and

made by

quality, are

discourse.

dialectic

merely verbal

But he added that the

only distinction grounded on reality was that of individual substances.

That

is

what Anselm

exactly

he summarizes in three

says in the passage in

articles the doctrine of the dialectician

universal substances are but verbal expressions (flatus vocis) is

nothing other than a colored body; man's wisdom

his soul." ^^ Roscelin

meant

are able to separate

man from

body, and

speaking

dom

wisdom from

is

that

it

indivisible.

walls,

and

from

Socrates, whiteness

That which, according

man

of

body into corporeal

To

say that

a roof

" Migne, CLVIII,

is

265a.

it

to Abelard,

and conventional

vision of things according to terms

is

to consider

;

"The color

only through speech that

is

the soul, but that the

celin completely arbitrary

:

nothing but

is

parts.

Any

one of

its

are

and wis-

seems to Ros-

not simply the di-

and categories but the very

in reality

we

a white

whom we

in reality Socrates, the whiteness a white body,

a wise soul.

vision of a

is

which

di-

body, such as a house,

made up parts,

is

of foundations,

such as the roof, as

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

42

being

at the

same time

a part of a

whole and a

distinct thing in a

hst of three things.^*

Roscelin seems then to have had the feeUng

meaning

nominaUsm)

of

that

and not

was ordered

that he

this

made by

distinctions

all

lectician existed only in speech

(and

in things.

is

the

the dia-

Yet we know

Council of Soissons (1092) to retract

at the

seems that he had drawn

his opinion

concerning the Trinity.

his inference

from the opinion of Boethius, who used the word "per-

It

son" to designate a rational substance;

God

many

as

it

follows that there are in

substances as persons (tritheism)

three persons are separated just as three angels there

power.

ism?

unity between

is

What

St.

relation

Anselm

them

is

when he

clearly

it

realities;

would

be,

the

and

if

merely a unity of will and of

there between this opinion

is

explains

"whose minds are

it

and the

the Father

;

Son, the begetter and the begotten, are two distinct

and nominal-

speaks of dialecticians

by corporeal images that they can-

so obsessed

we cannot understand how several persons are specifically one single man, how can we understand how several persons are one single God.^ If we are unable to distinguish between a horse and its color, how can we make a distinction between God and his multiple relations? If we are unable to distinguish the individual man from the person, how can we understand that the man assumed by Christ is not a person?" Acnot extricate themselves.

cording to this decisive errors.

for

text,

tritheism

was but one of

His nominalism was a principle subversive of

Roscelin's

all

he made distinctions where none should be made and

make and

If

necessary distinctions.

He

saw

distinct substances; in return

by Anselm), he did not tributes of

God

try to

theology, failed to

in the Trinity three individual

(this is the

make

second point raised

a distinction

between the

at-

(goodness, power, and so forth) and his substance,

nor was he able to

make

a distinction (this

is

the third point) be-

tween the divine person incarnate in Jesus, and his humanity. There was in this cleric from Compiegne a need to see clearly, a need not " Cousin,

satisfied

by the residue of thought from Aristotelianism

Ouvrages inedites d'Abelard,

p. 471.

43

THE TENTH AND ELEVENTH CENTURIES

and Platonism.

It

has been aptly observed that

thing "other than an academic question; the theologian

themselves."

is

if

we have

here some-

universals are reaUties,

dealing not just with formulas but with things

^^

"Seeberg, quoted by Grabmann, Geschichte der scholastischen Methode,

p.

311.

Bibliography

I

Texts

De

Berengar of Tours.

sacra coena adversus Lanjrancuin. Edited by A.

and

On

the

F. Vischer. Berengarii Turonensis opera.

dispute,

the writings of

cf.

Adelmann

Liege

of

Hugh

of Langres

(Migne, CXLIII,

Troarn, pp. 287-303; Lanfranc Troarn (Migne, CXLIX, 1375).

Berlin,

1289)

;

1834.

P.

100.

(Migne, CXLII, 1325) Heurtevent, Durand de

(Migne, CL, 410-12); and Durand of

Fredegisus. Epistola de nihilo et tenebris. Migne,

CV.

Gerbert. Opera. Edited by A, Olleris. Clermont-Ferrand, 1867. rationali et ratione uti. Migne, CXXXIX, 159-68. Opera mathematica. Edited by N. Bubnov. Berlin, 1899. Paschasius Radbertus. De corpore et sanguine domini. Migne, CXX, 1263.

De

.

1350-

Pseudo-Hrabanus Maurus. Super Porphyrium. In V. Cousin, Ouvrages inedites d'Abelard. Paris, 1836. Pp. xvi, Ixxvi.

Studies Ebersolt. Essai sur

Berengar de Tours

et la controverse

sacramentaire au X/*

siccle. Paris, 1903.

Endres,

J.

und

"Fredegisus

Candidus,

Beitrag

ein

zur

Geschichte

der

Philosophie des Mittelalters," Philosophisches ]ahrbuch (1906), pp. 439-46. Heurtevent, R. Durand de Troarn et les origines de I'heresie herangarienne. Paris, 1912.

McDonald, A.

J.

Berengar and the Reform of Sacramental Doctrine. London,

1930.

Pica vet, F. Gerbert:

Un

pape philosophe d'apres

I'histoire et d'apres la legende.

Paris, 1897.

Thomas Aquinas. Sum ma 44

theologiae,

III,

75,

i.

A

reply to Berengar.

THE TENTH AND ELEVENTH CENTURIES

45

IV

II to

Texts Anselm. Opera. Migne, CLVIII, CLIX.

The Proslogium, Monologium, Cur Deus homo. Translated by A. N.

.

Deane. Chicago, 1910. Dialogue on Truth. Translated by R. Peter Damian. Opera. Migne, CXLIV, CXLV. Letter to

Roscelin.

McKeon

in Selections,

Abelard. Migne, CLXVIII. Translated

into

I,

150-84.

French in

Picavet (see below).

Studies Anselms Beweis der Existenz Gottes Munich, 1931. Peter Damian: His Teaching on the Spiritual Life. Washington,

Barth, K. Fides querens intellectum.

Zusammenhang

in

Blum, O.

St.

seines theologischen Progratnms.

D.C., 1947. Clayton, J. St. Anselm:

Endres,

J.

A Critical Biography. Milwaukee, 1933. "Die Dialektiker und ihre Gegner in XI Jahrhunderte," Philo-

sophisches Jahrbuch (1906). .

Petrus

Damiani

und

die

wcltliche

Wissenschaft.

Beitriige

zur

Geschichte der Philosophic des Mittelalters. Vol. VIII. Miinster in Westfalen, 1910.

Gilson, E. "Sens et nature de I'argument de saint Anselme," Archives d'his-

du moyen age, IX (1934), 5-51. Damien et la culture profane. Louvain, 1956. Mclntyre. St. Anselm and His Critics. 1954. Phelan, G. The Wisdom of Saint Anselm. Latrobe, Pa., i960. toire doctrinale et litteraire

Gonsette,

J.

Pierre

Picavet, F. Roscelin, philosophe et theologien

d'apres la legende et d'apres

2d ed. Paris, 191 1. Spedalieri, F. "Anselmus an Gaunilo? sen de recta argumenti interpretatione," Gregorianum, XXVIII (1947), 55-77. I'histoire.

sancti doctoris

THE TWELFTH CENTURY THE TWELFTH CENTURY was

3.

cciitury o£ ficry

and

varied intellectual activity, a century of tumult and confusion: on

one hand there was a need for systematization and unity that gave birth to the encyclopedic tences;

on the other hand,

works of theology

certain circles into a return to ancient est in the sciences of the

called

books of Sen-

a great intellectual curiosity, translated in

humanism and

a

new

inter-

quadrivium. Furthermore, antiquity was

gradually unveiled by translations of hitherto

unknown

authors

and the resources of Hbraries were gradually expanded.

Four main a different

intellectual

tendencies are discernible, each against

background: theologians in

their Sentences

brought

to-

gether and unified the elements of the Christian tradition; Platonists

— true

humanists

—were

linked to the school of Chartres; mys-

were associated with the

tics

and

naturalists constituted a

disturb the spiritual power.

ent thinkers

who

cloister of St. Victor; finally, pantheists

group whose

activities

But there were,

were certain

cannot be placed in any category,

Abelard, whose complex and perceptive

to

in addition, independ-

mind

among them

reflected

all

the

passions of his epoch.

I

The The

Sententiaries

twelfth century was the period of the great theological en-

cyclopedias that were intended "to unite in a single body," as Yves

46

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

47

of Chartres expressed

all this.

life,

and morals. Philosophical preoccupation had no

discipline, faith,

part in

everything relating to the Christian

it,

But there was

a practical necessity in bringing to-

gether a vast array of scattered data. All of these data, often seemingly

had

contradictory,

Christianity

was

to

be unified

to

be preserved.

if

the

The works

spiritual

unity of

of the sententiaries

were prompted by a need not unlike that met by our codes: they

were by nature

juridical rather than philosophical.

Consequently

they were based on philology and on textual criticism. Bernold of

Constance indicated each point on which the authorities seemed

to

contradict each other and, as Vincent of Lerins had done before

him, gave rules for reconciling their views or for choosing between them.

The seventeen-volume Decretum

1116)

is

cepts.

From

universale,

we

of Yves of Chartres (died in

a survey {speculum) of doctrines of faith

the

and

ethical pre-

same period comes Radulphus Ardens' Speculum

something resembUng

a history of Christianity, in

find, alongside specifically Christian teachings, all that

which

remained

of ancient humanistic ethics. Before discussing salvation through

Christ (1.2), he explains the basic moral concepts of good and of virtue (i.i); before explaining faith 1.8),

he develops

human

tion

if

—the

virtues,

he speaks of cardinal

sciences

tries

naively to integrate with faith. For ex-

— according to the ancient system of

he finds that

theoretics, ethics,

(transmitted

and

logic, to

by

which

Isidore is

against the defects that issue

and weakness of the

from

or

Bede)

classifica-

comprise

added mechanics, he hastens

to note piously that the four sciences are four

error,

and

each instance he juxtaposes Christian truths and a hu-

manistic ethic that he

ample,

(1.7

thinking concerning virtue and vice (1.6);

and before deaHng with theological virtues. In

and the sacraments

remedies to be used

original sin: ignorance, injustice,

flesh.

This codification of Christianity occasioned a

series of

works that

continued throughout the twelfth century: the Questions or the

Anselm of Laon (died in 11 17), the Sentences Champeaux (1070-1121), Robert Pulleyn (died Robert of Melun (died in 1167), and especially those

Sentences of

of

WilHam

in

1

150),

of

of

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

48

Lombard,

Peter

the Master of Sentences

(died' in

1164),

which

soon after his death were being used for instruction by Peter

Comestor (died These

in

collections

and Peter of

1176)

were

Poitiers

(died in

1205).

to serve as the basis for all theological in-

struction during the following century.

The

Sic et

non

of Abelard,

who was one

of

Lombard's

teachers,

belongs to the same literary genre, since on each point of the Christian faith he cites the opinions of the Fathers, classifying

them

according to whether they say "yes" or "no." Abelard surely did not intend to draw any skeptical conclusion, but simply "to provoke readers to further pursuit of truth in the process."

He

-^

and

sharpen their perception

to

begins, moreover, by giving rules for reconcil-

ing the opinions of the Fathers.

These works naturally presuppose

a rational basis

The

subject matter

any codification solely

is

impossible.

without which

determined

is

by authority, but logical discussion must establish the

sig-

nificance

and value of an authority. In each

make up

the divisions or chapters in his book, Peter

Lombard com-

pares one text with another, the pro and the contra,

and chooses on

the basis of discussion rather than of citations. This

is

the so-called scholastic method, a dialectical

not one that discovers a

is

method

is

or

is

of Abelard

opinions.

method

The

possible in a

is

mind

scholastic

domain

in

the distribution of materials in the

and Lombard. The substructure of

the recital of the Christian drama,

God and

and

its

their

Here we have

work

is

elements are studied in

the Trinity, Creation, the Angels,

original sin, the Incarnation

eschatology.

subtle

considered as already given.

Another important point

this order:

method designed not

truth but one that grasps corre-

between

the only intellectual

which truth

work

new

contradictions

the origin of

and evaluation: the

for discovery but for examination

spondences

of the paragraphs that

man and

and Redemption, the sacraments, and

a concept of the universe that gradually

gained ascendancy, became dominant, and continued

to appeal to

many

drawn

'

philosophers long after the Middle Ages had

Migne, CLXXVIII, 1349a.

to a

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

49

close. First, the

hierarchy of reaUties

then the drama

itself

God

—original

The

of the elect.

sin,

—God,

the angels,

and man;

redemption, and the return to

dual theme includes

many

variations, but

they are bounded on the one side by a Platonism of which Erigena is

representative

God

turn to of

men

free

and which makes the descent of

man and

his re-

an eternal necessity, and on the other by the orthodoxy

like

Lombard and

and contingent

Thomas, who

St.

initiative at the

posit a

completely

beginning of each act in the

divine drama.

II

The School

of Chartres

Twelfth Century: Bernard of Chartres in the

Offsetting the

work

of the sententiaries

was the development

philosophical theology in the school of Chartres.

moving than

the efforts

made by

Nothing

is

of a

more

the adherents of the school to ex-

tend the intellectual horizon of their era beyond Boethius, Isidore,

and the Fathers.

Among

the initiators were Constantine the African

and Adelard of Bath, who provide valuable testimony concerning the beginnings of the establishment of relations between East

and

West. At the end of the eleventh century, Constantine, born in Carthage, traveled throughout the East.

He

translated, besides the

medieval books of the Arabs and the Jews, Hippocrate's Aphorisms with Galen's commentary, and two of Galen's lations

gave access

to

treatises.

His

trans-

Democritus' theory of corpuscular physics.

Adelard of Bath traveled through Greece and through the Arab lands at the beginning of the twelfth century and brought back

many

translations of mathematical works.

Elements from Arabic and introduced

He

to the

translated Euclid's

West, in addition

to

astronomical works, Alchwarismi's arithmetic. This represented an extraordinary addition to the quadrivium. Adelard was a mathe-

matician

who

also exhibited a predilection for Platonism,

Platonism came not from

St.

and

his

Augustine but directly from the Ti-

maeus, Chalcidius, and Macrobius.

He

wrote his short

treatise

De

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

50

eodem

et diver so to justify

philosophy; in

Philosophy and the

it,

seven arts engage in a debate, following the pattern

and Martianus Capella, with

Philocalia.

The

set

theory of knowledge

myth

outlined in the treatise presupposes the whole Platonic

psyche: intelligence in

state of purity

its

lost;

"then

it

searches for

memory, has recourse the Timaeus, 44a),

what

which allows us

of the imagination; but Plato

knowledge

is

knowledge

is

actually

It

:

sensible, is

starts

without the help

forms of things,

from

body.

as they

They

are

principles, Aristotle

composite things.

the basis of his solution to the problem of universals:

the distinction between genus, species, the distinction between animal,

—for instance, —has no meaning

and individual

man, and Socrates

other than in sensible things; the words designate the

viewed from a different angle.

"When we

they are not implied by the

name

of genus with respect to species. these

universals,

which

same essence

consider species,

not eliminate individual forms but simply ignore

fusing

and very

are probably

also right in stating that perfect

of the archetypal

simply taking opposite courses Plato

Such

its

(cf.

follows that Aristotle

know

exist in the divine intellect before they enter the

from

partially

is

to ignore "very small

knowledge (the minima

we cannot

right in saying that

things and their

tumult of the senses"

atoms, whose existence Adelard granted). is

of the

has lost and, betrayed by

it

to opinion"; "the

big things," prevents rational

knows

body" such knowledge

causes; "in the prison of the

by Boethius

of the species."

we do

them because

The same

is

true

But one must guard against conare

designated

by speech, with

archetypal forms as they exist in the divine intelligence; universals,

according to Aristotle, are

still

only sensible things themselves,

al-

though considered with more penetration. Archetypal forms are neither genera nor species,

which

are conceivable only in relation to

individuals, but "they are conceivable things, in the divine

mind."

knowledge com.parable

man ideas.

And

and

exist apart

sensible

here we are not deaUng with

to the beatific vision

knowledge, for the aim of

from

dialectic

is

but with ordinary huthe contemplation of

51

THE TWELFTH CENTURY who

Bernard of Chartres,

taught in Chartres from 1114 to 1124,

seems to have had the conviction, wholly characteristic of his group, that the

aim of scholarship was not expand

the past but to

we

giants;

it.

"We

to consolidate the

are as dwarfs

knowledge of

on the shoulders of

can see farther and farther into the distance than could

the ancients, not by virtue of the keenness of our sight or the size of

our bodies but because

we

are supported

giants."^ John of Salisbury called

him

and elevated by them

by

as

"the most perfect Platonist

of our time"^ and said that according to Bernard, universals are identical to Platonic ideas.

Was

Bernard

the author of the

also

short outline of Platonism that follows in the Metalogicus} In

John stresses the contrast between the immutability of ideas

and

it

the

mutability of sensible things, drawing his inspiration from Seneca (Eps. 58,

and

19,

One

49d-e).

whom

22),

he quotes, and the Timaeus (Ep.

thing seems certain in any case, and that

nard's brother, Thierry, wrote a

is

commentary on Genesis

that Berin

which

he explained the world through the concurrence of four causes

:

God

the Father as the efficient cause, the four elements as the material cause, the

Son

There

cause.

as the

is

formal cause, and the Holy Spirit as the

final

obviously in this passage an attempt to apply the

cosmogony of the

Aristotelian theory of the four causes to the

Timaeus, and the Christian formulas scarcely hide the four Platonic notions of the demiurge, matter, the order of the world, and the

good

(besides, later

on Thierry

explicitly identifies the

Holy

Spirit

with the world soul of the Timaeus). This interpretation of the

Timaeus

is

found in the

letters of

Seneca

(65. 8-10),

each of Plato's principles of the world with one causes.

The same

interpretation

is

also

who compares

of Aristotle's four

found in the preface

to the

Theology, a ninth-century Arabic work falsely attributed to Aristotle (see

below chap,

The Timaeus nardus

iv, sec. ii).

also served as the source of inspiration for Ber-

Silvestris in his

De mundi

universitate sive

microcosmus about the middle of the century. *

John of Salisbury Metalogicus

^Ibid.

iv.

^s.

iii.

4.

A

megacosmus

et

pupil of Bernard

52

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

William of Conches (died in 1145) wrote a Commentary on the Timaeus and a Philosophia imbued with Platonism. of Chartres,

It

is

worth noting

him

Plato but assigned

contrary to Abelard

that,

a subordinate role

and

who

also followed

tried to use

him

to

support the Christian apologetic, the Platonists of Chartres explained Platonism as an independent philosophy, without trying to reconcile

it

dogma

with

of humanistic imagination

but not without introducing an element

and

a concern for style that gives all the

productions of the school a very special savor. Bernardus

work on cosmogony

good example. In

a

is

play" written before the term was invented plains to

Nous

(that

reigns in matter; first

—a

Nature

com-

Providence) about the confusion that

to

gives in

to create

"mystery

tearfully

and separates the elements

book of Ovid's Metamorphoses)'^ then Nous turns

and promises tion;

is,

Nous

work

his

—Nature

Silvestris'

man

in order to bring the

will in turn shape the

body of

work

man from

(as in the to

Nature

to perfec-

the four ele-

ments (an adaptation of the account in the Timaeus). This seems to be the Christian Trinity dressed in Platonic

identical to the

is

Good (Tagathon),

is

illusory for

Son

garments the Father :

to

Nous, the

Spirit to

which emanates from Nous. But the

the world soul or Entelechia,

comparison

the

we

are dealing not with co-equals but

with a hierarchy of terms, since the world soul connotes an inferior hypostasis, nature,

carnate era,

Word, but

and

and is

since

an

Nous

intelligible

bears

no resemblance

world that contains

to the in-

species,

ments and the world ... the whole

series of fates (fatalis series is

the Stoic term), the order of the centuries, the tears of the poor,

the fortunes of kings."

Alan

III

gen-

individuals, "everything engendered by matter, the ele-

of Lille

and

^

(Alanus de Insulis)

Nature, the unity of nature, and natural laws probably constitute the essentials of the Platonism of Chartres. ers of the last part of the century

the "Universal Doctor," *

who

One

was Alan

of the best think-

of Lille (11 15-1203),

taught in Paris and in Montpellier.

Cousin, Ouvrages inedites d' Abelard, p. 628.

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

53

Though he did not depend directly on the school much of its spirit. He represented nature

tained

of Chartres, he reas a

young

virgin

wearing a crown embellished by stones that symboHzed the planets

and dressed

of every type.

image

cient

mantle on which were embroidered living beings

in a

Thus

the twelfth-century cleric rediscovered the an-

borrowed from the

that Pherecydes of Syros probably

b.c. And to his representation of man as a microcosm, shaped from the same elements as nature. He was in all probability acquainted also with Nemesius' treatise On the Nature of Man, translated by Al-

Babylonians in the sixth century

nature was Hnked that of

fanus in 1058, but he gave reason in sensibility

man with

first

variations

its

spheres of the planets; the soul the head, corresponds to

and the

gels

man and life, all

An

of

like

is

whose

Thus

parts are

the

the motion

like a divine city

is

God and

and the kidneys

air,

the earth.

orthodox

place to the images of the Timaeus:

motion of the sphere of fixed

like the

is

to

of the oblique

where reason,

in the lower part of the

dominant image

Alan could not

and he subordinated nature

and in

heaven, ardor in the heart to an-

bound together by

cleric like

stars,

is

body

to

that of a universal

secret affinities.^

deify nature, of course,

God. But the manner

in

which he

God to nature was borrowed from Proknew through the Boo^ of Causes, trans-

interpreted the relation of clus'

Theology, which he

lated

from Arabic around the middle

where by him under the

Supreme Goodness.^

God

is

simple and mine

theories that posit

title

When

and quoted

else-

Aphorisms on the Essence

of

"The operation

of

he has nature multiple,"

is

between

of

of the century

say,

we must

recall the Platonic

the diverse levels of reaUty only the dif-

ference between an enveloped unity and a developed unity.

William of Conches

IV

It

was the very concept of philosophy

the atmosphere of Chartres. '^

*

De

pianette naturae

Contra haereses

i.

Abundant proof

(Migne, CCX, 431-82).

25.

that tended to

of this is

change in

provided in

54 the

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

work

William of Conches (1080-1145),

of

of Chartres. What made between the

mar,

him

set

apart

was

a pupil of

Bernard

the radical distinction that he

trivium and the quadrivium: the former (gram-

was merely

dialectic, rhetoric)

a study preliminary to philoso-

phy, whereas the latter (mathematics and astronomy) was the part of philosophy, of trast

which the second part was theology. The con-

between the seven

between

a contrast scientific

first

arts

and theology tended

to

be replaced by

(eloquentia or the trivium) and the

belles-lettres

and philosophical study of nature/

And

this

was indeed

the situation depicted by William, who stated in his preface that many teachers would like to restrict instruction to eloquence. A new image of nature was taking shape. William tried to in-

troduce the corpuscular physics of Constantine the African. "Constantine, discussing as a physicist the natures of bodies, applies the

word

elements, in the sense of

principles, to the simplest

first

and

smallest parts of these bodies; philosophers, discussing the creation of the world

and not the natures of

four visible elements." But the

was good

for "those

who,

particular bodies, refer to the

common image

like peasants,

of the four elements

ignore the existence of

everything that cannot be apprehended by the senses." intelligence

was timidly reclaiming

Here, then,

role not only in the acquisi-

its

knowledge of divine things but

tion of

^

also in the determination of

the substance of sensible reality: invisible atoms were contrasted

with

visible elements, a

simple alloy with transmutation. William en-

countered considerable resistance, particularly within the

circle at

Chartres.

The

history of the controversy

is

easily reconstructed

ing WilUam's Philosophia (pp. 49-55)

commentary on Poitiers

the

Timaeus with the

(Gilbertus Porretanus,

by compar-

and the fragment of

his

ideas advocated by Gilbert of

1076-1154), also a pupil

of

Ber-

nard of Chartres and for a long time Chancellor of Chartres. William referred to those who, to refute him, drew support from a

famous passage

Timaeus (43a) which, because

mundi iv. 40 (Migne, CLXXII). Migne, CLXXII, 50a and 49c-d.

''Philosophia *

in the

of the fluidity

I

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

55

were

of the sensible world, denied that the elements

we can

stances. Gilbert,

Timaeus which

making

in

sub-

stable

be sure, thought that he was faithful to the

between the four sensible elements,

a distinction

in conjunction with a certain matter (called by Plato neces-

nurse, mother) produce diverse bodies,

sity, illusion,

and the Ideas

formed of

of the four elements, pure substances that are

He

matter and exist as models {exemplaria) in God.

intelligible

therefore re-

fused to see anything but flux in the intelligible world, and found only in the divine

stability is

reality.^ Physics,

concerned only with forms attached

to

ment, and must therefore refer always Against

this,

WiUiam seems

For example,

physics.

after

to

he observed elsewhere,

matter and their arrangeto

the inteUigible world.

have envisioned an independent

showing that the firmament could not be

made of frozen water, he added: "But I know that others will say, 'We do not know what it is but we know that God is capable of creating it.' Nonsense! What ill-chosen words! Can God make a thing without seeing what as

it

showing

or

is

its

it is

utility

having a reason for

like or

.''"

Thus WilUam

it

to be

did not hesitate to

seek a "natural" explanation of the origin of beings and, with respect to the origin of animals, to return to the speculations of cretius

:

the formation of Hving beings

eration of nature {natura operans)}^ his conception detracted

was

the opposite

must be

To

the

who

countered that

from the divine power, he answered that

true, that

he was exalting

power "which has given such a nature fore,

those

it

since

it

was

this divine

to things and which there-

through the intermediary of the operation of nature, has created

human

body." Such criticisms, he said, come from

men who

ignorant of the forces of nature," whereas "I maintain that

must search trust

in

for reason in all things, but

Holy

the

Spirit

and

in

if

faith."

Lucretius and the Timaeus, he was quick to

such matters naturalism •

Lu-

attributed to the op-

/^/^.,

we

is

a

fails

rather

53-56.

vague blend of

us,

we

put our

perhaps

by

acknowledge that in

can attain only to that which

LXIV, 1265.

" Ibid., CLXXII,

it

Inspired

"are

Platonic

is

probable. His

and Epicurean

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

56

WilHam

themes (and even of Stoic themes, for

defined the world

which

soul as the vigorem naturalem, "the natural force

things by God and through which some things have

and sensation, and

life

The Mysticism

V

still

others have

life,

sensation,

infused in

is

others have

life,

and reason").

of the Victorines

In addition to the sober sententiaries

who

codified Christianity,

and those from Chartres who revived Platonism, the twelfth century gave birth to an important mystical radical tives

reform of the monastic orders.

were

St.

on

movement

linked to a

most important representa-

Bernard (Bernard of Clairvaux, 1091-1153) and

of St. Victor (1096-1141). ligiosus,

Its

The monastic

a life of renunciation; the pursuit of perfection

is

adherence

The

obedience.

common

the

to

code

Hugh

ideal, that of the status re-

of

poverty,

based

is

chastity,

and

shows a continual

history of the monastic orders

alternation between neglect of basic rules, leading to contamination

by the world outside the standard. the

The

Abbey

cloisters,

and reforms

that re-establish the

eleventh century was dominated by the reform of

of Cluny, but the monastic spirit then suffered a re-

lapse until the twelfth century,

when

it

was revived by the Cistercian

reform and the founding of the Carthusian order by of Cologne.

The

the artisan,

and the

Cistercian

ascetic";

sisted only in spiritual

Christianity to

monk was

St.

Bruno

a "composite of the peasant,

the spiritual

life,

in his view, con-

meditation on the fundamental truths of

which he gradually subjected

his intelligence

and

his will.

Such meditation,

in

which cultivation of the imaginative faculty

practically replaced critical reflection,

gave birth to the monastic

mysticism of the twelfth century. Typical

is

Deo by

Cistercian

St.

Bernard,

the

celebrated

the treatise

De

diligendo

and Abbot of

Clairvaux. St. Bernard also preached the second crusade (1146) and

was counselor and

to

of the

whom

to

Pope Eugene

he addressed a

Church and

III,

treatise,

whom he had once instructed De consideratione, on the evils

the duties of the sovereign pontiff. In the think-

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

57

ing o£ this dedicated and enthusiastic of philosophy

is

knowledge of Jesus

man

"the

sum and

substance it

another

men

to love

crucified" or, putting

way, knowledge of God's love for men, which leads

God. This love explains the whole Christian drama. Through love

God

ordained salvation for

(defined by the Stoic the

after

fall;

fall,

word

God

means

sacrifice of Jesus a

all

for

men; but he gave them assent, consensus) which

a free will

led to their

provided through the Incarnation and

and

of satisfying both his justice

his

mercy;

the Christian since that time has been able to save himself by fol-

lowing Christ; the Christian the world, sure

life is

is

and God) and leads through contemplation, which

and not

that

meditation on ourselves, is

"a

a dubious conception of truth," to ecstasy: separated

from the physical senses and no longer aware of is

way

the description of the

from thought or inquiry (which

starts

caught up {rapitur) and delivered to God;

become quite

from

different

itself

itself,

the soul

finally, after

and quite similar

to

it

God,

has it

is

deified.

We should note life.

the traditional elements in his portrait of the inner

They have reappeared from century

Philo, Plotinus,

and

mysticism

instance

speculative. It

is

a

to century since the time of

St.

Augustine. But one fact stands out: in this

is

religious

way

of

life

and

sensible

for the soul

and

and

in

is

no way

not, as in Plotinus, the

basis for a philosophical conception of the universe. It

is

the tradition

of Augustine's inner meditation, not the tradition of Neo-Platonist

metaphysics. in those Paris.

who

We

find the

succeeded

same tendency

him

as

They were no longer

masters of theology

who

head of the

in

to a traditional

devoted

Much

ing from

grammar

of St. Victor

cloister of St.

and

Victor in

Bernard, but

their attention to the instruc-

from the school of Chartres, they

conception of education, and the six books

in the style of Isidore,

theology.

cal

all

Hugh's Didascalicon (with the Epitome

handbooks

Hugh

great politicians like

tion of clerics. Quite different also

adhered

in

in

philosophiam) were

comprising the

liberal arts

and

importance was attached to complete studies, rangto

mechanics and embracing ethics and theoreti-

philosophy (mathematics, physics, and theology), and protests

58

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

were lodged against those collective

who

sought "to mangle and lacerate the

body and who through perversity of judgment choose

which

arbitrarily that

^^

pleases them."

In the twelfth century the

tradition of universalism, very important in the history of philos-

ophy, was being threatened.

We

soon see

shall

who was

responsible

for this.

Mystical contemplation, the stages of whose attainment are de-

numerous Victorine works,

scribed in detail in

thorough intellectual instruction. the Christian

handbook of

difficulty:

buttressed by

is

fullness of the inner life of

described in works such as the

is

et ejus speciebus, a

in

The

De

contemplatione

spiritual exercises of increasing

meditation on morals and the divine orders, the soliloquy

which "the inner man" scrutinizes the

cumspection

which

(circumspectio),

is

secrets of his heart, cir-

the

defense

the

against

seduction of sensible things, and ascension. There are three degrees

which

in ascension: ascensio in actu, in distributing alms,

ings {in affectu),

and

which

consists in confessing our sins,

in scorning wealth; ascension in our feelconsists in perfect humility,

charity, purity of contemplation; finally,

and

consummate

at the highest level,

ascension in intelligence (in intellectu), which consists in created beings turn, its

is

knowing

and eventually the Creator. Knowledge of God,

attained through five modes, each of

predecessor: through created beings

to the idea of the Creator;

them more

in

perfect than

whose contemplation

leads

through the nature of the soul which

image of the divine essence that permeates the body

as

is

an

God

permeates the universe; through Scripture that reveals to us the attributes of

God; through

ascend to him; sessed by very

and

few

sweetness, calmly

a flash of insight that enables us to

through the vision which

finally

at present

and

in which, enraptured

is

"pos-

by divine

and peacefully one contemplates only God." The

mysticism of the Victorines tion at the highest level

is

is

meticulously orthodox; contempla-

but a sublimation of the fundamental

Christian virtues of faith and charity.

Hugh's work was continued by Richard of B.

St.

Victor,

Haureau, Les ceuvres de Hugites de Saint-Victor, pp. 169-70.

whose

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

59

mysticism was even more thoroughly imbued with rationaUsm and

Like

intellectuaHsm.

Anselm, he sought

St.

De

reasons" for divine dogmas, and his

"necessary

find

to

gratia contemplationis

played an important role in the intellectual preparation for a state of ecstasy.

Peter Abelard

VI

Members seem

to

have been quite different and even hostile to one another,

but they were nevertheless fired by the same

we

and Victorines

of the school of Chartres, sententiaries,

In

spirit.

find a feeling of liberation, an exuberance over a

civilization,

their

an

intellectual drive held in

The

resources.

to free itself

twelfth century

of

all

them

dawning

check by the inadequacy of

was the

century truly

first

from encyclopedias and commentaries. Literary forms

became more supple and more personal. Peter Abelard (1079-1142)

epoch. For at

Melun,

Mont

many

years

at Corbeil,

Ste Genevieve.

is

the most typical representative of his

and with growing success he taught

dialectic:

then in Paris at the cathedral school and on

The

Introductions for Novices, the Glosses

and the Short Glosses on Porphyry, and the Dialectic (1121) were the result of this teaching. But about

himself to theology under the guidance of

11 12

he began

Anselm

His teaching career ended catastrophically in

of St. Denis.

He

sur-Seine, then

from 1136

came the

Dame, he sought

nevertheless

resumed

to 1140 at

Le

11 18 as a result

by her uncle,

seclusion in the

his teaching, first at

Paraclet.

his

wholly theo-

is

of his love for his pupil, Heloise. Cruelly mutilated

Fulbert, a canon of Notre

apply

and

of Laon,

instruction at the cathedral school in Paris in 11 13 logical.

to

From

this

Abbey

Nogentperiod of

non (1121), the Theologia Christiana, the Introductio ad theologiam (ca. 1136), and the Ethica.

his life

From

the

inspiration for the Sic et

same period came

also his

History of

My

Misfortunes

(Historia calamitatum), which bears a closer resemblance to Rousseau's Confessions than to St. Augustine's,

respondence with Heloise.

and

his celebrated cor-

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

6o

Abelard's teaching was of the type which during the Middle

Ages invited censure by theologians. Condemned by two

were viewed

De

1121 for the

at Soissons in

in 1141 for the Introductio as

a

summary

and

unitate et trinitate,

ad theologiam, of

all

councils, at

Sens

his theological opinions

the great heresies: Arianism,

Pelagianism, Nestorianism. According to a letter written by the

Archbishop of Rheims

to

Cardinal Guido of Castello (1141)/^ he

denied the equality of the divine persons, the efficacy of grace, and the divinity of Christ;

and

all

the vast intellectual pride for great adversary, St. Bernard

genius

his denials

the pride that

:^^

{humanum ingenium)

sprang from one source

which he had been censured by

his

makes "the human

arrogate everything to

itself,

reserv-

ing nothing to faith," or from the fact that he refused to attach

"any merit

to faith, thinking that

God through

reason."

Thus he was accused Christian

life

of mystery rested

he can understand the fullness of

of trying to change the

by substituting a

and made tradition

on man's confidence

sacraments useless.

The

dogma

that

whole pattern of

eUminated every element

useless,

and a moral philosophy that

in himself

and rendered grace and the

truth

is

that Abelard did not subscribe to

such rationalism. "I do not wish to be so philosophical that Paul," he wrote, "or so Aristotelian

that

I

am

I resist

separated from

how presumptuous it is to discuss rationally that which transcends man and not to stop until all words have been clarified through the senses or through human reason." Christ."

Or

again: "See

-^^

What, tirely

on

then,

was Abelard's conception of reason ?

dialectic, to

It

was based en-

which he devoted himself with passion

to the

almost complete exclusion of the sciences of the quadrivium.

was the founder of to this art.

a school of dialecticians

who

He

restricted philosophy

Moreover, his Dialectic (1121) was based exclusively on

translations of the

works of Boethius and showed no

trace of the

'=Ep. 192 (Migne, CLXXXII). "Letter written in 1140 (Migne, p. 331). "Ep. 17 to Heloise (Migne, CLXXXII, 3750-3783): Introductio ad theologiam 1223d.

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

6l

great

logical

treatises

Aristotle

of

—the

Prior and

the

Posterior

—which

and the Topics

Analytics, the Sophistical Refutations,

were

him commentary

not translated into Latin until 1125. Dialectic remained for

what

was

it

for Boethius

when he was preparing

his

of the Categories: a science dealing not with things themselves but

with words as dialectic has

wish

way

a

we must

the Ethica in

demons on

It

direct

to discover the

universe,

of things.

signifiers

no bearing on our in

which

is

important to note that

knowledge of things;

man

like

we

if

Abelard envisions the

consult, not his dialectic, but a certain passage in

which

this "rationalist"

us by virtue of their

speaks of the influence of the

knowledge of natural

forces:

"For

and stones many

there are in herbs, in seeds, in the natures of trees

forces capable of agitating or assuaging our souls."

^^

forget the contrast between this vivid, passionate

We

must not

knowledge of

nature and the dry dialectical classification whose nets could hardly be expected to catch things.

Yet

cannot be totally disinterested in knowledge of

dialectic

things. Abelard's

program

of dialectical instruction seems at

be quite simple: he studied the non-complex terms

to

and the

predicables

the

categories), then the

proposition

categorical

first

(the five

complex terms, that

proposition and syllogism, and finally definitions and division. simplicity

is

propositions

illusory,

he

is,

and syllogism and the hypothetical Its

however, for in connection with hypothetical

introduces

everything

that

knows through

he

Boethius of Aristotle's Topics, as well as questions on physics and metaphysics, such as the question of matter and form and of the theory of causes.

The

equivocal character of dialectic, which

Aristotle's

method,

is

appeared

at the heart of the celebrated quarrel

words signify

things,

what things

are

over universals:

signified



in

If

by words that

designate the genera and species of individual substances? call that

first

attempt to convert a method of discussion into a universal

We

re-

genera and species ("animal" or "man") are attributes of

opera, ed. Cousin,

II,

608.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

62

an

but

("Socrates"),

subject

individual

unlike

that

accidents

("white," "wise"), they are contained in the essence of the subject, that

they are such that without

is,

be what

We

them

the subject

would

cease to

it is.

Porphyry and

also recall that

these genera

and

later

Boethius asked whether nature of

species, these universals, existed in the

We

things or were the simple product of a vain imagination.

have

WiUiam

already considered RosceUn's opinion on this point.

of

Champeaux, Bishop of Chalons (1070-1121), had a different opinion. thought that the attribute "man," posited by Socrates, Plato, and

He

was

others,

same

essentially the

and that

reality,

it

was wholly

in

each of these individuals at the same time; he added that these individuals did not differ at

through

their

accidents.

ancient opinion. it

are

added

and the

whom

through

specific difFerences

tells

we

its

his

told, its

was

identity

a

very

when

to

("rational," "lacking in reason"),

identity

when

added

accidents are

us that he discussed the thesis of

and even forced him

he studied)

men, but

their essence, as

are

The genus ("animal") retains

species retains

Abelard

all

Besides,

to

to

it.

William (under

change

his

views.

William then conceded that universals, in different individuals, were the same reaUty "not

essentially but

through the absence of

difference {non essentialiter sed indi-^erenter)'' tive side of the

tween

man

further

as

same

thesis

—the

That

is

the nega-

impossibility of differentiating be-

such in Plato and in Socrates. William went even

and ended by admitting that between the humanity of

Socrates

and the humanity of Plato there was neither

essential

identity nor absence of distinction, but simply simiUtude.^^ It

should be noted that this dispute was not on the same plane

as the conflict which, sixteen centuries earlier, had separated Aristotle from Plato on the subject of the existence of Ideas. It is easy to

reconcile theological Platonism,

which assumes that Ideas are divine

thoughts and models of things, with nominalism, which assumes that universals— as

we name them and conceive of them—do not The origin of nominalism is sometimes

designate any true reality.

" Quoted

in

G. Lefevre, Les variations de Guillaume de Champeaux.

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

6^

attributed to the Platonist Erigena because he thought that dialectic

had

to

Abelard,

who

(dictio) /^

do only with words

who

was a Platonic

in matters of theology

believed "with Macrobius

and Plato

realist

and

that divine intelligence

contains the original species of things, called Ideas before they are

manifested in bodies,"

^^

still

did not accept William's interpreta-

tion of the realism of universals.

He

raised the old objection of

Boethius: ''Res de re non praedicatur."

A

universal

an attribute;

is

therefore "no reality can be attributed to several things, but only a

name." Thus, whereas William considered genus and species in

isolation, as

members

of a classification beginning with the highest

genus and ending with the lowest

and refused

Abelard followed Boethius

to overlook the fact that the universal

else a predicate that is

species,

before

is

impUes several individual subjects

all

of which

it

the predicate. This explains the theory of universals attributed to

him by

his pupil

John of Salisbury:

universals as discourses

(sermones)

"He and

sees subjects of speech in

reinterprets

accordingly

everything that has been written on universals"; in other words, he holds that the universal cannot exist apart from the subjects of

which

it

is

the attribute (sermo praedicabilis)

.

His theory cannot

even be called conceptualism.^^

There

is,

it

seems, a close link between his theory of universals

and the Aristotelian theory of abstraction which Abelard borrowed from the passages totle's treatise first

On

in Boethius inspired by the third

the Soul and of which he seems to have been the

to grasp the significance.

which the imagination,

after

He

describes the process through

sensation

reaUty," fixes the reality in the mind, tellect

apprehends no longer the

"attains

superficially

to

and through which the

in-

reality

itself

property of the reality. This nature or form,

if

from matter,

is

through abstraction

as separated

separate reaUty "There :

is

no

"Prantl, Geschichte der Logi\, ^®

Opera, ed. Cousin,

" John

book of Aris-

II,

II,

24.

of Salisbury Metalogicus.

intellect 28.

but the nature or it

is

never

apprehended

known

without imagination."

as a

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

64

After Abelard, universals were never discussed apart from the conditions of the formation of general ideas.

Thus

the whole cen-

toward a kind of "moderate

tury seems to have been inclined

realism" that granted that general words had a real

meaning but

not that they designated real things to the same degree as sensible things.

De

Such was the

intellectibus?^

attitude of the author of the

The

treatise

treatise

preceded by a remarkable analysis

is

knowledge: an

of intellectual

anonymous

intellectual perception

(intellectus)

when when

of a composite thing, such as three stones, can be simple

perceived by a single intuition (uno intuitu) or composite

known through more but

intellect,

that

its

It is

clear that simplicity

that unites

things

is

always one, provided

and through

a single mental

and unity can

exist in the in-

act "be effected continuously

impulse." tellect

than one impression {pluribus obtutibus);

whether simple or composite,

conjungens), whereas they

{intellectus

are not in things themselves. Similarly in abstraction: intellect, as it

separates

form from matter, divides and separates things

in reality neither divided

that intellect

is

terms such as "man."

and such

Thus we

in

nor separated. In neither case does vain.

The

fact that

no way impUes that

peculiar object of the intellect.

man, and animal

a different viewpoint: species

when

sidered.^^

is it

man

so is

conceive of

I

when

reason

There

is

meaning

As

him

genus when is

same life

and

trace of

follow

and such.

term and an

in-

which

the

is

anonymous fragment, from

thing, but considered

added, individual

no longer a

it

use universal

as such

of the term,

stated in an

are the

I

in reality always such

are dealing not simply with a general

dividual reality but with the

Socrates,

Nor

and

useless

that are

sensibility are considered,

when

accidents are con-

nominalism or of realism

any of these doctrines. Platonic reaUsm, though frequently ad-

in

vocated, applies to a versals,

problem wholly different from that of uni-

and we would search

in vain for a doctrine to give rigid

support to the reality of genera and species within things. Gauthier ^

In Opera, ed. Cousin,

^

Cf.

the

II,

733-55.

anonymous fragments

Mittelahers, IV, Heft

i,

105, 108.

in

Beitriige

zur Geschichte der Philosophic des

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

65

whom

of Martagne, the writer typical

realist,

dividuals.^^

the

dogma

John of Sahsbury presented

as a

argued that universals must be united with

And

Peter

Lombard,

in contrast to St.

Anselm, freed

of the Trinity of every supposition of realism by

making

God

a radical distinction between the unity of the three persons in

and the unity of

species in the

genus or the unity of the individuals

in the species.^^

The

from

and Boethius and that can be summarized

Aristotle

was therefore open

field

in-

to a doctrine that

came two

in

statements: there are in things universal forms that are like images of divine Ideas; these forms have

apprehended separately through

The same

theological

problem

as

no independent existence but are

intellectual abstraction.

posed by Abelard derives from the

intellectual setting as the

problem of

universals. Dialectical

teaching eventually created a certain mentaUty

way, imposed a certain method for classifying stance one

which of

must ask

to

which of Porphyry's

or, to

put

it

another each in-

reality: in

five predicables or to

Aristotle's ten categories a particular thing belongs.

The

question must be asked of each thing, even of the divine reality to

which the most orthodox theologians applied the words "substance," "essence," "quality," "relation," "identity,"

the question

which poses

itself after

and

Boethius,

"difference."

whose

De

That

is

Trinitate

deals exclusively with the application of the terms of dialectic to the

divine reality.

The

We recall Erigena's solution to the problem.

question

is

one that engrossed twelfth-century thinkers, and

Abelard's Christian Theology contains not only his this point

We

own

teaching on

but also an outline of the teaching of his contemporaries.

have noted that

St.

Bernard and

his party accused

Abelard of

exaggerating the role of dialectic in acquiring knowledge of divine things. It is

would be

ridiculous to

assume that

all

directed specifically against the dialecticians

the mistake for

which others have

criticized

of Abelard's

whom

him. "In

work

he accuses of this tract

we

find not an exposition of truth but a defense of truth, especially

^ Metalogicus ii. 1 8. ^Dehove Temperati

realismi antecessores, p. 122.

66

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

against the pseudo-philosophers that attack us with philosophical

arguments."

Abelard then has a middle position between the

^^

who

radical theologians

considered dialectical distinctions as being

true of sensible things alone, refusing to apply

and the rabid

dialecticians

who

them

to divine reality,

sought to apply dialectical distinc-

tions as such to the Trinity.

From

were derived the "heresies" described

the second position

by Abelard the heresy of Alberic of Rheims who, starting from the :

idea that the Father

and the Son are one God, concluded

begot himself; the heresy of Gilbert the Universal identify in

essences

God, besides

—paternity,

his divinity

God

and the three persons, the three

and procession

filiation,

who

that

sought to

three persons; the heresy of Ulger, a teacher

—that

differentiate the

from Angers, who made

a distinction between the attributes of God, such as justice and

mercy, and between the properties of the persons; the heresy of Joscelin of Vierzy

happen

who

manner

in a

taught that

God

can err since certain things

other than that which he ordained; and the

heresy for which Abelard censured the school of Chartres, the belief that

God was

It is

not prior to the world.^^

easy to discern the application of dialectical rules in

all

of

these "heresies": Alberic applies the notion of substance; Gilbert applies the principle that each being has a distinct essence; sees in the Categories

Ulger

no means of separating the persons (Father,

Son) from the other attributes of God; Joscelin of Vierzy applies to the sacred texts the notion of the modality of propositions; the

school of Chartres applies the principle that cause cannot exist

without

effect.

Abelard's solution seems at

God

or

what

say that he

is

is

said of

Opera,

"His

life

ed.

and

fits

into

no category.

He

We

holds that

cannot even

substance since substance, according to Aristotle,

subject of accidents 24

him

be a radical one.

first to

Cousin, his

and of II,

prattle

519.

have

contraries. Cf.

made

his

No name

attack

the

befits

is

the

him. "God

on Roscelin (Theologia 1215c): of impudent professors con-

dialectic

temptible to almost

^

Les

Introductio

tcoles,

all religious men." ad theologiam, ed. Cousin,

pp. 198

ff.

pp.

84-85;

commentary by Robert,

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

67

But running

violates the rules of the philosophers."

brutal application of dialectic

is

Augustine, the path of similitude.

Father

is

Son

to the

as

same wax with

the

wax

is

respect to

parallel to the

and

the path indicated by Plato

We

can say, for instance, that the

image formed from

to the its

St.

essence

it

is

yet the

(essentialiter),

image comes from the wax, and both the image and the

it:

wax have

an exclusive property. It is

same kind

the

Timaeus and

it

is

image that Abelard seeks and finds in the

in the writings of Macrobius.

and he

doctrine literally, exegesis:

of

"The language which

the Timaeus,

of

enigma

is

to allegorical

it

as familiar to philosophers as

And

p. 46).

his exegesis of

like the interpretation of the school of Chartres

identifies the Christian Trinity

and the world

does not take Plato's

reserves the right to subject

{Opera, ed. Cousin,

to prophets"

He

soul,

is

wholly

with the triad of God, Intelligence,

with the result that

allegorical,

eliminates whatever might be heterodox in Plato's work.

pains especially to identify the world soul, the

He

it

takes

creature of the

first

demiurge and the creature through which the demiurge made the world a living being, with the Holy

Spirit. If Plato ascribes to the

world soul a beginning in time but makes the Holy the reason

that he

is

is

the world, to a temporal to the

and progressive operation.

efFects

is

that the

and

in

as a rational

Holy

its gifts

Spirit,

to the

simple in

human

itself,

Plato ascribes

Holy

Spirit confers spiritual life

His intention

is

clear: to

is

teristic

his

that he

way

a

on our body, the world

on our

souls.

eHminate from Plato

all

the naturalism

Abelard was well

procedure was "violent," and he wrote these charac-

Hues: "I

and

is

not in any

that later appealed so strongly to the Renaissance.

aware that

its

views the world

being animated by the world soul, the reason

living being; but just as our soul confers life

soul or

divisible, the

multiple in

is

soul. If Plato

using figurative language, for the world

preter

If

world soul two essences, the indivisible and the

reason

is

Spirit eternal,

referring to the operation of the Spirit in

am

accused of being a violent, troublesome inter-

of resorting to false explanations to

make

the philosophers support our faith and to attribute to

the texts of

them

ideas that

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

68

my

they never had. Let

Holy

accusers recall the prophecy that the

Ghost proffered through the mouth of Caiphas, attributing a

meaning other than

that of the

who pronounced

one

it"

to

it

{Opera,

ed. Cousin, p. 53).

Now we dialectical

understand Abelard's theology:

method, which seeks

to establish

it

neither Anselm's

is

through reason what

is

believed through faith, nor the philosophy of the school at Chartres,

which

degree independent of dogma;

to a certain

is

effort to find in philosophical notions

that he can at least conceive of

VII

rather an

an image of divine

reality so

through analogy.

Polemics Against Philosophy

The

tendencies exhibited by Abelard and by William of Conches

were disturbing in

on

it

it is

circles

preoccupied with monastic reform based

a very simple faith. St.

opposed

violently in the

Aenigma

to

Bernard and those around him were

such tendencies. Their viewpoint

by William of

fidei

St.

William was concerned mainly with the

is

represented

Thierry (died in 1153).

common

faith that

"must

be that of everyone in the Church of God, from the youngest to the oldest." ^^

He

style of the

recalls the

Holy

simpHcity of the Gospel and the peculiar

Spirit; here

we

find

no allusions

to the

complex

questions concerning the Trinity that theologians were obliged to

ask to defend themselves against heresies.

"The predicaments

substance, accident, relation, genus, species,

and the

nature of faith;

to the

are

unworthy

This

is

of divine things" (pp. 409a

the crux of

directed against

must

realities,

Against

this,

all

Timaeus was

that

which

a

like, are alien

of reason, they

and 418b).

the criticisms that

William of Conches.^^

recall that the

divine

common, vulgar instruments

of

William of

To

St.

Thierry

understand them

cosmogony

we

describing, in the

related to the creation of the world.

revealed Trinitary theology aimed to attain to

God

through other means than his relation to the world. William of ^ Migne, CLXXX, 407c. ^ Ibid., CLXXX, 333-40.

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

6g

Conches, drawing his inspiration from Plato (and also from

St.

Augustine), identified the Father with the power through which

God

created the world, the

he created istered

Son

Hence

it.

(as in

Son with wisdom according

the Spirit with the will through

it,

"the Father

is

what he

not with respect to the

is,

orthodox theology) but with respect

through his nature but through his

mode

to his creature, not

God and

The

of being" (p. 338d).

Trinity no longer describes the intimacy of the divine rather relations between

which

to

which he admin-

his creature

but

life,

—for instance, charity

or mercy.

The

goodness, he

is

true only of

analogy

is

Trinity

the

identifying

is

directed at Abelard

criticism

Thierry

God

it

considered in his relation to his creature. His it

is

found in

Bede and Peter Lombard; but

in

destroys the

censures

by

considered in himself that which

nevertheless a classic one;

and subsequently because

the same:

essentially

with the triad of power, wisdom, and

attributing to

God

is

him

meaning also

for

of the mystery.

attributing

St.

Augustine

it is

dangerous

William of

creation

to

St.

"God's

benevolence to his creatures," as the Timaeus does, and for saying that the

Holy

Spirit

is

a soul that permeates everything.

theologian

who knows

better than

God," he

being

moved by

applicable to the

the flesh better than the spirit

says. "It

affection

is

"Here and

is

a

man

plainer than day that these terms

and reaching out

to

—are

something

not

immutable God."

Gilbert of Poitiers {Gilbert de la Porree)

VIII

But even William of

St.

Thierry

doctrine of faith cannot repress

and

is

forced to admit that "the

reject completely the

supplied by men, but must simply adapt principles."

Here he

is

referring to the

them one by one

names to

its

program followed by Boethius

De Trinitate and later by Gilbert of Poitiers in his commentary De Trinitate, According to Gilbert, all heresies have their source

in his

on

in the application to "theological things" of certain principles that

pertain only to "natural things." Despite

all his

precautions on this

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

70

point he less

we

But

it is

well aware of the impossibility of speaking of

is

him

transfer to

"un-

borrowed from natural things."

categories

necessary to guard against distortion: a perilous task which

was not

Gilbert himself

Bernard,

God

able to perform to the satisfaction of St.

who had him condemned by

the councils of Paris (1147)

and of Tours (1148). a

Gilbert,

student of the

school

adhered to

Chartres,

of

its

Platonism. Moreover, he ranked with the best students of Aristotelian logic in his era:

the

title

classic

De

knew

the Analytics, translated in 11 25; under

sex principiis he wrote an essay that will remain a

on the

habitus,

he

six

last

categories

He

and posture.

—action,

stressed particularly the notion of

or of essence, basing his discussion on a passage as

we have

already seen, was utilized at Chartres.^^ Seneca

(elSo?), between the that

form

from Seneca which,

makes

a

between the Platonic Idea and the Aristotelian form

distinction

form

where, when,

passion,

is

model

that exists apart

inherent in the work. This

And what

that Gilbert makes.^^

is

is

from

a

work and

the

precisely the distinction

referred to as his realism con-

in his stating, not that the forms subsist in themselves, but

sists

that the individual substances that

do

subsist independently possess

being or essence by virtue only of the forms inherent in them.

man

A

has being or essence only because he has within himself the

form humanity, which

in turn

is

composed of the forms

make

rationality

and

corporeality. In contrast, the forms that

sist

(the subsistentiae of subsistentes) cannot subsist by themselves,

that

is,

they cannot be subjects.

But Gilbert found

mon

to naturalia

in his

and

examination of form a principle com-

to theologica.

said, is the principle that

Common

God

himself,

persons, a form, the divinity or deity through

given form.

It

was

this

both orders, he

prior to

whom

ff.

the three

the persons are

Epistulae morales 58, 21.

Migne, LXIV, 1268

It is

very distinction that Bernard attacked. Here

"^Cf. John of Salisbury Metalogicus '^

to

"being always comes from form."^^

therefore necessary to posit in

^

substances sub-

ii.

17 (Migne,

CLXXXIX,

875d).

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

71

we have

a

good indication of

problem that wore away the century: of

"To what degree

knowledge

is

the difficulties raised by the critical

all

intellectual strength

of the twelfth

the divine reality subject to the rules

that apply to natural things?"

Abelard's Ethic

IX

The

criticism that

was directed against Abelard's doctrine of

the

Trinity and which culminated in his condemnation at Soissons (1121)

probably hides the more serious criticism that led to his

second condemnation at Sens in 1141. In the twelfth century, the previous centuries,

it

was impossible

dogma from

debate relating to

a

whole

to

separate speculative

set of ideas,

than theoretical, concerning the Christian

as in

life.

more

practical

Just as St. Bernard

the theologian took issue with Abelard the theologian, and for the

same

reasons, the monastic reformers, seeking to return to a strict

code,

were confronted by opponents who proclaimed that marriage

between monks and nuns was carnation.

licit,

or even that salvation

What might

be called theological naturalism was offset

by a liberating movement that the futility of the monastic

finally resulted in a declaration of

life,

the sacraments, and faith.

were the circumstances under which Abelard wrote or Scito te ipsum.

Here indeed,

telHgence reserves everything for

To

be sure, the Ethica

a Christian.

The

is

as St. itself

a dialogue

Bernard

his

Such

Ethica

"human

said,

and nothing

in-

for faith."

^^

between a philosopher and

philosopher himself adheres to Christianity, and

Abelard, represented by the Christian, criticizes sistency in

was pos-

Incarnation and in the absence of belief in the In-

sible prior to the

viewing

as

him

he has yet found convincing.

Still,

Abelard

—who

scandalous the priests' remission of penitence for tested the bishops'

for his incon-

unsound the doctrine of the Apostles which

power

to forgive sin

denounced

money and

—nevertheless

as

con-

defends an

individualistic ethic totally independent of Christian discipline:

an

upright will guided solely by man's conscience and his concept of

^ /^;V/., CLXXXII,

331.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

72

the good. His ethic leads to the concept of purely personal sin

and

the impossibiUty of original sin or of the reversibility of transgresof moral transgression,

to the radical separation

sions;

wholly internal and which

is

assent to that

which

is

which

thought

to

is

be

bad, and legal transgression; to the impossibility on the part of

any other

man

transgression;

of

and

knowing an

tingent on the reversibility in

all,

his

was

intention,

upon us

once again the Greek and

new

human

faith" ^^ that

in the rescript that he prepared

on the

discuss publicly the Christian faith."

the Ethica

is

a dialogue

is

the

to

Pope Innocent

II,

subject, recalled the letter

who

in

told

Pope John

any position

try to

But we must remember that

between a philosopher and a Christian,

that the philosopher clings tenaciously to Christianity, that Abelard

foreground

Such was "the new

at Sens.

no military man, no person

cleric,

to the

was judged dangerous

Marcian the emperor,

(in reahty a forgery) of

"Let no

brought

morality.

Church and condemned

tradition of the

constitutes a

of the merits of Christ.^^ All

a penetrating intuition that

Gospel and the

which alone

finally to the idea of a personal salvation not con-

represented by the Christian

who

and

finally

criticizes

the

philosopher for being inconsistent in viewing the doctrine of the Apostles as unsound and in declaring at the same time that he finds it

convincing.

The Theology

X

of

Alan

of Lille

Such condemnations did not stop the

irresistible

movement

that

impelled theologians to try to find in the Christian faith a rational structure that

search

was

would

constitute a coherent whole.

a practical necessity

which Abelard used logical tics

their

which must not be overlooked and

advantage several times: the method of

argumentation was the only possible method against here-

who would

not acknowledge the truth. That

of Lille says in his ^~

to

Underlying

opera, ed. Cousin,

De

II,

^Letter (1140) from

also

what Alan

arte seu articulis catholicae fidei, written to-

637-38. Bernard

St.

is

to

Innocent

II

(Migne, CLXXXII, 354).

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

73

ward

end of the century. In

the

book he used

his

(as Proclus

had

once done in his Elements of Theology, with which Alan was acquainted) tiones),

form

the

and

of EucHd, his axioms, his postulates

his theorems.

Yet Alan did not pretend, any more than Abelard, probability through logical argumentation; faith

was "based on

Thus

science."

{peti-

was

there

tingent character

reasons

certain

events that depend on a mysterious decision

The

facts.

between the con-

most of which announce

truths,

made by an incompremethod

hensible God, and the rational character of the

posed to prove these

not sufficient for

in his thinking a contrast

Christian

of

go beyond

he held that

instead,

are

that

to

that

God

fathomless power of

is

sup-

always

limits the reason that could be given for the truths of faith; for

example,

"God

manner"

(iii.

could have ransomed

15)

there

;

some other person,

to

Like Gilbert of

show

the extent to

theologica.

tribution logical

He

become

Poitiers,

mankind

incarnate.

whose

God,

to

for

attributes

God

species,

fit

God, who

and the

is

common

rules of at-

cannot be considered

as a

can be classed according to the

and the

categories of substance, quantity, quaUty, possible to

to

rules of naturalia can be transferred to

a dual principle. First, the

do not apply

in wholly different

necessity for the Son, rather than

he tried in his Theologicae regulae

which the

had

subject

was no

like.

a singular term, into a

diversity of his

attributes

It

im-

is

genus and a

never designates any-

thing other than a unique essence. Second, rules relating to causes

apply both to natural things and to the divine reahty. true of a subject,

is

we always have

whether the subject

the predicate pertains to different

there

is

from the

from the

it

itself.

makes him

attribute "just"

is

predicate

or a created being,

a cause through

which

and that the cause of the attribution

attribute

a cause that

God

is

the right to say that there

If a

If

it

just,

is

and

true that this cause

God is

is

is

just,

different

which designates our interpretation of

its

effects.

In the second principle St.

Anselm's Monologium

we :

see a

new

application of the ideas in

reveaUng the nature of

God by

referring

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

74

as

Dionysius the Areopagite

part of the twelfth century

and the beginning of the

variety of his

to the

phrased

attributes

or,

of his names.

it,

Twelfth-Century Heresies

XI

The

last

marked by

thirteenth,

and

the pontificate of Innocent III

his struggle against the

Empire and by

(1198-1216)

the conflict of the

English barons against the kings of the Angevine dynasty,

most troubled and tumultuous of

of the

all

eras. It

came

is

to

one an

end with the Lateran Council (1215), which confirmed the doctrines of papal authority

and

at the

same time

instituted courts of

inquisition and authorized the creation of the mendicant orders.

The Magna

Charta, which laid the foundation for the security of

English political and personal year.

One

liberty,

year earlier (1214) the

was signed during the same

power of the Capetians had been

estabUshed at Bouvines.

To

understand the importance of these events, which were to

have a momentous impact on the history of

ideas,

we must

picture

to ourselves the conflicting trends of the closing years of the twelfth

century:

on the one hand, a vast

social

upheaval against the

Church, manifested in popular heresies and heterodox doctrines,

and on the

other, a humanistic

the best representative

is

and doctrinaire

Thomas

which

who studied under who was the counselor

John of Salisbury,

Abelard and the dialecticians of France and of

trend, of

a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury.

In the numerous heresies of the era, and in the associations of the

Beguines, the Capuciati, the Humiliati, and the CathoHc Poor, as well as to

among

Cathari and Albigenses or Waldenses,

it

is

difficult

determine where questions of discipline end and questions of

doctrine Brescia,

saved

if

begin.

Toward

the

middle of the century, Arnold of

a pupil of Abelard, preached that clerics

they possessed land.

pope from

Rome

in 1141.)

could not be

(He was powerful enough to drive the The substantial basis of these heresies

seems always to be the same: the preaching of an ideal of a holy.

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

75

through a return

religious life attainable

and

total liberation

to evangelical simplicity

from the Church and the sacraments. Illuminati

proclaimed that they were sons of God.

Men

like Peter of

Bruys

denied the validity of baptism and the presence of Christ during the Eucharist

and sought

churches and to eliminate ex-

to destroy

About

ternal forms of worship.

founder of the Waldenses, "usurping the evangelical poverty.

Alan of

gious authority and even

Waldo

1170, Peter

of Peter," preached

office

Lille tells us that

human

all

of Lyons, the

he denied

all

reli-

authority, the validity of the

sacrament of the Holy Orders, the institution of absolution, and indulgences.

The same Alan tics

whom

of Lille speaks in his Contra haereticos of here-

he does not name but

who

are easily identified as the

famous Cathari or Albigenses who were dominant France. Here

we

see

of the holy, religious is

in the south of

how

doctrinal opinions are related to the ideal

life.

The yearning

for pure, undefiled holiness

always accompanied by the belief that the soul

force imprisoned by opposing evil forces.

formed among the Albigenses

But

is

a fallen heavenly

this belief

into a precise doctrine in

was

trans-

which we

recognize, not Manicheism, as has sometimes been said, but rather the doctrine of the Gnostics: the world principle, a

demiurge which

Mosaic law; the soul

is

was created by an

of heavenly origin; a fallen angel,

is

evil

same time the author of the

at the

ing punished here on earth; this soul

is

it is

be-

not to be confused with

the soul conceived as a simple vital principle which, like the soul of

an animal, perishes with the body. Christ,

was

in

no way human;

institute

his

presumed

aim of the Christian

which the evil, is

body was but an

to save souls,

illusion. Christ

any of the sacraments and yet the Church owes

to the fact that they are sole

who came

soul,

life

is

to

did not

its

power

be necessary for salvation.

The

to attain to a state of purity in

wholly delivered from sin and incapable of doing

no longer the prisoner

of evil.

The

pure, or the Cathari, are

who have reached such a state. The religious independence demanded by

those

matched by the

political

the Albigenses

was

independence which the rulers of southern

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

76

France, the counts of Toulouse, wished to acquire for themselves.

The

crusade ordered by Innocent

III

and characterized by unspeak-

able cruelties (1207-1214) brought an

power of

the

Among

both the heresy and

to

the counts.

the doctrines

of Joachim of Fiore,

Fiore in Calabria (14:16):

end

"And

I

(i

condemned

Abbot

Lateran Council was that

at the

of the monastery of St. Giovanni at

145-1202). Jesus said in the Gospel of St. John

will [iray the Father,

and he

shall give

you another

Comforter (Paraclete), that he may abide with you for ever."

To

Joachim, the Paraclete was the Holy Spirit, and this verse indicated the three periods in the history of salvation: Mosaic law, the

period of the Father, was the past, and prefigured the Christian

Church; the Church was the present, and prefigured the reign of the Spirit;

was the future announced by Joachim

the Spirit

Church

apocalyptic visions in which he represented the

formed and spiritualized 1260.

in

new

was supposed

era that

to

begin

This was the birth of the idea of an eternal Gospel that

would give the Christ.

in a

in

as trans-

The

idea

definitive

was

spiritual

to persist in

meaning

Franciscan

of

the

Gospel of

circles until the four-

teenth century.'^**

Between the

ideas of

the Albigenses there birth a

new

the contrast

had role

a kinship

spiritual order, different

was

of Christianity,

of the

Church and held

desire to bring to

saw

in the eternal

Gospel

something long anticipated; they

a sense of historical continuity.

realized then

— the

from the existing order. But

great: the Joachimites

consummation

the

Joachim and those of the Waldenses or of

was surely

The

Cathari simply denied the

that the

new

spiritual

order was

and there by the pure or the perfect who had been

initiated to their divine origin.

Thus

they stood for progress on the

one hand, violent revolution on the other.^^

The ology

doctrine of at Paris,

leads to the

as

Amaury

of

Bene (died

1207), Professor of

The-

though quite different from that of the Albigenses,

same

practical attitude.

Cf. Gilson, Saint Bonaventtae, pp. 22 fT. Cf. Delacroix, Le mysticisme spectilatif en

The

Albigenses rediscovered

Allemagnc,

p. 44.

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

77 the

drama

of salvation as

had been described by the Gnostics:

it

the deUverance of the soul, the divine essence imprisoned by

Xo

such drama

each

man

disciples

is

found

work

in the

of

He

Amaun".

evil.

taught that

a part of Christ; according to the commentaries of his

is

he meant that the only reaUty that might

identical to itself

was God, and

God

but the knowledge that

exist eternally

that salvation consisted in nothing

was

things. In his teaching there

is all

nothing that resembled faith and hope, which are the expectation of something better: no evidence of fear of Hell or hopes of Paradise;

no evidence of the beUef that God

in Christ or in the Host, since creatures.

he

is

everv-^vhere

is

way

present in a special

and incarnate

in all

But there was complete assurance, based on personal

was

revelation, of the birth of the definitive reign of the Spirit that to replace the

Church.

Here we recognize Stoics,

Amaury by way

We in

began with the

a pattern of thought that

continued through Plotinus and Dionysius, and reached of Erigena.

see also that the theoretical doctrine of the unity of all being

God was

opposition

strong enough at this time to be translated into overt

whole

the

to

spiritual

Church recognized the danger, and the doctrine of was condemned

at the

Synod of

Paris in 1210

Council in 12 15. At the same time Erigena's

was condemned,

for in

it

Church. The

system of the

the Amauricians

and

De

at the

Lateran

divisione naturae

was seen the source of the

doctrine.

Dur-

ing the same period the doctrine persisted in the writing of David of Dinant, also

book,

De

we know

condemned

tomis hoc his ideas

division to

est

in 12 10.

de divisionibus which ,

refers

is

for separate substances.

if

St.

Erigena, but

Thomas. The

indivisible principle

its

{Nous

vel

mentem)

and

—mat-

for souls,

God

But the triad of matter, inteUigence, and

designates but one substance. to

recalls

that of reaHties into bodies, souls,

ter {hyle) for bodies, Intelligence

David seems

only the tide of his

through Albert the Great and

which he

separate substances; each reaUty has

God

We know

To

estabHsh this conclusion

have employed the principle of the Bool{ of Causes:

we saw them

as distinct

terms

we would have

to posit

beyond

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

78

them

a simple

have in

and

common

indivisible principle that contains

whatever they

known

to

this brings

us

(Avicebron, whose Fons vitae was

David, followed an analogous line of reasoning) back, then, to a unique reality.

We

;

recognize in his triad, not the

Neo-Platonic triad of Macrobius (One, intelligence, and soul), but

drawn from

a triad

the

Timaeus (demiurge,

intelligence or being,

and matter).

]ohn of Salisbury

XII

One

most striking

of the

tiers,

and by William

was John of

figures of the period

who was

bury (1110-1180),

Salis-

taught by Abelard, by Gilbert of Poi-

He was

of Conches.

the friend of

Thomas

Becket and died while serving as Bishop of Chartres.

guished writer, well versed in the

classics,

A

he was familiar not only

with poets like Ovid and Vergil, but also with Seneca and pecially Cicero,

from

moral philosophy the Metalogicus

whom

as well as

and the

he borrowed his knowledge of Stoic

Policraticus, vividly reflect all the preoccuofficial

of the period.

gives us a catalogue of

all

the questions raised

A

belief

was now threatened: the

belief

around 1160 by the diffusion of instruction in that

had prevailed

that dialectic

for a long time

was but one of the seven Hberal

were destined

to serve as

es-

academic doubt. His two great works,

pations of a great ecclesiastical

The Metalogicus

a

distin-

arts

dialectic.

which,

an introduction to theology.

collectively,

Many

twelfth-

century theologians feared that their neat hierarchy was on the

verge of collapse. Dialectic resisted subordination and started to in-

vade theology. Such sin, its

men

as St.

Bernard viewed

it

"a shameful curiosity that consists in acquiring

own

sake, a

primarily as a

knowledge

for

shameful vanity that consists in knowing for the

sake of being known." Such criticisms were heard constandy until the end of the twelfth century

of Sentences satisfied

and they applied even to the authors and compendiums, who were censured for not being

with the Fathers. In his Contra quatuor labyrinthos Fran-

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

79 ciae,

Gauthier, Prior of

and Peter of

St. Victor,

Lombard

took issue with Peter

with Abelard and Gilbert of

Poitiers as well as

Poitiers.

But orthodox theologians were frightened by something more than a mere dialectical invasion that profaned the sacred science

and made dogmas the object of public

debates.

finally

becomes an end in

of the arts, resulted in an almost

art of discussion.

described the "pure philosophers" logic

Prohibition of the teaching

itself.

upon masters

of theology, enforced

monstrous development of the

from

also wit-

the purely formal cultivation of the art of discussion

dialectic:

which

They were

emergence of extremism in

nessing, not without apprehension, the

who

scorned everything apart

and were ignorant of grammar,

"They devote

their lives to

it,

and

John of Salisbury

physics,

and

ethics.

in their old age they are puerile

doubters; they discuss each syllable and even each letter of words

and passages; they and the mass of book can

and they

are always groping, always searching,

never attain wisdom.

.

.

.

They compile

conflicting opinions

scarcely recognize his

own."

is

the opinions of everyone,

such that the author of a

^^

This pointed up the danger of cultivating subtlety for sake and of reviving along the banks of the Seine Petit-Pont did

Greek

—the

schools.

pursuit of sophistry that

Adam

had very few auditors

—as

its

own

Adam du

had ruined

certain

candidly acknowledged that he would have if

he had taught

dialectic using simple, easily

understood formulas.^^ People preferred collections of sophisms such as this one that typifies the

hundred dred

is

than two in relation to three."

John of Salisbury was no enemy of

who

those

Megarian school: "One

than two, for one hundred in relation to two hun-

is less

less

spirit of the

declared

it

useless,

logic,

and he took

such as the enigmatic

calls Cornificius,

who

But John made

logic a simple intellectual tool:

"wallowing in

its

own

mire and muddling

its

i. 6 and 7. Cf Grabmann, Geschichte der scholastischen Methode, Cf. Robert, Les tcoles, p. 69, note. .

^

with

he

boasted of his method to short-cut education.^^

Adam's

own

^ Metalogicus '^

issue

man whom

II,

112.

dialectic,

secrets, is con-

8o

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

cerned with subjects that are useful neither in the family, nor in war, nor in law, nor in the

Church

nor in the Court, nor in the

cloister,

—nowhere except in

school" (viii). Logic was designed not

On

to hide ignorance but to advance knowledge.

was guided mainly by five treatises of the its

it

was then new

clearly that

treatise. To much more

and

to readers,

clearer than that of the Analytics.

With

a sure sense of history,

and independent

the foundations of logic, presented in the

With

all,

in

which

respect to the other

Topics, and the

are designed only to lay the foundation for the

in the Posterior Analytics

man

is

The

and

demonstration taught

art of

nature of things

useless, for the

can never

possibility, impossibility,

know

only in mathematics"

necessity.

(xiii,

"That

is

why

arguments

appHcable

in

the

most

Scholars were well aware that in this that

the

method

ception.

He knew

that

God

its

an epoch: not

of

full

or an angel"

devis-

circumstances.

diverse

way

to dis-

method of

they would reach only

which was probable: "the apprehension of truth

only to the perfection of

so

end).

see clearly outlined the ideal of

cover the nature of things but to find a general

ing

is

the modality of propositions,

demonstration almost always vacillates in physics and has

Here we

are

Organon, the Categories and the Peri Hermeneias

Analytics are merely appendices.

mysterious that

and he

the third book,

in

listed

given the rules for discussion and debate. treatises in the

book

first

Porphyry and Boethius, he addded the

clearly than in

ended with the eighth book, the most useful of

efficacy

the

was much

style

its

constituted a complete

it

and physical questions

ethical

among

Aristotle's Topics, his favorite

Organon, which was then becoming known in

throughout the West. The Topics was of considerable

entirety

importance;

John saw

point John

this

(ii.

lo).

itself

pertains

John was no ex-

beyond reason, which he defined

in the

man-

ner of the Stoics as stability of judgment, there was intelligence (intellectus) that attained to the divine causes of natural reasons,

and wisdom

that

distinctly apart

struggle with

was

as the savor of divine things.

from the sphere

human

tools.

in

But he

which purely human

sets it

interests

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

01

humanism subordinated to theology, characterizes the Policraticus, in which human, moral, and political wisdom is subordinated to a theocracy. With respect to its ethical content, the work is permeated by Stoicism. The rebirth of the doctrine of

The same

spirit,

Stoicism during this period coincided with the spread of naturalism,

whose many manifestations we have noted. The

Stoic

arguments

were known and disputed.^^ John speaks of a Neo-

relating to fate

Stoic {novus stoicus)

from

Pouille,

an Italian named Louis

who had

commentary on Vergil and who, taking up again Dio-

written a

dorus' ancient discussion of contingent futures, concluded that

was impossible perform

is

to

know "whether an

man

action that a

nevertheless a possible action"

(ii.

it

will not

23). Elsewhere

John

proves according to the old Stoic doctrine that "the providence of

God

does not suppress the nature of things and that the order of

things {series rerum, the Stoic definition of fate)

The whole

providence."

imbued with

is

the servant of the law

(Chrysippus' formulation) things. ture;

The

is

cites as a

mistress of

model

legibus. In

in

politics, is

we

it

find

human

divine and

all

in this context the description of the

for the conduct of the prince in a letter cites in his fifth

fested in his

on

and of equity, and that law

He

republic of the bees given in the Georgics (v. 21).

which he

does not alter is

he adds, must be constructed in the image of na-

state,

and he

De

the Stoic ideas of Cicero's

that the prince

which

of the fourth book,

book.

finds precepts

from Plutarch

The same

to Trajan,

Stoic tendency

is

mani-

moral philosophy, particularly in the eighth book,

which he deals with the passions and follows Cicero's Tusculan

Disputations. His Stoicism, like Cicero's,

is

restrained by academic

doubt.

Naturalism imbued with Stoic rationalism If

"the prince

is

because

is

"it is

the minister of priests

an established

authority of divine law,

^

In the fourth chapter

necessity of the Stoics.

is

fits

power

into a theocracy that subjects temporal

and

power.

inferior to them," this

fact that the prince,

subject to the

remarkably well

to spiritual

law of

by virtue of the

justice" (iv. 3, 4).

(546a) he quotes Epicurus' x^P^^ bo^a against the

fatal

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

82

The

divine law that "the

priest, then, is the first interpreter of the

prince

must always have before

his

eyes"

(iv.

hand with statements Hke these:

"The

state

is

God; hence as

his privileges,

which make

an image of the divinity"

realized in the spiritual

power

of Salisbury the Stoic ethic particularly

among

the

"The prince (vi. 25).

and administered

Just as the Stoic

Chartres

in the (vii.

him

law was

established by Christ, so after

at

in

therefore chosen by

his subjects consider

was realized

monks

is

RationaHsm,

an animate body, by

the grace of God, governed by sovereign equity

by the rule of reason" (v. 6).

6).

power go hand

naturalism, and the predominance of spiritual

John

monastic orders,

23).

Bibliography

Texts Anselm of Laon. Extraits inedits des Sentences. Bernold of Constance. Opera. Migne, CXLVIII, p. 1061. Peter Abelard. Sic et non. Migne, CLXXVIII. CXCVIII, pp. 1 049-1 844. Lombard. Opera. Migne, CXCI, CXCIL The Four Boo\s of Sentences. Book I, Dist. IIL Translated by R.

Peter Comestor. Opera. Migne, Peter

.

McKeon,

Selections,

I,

189-201.

Peter of Poitiers. Sententiae. Migne,

CCXI,

Robert of Melun. Extract from

the

783.

Sentences.

Migne,

CLXXXVI,

1015,

1053-

Robert Pulleyn. Sentences. Migne, CLXXXVI, 639. William of Champeaux. Sentences. Published by G. Lefevre in Les variations de G. de Champeaux et la question des universaux. Lille, 1898. Yves of Chartres. Decretum. Migne, CLXL

Studies J. Die Philosophic des Petrus Lombardus und ihre Stellung im XII Jahrhunderte. Beitrdge, Vol. IIL Miinster in Westfalen, 1901. Haskins, C. The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century. Cambridge, 1927. Moore, P. The Worlds of Peter of Poitiers. South Bend, Ind., 1936. Nash, P. "The Meaning of Est in the Sentences (1152-1160) of Robert of Melun," Mediaeval Studies, XIV (1952), 129-42.

Epensberger,

Nitze,

W. 'The

So-called Twelfth Century Renaissance,"

Speculum, XXIII

(1948), 464-71. Sanford, E. "The Twelfth Century Renaissance or Proto-Renaissance?" Spe-

culum, Tremblet,

XXVI

(1951), 635-41.

P., et al.

La Renaissance du

83

XW

siecle. Paris, 1933.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

84

II

IV

to

Texts Adelard of Bath.

De eodem

et diverso.

Edited by Hans Willner. Beitrdge,

Vol. IV. Miinster in Westfalen, 1903. Pp. 3-34.

Alan of Lille. Opera. Migne, CCX. Bernard of Chartres. No known texts extant. Most of our knowledge of Bernard comes from the works of John of Salisbury. (See section XII, below.)

Bernardus

and

Silvestris.

De mundi

universitate libri duo. Edited by C. S. Barach

Wrobel. Innsbruck, 1876. Gilbert of Poitiers. Opera. Migne, LXIV, i^^^y-i^ii. J.

Thierry of Chartres.

De septem

diebiis.

In

Clarenbaldus von Arras zu Boethius

W. De

Jansen,

Der Kommentar des

Trinitate.

Breslau,

1926.

Pp.

106-12.

William of Conches. Extracts from the commentary on- the Timaeus. In J. M. Parent, La doctrine de la creation dans I'ecole de Chartres. Paris, 1938. .

Philosophia mundi.

the

name

XI T

siecle. Paris, 1951.

Under

of

Honorius Augustodunensis,

Migne, CLXXII.

Studies

De

Lage, R. Alain de Lille: Poete du

H. Die Philosophic des Wilhelm von Conches. Koblenz, 1929. Gilson, E. "La cosmogonie de Bernardus Silvestris," Archives d'histoire doc-

Flatten,

trinale et litter aire .

du moyen

age, III (1928), 5-24.

"Le platonisme de Bernard de Chartres," Revue Neo-Scolastique de

philosophic,

XXV

(1923), 5-19.

Haring, N. "The Case of Gilbert de la Porree, Bishop of Poitiers (1142-54)," Mediaeval Studies, XWl (1951), 1-40. Haskins, C. "Adelard of Bath," The English Review (191 1).

"Un representant du platonisme au XII* siecle: Maitre Thierry de Chartres," Memoires de la Societe archeologique d'Eure-et-Loir,

Jeauneau, E.

XX

(1954), 3-12. Parent, J. La doctrine de la creation dans I'ecole de Chartres. Paris, 1938. .

"Un nouveau temoin de

Aus der

la

theologie dionysienne au XII*

Geisteswelt des Mittelalters. Festgabe in Westfalen, 1935. Poole, R.

"The Masters

Salisbury's

M. Grabmann.

siecle,"

Miinster

of the Schools at Paris and Chartres in John of Time," English Historical Review, XXXV (1920), 321-42.

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

85

V Texts Bernard of Clairvaux. Opera. Migne, CLXXVII. Wor\s. Translated by a priest of Mount Melleray. 6 .

vols.

Dublin,

1920-25. .

On

the

Love of God. Translated by A. Pegis

in

The Wisdom

of

Catholicism. Pp. 230-68.

Hugh

of .

St.

The

New

Victor. Opera. Migne,

Didascaliccn of

CLXXV-CLXXVII.

Hugh

of St. Victor. Translated by

}.

Taylor.

York, 1961.

Studies The Teaching of SS. Augustine, Gregory and Bernard on Contemplation and the Contemplative Life. London, 1951. Castren, O. Bernhard von Clairvaux. Zur Typologie des mittelalterlichen Menschen. Lund, 1938. Gilson, E. The Mystical Theology of St. Bernard. Translated by A. Downes. London, 1940. Haureau, B. Les ceuvres de Hugues de Saint-Victor: Essai critique. Paris, Butler, C. Western Mysticism.

1886.

Hunt, R. "The Introductions mediaevalia Kleinz,

J.

The Theory

D.C., 1944. Weisweiler, H.

XX

and

Williams,

to the 'Artes' in the

("Miscellanea Martin"). Bruggis of

Knowledge

of

Hugh

Twelfth Century," Studia (n.d.),

of St.

"Die Arbeitsmethode Hugos von

XXIV

W. The

St.

pp.

Victor.

85-112.

Washington, Scholasti\,

Victor,"

(1949), 59-87 and 232-67.

Mysticism of

St.

Bernard of Clairvaux. London, 193 1.

VI, VII

Texts Peter Abelard. Theological works. Migne, .

.

.

Opera. Edited by V. Cousin. 2

Ouvrages inedits

CLXXVIII.

vols. Paris, 1849, 1859.

d' Abelard. Edited

by V. Cousin. Paris, 1836.

Peter Abaelards philosophische Schriften. Beitrdge,

XXXI,

1-4.

Miinster, 1919-33. .

Abailard's Ethics. Translated by

.

Glosses on Porphyry

Selections,

I,

208-58.

J.

R.

McCallum. Oxford,

(Introduction). Translated by R.

1935.

McKeon

in

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

86

William of Saint Thierry. Disputatio adversus Abaelardum. Migne, CLXXXII, 531-32. .

.

Aenigma

De

Davy. 2

Fidei.

CLXXX, 397-440. Text, French translation, and notes by M.-M.

Migne,

vie solitaire.

la

vols. Paris, 1914.

Studies

Adam, A. Guillaume de

Saint-Thierry: Sa vie et ses

oeuvres.

Bourg-en-

Bresse, 1923.

Gilson, E. Heloise

and Abelard. Translated by

L. Shook. Chicago,

Kaiser, E. Pierre Abelard critique. Fribourg, Switzerland,

Un

Lasserre, P.

conflit religieux

au XII^

siecle:

1951.

1901.

Abelard contre

S.

Bernard.

Paris, 1930.

Lefevre, G. Les variations de Guillaume de

Champeaux

et la question

des

universaux. Lille, 1898.

"Le probleme de

Lottin, O.

la

d'Aquin," Revue thomiste,

McCallum, J.

VIII

See

X

XXXIX

Abailard's Christian

Thomas

(1934), 477-515.

Theology. Oxford, 1948.

Peter Abailard. Cambridge, 1932.

Sikes,

IX

J.

moralite intrinseque, d'Abelard a saint

II, III,

and IV

See VI and VII

See

II, III,

and IV

XI Texts Alan of

Lille.

Contra haereticos. Migne,

CCX,

305-430.

Studies Alphandery, P. hes Idees morales chez

Xlir

siecle.

les

heterodoxes latins au debut du

£cole des Hautes £tudes, "Sciences religieuses," Vol. XVI.

Paris, 1903.

Arnou, R. "Quelques idees neoplatoniciennes de David de Dinant," Philosophia perennis, I, 115-27. Regensburg, 1930. Broekx, E. Le Catharisme. Louvain, 19 16. Capelle, C. Autour du decret de 1210: Amaury de Bene, etude sur son pantheisme formel. Paris, 1932.

I

THE TWELFTH CENTURY

87

manichSen du XIW Steele: Le "Liber de duobis fragment de rituel cathare. Rome, 1939. Fournier, P. ^tude sur Joachim de Flore. Paris, 1909. Runciman, S. The Mediaeval Manichee. Cambridge, 1947. Thery, G. Autour du decret de 1210: David de Dinant, etude sur son pantheisme materialiste. Paris, 1925. Dondaine, A.

Un

traite

principiis" suivi d'un

XII Texts John of Salisbury. Opera. Migne, CXCIX. Metalogicon. Translated by D. McGarry. Berkeley, 1962. Policraticus. Parts translated by J. Dickinson under the .

.

title

of

Statesman's BooJ^ of John of Salisbury. New York, 1927. Policraticus. Parts translated by J. Pike under the title of Frivolities

The ".

and Footprints of Philosophers. (He does not translate the same books as Dickinson.) Minneapolis, 1938. Daniels, H. Die Wissenschaftslehre des Johannes von Salisbury. Kalderof Courtiers

kirchen, 1932.

Denis, L.

"La question des universaux d'apres Jean de Salisbury," Revue

des sciences philosophiques et theologiques, Haskins, C.

Webb,

The Renaissance

of the Twelfth

C. John of Salisbury. London, 1932.

XVI (1927), 425-34. Century. Cambridge, 1927.

PHILOSOPHY IN THE EAST THE DESTINY o£ the wcstem world during the Middle

Ages was determined

stretching

from India

to

in part by the

Arab conquest, which,

Spain and as far as southern Italy and the

put a screen between Europe and Asia. In 635 the Arabs began to move with lightning speed across the globe;

Greek

islands,

within one century they completed their domination, but were stopped at Poitiers in 732 and in Chinese Turkestan in 751.

finally

They brought with them

a

language and a religion that subse-

quently gained ascendancy over vast trol of Syria,

culture

had been preserved and where,

phers were

They

territories.

seized con-

Egypt, and Persia, countries where the old Hellenistic

still

in the sixth century, philoso-

engaged in writing commentaries on Plato and

we

Aristotle. In this chapter

shall try to assess the

impact of such

events on the course of the history of ideas.

From

the historians

we

learn that only a handful of Arabs were

scattered throughout the vast territories they occupied militarily,

and

that they preserved the administrative

of the conquered nations.

ment

of the Persian

and

social organization

For example, following the dismember-

Empire

that resulted in

its

division into in-

dependent dominions, the Caliphs of Baghdad enlisted in their vice the

whole

Persian rulers.^

financial

An

and

ser-

political organization of the ancient

anologous phenomenon seems to characterize

the intellectual sphere: converted to Islam

and writing

^Cf, Halphen, Les barbares (Paris: Alcan, 1926), Vol.

I,

chaps, x and

in Arabic, xi.

09 the

PHILOSOPHY IN THE EAST

Arab philosophers, most

origin,

found

their

them

of

Aryan

of

rather than Semitic

themes for meditation either in the Greek works

which the Nestorian Christians who populated Asia Minor and Persia translated into Syriac in the

and Arabic

Mazdaist tradition which was

after the sixth century, or

still

alive in Persia

and which

had assimilated elements of Indian philosophy (the mysticism of the Sufi).

The Moslem Theologians

I

The Koran For

theologies. able, the

is

not the direct source of inspiration for

though

several reasons,

its

Koran did not engender anything

theology that dominated Europe. controversies were based trine of the troversies,

To

influence

Moslem

was consider-

similar to the dogmatic

begin with, most theological

on questions

tacitly set aside

by the doc-

Koran. The Trinitarian and the Christological con-

like the

controversy over grace, are meaningless in a

doctrine that assumes the radical unity of

God and

has no place

God and his prophet Mohammed, who consummated the work of the two prophets Abraham and Jesus, are the sum and substance of the religion of Islam sparse and for anything like the sacrament.

:

clear as a desert landscape

and shorn of any

trace of the Hellenic

penchant for complicated speculations on the nature of divine reality.

Furthermore, there

function

is

to interpret

is

in Islam

no

spiritual authority

dogma. The Koran

is

not weighted

whose

down

by an accretion of binding pronouncements. Islam recognizes the prophets as

men

inspired by

God

but holds that not one of them

can add to the teaching of the Koran.

The cal,

sacred book,

much more

contains but one

hammed borrowed from solutely simple

The dogma

practical

and

juridical than theoreti-

dogma, which goes back

to

an idea that Mo-

Jewish monotheism: that of one God, ab-

by nature, whose will

is

omnipotent and inscrutable.

implies a representation of the universe diametrically

opposed to the Neo-Platonic representation generally accepted in the countries conquered by the Arabs.

The

Islamic concept of

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

90

divine arbitrariness stands in sharp contrast to the concept of a rational order of

development which the Greek philosophers

The

troduced into the world.

theme

the only

ology, that

who

lites,

in-

between the two concepts

contrast

is

what may properly be called Moslem theMutakallimoun and the Mutazi-

treated in

the theology of the

is,

took pains to erect against their adversaries a coherent

image of the universe according

Koran.

to the

All reflection was concentrated around two purely theological questions:

God and

negation of multiplicity in

power other than

that of

On

God.

how God, if he is one, can be said forth. Some of them went so far as

the

as

eternal quality along with

posited

them

God

God had any

of

deny that or

just,

deny outright that he

manners of being under in

any way en-

and "whoever

qualities, is

so

to

which divine essence appeared, but without being hanced by them; they were not

and

be good, wise,

modes

all

Moslems asked

point,

first

to

these properties; others, though they did not

had them, considered them

negation of

two Gods."

positing

an

posits

others

Still

as eternal qualities that subsist through the essence of

God.

On

the second point, theologians were

The

determinism.

eighth century.

God, who

dains good.

It

founder of the

impious

man

same time a

is

and

The

denial of free will

had

as its

emergence of the Mutazilites (seceders) in the

Under

the influence of Wazil, the son of Ata, the

Mutazilites conceded that ness of

of both free will

concept limits the power of God, and the

first

second entails natural necessity. counter-eflFect the

wary

in the

sect,

man

has freedom to safeguard the good-

incapable of decreeing a bad act since he or-

is

same

conciliatory spirit that Wazil, the

posited between the righteous believer

the intermediate state of the sinner believer.

His idea

recalls the

who

and the

is

at the

moderate solution that

the middle Stoics offered to the problem of moral progress.

As

for natural determinism,

indissolubly eternal

the

Hnked by

world with a

manner

the

we must

Greek

bear in

tradition

cyclical evolution

and

to to a

mind

the

that

it

is

image of an

god who

acts in

of a natural force. Against this, the thesis of creation

PHILOSOPHY IN THE EAST

91

indeterminism in the production of things not only

entails a radical

the initial

at

Hence 935) to

moment

the continuity of substance

:

God was

assume that

others; bodies, then, are

The same

void. is

but also throughout the course of time.

the atomistic theory advocated by the school of Askari (876is

impossible, for one

would have

not free to create one part without the

made

of discontinuous atoms floating in the

holds true with respect to continuity in time, which

form.ed by a series of indivisible instants, and in movement,

which sity

consists of separate

and individual

There

leaps.

in the inherence of the atom's properties, for all

identical,

and

their properties

cidents. Finally, there

substance at a given

is

no

—color

and

life

—are

no neces-

is

atoms are

superadded

ac-

necessity for the accidents that exist in

moment

to exist there the

following

moment;

they are at each instant the effect of a direct creation of God, and there

no natural law that requires the existence or non-existence

is

of anything whatsoever. In this atomistic theory,

glory of Allah,

we would

which

is

for the

search in vain for something that recalls

the rationalism of Epicurus.

II

The

Influence of Aristotle

and

of

NeO'Platonism

The Greek spread

influence,

initially

running counter

Moslem

through translations from Greek

by the Nestorian Christians who,

first at

489), then in the cloisters of Syria, tury, in the

to

and

to

theology,

Syriac

finally, in the

seventh cen-

convent of Kinnesrin on the Euphrates, translated not

only Aristotle's Organon but also the pseudo-Aristotelian

On

made

the school of Edessa (431-

treatise.

the World, and the works of Galen. After the founding of

Baghdad

in the ninth century,

Arabic, either from Syriac or

many works were

from Greek, and

translated into

in 832 the Caliph

himself founded what amounted to a translation bureau in his capital.

Toward

the

end of the ninth century, an Arab had

access to

almost the whole of Aristotle's work (except the Politics) and to the

commentaries of Alexander, Porphyry, Themistius, Ammonius,

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

92

and John Philoponus;

translations

Plato's dialogues, such as the

were

also available of

The Greek doxography was

through

accessible

Empedocles and

to Pythagoras.

tributed to

was dominated by two

Enneads were

The

of Aristotle's Theology.

which was

To

tases.

Ptolemy's Almagest.

a

summary God,

the triad of

falsely at-

treatises

him. Around 840, extracts from seven

Plotinus' last three

preface

of

attribu-

did the Arab philosophers use these materials? Their inter-

pretation of Aristotle

title

of

Furthermore, medicine was

known through Galen and astronomy through

How

translations

mention works

Plutarch's Lives of the Philosophers, not to ted to

some

Timaeus, the Republic, and the Sophist.

from

treatises

translated into Arabic under the translation

was preceded by a

of the Neo-Platonic theory of hypos-

Intelligence,

and Soul

which each

(in

term derives from the preceding term), was added a fourth term, Nature, which derives from Soul.

made

or material.

The

treatise of the fifth

extracts included, in

Ennead, which

whole doctrine of Plotinus. The second Aristotle

Proclus'

each of the four terms was

correspond to one of Aristotle's four causes

to

efficient,

ond

And

is

final,

formal,

an abridgment of the

treatise falsely attributed to

was the BooJ{ of Causes, which contained

from

extracts

Elements of Theology.

Under

these influences

lowed the Greeks, was

Arab philosophy,

to the extent that

with the two

treatises

mentioned above, the

fifth

the third

we

on the moving Intelligence of the heavens,

book of

his

On

find,

than the

spirit of

A

some ways anything

Aristode from the

spirit of

Neo-Platonism

and a

more is

in-

posi-

sharp contrast to a mythology of spiritual

forces that seems to suffuse the universe

only through intuition.

Aristotle's as well as

that differs

rational empiricism, a logical technique,

tive orientation stand in

along

the Soul, which deals with the nature

of intellectual knowledge. In

conceivable.

fol-

book of the Meta-

and the eighth book of the Physics, which contain

speculations

it

essentially a Neo-Platonic interpretation of

the whole of Aristotle's work. In the foreground

physics



entirety, the sec-

its

and

that

is

apprehended

PHILOSOPHY

93

THE EAST

IN

Alkindi

III

The prime

Arab philosophers was

characteristic of the

with which they were able

back and forth between Aris-

to pass

and Neo-Platonism. The

totelianism Peripatetics,

the ease

first

Arab

of the well-known

Alkindi (died in 872), was a mathematician deeply

who

concerned with positive knowledge: "Anyone

wishes to under-

stand logical demonstrations," he said, "ought to devote to the study of geometrical

especially the easier ones since they serve

Demonstration was correct standard

and then

time rules,

obvious examples."

as

him an instrument

to

much

demonstrations and learn their

that required "first a

correct application."

^ It

therefore presup-

posed prior, indemonstrable knowledge. There are three kinds of such knowledge: the

whose

first,

knowledge of the existence of the object

attributes {an sit) are to be demonstrated,

is

given directly by

the senses; the second, knowledge of self-evident universal axioms,

common knowledge and the third,

knowledge of the quiddity or

ables us to demonstrate attributes

We tion

definition of an object, en-

by means of axioms.

recall all the difficulties raised

by Aristotle's theory of defini-

and of quiddity. Alkindi grappled with the same

the quiddity of a being

is

requires neither meditation nor reflection;

is

known

difficulties:

neither through the senses that

ascertain only existence, nor through induction that ascertains only properties.

To

separate the quiddity

from

sensible data

have recourse to a special operation which treatise

De

is

intellectu et intellecto. In conformity

one must

described in the

with the funda-

mental theorem of Aristotle's metaphysics, a being cannot pass

from potency there

must

to act unless

exist

"an

under the influence of an active being;

intellect that is forever active"

always of quiddities. This explains that

is

in the soul (that

is,

why

the "potential intellect"

the capacity of conceiving of quiddities)

can become "intellect that passes from potency to "acquired ^

{adeptus)

Trans. Nagy, p, 46.

and conceives

intellect"

capable

of

and

finally

demonstration.

Thus

act,"

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

94

knowledge of quiddities

is

acquired only in a soul capable of receiv-

ing such knowledge and by virtue of a primary intelligence which

always active and which, being the universal form of things

is

(God) and giving

to things their quiddities or forms, also

endows

these forms with potential intelligence.

Alfarabi

IV

Alkindi's views on the operation of the intellect implied the rudi-

ments of a vast theology. Such a theology was developed by Alfarabi (born at the end of the ninth century). In

and

tration of the influence of Aristotle totle

omy:

he borrowed his a

see the interpene-

that of Plato.

From

Aris-

by Arabic astron-

astral theology, simplified

supreme God above the worlds; heavens composed of eight

and interlinking

concentric cular

we

it

spheres, each with

—the sphere of the fixed bodies

motion governed by an

intellect

and the seven spheres of the seven sublunary sphere.

From

characteristic cir-

its

and beneath

planets;

Plotinus (through the

these, the

work on theology

falsely ascribed to Aristotle)

he borrowed the general image of the

production of living beings

progression as

from the One

and the Changing. The

who by knowing The second

first.

recall

How how

own

knows

things:

in Plotinus the

first

farabi:

from the

essentially the

is

One gave

being that itself it is

is

an

knowledge

it

One

Such

same

It is

is

from absolute unity

its

.^^

We

birth to Intelligence: some-

One

and, turning back to-

One and

the description given by Al-

it is

derived,

it is

composite; for by

therefore necessary to separate knowl-

has of the Principle as the ground of

of

as the

can come only a unique and eternal

intellect; since

only possible.

edge that

itself.

eternal

God,

in their absolute

the One, becomes intelligence by contemplating the

becoming conscious of

Temporal

essence; then in their infinite multiplic-

type of knowledge

thing indeterminate emanates from the

ward

to the

the supreme principle,

is

all

multiplicity to be derived

is

by a law of evolution

if

from the Eternal

starting point

his essence

unity, identical to his ity.

:

to the Multiple,

existence as possible

— that —of is

its

its

existence,

matter (since

PHILOSOPHY

95

matter

THE EAST

merely potential being), and knowledge that

is

which

self,

IN

is

its

form

From

or essence.

it

has of

it-

the three kinds of knowl-

edge are born three beings: from knowledge of the Principle born a second

be to the

intellect that will

from the matter of the

Principle;

sphere (this topical matter

first

from the form

motion)

;

the

sphere.

first

intellect

first

born the matter of the

is

is

born the moving soul of

the procession of intellects

spheres with their souls; each intellect produces in

moving

ordinate intellect, a sphere, and a

moon, dominated by the

of the spheres, the

is

the

first is to

the simple possibility of circular

is

of the intellect

Thus begins

as the

its

and

down

soul, last of

celestial

turn a subto the last

the intellects, the

"active intellect."

Each

intellect

as the

is

law of motion of the sphere:

order of the good that emanates from as

it

acquires

ries its

its

knowledge."

it,

and

it

"It

produces

it

whatever order there

creates

the

order

this

conceives the motion that car-

It also

sphere from one point to the next, and this image

creative:

knows

is

is

in turn

in the transmutation of

elements in the sublunary region. Intellects,

and particularly the

forms of sensible things; but these

divisibly all the quiddities or

quiddities separate

each being

is

human

from each other

soul.

is

the starting point of intellectual

Knowledge

verse of a divisive impulse: best

it

in the sublunary region

where

The

merely a being separated from other beings.

state of separation

the

or active intellect, contain in-

last

is

a unifying impulse

"The

knowledge and

is

in

the re-

active intellect seeks to reunite as

can that which has been divided and creates the acquired in-

tellect of

which human nature

identified in the

human

points in the passage

is

a part."

The

different intellects

soul by Alfarabi are merely the principal

from division

the potential intellect, which

to unity.

At

the lowest point

the capacity to abstract forms

is

is

from

matter and to reunite and classify these forms; above the potential intellect

is

the active intellect,

this capacity.

The

which

and accompanied by individual

and disentangled

is

the effective realization of

intelligible reality, fused at first

as

it

passes

peculiarities,

from sense

is

to the

with

its

image

gradually purified

common

sense

and

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

96

from the common sense tive intellect

to the imagination,

matter for

intellect receives

where the potential

Above each

abstractive activity.

its

ac-

the acquired intellect which through an intuitive

is

look apprehends the unifying principle underlying separate forms.

At

the

summit

all

other intellects and which has unleashed

is

moon, which

the active intellect of the

all

is

prior to

their activity

by

causing the potential intellect to become active. His theory of intellects is

by the

from the theory of Alkindi who, suffused

quite different

spirit of Proclus, structured the intellects into a hierarchy,

with the result that each of them, beginning with the active lect, is as

form

to

matter with respect to

But we must not assume that Alfarabi's theory of

knowledge excludes the

other

modes

of linking the

whole

reality.

As

and the being

series

without a

veil of

can hide; he

is

tween him and

V

soul to

emanations

that can be possessed directly by the

soul that eschews the sensible world. "Being is

intellectual

human

in Plotinus, God may be the first term in a among which human intelligence finds its prerank and place; or he may be the absolute being beyond the

supreme

series of cise

all

intel-

successor.

its

any kind; there

is

beyond everything, he

no accident under which he

neither near nor far; there

is

no intermediary

be-

us."

Avicenna Avicenna (980-1036) added nothing

of Alfarabi. Like Alfarabi he starts ligence;

knows

because he

knows

essential to the metaphysics

from

his essence,

the fundamental causes

a

God who

he knows

is

all

and the pure quiddities of

pure

intel-

things; all

he

things,

even individual things. In the same way Avicenna describes the

emanation of

intellects

and of

efficient souls that

cause the spheres

to turn uniformly, imitating as closely as possible the immutability

of the intellects

from which they

derive.

Like Alfarabi, he attributes knowledge

to the influence that the

agent intellect or the intellect of the sublunary sphere exercises on receptive

intellects.

The

agent intellect gives to sensible things

PHILOSOPHY

97

forms or quiddities

their

receiving them,

cenna

and

types

several

identifies

to the

degree that matter

produces knowledge in

it

principles or axioms,

THE EAST

IN

abstract ideas,

knowledge

as

susceptible of

But Avi-

knowledge: knowledge of

of

knowledge of

through revelation, such

is

intellects.

first

and knowledge

To

of the future.

the

first

made

type corresponds "the intellect that has been prepared or

ready," so called because here potency borders on act; to the second

corresponds the active intellect that actually perceives the intelligible

forms perceived potentially by the material or possible

and

emanated or infused

to the third corresponds the

intellect;

intellect that

"comes from without."

Avicenna describes intellects.

from the

in detail the

mechanism

of the second of the

Slowly one succeeds in separating the abstract notion sensible thing.

form of an

receives only the

the soul but

appendages

its

The

operation begins with sensation, which object ("it

form"), before

is

not the stone that

has been divested of

it

it its

fall

than that of substance: quantity, position, and so forth. brain,

formative" operation, situated in the

image from the temporal or

Then

it

this

to its

still

not divested of individual character-

way

make

pos-

"opinion" that allows the lamb, without reflection, to

tinguish the wolf

tellect,

image but begins

tends toward the universal. For instance, images

sible the

of the

with other similar images, produces a kind of

rude notion which, though istics,

The "imagincavity

the "cognitive, imaginative, or collective" opera-

by associating

tion,

left

spatial conditions of

the individuality of the

retains

still

separate the existence.

in

is

material

—the characteristics that are due to matter and give under categories other —and the accidents that

individuality

ative or

its

from other animals.

that the rational soul,

It is in

dis-

images prepared in

under the influence of the agent

discovers the abstract forms that

make

in-

possible logical, re-

flective operations.

But Avicenna edge in man:

which

is

is

aware of the narrow

"man cannot know

inseparable

example, he does not

limits of intellectual

knowl-

the essence of things but only that

from them or

know what

a

the properties of them."

body

is,

For

but he knows that

it

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

98

has three dimensions. Essences are merely inferred from properties.^

Yet the soul can reach a more perfect

encumbered by

body,

its

of the agent intellect

state

which

to the influence

floods the imaginative faculty, produc-

ing prophetic dreams; and after death perfect

in the state of sleep, un-

:

becomes more receptive

it

will attain to even

it

more

knowledge.

Alhazen (965-1038), one of Avicenna's contemporaries, exerted a strong influence on twelfth-century Latin writers through his Perspective and his study of optics.

which

visual perception

a classic

still

is

He

prepared an analysis of

and which we

shall find

again in Witelo.

Algazel (Al Gazzali)

VI

The work

of Algazel (1058-1111),

who

in Jerusalem, betrays the unrest caused

taught in Damascus and

by the diffusion of Peri-

pateticism in Islam. His Tahafut al-Falasifah ("Destruction of the

Philosophers")

He

refutation.

is

devoted to an exposition of Peripateticism and

points out that the thesis of the eternity of the world

destroys the concept of the indifference of will that one tribute to

its

God, by imposing upon him

which

neither even nor

odd and

an

infinite regres-

impossible since the infinite

is

is

at-

eternally the choice of a

definite order; the infinity of past time implies

sion of causes,

must

therefore contradictory.

ophers been able to demonstrate the unity of

God

number

Nor have

is

philos-

or the spirituality

of the soul or the necessity of the causal link.

But

it

is

difficult to define

Algazel's

Averroes, "he belongs to no sect; he

lowers of Ashari, a Sufi philosophers," self against

and he

among

tried

is

own

views. According to

among the philosopher among

an Asharite

the Sufis, a

*

51-

the

through his Destruction "to protect him-

the wrath of theologians,

who have

always been the

enemies of philosophers."^ Whether or not he was a Skeptic, ^

fol-

Liber aphorismorum de anima, trans. Andre de Bellune, pp. 101-21. Quoted by Worms, in Baucmker, Beitrage zur Philosophic des Mittelalters ,

we III,

PHILOSOPHY IN THE EAST

99

works something resembUng the Skeptics'

find in his

knowledge, which corresponds

critique of

seems to have been

to a current that

during the twelfth century: the uncer-

rather general in Islam

tainty of the senses that contradict each other

and

are contradicted

by reason, the uncertainty of reason whose principles,

just

as

they judge the senses, can be judged according to principles that

remain unknown the

to us.

Here we have

Greek Skeptics, which

Arab

argument

the old line of

found

also

of

in the writings of other

thinkers.^

The Arabs

VII

is

The

in Spain:

philosophers

still

to

Averroes be discussed were products of Spain,

where Moslem culture flourished

in the twelfth century.

Avempace

(Ibn Bad] a, died in 1138) of Saragossa tried in his Rule of the Solitary to describe the different degrees through

apart

from any

tive intellect

social influence,

which a

man,

could identify himself with the ac-

and become a member of a perfect

and medicine

solitary

state

where

justice

—appropriate to our imperfect states which have to — are unknown. Beyond the ideas abstracted

struggle against evils

from matter, described by philosophers, the attain to intelligible forms,

which

are

solitary

man must

separated from matter of

themselves, rather than by intelligence, and which finally reduce

themselves to unity.

Abubacer (Ibn Tufail, 1100-1185) of Cadiz imagined in

his philo-

Hayy ibn Ya\zan ("The History of Hayy ben Yaqdhan"), what Avempace's solitary man would be if he were born on an uninhabited island. Starting from sensible knowledge sophical novel, Risalat

he would

rise to the

forms abstracted from bodies, thence

to their

general causes, the eternal heavens and their movers, and finally to

God, completely separated from the

senses.

Averroes (Ibn Rochd, 1126-1198) of Cordova devoted himself pecially to the task of

the face of ^

Cf. Carra

its

es-

determining the true meaning of Aristotle in

deformation by his interpreters.

de Vaux, Gazdi, pp. 115 and 45.

Two

points deserve

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

100

special attention: his theory of the production of substantial

and

The

his theory of the possible intellect.

we

Avicenna:

see the substantial

ture as something absolutely

Avicenna holds that

this

first is

directed against

form appear spontaneously

new and

forms in na-

not contained in matter, but

would not be

true of

generations; that

all

nature produces spontaneously only combinations resulting from the reciprocal action of the four heat, wetness and dryness)

;

primary or active qualities (cold and

form which through

that the substantial

a certain combination produces a certain being

jorrnarum, which

is

comes from

an intelligence outside and superior

a dator

to nature.

Averroes censures Avicenna for making a natural being not one being but an amalgam of two beings produced by two distinct agents.

He

holds that a

new

form

substantial

matter by another form that already exists in generation:

have

to

man

as to prepare

introduced into

(so-called univocal

we do

not

formarum outside matter. The form is capable from the outset,

to a dator

body that possesses a substantial its

is

engenders man), with the result that

have recourse

by virtue of

it

way

active qualities, of transforming matter in such a

it

to receive

form, and then of engendering form in

the matter transformed in this way.

His theory of

intellect is directed

against the interpretation of

Alexander of Aphrodisias. In the active

intellect,

identical to the intelligible reality that

contemplates. Since the

intelligible reality

is

subject that contemplates intelligibles

How

can we,

ander, by

who

making

of the material intellect

we can

conceive of intelligible beings.

we

But

if

the

is

as a result It

(which

is

ourselves) a

unable to explain

how

follows that the material

capable of reflection, must be uncreated, incorrupt-

ible, identical for all

can

also eternal.

eternal, this question arises:

is

and corruptible being, it is

is

is

are corruptible, contemplate intelligibles? Alex-

created

intellect, if

it

eternal, intelligence

intelligence

men. But then the

difficulty

is

reversed:

How

explain the intellectual activity of each individual, which be-

gins at a certain

moment

in

time?

suppose that the intellectual act

is

The

not a

only possible solution

new

intellection,

an

is

to

act that

L

PHILOSOPHY IN THE EAST

lOI

moment

joins us at this

and disappears with us which

intellect,

What

to the agent intellect. is

originates in us

the simple disposition called the passive

consists in the fact that the state of

our images

lows us to receive the eternal emanation of the agent

We

see

shall

among there

is

no

represent truths,

later

the Latins. conflict

two

the

development of Averroes' philosophy

Here we need only note

that according to

between philosophy and

religion,

him

which simply

steps in the process of thinking: religion veils the

which the philosopher

discovers, in order to bring

within reach of the uninitiated. that the philosopher worships

VIII

al-

intellect.

them

by understanding these truths

It is

God.

Jewish Philosophy through the Twelfth Century

Jewish philosophy developed in the Arab world during the

cendancy of Islam. The Cabala designated not so

much

as-

a particular

doctrine as the Jewish form of Neo-Platonic mysticism. In contrast to the

Talmud,

a juridical

represented a state of

and

commentary on the Law,

literal

mind analogous

it

to that of Philo of Alex-

andria: a mystical interpretation of letters and numbers, which are the signs through)

which Wisdom

ous correspondence between

transmitted to

is

letters

method

meaning and

that reveals in each

a sublime mystery; a

that multiplies the intermediaries

part of

all this

a mysteri-

and the composition of the

world, the divisions of the year, the structure of allegorical

men;

word

man;

of the

the use of the

Law

a higher

mythology of powers and angels

between

God and

his creation.

No

seems very novel.

Whether he spoke

of metaphysics or of the theory of knowledge,

Jew (845-940), reasoned in the main as a Neo-Platonist bent on discovering a hierarchy in which the inferior Isaac IsraeH, an Egyptian

proceeds from the superior and tional soul, tellect,

animal

is

as its

But

intelligence, ra-

soul, vegetative soul; in intelligence, active in-

passive intellect, imagination,

classifications.

shadow:

his compilations

and

sensation,

we

recognize

were useful and not without

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

102

importance, for thirteenth-century Latins found in his

historical

Boo^

famous

of Definitions the

definition of truth: adaequatio rei

et intellectus.

Saadia ben Joseph or Saadiagaon (882-942), an Egyptian Jew

who

and Convictions,

hved in Babylonia, tried in his Book^ of Beliefs

how reason and revelation compleThe command to serve God and the problasphemy and doing harm to others are examples

written in 932, to determine

ment each other hibition against

of rational

in law.

commandments. There

which deal with things

are others

that are in themselves indififerent

and which become law by the

will of

God. The second type of commandment, which must be

vealed,

is

it is

indispensable to the execution of the

first,

which, because

too general, leaves undefined the circumstances of

tion.

How

is it

re-

its

applica-

possible to prohibit theft, for example, in the absence

of a definition of property

}

Jewish philosophy developed in Spain and in Morocco. Avice-

bron of Malaga (Solomon ibn-Gabirol, 1020-1070) wrote a work of great historical importance, the

Fons

vitae,

which was

to

become

one of the main sources of Neo-Platonism during the thirteenth century.

Among

of realities:

other things,

first,

God

it

included a hierarchical classification

exalted above everything, then Will, then

Form, inseparable from the Matter that vitae

had

of the

from

as its objective the

work

is

it

determines.

study of form and matter.

stated in these

a source are concentrated

words: "All things that emanate

when

they are near the source and

dispersed

when

they are far from

universal

form

that contains, united

it."

At in

the highest level itself,

all

lowest level are the sensible things that also contain

which contains

each other and yet distinct from each other. stated by

Avicebron

is

that there are

that each level of reality

is

is

the

forms; at the all

separated from each other and dispersed; between the are realities such as intelligence,

The Fons The thesis

forms, but

two

levels

all

forms, united to

A

second principle

no forms without matter and

matched by

a matter that corresponds in

perfection to the height of the level, for perfection of matter con-

PHILOSOPHY IN THE EAST

103 in

sists

ability to

its

become one with form

Hence

in total union.

the

order in the Fons vitae: beginning with the lowest level, that of corporeal substances, Avicebron studies successively the corporeal

matter that supports sensible qualities, the spiritual matter that supports the substantial spiritual substances

and

form of the body, the matter of intermediary

The

and simple substances

(souls)

finally the universal

knowledge

place of intellectual

Forms

obvious.

are

(intelligences),

matter that supports the universal form.

mixed together

in Avicebron's hierarchy

in intelligence

and united

to

is it,

not through the accidental union that joins them to the body, but

through an essentially

spiritual union.

This

is

an

essential trait of

Neo-Platonism, which does not simply add knowledge over and

above tier

reality

upon

To

tier

but views

it

one of the

as

from the Many

to the

levels of reality

which

rise

One.

eleventh-century Spain also belongs a

movement

character-

ized by mystical piety and brought to light by a recently translated

work

of Ibn Pakuda, called Introduction to Duties of the Heart.

Moses Maimxonides (Moses ben Maimon), a rabbi who was born in

Cordova (1135) and died

in Cairo (1204),

wrote his Guide of the

Perplexed mainly for the purpose of explaining the Law.

up philosophical

subjects

form and of matter

illuminate Scripture. Philosophical speculation

Thomas

a position least

it

said later), but

it

—only in order

to

autonomous

(as

is

confirms the truths of the Law. Such

makes Maimonides' thought somewhat ambiguous,

makes

takes

— the question of separated intelligences, of

the motions of the spheres, of

St.

He

or at

the diflFerent aspects of his thought hard to har-

monize. Take the question of demonstrating philosophically the existence of the unity of

God (Book

II).

Maimonides borrows from

the Peripatetics a demonstration based on the eternity of the universe,

which they grant,

of the celestial spheres, infers

an

infinite

for

it is

through consideration of the motion

which has neither beginning nor end, that he

moving cause which

is

God. Yet he does not view

the eternity of the world as anything but a hypothesis of possible

demonstration. His system of the world, like that of every other

104

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

Arab philosopher, spheres.

basically

is

system

Aristotle's

But here too he remains quite skeptical about the exactness

of his representation,

which he does not consider demonstrable.

Maimonides' main concern was apparently the "Prophecy

social role of the prophet.^

and

intellectual

God

an emanation from

is

which spreads, through the intermediary of the first

concentric

of

active

intellect,

over the rational faculty and then over the imaginative faculty.

makes

Spread over the rational faculty only,

it

spread over reason and imagination,

makes

pensable for drawing

men

to

conflicts

speculative sages;

true prophets, indis-

together into a perfect society and regu-

lating the actions of individuals susceptibility

it

whose

diversity and, consequently,

anything seen

surpasses

among

other

species."

Byzantine Philosophy

IX

In the Middle Ages, the city of Constantinople had sources needed for the continuation tradition.

and

it

But

was

it

a city of jurists, of businessmen

lacked the inclination to do

philosophy

so.

the re-

and theologians,

The number

the University of Constantinople

at

all

Greek philosophical

of the

of chairs of

was minimal

in

comparison with the chairs of sophistry and of jurisprudence.'^ Thus for the

most part we find only scholars and commentators

the only vital question Aristotle. Photius

preserved the

many

is

that of the conflict

(820-897), ^^^ scholar in extracts

Greek philosophers, showed

whose Bibltotheca

that

are

a predilection for Aristotle. Psellus

To him

Plato was the

true theologian: "Aristode generally treated theological

manner

whom

from and abridgments of the works of

(1018-1098) took the role of Plato's defender. a

for

between Plato and

was too human."

Psellus' vast

work was

dogmas

in

the starting

point of the stream of Platonic philosophy that traveled through

Pletho and Bessarion to Renaissance Italy and to the rest of the ^

Guide des egares, trans. Munk, Codex Theodosianiis xiv. 9, 3;

of juridical sciences,

p.

281.

five chairs of rhetoric,

and only one of philosophy.

twenty of grammar, two

105

PHILOSOPHY

THE EAST

IN

West. Thus a clear definition o£ his Platonism

important to the

His main source o£ inspiration was Proclus, "a

history of ideas.

superior

is

man who

penetrated to the heart of everything in phi-

losophy." Elsewhere he states: "I went to Piotinus, to Porphyry,

my

and

to lamblichus before

He

has provided

The

doctrine of Proclus was sure to appeal most strongly to a

me

I

found

haven

in the great Proclus.

with knowledge and with sound ideas."

trained in law. But restoring the pagan philosophy of Plato

mind

was no

even for Psellus. Following the example of John of

easy task

Damascus, who denounced "the satanic the

^

monks

of

Mount Olympus

errors of the

praised by Psellus as a "Hellenic Satan." to criticism

pagan

sages,"

Hellenic philosopher

treated the

As

Psellus said in reply

by his friend Xiphilinus, however, he was merely con-

tinuing the tradition of the Cappadocian Fathers and using Plato in the defense of the Christian

of justice

dogmas: "Are not

and the immortality of the soul the

Plato's doctrines

of similar

basis

own?"^ At the University of Byzantium, restored by Constantine IX (Monomachus), Psellus took pains to re-establish doctrines of our

the tradition of Neo-Platonic instruction

enumerated

in

the

on the

basis of the studies

book of the Republic. For courses

sixth

in

mathematics the textbooks were the works of Nicomachus of Gerasa,

EucHd, and Diophantus; for astronomy, Ptolemy and Proclus; and for music, Aristoxenus.

Added

to these

was philosophy, beginning

with Aristotle's logic and ending with the commentaries of Proclus. Finally

poems

came of

the allegorical explanation of inspired texts, such as the

Orpheus and the Chaldean

oracles. Psellus could not lay

claim to originality with respect to any part of the program of instruction:

"My

sole merit,"

he

says, "consists in

the fact that

I

have gathered together certain philosophical doctrines drawn from a fountain that

had ceased

rationalism that led tions of his era *

and

him

to flow." ^^

to attack

(as

The

and

demons,

a stubborn

for

supersti-

which he

3,

Opera, ed. N. Sathas, in Bibliotheca medii aevi (Paris, ^° Zervos, Michel Psellos, p. 40.

^

was

had Piotinus) the

particularly the belief in

Cf. Zervos, Michel Psellos, p. 193, nn. 2

result

1874-76), pp. 444

ff.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

I06

Michael Cerularius: Psellus intended

the patriarch

criticized

remain a speculative metaphysician and not

to

deviate

toward

his pupils

Michael

to

theurgy.

The

him was continued by

tradition revived by

and Johannes

of Ephesus

Italus

who

tirelessly transcribed the

Neo-

Platonic commentaries on Aristotle and Plato. Eustratius, the pupil

was

of Johannes and Bishop of Nicaea,

criticized for teaching the

same Plotinian doctrine of hypostases that Abelard taught

a short

time later in Paris. Proclus' Neo-Platonism, though attacked by

(we have,

theologians of

for example, a refutation of Proclus'

Theology by Nicolas of

sisted in the twelfth

Blemmydes,

Elements

in the twelfth century), ^^ per-

century with Michael Italicos and Nicephorus

in the thirteenth

Acropolites, Joseph,

and

Modon

and fourteenth centuries with George

Theodore Metochites, and Nicephorus Gregoras, Demetrios Kydonis and Pletho

in the fifteenth century with

who

(Georgias Gemistus), the court of the Medici

introduced Platonism to Florence at

and who often defended Plato against the

Peripatetics.

He

seems seriously

to

have considered Platonism

tion for a universal religion.

George of Trebizond,

from

all

"When we were

heard him say that in a few years

"I

over the world, by

common

would embrace one and the same whether

it

would be the

Mohammed,

consent and in the same

religion.

.

.

.

And when

asked

religion of Jesus Christ or the religion of

from paganism.'

movement inaugurated by

" ^^

Such was the outcome of the

Psellus.

In contrast to Pletho, Theodorus

Gaza was

the fifteenth-century

representative of the old tradition of reconciling Plato

and Aris-

Byzantium, scholars continued throughout the period

write commentaries on Aristode.

"Ed. Voemel, Trans.

I

men spirit

he replied: 'Neither of these, but a third religion that

will not difFer

tode.^^ In

founda-

as the

in Florence," wrote

Among

Psellus'

own

to

disciples,

Frankfurt, 1825.

Boivin,

Memoires de I'academie des

inscriptions,

II,

171 7;

cited

by

Zervos, Michel Psellos, p. 239.

"

Cf.

Theodorus Gaza De

jato. ed.

Taylor (Toronto, 1925).

I

107

PHILOSOPHY IN THE EAST

Michael of Ephesus wrote a commentary on part of the Organon

and on the tenth book

De

on the

Nicomachean Ethics; Johannes

in the

Italus

on the Nicomachean Ethics

interpretatione; Eustratius

and the Posterior Analytics. In the fourteenth century, Nicephorus Blemmydes,

George

Pediasimus,

and Leo Magentinus paraphrased or

Aristotle's treatises

Pachymeres

on

we

Finally,

should at

Sophonias,

John

summarized

and psychology and copied the com-

logic

mentaries of Simplicius and

(1242-1301),

Ammonius.

least

mention, alongside the

official

philoso-

phers and professors, the persistence in monasteries of a trend

toward mysticism. According of

Mount

to

Climacus, Abbot of the monastery

Sinai at the beginning of the seventh century, one of

earliest manifestations

work known

in the

was

in St. John's

Ladder

to Paradise, a

West through Gerson. It shows more popular than those

the influence

of a philosophical thought Aristotle,

and

matter of

fact, St.

in

it

we

John mentions

and the twenty-ninth is

"one who

has

find an echo of Stoicism

is

made

sations."

(whose

-^^

St.

lives are

(

dcKck^eia)-

his flesh incorruptible,

John saw

and

and Cynicism. As

who

The who

impassive

a

man

has raised his

has subordinated to

in the Patriarchs of the

it all

his sen-

Egyptian desert

recounted in the Laiisiac History) illustrious ex-

amples of such impassivity. His work

is

therefore a link in the chain

that connects Christian mysticism to Pyrrho

The

of Plato

thirty successive steps in his ladder,

impassivity

thought beyond creation, and

its

famous

and

to

Diogenes.

trend toward speculative mysticism, going back to Dionysius

also continued in the Greek monasteries. The anonymous author of an eighth-century commentary on the books of Solomon was inspired by the Neo-Platonism of Maximus, a pupil

the Areopagite,

The trend is also manifested in the writings of Symeon (1025-1092), who held that mystical intuition was incompatible with mundane living and possible only among monks. Gregory

of Dionysius.

Palamas and

his pupil

Nicholas Cabasilas, successive archbishops of

Thessalonica, defended the Hesychasts "Migne,

Patrologia graeca,

who

LXXXVIII, 1148b, 1149a.

held that there existed

I08 apart

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE from the Trinity an uncreated

light that

emanated from the

Trinity and put the mystic in communication with God.

Here we

have the supreme manifestation of Neo-Platonic emanationism in Christianity.

Bibliography

I, II

Studies Abd-el-Djalil.

Le Coran

et la

pensee musulmane.

En

Terre d'Islam, 1939.

Carra de Vaux. Les Penseurs de I' Islam. 5 vols. Paris, 1921-26. De Boer, T. The History of Philosophy in Islam. Translated by E. Jones.

London,

1933.

vols, completed through 1927 (A to K and the and Leyden, 1907 Democratie," Revue thomiste (May and September,

Encyclopedic de I'lslam. 4 first

part of S). Paris

Gardet, L.

"Islam

et

.

1946). .

"Rencontre entre

tristique,"

la

premiere theologie musulmane

Revue thomiste (1947),

Kraus, P. "Plotin chez

les

et

la

pensee pa-

p. 45.

Arabes," Bulletin de I'lnstitut d'tgypte, XXIII

(1940-41), 263-95.

Macdonald, D. Development of Muslim Theology, Jurisprudence, and Constitutional Theory. New York, 1903. Nicholson, R. The Mystics of Islam. London, 1914. O'Leary, D. Arabic Thought and Its Place in History. London, 1922. Quadri, G. La philosophic arabe dans I'Europe medievale des origines a Averroes. Paris, 1947. Sauter, G. "Die peripatetische Philosophie bei den Syrern

Archiv

Sweetman, Ill,

fiir J.

die

Geschichte der Philosophie,

XVII

und den Arabern," (1904).

Islam and Christian Theology. 2 vols. London, 1945 and 1947.

IV

Texts German by F. Abhandlungen, aus dem arabischen

Alfarabi. Translated into

.

Alkindi.

Translated by F. Dieterici.

De

intellectu,

De somno

Der et

Dieterici.

Ubersetzt.

Alfr.rabi's

Leiden,

philosophische 1892.

Musterstaat. Leiden, 1900.

visione,

De quinque

essentiis,

introductorius in artem logicae demonstrationis. Edited by A.

109

Liber

Nagy

in

no THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE medieval translations in Die philosophischen Abhandlungen des Ishaq al-Kindi zum ersten Male herausgegeben. Miinster

their

Ja'qub ben

in Westfalen, 1897.

Studies

De

Boer, T. "Zu Kindi

und

seiner Schule,"

Archiv fur die Geschichte der

Philosophie.XWl (1900), 153-78. Fackenheim, E. The Possibility of the Universe in al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, and Maimonides. American Academy for Jewish Research. New York, 1947. Hammond, R. The Philosophy of Aljarabi and Its Influence on Mediaeval

Thought.

New

York, 1944.

Ibn Madcour. La place d'Al Farabi dans I'ecole philosophique musulmane. Paris, 1934.

Maker, H. "Al-Kindi,

The

Philosopher of the Arabs,'

"

Hebrew

College An-

nual. 1904. Pp. 55-71.

V

VII

to

Texts Algazel.

Algazel's

Metaphysics:

A

Mediaeval

Translation.

by

Edited

J.

Muckle. Toronto, 1933.

La

.

destruction des philosophes. French translation by Carra de Vaux.

Louvain, 1903. Alhazen. Perspectiva. Text and

German translation by Baarman under the "Ueber das Licht," Zeitschrift der deutschen tnorgenldndischen Gesellschaft,XXXVl (1882). Averroes. Averroes Latinus. Edited by H. Shields, et al. A new edition, not title

yet complete; presently 4 vols.

Cambridge, Mass., 1949, 1953, 1956,

1958.

Avicenna. Opera Philosophica. Louvain, 1961. Avicenna on Theology. Translated by A. Arberry. London, 195 1. Kitab-al-Najat. Book II, chap. vi. Translated with notes by F. Rah.

.

man

as

Avicenna s Psychology. Oxford, 1952.

Studies Afhan,

S.

Avicenna, His Life and Wor\. London, 1957. Die Psychologic Alhazens auj Grund von

H.

Bauer,

dargestellt. Miinster in Westfalen, 191

Alhazens

Optil^

W.

Trask.

1.

Carra dc Vaux. Avicenna. Paris, 1900. .

Gazali. Paris, 1903.

Corbin, H. Avicenna and the Visionary Recital. Translated by

New York,

Gardet, L.

i960.

La Pensee

religieuse

d'Avicenne (Ibn Sina). Paris, 1951.

PHILOSOPHY IN THE EAST

Ill

Gauthier, L.

The Philosophy and Theology

Jamil-ur-Rehman. Baroda, 192 1. Gilson, E. "L'etude des philosophies arabe

de

et

son role dans I'interpretation

scolastique," Proceedings of the Sixth

la

M.

of Averroes. Translated by

International Congress of

New

York, 1927. Pp. 592-96. Goichon, M. La distinction de I'essence et de I'existence chez Ihn Sina. Philosophy. Paris, 1937.

Smith,

"Avicenna and the Possibles,"

G.

The

New

Scholasticism,

XVII

(1943), 340-57.

Wensinck, A. La Pensee de Ghazzali. Paris, 1940. Wickens, G.(ed.). Avicenna, Scientist and Philosopher: A Millenary Symposium. London, 1952. Zedler, B. "Averroes on the Possible Intellect," Proceedings of the American

Catholic

Philosophical

Association,

XXV

(1951),

164-78.

VIII

Texts Avicebron (Gabirol). Pons

Latin translation by Jean d'Espagne and

vitae.

Gondissalvi. Edited by C. Bauemeker. Beitrdge, Vol.

I.

Miinster in West-

falen, 1892-95.

Ibn

Pakuda.

Introduction

au

devoirs

des

coeurs.

French

by

translation

Churaqui. Paris, 1950. Isaac Israeli. Opera omnia Ysaac Lugduni, 1515. Moses Maimonides. Guide of the Perplexed. Translated by .

.

.

S. Pines.

Chicago,

1963.

Studies Efros,

"Saadia's

I.

Theory of Knowledge," The Jewish Quarterly Review,

XXXIII (1942-43), 133-70. Finkelstein, L. (ed.). Rab Saadia Gaon:

Studies in His Honor.

New

York,

1944-

Gilson, E.

"Maimonide

et

la

philosophie de I'Exode," Mediaeval Studies,

XIII (1951), 223-25. Husik, J. A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy.

New York, 1916. on Maimonides. New York, 1941. Roth, L. Spinoza, Descartes, and Maimonides. Oxford, 1924. McKeon,

R., et al. Essays

Strauss, L. Philosophie

und

Gesetz, Beitrdge

zub Verstdndnis Maimunis und

seiner Vorldufer. Berlin, 1935.

Wolfson, H. "Maimonides and Halevi," The Jewish Quarterly Review,

3,

2

(1912), 297-337. .

"Maimonides on Internal Senses," The Jewish Quarterly Review,

XXV

(1935), 441-67.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

112

Vajda, G. Introduction a "La philosophie .

la et

pensee juive du moyen age. Paris, 1947. la theologie de Joseph Ibn Caddiq," Archives

d'histoire doctrinale et litteraire

du moyen

age,

XVII (1949),

106-10.

IX Texts Works

and theologians are included volumes indicated: Gregory Palamas, CL; CXLIX; Nicephorus Gregoras, CXLIX; Nicholas Cabasilas, CL; Photius, CL-CLV; Psellos, CXXII; Symeon, CXX. Demetrios Kydonis. Sur la crainte de la mort. Leipzig, 1901. George Acropolites, Opera. Edited by A. Heisenberg. Leipzig, 1903. John Pediasimus. In Aristoteles analytica scolia selecta. Edited by De Falco. of the following Byzantine philosophers

Migne, Series Graeca, Nicephorus Blemmydes, in

in the

Naples, 1926.

Michael

Italicos.

Correspondence

in

Cramer anecdota graeca oxonensia,

III,

158-203. 1836.

Michael of Ephesus, Eustratius, and Sophonias. Commentaries on Aristotle, in

Berlin

the

Academy

Edition

of

his

works.

Vols.

XX, XXI, and

XXIII. Pletho.

Traite des Lois. Translated

by A.

Pellissier.

Theodore Metochites. Miscellanea philosophica ler.

et

Paris,

historica.

1958.

Edited by Miil-

Leipzig, 1821.

Studies Anastos,

M.

"Pletho's Calendar

and Liturgy," Dumbarton Oal^s Papers, IV

(1948), 183-305. Beck, H. Kirche und theologische Uteratur in byzantinischen Reich. Brehier, L.

La

1959.

civilisation Byzantine. Paris, 1950.

Macrobe a Cassiodore. 1948. M. Nicephore Blemmides comme pedagogue et comme in-

Courcelle, P. Les Lettres grecques en Occident de

Karapiperis,

stituteur. Jerusalem, 1921.

MeyendorfT, Jean. Introduction a I'etude de Gregoire Palamis. Paris, 1959. Russack, H. Un maitre de la spiritualite Byzantine: Nicholas Cabasilas. Paris, 1958. Salaville, S. "Philosophie et theologie,

ou episodes scolastiques

a

Byzance de

1059 a 1 1 17," Echos d'Orient (Paris), XXIX (1930), 132-56. Stephanou, E. ]ean Italos: Philosophe et humaniste. Rome, 1949. Tatakis, B.

La philosophie byzantine.

Vaccari, A.

Un commentaire

Paris, 1949.

byzantin des livres de Salomon. Congress on

Byzantine History. Algeria, 1939. Pp. 105 Un philosophe neoplatonicien du

Zervos, C.

1919. (Editions of Psellos are listed

on

ff.

XV

p. 35.)

siecle:

Michel

Psellos. Paris,

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY WE

RECALL Augustc Comtc's

encomium

teenth century: the organic age par excellence in

was reaUzed.^

unity, true catholicity, in the

dreams of

all

such a distinct and important pecially favorable as

it

Paris,

and morals.

no other epoch during which

is

:

spiritual

who believe that society can never know common faith to direct thought and action

to serve as the basis for philosophy, art,

Surely there

which

the century that figures

those

peace in the absence of a

and

It is

to the thir-

role.

spiritual life

Circumstances then were

the rebirth of powerful commercial

cities

had es-

favored,

always has, the active exchange of ideas; the University of

which played such an important

of the thirteenth century,

would have been inconceivable without

the Paris of Philip Augustus

the most powerful in

nation; nor

—capital of a realm that was becoming

Europe and

was there any all

countries

Hales, ItaUans such as

Germans such

as

St.

attracting foreigners

from every

trace of national exclusivism in the in-

struction, given in the liturgical

by masters from

role in the intellectual life

language of Christianity and given

—Englishmen

such as Alexander of

Bonaventure and

Albert the Great.

It

St.

Thomas Aquinas,

was the university

of the

whole of western Christianity, and the Pontiff of Christianity, the Vicar of Christ, tried by organizing it

the very center of Christian hfe.

it

and giving

The same

it

statutes to

pope. Innocent

make

III, cre-

ated the Inquisition, confirmed the mendicant orders (Franciscans ^

Systeme de politique positive, ed. Cres (191 2),

113

III,

488.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

114

and Dominicans), and gave three acts inspired by the

statutes to the University of Paris:

same

spirit,

by the desire

heresies; in the

any temporal

of expurging

men who,

mendicant orders he found

interests or

to strengthen

means

Christian unity. In the Inquisition he found a

freed

from

attachment to their native countries, put

themselves into the exclusive service of Christian thought; and in the University, which under the law,

and

flourishing,

scattered schools that

he found a means of systematizing

all

the

epoch through the teaching of theology.

intellectual Hfe of the

Only the pope had control over he merely asked Philip Augustus

aim was

of faculty of arts, faculty of

drew together

faculty of theology,

were already

names

instruction at the university;

temporal privileges. His

to grant

way

to organize instruction in such a

as to protect theology

against the danger posed by the excessive development of dialectic. Dialectic

must remain an organon, and the "modern doctors of the

liberal arts"

This

is

must be prevented from taking up

what was

Gregory IX in 1228: "Theological wisdom

on each faculty path so that

it

mind on

as the

will not err."

the flesh,

And

.

theological subjects.

1219 and repeated by

said by Innocent III in .

and

.

must

direct

exert

it

its

power

into the right

theology must be explained solely

"according to the traditions tested by the saints," and not through the use of "carnal arms."

phy."

An

order issued in 1231 states that "Mas-

Theology must not make an ostentatious display of philoso-

ters of

Under such

art of discussing

conditions philosophy

is,

and drawing conclusions,

in fact, reduced to the

starting

from premises

Hence the literary form of writings derived from the method used by Abelard in his

established by divine authority.

of the period,

Sic et non, then by the sententiaries of the twelfth century. State-

ments of authority or reasons deduced from authority are advanced for each topic; after the pros

tion

is

given. In this

way

and cons have been

indicated, the solu-

the theologian ignores or avoids any

comprehensive exposition, any synthetic view which, by systematically linking his affirmations,

pear too rational.

A

would make

certain order

is

the Christian doctrine ap-

of course inherent in the ex-

I

I

I

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

115

God, the

position of the truths of the Christian doctrine:

the

redemption, and salvation. That

fall,

creation,

the traditional order, the

is

Lombard followed, the order that Thomas Aquinas' Summae. But we must note that it

underlies St.

order that Peter

is

an order of

revealed truths in which each truth depends logically on the one fall,

redemption, are free acts that can be

their effects

but not deduced from necessary prin-

that precedes: creation,

known through ciples. it

Each

article of faith

and each of the affirmations implied by

must therefore be studied

separately.

Reason

is

examining consequences, but not in going back

making

always useful in

to principles or in

syntheses.

But within

its

fixed, rigid frame,

did thirteenth-century thought

have the catholicity that the popes dreamed of imposing on at

all,

it ?

Not

and notwithstanding the wishes of the popes, the thirteenth

century offers the spectacle of sharp conflicts that to speak of a single scholastic philosophy conflicts,

which did not abate

until the

make

even in

impossible

it

The

this period.

Middle Ages had come

an end, stemmed from the attempt to reduce

all

to

higher intellectual

training to theology and to the discipHnes that contribute to theology.

A

need was

knew where ficult it

it

felt for

Then

it

rational!

to maintain the unity of a doctrine that

em-

be a part of theology ?

as divergent as the authoritarian

should philosophy be expelled from theology?

would become independent. In

unity that

men were

philosophy, but no one dif-

it

two methods

Or

human

How

belonged. Should

would be then

ploys simultaneously

and the

a purely

either case, the spiritual

seeking to establish would be broken.

It

would

be broken because they thought, for reasons that were essentially political

and

autonomy

when

of

religious, that

human

it

was not necessary

to

reckon with the

reason. Spiritual unity can be restored only

the attempt to subordinate

all

studies to theology

is

aban-

doned.

The

history of philosophy in the thirteenth century

of such conflicts. It contains intellectual

freedom, the

no

fiery

is

the history

trace of the anticipated rebirth, the

thought that

we found

in the twelfth

Il6

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

century.

the history o£ a quest for unity at any price

It is

at the price of logic and coherence

were

I

social

The

and

intellectual.

Workj

Diffusion of Aristotle's

stemming from attempts

Conflicts

theology were accentuated

came

than

political rather

when

West

in the

to subordinate philosophy to

the complete works of Aristotle be-

accessible to scholars through translations into Latin

Arabic or Greek. These translations opened a virgin

and

—even

a unity desired for reasons that

:

them with

for the first time provided

from

field to scholars

knowledge of

direct

pagan thought uncontaminated by Christian thought. After the middle of the twelfth century a college of translators

working under the

direction of

Ramon, Bishop

Toledo (1126-

of

1151), began translating from Arabic the Posterior Analytics, with the commentary by Themistius, the Topics, and On Sophistical

Refutations. Gerard of

Cremona

teorology, the Physics,

and the

(died in 11 87) translated the treatises

On

Me-

Heavens and On

the

Generation and Corruption, not to mention the apocryphal works, the Theology

and the

treatises

Properties of the Elements.

On

Causes and

Then knowledge

On

the Causes of the

Greek spread.

of

We

find in the twelfth-century manuscripts a translation of the Meta-

M and N which had

physics (except for books lated in 1270),

and even

a

commentary on

still

not been trans-

the work.

And William

the Clerk, in his chronicle of the year 1210, says that the Metaphysics, "recently brought back

from Greek

WiUiam

of

to Latin,"

from Constantinople and

was being read

Moerbeke (1215-1286),

in Paris.

Henry

a friend of St.

translated

of Brabant,

Thomas Aquinas,

Robert Grosseteste, and Bartholomew of Messina were thirteenthcentury Hellenists Aristotle,

who

translated

and notably the

Politics,

all

or a part of the

works

of

which had been ignored by the

Arab philosophers. Translations were also made of the works of Arab and even Greek commentators and of the Jewish philosophers. Alkindi, Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Avicebron were known, and by the middle of

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

117

the thirteenth century

all

the commentaries of Averroes except the

one on the Organon could be found in

The

Paris.

starthng impression of such discoveries on minds avid for

bookish instruction but unprepared for their task

is

not hard to

imagine. Readers were poorly prepared to understand and evaluate Aristotle because they lacked the historical perspective necessary to

assign

him

his place; because they

had

access to

common

translations which, in accordance with the era,

were

slavishly literal

him only through practice of the

and often incomprehensible; and

finally

because they did not have, to combat the magic spell of his philosophy, any opposing doctrine from which they could or

draw

support,

—most important—any method to rival the solid Aristotelian con-

struction.

The

only works of Plato that had been translated in the

thirteenth century

were the Phaedo and the Meno; in the second

half of the century Sextus Empiricus' Outlines of

came known; but none Peripateticism,

Pyrrhonism be-

of this could counterbalance Peripateticism.

which drew strength from the weakness of other

doctrines, fell far short of

meeting the demands of the theologians.

Philosophy, always the servant of theology, was supposed to be utilized as a preliminary to provide a

method

of things. But of physics

and auxiliary

of discussion

discipline. It

and not

what the theologians found

was supposed

a statement of the nature in Aristotle

was a system

and theology that suggested an image of the universe

completely incompatible with the one implied by the Christian doctrine and even by the Christian a

god who

stars

is

life:

an eternal, uncreated world;

simply the prime mover of the heaven of the fixed

and whose providence and even knowledge do not extend

things in the sublunary world; a soul which

form

to

of

an

organized body and which must be born and disappear with

it,

which consequently has no supernatural fore cancels the importance of the

redemption, eternal implicitly denied

it.

life:

Aristotle

the simple

destiny,

and which

it

there-

of salvation. Creation,

knew nothing

of

all

this

Here was something more than an

Platonism which, though it

drama

is

fall,

and

eclectic

probably posed a certain danger since

led to the erroneous solutions of Erigena

and Abelard, could

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

Il8

dogma, thanks

nevertheless be reconciled with

and

Dionysius the Areopagite, and which

to

to

St.

Augustine

in addition

showed

concern over the divine reality and the supernatural Ufe of the soul. Aristotelianism refused to take

importance

We totle's

to

must

up such problems or

to attach

them.

body of doctrine represented by Aris-

also note that the

physics, diametrically

opposed

to

Christian theology, con-

trasted just as sharply with the only experimental science

name during

the

any

the Middle

Ages

worthy of

—astronomy. The accurate knowl-

edge available of the variation of the distances of planets with respect to the earth during the course of

should have

made

one of

their revolutions

impossible the formulation of a theory of the

heavens that assigned each planet to a sphere that had the earth as its

center

—a

theory that

fell

back on the doctrine of Ptolemy (the

Almagest had been translated by Gerard of Cremona Pythagorean doctrine of the motion of the earth, high Middle Ages.

The

fact that

it

did not at this

stop the progress of Aristotelianism, but

portant reasons for

its

it

in 1175) or the

known since moment did

the

not

was one of the most im-

decline later on, once the correct theory

had

triumphed.

What

mattered

at this

moment was

that Aristotelianism, far

from

serving the academic poHtics of the popes, threatened to stand as an

insurmountable obstacle. Albert the Great himself denounced the influence of Aristotle's physics

on the heterodox ideas of David

of

Dinant. Similarly, in 1211 the Council of Paris prohibited the teaching of Aristotle's physics, and the statutes brought to the University of Paris in 12 15 by Robert of Cour^on, the papal legate, provided that Aristotle's

works on

logic

and

ethics

hibited the reading of the Metaphysics

The

interdiction

infatuation,

was probably

might be taught but pro-

and the Natural Philosophy.

ineffectual in the face of the public's

and Gregory IX stipulated

that all editions of Aristotle's

works should be expurgated of any statement contrary is

nevertheless true that the Physics

to

dogma.

and the Metaphysics were

It

in-

cluded in the curriculum of the faculty of arts in 1255, that from this

moment on

the authorities

condemned, not

Aristotle, but those

I

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

119

who drew from

books doctrines contrary

his

Aristotle gradually

became an indisputable

to

orthodoxy, and that

We

authority.

turn

now

to the history of the Christianization of Aristotle.

Dominicus Gundissalinus

II

The philosophy was

Platonists

of Aristotle

first

and of the Arab or Jewish Neo-

given currency by compilers like Dominicus

Gundissalinus (died in 1151), Archdeacon of Segovia, tion to his translations wrote

sophiae, tears

down

replaces

works such

it

De

as the

modeled on Alfarabi and on Isaac

who

in addi-

divisione philo-

Israeli's Definitions,

the traditional order of the trivium and quadrivium

He and

with the Aristotelian encyclopedia physics, which studies :

mobile and material beings; mathematics, which studies the same beings abstracted from their matter and motion;

which

studies

immobile beings such

as

God and

provides a basis for the study of philosophy.

studying

for

Physics,

and

On

for metaphysics, the

On

the angels. Logic

gives Alfarabi's plan

on physics and metaphysics:

writings

Aristotle's

the Heavens,

He

and theology,

Animals, and,

works that study

finally.

On

the Soul;

in succession essence

and

accident, the principles of demonstration, incorporeal essences, their

hierarchical arrangement,

completely

new

and divine

in the West,

and

action.

it is

The

theology as the study of the immovable mover physics, the study of

the soul as the

universe

is

plan

something

is

important to note that in is

it

closely linked to

movable bodies, which embraces the study of

form of the organic body. The new image of the

antithetical to the Platonic

and Augustinian image that

considered the peculiar and wholly supernatural

life

of

God and

the soul.

The same in

inspiration characterizes the

which Dominicus

criticizes

proof of the immortality of the

and would

and

De

immortalitate animae,

explicitly rejects

human

soul because

also apply to the souls of brutes.

He

the Platonic

it is

too general

accepts only proof

grounded on Aristotelian premises that contain not general principles

but characteristics peculiar to the subject under study. But

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

120 his

main proof

we know,

as

is,

from the body, which ity,

the independence of the intellect

an impersonal immortal-

entails the concept of

something quite different from the continuation of the individ-

ual destiny of the soul.

William of Auvergne

Ill

William of Auvergne, who taught theology produced

typifies the uneasiness

introduction of these

One

new

between the

created by the

first

Paris

1228,

Augustinian by the

principle

make

to

We

a dis-

and the beings derived from or

principle, without getting outside the

when we

in

ideas.

first

of Aristotle's philosophy.

undertaking

in

Arab philosophers had been

of the aims of the

tinction

in a traditional

framework

was indeed

see that theirs

a difficult

the nature of his metaphysics: his

recall

on moving bodies and movers led him to unmoved movers, moving intelligences of

mul-

speculations

posit a

tiplicity of

the heavens,

and

whose dependence on

souls of animals,

not clearly seen.

monotheism of recall

how

intrinsic

It

all

was hard

to reconcile

the religions that

a

unique principle was

his

teaching with the

had issued from Judaism.

We

Alfarabi, then Avicenna, resolved the issue: through an

characteristic,

necessity,

the supreme principle

guished from the movers derived from in itself all that

it is; it is

The

it.

distin-

is

necessary being has

simple and unique. Derived movers, how-

ever, are potential beings, possible in themselves, that exist only

under the influence of the necessary being

who makes them

pass to

act.

Aristotle could

were added

become a monotheist only

to his doctrine.

liam of Auvergne, ing

and

it

who

to Boethius. It

"God

existence:

(esse). In other

when we

say

words,

'He

on the contrary,

is'

fitted

is is

The

if some such distinction was introduced by Wil-

into the scholastic tradition

by link-

the celebrated distinction between essence

the being (ens)

God and

are one

results

it

distinction

whose essence

the being that

we

it

is

to be

attribute to

him

and the same thing." Created being,

from the union of two things that which :

is

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

121

{quod

est), or its essence,

and

that through

from the essence

necessity distinct

which

it is

{quo

est), of

by

since the latter cannot exist

itself.

But the distinction between essence and existence which was

method

predicated on the

of Avicenna,

and which helped

monotheism, introduced a new danger. For

lish

supreme principle

must

is

to

make

actual, they

becoming

actual. Po-

then something independent of the supreme being. Only

tentiality is

in this

the role of the

become

potential beings

exist as potential beings prior to their

if

to estab-

way could Avicenna

explain multiplicity in created beings.

WiUiam held that potentiality was not from God but only the power that God has to

In contrast to Avicenna,

something

distinct

give being to things.^

To

this faint difference in interpretation is

the Peripatetics,

who

linked his criticism of

advocated the theory of the eternity of the

world, basing their argument on the principle

we have

so often en-

countered: an immutable essence cannot begin to produce at a certain

moment. William answered

that there could then be

change in the world that was not reduced that

is,

new.

no

We

on the plicity

true change since change

is

to

what preceded

the production of something

see that the Peripatetics, basing the eternity of the

simplicity of the

first

no it

world

principle, could not explain multi-

and change other than through an independent matter, and

the negation of this matter entailed either a denial of the existence of change or the attribution to

quite different

The same of

from

Aristotle's

spirit is at the

knowledge

God pure

of a creative

power

—something

act.

heart of his criticism of the

Arab

theories

that introduced into the soul itself the opposition of

matter and form by showing that the potential intellect becomes actual

under the influence of an

intellect that

is

always active. William

not only refused to accept the separate agent intellect that Avicenna

(and according

to

him, Aristotle) placed in the sphere of the moon,

but also refuted an anonymous theory of the Christian Peripatetics.

According ^

Cf.

to their theory,

Roland -Gosselin,

both the agent

in his edition of St.

intellect

Thomas' De ente

and the material

et essentia, p.

164.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

122

agent intellect makes the

intellect are a faculty of the soul itself; the

intelligible signs that exist potentially in the material intellect be-

come

actual.

edge which

To is

the soul the Christian Peripatetics attributed knowl-

always actual and which, Uke Platonic reminiscence,

would make any but one

there evolve, as

which he

and images, the

pregnant. There

is

to the soul

From

called the material intellect.

from the seeds of mature beings, and under the

fluence of sensations it

William attributed

instruction useless.

intellect,

is

intelligible

it

in-

forms with which

an appreciable discrepancy between

this

theory and the theory that reduces intelligence to an abstractive faculty.

According

knowledge of

William, abstraction

to

forms;

intelligible

and from the weakness of our knowledge

tellectual

is

the

opinions, of one's doubts,

it

results

is

from our imperfection

spiritual sight.

knowledge of

one's

and therefore of

not inherent in the

The exemplar self,

that

is,

of in-

of one's

a particular being.

Dominicans and Franciscans

IV

More

positive attitudes than those of

gendered

WiUiam

of

Auvergne

en-

and Ox-

conflicts that disturbed the universities of Paris

ford throughout the second half of the thirteenth century.

Toward

end of the century (1284), just as these disturbances were abating, the Franciscan John Peckham, Archbishop of Canterbury, the

wrote the

Roman

Curia: "Let the Holy Church deign to consider

that the doctrines of the

two orders (the Franciscan and the Domini-

can) are almost diametrically opposed to each other on every ques-

open

tion

to discussion; the doctrine of

one of the orders, neglect-

ing and to a certain degree scorning the teaching of the Fathers,

is

based almost exclusively on the teachings of the philosophers."^

And

he was more

Lincoln: in

specific in a letter written in 1285 to the

"You know

any way so long

but

we condemn

cal truth

that

we do

not

condemn

Bishop of

philosophical studies

as they are appropriate to theological

dogmas;

the profane innovations that contradict philosophi-

and the writings of the Fathers— those

•Quoted by Gilson, ttudes de philosophic medievale,

p. 120.

that struck at the

THIRTEENTH CENTURY

"T^^

123

very roots of theology right rejection

some twenty

and derision

years ago

and resulted

of the doctrine of the Fathers.

has a firmer, sounder basis: the doctrine of the sons of

—that and

kind whose works ... are based on both the Fathers

and the philosophers to

it

—or

new

the

doctrine which

which devotes

in almost every way,

and denying everything

stroying

Which Francis

of Brother Alexander of Hales, of Brother Bonaventure

is,

their

posed

St.

in out-

its

directly op-

is

energies to de-

Augustine teaches con-

that St.

cerning the eternal rules of the immutable light, the powers of the soul, the

seminal reasons inherent in matter?"

Here two viewpoints

clash

:

that of the Franciscan, nurtured by St.

Augustine and represented by Bonaventure, and that of the Dominican, descended

and

St.

from

Aristotle

and represented by Albert the Great

Thomas Aquinas. The

which there was no theology and

tried,

Franciscan embraced a doctrine in

between philosophy and

clearcut distinction

following the Neo-Platonic model, to attain to

the divine reality, or at least to an

image of the divine

reality.

The

Dominican, on the other hand, made a sharp distinction between revealed theology and philosophy,

which

and independent from theology

since

is

completely autonomous starts

it

from

sensible ex-

perience and employs a purely rational method. It

is

not enough, however, summarily to contrast Franciscan

Augustinianism with Dominican Peripateticism. In the St.

Bonaventure does not hesitate

to

first place,

follow Aristotle on

many

points. In the second place, in the very midst of their order, Albert

Thomas found many adversaries. It was a Dominican, Robert Kilwardby, who as Archbishop of Canterbury had Thomistic propositions condemned in 1277. In the third place, St. Thomas and

St.

was no

less

opposed than

St.

Bonaventure

to a certain

manner

of

interpreting Peripateticism that led to conclusions directly opposed to the Christian faith,

namely the interpretation of Siger of Brabant

and the movement referred

to as

Latin Averroism. Finally, the two

orders were in agreement on one practical point: the popes were

planning to intrust

to these orders, rather

theological instruction

at

than to the secular clergy,

the University of Paris. Beginning in

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

124

1229, a chair

was reserved

two mendicant

for each of the

orders,

with the result that they became engaged in a violent polemic with the secular clergy.

temponim monks'

Dei V

It is reflected

right to teach,

in the

De

which WilHam of

(1255), in

and

Thomas'

in St.

periculis

novissimorum

Amour

St.

reply,

contests the

Contra impugnantes

cult imj.

Bo?iaventure

St,

Bonaventure was opposed

St.

both orders: "The

to the spirit of

Preachers (the Dominicans) indulge mainly in speculation, which accounts for their name, and then in unctuousness; the Minors (the

Franciscans) indulge St.

first

and then

in unctuousness

in speculation."

Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Minors, had given a

impetus

to spiritual life rather

recommended study before teaching." the spiritualists,

"*

than

to the brothers

to

Church

doctrine,

new

and he

only on condition that they "act

There was among the Franciscans one group,

who

looked with contempt on any doctrinal instruc-

were partisans of Joachim of Fiore, whose thoughts on

tion; they

the eternal Gospel were related to heresies involving the rule of the Spirit.

His views were accepted by the general of the order, John

of Parma,

who had

demned by than

St.

to resign his position in 1257

a tribunal presided over by the

new

and who was con-

general,

none other

Bonaventure.

Now we

have a better understanding of the problem faced by

doctrinaire Franciscans

and theologians:

to reconcile doctrinal

and

rational instruction with the Franciscan concept of free spirituality,

or rather to

make

the doctrine an inseparable element in the

illumination that constitutes the spiritual trinaire Franciscans before the

Hales

(1

170-1245),

Summa, modeled on

*

St.

of

There had been doc-

time of Bonaventure: Alexander of

Master of Theology in Paris, the

who

in

his

Lombard's Sentences, revealed his knowl-

edge of Aristotle but remained faithful

and John

life.

inward

to the

Augustinian tradition;

La Rochelle (Johannes de Rupello,

1200-1245). Both

Bonaventure In hexameron 22. 21; quoted by Gilson, Saint Bonaventure,

p. 3.

THIRTEENTH CENTURY

T^^^

125

them knew and

of

sphere of natural

accepted, for the limited

knowledge, the Aristotelian doctrine of knowledge:

it

through

is

the influence of an agent intellect that the potential intellect can abstract intelligible

we

forms from sensory images; but when

are

dealing with objects that transcend man's aptitude, knowledge be-

comes illuminative and has Giovanni ture, the

di

as its

and became general of is

who

as

Bonaven-

taught in Paris from 1248 to 1255

his order at the age of thirty-six, this spirit.

The

the most

is

teaching of St. Bona-

God,

essentially the journey of the soul to

a

works {Itinerarium mentis

he ascribed to one of his last

He

himself.

Fidanza of Tuscany (1221-1274), known

"Seraphic Doctor"

remarkable representative of venture

God

agent

title

in

which

Deum).

wrote during a period in which the Dominicans were producing

many

purely philosophical works, but

such a work in the

list

of his

own

we would

search in vain for

writings: a vast

Peter Lombard's Sentences and a great

number

commentary on

of shorter

works on

purely theological or mystical subjects. But in his journey he finds reason and philosophy, and he assimilates whatever they have to contribute to the higher spiritual

Assigned

to

its

life.

God,

place in the search that leads us to

philo-

turned

sophical reason has significance only to the degree that

it is

toward God.

lower stage

indicates a transitional step

It

between

where we have but scant knowledge of God and where we have greater knowledge of him. through which

we

contemplation.

"We

pass in going start

It is

from the

from

higher stage

one of the moments

state of

of

stability

a a

simple belief to

faith

and progress

through the serenity of reason before reaching the sweetness of contemplation."

^ St.

Bonaventure adheres

Neo-Platonic philosophy: reason

and an rectly;

of

is

intellectual intuition that it is

not

autonomous

self-sufficient

sciences.

closely to the tradition of

an intermediary between belief

apprehends the

and provides no

Reason no

less

than

first

principle di-

rules for the creation

faith,

on one hand, and

contemplation on the other, issue from sanctifying grace, which manifested

first

is

through the virtue of faith {credere)^ then through

^Quoted by Gilson,

p. 115.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

126

the gift of understanding that

and

Here we have

.

believed {intelligere credita),

is

through the beatitude of contemplation {videre

finally

lecta)

which

Plato's

The

outlined at the end of the sixth book in the Republic.

tone superimposed on It

changes none of

it

intel-

scheme of the degrees of knowledge

as

pious

basic elements.

its

follows that philosophy, according to Bonaventure, should not

be the fruit of curiosity that seeks to arrive at the essence of reaUty,

but of a religious inclination that leads us toward God. "Creatures

can be considered equally well either as things or as signs,"

Bonaventure considers them

shadows of the nature of God. The

most technical questions that he disputes with

solutions to the

Thomas

In everything he searches

signs.

as

for expressions, images, vestiges,

and

^

sider nature, along with the Bible, as a

book whose divine meaning

must be deciphered. The three unique themes God, the Creation, the return of the soul

and illumination

—or

God

and God

as the

St.

symbolism that makes him con-

are provided by the vast

to

God

of philosophy are

through knowledge

exemplary cause,

The

God

as the ef-

God

is

an

obvious fact: obvious to the soul which through knowledge of

it-

ficient cause,

self

recognizes

as the final cause.

image of God, and which through knowl-

the

itself as

existence of

edge of imperfect, composite, mutable things apprehends the perfect, simple,

immutable being that causes them

emplary cause

blance. as the

and

Word

the

world of Ideas

or the Son.

It is

is

and

his first resem-

not a creature but

therefore one

appears multiple only to the degree that

it

and

God

then because

it is

world. Here

we

first

because

it is

indivisible,

not inferior to

not an intermediary between

find nothing that resembles a

creation of the world.

Nor is we

the world of Plato: here Quoted by Gilson,

p. 209.

it

himself

and

it

gives birth to a finite

multiplicity of sense objects. Bonaventure's intelligible

the world of Plotinus,

*

as the ex-

asserts the existence of Platonic ideas in

finds his true, complete expression

Thus

God

the object of the study of metaphysics. Bonaventure

is

contradicts Aristotle

which God

to exist.

God and first,

fill

is

not

source,

and

the sensible

wholly spiritual

in this sense related in

find nothing to

world

its

any way

to

the infinite gulf

"^"^

127

THIRTEENTH CENTURY from

creature

that separates

impede the return o£ the soul

That

why God

is

from God

ent

unity of the

God.

as the efficient or creative cause

as the

Word,

worlds, the will of

creator and, conversely, nothing to

to

exemplary cause.

model

the

God

From

for an infinite

must be

differ-

within the infinite

number

of possible

chooses one world, and the reasons for his

choice are wholly inscrutable. Bonaventure, in effect, refuses to

concede that the principle of the best possible world can force such a notion

to create the best one:

which world

Through

is

senseless, for

God

no matter

chosen, one can always conceive of a better one.

is

which became more prominent

his "voluntarism,"

in the

Franciscan schools, Bonaventure was even more explicitly opposed

any attempt

to

to establish a continuity

between

God and

created

beings.

Consequently,

all

must evidence both God's im-

created beings

mediate activity and their separation from him or at least contrasting, requirements.

hension of the divine irradiation in

all

The

—two

first

contradictory,

entails

the appre-

created things, the second the

proclamation of their deficiency: deficiency, for the multiplicity of created beings

fusion

of

deficiency, since

of

incapable of receiving the communication and

is

divine

it is

than

other

perfection

necessary for

form and matter, the matter

all

ef-

through multiplication;

created beings to be

composed

stressing the passive side of their

being. Bonaventure did not hesitate to state, along with the other

Franciscans and against creation

and

also

and

St.

Thomas,

that angels themselves,

human

souls,

which

union of form and matter.

that

no pure form existed in

which

are separate intelligences,

are spiritual beings, result

We

need only

know

from the

that a being

is

mutable, active and passive, individual and capable of belonging to a species or genus, in order to say that tential

souls

it

contains matter

—that

being or the possibility of being different. This

and even of angels; contrary

to the belief of St.

is

is,

po-

true of

Thomas, they

are truly individuals. Bonaventure's awareness of the deficiency of

created beings St.

Thomas,

is

also responsible for his acceptance, in opposition to

of the thesis of the plurality of forms. In Aristotle's

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

128

thinking, the

come what the a

form of a

it is;

a being

man

a

is

is

man

that

it

actually to be-

by virtue of the presence in him of

form humanity; each substance, being one, must therefore have

unique substantial form, and

form

this

solutely the nature of the substance.

mating the being added

to

would be

it

and complete; stance,

it is

prepare

in such a to

in reality,

however,

ab-

as

completing and consum-

that nothing substantial can be

make

if

it

form gives perfection

to a sub-

something definite but in order

another degree of perfection which

to receive

be incapable of giving to

body

and determines

concede that created beings can be perfect

not in order to

it

way

defines

Bonaventure does not accept

form

Aristotle's conclusion: to consider

to

which causes

itself.

it

would

For example, sunlight added

to a

that has already reached a certain state of perfection stimulates

activity in

it,

making

a

it

new

substantial form.

The same

spirit is

manifested in his reply to the question of the production of form.

We

one of

recall

become an

Aristotle's

famous theorems: a potential being can

actual being only under the influence of a being that

already actual. His theorem implies that the ated in potential being

is

form

that

is

is

to be cre-

not something already present but some-

thing that evolves under the influence of an actual being (eduction of forms). But such a theory

which limits

it

if

would give

to actual

being an

cannot possess and which will be reduced to

one admits with

der the influence of actual being. link between

the Franciscan thinker

and

all

St.

these theses

and developed un-

—on

several of

Thomas hold opposing

then obvious: multiplicity, hylomorphic composition of plurality of forms,

and seminal reasons are

an autonomous physical world that has in planation.

The

proper

Augustine that potential being con-

St.

tains the seminal reasons that will be manifested

The common

its

efficacy

theses are in perfect

all

which

views all



is

things,

methods of negating

itself its

harmony with

principle of ex-

the second re-

quirement, according to which created beings must reveal traces of divine irradiation: through simple analogy, such as the equality of

two

ratios,

resemblance of

and not through true resemblance such

God and

Ideas.

The exemplar

as

the

of this simple analogy

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

129 is

image of the Trinity

the

tions

between the three

that St.

different degrees in this analogy, vestiges of divine

which

found

is

attributes

human

soul.

in the rela-

But there are

and these range from shadows or

visible

human

in the

Augustine identified

faculties of the

soul

nature to the true image

in

and which perceives

directly

its

resemblance to God. Through the influence of supernatural grace,

image

the analogical

which

likeness,

will be transformed in the elect into a true

the deification of the soul.

much

not so

It is

is

in itself as in relation to this final state that

Bonaventure analyzes

made

contributions

He

losophers.

and the

in this sphere by Aristotle

and the Arab phi-

accepts the distinction between the agent intellect

possible intellect, but

Thomas, he

knowledge and evaluates the

intellectual

first

Alexander of Hales and

like

makes each of them

a faculty of the soul

fuses to accept the agent intellect as a reality distinct

and

from the

St.

relast

of the celestial intelligences. In his thinking, the negation of the separate agent intellect

is

rules out the positing of soul.

and pure

is

God and

intellect

the

and the

not the same as the relation between pure ac-

passivity; the agent intellect

sible intellect to carry

extracts intelligible

it

any intermediary between

Furthermore, the relation between the agent

possible intellect tivity

another consequence of the principle that

merely helps the pos-

out the operation of abstraction through which

forms from the images of the imagination;

but the possible intellect actually performs the operation and provides the agent intellect with Finally, abstraction tellectual

from

knowledge.

the

species

sensible things

Aristotle's

edge of the sensible world;

is

that

it

contemplates.^

not the only type of in-

empiricism applies only

when we

to

knowl-

are dealing with principles,

with moral virtues, and with God, our method of acquiring knowl-

edge

is

wholly different.

knowledge

Many

sensible species are

the "natural light" within us allows us to acquire

and without recourse

them '

is

needed

to provide

of principles, such as the principle of contradiction, but

due

to

Gilson, p. 354.

no

to reason.

As

for

moral

them immediately

virtues,

knowledge of

sensible species but to our inwardly felt inclina-

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

130

toward the good and

tion

incHnation

is

we

reflection, since

name

are

of self-knowledge

sumes

to the

immediate knowledge that our

we know God through

right. Finally,

made

simple

and knowledge of God,

St.

Bonaventure

knowledge that does not pass through the

direct

self-

under the

in his image. In a word,

as-

circuit of

sensible things.

Any

attempt to justify such knowledge and to ascertain

Bonaventure

mind

attains to being

attain to being

and reasons

we

that

from the old Platonic principle (revived by

starts

according to which there

Avicenna)

is

—that

apply to

knowledge and

St.

But

which do not

realities

is

certain

we do

positively

Thus

not possess.

defined not in

knowledge

itself,

that

to

or to see the eternal ideas like a

is

and

framework

neatly into

fit

the

and

it

entirely; but

it

by virtue of the presence and influence in us of these

nal reasons which

full

God

God. The idea of being

which therefore cannot be known exist only

of

knowledge only where

is

to a stable, identical reality.

is,

not precisely to see

that are in

try to

basis

its

everything to divine illumination. Here

results in the reduction of

can

eter-

most humble form

but as a blurred image of the

God

possesses in his

own

right.

Bonaventure's philosophy therefore represents a trend of great

historical importance.

His thinking

is

dominated by what he con-

fundamental truth: the soul has a supernatural destiny

siders the

made known through the revelation of Christ. In searching for other truths, we cannot proceed as though we were ignorant of the fundamental truth and as though we had an independent method for determining truth

the

first

truth.

and falsehood. All truths

Nature and the soul reach an understanding only

when turned toward God: attributes,

are subordinate to

then nature stands as evidence of divine

and the soul unites us

to

God

through

its

essential func-

tion of love.

But

it

is

obvious that his guiding principle, though

it

was

ac-

cepted by Christian thinkers, had not the slightest influence on the history of Christian orthodoxy.

Here we recognize

the old

Neo-

Platonic principle, evolved in the absence of any Christian influence, that a being

is

fully

what

it is

only because

it

turns back toward

its

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

131

own

principle

in Paris

and

Matthew

successors,

and

receives

effluviums.

its

One

of Bonaventure's

of Aquasparta (i 235-1302), Master of

later general of the

order (1287), was to

show

Theology still

more

work the opposition of this doctrine to the AristotelianThomas. In his Quaestiones de cognitione he discusses

clearly in his

ism of

St.

who deny that divine illumination is indisknowledge and who attribute all knowledge to the

"certain philosophers"

pensable to

natural faculty of the agent intellect, repudiating in this

way

the

authority of the "Principal Doctor," St. Augustine. Conversely, he asserts that "all that

is

knowledge depends on truth."

We

find the

John Peckham

certainty through intellectual

eternal reasons

same fidehty

to

movement

at

The

Oxford.

and the

light of the first

Platonism in the Franciscan

(i 240-1 292), a pupil of

Master of Theology gustinian

known with

Bonaventure in Paris and a

strength of this Platonic-Au-

enables us to understand the conditions under

which the Aristotelian counter-movement took shape under the leadership of Albert the Great

and

St.

Thomas.

Albert the Great

VI

The

first

of the great Christian Peripatetics

was the Dominican

Albert the Great (i 206-1 280), called the "Universal Doctor." Master

from 1245

of Theology, he taught in Paris

from 1258

to 1260

and from 1270

1256 he wrote paraphrases of

even interpolated his

own

all

ideas

until his

the

to 1248,

and in Cologne

death. Between 1240 and

known works

of Aristotle

Aristotle's general plan but

which he had neglected (such

De De

to

mineralibus). causis

He

and

on questions which were a part of as the

even added a commentary on the apocryphal

(which he knew

be spurious and which he thought

David the Jew had extracted from the writings of Aristotle and Avicenna). He is also the author of treatises on dogmatic theology, such as his commentary on the Sentences and his aturis,

and

of mystical works, such as his

Dionysius or the

De

Summa

de

cre-

commentary on Pseudo-

adhaerendo Deo. Finally, he played an active

role as the defender of the

Dominicans against the

attacks of Wil-

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

132

Ham

Amour

of St.

crusade in

The

Germany

diversity

(1263).

and scope of

undertaking

his

drawing up an inventory of

of

pope and preacher of the

in 1256, as legate of the

encyclopedia and of contributing to

cealed

from him most of the time the lack

philosophy. Albert seems to have sensed

have made statements such

to

have explained

...

tics

as faithfully as I

books on

wills, in

and how

his

times he

is

—conown

and on such occasions

my philosophical my own opinions, but I

could the opinions of the Peripate-

my

own,

I

put

shall

it,

if

God

so

theology rather than in philosophical treatises."

not hard, therefore, to show

It is

treasures

as these: "In all of

have an opinion of

if I

these

of coherence in his

this,

have refrained from expressing

I

pleasurable task

the treasures contained in Aris-

all

totle's

books

—the

how

Augustinianism contradicts

^

Albert contradicts himself his Peripateticism.

content to juxtapose. For instance, in his

Some-

Summa

of

Theology,^ he warns that there are two concepts of the soul, the Aristotlelian concept of the soul as the

form

an organic body

of

and the theological concept based on the writings of on the one hand and voluntary ranged

tier

from

soul

tween

a description of the

life,

upon

tier

sensible

Aristotle's sensation,

is

thinks,

harmful.

faculties ar-

and showing the progressive elevation of the

knowledge

soul to the earth by

Augustine:

of the intellectual

and on the other the description of

to the things sensed,

what

mechanism

St.

an

to

God. There

act

common

and Augustine's

making

Nor

is

it

no

is

similarity be-

one sensing and

to the

sensuality,

which binds the

what

helpful and shun

seek after

is

there a parallel, in spite of

what Albert

between the Augustinian distinction of higher reason that

guides us and lower reason that makes us conscious of moral law,

and the Peripatetic tellect.

Finally, there

distinction of agent intellect is

a radical difference,

and possible

edges, between Aristotle's will (Trpoat'pecrt? or electio)

the

in-

which Albert acknowlwhich follows

judgment of the understanding, and the exclusively theological

notion of free will, "the faculty of reason and of will through which ®

Quoted by Schneider, Die Psychologic des Alberts, pp. 295

*Tr. 12 qu. 73.

ff.

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

133

we

choose good in the presence of grace and evil in

absence."

its

Aristotle offers nothing to correspond to synderesis, "the spark of

consciousness which, according to

Jerome, was not extinguished in

St.

Adam's

soul even though he was driven from Paradise," the faculty knowing the supreme moral rules "not mentioned by the

of

philosophers because they divide the faculties of the soul according to their general objects,

distinction

whereas theologians are able

human

between divine law and

who

the "saints,"

sensible world,

law."

consider the soul apart from

Thus its

make

to

a

the views of

relation to the

complement the views of the philosopher, who knows

the soul only in relation to the body. in

Still,

doctrine evidenced

other respects Albert's

propensities that were strikingly

current of Augustinianism.

The

new

level to

Anselm,

dominant

which philosophical reason-

ing could attain had dropped considerably. as in the case of St.

intellectual

in relation to the

The aim was no

longer,

to find rational explanations for re-

vealed dogmas, the Incarnation, or the Trinity. These were and re-

mained

the order of

we

pure and simple. Philosophical reasoning

articles of faith

can proceed only from

effects to causes,

knowledge

can attain to

God

is last

and

that

which

is

first

in

in the order of being. In other words,

only through the sensible world, through a

cosmological proof proceeding from effect to cause, and not through

an ontological proof. By contemplating the world we can probably infer the existence of tional certainty totle's

God, but we cannot even know with

ra-

whether the world had a beginning in time. Aris-

arguments favoring the eternity of the world are for the most

part ofTset by opposing arguments,

and only

revelation can decide

the issue.

Albert tended generally to separate the terms that Augustinian Platonists sought to unify

and build

into a hierarchy.

For

instance,

thirteenth-century Augustinians, under the direct or indirect influ-

ence of Avicebron, had attributed to as corporeal, a as bodies are

and

all

creatures, spiritual as well

hylomorphic composition: angels and souls

composed

in accordance

of matter

and form. Contrary

as well

to this

with Aristotle's theory of the moving

view

intelli-

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

134

gence which

is

and the soul which

a pure act

is

a form, Albert re-

fused to posit matter as a component of spiritual beings. His refusal

had the

effect of

transforming his vision of the universe. Since form

form of man)

(for example, the

the principle of individuation

source in the matter that

is

by

is

itself a universal,

and

since

in the accidents that have their

is

added

to form,

follows that the na-

it

man—composed of a soul and a body —no common with the nature of an angel. The an-

ture of an individual

longer has gels,

much

in

themselves as species, not as individuals.

same name

the

among

being pure forms, must for that very reason differ

the body, the

is

the

same

human

in angels

and

None of the faculties with in human souls. Bound to

soul attains to rationality only through an

operation of abstraction on sensible images, whereas the angel, with-

out

has impeccable intuitive knowledge.

toil,

intuitive in the case of the angel,

borrows from sensible images

is

all

in

man

The

agent

intellect,

a faint ray of light that

the distinctions of genera

and

species.^^

Thus wherever we

look, universal continuity seems to be

by deep cracks. Albert even refused

to

accept

all

marred

the elements

which, in the Arab Peripatetics' theory of intellectual knowledge,

would have brought man and God which Averroes posited

tellect,

closer together.

as the

tenth sphere, actually containing in

moving

itself all

common to all men, is replaced part of the human soul. There are

The

agent in-

intelligence in the

the intelligibles

consequently

by an agent

that

accordingly as

a

is

and

intellect

many

agent intellects as there are souls. Moreover, the agent intellect

is

devoid of forms and has no function other than that of abstracting

forms from sensible images that come from without.

If a

separate or

angelic intelligence influences us, the result of such an influence a revelation, It is

is

quite distinct

is

from natural knowledge.^^

understandable that under such conditions the study of na-

ture for ^^

which

its

Summa

own

sake interested Albert and that in his thinking the

de creaturis

tract vi (ed. 1651,

" Summa de homine qu. 53

art. 3.

XIX, 77-182).

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

135

sciences,

by virtue of the principle that "experiment alone provides

certainty in matters relating to zoology, botany, or mineralogy,"

were beginning

to

become something more than

fantastic bestiaries

or traditional systems of symbols.

We

know

of the

Cologne, but

Arab

the mystical

VII

St.

The

it

movement

that

was

was

popularized

much more

Stras-

doc-

critical

master and that he initiated

his

Thomas Aquinas was elaborated and system-

doctrine formulated by Albert

Thomas Aquinas

(1225-1274), the

at the castle of Roccasecca, of the

the Great in Paris to 1259

Albert's

to culminate in Meister Eckart.

Aquino, he became a Dominican in

From

and Ulrich of

seems that Ulrich was

Peripatetics than

atized by St.

Born

of Strasbourg

German Dominicans who

bourg, the trines in

Hugh

about

little

from 1245

1243.

"AngeHc Doctor."

family of the counts of

He

studied with Albert

then in Cologne.

to 1248,

From

1252

he was again in Paris, where he became Master in 1257.

1259 to 1268 he lived in Italy and

became acquainted with

William of Moerbeke, the Dominican Hellenist who provided him with translations of Aristotle

From self

made

directly

from the Greek

text.

1268 to 1272 he taught in Paris, where he had to defend him-

against the enemies of the regular clergy,

against Siger of

Brabant and the Averroists in the Faculty of Arts, and against the

who

Augustinians

tried to

have him condemned.

Naples in 1272 and died two years

He

left Paris for

while on his way to the

later

Council of Lyons.

During

his

second stay in Paris

treatises in addition to his

Lombard:

the

De

ente et essentia, the

impugnantes Dei cultum St.

Amour's

attacks

his stay in Italy

(1252-1259)

Commentary on

et religionem

De

he wrote three

the Sentences of Peter

veritate,

and the Contra

(at the time of

William of

on the orders). His commentaries date from

and

his association

with William of Moerbeke

(1259-1268): commentaries on Aristotle

— the

De

interpretatione,

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

136

the Posterior Analytics, the Physics, the Metaphysics (twelve books),

On

the Ethics,

the Soul, the Meteorology, the

generatione the Politics (i-iv) ,

(which he recognized

as

De

De

caelo (i-iii), the

commentary on

a

;

the

Boo\

of Causes

being identical to Proclus' Elements of

Theology, translated by William of Moerbeke)

;

and commentaries

on Boethius' theological works and the Areopagite's Divine Names.

Summa

In the same period he wrote the

and began the

1260)

Summa

theologica,

1265 to 1273 but never finished.

wrote polemical works the :

De

contra gentiles (1259-

which he worked on from

During

his last stay in Paris,

he

unitate intellectus contra Averroistas,

against Siger of Brabant; the

De

perfectione vitae spiritualis

and

the Contra retrahentes a religiosa ingressu, against the enemies of

and the

the mendicant orders;

De

aeternitate

mundi

contra mur-

murantes, against the enemies of Peritateticism. During different periods he edited his oral arguments on subjects proposed to

on

specific

him

occasions: the Quaestiones disputatae and the Quaes-

tiones quodlibetales.

In spite of the flawless and perhaps unmatched lucidity of his style,

own

the literary practices of St. that

exists

is

it

difficult to

and what

it

is.

In

Thomas

are so remote

determine whether

him we

no

find

a

from our

Thomistic system

trace of the

emotion and

mettle that gave birth in the eleventh and twelfth centuries to the synthetical

works

which there

in

is

philosophical thought. For instance, his

an uninterrupted flow of

Summa

ing but a series of questions separated into

theologica

articles.

is

Each

notharticle

presents the arguments against the thesis, the arguments for

it,

Only by way

of

and then the

rebuttal to the opposing arguments.

exception (for instance,

do we find

which

a

stress

theologica la pars, qu. 85, Art. 1-3)

pause or a comprehensive survey in the discussions in

his sole

aim

is

to defeat his adversary. Dialectic,

as the art of discussion,

more

Summa

had become an omnipotent sovereign, and

was placed on learning

their invention.

understood

to refute

arguments than on

VIII

THIRTEENTH CENTURY

"^^^

137

Thomas: Reason and Faith

St,

— no objection was raised against choppy, piecemeal expositions —the reason was that philosoIf

such conditions were prevalent

phers and theologians

felt that their

if

task

was not

one had already been made, and not

thesis, since

since truth

had already been found.

sumed two

great syntheses

make

a syn-

to discover truth,

Thomas' undertaking

St.

as-

which he accepted without change

own work:

the basis for his

to

as

the organization of religious truths

accomplished by the twelfth-century sententiaries, and the philo-

Summae,

sophical synthesis of Aristotle. In part of his works, in his

we

find the

rhythm

of

rhythm

contra gentiles

first

God

which has

philosophy:

for

its

instance,

source in the

Summa

the

God, then the hierarchy of created

discusses

from him, then the destiny

ings that proceed

turn to

of the Sentences,

Neo-Platonic

in the eternal

life.

of

man and

be-

his re-

In another part of his works, he

analyzes and annotates the works of Aristotle.

Furthermore, the relation that he

sees

between the two syntheses,

and the philosophical

the theological synthesis of revealed truths

synthesis of truths accessible to reason, brings quility

him

and contentment and makes him much

passionate for inquiry

Whereas they defined

manner

that

than

men

like

St.

to faith

zealous and

Anselm and Abelard.

the relation between reason

and

faith in a

might be termed dynamic, subjecting the truths of

faith to reason, as truths to be progressively

nated, St.

a sense of tranless

Thomas

defines

and which

it

statically: there are truths

definitely transcend

there are philosophical truths telligence, but there

is

and endlessly

which

human

which belong

intelligence,

are accessible to

human

no way of progressing from one order

other. If reason plays a part in matters of faith,

it is

ing consequences from truths belonging to faith

illumi-

we

in-

to the

merely by draw-

when

the latter

are posited as premises, never by demonstrating such truths.

example,

and

For

can demonstrate the necessity of divine grace by show-

ing that without

it

the supernatural destiny of

man would

be im-

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

138

must

possible, but the existence of supernatural destiny

vealed to us by It

is

purely

from

important to note that

intellect

mode

of

life

knowledge

human

its

stance cause."

is,

^^

in general, based

on

Aristotle

source in the sense organs; that

fall

it

"The

:

God

is

why

any-

under the senses cannot be apprehended

intelligence unless

sible things

does not borrow his

natural virtue, for our knowledge in our pres-

its

has

thing that does not

by

Thomas

St.

incapable of apprehending the substance of

is

himself through ent

re-

concept from the theological tradition but evolves

static

his doctrine of

human

be

first

faith.

it

inferred

is

from

the senses. Sen-

cannot enable our intelligence to see what divine sub-

for they are

Thus

efifects

Aristotle's

and do not equal the power of the

empiricism

sible things are

no longer,

hoisted

is

as

would probe

against the indiscretion of reason that

bulwark

a

mysteries. Sen-

Bonaventure, signs to be

as in the case of

interpreted in order to reveal the divine presence, but simple

through which

we

are able laboriously to deduce a cause

do not apprehend in

itself

but only in

its

relations to

efiFects

which we

its effects.

Finally, the very nature of his conception of the relations

between

reason and faith eliminated one of the most powerful forces acting

upon philosophical thought during contradictions between reason

tempt

to reconcile the two,

sophical discussion. St.

and

the preceding centuries:

which gave

faith,

rise to

and which therefore generated

Thomas

starts

truth cannot contradict another;

it

from

is

philo-

follows that no truth of faith

human

weak, since the intelligence of the greatest philosopher

just as inferior to the intelligence of ant's intelligence

tellectual truth

sure that the

is

inferior to his

seems

more penetrating

an angel

own,

it

intellectual truth

discussion will reveal

is

as the simplest peas-

when an infaith, we can be

follows that

to us to contradict a truth of

presumed

at-

the principle that one

could weaken a truth of reason, or vice versa. But since reason

the

an

is

but a fallacy and that a

its falsity.

Philosophy there-

fore remains the servant of faith, not because faith appeals to reason for clarification, not because the affirmations of faith are interwoven ^^

Sum ma

contra gentiles

i.

3.

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

139

arguments (for philosophy

in the fabric of rational

knowledge inates

is

trary to faith.

Such

tablish a reciprocal

tion

incapable of proving

it

No

reason,

and the same

power.

From

to es-

interpenetration or even fric-

possible in the purely external relation

is

any attempt

a hierarchy rules out a priori

arrangement.

would be con-

that

all

of

dom-

completely autonomous), but because theology

by declaring

it

mode

as a

will hold true for temporal

between

faith

power and

and

spiritual

above and from without, the spiritual power will

determine the conditions of the temporal power and the scope of

its

functions.

IX

Si.

We

Thomas: The Theory

of

Knowledge

must nevertheless understand

between the Thomistic

that

theory of the relation between reason and faith and the Thomistic theory of reality there

is,

perhaps not an opposition, but at

contrast that explains the development of the philosophy.

the

mode

of

knowing through reason and

through revelation there never cause us to

rise or

total

is

even aspire to

in being itself in reaUty there Platonists taught

there

is

and

as St.

rise to

through reason and the

Thomas

From

the

of

and the

aspects of reaUty provided revelation, or that

of the angels or of the beatific vi-

moment when knowledge, no

common

other words,

to

some

will

believed, with the result that

matter

how humble,

attains directly to being itself, to simple being, there

element

knowing first

the second. Inversely,

known through

reality

knowledge

mode

complete continuity, as the Neo-

no cleavage or gap between the

attained through the sion.

is

the

discontinuity,

least a

Between

must be an

both intellectual truths and truths of faith; in

truths (such as the existence of

God) must be

rationally demonstrable as well as revealed.

These

contrast between Aristotelian

conceives of

God

therefore relies

mon

We

recall the

and Neo-Platonic theology.

Aristotle

abstract considerations have a historical basis.

solely as the

on

prime mover of the sensible world; he

rational demonstration

principles of his physics

and the use of the com-

and metaphysics

in formulating his

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

140

He

concept of God.

God by

demonstrates the existence of

apply-

ing the guiding principle of his general concept of the world: the

Knowledge

priority of act over potency.

or pure act

God

of

knowledge

therefore just as rational as any physical

is

whatsoever. Neo-Platonic theology does not It

prime mover

as the

assumes a position in an

apprehend through

intelligible reality

and

special intuition,

it

from the

start

which

sensible.

pretends to

it

names

uses different

to

designate intuition, depending on the height attained in the divine

Thus

reality.

Aristotle conceived of

and

tional explanation of the universe,

accomplished by a mind that

God

as the capstone in his ra-

that

is

the

most

that can be

forced to start from sensible data.

is

It

can go no farther.

But the mind can go

that far because

knowledge,

The Thomistic

ready said, attains to being.

modes

possible

all

of

universal, embrac-

it is

knowledge and indicating the conditions from the other

of any type of knowledge; limits

and conditions peculiar

point

is

to

it is critical,

defining the

human knowledge. The

inspired by an Aristotelian formula

fully elaborated:

some way

asmuch which

is

"The

sensible things,

an

as perception,

soul

which act

is

in

it

some way

all

with

causis) is

in

to the perceiver

and

to that

the accidents that account for their in-

all

very thing that

it

apprehends: there

edge and the thing known.

knowledge or the

And

subject. It therefore

One must

is

is

beatific vision,

not, as

say only

is

no difference between knowl-

knowledge

known

is

a certain pres-

object in the

knowing

often erroneously stated, an assimila-

(and here we are adopting the second

viewpoint) that by virtue of the principle that "the

knowing

identical to the

is

whether we are dealing with sen-

ence, impossible to analyze, of the

in the

De

things." It

perceived, leaves in the soul the forms of things, without

their matter, but

tion.

view-

perceives through the senses in-

common

dividuality. Furthermore, the intelligence in act

sible

first

which Plotinus and

Proclus (in the Elements of Theology, identical to the

had

al-

theory of knowledge can

be studied from two points of view: from one

ing

we have

as

subject according to the

mode

known

of the

object

knowing

is

sub-

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

141

through which the subject,

is

known

assimilation, that

object

and the object

intellectual

"species" that

is

made

is

a preliminary condition o£

the subject thing,

when

can be instances

ject," there

the operation

is,

knowing

similar to the

knowledge. For example, when

and

are as different as the soul

a sensible

knowledge can come about only through

a

both a distinctive form in the intellect and an image

or hkeness of the thing apprehended. species" that the intellect, in

It is

through the "impressed

apprehending a thing, begins the opera-

But no

tion that ends with the definition or "expressed species."

such operation applies to the beatific vision or to the knowledge that

God

has of his

own

essence,

and therefore

knowledge. Knowledge in a general sense

does not define

it

is

all

a direct presence of

being.^^

X

Thomas: Proofs

St.

follows from the hmitations of

It

God

for the Existence of

human knowledge

that the re-

gions of being to which the soul can attain do not extend beyond the

bounds

by Aristotle

set

theology in which tion that

God

—that

God

one can have

is

envisioned as the prime mover.

direct, positive

notion that one can attain to

God

Anselm)

is.

exists.

that since the

They

name

of

God

to posit

first

view hold

having

(like St.

it

God him

follows that is

God

identical to his

as existing.

Those

support the second view, distrusting the strength of reason and

seeing that neither the quiddity of ^^

con-

the being greater than

to exist,

being of is

without

first

God means

also say that since the

essence, to posit the essence of

who

God

Those who support the

which no other being can be conceived

The two

principle: the false principle

that one cannot speak of the existence of

learned what he

a

no-

as false as the

is

only through faith.

on the same

The

evidence of the existence of

without passing through the sensible world

trasting notions are based

bounded by

the physical world

is,

On

this

philosophic,

special point, cf. I,

i.

God

nor even the meaning of

Tonquedec, "Notes d'Exegese thomiste," Archives de

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

142

name

the

God

of

his existence

is

attainable, conclude that

is

Those who support the second view

what they deny our reason

is

:

tion

any demonstration of

impossible.

and greatness

God

of

too

weak

are right with respect to to

apprehend in the perfec-

the reason for his existence.

But when

they conclude that his existence cannot be demonstrated, they are

ignoring the fact that there are two kinds of demonstrations: the

demonstration quid that takes quiddity as a means and goes from essence to

properties, or

its

tion quia that proceeds

with respect

quid

as

from cause

from

to its effect.^^ St.

being inaccessible to

existence of

God

to effect;

effect to cause

Thomas

man

and the demonstra-

and can define cause

considers the demonstration

not only in matters relating to the

but in any instance.

We

recall that

one of the

dif-

theory was the impossibility of discovering a

ficulties in Aristotle's

Nobody is Thomas of this flaw in Peripateticism, and human reason: "Even in sensible things, esunknown to us; that is why they are desig-

rational procedure for attaining to the quiddity of beings.

more conscious than he makes

it

St.

a flaw in

sential differences are

nated by accidental differences that have their source in essential

same way

ferences, in the

for example, "biped"

The

that the cause

signified

by

its

dif-

effect;

posited as the difference of "man."

is

from

type of demonstration that goes

accident to essence

is

effect to cause or

from

and allows us to posit the existence of a thing

without having previous knowledge of the thing and without knowing anything about

brought us in all

its

to

other than that

it

—such

it

is

investigations.

the existence of

God

the

And

it

produces the

normal domain of the the five

effect that

has

human mind

"ways" that lead us

to posit

imply no special mode of knowledge but

merely apply to the question the most commonplace processes of reasoning.

The

first is

borrowed from the eighth book in

is moved is moved by something else; this mover moved or unmoved; if it is unmoved we have what

"Everything that in turn ^*

is

Summa

either

Aristotle's Physics:

contra gentiles

i.

12.

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

143

we were call

unmoved prime mover, and that is what we moved it is moved by something else, and we must infinity (which is impossible) or come to an un-

seeking, an

God;

if it is

then proceed

to

moved mover." The second is borrowed from

the Metaphysics: "In

series of efficient causes the first

term

term and the middle term

is

the cause of the last term, whether

is

there are several middle terms or only one;

nated, that of

the if

there

the

term

first

is

which is

the cause

it is

is

also eliminated; therefore if

a regression to infinity in efficient causes,

posit a

The

primary

third starts

we

rupted

from the experience

will be

are the

we

that

we have

of the genera-

fact that they

become

cor-

conclude that they are merely possible beings, that

being already existing. But follows that nothing

We

which

God."

is

was a time when they were brought

that there

it

no cause

this is patently false,

cause which

efficient

and corruption of beings. From the

tion

elimi-

is

eliminated, the middle term cannot be a cause. But

middle terms, will be eliminated. Since

must

the cause

if

cause, with the result that all other causes,

first

ordered

all

the cause of the middle

must therefore

if all

would

to existence

is,

by a

beings were merely possible beings,

actually be,

and

this

is

posit a being necessary in itself,

patently false.

which we

call

God.

The

We

fourth

parison

is

them

is

more

false

possible only because

an absolute being which

The is

borrowed from the second book of the Metaphysics.

can compare two statements with respect to their truth and see

that one of

to

is

fifth is

and the other

we can

less false.

refer to

God.

is

borrowed from John of Damascus and Averroes and

based on the second book of the Physics: "It

trasting

and incongruous things

single order other than to every

and

to

this

is

is

to be joined

impossible for con-

harmoniously in a

through the agency of a being that attributes

each thing

Alternately, in the world

and

The com-

an absolute truth or

its

we

tendency toward a determined end.

see diverse things

form

a single order,

not the exception but the rule. Consequently there must

MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

"T^^

144

be a being through whose providence the world this

being

In

any

all

is

of his proofs there

religious sentiment,

an obvious attempt not

is

any

flight of the soul to

Thomas

natural destiny and God. St.

As

notions of Aristotelian physics. that the value of his proofs

Summa

icism in his

date these proofs.

false

The

.

.

.

;

first is

the second

moved, namely, the

mate

—a

belief

a result critics soon suggested

is

closely

the value of

to

probably referring to such

is

contra gentiles:

of the eternity of the world,

with his super-

introduces only the technical

was linked

Thomas

to introduce

God, anything hav-

man

ing to do with the peculiar relations between

Aristotle's physics. St.

governed, and

is

^^

called God."

"Two

from the supposition

that they proceed

which

presumed by Catholics

is

that in the demonstrations the

body, moves

celestial

denied by

many

world and everything implied by

it

and

itself

people."

crit-

reasons seem to invali-

The

^^

is

first

to be

thing

therefore ani-

eternity

(a world that has

of the

no history

and consequently no redemption or consummation), and animation of the heavens with

all

the dangers inherent in astrology



is

it

only at the price of these errors that reason could succeed in establishing the existence of

XI

St.

A

Thomas:

The above

criticism,

God? Christian Interpretation of Aristotle

whether

stand the peculiar situation of temporaries, to

show

justified or not, St.

Thomas

may

help us under-

in the eyes of his con-

and the problems that confronted him. His

that there

was

in Peripateticism a philosophy that

autonomous and independent of dogma and

was

task

was

truly

that could nevertheless

be reconciled with dogma.

But the AristoteUan universe presented features that do not seem to be easily reconciled

God who

is

with Christian

tion in matter that exists apart

Summa ^^

beliefs:

on the one hand, a

only the prime mover of the heavens,

first

produces mo-

from him; and on the

i. 13 and Summa theologica and the second, see i. 13.

contra gentiles

Concerning the

who

i

qu. 2

art. 3.

other,

an

THIRTEENTH CENTURY

"^^^

145

omnipotent God, the creator o£ a world that began in time and

must come

to

The same

an end. contrast

is

found in the notion of

separate intelligences, or souls. According to the

spiritual creatures,

Arab commentators,

Aristotle's separate intelligences are the efficient causes of the ce-

spheres and have the

lestial

him

same nature and even the same func-

supreme God, with the

tion as the

incomprehensible; against

is

dependence on

result that their

this, in

the Christian universe the

angels are creatures capable of falling. Souls, too, offer striking differences. Aristotle holds that the soul is

the

form of an organic body and the principle

biological functions;

the body,

which

it

is its

From

and

body,

it

it

its

itself; its

its

relation to

matter. In the Christian drama, the soul

individual being complete in transitory,

that determines

has individuaUty only through

an

is

connection with the body

is

has a supernatural destiny.

the Aristotelian conception of the soul as the

form of a

seems to follow that the soul perishes with the body. Fur-

thermore,

seems that

it

sensible objects tellectual

if

and corporeal organs (such that there

knowledge

in it),

it

and belongs

impersonal intelligence

is

jointly to all

contrast

is

produced

in-

is

beneath the im-

men. The

eternity of this

something quite different from personal

immortality and nullifies the image of

The same

is

through an inteUigence that no

is

longer has any connection with the body, which passible soul

knowledge of

the soul has independent

found

also

its

supernatural destiny.

in the sphere of

moral philosophy.

Merit, according to Aristotle, depends on virtues that are voluntary acquisitions,

that

utilize

natural

endowments, and

that

are

in-

creased by man's civic activities and by political or social relations

with other to strip

citizens.

man

Against

this,

bare and to isolate

the ideal of the Christian mystic

him

is

may

be exposed

Thomas'

adversaries

that his soul

to the influx of divine grace.

Emboldened by

these obvious contrasts, St.

called attention to these divergent doctrines. St. consists

one

wholly in converting

basic, definitive pattern of

all

Thomas'

strategy

these divergences of doctrine into

divergence acceptable to

all

the faith-

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

146

"Human

philosophy considers crea-

and such, with the

result that the divisions of

divergence of method.

ful: a

tures as being such

The

philosophy correspond to different types of things. faith,

however, does not consider them

for example,

considers

it

fire,

represents divine elevation

ward God

himself.

The

and

not as

Christian

being such and such;

as

but as something that

fire,

some manner,

directs itself, in

philosopher considers what

is

suitable to

creatures according to their proper natures: for example, by

nature

fire

able to

them

tends to

move upward;

what

Christians consider

God:

in so far as they are related to

to-

its

is suit-

for instance, that

they are created by him, that they are amenable to him, and so forth."

^'

Now

how

Thomas applies his strategy to the fiwc problems mentioned earlier. First, God the prime mover and God let

us see

St.

the creator. Aristotelian physics as such generally posits only de-

terminate causes that produce determinate

That

effects.

why

is

recognizes only agents capable by their action of drawing from

it

matter outside and prior to this action the being contained there in potency; such agents simply is,

passage from ill-defined potential being to clearly defined actual

being; and their action in

produce a change or motion, that

But

time.

all

is

not instantaneous but must be unfolded

demonstrations, according to

point to the conclusion that there

whom

agent of

all

same manner the

things, effects

is

St.

Thomas, must

a universal cause

no matter what they may

—and

—that

is,

be, are in the

consequently a cause of being, a

cause that produces ex nihilo and acts instantaneously. This

point of capital importance, but one that supposes a tation of Aristotle's philosophy: the first "way," as

the Physics,

actually a solution to the

is

motion of the

celestial spheres; the

new

problem of the

is,

is

a cause that

is

a

interpre-

one finds

unmoved mover

determinate cause as defined above, that circular

an

it

in

circular

therefore a

makes the

motion contained in the matter of the heavens pass from

potency to

act.

But there

is

no longer any reference

spheres in the Thomistic demonstration, and St.

" Summa

contra gentiles

ii.

4.

to celestial

Thomas

presents

147

THIRTEENTH CENTURY

"^^^

his proof in such a

way

that the

essendi, or creative cause.

The heavens moved by

(Summa contra

he points out

prime mover appears

gentiles

mover

is

the cause of being. St.

causa

the prime mover,

6), are the cause of genera-

ii.

tion for things in the sublunary region,

as the

which proves

Thomas can

prime

that the

therefore respond to

consummate calm. They

the objections of his adversaries with

say

that his proof implies the eternity of the world, since the prime

mover

is

and must therefore produce

forever in act

motion of the heavens, but he sweeps

away

eternally the

their objection

by observ-

ing that the eternity of the world does not imply the independence of the world or the negation of

its

We

creation.

need only assume,

Avicenna has already done, that God created the world from

as

eternity; then,

remains an St.

whether

effect

Thomas

and

it

is

began in time, the world

eternal or

a creature of

the reasons given by

world are not convincing; that

God. Furthermore, according

to

Aristotle for the eternity of the

God

mover

the prime

is

of the

world pertains to his relation to his creation and, consequently, not necessarily to his being. Here reason

is

incapable of reaching a

vaHd conclusion and we must have recourse to us

to faith,

which

with certainty that the world was created in time. In discussing

the second way, he understands

the

simple sense of a prime mover as

is

efficient

being."

The

how

That

is

third

way

the second

way

generally true in the case of

on

involves speculation

pletely alien to the spirit of Aristotle

we

shall see, that there

that the origin of the

and essence

is

recommends

necessity

termining

its

nothing

if

problem of the

quiddity, but this is

is

effects to

allows

distinction

To

and

possibility,

—something

a universal

we determine whether

that does not exist

in

—and

is

not to be found in Aristotle.

that

its

leads to a creative cause.

on essence and the being introduced by essence conclude, as

not in the

cause,

Aristotle, but in the sense of a cause that "transmits

is

reveals

com-

Thomas to cause. The fact St.

between being

be sure, Aristotle

a being exists before de-

because the quiddity of a being

nothing: the quiddity of the goat-stag

exist. Thus the manner Thomas, posed the ques-

such a fanciful animal does not

which the Arabs, and subsequently

St.

is

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

148

between essence and being,

tion of the relation

far

from being

a

continuation or an extension of hints provided by Aristotle, was

Here

just the reverse.

the object

thing exists before determining

not to determine whether a

is

quiddity, but on the contrary, to

its

find out whether quiddity can have a determinate

any question concerning existence

Thomas* terminology) whether essence appearances,

of a thing

that to

it is

necessary;

it is

comes

to

merely possible and in the case of the is

is

to say that

to accord to

it

a privilege that belongs only

is

them from something

it

unique being whose essence

power

matter, then,

and

is

of

which essence

exists of itself,

Thomas contradicts him when he

Here

St.

faithful to

of reason between essence

is

there

is,

is

the

form of which

fourth

and produces

way

But being

rather the realiza-

At

the crux of the

chasm between essence useless.

said that there

was only

was

a distinction

and existence: one can always conceive it

as existing,

but an essence that

something wholly imaginary. But by

whose essence

is

to be, St.

placing at the base of things the most universal form

participations

The

itself is

being only

the spirit of Aristotle. Averroes

positing as the sole necessity the being

Thomas

its

which would render God

of essence without conceiving of

could not actually exist

it is

possible;

essence

to exist.

is

consists.

the affirmation of a gaping

existence, the negation of

more

else;

conceivable in the absence of

not superadded to essence as an accident;

tion of the

to

essence

its

God. All other natures have the property of being merely

their being

from

and technical

a theological preoccupation: to say that the being

is

identical to

is

different

really

is

being. But underlying this question, quite abstract all

meaning before

raised, to find out (to use St.

is

all

and

effects.

way

leads to the

its

effect

the things that possess being are only

same

result.

according to what

leads us to a being which, since

universal cause of the being of

all

induces us to posit a cause that

it is

Normally each thing it is

in act, but the fourth

being in

act,

must be the

other things. Finally, the fifth

is

different

acts

from

way

particular natural

causes. St.

Thomas

followed a circuitous road in substituting for Aris-

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

149

prime mover a transcendent being,

totle's

satisfied the

Though angels

demands

the issue seems trifling to a

was one

of the

To

AristoteUanism.

end

modern

reader, the theory of

mover given by

naturally

many moving

animated by

the relation that

a distinct

might

and

exist

among

terpreted as a monotheistic system in

on one,

unmoved

of

was presumed

characteristic motion.

Furthermore,

the various intellects

explored by Aristotle, and his system

is

was not

equally viable whether in-

which

or as a polytheistic system in

re-

were spheres

there

as

in his astronomical system, since each of the spheres to be

we must

Aristotle at the

multiplicity

a

to

intelligences

Thomistic

for

grasp the significance of the issue

of the Physics led

movers, to as

the creator, but he

most serious stumbHng-blocks

the proof of the prime

call that

God

of a faith that required reason to find proof.

intelligences

all

which they

all

depend

act together

but independently of each other. In any event, in Aristotle's system the separate intelligences

—which Dionysius

the Areopagite, follow-

ing an already ancient tradition, compared to the angels of the celestial

We

hierarchy

recall

bron but

—were the equals of God himself.

how the Franciscan school, following not only AviceHugh of St. Victor, had resolved the question: these

also

composed of matter

separate substances are not pure forms, but are

and form. Wherever there

is

indetermination, wherever there

Thus matter

common

is

prop-

plurality or finity, there

is

erty of every substance,

and whether particular substances become

spirits or

is

a

bodies depends on their determining forms; the multi-

plicity of intelligences is

matter.

proves that they have a

common

base which

determined by diverse forms.

But

St.

Thomas

denies outright the hylomorphic composition of

spiritual substances.

One

of his arguments strikes at the heart of

Avicebron's concept of matter and

its

relation to form.

According

to

Avicebron, generation consists in the addition of form to matter,

as

an accident

no true unity is

to a substance.

Hence

in the composite being

there

is

no true generation and

produced in such a way; there

but a simple increment or addition. But Aristotle's concept of

matter as being in potency (marble)

that

becomes actual being

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

150

(statue) as a result of diverse motions or alterations enables us to

understand that hylomorphic composition pertains only to bodies,

and

knowledge

his description of the characteristics of intellectual

proves that, unlike bodies, intellects are pure, immaterial forms; furthermore, in the act of understanding, die intellect to the

When

received in matter a

becomes related it

form

to accidents;

and

intelligence

stance, that

known by

comprehended

how

which

It is

is

are the dif-

that a being can

mode

identical only in

it

{quod

is

merits the

we must make

this distinction

name

We

have

of composition

that of essence

and

God. But in every

between essence or sub-

a distinction

what the thing

another way, art.

The answer

in every creature a

is

we must make

is,

virtue of the

in proportion as the

from that of form and matter:

or that through

its

As an

simple and indivisible, uni-

not equal the simplicity of God.

two terms which are

created thing

it

is

better

is

be avoided.?

still

already seen that there quite different

it

mobile.

be a pure form and

and

form

it

contrary, better

its

is less

ficulties of his thesis to

put

individualized as

separate intelligences are pure forms,

if

being,

it is

excludes the presence of a contrary

it

free of accidents;

presence of

But

divides;

introduced into matter as a result of a motion.

is

object of the intellect, however, versal,

identical

is

comprehends, with die result that the

it

not received in the intelligence as form in matter.^^

intelligible is

form;

that

intelligible

est),

and

of being

very being,

its

(quo

a distinction between

est) its

;

or to

potency

which, introduced into Aristote-

lianism, serves here, as in the case of Albert the Great, to separate

from God. This

the angels

distinction

is

but the abstract statement

of

what

its

essence does not have independently the

which

to

is

it

is

repeat the

be proven, for to say that an angel

is

distinct

same

from

thing.

Still,

is

a creature, or that

power

to be, or that that

which

is,

is

simply to

what we have described

is

not truly

that through

it

an individual being since individuality pertains only

engaged in matter; the angels, pure forms, ^®

Summa

contra gentiles

ii.

50.

diiiFer

among

to

a form

themselves

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

151

as species

and not

as individuals,

which was the conclusion reached

by Aristotle.^^

The posits

third difficulty

pecuHar relation that AristoteUanism soul," says

"must be explained in such a way

as to safe-

guard both

personal immortality and

its

its

function as a substantial

20

Here, indeed, totle,

in the

between soul and body. "The individuality of the

a recent interpreter,

form."

is

the soul

is

For

the problem.

the

is

Thomas, who follows

St.

form of the organic body;

Aris-

and body are

soul

not two independent substances, but from their union a unique being,

man,

formed.

is

soul cannot apprehend itself

through

itself.

It

a natural union without which the

is

know

for in effect the soul cannot

itself,

Augustine's statement to the effect that

St.

"the soul has independently notions of incorporeal things"

means

own

actions

that the soul perceives that

{Contra gentiles

Thus

iii.

because

it is

it

perceives

its

46)

the problem of the individuality of

man

is

resolved in ac-

cordance with the general rule that appHes to the individuation of beings composed of form and of matter. itself is specific

identical

form

individuals is

joined.

tion

and is

that, for a

we must

What

therefore the matter to

is

how

understand

matter

nevertheless bear in

is

mind

What

signata), that

dimensions.

is

which form

is,

is

is

signed matter {materia

individuaHzes

form

its

determinate

and

produces

numerical diversity within a given species, not only because to

form an exclusive position with '^^

Metaphysics A.

8.

^ Roland -Gosselin,

respect to any other

1074a, 36. in his edition of

De

as a

defined as a being com-

matter considered with respect to matter

Man,

not for that reason an individual

accounts for individuality

Signed

separates

that the fact of being joined

matter since he

posed of soul and body, but he being.

in

the principle of individua-

to matter in general does not account for individuality. species, already includes

form

that

given species of beings, a specifically

in each individual of the species.

from each other

To

We know

ente, p. 117.

form

it

gives

in time

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

152

and

space, but also because,

form only It

debility,

its

is

it

can receive

and imperfect manner.

in a deficient

follows that for a form engaged in matter to

dividual being tion.

by reason of

become an

diminu-

in every sense a limitation, a debilitation, a

The human

soul, as the

form of the body,

is

in-

subjected to just

such conditions and acquires individuality only by virtue of the

body whose form ence.

and with which

it is

would seem

It

that

we must

has a perfect correspond-

it

conclude from

dividuality ought to follow the destiny of the

with

it.

soul,"

But such

he

is

says, "is a

not the teaching of

form which by

pend on matter. Consequently,

St.

Thomas: "The human

virtue of

its

being does not de-

souls are multiplied as bodies are

multiplied, but the multiplication of bodies

multiplication of souls; and that

is

why

it

is is

not the cause of the

not necessary, once

bodies are destroyed, for the plurality of souls to

{Contra gentiles

Here we duced, as

if

ii.

that in-

this

body and disappear

come

an end"

to

81).

which the Christian

see the extent to

from the

faith

is

intro-

outside, to limit Aristotelian biologism.

But

we need to examine more closely the procedure through which St. Thomas manages to insert into Peripateticism the doctrine of the permanent individuality of the

He

soul.

has but one philosophical

reason for accepting the permanence of the individuality of the

human

soul outside

its

body, and that

soul, in addition to the operations

of an intelligence that

or assistance of matter:

ii.

But the solution

human

it,

like other material

forms"

68) raises

another serious

intelligence to the rest of the

with the

the existence in the

knows its objects without the intermediacy "The intelligent soul is therefore not totally

attached to matter or immersed in

{Contra gentiles

is

required by the corporeal organs,

human

series of interpretations

difficulty: the relation of

soul.

that the

We

are already famiUar

Greek and Arab com-

mentators had formulated on the basis of Aristotle's handling of point.

They were almost unanimous

this

in seeing in the independence

of the intellectual operation, with respect to the organs of the body,

proof that the intellect was not included in the definition of the

THIRTEENTH CENTURY

T^^^

153

form of the body;

soul as the

engaged forms.

in thinking

when

actively

— to universal or specific

all

men,

it is

not a part of the soul.

problem hinges the destiny of Thomistic Aristotelianism

this

with Arabic Peripateticism. Albert the Great had

rivalry

its

object

independent of matter and therefore not susceptible of

individuation. Identical in

in

its

follows that the intellect can be nothing other than a uni-

It

versal form,

On

in contrast, the intellect

identical to

is

already seen

nically different

and the

full significance,

its

forms

fact

is

that

under tech-

continued to preoccupy Western man.

it

All of the Peripatetics, whether Christian or Arab, have a com-

mon

starting point

operation.

It

—their

manner

of interpreting the intellectual

an abstractive operation through which

is

specific

forms, apprehended potentially in sensible data and in the images

more

images or phantasms.

St.

from the

these data, are extracted

Thomas

reduces to two the

number

of

necessary for the operation: the agent intellect and the

intellects

The

possible intellect.

phantasms; the

agent intellect extracts the specific forms of

intellect

becoming anything

of

from

or less elaborated

which

like a

is

blank tablet and susceptible

receives the extracted forms.

The two

in-

never function, therefore, except in connection v/ith other

tellects

operations that in turn require corporeal organs; by themselves they yield

no knowledge.

Once ficulty

Or

is

the intellectual operations have been

is

in

knowing

their subject.

Are

only one of them, the agent

The

first

view

is

St.

patently illogical, for the relation

of the agent intellect first

Thomas'

real adversary

many

gentiles

76).

St.

ii.

dif-

intellects "separate".'^

while the pos-

intellects

belong to

Thomas. But Avicenna's

to the

thesis

and proportion between the

and the potency

must belong

that the

pioned by

Or do both

the

that of Averroes, the second that of

Avicenna, and the third that of is

two

intellect, separate

sible intellect is part of the soul?

the soul?

the

described,

of the possible intellect

same

is

act

such

subject as the second. St.

then was Averroes, whose view was cham-

of the professors at the University of Paris (Contra

Thomas had

only to demonstrate that an intellectual substance

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

154

could be the form of a body. Finding no support in Aristotle for his demonstration, he could do no more than

which move

souls of the celestial spheres,

the desire that they have for the good.^^

an example the

cite as

their spheres because of

He

therefore stated rather

than demonstrated that "an intellectual substance can be a formal principle of being for matter" {Contra gentiles

But even

if

his point

demonstrated,

is

ii.

58).

it is still

that the inclusion of intelligence with the other

necessary to prove

powers of the soul

does not in turn compromise the unity and indivisibility of the

power not

soul. Is the intellectual

and

nutritive

different in this respect

from

sensitive

power, each of which seems to constitute

Here

the technical problem of the plurality of

a separate soul?

forms comes into the picture. The Augustinians, in agreement with

Avicebron on

this point,

held that in material composites, matter

determined by several forms. As

more

we

perfect beings

the body

element

is

we

rise

from

perfect beings to

find successive additions of higher forms:

determined by the simple form of corporeality; to an

added the form of the element;

is

less

is

to a

mixture of

ele-

ments, the form of the mixture; to a plant, the nutritive soul; to

an animal, the sensitive

soul,

and

so forth.

The higher form

is

simply added to the lower form: "The lower forms are contained in the higher forms until

which combines criticized

all

all

are reduced to the primary universal form,

forms."

^^

Their

thesis,

which had already been

by Avicenna, seemed unacceptable to

plurality of

forms in a being

is

St.

Thomas. The

incompatible with

its

unity.

A

pluraHty of forms cannot create a true substance; for a composite

being endowed with a single form, such as a body, substance,

and

a

new form

is

already a

can be added to an already existing sub-

stance only as an accidental attribute. It is

easy to see in this discussion a conflict between the

a universe consisting of a hierarchy of forms, each of receive

its

complement

in the whole)

^ Sumtna

(for unity

is

contra gentiles

ii.

76.

vitae 143. 13 (ed.

them eager

to

never in the individual but only

and the Peripatetic image of

* Avicebron Pons

image of

Bauemker).

a universe consisting of

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

155

individual beings each having in

To

the second view

its

operations.

linked the thesis of unity of form in each

is

individual being. But

the principle of

itself

also

it is

by virtue of

this thesis that St.

Thomas human

avoids the danger that threatened the unity of the individual being. For intelligence it

also the single

is

emanate

not only the form of the organized body;

is

and unique form of the body, and from

Hence

are executed by the organs of the body.

human body from

the

wholly an intelligent soul that draws

is

relation to the

its

body and

it

whose operations

the sensitive or vegetative faculties

all

its

form of the individuality

independence from the im-

its

material character of the operations through which knowledge

is

acquired.

But there

still

is

one strong argument against

tion of intelligence: since intelligence

and

since

object

its

is

a

universal form,

multipHed in diverse individuals. theological master stroke:

St.

God

this

impHes a contradiction. But even

cannot create several

intellects of the

that such multiplication

acteristic that

loud, if

it

instance, a

and

yet

it

it

its

are

its

object,

cannot be truly a

is

adduced

same

to

show

species because

grant that

would not

would imply

prevents a thing from not having in

For

we

if

the nature of intellect to be multiplied,

low

intelligence

Thomas' answer

"Clumsy arguments

that

this individualiza-

in act identical to

is

it is

not of

necessarily fol-

contradiction.

Nothing

nature the cause of a char-

nevertheless possesses by virtue of another cause.

low tone does not have the

characteristic of being

can be loud and not imply a contradiction. Similarly,

everyone's intellect were unique because

natural cause of multiplication,

it

it

does not contain a

could nevertheless accommodate

multipHcation without contradiction, by virtue of a supernatural cause. Let this be said not so

much

for our present purposes as to

prevent such a line of reasoning from being extended to other subjects, for

dead text

it

could be used to prove that

to rise or the

we

bend

see that St.

—that

^ De

bUnd

is,

God

cannot cause the

to recover their sight." ^^ In this revealing

Thomas

does not hesitate to enjoin reason to

to support faith or to

remain

unitate intellectus contra Averroistas, chap.

vii.

silent.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

156

There there

God

as the cause of the world,

and

a revealed theology that transcends reason; similarly, to

is

human

direct

world that allows us

a rational physics of the sensible

is

ascend through reasoning to

to

conduct there

a natural ethic based

is

on the spon-

taneous orientation of the will toward happiness and the good, and there

is

a supernatural destiny

with respect to which our only guide

sanctifying grace, something that goes

is

beyond

will illuminated by

reason. St.

Thomas' fundamental

from

good

that

is

is its

end, which

is

means

the

From

Aristotle.

that our will

ideas

on natural morality

are

Nicomachean Ethics comes

the

directed naturally

borrowed

the notion

and spontaneously toward the

end, that our free will consists not in choosing our

not free, but in choosing through rational deliberation

that lead us to our end.

There must accordingly be

a

natural light to provide us with the premises of our practical de-

This natural light

liberations.

Thomas

interprets

state) that

as

a

is

manifested in synderesis, which

natural and immutable

divided into particular precepts.

is

From

habitus

synderesis comes

rectitude of will. Virtues are acquired practices deriving fact that

we

are capable

St.

(stable

from the

through free will of choosing the best

means. His view assumes that morality and legality are based on divine reason, to which the divine will

subject: "Eternal

is

but the reason of divine wisdom; the divine is

subject to this reason

and consequently

will, since

it is

law

is

rational,

to the eternal law."

The

immutability of law based on reason, contested later by the Ockhamists, nevertheless remains the foundation of one whole group of

modern

theories of law.

And

it is

from

St.

Thomas

that Grotius

received the concept in the seventeenth century, through the in-

termediacy of the Scholastic, Vasquez (died in 1506).^*

But natural to the charity to

light provides

no means of

and beatitude of the

knowledge of God, which

alone ^*

is

capable of satisfying

Gurvitch,

(1927), p. 369.

"La Philosophic du

all

is

elect.

The

elect

impossible in this

human

droit

access to the higher virtues,

owe life,

their bliss

and which

desires.

de H. Grotius," Revue de Metaphysiqtie

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

157

The

great political treatise

Thomas, has been

to St.

wrote the

regiwine principtim, once attributed

Ptolemy of Lucca

identified as spurious.

treatise (or at least the first part of it)

an exemplary manner the application to

illustrates in

of the Thomistic spirit as

Thomas:

De

1301. It

political

matters

revealed in the philosophy of

is

it

power pursuing the

civil

around

civic

St.

good with the same freedom

that reason exhibits in pursuing truth in speculative matters; but at

same time absolute

the

any way

in

God

certainty that,

if civil

power runs counter

aims of spiritual power that has received from

to the

the mission of guiding

man

to salvation, civil

power

is

in error

and must be

corrected. This accounts for the wholly rational, al-

most

character of Thomistic policies in temporal matters:

realistic

"The kingdom

The

kingdom.'* of

all;

and

if

he

declare his

to

is

power

sacrifices the

the latter are freed

it

made

not

is

king's

for the king, but the king for the

good of

On

power nonexistent.

"For divine law

his subjects for his

from any obligation

understood that the rational

state

identifies the true

Church."

to the ministry of the

right to

only for the pursuit of the good

exists

^^

to

good,

the right

the odier hand, however,

must be

good, and

That

own

him and have

is

why

its

a

Christian

state.

teaching belongs

the

Church has the

excommunicate and depose kings. This type of modified

theocracy,

which

leaves to the temporal

power freedom correspond-

ing to the freedom that theology leaves to rational philosophy, con-

with the

trasts

De

regimine Chfistiano, written during the same

period (1301-1302) by John of Viterbo, an Augustinian hermit

who

advocated a more rigid theocracy in the face of the growing pretensions of national kingdoms.

XII

Latin Ai/erroism: Siger of Brabant

There

is

no doubt but that the introduction of Peripateticism

into the University of Paris resulted in the destruction of the unity of

medieval culture century.

^ De

The

as

it

had been envisioned up

until the twelfth

study of the seven liberal arts was supposed to provide

regimine principum

i.

13.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

158

the basic

grounded

knowledge needed by commentators, and theology was in the commentaries on Scripture written by the Fathers.

Moreover, encroachment was prohibited, and the faculty of to exclude all theological matters

arts had from the curriculum. But where

could the philosophy of Aristotle find a place in the system ? In the faculty of arts, since there

was no

an authority on theology.

As

possibility of his

a matter of fact, toward the middle of

the century the curriculum included the study of

encyclopedia, beginning with the

many

all

the AristoteUan

Organon and continuing through

the Ethics, the Physics, the Metaphysics, in the introduction of

being considered

and

so on.^^

This resulted

questions external to the seven arts and

relating to theology.

The situation was perilous, for in the faculty of arts scholars were to comment solely on the philosophy of Aristotle and were not to concern themselves in any way with possible disagreement between his doctrines

and

faith.

"Here," said Siger of Brabant, explaining his

interpretation of Aristotle's writings

the interpretation of Albert

and

on the

St.

intellect (in contrast to

Thomas), "we

identify the intention of the philosophers,

mainly

are trying to

Aristotle. It

may

well be that the philosopher held an opinion that does not conform to truth

and

that revelation provides us with information about

the soul which cannot be inferred by natural reason; but here are in no

natural

way concerned with from

things

the

divine miracles for

viewpoint

of

the

we

we

are discussing

physician.'

The

Thomistic synthesis did, of course, provide a principle of agree-

ment: what reason teaches us cannot be contrary reveals to us,

and

there

if

is

an apparent contradiction,

to

what

faith

it

results

from

the fact that reason has been misguided.

The Masters proof.

of Arts submitted the principle to an experimental

Reason was interrogated independently of

mining whether

its

a simple matter of collecting the facts. **

II,

and

deter-

There was no doubt about

Chartulary of the University, quoted by Gilson, ttudes, p. 56.

^ Ed. Mandonnct,

faith,

conclusions were in agreement with faith was

153-54.

~HI THIRTEENTH CENTURY

159

the answer in the

of Alts

who

mind

of Sigcr of Brabant, the cdcbiatcd Master

taught the AYcnoist interpretation of Aristotk at the

University of Paris from 1266 to 1277 and wiio was the initiator of

movement known

the

as Latin Averroism: Aristotle's theses con-

::izizt revealed doctrines. It

mm

a simple statement of

there

is

would seem fact,

that his conclusion

and noi^ierc does he

is

to

infer that

a "double truth," one truth for philosophers and one truth

for theologians. Others

may have

reached such a conclusion, but he

does not hesitate to state that "faith ^leaks the truth, even though

some philosophers have held a di^rent opinion." The identity of intellect in aU men, the necessity of

events, the

eiemity of the world, the destruction of the soul with the body, the

n^ation of knowledge of sqparate substances in God, the negation of divine providence in the sublunary

—such

r^ion

are the

main

items cm which Siger's Averroism and the Christian faith differ, and which Giles of Lessines collected from the teaching of Sigcr in 1270 for submission to Albert the Great.^

Here we find almost

all

Aristode and which St.

De amma ings >:.

of the theses wtdch Averroes attributed to

Thomas

denied.

A

treatise

such as Siger's

inuUectiva also contains a discussion dt Aristode's writ-

on the

intellect

Thomas (who

and the

interpretations of Albert the Great

are identified by name). It

is

and

not true^ according

Aristode, that the v^ctadve and sensitive Acuities belong to the same subject as the intellectual Acuity. Intelligence must be joined to the body during its operation since it can apprehend only whatever is

in the images that involve the corporeal organ of the imagination;

but intelligence alone understands, and understands, soul

we

are not speaking of

when we

man

say that a

man

as a being composed of

and body but only of his intellect.

In ^ite of the precautions taken by Siger, his teaching was judged dangerous by the Paris,

ecclesiastical authority.

In 1270 the Bishop of

£tienne Tempier, condenmed thirteen propositions in Aver-

*G£. *Xa Arm^ti^ dc ooosahaliQa** v^ "Ta reponsc d'AIbcrt,'" fAvcrwdum Utim am XW* aide, II, 29.

SigfT if Br^bmmt et

in P.

Mandooneta

l60 roist

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

teaching concerning the knowledge of God, the eternity of the

human

world, the identity of

invitation of

intellects, fatality

had submitted

tions that Giles of Lessines

— the

to Albert.

very proposi-

In 1277, at the

Pope John XXI, the Bishop of Paris conducted an

new condemnation

inquiry that resulted in a

The condemnation

starts

by attributing

of 219 propositions.

to the Averroists the double-

truth theory: "they say that things are true according to philosophy

but not according to the Catholic truths

and

damned

as

if

faith, as if there

there were in the

truth contrary to the truth of the

a

Siger, obliged to leave the University,

quisitor of France.

He

were two opposite

words of the heathen who are

Holy

Scripture."

was summoned before the

^^

In-

appealed to the Holy See, but was sentenced

to be interned for life.

He

died tragically in 1282, stabbed by the

who served as his secretary. The Averroist movement, which was

cleric

led not only by Siger but

also by Boetius of Sweden and Bernier of Nivelles, who were condemned along with him, continued in spite of such harsh measures.

John of Jandun, Master of Arts in Paris about 1325 (died in 1328), was excommunicated in 1327 by Pope John XXII. He nevertheless

was adhering

protested that he, too,

must be

divine authority

reason of

human

relied

invention."

faith contrary to reason

^^

on

He

to the faith: "It is certain that to a greater

sought

degree than any

support opinions of

to

"by granting as possible with

our reasoning leads us to declare impossible."

He

God

that

therefore

logically to a type of fideism. "I assert the truth of all these

he

said,

was

led

dogmas,"

speaking of dogmas which contradicted Aristotle, "but

do not know

how

to

demonstrate them; those

have an advantage, but through

which

faith."

We

I

possess

portant role during the Renaissance. "^Ibid.M, 175.

^Quoted by

them and

shall see later that

Gilson, ttudes, p. 71.

I

who do know how confess

them

solely

Averroism played an im-

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

l6l

Thomism

Polemics Relating to

XIII

The condemnation midst of a

Tempier

directed by

in

1277

came

own

but also by Peripateticism in general. Judged from his point, St.

Thomas was

De

is

but a lengthy reply

his

exactly

to

Viewed from the

philosophy was Peripatetic, and

it

was

Averroism,

outside, difficult

howto

see

where the danger posed by Aristotelianism, which had been

Thus some

introduced into the University of Paris, would stop. the 219

His

was probably

imitate intellectus contra Averroistas

written in 1270 to refute Siger. ever,

view-

surely the adversary of the Averroists.

vast theory of the intellect

and the

the

in

brought about not only by Averroism

state of uneasiness

condemned

the innovations of

the impossibility

of

propositions relate not to Siger himself but to

Thomism. Those

of the

through matter alone

(42, 43),

that

of

plurality

seemed suspect include:

worlds

and the

(27),

individuation

necessity for the will to

Thomas found some contradictions in his own order: the Dominicans who had preceded him at the University of Paris, Roland of Cremona and Hugh of St. Cher, were Augustinians. One of his most ardent

pursue that which

adversaries of

is

judged good by the

was the Dominican Robert Kilwardby who,

Theology

at

Oxford from 1248

terbury in 1272, taught

He

intellect (163). St.

St.

to 1261

as

Master

and Archbishop of Can-

Bonaventure's ideas on matter and form.

held that matter contained the seminal reasons that explain the

production of things; and, contrary to the thesis of the unity of form, he taught that the soul was not simple but composed of vegetative, sensitive,

and

intellectual parts. It

is

not surprising that

he had the theory of the unity of form condemned 1277.

The some

to the see of

condemned in

which he

Canterbury, the the

at

Oxford

in

condemned by his successor Franciscan John Peckham. The latter

theory was repeatedly

new

philosophy in

its

entirety in a letter of 1285

criticized "the profane innovations in vocabulary intro-

duced during the

last

twenty years into the very heart of theology,

going against the true philosophy and offending the

saints."

And

he

l62

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

called attention especially to the trine "of eternal rules

abandoning of the Augustinian doc-

and immutable

powers of the

light, of the

and of

soul, of seminal reasons inserted into matter,

The passage evidently refers Thomism: agent intellect, unity of

number

a

of

corresponding

other doctrines."

to the

theses in

forms, theory of the

eduction of forms.

Henry

XIV

From

of

Ghent

these dry formulations

emerge two opposing views of the

universe. In the Augustinian universe reason tion, is

already an illumina-

being already possesses form and aspires to

new

forms, matter

pregnant with determinations that will engender form; in the

knowledge

Peripatetic universe all intellectual

individual being

A

is

is

complete in

abstraction,

is

the

matter passively awaits form.

itself,

leading exponent of anti-Thomistic Augustinianism in Paris was

the secular master

Henry

Theology in Paris

in 1277,

patetic principle

which

of Ghent, the doctor solemnis. Master of

he died in 1293. Contrary

form

states that

to the Peri-

gives being to matter, he

held that matter exists independently and subsists in actuality. subsistence

the

form

is,

that

of course, imperfect

complements

it

and

leaves

and makes

it

complete. In his view,

contrary to the Thomistic principle, essence

from being. According

to St.

Thomas

Its

capable of receiving

it

is

not really distinct

each essence awaits

its

actuali-

zation from universal being and, as pure potentiality, has no in-

dependent right

to

it.

Henry held

that essence has

its

own

being

independently and that to diverse essences correspond an equal

number

of diverse beings

—a principle which allows

to

each essence

something of the power of God. His theory of individuation was equally anti-Thomistic: individuation negation.

The

due not

to matter but to

individual being, the lower term in the division, be-

comes incapable of dividing in identifying

is

itself

its

turn;

it

is

equally incapable of

with the other individual beings and of com-

municating with them. The theory of essences and individual beings led him,

it

would seem,

to

posit the objects of our

intelligence

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

163

God

in

man,

himself, at least at their highest level.

from natural

starting

God

eternal light that

from whomever he

gives to

No

wills."

"that

whomever he

wills

and withholds

other theory reveals

more

clearly

and Thomism, which outlines sharply

the contrast between his view the limits of reason

Thus he thought

things, cannot attain to the rules of

and could be epitomized

in these

words: con-

knowledge. The essence of

tinuity in being but discontinuity in

Augustinianism, which views reason as a continuation of illumination, is this: continuity in

edge.

From

being and therefore continuing in knowl-

two opposing views

the

conceptions of the spiritual

God

or love. Will, which

loving, therefore has an

meritorious in

XV

issue

two

To Henry

strikingly different

of Ghent, the

not knowledge of God, as in the case of

this life is

union with

as St.

life.

Thomas

own

its

holds,

end superior right.

is

to

St.

end of

Thomas, but

the faculty of desiring or that of intelligence

and

Consequently intelligence does not,

impose on will the end that

it

pursues.

Giles of Lessines

Thomism, following ardent

its

defenders.

the

condemnation of

Countless

1277,

refutations

was not without

were prompted

by

La Mare's Correctoriutn fratris number of dissertations designed to show Thomism. The Dominican Giles of Lessines

the appearance in 1278 of William of

Thomae,

in particular a

the inner coherence of

(died in 1304) published such a treatise, the (1278), in sible

which he presented the same argument from every pos-

from the surface or the surface from the body)

are really multiple

which they

and

are parts

different as forms, yet in the

and

in

which they have

their physical

derive, as secondary acts derive

Furthermore, Ed.

De Wulf,

we

p. 57.

unique subject

which they have individual

constitute but one being, that has

''

unitate formae

viewpoint: "Although the forms abstracted by judgment (for

instance, the line

of

De

its

roles they

source in the form through

being and from which their functions

from the primary

act."

^^

find secular clerics Hke Godfrey of Fontaines

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

164

(died in 1308),

Henry

who sometimes

of Ghent,

and defends

takes a stand against his teacher,

certain points in the Thomistic doc-

being does not differ

Thomas from essence. God

of a thing just as he

is

trine.

Godfrey grants that

created both

thing

is

existence.^^

the cause of

essence and

created both

patently

is

its

St.

its

that

false

Godfrey

its

wrong

is

the cause of the essence

is

its

in

also contradicts

existence are in act; but

potency with respect to

it

its

the Thomistic theory of in-

dividuation which, according to him, would

is

is

existence are in potency; after the

posit anything but accidental diflferences

"which

in holding that

existence; before a thing

its

essence and

essence

is

make

it

impossible to

between individual beings,

an obvious disadvantage." But he defends, against the

knowledge by

doctrine of illuminism, the theory of intellectual

abstraction and, against the doctrine of voluntarism, the Thomistic thesis

according to which will

is

subject to the understanding.

Finally, at the beginning of the fourteenth century

vaded some of the

member

a

of

the

Rome

per-

(died in 1316),

of the Augustinian hermits order, defended the thesis

unity

Cistercians,

influential orders. Giles of

Thomism

of

forms.

Humbert introduced Thomism

and Gerard of Bologna introduced

it

to

the

to the Carmelites.

Thomas Aquinas was canonized by Pope John XXII in 1323, and we recall that Dante (1265-1316) reserved a place for him in the Divine Comedy: in the fourth heaven Dante meets the masters of philosophy and theology, of

Thomas

has on his

left

whom

the greatest

is

St.

Thomas.

St.

Siger of Brabant, and the poet has the saint

The passage has caused his commentators considerable difficulty and may indicate that in the minds of his friends and enemies alike, St. Thomas has essentially the same aim as

eulogize the Averroist.

Siger: to bring together Aristotle

ancient theological tradition.

^

Ed.

De Wulf and

Pelzer, pp. 305-6.

and

Christ, notwithstanding the

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

165

The Oxonian Masters

XVI

Augustinianism and Peripateticism are not the only philosophical

The

currents of the thirteenth century.

now

turn our attention,

than the movements

is

harder

To

to define.

we have been

which we

third current, to

studying,

a greater degree

is

it

in

some ways

a

continuation of twelfth-century thought and a clear anticipation of

modern philosophy. The

Chartres that freely assimilated

spirit of

the positive sciences, mathematics

nature considered as a whole

an attachment

tion in

same time

and the experimental

to

—an

intuition that

Platonism

positive, naturalistic,



First

ander caelo

this

found

spirit

its

which

and haunted by the

versal intuition appears once again in a this brief

sciences,

and the pursuit of the metaphysical intuition of

classical erudition,

satisfac-

is

the

at

desire for uni-

group of thinkers

to

whom

History cannot give the space that they deserve.

come

the Oxonians. Their spirit appears vaguely in Alex-

Neckham and the

(died in 1217),

De anima

who was

of Aristotle;

contemporary, Alfred of Sereshel,

it

who

familiar with the

De

appears more clearly in his learned Arabic

when

travel-

ing in Spain. Alfred translated from Arabic to Latin pseudoAristotle's

De

supplement

vegetabilibus

to the

and the Liber de

congelatis,

Meteorology, he wrote the

De motu

which

is

a

and

cordis)

he was acquainted with Hippocrates' Aphorisms and with Galen's

Medical Art. Michael the Scot (died about 1235) translated from Arabic Al Bitrogi's (the astronomer

and

Aristotle's

Frederick

and the alchemist who appear

in Dante's Inferno),

II.

finally

of the University of

death in 1253.

cluded mainly his optics

sphaera, works by Averroes and Avicenna

History of Animals, which he dedicated to Emperor

Oxonianism his

De

{On Light

the Mirror,

On

flowered in Robert Grosseteste, Chancellor

Oxford and Bishop of Lincoln from 1235

The twenty-nine

treatises

Color,

On

by Baur

in-

the treatises

on

edited

scientific writings, particularly

or the Delineation of Forms,

On

until

the

Rainbow and

Corporeal Motion and Light), but they

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

l66

on

also included treatises

acoustics,

well as metaphysical writings on ligences,

and on

God. In

short, his

on the study of

astronomy, and meteorology, as

man

and the order of

creations

microcosm, on

as a

their

intel-

emanation from

a conception of the physical universe predicated

is

light,

a metaphysical conception of the universe

predicated on the idea of the emanation of forms from unity; is

it

the radical fusion of a system of physics describing the laws of

diffusion of light

and

a system of metaphysics describing the

emana-

tion of beings.

Here

light in

in the Stoic

and

cosmogony. Through

a role analogous to that of fire

expansion,

its

condensation,

immediately

in the universe. It has the property of being

present in

all

places: "It

indeed propagated in every direction,

is

with the result that from one luminous point

gendered a sphere of light feres."

its

"primary corporeal form" explains every

rarefaction, this

its

body

some ways plays

To

is

immediately en-

as large as desired, unless a

explain the cosmos

and

its

shadow

inter-

spheres, Grosseteste required

only the spherical propagation and infinite swiftness of light, whose

expansion

is

checked by darkness: "Everything

by virtue of the multiplication of light

But we must discover what vestigations.

For

in

lies

at

:

and

the heart of his bold in-

metaphysics of light

his

is

and

the

is

inseparable

figures that are to

the propagation of light;

one, born of the

itself."

mathematical physics of nature optics of the lines, angles,

is

and multiple things are multiple only

perfection of a unique light,

some degree

this outline of

germ

of a

from the study realized in

mathematical physics

culminates in the affirmation of the existence of a precise order in nature, an order of

"Any

which the mind can have

operation in nature

is

(finitissimo)y orderly, concise,

From

a precise conception.

accomplished in the most definite

and perfect manner

possible."

the school of Robert Grosseteste comes a

^^

Sumtna

philo-

sophiae that includes nineteen treatises on subjects ranging from the history of philosophy to mineralogy. In spite of

—among the ^ Dc

earliest

its

fantastic features

philosophers the author places not only Isidore,

luce, ed. Baur, p. 75.

I

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

167

Berossus, Josephus, and St. Augustine, but also

Mercury

manner

—the Summa evidences

in

which the Arab

having him

Ptolemy

cite

Emperor Hadrian

related to salvation.

He

in the

De

caelo

The

handled

298).

The

to

author also

all

motion would be

is

their

"The its

self"

it

{Summa

philosophiae,

what would

He

also

p.

set the in-

their

images

upholds the Augustinian

intellect's

acquires an understanding of

He

declared in-

images {idola) rather than essences

species but rather has intuitive

(p. 436).

Thomism.

joined to the intellect, in the ab-

on the question of the

soul as

own

Thomas

what we would apprehend would be

rather than forms themselves." tradition

to

us that

the Augustinians, to acknowledge

knowledge

intellectual

essence of a thing

themselves, and

tells

metaphysical issues he contradicts

sence of any intermediary, for "otherwise tellect in

up the

Aristotle's texts,

and address himself

the existence of the intelligible species that St.

dispensable

and

erred in their treatment of natural things not

On

along with almost

refuses,

Atlas,

a critical spirit by pointing

translators freely

in the Meteorology.

may have

theologians

Abraham,

knowledge of itself

itself:

does not receive

knowledge {contuert) of

it-

clings not only to the notion of the intuitive

character of the intellectual

knowledge of essences

of things or of

ourselves, but also to the idea that the intellectual soul

is

an

in-

dividual being, unrelated to the body.

Roger Bacon

XVII

The most remarkable the

of the

Oxonian

scholars

was Roger Bacon,

doctor mirabilis, whose impetuous, ardent, and indomitable

spirit

was

more

critical

reflected in his life as well as in his writings.

No

one was

than he of the ignorance and stupidity of the "Parisian

philosophers," and particularly of their negligence in the matter of

studying languages, mathematics, and the natural sciences. Born

between 1210 and Oxford, for

1214,

whom

he was

first

a pupil of

Robert Grosseteste

he always evidenced profound admiration.

at

He

Hved in Paris between 1244 and 1252. After entering the Franciscan order and returning to Oxford he wrote his Opus majus (1266-

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

l68 1268).

Divided into seven

human

work

parts, the

discusses the causes of

ignorance; the relation of philosophy and theology to the

science of languages; the utility of mathematics in physics, astron-

omy, the reform of the calendar, and geography; mental

and moral philosophy. Begun

science,

at

optics,

experi-

the request of

Pope Clement IV, the Opus majus was accompanied by two other works which contained preUminary

Opus minus and

studies: the

the Opus tertium. In 1278 Roger Bacon wrote the Speculum

stronomiae (wrongly attributed judicial astrology. In

it

he called in question the condemnation of

hundred and

astrology pronounced in the one tion in the

list

condemned

in 1277 by

seventy-first proposi-

Bishop Tempier: "Through

signs one can recognize the intentions of

men and

intentions." This text probably sealed his

doom:

Franciscans,

who

since 1277

can order, condemned

The truth is of Thomism, a the limits

had been following

harmony between

resulted in complete

him

work

careful partitioning that prescribed for each thinker

beyond which he must not venture. Bacon was the of

manner

fist"

{velut in

palmam) what divine pugnum). He recalled which had

pre-

Middle Ages and which had been borrowed

Augustine and Bede: the hberal

terpreting Scripture,

writings constitute but

all

of conceiving spiritual unity

vailed throughout the

fore-

wisdom. Philosophy and canon law merely

concentrates "in the

the ancient

St.

and the Domini-

struck at the very roots

"spread over the palm of the hand" {velut in

from

a policy that finally

to prison in 1278.

that Bacon's massive

common body

wisdom

changes in their

the general of the

his order

most champion of the unity of wisdom; one

as-

Albert the Great), a defense of

to

pagan philosophy

arts

were

to be

used in

in-

in refuting the errors of the

heathen; the result was that "philosophy considered independently"

and apart from the general plan "has no as interpreted

by the Arabs,

is

called

unity; he grants that intellectual

utility." Aristotle himself,

upon

to

guarantee spiritual

is

impossible without

knowledge

the help of an agent intellect that contains

words, the agent intellect thing, then such

knows

knowledge

all

forms; in other

everything, but "if

befits

it

knows

every-

not a soul, not an angel, but

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

169

God

And

alone."

if

Bacon did not go

least stated that

the essences in

God, he

intellect that

Word,

Thus

at

under the

intellectually only

immediate influence of an agent the author of our salvation.

with certain

so far as to say,

we see immediately we acquire knowledge

Franciscans, that

identical to the

is

Christian philosophers, far

from Hmiting and contracting the domain of

their investigations,

"ought

the writings of the

bring together in their treatises

to

all

much

philosophers on the subject of divine truths, and even to go

becoming theologians."

without

unity

is

proven, obviously, by recourse to the divine origin of wisdom.

Its

but

farther,

divine origin

is

Spiritual

demonstrated, according to Bacon, by the

also

fanciful history of philosophy

which he borrows from the Church

Fathers: philosophy, revealed to the patriarchs, was transmitted

through different intermediaries

through them,

to the Christians.

tion of divine

wisdom

And

—Scripture

pagan philosophers and,

the

to

Scripture

which

"in

also the

is

is

summa-

found every

crea-

ture or the

image of every

creature, in

singularity,

from the height

of the heavens to the ends of the earth,

with the result that just he saw

lit

to

as

God made

its

universal type or in

and

his creatures

put his creatures in the scriptures, whether

its

Scripture,

we

under-

stand this hterally or in the spiritual sense."

His conception of wisdom

leads,

moderate theocracy: "for by the

God it

is

kind."

"no other science

The Baconian

clerics,

city

is

the most im-

to

wisdom

organized and the Church of the faithful

rules the world,

mit

practically,

light of

is

the

laid out." Since

needed for the use of man-

resembles the Platonic city: at the sum-

underneath scholars, underneath them

finally artisans; ecclesiastical

superior to

civil

wise men,

who

law grounded

law; popes and princes because they possess

ones to possess power;

Church of

finally, religious

solely

who

soldiers,

and

on Scripture and

choose as counselors

wisdom should be

the only

unity of the world achieved

through an apostolate founded on wisdom.

There

is

a strange contrast between these features of Baconian

thought and the points in his doctrine that are generally given

primary attention and are of primary

historical significance.

Roger

lyO

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

Bacon extolled the experimental method

"We

one:

possible

states.

.

onstration unless truth .

.

.

is,

and

that

is

this

method

why

separable

or almost

all

all

of the secrets,

ignored by most of those

and the

greatest

An

who

devote them-

advocate of the experimental method, he

same time the idea of mathematical physics

at the

from

it:

The

conclusions are verified by experience.

its

selves to learning."

teste, to

does not give us the reason for what

however, that no one today shows concern over

secrets, of science are

had

if it

Reason, in turn, cannot separate sophistry from dem-

.

.

says,

and reason; but authority does not con-

knowledge

tribute to our it

the only

science as

have three methods of knowing," he

experience,

"authority,

in

that

is

in-

physics linked, as in the case of Robert Grosse-

Ptolemaic optics as interpreted by the Arab mathematician

Alhazen, to the geometric structure of optics in cases of

reflection,

and the theory of the rainbow. The mathematical

refraction,

struc-

ture of the point of combustion behind a convex lens lighted by the

sun seemed the

Bacon

to

to

provide "the proper and necessary cause of

phenemenon." At the same time that he was working with

mathematics. Bacon also took up technical problems, ranging from the engineering techniques that caused

machines and flying machines, and

him

to

imagine automotive such as the

social techniques

problem of organizing work and providing for public welfare. This experimental, mathematical, and technical

spirit

had indeed

been present in the case of engineers, architects, and artisans throughout the Middle Ages, but, carried into speculative matters,

make Bacon

to

must not

the true ancestor of

modern philosophy.

lose sight of his enlightened theocracy;

Clement IV

as the

pope destined by the

whose union

would be

method

as

we

no

find

constitutes

inexplicable it is

if

the

we

two

world

features

physiognomy of Bacon. The union

we were

method

Still,

stars to convert the

dealing with the experimental

understood today. But such

precise

seems

he looked upon

Catholicism. Illuminism and positivism are the

to

it

is

not the case; in

him

either for designing experiments or de-

ducing laws from them.

The word experimentum was

closely linked, for a thirteenth-cen-

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

lyi

tury

man,

Bacon

it

no longer suggests

man who

essentially the

is

unknown

forces life

to ideas that

to other

men;

to us.

An

expert to

can release and utilize occult

the alchemist creates the eUxir of

and the philosopher's stone; the astrologer knows the powers of

the stars; the magician

knows

the formulas that control the wills of

men. The image of the universe provided by experiment from

diiiferent

is

quite

that provided by the physics of the philosopher: the

deduces natural phenomena from the properties of the four

latter

experiment involves the acquisition of knowledge of

elements;

hidden forces which are irreducible

to the forces of the elements,

such as those brought to light by Peter of Maricourt in connection

with his studies of the magnet. science he

is

thinking of a

When

secret, traditional science that consists in

the investigation of occult forces of these forces confers is

Bacon speaks of experimental

on the

and of the power

expert.

essentially the universe described

The

that

knowledge

universe of the experts

by Plotinus: a

set of interpene-

which have ema-

trating forces, enchantment,

magic words,

forces

nated from the

which people

are unwittingly subject.

Bacon

stars

and

to

finds in perspective the typical illustration

the diffusion of each such force, starting

from

and example of point of origin;

its

perspective, studied intensively during his time, provides in the dif-

fusion of Hght an example of the "multiplication of species." This multiplication

mingled

like the general

is

law of the forces that are

inter-

in space.

from

Starting

there.

Bacon attaches much

less

importance to

control of facts than to the discovery of secrets or of astonishing facts

that the experts transmit to each other

generation. to

is

him

He

the

from generation

to

welcomes with unbelievable credulity {credulitas

first

of the expert's virtues) Pliny the Elder's tales

about the diamond that was attacked by the blood of a he-goat

(PUny 32.

20. i; 37.

13),

15), the use of castor beans in

and many other fabricated

periences of peasants

facts

medicine (Pliny

borrowed from the

ex-

and old women.

Corresponding

to the experience of nature as defined here are in-

ward experiences

relating to spiritual things: the illuminations re-

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

172

ceived by the patriarchs and the prophets. Such experiences, at their

highest degree, are also shrouded in mystery: beyond virtues, be-

yond the ecstasy

Holy Ghost and divine

gifts of the

and

their various forms, each of

peace, are "states of

which

in

key

to

its

own way

re-

He who

has the

such spiritual secrets also possesses thereby the key to

human

veals experiences impossible to convey in words."

sciences.

Bacon's doctrine, with

all

its

shortcomings and even because of

them, admirably points up the impatience with which certain of the thirteenth century

endured the limitations which the "phi-

losophy of the Parisians" sought to impose on

Their contention was that true

is

the universe.

outside such limitations,

wisdom know what

men

en-

to do.

Witelo and the Perspectivists

XVIII

A

reality

man and

powers where only a few rare

in an abyss of miraculous

lightened by a superior

men

kindred

characterizes

spirit

Poland between 1220 and

same time Hellenist.

as St. It

was

1230.

Thomas, at

works of Witelo, born

the

He

and was,

resided in Italy

a friend of

in

at the

William of Moerbeke, the

the request of the latter that he wrote the

Perspectiva, a compilation of the of Perga, of the Optics of

works of Euclid and Apollonius

Ptolemy (which had been translated into

Latin in the twelfth century), and especially of the Optics of Alhazen,

the

Arab

scholar.

He

translated

remarkable

Alhazen's

modern

studies of acquired visual perceptions, the basis of all ories of the

psychology of perception.

intelligentiis, in

He

also

wrote a

treatise,

the-

De

which, following the Book^ of Causes, he studied

the three Neo-Platonic hypostases: the First Cause or the One, Intelligence,

and Soul.

Like Robert Grosseteste he linked perspective metaphysics.

The symbolism

of light

to

marking the

Neo-Platonic actions of the

One was probably based on St. Augustine and the Epistle to the Romans, but he developed his symbolism through studies in per-

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

173

Light

spective.

a simple

is

body and

of multiplying itself: "the simplest

for this very reason capable

is

body

characterized by the

is

greatest extension; water by a greater extension than earth, air by a

and

greater extension than water, air."

Light, the most

tension;

it

fire

by a greater extension than

subtle of bodies, therefore has the greatest ex-

room for bodies; it allows models to be reflected in this way is the principle of knowledge. Neo-Platonic

has

matter and in

metaphysics has one times and which

trait

which we have already noticed

apart

sets it

from Thomism. That

is

several

the preponder-

ance of love over knowledge: "In the same being love naturally precedes knowledge edge, not because

edge makes

.

.

.

and love

knowledge

is

is its

consummated through knowl-

complement but because knowl-

multiply and live independently.

it

.

.

.

Knowledge

is

not the perfection of love; but rather, quite the contrary, knowledge is

conditioned by enjoyment and love." Finally,

we

find the

pecially optics,

in 1297,

of the

link

between experimental

and Neo-Platonic metaphysics

who was born

berg,

same

and died

became Master

ca. 1250,

after 1310.

The

in Dietrich of Vri-

of

Theology

in Paris

author of a mathematical theory

rainbow which explains the phenomenon by

fraction followed by reflection

studies, es-

a

on raindrops, he adhered

double to

re-

an Au-

gustinian and Neo-Platonic philosophy quite different from the official

doctrine of his order, the Dominicans.

trine of the three hypostases in Proclus'

He

adhered

to the doc-

Elements of Theology and

he accepted the image of the production of things through emanation

and

their

conversion, though he reconciled

theory of Creation. Against

this,

notion of the agent intellect and identified of the

mind {abditum

memoriae

nostrae),

and immutable

it

the

and the image of God

in

and

with the hidden part

memory

(profunditas

which the

eternal laws

mentis), the depths of

truths are immediately

contrast to abstraction,

them with

he borrowed from Aristotle the

effortlessly present

which involves only the

(in

faculty of cognition).

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

174

Ramon

XIX

The

Lull

and

vast

neglected

still

dominant preoccupations

work

of

Ramon

Lull reveals the

of the last years of the thirteenth century.

His books, written in Catalan but translated for the most part into

were

designed to serve a practical aim:

to

establish

Catholicism, which he considered identical to reason,

all

over the

Latin,

all

world. His actions and an unrelenting flood of propaganda were

motivated by

and children

this

aim. Born in Majorca in 1235, he

in 1265 to devote all

years he studied the language

left his

wife

his time to his mission. For nine

and science

of the

Arabs in Majorca.

In about 1288 he proposed to the popes a plan for a crusade and for missions in the land of the infidels. In 1298, and later in 1310 and 131

1,

(still

he was in Paris, where he wrote a great number of

treatises

in manuscript) against the Averroists. In 1311 he attended the

council of

Vienna and proposed the adoption of

ing Arabic and

Hebrew

in

der to prepare missionaries. vert the infidels

A man whose

Rome and in several He himself departed

and died there

passionately

activity

his plan for teach-

universities in or-

Tunis

for

to con-

in 1315.

committed

and

to a practical task,

was motivated by

vision,

a

Ramon

a mystic

Lull wrote

Dialogues and Canticles of the Lover and the Beloved and a famous

work on what he termed general design of his oretical. fidels

Like

and

all

life,

those

his

who

heretics, Lull

Ars magna, the

Ars major

means

practical rather than the-

Middle Ages

tried in the

To

this

art of reasoning.

end he wrote

He

appealing and so easy that even the the

is

to

combat

his

make

Ars generalis

work so common people would have tried to

the

of defending the faith: a universal religion based

equally universal

in-

intended "to prove the articles of faith

through necessary reasons." or

"the great art." In keeping with the

method

of thinking.

Such was

Lull's

on an

idea of

Catholicism.

Exactly what

is

his "great art"?

could not resolve two problems:

We

first,

recall that Aristotle's logic

the discovery of the neces-

"^^^

175

THIRTEENTH CENTURY

sary premises or principles that could give to the conclusion of the

syllogism a demonstrative or scientific character; second, given the

extreme terms, the discovery of the middle term that could unite them. These are the two problems that Lull boasts of resolving in

Ars magna. His

is

rather an art of invention. This treatises:

De

an

not, strictly speaking, is

shown by

art of

the

venatione medii inter subjectum

compendiosa inveniendi veritatem, seu

titles

some

of

of his

praedicatum; Ars

et

magna

ars

reasoning but

major; ars

et

inveniendi particularia in universalibus; quaestiones per artem de-

monstrativam seu inventivam

"Each science has

own

its

solubiles:

principles,

For

the principles of other sciences.

Ars inventiva veritatum.

and they

are different

from

judgment requires a

instance,

general science with general principles in which are implied and

contained the principles of particular sciences, just as the particular is

implied by and contained in the universal." These are the open-

magna

ing words in the Ars

method that

that Aristotle

makes

had indicated

to discover the

possible the resolution of a question, that

whether a predicate given subject

all

is

we

recall

the

middle terms

is,

to

determine

true of a given subject: by identifying for a

and

possible predicates

possible subjects,

We

generalis et idtima.

for a given predicate all

of necessity discover every possible

middle

term between the subject and the predicate. Lull's Ars magna generahzation of Aristotle's procedure.

He

thinks

first

is

a

of discover-

ing every possible predicate of a given subject by enumerating the

following attributes: bonitas, magnitudo, aeternitas; potestas,

sa-

pentia, voluntas; virtus, Veritas, gloria; differentia, concordia, contrarietas; tas.

The

relations.

principium,

medium

Any

questions: whether it is,

where

The

how it is,

last nine,

big

it it is

is,

combination of them, and the com-

to a

bination follows certain rules.

how

majoritas, aequalitas, minori-

predicate, according to him, can be related either to

one of these attributes or

is,

finis;

nine words designate divine attributes, the

first

With

what

it

is,

respect to a subject, he asks ten

what

{quantum), what

with what

it

is

it is

why it is, {quale), when it

made

like

of,

it is.

foregoing remarks are enough to show that Lull's Ars

magna

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

176

could not break through the circle of Aristotle's logic. His presumed art of invention

merely an

is

tain concepts, not

an

art of classifying

and combining

them. At times

art of discovering

it

cer-

seems that

he confuses order with invention. For instance, he advises the "ar-

who

tist"

deals with physics "successively to apply the ten rules to

which he

the concept about

is

doubtful" (that of nature), in other

And

words, to ask the ten questions enumerated above. (fol.

78 b.)

:

rules is

and

on the color of

"Just as a glass takes

unknown term

background, so an

species of rules to

it is

exposed {discurritur) y His

obviously a purely formal explanation;

what we ought

and

to ask of a thing

different angles, but

it

red or green

colored or illuminated by the

is

which

its

he adds

it

to

enables us to determine

examine the thing from

will never enable us to discover the answers.

Such are the main currents of thirteenth-century thought. Against the

background of

universal unity. It

dream is

their diversity

of a

one

period

trait

we have been

have been inaugurated by Innocent

III,

stands out: the

and of

organization

hierarchical

fitting that the

common

spiritual

studying should

who, more than any other

pope, defended the primacy of the spiritual power, and that the regular clergy, directly dependent on the pope, should have exercised

an important

The

role in the universities.

systems

examined derived from the same force that gave

we have

birth to the cru-

sades: the urge to spread Catholicism everywhere. This spiritual

unity was projected

upon metaphysical

reality,

and everyone, with-

out exception, believed that Neo-Platonic metaphysics (easily reconciled with the idea of the Creation), with archy,

was an exact representation

was constructed pletely

in

which temporal power was

by the spiritual power or subordinated

the terrestrial city were in the sense that an office

by a higher power

The

its

is

autonomous

whose

unity and

of this reality.

limits

in the

A

its

either absorbed to

it.

hier-

political ideal

If

com-

reason and

minds of some,

it

was

have been precisely delineated

autonomous.

thrust toward unity

was

decisively checked. In the fourteenth

century, even as the throes of the

Hundred

Years'

War

were giving

shape to the nationalism that was to destroy forever the dream of

177

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

political

and Christian

shattered.

unity, the

For the truth

is

image of the universe was being

that the very elements that the thirteenth-

century thinkers had accepted for their edifice surreptitiously contributed to

method,

seemed

tem

its

collapse. Platonism, Aristotelianism, the experimental

mathematics, at the

time

to

ancient

of Christian thought

pletely

traditions



all

these

forces

have had a part in the construction of a

were found in the

independent of the Christian

light of

that sys-

day to be com-

belief in a supernatural destiny.

Bibliography

I

to III

Texts Dominicus

Gundissalinus.

De

divisione

philosophiae.

by

Edited

Baur.

Beitrdge, Vol. IV. Miinster in Westfalen, 1903.

De immortalite animae. Edited by Bulow. Ibid., Vol. De unitate. Edited by Correna. Ibid., Vol. I, 1891. De anima. Edited by Loewenthal. Berlin, 1890.

.

.

.

William of Auvergne. Opera omnia. 2

II.

1897.

vols. Paris, 1674.

Studies Callus, D, "Introduction of Aristotelian Learning to Oxford," Proceedings of

the British Academy, XXIX (1943). Chroust, A. "The Definitions of Philosophy in the 'De divisione philosophiae'

Dominicus Gundissalinus," The

of

New

Scholasticism,

XXV

(1951), 253-

81.

Denifle, H.,

and Chatelain, A. Chartularium

4 vols. Paris, 1889-97. Gilson, E. "La notion d'existence chez d'histoire doctrinale et litteraire .

"La Servante de

la

universitatis parisiensis. Vol.

I.

Guillaume d'Auvergne," Archives

du moyen

age,

XV

(1946), 55-91.

theologie," Etudes de philosophie medievale (Stras-

bourg, 192 1), pp. 30-50.

McKeon, R.

"Aristotelianism

in

Western Christianity"

in

Environmental

Factors in Christian History. Chicago, 1939. Pp. 206-31. Rashdall, H. The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages. 3 vols. Oxford, 1936.

Van

Steenberghen, F. Aristotle in the

West; The Origins of Latin Aris-

totelianism. Translated by L. Johnston. Louvain, 1955. .

The

Philosophical

1955-

178

Movement

in the Thirteenth Century.

New

York,

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

179

IV

VI

to

Texts Albert the Great. Opera omnia. Edited by A. Borgnet. 38 vols. Paris, 1890-99. .

On

and the

the Intellect

Selections,

I,

Intelligible.

Book

I.

Translated by R. McKeon.

326-75.

Alexander of Hales. Summa theologica. 4 vols. Quaracchi, 1924-48. St. Bonaventure. Opera omnia. 10 vols. Quaracchi, 1882-1902. .

Commentary on

the Sentences,

I,

3,

i.

Translated by R. McKeon.

Selectio ns,\\, 118-48.

De

.

reductione

Therese Healy. .

artium

ad theologiam. Translated by

Bonaventure, N.Y., 1939. The Mind's Road to God. Translated by G. Boas.

Sr.

Emma

St.

New

York, 1953.

Studies Boehner, Ph. "The System of Metaphysics of Alexander of Hales," Franciscan Studies, II (1951), 157-201.

Bourke, V. "The Provenance of the

De

apprehensione Attributed to Albertus

Magnus," Speculum, XVIII (1943), 91-98. Gilson, E.

"L'Ame

raisonnable chez Albert

doctrinale et litteraire .

du moyen

age,

le

Grand," Archives d'histoire

XIV

(1943-45), 5-72. "La philosophie franciscaine," in Saint Francois d'Assise. Paris, 1927.

Pp. 148-75. -.

The Philosophy

F. Sheed.

London,

of St. Bonaventure. Translated by

I.

Trethowan and

1938.

Grabmann, M. "Albertus Magnus Theologe Philosoph und Naturforsher," Philosophisches Jahrbuch der Gorresgesellschaft,

LXI

(1951), 473-80.

Kennedy, L. "The Nature of the Human Intellect According to St. Albert the Great," Modern Schoolman, XXXVII (i960), 121-37. Klubertanz, G. "Esse and Existere in the Philosophy of St. Bonaventure," Mediaeval Studies, YUl (1946), 169-88. O'Donnell, C. The Psychology of St. Bonaventure and St. Thomas Aquinas. Washington, D.C., 1937. Pegis, A. "St. Bonaventure and the Problem of the Soul as Substance." Chap, ii in St. Thomas and the Problem of the Soul in the Thirteenth Century. Toronto, 1934.

VII

to

XI

Texts St.

Thomas Aquinas. Opera omnia. Parma 73. Reprinted:

New

York, 1948.

edition.

25 vols. Parma,

1852-

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

l8o St.

Thomas Aquinas. Summa Translated

disputatae.

theologica.

by

Summa

EngHsh

the

contra Gentiles. Quaestiones

Dominican

Fathers.

London

(B.O.W.) Basic Writings. Edited by A. Pegis. 2 vols.

.

New

York, 1948.

Sources

De Wulf, M.

i,tudes historiques sur I'esthetique de S.

Thomas d'Aquin. Lou-

vain, 1896.

Finance,

de. Etre et agir

J.

dans

la

philosophic de

S.

Thomas. BibHotheque

des Archives de philosophie. Paris, 1945. Forest, A. La structure metaphysique du concret scion S. Paris,

Thomas d'Aquin.

93 1.

1

Garrigou-Lagrange, R. God: His Existence and His Nature. 2 lated by B. Rose.

Gilson, E.

The

vols.

Trans-

London, 1934-36.

Christian Philosophy of St.

Thomas Aquinas.

Translated by

New

L. K. Shook.

York, 1956. S. Thomas d'Aquin. ("Les moralistes chretiens.") Paris, 1941. Grabmann, M. Der gottliche Grund menschlicher ahrheitsdrXenntnis nach .

W

Augustinus und Thomas von Aquin. Cologne, 1924. Das Seelenleben des heilingen Thomas von Aquin. Munich, 1924. Lottin, O. he droit naturel chez S. Thomas et ses predecesseurs. Bruges, .

1926.

Psychologic et morale aux XII^ et XII I^

.

siccles.

Vol. L Problem es de

Lou vain, 1942. Maritain, J. St. Thomas Aquinas. London, 1946. Peghaire, J. Intellectus et ratio scion S. Thomas d'Aquin. Paris, 1936. Roland-Gosselin, B. La doctrine politique de S. Thomas d'Aquin. Paris, Psychologic.

Sertillanges,

Foundations of

A.

Thomistic Philosophy.

Anstruther. London, 193 1. }. de. Les principes de la philsophie thomiste.

Tonquedec,

Translated

La

1928.

by G.

critique de la

connaissance. Paris, 1929.

XII to

XV

Texts Giles of Lessines.

Le traite "De unitate formae" de M. De Wulf. Lou vain, 1901.

Gilles

de Lessines: Texte

inedit et etude.

Henry

of Ghent. .

Summa

theologica. 3 vols. Ferrara, 1646.

Quodlibeta. 2 vols. Venice, 1608.

of Brabant. Die Impossibilia des Siger von Brabant. Edited by C. Baeumker. Beitrdge, Vols. II, VI. Miinster, 1898. L'Opuscule de Siger de Brabant "De Aeternitate Mundi." Edited by W. Dwyer. Louvain, 1937.

Siger

.

THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

101

Studies D. The Condemnation of

Callus,

Thomas

St.

Oxford. Westminster, Md.,

at

1946.

Hocedez, E. "Gilles de

Rome

et

Henri de Gand" Gregorianum (1927).

Kendzierski, L. "Eternal Matter and Former in Siger of Brabant,"

The Modern

Schoolman, XXXll (1955), 223-41. Mandcnnet, P. Siger de Brabant et I'averroisme latin au Xlll^ siecle. 2 vols. "Les philosophes beiges," Vols. VI, VII.) Louvain, 1908-11. Maurer, A. "Esse and Essentia in the Metaphysics of Siger of Brabant," Mediaeval Studies, VIII (1946), 68-85. "Another Redaction of the Metaphysics of Siger of Brabant?" Mediaeval Studies, XI (1949), 224-32. Paulus, J. Henri de Gand. Essai sur les tendances de sa metaphysique. Paris, .

1938.

Van Steenberghen.

"Siger

of

Brabant,"

The Modern Schoolman, XXIX

(1951), 11-27.

XVI

to

XIX

Texts

De naturis rerum. Edited by T. Wright. London, 1863. De motu cordis. Text in C. Baeumker, Des Alfred von {Alfredus Anglicus) Schrift De motu cordis. Beitrdge, Vol.

Alexander Neckham. Alfred of Sareshel. Sarcshel

XXIII. Miinster in Westfalen, 1923. Dietrich of Vriberg.

Meister

De

Dietrich,

intellectu et intelligibili.

sein

Leben,

seine

De

habitus. In E. Krebs,

Wissenschaft.

Beitrdge,

Vol.

V.

Miinster in Westfalen, 1906. .

De

Thierry

esse et essentia. In E. Krebs,

de

Fribourg,"

"Le

traite

'De esse

et

essentia'

de

Revue Neo-Scolastique de philosophic, XVIII

(1910,511-36. Lull. Opera omnia. Edited by I. Salzimger. 8 vols. Mainz, 1721-42. Robert Grosseteste. Shorter philosophical treatises in L. Baur, Die philosophische Werl^e des Robert Grosseteste. Beitrdge, Vol. IX. Miinster in

Ramon

Westfalen, 1912.

(The

last

part contains the

Summa

philosophica, er-

roneously attributed to Robert.) .

On

Truth.

On

the Truth of Propositions.

Translated by R. McKeon. Selections,

I,

On

the

Knowledge

of

God.

263-87.

On Ught or the Beginning of Forms. Translated by C. Riedl. Milwaukee, 1942. Roger Bacon. Opus Maius. Edited by J. Bridges. 2 vols. Oxford, 1 897-1900. Opus Maius. Translated by R. Burke. 2 vols. Philadelphia, 1928. .

1

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

82

De

Witelo. Vol.

III.

Extracts from the Perspectiva in C. Baeumker, und Naturjorscher des XIII ]ahrhunderts. Beitrdge,

intelligentiis.

Witelo, ein Philosoph

Miinster in Westfalen, 1908.

Studies Callus, D. (ed.). Robert Grosseteste: Scholar

and Bishop. Oxford,

1955.

Carton, R. L'experience physique chez Roger Bacon, contribution a I'etude de la methode et de la science experimentale au XIII^ siecle. Paris, 1924. Crombie, A. Robert Grosseteste and the 0rigi?js of Experitnentd Science, iioo-iyoo. Oxford, 1953. Crowley, T. Roger Bacon: the Problem of the Soul in His Philosophical

Commentaries. Louvain, 1950. S. Roger Bacon and His Search for a Universal Science. Oxford, 1952. Gauthier, L. "Un psychologue de la fin du XIIP siecle: Thierry de FriEaston,

bourg," Revue Augustinienne

,

XV

(1909), 657-73;

XVI

(1910),

178-

206, 541-66.

Hunt, R. "Alexander Neckham." Unpublished thesis. Cf. F. Ueberweg, Grundiss der Geschichte der Philosophic, p. 731. Lacombe, G. "Alfredus Anglicus in Metheora," Aus der Geisteswelt des

M. Grabmann. Miinster in Westfalen, 1935. Roger Bacon. Essays contributed by various writers. Ox-

Mittelalters, Festgabe Little,

A.

(ed.).

ford, 1914.

Lynch,

L.

"The Doctrine

of

Divine

Grosseteste," Mediaeval Studies, III Peers, E. Fool of

Love: The Life of

Ideas

and

Illumination

in

Robert

(1941), 161-73.

Ramon

Lull.

London,

1946.

Sharp, D. Franciscan Philosophy at Oxford in the Thirteenth Century. Oxford, 1930.

*

THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY I

Duns The

Scot us

symptom

first

of collapse

is

found in the trend inaugurated

by Duns Scotus, the "Subtle Doctor." His career was very

Born

England before

in

1270,

he was educated

at

brief.

Oxford, where he

acquired the traditional taste for mathematics, which was supposed to

provide a model of certainty.

he taught in Aristotle

and

De rerum

Paris.

his

From

1305 until his death in 1308

In England he wrote his commentaries on

Questions on the Sentences of Peter

Lombard

(the

principio, attributed to this period, has been proven in-

authentic); and in Paris, the Reportata parisiensia and the Colla-

De

tiones. In the

ority of the

Duns

perfectione statuum he shows the religious superi-

mendicant monks over the regulars.

Scotus has no place in any of the currents that

lowed. Those

who would make him an Augustinian

we have

fol-

are unable to

account for his sharp criticism of the school's most precious theories those of intellectual

knowledge

as illumination, of

:

seminal reasons

contained in matter, and of innate knowledge contained in the soul.

But he

is

even

less

a Thomist, for his

most celebrated doctrines

actual existence of matter, individuation through

the priority of the will those of St.

One tion

is

form

—the

{haecceity),

—are deliberately and consciously opposed

to

Thomas.

of the essential traits that isolates

the outright affirmation of

183

him and

what might be

gives

him

distinc-

called the histori-

1

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

84

cal character of the Christian vision of the universe. Creation, in-

carnation, the attribution of the merits of Christ acts

on the part of God,

—these

in the fullest sense of the

are free

word; that

is,

they are acts which might not have occurred and which are depend-

who

ent on the initiative of God, will. St.

the motives of that jects

God

why he

is

has no reason other than his

Anselm's credo ut intelligam and the attempt are diametrically opposed to this

lengthened in a singular

of faith, the credibilia,

way

"which are

the the

all

to

new list

own

examine

spirit.

And

of pure ob-

more

certain

to

Catholics because they are not based on our blind and often vacillating

judgment but find firm support

Omnipotence, incommensurability, truth, justice, providence

— almost

in the

most

solid of verities."

infinity, life, will, all

omnipresence,

the divine attributes that St.

Thomas deduced from the notion of God as the cause of the world — are to Duns Scotus objects of faith. He nevertheless acknowledges a rational proof of the existence of

mundi

that forces us to pass

from the changing being of our

perience to necessary being that has

proof could not have as it

God, the proof a contingentia its

own

has, the notion of "the being greater than

can be conceived to exist"; for idea,

but one

beings,

we have

and the

first

Anselm

starting point, as St.

its

this

notion

insists that

which no other being

is

not a simple, innate

fashioned for ourselves on the basis of

step

to

is

show

These views could be summarized

that in

ex-

reason for being. This

it is

finite

not contradictory.

one statement: Duns Scotus

exhibits hardly a trace of Neo-Platonism.

The

concept of the con-

tinuity of all things, of a hierarchy of grades of living beings, has

almost disappeared.

If

Augustinianism affirmed continuity in being

and therefore continuity

in

knowledge, and

Thomism

continuity in

being but discontinuity in knowledge, the doctrine of Scotus might be formulated: discontinuity in being and discontinuity in knowledge."^

As

a matter of fact.

Duns

Scotus used every concept that had

gained ascendancy during the thirteenth century: possible

and agent ^

The

intellect,

matter and form, universal and individual, will

affirmation of the continuity of forms

the authenticity of

which

intellect

is

dubious.

is

found only

in

De rerum

principio,

THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY

185

and understanding. But whereas

in the case of earHer thinkers these

concepts evoked each other, were associated with each other, fitted

and formed

into a hierarchy,

aim

a coherent pattern, the

of

Duns

Scotus seems to have been to exhibit independent terms, each of

which has added

and

sufficient reality:

Scotus seems to abandon the principle of universal analogy

which was the moving and even

force behind continuity for Bonaventure

Thomas. By declaring

for St.

that the being has a univ-

and not an equivocal sense with respect

ocal tures

(that

whole

is,

that

signifies

it

the

to

God and

is

same

and

title

from one

in a derived sense, to another

in the

same way

which consequently provides no means

—God

God

being in a nobler sense. For the creature and

lated by the

his crea-

same thing), he removes the

basis of the analogical relation that allows passage

term (the creature), being

who

terms which can, of course, be

each other but which do not require each other.

to

Duns

full

are re-

notion of being,

to the

them by com-

of separating

paring them.

The discontinuity is manifested first in the theory of matter. Here Duns Scotus contradicts both Augustinianism and Thomism: the former because he denies the existence of seminal reasons in matter,

and the

because he denies the Peripatetic principle that there

latter

no potency which can make matter

is

exist

without form. In short,

he denies what the two theories, which contrast so sharply in other

common:

ways, have in

(in Augustinianism) that

makes

ter to exist

it

the link between matter

causes matter to contain an inner principle

form and which

aspire to

(in

Thomism)

only relative to the form that makes

Scotus (like

Henry

tinct idea, has

objection that

its if

of

Ghent) thinks

own

this

and form which

is

actuality.

He

it

an actuaUty.^ Duns

that matter, since is

causes mat-

it

has a dis-

not stopped by Aristotle's

true a composite being

made

of

form and

matter consists of two actual beings that are added to each other,

and

that the composite being

Duns tion in a ^

no longer has unity.

Scotus' theory of haecceity solves the

manner

problem of individua-

that obviously runs counter to both

In II Sententiarum, disL, xii, ed.

Wadding, VI, 664-99.

Thomism and

1

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

86

We

Augustinianism.

that

recall

the

extended their

Peripatetics

lowest classification of genera and species to the lowest or most

and

specialized species,

individual beings in which specific

telligible to the

tributed;

that they refused to attribute anything in-

form was

dis-

they attributed purely numerical division to matter, to

the addition of accidents to specific form.

We

also recall that the

Augustinians, contemplating the supernatural destiny of the individual soul, conferred on intelligible to itself

it

name

it

independent self-knowledge, making

even though singular, and repudiated in the

of faith the theory of individuation through matter. Traces of

Augustinianism are undoubtedly found in the thinking of the

Duns

Franciscan

Scotus to acknowledge the Thomistic thesis, to be:

form

lieve that nature or specific

same

the

and

species,

would be

to believe that

is

the

same

in every individual in

Averroes"

to revert to "the accursed

human

^

nature, intrinsically undivided, can be

divided only quantitatively, as homogeneous water might be distributed in different vessels.

But Duns Scotus had a much more

general aim: to give to every individual being as such an intelligibility

analogous to that which the Peripatetics give to species, that

a determination through positive

and

essential characteristics

not through negative and accidental ones. "Socraticity"

is

positive even before the existence of Socrates in matter,

of changes in quantity

sists in spite

Socrates. It

is

Since this entity in the matter to to the

body

is

it

per-

affecting the real

included neither in specific form (equinity) nor

which

linked (the corporeal structure

it is

of every horse, for instance),

side form, outside matter,

is

common

look for

it

out-

in

must look

mind

for haecceity in

that passing

from

an ultimate

species to in-

not the same as passing from genus to species:^

from genus

'Vol. VI, p. 405. *Vol. VI, p. 413

we must

and consequently outside the composite

We

But we must bear

dividual beings in passing

and

Scotus to posit a determinate entity, haecceity.

being formed by them. reality.

and

something

the unity of the individual being, universally accepted,

Duns

that forces

and accidents

is,

to species, the

genus

is

to the difference as a

THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY

187

potential being

to the

is

form

that determines

genus and difference are fused in

it,

most specialized

species

dividuaUty for

perfection. It follows that in one

its

quite definite:

is

and

that

unique reaHty. Against

a

it

why

is

this,

the

does not require in-

and the same

in-

dividual being (a horse) "the singular entity (the haecceity of the

horse) and the specific entity are formally distinct realities." This

means

that individuality

simply added to the species without

is

there being any intelligible

bond

importance of

obvious in

this trait is

Thomas' conception of Platonic tradition,

we

things, not as ours, in

St.

Duns

Scotus' criticism of St.

Neo-

angelic knowledge. Following in the

Thomas

The

of continuity between the two.

held that the angels

know

singular

do, but because they possess an intellect superior to

which knowledge of singulars

Duns

universals. In the thinking of

contained in knowledge of

is

Scotus such continuity

for-

is

ever impossible.

Duns

makes matter an

Scotus

actual reality even without form,

and he makes the individual being species.

way he

In the same

activity that

to a certain

is

form from the

sensible

image wherever

it

is

to sepa-

may

potentially; but the distinctive role of the possible intellect act of understanding,

and

it

the total cause of this act.

is

product of abstraction,

telligible species, a

an

degree autonomous with respect to the

agent intellect: the distinctive role of the agent intellect rate the specific

from

a positive reaUty distinct

attributes to the possible intellect

is

exist

is

The

the in-

necessary not for pro-

ducing the act of understanding, which derives solely from the possible intellect,

but for relating the act to

also believes that the distinction

between

this or that object.^

acts is

made

by that between objects even though the distinction solely

from the

intellectual powers.

and Augustinian illuminism of

Henry

and of

of

Ghent

is

principles

contrast

He

obvious only itself

between

derives

his theory

counters the thesis

that sensible objects cannot illuminate the soul

that divine enlightenment

first

The

also obvious.

He

which

is

necessary by citing the certainty

are clearly

apprehended

as

soon

as their

terms are apprehended, the certainty of experience, and the inner "Vol.

Ill,

pp. 362, 365.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

100

autonomous

data

the

of

certainty

consciousness

of



and

spirit

in direct contrast to

the primacy of the will over understanding.

behind the good

known

mands understanding" by ject;

it

direct,

Thomism, he

asserts

certainty.

In the same

trails

examples of

all

No

matter

how

far

it

by understanding, the will "com-

directing

follows that "understanding,

it

to consider this or that ob-

the cause of volition,

if it is

is

a

The aim of Duns Scotus is not to ofThomism the Augustinian view that makes

cause dominated by the will." fer as a substitute for

love rather than will

knowledge the

from understanding

just as

final

end of

things, but to free

he freed matter from form, the

individual being from the species, the intellect from divine illumination.

For these considerations

that the will

is

all

point mainly to the conclusion

wholly free: "Nothing other than the will

is

the

total cause of volition in the will."

Duns

Scotus carries his psychological views over into theology.

There can be no subjugation of God's his understanding.

God

To

are not in any

way

writings of Scotus do

we

creations of his will,

good conceived by

and nowhere

find a theory of the primacy of will

the creation of eternal verities. sible

will to a

be sure, the possibles rationally conceived by

The

what

will cannot will

is

in the

and of impos-

But the possibles conceived by God's

and contradictory.

reason impose no restrictions on his creative will: "There

is

no

cause for the divine will to have willed this or that, other than the fact that the divine will

pend on the "no rule

The

is

is

Thus

the divine will."

rule of goodness; instead, the will

is

will does not de-

the

first rule,

and

right unless accepted by the divine will."

thesis of the relation

between the good and the divine will

strongly influenced the moral philosophy of precepts that cause us to

know

the

Duns

Scotus.

good depend on

The moral

a divine law;

but the good derives solely from the fact that these precepts have

been willed by God; and since his will that

God might have

Decalogue.

given

is

arbitrary,

commandments

it is

conceivable

other than those in the

\

THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY The

and

arbitrariness

Duns

radical discontinuity that

Scotus in-

troduced into even the divine reaUty dominated his conception of poHtics.

A

fusion of social atomism and unbridled authoritarianism,

conception was the reflection in society of the vision of the uni-

this

verse that

wt have been examining: men were

at first equal,

but

they willingly sacrificed their independence to an authority established by

them

which they subjected

in order to limit the dangers to

each other on account of their egoism; since that time the authority that they set

up has become omnipotent and

and revoking properties

tablishing, distributing,

are

no laws other than the

are

no duties other than duties

monarchy to

at the

that

to

fit;

there

him; there

God, and among such duties

beginning of the thirteenth century by a Capetian

had arrogated

The voluntarism work

to itself the absolute

Born before

God

Duns

of

Scotus found

its

of a fourteenth-century Oxonian,

power accorded

fullest expression in

Thomas Bradwardine.

he died Archbishop of Canterbury in 1349.

1290,

mathematician

who found

the

appealing, he wished only to demonstrate that the concept of

remembered mainly

as the anti-Pelagian

who

thinking there will."

is

"no reason or necessary law in

Furthermore, "divine will

of every motion," is

and the

necessitated by

It is

since, instead of joining

thrall's ®

dependence on

Cf. B, Landry,

Duns

God

prior to his

the efficient cause of every thing,

freest act that

can be accomplished by

will

was widely accepted during the

a dry theory, far

God

to

man

removed from mysticism

through meditation and

makes man's dependence on God something

it

causality. In his

God.

His theory of the enthralled fourteenth century.

is

is

almost went so far as

deny outright any causality other than divine

man

A

Anselmian proof of the existence of

the most perfect being does not imply a contradiction; but he

to

is

(who were being persecuted and

by the Franciscan's theory).^

it

the

he sees

as

positive laws instituted by

the forcible conversion of Jews

banished

absolute, the chief es-

his lord:

Scot, pp. 233-45.

"Man

is

external,

the thrall of

love,

like

a

God, but by

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

190 his

own

free will

and not by

saw

The

theory was represented

who

condemned in 1347. Among the condemned which said that "God wills that a man should

forty of his theses

theses

were those

and be

sin

constraint."

by the Cistercian John of Mirecourt,

at the University of Paris

a sinner, that

he

is

the cause of sin as sin, of the evil of

guilt as evil of guilt, the author of sin as sin."

His theological de-

terminism, through the Englishman John WycliiTe, influenced Luther.

Thus

the doctrine of

Duns

Scotus,

which

attracted

many com-

mentators and was even taught in the leading universities of Europe,

was

II

new spirit.

a fountainhead of the

The

Universities in the Fourteenth

and Fifteenth Centuries The

social

importance of the universities during the fourteenth

century and the

first

part of the fifteenth century can hardly be ex-

By pragmatic

aggerated.

by Louis XII in

sanction, reconfirmed by a decree issued

1499, privileges

were granted

the universities in the conferring of benefices.

appointment

to

The

years of unipre-

to the office of curate in a city parish.

But

the freedom that existed within the university

elsewhere.

Long

and canon law) were a

versity study (three years in theology

requisite to

to the graduates of

university

was "the

oracle of the

had no counterpart

mind and

European thought, the most redoubtable power

fronted the legal powers.

No

body

freer,

is

the guide

that ever con-

no organization more

democratic. Meetings of societies, faculties or nations, and general

meetings; the right to legislate on ing, justice; in

tation

elected

.

.

.

and

some

all

—administration, teach-

matters

of them, students are even accorded represen-

and professors are recruited by for a specified time (rector

or six months, or for one year at most)

;

professors; authorities are

and proctor for against the

three, four,

meddUng

of the

central authority or local powers, the solid armature of uncontested privileges; fiscal exemption, the right to be

and, to enforce these guarantees, the

power

judged by one's peers to

suspend instruction

THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY

191 .

such

.

.

The

middle of the

universities continued to flourish until the

fifteenth century,

when

and influence even speculation

came

and consecrated by popes and

the charter recognized

is

"^

kings."

weakened

their

power

as they reinforced the central authority,

when

diverse circumstances

was abandoned, and when preparation

Then

their sole concern.

for degrees be-

the universities ceased for a long

time to be the centers of activity they had once been, and the ual

life

But

spirit-

continued under different conditions.

and

in the fourteenth

fifteenth centuries

the spirit of in-

dependence was manifested in bold, new speculations

much more

closely related to the tradition of the twelfth century than to that of

the thirteenth.

The whole

era

was dominated by the

the antiqui and the moderni.

The

conflict

ancients were in

between

reality the in-

novators of the thirteenth century, deeply immersed in discussions

motivated by the concepts of Aristotle and his Arab commentators:

form and matter, the principle of individuation, agent possible intellect, intelligible telligences of the heavens.

and

sensible species, the

The moderns were

intellect

moving

those who, far

providing contradictory or supporting evidence on the jected

them

as senseless

and turned back

vision of the universe that

we saw

to the free

tempt

issues,

and the

William of Conches. There was no longer an St.

Anselm, or

Bonaventure, or

the Hmits of reason, as in the case of St. speculation unfolded freely

re-

outlined in the eleventh and

to rationalize faith, as in the case of St.

luminate reason, as in the case of

in-

from

and uncluttered

twelfth centuries: the nominalism of Roscelin and Abelard atomistic theory of

and

to

atil-

to prescribe

Thomas. Philosophical

and independently.

In the midst of such agitations no part of the old system of Christianity could survive. lated

The power

of the

emperor was annihi-

by the splintering of the empire into more than three hundred

principalities that

eroded the central power. "As the princes devour

the empire, so the people will devour the princes," predicted Nicho'

Imbart de

la

Tour, Les origines de la reforme,

I,

347, 527

fl.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

192

Cusa

las of

thereby, that

in 1433.^

and

it

resulted

was

in

The power

of the popes

was not enhanced

seriously impaired by the great schism (1348)

the

Council of Constance

and the

(1414-1418)

Council of Basel (1433), both of which simply intensified the conflict

who believed in the (whom they considered an and the Ultramontanists, who be-

between the advocates of Conciliarism,

supremacy of the council over the pope administrator of the Church), lieved that the pope

had unlimited power. As the

traditional

powers

declined, national royalties gained incomparable strength.

The

masters of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries took an ac-

tive part in the diverse conflicts that terests

and focused attention on

them were

The

so

many

and were

active politically

involved so

many

practical in-

judicial concepts.

Most

of

jurists as well as philosophers.

great initiator of nominalism, William of

Ockham, was

also

one of the opponents of John XXII. Excommunicated in 1328, he

was received

at the court of

Emperor Louis

of Bavaria,

found John of Jandun, another enemy of the pope. In

his

where he Defensor

pads, John of Jandun had maintained that "the universaUty of the citizens

1327).

was the only human

legislator" (he

William remained there

for

wrote pamphlets against the pope,

was excommunicated

more than twenty

among them

errorum papae Johannis XXII and a vast

the

political

years

in

and

Compendium

work, the Dia-

logus inter magistrtim et discipulum de imperatorum et pontificum potestate.

Another nominalist, Durand of Saint Pour^ain, was the

author of the treatise

De

great schism caused

Henry

jurisdictione ecclesiastica et

of

de legihus. The

Hainbuch, the mathematician and

astronomer, to write after 1378 numerous works on the require-

ments for peace in the Church; but he nomics and

politics.

defended Conciliarism hand, went over after

becoming

at

Basel. Nicholas

to the pope's side at the

wrote works on eco-

of Cusa,

on the other

Council of Constance and,

a cardinal, took a leading role in all of the eccle-

siastical affairs of his ^

also

In the fifteenth century Cardinal Peter of Ailly

time: the internal reform of the clergy in Ger-

Quoted by Vansteenberghe, Le Cardinal Nicolas de Cues

(Paris,

1920), p. 47.

THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY

193

many, the refutation of against the

Turks

The Beginnings

Ill

A

the Hussites,

and preparations

for a crusade

in 1454.

Nominalism

of

study of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries brings us face

to face

with a generation of

who had

men whose minds were

cold and sober,

the religious enthusiasm that animated the genera-

lost

and who had acquired, through the

tions of the great crusades,

complicated diplomacy necessitated by the most this era, the clear

and

For under the blows of the nominalists, the metaphysical

trine.

structure erected during the thirteenth century collapsed.

inaUsm of special

this

universals. It

metaphysical

Platonists thought they

was

a

new

which

spirit

treated as

realities that the Peripatetics

had discovered, which

and relegated the affirmations of

and the

stressed experience

domain

religion to the

of pure

where any communication with reason was impossible.

The

of the nominalists

first

was the Dominican Durand of Saint

who

Pour^ain (in the Auvergne), Bishop of Meaux,

He

The nom-

period was not simply a particular solution to the

problem of

fictitious all the

faith

during

trivial issue

positive outlook that characterized their doc-

died in 1334.

refused to accept the authority of any doctor "no matter

celebrated or solemn he

may

be."

sensible

and

sary but

which no one has ever

tellect

intelligible species

whose is

which

he viewed St.

The

Thomas deemed

seen. Also fictitious

agent intellect

is

fundamental

sensible images,

must be apprehended through

But everything

is

more than

reversed

a certain

if

manner

out paying attention to

its

is

reaUty, since

neces-

the agent in-

is

indeed necessary

taken for the specific form which

reality of things; the

how

as fictitious the

abstractive operation, rightly understood, in

implies existence. universal

And

no way

when

the

the fundamental it

not given in

is

a higher operation.

the universal springs

from nothing

of considering the sensible

image with-

individual properties; the universal do:s

not exist prior to such consideration, and

it

differs

from the

individ-

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

194

from the determinate. Conse-

ual being as the indeterminate differs

quently the problem of individuation

fictitious;

is

the species exists prior to the individual being, since dividualizes

Theology

is

way

In the same of

and the truth

it;

which

ual being,

the

first

it

assumes that

it

asks w^hat in-

that nothing exists but the individ-

is

object of our knowledge.

the Franciscan Peter Auriol,

and died

at Paris in 131 8

who became Master

Avignon

at

in 1322 at the

court of Pope John XXII, his protector, shows a definite preference for

nominalism in

universals goes

deed,

"it is

his

the Sentences.

no deeper than knowledge

nobler to

monstratum) than This formula

Commentary on

is

to

of

of individual realities; in-

know an individual, designated reaUty {deknow it in an abstract, universal manner." ^

illuminated by Peter Auriol's attempted analysis of

knowledge: things produce in the differ in strength

and

{esse intentionale) ,

3.

"impressions" that

intellect

may

precision; consequently they produce in the

an "appearance" which Peter also

intellect

Knowledge

calls

an intentional being

(forma specularis), a concept or a

reflection

conception, or an objective appearance



all

synonyms designating,

not the Thomistic species or intermediary through which the soul

knows

a thing, but the true object of

note that his semblance reaUty distinct

is

from what

in it

knowledge.

represents;

it

the thing

is

ent" in the mind, but only to the extent that the mind.

ception"

when

He

is

adds that there

is

knowledge

wholly imperfect and

is

therefore

means from confusion

of

should also

and

itself,

a

"pres-

actually visible to

genus when the "con-

knowledge

distinct.

from the universal to clarity

it is

indistinct,

becomes more perfect and more

it

knowledge

We

no way an image of the thing with

The

of species

progression of

to the singular,

which

distinction.

William of Ochjiam

IV

The

Uam

greatest of the nominalists

of

Ockham, who deduced

was born between 1280 and 'Vol.

I,

p.

8i6b

all

was the English Franciscan Wilthe consequences of the theory.

1290, studied at

He

Oxford, and died in

195

THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY

1349 or 1350. In the fourteenth

and

{venerabilis inceptor)

the venerable initiator

he was called

fifteenth centuries

of nominalism, the

monarch or standard-bearer {antesignanus) of the nominaUsts, and his

were

associates

nominaHsts

indifferently

called

{nominates),

terminists, or conceptists.

WilHam's arguments against the existence of universals were not new. They were used in the eleventh and twelfth centuries and go back through Boethius to Aristode's discussion of Plato's ideas: since the universal

is

supposed

individual being, which plain singulars

is

is

independently

to exist

it

must be an

contradictory; to posit universals to ex-

not to explain but to double beings (application of

economy previously employed by Peter by WiUiam in this way: nunquam ponenda est

the celebrated principle of

Auriol and stated

pluralitas sine necessitate)',

finally,

to

put universals in singular

mind would extricate them through make them individual beings.

things from which the tion

is

also to

But neither does William,

and

to all the ancient

versals in

sio

animae) or

word

words

to

on

this point to

Boethius

commentators of the Categories, place uni-

words themselves.

the significations of a

faithful

still

abstrac-

He

attributes

them

instead either to

(intentio animae, conceptus animae, pas-

as signifiers of something. In the second

sense they are conventional since

words are a human

institution; but

in the first sense they are natural universals {universalia naturalia).

By designating

universals as signs or significations,

William

(as

Abelard had done before him) transposed the question of the nature of universals into that of their use in knowledge.

and

this

accounts in full for their existence

—in

They

are used

propositions to re-

place the very things that they designate (supponere pro bus). Far

from being a

fiction or a chimera, they are

ipsis re-

images which

can represent equally any of the singular things contained in their extension,

and which can replace them

signified.

One must

universal

is

never lose sight of their reference to things; the

never anything more than a predicate that can refer to

several things;

praedicatur.

as the sign replaces the thing

it is

not a thing, by virtue of the axiom: res de re non

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

196

Ockham

knowledge

teaches that primary

is

things, "the apprehensive act" which, as in

cludes a

judgment of

existence.

Such

intuition

are in

knowledge of

no way dependent on the

and of other things

joy, or sadness,

Thus

rectly." ^^

persists in the trast

the contrast

thinking of

and

case "our intellect

certain intelligibles that

such as intellection, volition,

that

man

can experience

between the sensible and the

this nominalist,

realities

the contrast between

but no longer

di-

intelligible is it

a con-

the internal.

on which they are based or modeled;

two types

of experience, the external

would have

to relate.

know whether

whether the the soul

Thus

the soul

act of

the

is

which the data of experience

neither reason nor experience enables us is

an incorruptible and immaterial form,

comprehending implies such

form of the body.^^

and reason

sensibility

and

follows that the contrast provides us with no basis

It

for positing a metaphysical reality to

to

either external

between the concrete and the abstract or between sense data

and the metaphysical it is

senses,

is

which

attains to sensible things, or internal, in

acquires particular, intuitive

intuition of singular

Stoicism, always in-

a form, or

whether

Instead, the contrast

between

Ockham, following the practice of Thomas, to separate intellect and add to them a third form, the forma cor-

inclines

Aristotle but in opposition to St.

the sensible soul

and

to

we provided with knowledge of God and his attributes. Since we do not know him intuitively, we persist in formulating our own idea of God. But such an idea, built on features

poreitatis.

Nor

are

borrowed from things within the range of our experience, enable us to penetrate to his existence as

The same effects

is

St.

true of any attempt to go back,

will not

Anselm wished to do. like St. Thomas, from

The principle of the demonstration "Everymoved is moved by something else" is neither self-

to the cause.

thing that

is

evident nor demonstrated (we shall see the attacks to which subjected by the Ockhamists) the series of causes one the

first

cause



is

the other

must eventually come

to a

it

was

in tracing

stopping point,

probable but cannot be conclusively proven. Here

^^

In sentential Prolegomena, qu.

'^

Quodlibit

I.

;

principle— that

qu. 10.

i.

197

"^^^

FOURTEENTH CENTURY

we have one more and the

infinity,

Such

a faith,

reason to conclude that the unity of God, his

trinity of

persons are pure articles of faith.

wholly external and impervious

well as obligatory: the acts of volition

no other reason. "God

The

is

to

are arbitrary as

Decalogue are pure

of the

whom we owe

obedience for

not obliged to perform any act;

do that which he

fore right for us to

V

commandments

on the part of God,

to reason, favors the

God

view that the moral precepts that come from

it is

there-

wills."

Parisian Nominalists of the Fourteenth Century:

Criticis7n of Peripateticism

The

teaching of the theories of William of

Ockham was

ited in the faculty of arts of the University of Paris in 1339

More than

a century later, in 1473,

hibited the teaching of

prohib-

and

1340.

an edict of Louis XI again pro-

Ockhamism, and

the masters

had

to take

an

oath to teach realism. Between the two dates, while the Oxford science languished, there arose at the University of Paris a nominalistic

movement which was

very important in the history of science

and philosophy, and which

P.

Duhem

is

the

first to

have studied

and evaluated properly. Pope Clement VI watched uneasily as the

Masters of Arts turned

the following year he of Mirecourt

to "sophistical doctrines." ^^

condemned

the theses of the Cistercian

who, inspired by Duns Scotus, declared

Ockham,

the only real cause, and, with

in 1346

During

that

John

God was

that hate for others

was

demeritorious only because prohibited by God.

In 1346 he condemned the theses of another master, Nicholas of Autrecourt, a Master of Arts.

The

next year Nicholas had to abjure

his theses publicly at a convocation of the university.

physics in

which

which the only causality

is

all

change

efficient

denied



is

cause

reduced is

to local

God and

in

A

corpuscular

motion, a world in

which any natural

such was the simple image of the universe that

Nicholas wanted to substitute for Aristotelian physics and metaphysics which, in his opinion, contained not a single demonstration ^"

Chartularium Universitatis parisiensis

II.

i,

p.

588.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

198

and should be abandoned

and

in favor of the study of Aristotle's Ethics

Politics.

He

advanced

his theses

by attacking the two great notions

at the

heart of physics and metaphysics, namely causality and substance.

His method of

criticism,

which has been compared

to that of

Hume

but which was closer to that used by Sextus Empiricus in his tropes

on

causes,

known through WilHam

of Moerbeke's translation of the

Outlines of Pyrrhonism, consisted essentially in applying as the criterion of truth the principle of contradiction as

Then he could easily show known to exist, it cannot be

metaphysics.

thing

is

(through evidence that can be reduced

that

it

"from the

is

is

will be burned.

it

placed near oakum,

one

inferred through evidence

to the first principle or to the

certainty of the first principle) that another thing exists." fact that a flame

stated in

fact that

I

From

the

cannot infer positively that

can only conclude with probability that since

I

my hand grew warm whenever I placed it near a flame, oakum will grow warm under the same conditions. Such criticism destroyed Peripatetic physics, which related the bond of causality to the bond of identity (any causality being in principle the production of like

by

like),

and

in this

of the world, trast,

way

insured the unity of becoming, the unity

and consequently the unity of monotheism;

in con-

Nicholas' viewed becoming as a succession of disconnected

mo-

ments.

The same

criticism applies to the notion of substance.

The

sub-

stance posited by Aristotle as the basis for the Ukenesses provided by the senses it)

is

known

neither intuitively (since everyone

and substance another, and sions

am of

would know

nor through discursive reasoning, since likenesses are one thing it

is

not permissible to

from one thing and apply them

absolutely certain only of the objects (objectis) of

my

acts."

Among

the impossibilia

proposition: "Everything that appears to us

we

my

senses

which Siger of Brabant

fered to demonstrate through a play on logic

dream, with the result that

draw conclu-

to another. It follows that "I

is

and of-

was the following but semblance and

are not certain of the existence of

THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY

199

And

^^

anything."

Siger stressed the following argument: likenesses

are provided not by our senses but by another faculty that alone can

judge whether they are true likenesses. Nicholas simply carried the

argument

to its logical conclusion

by showing that the principle of

contradiction cannot enable us to go beyond appearances to reality.

way he

In the same

attacked the notion of the faculties of the soul,

asserting that there

from the

Parisian Nominalists

The world

of Aristotle

was the very thing that

moved

is

is

contains in actu that

moving body. This

we have

is

is

eternally.

dynamics: "Every-

The

else."

at the initial

principle

moment, but

produced by a mover that

is

in the process of being realized in the

two of the most singular

the source of

yet

his

moved by something

moment, motion

Dynamics

apart. Still to be attacked

namely

the-

examined: the theory of the motion of pro-

which can continue only by

stantly being

which

had been torn

which is

Aristotle's

mean: not only

to

also at each successive

ories that

and

basis of his system,

must be interpreted

jectiles

basis for inferring the existence of will

act of volition.

The

VI

no

is

virtue of a thrust that

is

con-

renewed; and the theory of the motion of the heavens

possible only by virtue of

The

theory of

moving

moving

intelligences that exist

intelligences in the heavens

had been

linked by the Arabs and by thirteenth-century philosophers to a theological conception of the universe to

which

it

contributed in-

dispensable support: the angeUcal hierarchy of Dionysius the Areopagite

was

realized in the separate intelligences

whose nature stim-

ulated endless speculation. Furthermore, Aristotle's ciple also served to support

of his

first

We ciple.

way

see, It

Thomism

since

it

dynamic

prin-

was the major premise

proof of the existence of God. then,

what strong

interests

were linked

to

the prin-

was attacked by the Parisian nominaUsts who ground for the development of modern

cleared the

^^Mandonnet, Siger de Brabant,

II,

77.

in

this

physics,

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

200

founded mechanics, substituted

for the

telHgences a celestial mechanics

whose

mythology of moving principles

to

same time broke the bond

those of terrestrial mechanics, and at the of continuity that the old

in-

were identical

dynamics established between the physical

theory of things and the metaphysical structure of the universe.

John Buridan was born

Bethune around 1300; he served

at

as

Rector of the University of Paris {ca. 1348) and died not long after

He

1358.

introduced the notion of impetus, which must be under-

The

stood as the antithesis of Aristotle's dynamic principle.

borrowed from the motion of Aristotle's physics:

if

a stone

is

thrown

idea

is

which was the crux of

projectiles,

into the

air,

mover im-

the

moved object a certain power that makes it capable of continuing the move by itself in the same direction; the force of the

parts to the

impetus

would and

proportional to the speed of the stone; and the motion

is

last indefinitely if

its

weight. But

if

not weakened by the resistance of the air

we

posited circumstances under

weakening would not occur, to the lessly.

motion would not

its

conceivably true of the heavens:

God

which such

cease.

Such

is

very beginning imparted

at the

heavens a uniform and regular motion that continues end-

This

thesis nullifies

moving

intelligences

and even any

special

concurrence on the part of God, likens the motions of the heavens to

the

motion of

projectiles,

and together with the principle of

inertia, establishes the unity of

mechanics.

It

also relegates to the

past not only the theory of natural places but also the finitude of

the w^orld

and geocentrism. But the new principle did not

the full measure of

applying

it

incorrectly

form motion rectilinear

its

disclose

fruits at the outset,

and Buridan himself was

when he assumed

that the circular

of a sphere

and uni-

could continue independently, just as

motion could, by virtue of an

The same mistake was made by

initial

impetus.

Albert of Saxony, Rector of the

University of Paris (1353) and Bishop of Halberstadt from 1366 until

his death in 1390.

that posed the

ferent

But

at the

problem of

same time he enunciated

celestial

mechanics in

way: "The earth moves and the heavens are

since there

was no longer any physical reason

a hypothesis

a completely at rest."

dif-

For

for the immobility of

201

THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY

the earth, as there to

had been

determine whether the

Here we

in the case o£ Aristotle,

new

it

remained only

hypothesis "will save phenomena."

find a resurgence of the old Pythagorean vision of the im-

mobihty of the heavens (never wholly absent during the Middle

Ages

since

some

Erigena and Albert the Great referred of

saw

of Plato's interpreters

Meyronnes indicated

old image had the support of

pable of bringing out

to

a preference for

new

it,

and the

Scotist Francis

around 1320; but now the

it

notions of general mechanics ca-

full significance.

its

Timaeus).

in the

it

Furthermore, and in the

same

spirit,

apart

from any hypothesis concerning natural

fined,

though not yet accurately, the relation between speed, time,

Albert of Saxony investigated the problem of gravity

and the space traversed by Nicole Oresme, as

who

and he de-

places;

falling bodies.

studied theology in Paris in 1348 and served

Bishop of Lisieux from 1378 until his death in 1382, was one of

the disseminators of the

new

mechanics. In his

celestial

Commentary

on the Bookj of the Sky and the World (written in the vernacular like a

number

of his other works), he

ment nor reason proves "several persuasive

showed

that neither experi-

the motion of the heavens, and he cited

arguments

to

show

motion while the heavens do not."

that the earth has a diurnal

He

did not forget to

draw

the

conclusion that "such considerations can be used to advantage in

defense of our Faith."

The same man

the use of geometrical co-ordinates,

discovered, before Descartes,

and before

Galileo, the exact

formula for the distance covered by a body falling with uniformly accelerated motion.

His ideas were propagated by Marsilius of Ing-

hen (died

and by Henry of Hainbuch, who served

in 1396)

tor of the University of

Vienna

in 1393 (died in 1397),

works on astronomy and physics are

still

V

later,

in

during the

last years

of his

life,

Rec-

unpublished.

Ockhamism was continued by Cardinal Peter 1420), who became Chancellor of the University and

as

and whose

of Ailly

(1350-

of Paris in 1389,

served as legate for Martin

Avignon. Like Nicholas of Autrecourt, he was convinced that

the existence of the external world could not be proved since "if

every sensible external thing were destroyed,

God

could

still

pre-

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

202

same sensations

serve the

in our souls."

Nor

is

the existence of

demonstrable; the existence of both the external world and

remains merely probable. Like the divine will

no way

in

is

WiUiam

of

Ockham, he

God

a "will that

stated that

subject to the rationality of the good,

but that the natural order and the moral order willed by

from

God

not directed by any reason to will as

is

God God

it

derive does."

not just because he loves justice but, inversely, a thing

is

just because

God

loves

it,

that

is,

because

it

is

pleases him.

Oc\hamism, Scotism, and Thomism

VII

The

history

of

the

of

universities

the

fourteenth

century

is

mainly the history of the struggle between the ancients and the moderns. Ockhamism spread, particularly in Germany, where

was popularized by

who

Biel,

1495.

who

in the

theology, in

Biel's pupils, Gabrielists

good

The

as

to

which God seems more Hke

and

God who

a capricious

nominaHst arbitrary

submits his will to the law of order and

conceived by his understanding.

ancients were,

especially

such as Staupitz and Nathin,

Augustinian convent introduced Luther

Jehovah than a the

it

but not very original advocate, Gabriel

taught at the University of Tubingen in 1484 and died in

was

It

a faithful

of course,

represented in the universities,

by commentators: Johannes Capreolus (1380-1444)

in

in Florence;

and

Dionysius the Carthusian (1402-1471) in Cologne, which was

still

Paris

and Toulouse;

a purely

Thomist

century,

from 1505

Summa theologica, the Summa contra first

St.

Antoninus (1389-1459)

university. to 1522,

At

the beginning of the sixteenth

Cajetan wrote a commentary on the

and Francis gentiles in

Silvester of Ferrara

A

Franciscan Scotist of the

John

of Ripa, exercised a strong

1516.

half of the fourteenth century,

wrote one on

influence at the University of Paris until the

end of the century. In

Paris one of his disciples, Louis of Padua, witnessed the

condemna-

on change and contingence

in the will

tion in 1362 of propositions

of

God which

he had extracted from his master's teaching.

It

was

203

FOURTEENTH CENTURY

"^^^

mainly on account of him,

nominaUsm did not

seems, that

it

in-

vade every center of instruction.

VIII

German Mysticism

in the Fourteenth Century:

Ec\hart

The counterpart of the nominalist movement was the mystical movement that developed during the same era, especially in Germany. Toward the end of the fourteenth century, Gerson defined mystical theology as "clear and savory knowledge of things that basis of the Gospel." ^^ Mystical theology

on the

are believed

"must

human investiknown through a

be acquired through penitence rather than through gation,"

and

it

would seem

"God

that

is

better

feeling of penitence than through rational study."

French mystic who was

We

see in this

a friend of Peter of Ailly the influence of

whom

mysticism was mainly a method of medi-

tation linked to spiritual

advancement. Scholastic theology proves

and demonstrates, and

leads to a system of well-ordered ideas;

the Victorines, for

it

mystical theology sees and savors, and

it

leads to an ineffable union

with God.

Mysticism was profoundly separated from the philosophy of the

by the setting and the conditions under which

universities

oped in Germany,

was inseparable from the

It

spiritual

meditation

from sermons than to the

lower

cloistered

associated

and from

the twelfth century, ^*

St.

and

Contra vanam curiositatem links

Bonaventure and p.

with

life,

all

it

it

devel-

assumed.

the training in

monastic

the

a general

organization,

,

ed.

particularly in a belief in the

many Dulin

that extended to the

instances of millenarianism in

(1706),

it

led to the

I,

106.

Of

Bernard than

among

to the

the

sudden ap-

course,

the Chancellor of the University of Paris

to St.

469).

mood

in the fourteenth

of the specific traits that are found

Gerson [1940],

with

and was manifested

millennium. There had been

mysticism, which

forms that

literary

in the vernacular that appealed to sentiment rather

intellect,

classes

by the

as well as

more

Gersonian closely

to

Areopagite and Erigena, has none

German

mystics

(cf.

A. Combes, Jean

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

204

pearance of a great number of prophets and prophetesses

nounced

was coming

that the cycle

was about

to

who

an-

an end and that the antichrist

Mysticism/^ even when doctrinal, retained

to appear.

many cf the features that linked German mystics of the fourteenth

to

it

common

the

people: the

century favored the vulgar lan-

guage; they explained through affirmation, through visions, but they never discussed or tried to provide proofs; according to Eckthe

hart,

most speculative of them

help the soul break

convinced of

He

away from

was saying the same thing with his

close affinities

indebted

was

1260,

own

to his predecessor.

—except

of the

as

to

become

whose doctrine had

as Plotinus,

even though Eckhart was not directly

The Dominican John

Eckhart, born in

1

—he

lived in Ger-

Vicar General of his order after 1307

good reputation

Dominican convents

years of his

who

a

to

of the divine nature/^

for a stay in Paris in 131

many, where he served

and acquired

aim was always

their

University of Paris in 1300, but from 1304 until his

at the

death in 1327

all,

body and seek God,

and of the purity

nobility

its

the

as a teacher, preacher,

of his order in

and reformer

Bohemia. The

last

two

were darkened by the attacks of the Franciscans,

life

caused twenty-eight of his theses to be condemned in

Rome

in 1329. It

would be

in his to

man

a

such a point that he

philosophy, tian

if

we

life. First,

this

Dominican, who was

rightly credited with originating first

examine

and monastic

German

his conception of the Chris-

whole system of

a

good works,

man away from

how

of action, carried metaphysical speculation is

did not

comes

evangelical precepts love, humility,

turn

understand

difficult to

own way

spiritual interpretation of

rules derived

from them poverty, :

prayers. All these rules, intended to

himself and the world and to bring

him

nearer to God, are given a purely spiritual interpretation by Eckhart: poverty

is

the state of a

"Pastor, Histoire des Papes,

de Cues,

"Ed.

man who knows

166, cited by Vansteenberghe,

I,

p. 33. Pfeiffer, p. 191;

compare

nothing,

Plotius

Enneads

iv. 3. i.

who wants

Le Cardinal Nicolas

205

THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY

nothing, and

who

and from

creatures, the

all

has nothing. Completely severed from himself

man who

will to accomplish the will of

God

he allows

passivity;

is

God; he

truly poor lacks even the is

in a state of complete

accomplish his work in him; he

to

is

ready to suffer the torments of Hell or to partake of the joys of

The union

beatitude.

end only

in

cism, love tion,

is

of love

complete as possible and has

as

its

In keeping with an enduring feature of mysti-

itself.

no longer

a

permanent deficiency

God

but a plenitude identical to

amorous soul therefore

is

as in Plato's descrip-

The

himself.

action of the

characterized by no deficiency and

Love and

subservient to no end. far

is

all

from being acquisitions of the

from

the virtues that issue soul, are therefore

the profound unity in

which

are indissolubly fused

that thereafter are accomplished effortlessly

and unconsciously, and

love,

Eckhart

(as

expresses the Plotinian view) the very being of the soul.

is

They

are

the virtues

all

and even involuntarily

no gradation; good works,

that exhibit

almsgiving, and fasting are worthless unless the will that motivates

them

is

taken into consideration.

ternal success

and superior

spatial circumstance,

the internal

brooks no obstruction and

work which alone draws

any ex-

will, indifferent to

any temporal or

for this very reason to

something external and limited is

The

us to God.

to a definite,

is

the true work,

Nor

is

true prayer

momentary end;

it

constant submission to the will of God.

Here we

see the resurgence in full force of a

standing the inner

life

been formulated with such

end of the

ment

means

of under-

which, since the time of Plotinus, had never clarity

and completeness: love

as the

spiritual life, the fusing of all virtues into one, the attain-

of complete freedom by placing the soul once again at

proper depth, that restricted

is,

beyond the

and circumscribed. That

states is

in

which

its

activity

its

is

indeed the Plotinian tradition

that has often appeared as the counterpart to another tradition: the tradition according to

and return

to self,

is

which

virtue, instead of

being withdrawal

a voluntary acquisition involving multiple

repeated exposure to external, social conditions. But

it

is

and

worth

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

206

noting that Eckhart's doctrine, like Plotinism, does not lead to the

kind of abstention from overt tury

was

activity that in the seventeenth cen-

The lower

called quietism.

activities of the

soul

—those

that lead to action, will, reason, understanding, external perception

—are not eliminated by

on

the soul's withdrawal into itself but are

The problem that tormented resolved: when one possesses the right

the contrary ordered and directed. the Stoics so

much

here

is

principle, right actions independently follow.

The rhythm

of this mystical conception of the spiritual

life

pre-

dominates in Eckhart's theology and metaphysics. Fourteenth-century thinkers

had long been familiar with

this

rhythm: original

unity of beings, division, return to unity. Since the time of the

somewhat by

Stoics this pattern, modified

had been the substructure of every

Whether passage from one

many was

to

diverse considerations,

single vision of the universe.

envisioned as an emanation

or a creation, the general conception of things

had always been

dominated by the idea that the consummation of things was a

re-

turn to unity with God, a veritable deification.

Eckhart advanced the view that the return impossible,

even

senseless,

from God were thought same sense

to unity

individual

finite

if

would be

creatures

remote

be endowed with true reality in the

to

as the divine reality.

His whole system of metaphysics

summed up in this negation: "Individuality is a mere {unum purum nihil) eliminate this nothing and creatures are one." What he means is that unification with God,

therefore

is

accident, nothing all

which

is

the

;

consummation of

us the reaUty of things. speculative mysticism

It is

and

destiny, simultaneously discloses to

in this sense that his mysticism

that his doctrine of destiny

is

at the

is

a

same

time a doctrine of being.

The

unity of

God

is

not destroyed

if

we

conceive of things in the

fullness of their diversity as the manifestation or revelation

deeper unity.

If a

the thought that

word it

expresses an inner thought,

expresses;

and

it

is

enough

it

of a

unites with

for the

many

to

appear to us as such in order for us to deny their diversity and their

independent being and to

relate

them

to

God from whom

they

207 issued. I

know

"^^^

FOURTEENTH CENTURY

Thus

as

soon as

in the Trinity. priate:

is

method

his

Many

which the Father

is

unity,

first

And

expressed?

Word is

not the Spirit the bond of

after those in

William of Moerbecke's

Elements of Theology), however, above the {Gottheit)

divinity

posits

as

non-participated

a

The

the three persons constitute the "natured nature."

corresponds

Proclus'

to

known and

unity in which the

participated

knower

the

expresses the thought of the Father;

The

on the

his analogy

an "unnatured nature" that remains intact while underneath

Father,

side

as revealed

or Intelligence through

Son and the Father? Basing

translation of Proclus'

Trinity he

God

Augustinian views of the Trinity are appro-

(which he modeled

triads

to the diversity of

not the Son the Verbum, the

love that unites the

God

from God.

that they issue

Eckhart applies

conceive of things as revelations of

I

and the

first,

the

unity,

the

absolute

are identified; the

Son

them.

Spirit unites

creation of the world, or the procession of created things out-

God,

essentially

is

no

diflFerent

from the generation

by the Father, for the created world

God. Each thing has the Creation

is

God

And

that

causality other than

is

is

through which

why,

Son

nothing but an expression of

eternal being, included in the

its

a non-temporal act

himself in his Son.

no divine

in

of the

God

Word

expressed

since Eckhart acknowledges

immanent

causaUty,

it is

not permis-

sible to conceive of the individual existence of each creature in a

determinate time and space as the result of a positive act of God.

moment God

created heaven

earth, for the finite existence of things apart

from God, the

wrong

It is

and

to say that at a certain

diversity that separates them, can only be

and

all

The

evil,

and a defect associated with

But of

as

nothingness

privation. Eckhart obviously clings tenaciously to the Plotinian

and Augustinian theory of tion

viewed

it is

nothing

less

which makes

evil a

simple priva-

diversity.

than the knowledge of the primitive unity

creatures that brings the world back to the point of

soul has

no other function than

this

knowledge.

its

origin.

We

would

expect Eckhart willingly to accept the Aristotelian statement that "the soul

is

in

some way

all

things" and that in the active intellect

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

208

the object

identical to the subject.

is

We

would

him

also expect

to

accept the Neo-Platonic thesis that each hypostasis, soul as well as intellect,

includes

all

things in

of his theory of the soul,

times

is) as

own way. That

its

The depth

(Fun^e) or

the "spark of the soul"

where every creature rediscovers

its

of the soul,

synderesis,

some-

it

what he the place

is

unity. Consequently,

knowledge

in the highest sense (suprarational is

(as

the starting point of his doctrine, but instead, as in the

case of Plotinus, as the outcome. calls

the true basis

is

which cannot be considered

knowledge

of this unity or faith)

not the representation of things that would be and would remain

external to

it;

such knowledge

rather a transmutation of things

is

themselves in their return to God. spiritual

aspect

Stoics already

the

of

saw

We

might say

conflagration

universal

a purification rather

that

which

in

Adam

whom

is

consummated

to attain: the perfect

all

union of

of the historical, judicial,

doctrine remains.

The

occurred even in

the

than as a paragon, as the

which

that

God and

certain

human

the

From

whom

Eckhart's thought the

cultivation of the inner

Hardly a

incarnation of Christ, which

much

as

in

soul endeavors

his creature.

Adam's

sin,

primarily on the basis of atoning for original

century drew not so

less

man

trace

and sacramental aspect of the Christian

absence of

the guide for souls through

the

than a material conflagration.

In Eckhart's Christianity, Christ, incarnate in Jesus, acts the redeemer of the sin of

is

it

is

sin.

would have

not explained Christ

rather

is

the universe returns to God.

German

mystics of the fourteenth

a metaphysical theory as a guide to the

life.

John Tauler

(i 300-1 361)

Suso (1300-1365) were primarily preachers.

and Henry

The Flemish

mystic

John Ruysbroeck (1293-1381), Prior of the convent of Griinthal near Brussels, through his predilection for the allegorical interpre-

mind Philo's piety more often than "The soul must understand God through God," he says in The Adornment of the Spiritual Nuptials, "but those who wish to know what God is and to study him should understand that this is prohibited. They would become intation of Scripture, brings to

Plotinus' talent for speculation.

sane. All created light

must

fail

here; the quiddity of

God

tran-

209 scends

THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY all

must

creatures; one

them

try to penetrate

.

.

.

that

true sobriety."

^"

His interesting statement reveals the profound age which characterized the

Gone is

the universe in

is

last

intellectual cleav-

part of the fourteenth century.

God and

reason

choices: nominalism, in

which

which the world

perfected by faith. These are

reason

and not

believe the articles of faith is

two

leads to

under the guidance of experience begins

to

become

ac-

quainted with the natural laws of things, and in which faith cannot be superadded to reason unless by an arbitrary decree or yield

knowledge

of

God

other than that of his absolute, unaccountable

power; and mysticism, which goes

directly to

God

without passing

through nature and subsequently rediscovers nature only thing permeated by serious, perhaps,

between two

is

God and

intellectual settings: the universities,^^

of science

where the

some way reabsorbed

was coming

into existence

was much more

^"

social

a true

masses and included not only the speculations of

movements

that

were

than intellectual.

Trans. Hello,

p. 6i.

But not because there were no mystics in the universities (as A. Combes notes ]ean Gerson, p. 469); Gerson was Chancellor of the University of Paris from

^^

in

where

and where the

closely linked to the spiri-

the profound mystics but also vast popular

more

him. More

were being elaborated, and the monasteries,

spiritual life

tual life of the

in

the fact that this cleavage reflected the contrast

intellectual aristocracy

methods

in

some-

as

1395 to 1429.

Bibliography

I

Texts

Duns

Scotus.

Opera omnia. Edited by L. Wadding. 26

vols. Paris

(Vives),

1891-95. .

De primo

principio. Translated by E. Roche. St. Bonaventure, N.Y.,

1949. .

Philosophical Writings. Selections translated by A. Wolter. London,

1962.



.

The Oxford Commentary on

Sentences.

I,

III,

4.

the

Translated by R.

Thomas Bradwardine. De

Four Boo\s

McKeon

of the Master of the

in Selections,

II, 313-50. causa Dei adversus Pelagium et de virtute cau-

sarum ad suos Mertonenses Libri

tres.

London,

161 8.

Studies Gilson, E. "Avicenne et le point de depart de doctrinale et litteraire

du moyen

age,

II

Jean Duns Scot. Paris, 1952. Grajewski, M. The Formal Distinction of

Duns

Scot," Archives d'histoire

(1927).

.

1944.

Duns

Scotus.

Washington, D.C.,



M. Die Kategorien und Bedeutungslehre des Duns Scotus. Tubingen, 1916. Laun, J. "Recherches sur Thomas de Bradwardin precurseur de Wiclif," Revue d'Histoire et de philosophic religieuse (Strasbourg), IX (1929), 217Heidegger,

33-

The Medieval Science of Weight. Madison, Wise, 1952. Pp. 285Thomas Bradwardine. Shircel, C. L. The Univocity of the Concept of Being in the Philosophy of Duns Scotus. Washington, D.C., 1942. Wolter, A. The Transcendentals and Their Function in the Metaphysics of Duns Scotus. St. Bonaventure, N.Y., 1946. Moody,

E.

91 on

210

THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY

211

IV Texts William of Ockham. Super quatuor tiones

earumdemque

libros sententiarutn subtilissimae quaes-

decisiones. Lyons, 1495.

.

Quodlibeta septem. Paris, 1487. Strasbourg, 149 1.

.

Breviloquiutn de potestate papae. 1937. Critical

.

edition of

Ockham's

works in 25 vols, is in Bonaventure, N.Y. (Vol. I,

non-political

preparation by the Franciscan Institute,

St.

1956).

Selected Quodibetal Questions. Translated by R.

.

McKeon,

Selections,

360-421.

II,

Oc\ham:

Philosophical Writings. Translated by Ph. Boehner.

New

York, 1957.

Studies Boehner, P. Collected Articles on Oc\ham.

"Ockham's Conception

Maurer, A. Studies,

St.

the

Bonaventure, N.Y., 1958. Unity of Science," Mediaeval

(1958), 98-112.

The Logic of William of Oc\ham. New York, 1935. A. "Some Recent Interpretations of Ockham," Speculum, XXIII

Moody, Pegis,

XX

of

E.

(1948),

458-63.

"Les 51 articles de Guillaume Occam censures en Avignon, en Revue d'histoire ecclesiastique, XVIII (1922), 240-70. Shapiro, H. Motion, Time, and Place According to William Oc\ham. St.

Pelzer, A.

1326,"

Bonaventure, N.Y., 1957. Vignaux, P. "Nominalisme," Dictionnaire de theologie catholique, XI (1931), 733-84-

Webering, D. Theory of Demonstration According

to

William Oc\ham.

St.

Bonaventure, N.Y., 1953. II, III,

V, VI

Texts Albert of Saxony. Quaestiones super octo physicorum libros. Padua, 1493. Venice, 1504 and 1516. .

Durand

of

(third

Pourgain.

Saint

and

last

In

et

Sententias

redaction of his

Paris, 1508. Fifteen editions .

mundo. Pavia, 1481. Venice, 1520. commentariorum libri quatuor commentary on Lombard's Sentences).

Quaestiones in libros de caelo

were published during the sixteenth century.

Quaestio de natura cogitationis. Edited by Koch. Miinster in West-

falen, 1929.

2d

edition, 1935.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

212

John Buridan. Quaestiones super octo physicorum

1509 and

Paris,

libros.

1516.

John of Jandun. Quaestiones i?i XII libros metaphy sicorum Venice, 1586. John of Mirecourt, Condemned propositions are in Denifle, Cartularium .

universitatis parisiensis. Paris, 1891. Pp. 610-14.

Nicholas of Autrecourt. Exigit ordo executionis. "Nicholas of Autrecourt," Mediaeval Studies,

Nicholas Oresme. "Maistre Nicole Oresme,

le

Edited

Text and Commentary," Mediaeval Studies,

O'Donnell.

J.

(1941),

III

V

(1942), 159-297; (1943). 167-333. De difformitate qualitatu7n (unpublished,

cf.

.

Leonard de

by

(1939), 179-280. Livre du Ciel et I

P.

du Monde, IV

185-280;

Duhem, Etudes

sur

Vinci, 3d series, Paris, 19 13, p. 373).

Commentariorum in I Sententiarum. Rome, 1596. Commentariorum in II Sententiarum. Rome, 1605. Peter Auroli Scriptum super primum Sententiarum. Edited by

Peter Auriol. .

.

E.

Buytaert. St. Bonaventure, N.Y., 1953.

Peter of Ailly. Quaestiones super

primum, tertium

et

quartum Sententiarum.

Venice, 1478, 1490, 1500.

Studies Borchert, E.

Der

scholasti\

Einftuss des

nach

dem

Nominalismus auf die Christologie der Spdt"De communicatione idiomatum" des

Tra\tat

Nicolaus Oresme. Miinster in Westfalen, 1940. Der Konceptualismus in der Universalienlehre des Petrus Aure-

Dreiling, E. oli.

Munster in Westfalen, 1913. Etudes sur Leonard de Vinci. 2d series. Paris, 1909. Pp. 379-

Beitrlige, Vol. XI.

Duhem,

P.

441.

3d

series. Paris, 1913.

Pp. 1-492.

Gilson, E. "La doctrine de la double verite," Etudes de philosophic medievale. Strasbourg, 192 1. Pp.

Koch, J. Durandus von Aquin zu Grundlegung. Michalski, C. "Le siecle,"

de

S.

51-75 on John of Jandun.

Porciano, O.P., Forschungen

Beginn des

14.

(Beitrdge, 26,

zum

Streit

um Thomas

Jahrhunderts; I Teil, Uterargeschichtliche

I.)

Munster

in Westfalen,

1927.

criticisme et le scepticisme dans la philosophie

Bulletin

de I'academie polonaise

(1925), pp.

41-122.

du XIV® Cracow,

1926.

O'Donnell. "The Philosophy of Nicholas of Autrecourt and His Appraisal of Aristotle," Mediaeval Studies, IV (1942), 97-125.

"Un 'programme de vie' de "Le 'De exercitato proficiencium' de Pierre

Vansteenberghe, E.

welt des Mittelalters,

du moyen age" and Aus der GeistesFestgabe M. Grabmann. Munster in Westfalen, la

fin

d'Ailly,"

1935. Pp. 1231-1246.

Weinberg,

Nicholas of Autrecourt: J. Thought. Princeton, 1948.

A

Study

in

Fourteenth

Century

THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY

213

VII Texts Commentary on

Cajetan,

the

the Leonine edition of

Gabriel

Biel.

Epitome

St.

et

Summa

theologica of

St.

Thomas. Printed

in

Thomas.

collectorium

Occamo super quatuor

ex

libros

sententiarum. Tubingen, 1512.

Johannes

Capreolis.

Defensiones.

Thomas de Aquino, Book

Libri

IV Defensionum

IV. 7 vols. Tours,

1

theologiae

divi

889-1908.

Studies Carre,

M,

Feckes,

and Nominalists. New York, 1945. Die Rechtjertigungslehre des Gabriel Biel und ihre Stellung

Realists

C.

innerhalb der nominalistische Schule. Miinster in Westfalen, 1925. Gilson, E. "Cajetan et I'existence," Tydschrijt voor Philosophie,

XV

(1953),

267-86.

Grabmann, M. "Johannes Capreolus,

Thomas (Fribourg Penido,

T.

"Cajetan

O.P., der Princeps

[Switzerland]),

et

notre

Thomistarum," Divus

XXII (1944), 85-109,

connaissance

analogique de

145-70.

Dieu,"

Thomiste,XVll (1934-35), 149-92. Schwamm, H. Magistri fohannis de Ripa O.F.M. doctrina de divina.

Rome,

Revue

praescientia

1930.

VIII Texts Henry

Boo\ of Eternal Clark. London, 1953.

Suso. Little

lated

by

J.

Wisdom:

John Gerson. Opera oinnia. Edited by M.

Little

Ellies

du

Boo{

of Truth. Trans-

Pin. 5 vols.

Antwerp,

1706.

John Ruysbroeck. The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage. The Sparkling Stone. The Boo\ of Supreme Truth. Translated by C. Wynschenk. New York, 1916. John Tauler. Opera omnia. Paris, 1623. Meister Eckhart. Sermons and tractates in Meister Echhart. Translated by C. deB. Evans. 2 vols. London, 1931.

Tal\s of Instruction The Boo\ of Divine Comfort, The Aristocrat, Disinterest and Sermons, in Meister Eckhard. Translated by R. Blakney. New York, 194 1. .

About

,

"^^^

214

MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

Studies Master Ec\hart and the Rhineland Mystics. TransJ. by Hilda Graef. New York, 1957. Meister Ec\hart: An Introduction to the Study of His Worlds. Lon-

Ancelot-Hustache, lated

Clark,

J.

don, 1957. The Great .

German

Mystics: Ec^hart, Tauler,

and Suso. Oxford,

Combes, A, John Gerson: Commentateur dionysien. Paris, 1940. Jean de Montreuil et le Chancelier Gerson. Paris, 1942. Connolly, J. John Gerson: Reformer and Mystic. Louvain, 1928. De Hornstein, X. Les grands mystiques allemands du XI V^ siecle:

1949.

.

EcJ{hart,

Tauler, Suso. Lucerne, 1929. Delacroix,

H. Le mysticisme

speculatif en

Allemagne au XI V^

siecle.

Paris,

1900.

Lavand,

B. L'osuvre

mystique de Henri Suso. 4

vols.

Fribourg, Switzerland,

1946-47.

Muller-Thym. The Establishment of the University of Being in the Doctrine of Meister EcJ{^hart of Hochheim. New York, 1939. Wauthier D'Aygalliers, A. Rusybroec\ the Admirable. Translated by F. Rothwell. London, 1925.

THE RENAISSANCE DURING THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY there was a sharp contrast between the universities

laymen and and popes:

clerics

mingled

and the humanistic

circles

where

under the protection of princes

freely

for instance, at the Platonic

Academy in Lorenzo the Academy in Venice. In

Magnificent's Florence and at the Aldine these

new

settings

the desire for

no

practical consideration took precedence over

knowledge

pletely liberated,

for

its

own

sake.

were no longer forced,

meet the need of providing training

Human

minds, com-

as in the universities, to

for clerics.

The

following cen-

tury witnessed the founding of the College of France which, unlike the University of Paris,

edge rather than the

had

as

its

aim

classification of

the

advancement of knowl-

accumulated and traditional

materials.

The new freedom produced

a multipHcation of doctrines

and

thoughts which had been incubating throughout the Middle Ages but which had previously been repressed. This confused mixture

might be

called naturalism, for generally

universe nor

sought

human

it

subjected neither the

conduct to a transcendental

to identify their

most viable and

it

immanent

fruitful ideas, the

turned away from

all

that

rule,

but simply

laws. It contained, alongside the

worst monstrosities; above

all,

had been previously accomplished.

"Laurentius Valla finds fault with Aristotle's physics," wrote Poggio,

"He

who was finds

as

much

Boethius'

215

a

humanist and Epicurean

Latin barbaric,

destroys

as

was

religion,

his friend.

professes

2l6

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

heretical ideas, scorns the Bible.

the Christian religion

is

superior to any proof!"

Roman

.

.

.

And

has he not taught that

based not on proofs but on belief which

But Poggio was

"^

in

is

the service of the

Curia, and as for Laurentius Valla, the Cardinal of Cusa

recommended him

to the

pope in 1450 and wanted him

to enter its

service.

This intense desire for a new,

voked or

at least

dangerous

difiFerent,

life

was pro-

accentuated by an enormous expansion in the

and

possible range of experience

in technology.^ In

whole pattern of the material and

one century the

Europe had

intellectual life of

changed. Temporal expansion of the range of experience occurred

when humanists (who

took up the study of oriental languages in

Greek and Latin

the sixteenth century) read the tant than the discovery of

new

texts

texts.

was the manner

Less impor-

in

which the

De offlciis was the same text for both Ambrose and Erasmus, but St. Ambrose was seeking rules for his clerics whereas Erasmus found in it a moral philosophy, autonomous and independent of Christianity; and the emphasis was no old were read: Cicero's

St.

longer on utilizing the ancient texts to explain Scripture, but on

understanding the

texts themselves. Spatial

of experience occurred

when

explorers

the oLKovfiiya set by Christianity

expansion of the range

went beyond the confines of

(following the Greeks) as the

boundaries of the habitable earth, and discovered not only

new

lands that caused people to look beyond the Mediterranean, but also

new human

types,

whose

religion

Technological expansion was pass,

possible not only by the

at the

which

same time

are to be credited to Italian artists

artisans.

The men

although bound by tradition, sensed that stirring

^Quoted by H. Busson, Les Sources ^

In

Un

nouveati

the Renaissance:

"Man cannot endure

has plunged him."

et le

moyen age (1927), N.

who

of the fifteenth century, life

that

had long been

once again and that the destiny

was mankind was recommencing. "Everywhere," wrote

in a state of suspension

of

com-

gunpowder, and printing, but also by industrial or mechanical

inventions, several of

were

made

and customs were unfamiliar.

the Cardinal

developpement du rationalisme,

Berdiaefif

is

p.

55.

struck by the individualism of

the isolation into which the humanistic age

THE RENAISSANCE

217

Cusa around

of

"we

1433,

see the

minds

men most

of

devoted to

the study of the liberal and mechanical arts turn back to antiquity,

and with extreme about

to

Men more

^

were naturally inclined

ments the

were

avidity, as if the full cycle of a revolution

be completed."

to contrast

traditional conceptions of

new

with the

man and

develop-

based on a

life

much

number of Middle Ages

limited range of experience. In spite of a vast

divergences and diversities there was throughout the

but one image, or rather one single frame into which could be fitted

every possible image of the universe: the frame that

called theocentrism.

From God

God

as the principle to

and consummation, following the passage through this

formula could be made

as well as the

fit

the

finite

most orthodox of the

end

beings

Summae

most heterodox of the mystics, for the order of na-

and the order of human conduct take

ture sity

to

we have

as the

their place as

by neces-

if

between the principle and the end.

Such

a synthesis

was

possible only so long as

in the universe in relation to

its

creatures or manifestations of

gaged

in

moving toward

or

origin or

God,

all

its

men saw

end,

finite

everything beings as

all finite

spirits

away from God. But

as

being en-

the concept of

theocentrism was gradually abandoned: as early as the twelfth century humanistic naturalism emerged and focused attention on the study of the structure

century

the

and

forces of society; in the fourteenth

Ockhamists, deliberately neglecting everything that

related to the origin or

end of things and even demonstrating the

fallacy of believing that

something of the divine plan could be ap-

prehended in the contrast between the immutable heaven and the sublunary region, studied nature in and for

two

centuries,

itself. It

was the next

however, that offered every reason for abandoning

the concept of theocentrism. Strange mysterious depths in history

and

in nature, hardly suspected previously,

philology on the one yielded

with ^

its

new

data on

historical

now began

to appear:

hand and experimental physics on

man and

moments

the universe.

—creation,

sin,

The

redemption

Quoted by Vansteenberghe, Le Cardinal Nicolas de Cues,

the other

Christian

p. 17.



drama

could no

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

2l8

longer circumscribe a nature whose laws were completely indifferent to

of

it,

it,

humanity one segment of which was

a

an era in which Christians themselves threw

power and won acceptance

spiritual

Such

opposed

The most important was and

at the

conception of

number

infinite

that practical

of repercussions.

men, men of

action, artists

kind were brought

artisans, technicians of every

ground

or even de-

life

to the idea of Christian unity.

change entailed an

a vital

ignorant

in their politics of goals totally

aHen to the supernatural ends of the Christian liberately

totally

off the shackles of

to the fore-

The new

expense of meditative and speculative men.

man and

rather than conceived,

nature was a conception that was realized

and the names of true philosophers, from

Nicholas of Cusa to Campanella, are overshadowed by those of great captains to the

and

word, was

all

Leonardo da Vinci, all

Technique, no matter what sense

artists.

and

vellian poUtics

was hardly a philosopher who was not

was

to restore the

thinkers, but before this they

—and

methods

that

were practitioners

would allow them

forms and thoughts of the ancients. this

is

perhaps

great

the

paradox of the era

philosophers of the Renaissance, from Nicholas of Cusa to panella, took pains to organize their thought

design of the universe.

many

The all

the

from leading them

more

God

as the principle

contrast between this ancient

we to

observe

new

it

ideas,

that the great task of philosophy

to organize everything in the material

the spirit in terms of

—the

Cam-

around the ancient

return to Platonism, as

of these philosophers, far

simply convinced them

was

at the

a technique intended for the ItaHan princes.

of philology, concerned with the

in

was

physicist

a doctor or at least an astrologer and an occultist. Machia-

The humanists were

Yet

attributed

technician

painter, engineer, mathematician,

in one: but there

same time

The consummate

that mattered.

is

world and in the world of

and God

as the end.

The

scheme and the new philosophy of

nature that they integrated into their system accounts for the extreme difficulty of their doctrine.

THE RENAISSANCE

219

The Diverse Currents

I

Thought

of

In spite of the general confusion that marks the Renaissance, the

foregoing considerations allow us to separate several fairly distinct philosophical currents, the

of

first

which

early centuries of Christianity,

the Platonic current.

is

Platonism had been warmly received by the

new

religion since the

and fifteenth-century Platonic hu-

manists such as Marsilio Ficino

entertained a sincere hope of

still

finding in Platonism a philosophical synthesis favorable to Christianity,

thus unwittingly continuing the tradition of Chartres and

The second

of Abelard.

current

is

that of the Averroists of the

University of Padua: they followed a tradition uninterrupted from the time of Siger of Brabant

and transmitted

Padua

to

on an Aristotelian interpretation opposed

rests

tian Peripatetics;

it

The

to that of the Chris-

reveals a naturalistic Aristotle, an Aristotle

rigorous determinism;

it is

Paduan

science since the

not to be linked to the

dawn

discovered

how

who

to

of

a

modern

reactionaries upheld the spirit of Aristotle's

third current

is

that of the true scholars

neither Plato nor Aristotle but Archimedes, the

is

tradition

and the immortality of the soul but proclaims

denies Providence

physics.

at the be-

The

ginning of the fourteenth century by Peter of Abano.

join

mathematics

to

whose model

man who

experience;

first

completely

ignored during the Middle Ages, Archimedes brings us suddenly to a state of science

could teach. third

and

A

its

fourth current, which

leads to

like the scholar

much more advanced no

who

than anything that tradition is

no

fixed, definite formula,

less

is

original than the

that of moralists

studies nature independently of

end, set out to describe the natural

man

origin

and

without taking into

account his supernatural destiny. Their description of is

its

who,

actually rooted deep in the ancient systems of

human

nature

moral philosophy,

especially the Stoic. It

seems that

Ockhamism enunciated

the supposition implicit in

the doctrines of each current (with the exception of the

first)

after

the fourteenth century: nothing in nature can bring us to the objects

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

220

of faith; faith

is

a sealed domain, one circumscribed

and

inaccessible

except by virtue of a gracious gift of God. But was that not also the

fundamental idea of the Reformation? Neither our intelligence nor our will can help us through natural means to lay the slightest basis

for

faith.

The Reformation was

scholastic theology

cause

and humanism;

denied with

it

Ockham

God; and

it

opposed

equally

to

both

denied scholastic theology be-

that our rational faculties can lead us

humanism

from nature

to

than for

dangers since natural forces can impart no religious

its

it

repudiated

less for its errors

meaning.

But the Reformation was tric

theses associated with

it.

humanism

as hostile as

conception of the universe and to

Both chose

all

to ignore the synthesis of the

natural and the divine, of the sensible world and

with

the consequences that

all

to the theocen-

the moral and political

its

principle, along

had been imagined during the

thir-

teenth century.

Thus

there

were two ways, each contrasting with the

other, of

trying to rediscover the intellectual unity destroyed by the apparently definitive cleavage

between knowledge of nature and divine

by taking pains to organize an autonomous moral nature as

its

standard, or by denying

man

reality:

that has

life

the possibiUty of justifying

himself other than through grace.

II

Platonism: Nicholas of Cusa (Nicolaus Cusanus)

The

intestine struggle

of the universe

between the ancient theocentric scheme

and the humanistic method stands out

clearly in

the greatest of the fifteenth-century thinkers. Cardinal Nicholas of

Cusa (1401-1464).

We

hamism, transmitted

to

find in his

him by

work

a strange blend of

his teachers in Heidelberg,

Ock-

and of

Neo-Platonism, thoroughly assimilated through the reading not only of Dionysius the Areopagite but especially of the great works of Proclus: the

Elements of Theology, the Commentary on the

Parmenides, and Platonic Theology. In spite of his extremely imperfect

knowledge of the Greek language,

his direct

and sustained

THE RENAISSANCE

221

was of

contact with the roots of Platonism

capital importance.

The

Neo-Platonism of the Arabs and even of Dionysius the Areopagite

was

totally diiiFerent; totally different also

The

Plotinus and of Proclus.

lower

to the

was concerned mainly with

first

from

describing the hierarchy of beings,

was the Neo-Platonism of the angels or intelligences

in order to determine in

spirits,

physical position of each being.

The

some way

the meta-

much closer to Plato, show how each degree

second,

notwithstanding their differences, sought to

in the scale of the hierarchy of living beings contains the fullness of reality

but reveals

things, as

do

from

it

hypostasis contains

it

in

One

a different angle: the

and the

Intelligence, Soul, its

own

contains

way. In the

indistinct; in Intelligence they interpenetrate,

One

things are

all

thanks to an intuitive

vision that sees all things in each thing; in Soul they are

bound by anything but

the bonds

all

sensible world, but each

no longer world

of discursive reason; in the

they remain external to each other, with the result that their difference can be expressed in terms of of being.

The

knowledge rather than

in terms

Neo-Platonist conceived the passage from one hy-

postasis to the next highest, less as the passage

from one

reality to

the next than as the ever deepening, ever unifying vision of one

the

and

same universe.

The Neo-Platonic

idea, expressed in

myriad ways

in the

De

docta

ignorantia (1440) and in the other works of the cardinal, was the

He

very heart of his thought.

him

allow

to reach a

was searching

method

for a

that

would

higher plane for viewing the universe than

that of reason or the senses: to see

all

things intellectualiter rather

than rationaliter was his aim.

Take good

his conception of

mathematics.

results in this sphere, his

because of

its

meant

Aristotle: for

to

Though

thought

is

it

what mathematics

the geometrical characteristics of a

natural being, such as the stature of tion of the sky,

produce

nevertheless of interest

orientation. First let us recall briefly

him

failed to

man

depended on the essence

or the physical configura-

of this being; consequently

geometry, the study of such configurations, could be nothing more than a science of abstract

realities that

do not have

their causes within

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

222

them. Mathematical reasoning linked the properties of forms, ically

stat-

given by definition, to each other. Geometry had long occupied

the inferior position that to accord to

many

Renaissance thinkers were disposed

Fracastoro, for example, noted that mathematics,

it.

with objects that are too humble and too lowly,

though

certain, deals

and

thought was echoed in the Discourse on Method. Nicholas of

his

Cusa would have liked

mathe-

to see instituted, alongside visual

matics as represented by the surveyor's art and rational mathematics as represented

by EucHd, an "intellectual mathematics."

he picturesquely labeled the (1450), which call

of

art

It is

what

"geometric transmutations"

deals with problems that

modern mathematicians

problems of limit the coincidence of forms that the geometrician :

we see intuitively that an chord when the arc is minimum.

considers distinct. For example, circle coincides

The

with the

coincidence of the arc and the chord

is

arc of a

but one application

of the general principle of the coincidence of opposites that accounts for intellectual

knowledge of things; the principle of contradiction,

on the other hand, accounts

for rational

knowledge. Intelligence

the unity behind contraries that reason contrasts tually exclusive.

toward the

is,

Thus knowledge

intellectual as

the mental state of the

edge,

knows how

far

shorten the distance. here,

is

The

from

a limit; "learned ignorance"

is

not satisfied with rational knowl-

intellectual

knowledge and

tries to

coincidence of opposites, as interpreted

but one aspect of the

Platonists is

is

tends toward the irrational, that

toward

man who,

he

sees

and declares mu-

state of unity of all things in

which the

saw the explanation of being and of knowledge; but

it

an aspect that can introduce a multiplicity of problems

—as many

Thus

the curve

concrete problems as there are pairs of opposites.

coincides with the straight line, a state of rest with motion; "motion

merely

is

all

seriate rest (quies seriatim ordinata)

the great contrasts

.^"^

Condemned

on which Aristotelian physics was based.

We need not dwell on the metaphysics of Nicholas simply projects these diverse

To what *

De

are

states of unities

of Cusa,

on the plane of

which reality.

the Platonists called state of unity he applies the term

docta ignorantia

ii.

3.

RENAISSANCE

T^^^

223

complicatio, and to

what they

the term explicatio.

"God

and the world

things in the state of explicatio. Both

is all

is

God

the absolute

is

things" in the state of complicatio,

all

maximum

the universe constitute a

but

called state of dispersion he appHes

maximum,

containing

all

the possest in

God and

possible being,

which

all

power

{posse) has already attained to being {est). Here, however, maxi-

mum that

does not signify the greatest of beings, which would imply

being compared with

it is

makes

ceive of the excess that

say that

The

opposition. in

which

act.

Or

verse

universe

again:

that

maximum

the

that

is,

it

is

we must

apart from any

"contraction" or reduction

composite and discrete, passes from potency to

reality,

is its

is

Furthermore, to con-

disproportionate to things,

it

minimum,

also the

is

it

finite beings.

"God

the absolute quiddity of the world; the uni-

is

contracted quiddity." In this

maximum

contraction, or the

shows the explicatio in the process of becoming

universe, Nicholas

rather than as completed. Like Plotinus, in fact, in his physics he

show

tries to

that everything

instance, the four elements

they are mixed, and

still

is

do not

fire itself

contained in everything: for

exist in a

pure

state, as in

Aristode;

contains a blend of the three other ele-

ments.

Knowledge, through which unity,

of

is

knowledge there

which is

in

is

some way is

is

a basic confusion,

in

it

it.

all

reduced in the soul

to

noted by several historians,

things in the state of complication

produces

little

by

little

Since the explicatio

is

plicity, it is in principle inferior to

ever,

is

highly instructive. Like Aristotle, he assumes that the soul

knowledge ever

diversity

the reverse of the notion of explicatio. In Nicholas' theory

is

and

that the

the "explication" of what-

a state of expansion and multithe complicatio. Inversely,

knowledge, or the actuation of the powers of the

soul,

howis

an

It would seem that Nicholas of Cusa was vaguely aware that knowledge depends on two opposite motions, analysis and

enrichment.

synthesis, but that

How ways

to

is

dogma

he

calls

them both

explicatio.

affected by his Platonism?

be torn between the

truths of faith above

human

Ockhamist

His mind seems

principle

al-

that sets the

apprehension and the Platonic theses

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

224

that describe the divine reaUty

the universe

itself.

^

means

that

Cusa does not assume,

It is

forever impossible "to understand

participate variously in one infinite form,"^

emanative metaphysics

modern

is

much

so

since in the case

one and the

to create are

God

is

every-

like Plotinus, that

a necessary principle that forces the multiple to

is

the one.

proach

statement: "Since

creation identifiable here as a free, positive act of the

Is

divine will? Nicholas of there

and

thing, the act of creation simply

thing."

this

was created by the highest being, and

o£ the highest being to be, to do,

same

Take

how

and the hope of any

abandoned. Here again

is

in that he tries to extract

emerge from

diverse creatures

we

see that his ap-

from Neo-Platonism not

a metaphysics to provide a general explanation of the uni-

method and

verse as a

a spirit to enable

him

to attack concrete

and

limited problems.*^

Platonism

Ill

At many

Cusa surpassed by

far the

now going

examine.

The

his duties, could devote only a litde

time

points Nicholas of

thinkers

whose Platonism we

cardinal,

overwhelmed by

and

to philosophical meditation,

are

his ideas

went beyond the mere discovery of

were often vague; but he

method

a

to

in Platonism.

of contrast the objective of Platonists after Marsilio Ficino to focus attention

on the

By way

had been

religious or poetic content of the master's

They searched not only

doctrines.

other

for points of

agreement between

Platonism and Christianity to prove, contrary to the Paduan Averroists, that

philosophy was Christian, but also for the unifying force

of a religion

common

to all

mankind one which appears somewhat

obscurely in the traditions of

:

all

nations and of which Christianity

probably but a momentary aspect. This notion brought the °

Ibid.

ii.

24.

'

Ibid.

ii.

25.

is

human-

^Nicholas had a French disciple in the person of Charles de Bouelles (Bovillus), professor of theology at Saint-Quentin and author of De nihilo (1510); discussed by M. de Gandillac in Revue d'Histoire de la philosophie (1943), p. 43.

THE RENAISSANCE

225 istic

Reformation and

Platonists into conflicts with the

tually,

The

also,

even-

with the Counter Reformation. significance

the

of

between Aristotelianism and

conflict

Platonism initiated by Pletho's pamphlet against Aristotle (Florence, 1440)

is

obvious. Like Cardinal Bessarion and his supporters, he

intended to use Plato as a defense against fatalism and the negation of the immortality of the soul.

and wrote

translated Plotinus (1492)

of Marsilio Ficino,

who

commentary on Plato

(the

The works a

Theologia platonica de immortalitate animorum) preted in the same light. a necessary less to

complement

He saw

Christians."

well as souls

translator

^

will

gladly

few changes,

a

God

Ficino found in Plato

endowed with

He

mortality.

What was needed was

With

which, perhaps, will persuade them.

would be

which was power-

to religious preaching,

which philosophers

religion

,

his philosophical investigations as

destroy the impiety of Averroes.

philosophical

are to be inter-

hear

the Creator as

was not an original thinker, but he was

the sixteenth century)

and

Platonists

a personal existence, freedom,

and commentator, whose books (published

"a

and ima skilled

in Paris

during

remained the source of information con-

cerning Plato and Plotinus throughout the Renaissance.

We Pico

more

find a kindred attitude but a della

Mirandola

(1463-1494),

up once again the common

who

fertile

in

his

imagination in

Heptaplus took

practice of interpreting the

Mosaic writ-

ings allegorically. In his Heptaplus he rediscovered the complicated

and dazzling metaphysics of the Cabala and the Zohar. His work contained nothing that had not been familiar since Philo of Alexandria, but

it

was notable

in that

it

once again linked allegory and

the idea of a universal religion.

The whole phantasmagoria

the

of

Cabala reappeared in the

sixteenth century in the metaphysical constructions of the

German

mystics. In their world, as in the world of Plotinus, everything

symbol, everything ing degrees of ^

is

affinity

in everything,

which,

Thcologiae platonicae procemium,

and science

when known, p. iv;

is

a

consists in identify-

also enable us to

quoted by Bus^on, Sources,

p. 174.

under-

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

226

how

Stand

things act on each other. Such

Paracelsus (1493-1541),

of

all

presumed correspondences of

of

is

the

whose works

aim of the physician

are but the discovery

type between the things of

this

nature.

We

need not dwell on these oddities but should note

German-speaking

sion in the

countries.

their dilTu-

Notwithstanding the protes-

Lutheran orthodoxy, Paracelsus and Meister Eckhart, both

tations of

writing in German, became the leaders of these mystical societies in

which were incubated the ideas

finally translated into the

popular

works of Valentin Weigel (1533-1588) and later of Jacob Boehme (1575-1624), initiates who went beyond the letter of Scripture, attaining to the mysteries of the divine

outcome of

At

the

this

life.

Later

we

liefs.

it

is

we

this chapter

how

shall see

Platonic spiritualism

Christianity

let

and unsystematically,

linked, diffusely

Plato's

examine the

movement.

end of

produced veritable philosophical systems. Here

how

shall

was becoming

us note briefly

Christian be-

to

of

tenet

favorite

a

the

humanists. Erasmus, in his book In Praise of Folly (published in Paris in 151

1

and eminently

that both Christianity

successful),

was quite happy

and Platonism agreed

that the

to record

human

soul

is

chained to the body and prevented by matter from contemplating truth,

and

shadows

that the sages

for realities" are in

wholly incHned xlvi).

"who

to

deplore the folly of those

Amaury Bouchard,

wrote a

mistake

agreement with the pious "who are

the contemplation of invisible things"

This eclecticism developed in France

century:

who

all

(chap,

during the sixteenth

"clerk-counselor in the king's hostel,"

treatise {ca. 1530) ''De rexcellence et

immortalite de I'dme,

drawn not only from Plato's Timaeus but also from a number of other Greek and Latin philosophers, from members of both the Pythagorean and the Platonic famiUes." In other words, the quotations attributed to Pythagoras, Linus,

and Orpheus were borrowed

from

The

Ficino's

I'eternite, a

Theologia Platonica^

poem

in eight cantos written

Encyclie des secrets de

around 1570 by Fevre de

la Boderie, is typical of the apologies of Christianity °

Busson,

ibid.,

pp. 174-75

addressed "to

THE RENAISSANCE

227

libertines

and

to

who have gone

those

and linked

astray"

to

Platonism: the immortal soul (the Phaedrus), the soul separated

from the body and

proof of the existence of attains to Eternity. In the

Et puisqu'elle

God

words

by virtue of the fact that the soul of the poet:

attaint bien jusqu a V'&ternite,

II te

faut confesser

Car

s'il

Ne

une Divinite:

n'en estoit point, ton

dme

tant isnelle

pourroit concevoir une Essence eternelle.

Here we have

and

.

.

later.^^

particular aspect of the influence of Plato compels attention,

this is the diffusion

Platonic love

(e'/ow?)

which according

whether

is

it

throughout

on love found

of the ideas

tas)f

.

the elements of a Christian Platonism, the very ele-

ments that Descartes utiUzed seventy years

One

Phaedo), and

in possession of innate ideas (the

is

in the

literary

quite different

to the

Gospel

is

the love of self or by the Victorines

from the love of God

{cari-

The

latter,

the

supreme

virtue.

is

and the Franciscans

from any attachment

an end.^^ Platonic

and Poverty,

circles

considered by the Thomists as basically identical to

disinterested love free either case

and philosophical

Phaedrus and in the Symposium

as pure,

to natural impulses,

is

in

love, the offspring of Resourcefulness

always a deficiency, a desire forever unsatisfied and

deprived of the beauty that

it

seeks, a perpetual state of uneasiness.

This doctrine expressed in the Symposium appears in books that

were prevalent toward the middle of the sixteenth century. In

The

Courtier (1528), Baldassare CastigHone described

all

the stages

through which love ascends from lower to higher beauties. But

was

especially

Leon Hebreo who,

in his

Dialog hi di

Am ore

maintained that love and desire often coincide, that love

is

it

(1535),

already

expressed in the sublunary world by the desire for procreation, even

though ^^

but an enfeebled image of the love that reigns in the

ibid., pp. 600-601. Rousselot, in Beitrdge zur Geschichte der Philosophic des Mittelalters, Vol.

Busson,

"Cf. VI.

it is

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

228

world of

intelligences.^^ In his Solitaire

who

Tyard,

amorous

the theory of parallel

between the

to enjoy divine

folly outlined in the

and eternal beauty," and prophetic and poetic

Odes

its

(I,

asserted that "poetry

sources of man."

but

Phaedrus and drew a

folly of love, or "the fervent desire of the soul

spiration. Finally, in his

Tyard and

premier (1552), Pontus de into French, introduced

Leon Hebreo's work

translated

Thus

starting point

and

love its

in-

x) Ronsard followed Pontus de

comes from God, not from the

re-

no longer the end of a higher Hfe

is

driving force.^^

The Paduans: Pomponazzi

IV

The

University of Padua, dependent after 1405 on the Most Serene

RepubHc

of Venice

which named and discharged masters without

the intervention of the Church, remained a stronghold of intellectual

freedom during the

and

itself

power annulled by

came

fifteenth

later the Jesuits

and sixteenth

who founded

centuries.

The

a college there

Inquisition

saw

their

the Venetian senate: there the secular state be-

the protector of philosophers.^^

The most famous of the Paduan masters was Pomponazzi (14621525), who raised the following question: assuming that we possess no divine revelation, what idea are we to formulate concerning man and

his place in the universe?

in Aristotle

and

his

He

found an answer

commentators. In his

De

to his question

immortalitate animae

(1516) he not only demonstrates that the intellectual soul, inseparable

from the

sensitive soul (since

it

cannot think without images), must

be mortal like the body, but he also draws practical conclusions from his

demonstration (chaps, xiii-xvi)

and must take

must find

as his

man

:

end humanity

in the love of virtue

motive for action; he must

has no supernatural end

itself

and

his daily tasks;

and the ignominy of

know

that

it is

he

evil a sufficient

"the legislator who,

know-

^ Cf H. Pflaum, Die Idee der Liebe Leone Ebreo (1926), which nevertheless shows in detail (pp. 1 12-13) the influence of St. Bonaventure. " Busson, Sources, pp. 399-400. " Cf. R. Charbonnel, La pensee itcdienne au siecle, pp. 258-59. .

XW

THE RENAISSANCE

229

common

ing man's penchant for evil and considering the

decided that the soul

good, has

immortal, not through his concern for

is

men

but through his propriety and his desire to lead

truth,

to

virtue."

Here

something not found in Siger of Brabant: a positive con-

is

human

ception of

life

in the

De fato,

The brunt

we

we

free will,

we

the end of the book

fit

is

leveled against attempts to

is

and providence:

will, fate,

and destroy

posit fate

free will;

if

we

"If

posit

destroy providence and fate." In his affirmation of the

identity of providence

(which

Stoic

Stoic inspiration

de praedestinatione, written in 1520.

libero arbitrio et

of Pomponazzi's attack

posit providence,

same

find the

bring about the reconciliation of free

we

The

not linked to supernatural destiny.

overtones are unmistakable, and

and

we

fate

we

recognize the Stoic

:

all evils

at

into the plan of the universe, evil

is

are justified because they

inseparable

the cycle of fortune metes out diverse fates to

determinism in which

and

find once again the complete Stoic theodicy

also that of Plotinus)

tion of fate that bears

spirit,

no resemblance

facts

determine

from good, and

men. His

a concep-

is

to the theory of scientific

facts;

it is still

the Stoic con-

ception of the universe in which parts are defined by their relation to the

whole.

Pomponazzi elaborated

the consequences of his naturalistic con-

ception of the universe in his

rum

De

naturalium effectuum admirando-

causis seu de incantationibus liber, published in

theory of miracles that he expounds certainly Stoic

and Plotinian doctrine of the universe than

scientific

determinism.

He

by citing the postulate of

is

not wiUing simply

scientific

1556.

owes more

The

to the

to a true sense of

to counter miracles

determinism.

He

acknowledges

(as Plotinus does) that miraculous facts are exceptional facts per-

taining to the establishment of religions, for example, and "do not

conform

to the

common

course of nature."

Though

they are

still

natural facts, they are to be explained by going beyond the depth ordinarily attained in the study of nature: one

the occult powers of herbs, stones,

and minerals,

must learn about as

PHny

the Elder

described them; one must identify the sympathy that binds

man

the

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

230

microcosm distant

influences ;^^

The

cures.

is

treatise as a

astrology

know

one must

finally,

imagination, which

stituting

world and subjects him

to the diverse parts of the

capable through

demonology:

it

power of

to

the

suggestion of producing

whole was written

for

the

for the purpose of sub-

represented

great step

a

forward, though the advancement was social rather than speculative since

it

eliminated any pretext for witchcraft

Even while proclaiming himself was disseminating of

dogma.

Still, it

a concept of

trials.

a faithful believer,

man and

Pomponazzi

the universe independent

should be noted that his view was alien

perience and to the positive sciences, and that

it

to ex-

was based on very

ancient conceptions of the universe. Indeed, the Aristotelians of

Padua were

far

removed from the current

to Kepler, Galileo,

absurd theory of the motion of

more

from Buridan

and Descartes: throughout the sixteenth century

ItaHan Peripateticism countered the

It is

that runs

new dynamic with

Aristotle's

projectiles.^^

obvious that Pomponazzi's conception of the universe

to Stoicism

and Plotinus than

sions that took place

between those

who

to Aristotle.

The famous

owed

discus-

between Alexandrians and Averroists, that

is,

pretended to follow Alexander of Aphrodisias

and those who pretended

to follow

Averroes in the interpretation of

the Aristotelian theory of intelligence, did not penetrate to the heart of the matter. soul

The Alexandrians

(like

was mortal because the possible

intellect acts

Pomponazzi) held

intellect

on which the agent

was nothing but an arrangement of man's organs favor-

ing such action; the Averroists held that the possible the agent intellect,

upon

the

human

was

eternal but also impersonal

soul, to the extent that

it

knowledge, an impersonal immortality. Averroists

was Nifo, who took

immortalitate (151 8), and

issue

whom

Leo

Compare

Plotinus Enneads

iv. 4.

of the

most famous

with Pomponazzi in his

X

encouraged in

.

Steele, p.

De

his struggle

more dangerous than

36-42.

" Cf Duhem, Bulletin italien (1909). " Charbonnel, La pensee italienne au XVV

intellect, like

and conferred

participated in intellectual

One

against Alexandrianism,-^^ considered even ^'

that the

229.

231

THE RENAISSANCE

Averroism.

We

should note that what was presumed to be the

doctrine of Alexander of Aphrodisias actually reproduced the teach-

ing of Aristocles, one of Alexander's masters,

who was

steeped in

more

in the in-

the Stoic doctrine: thus Stoicism reappeared once

But we should

terpretation of Aristotle.

made beyond

implied that no progress had been

mechanism

the

also note that the debate

a conception of

of intellectual knowledge, long since

abandoned by

the Ockhamists.

The Development

V

of

Averroism

Geronimo Cardano (1501-1576), who studied in Pavia, then in Padua until 1525, and who achieved fame as a physician, was representative of

Paduan naturalism:

and Plotinian conception of

a Stoic

the world (Plotinus' theory of the world, isolated hypostases,

and

is

astrology.

that "he

This incorrigible Bohemian, of

was a great

man

propria) that he was envious,

whom

his theory of

among

^^

Leibnitz said

and without them

in spite of all his faults

would have been incomparable," vindictive,

from

very close to Stoicism) quite favorable to occultism

stated in his confessions

{De

vita

other things "a disparager of religion,

melancholic,

hypocritical,

magician." His history of religions

is

and

the grandeur and the decadence of religions in diverse climates, he relates

them

and

perfidious,

a

indeed singular; in view of

to

their distribution

the influence of the con-

junctions of the stars and matches their history with the great cosmic periods; he draws

up

the horoscope of Christ, born under the con-

junction of Jupiter and the Sun, and relates the Judaic law to Saturn.^^ In his world,

by heat and embracing are living even

which all

is

animated by

a

unique soul activated

individual souls and in which

though they may

influences are propagated at will by those

who know how

control over them. His conception of the soul, ^*

Theodicee,

^*

Cf. Bayle, Dictionnaire, art. Cardan,

sec.

all

appear to be insensible,

251.

Remarque

P.

beings

magical to

win

sometimes called a

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

232

universal

spirit, inclines

Cardano

Averroism and

to accept

to reject

immortality.

The Paduan movement (1550-1631).

Roman

A

in Italy

came

professor in Padua, he

was brought

The

court in 161 1 and again in 1613.

he was accused of having upheld in

an end with Cremonini

to

his

De

to trial before a

doctrinal points that

caelo are characteristic

Paduan AristoteUanism the eternity and necessity of the heavens, which led him to deny creation; the close link between the soul of

:

and the body, which made him deny immortality; and the action of

God

which was not

as a simple final cause,

divine

personality

in keeping with the

and divine providence. What impressed

his

contemporaries most was the fact that his propositions endangered Christian beliefs.

It

should also be noted that with the appearance of

Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo, Aristotle's concept of the eternal

motion and

finality of the

heavenly bodies became nothing but an

outmoded encumbrance. The were concerned with

therefore necessary to

It is

between

trite

Platonists, in contrast to the

make

a distinction in

obsolete formulations of

ligious criticism

Paduans,

scientific progress.

Paduan thought

dogma and moral and

whose influence was profound,

re-

especially in France.

Because not translated into any rigid philosophical doctrine, such un-

hampered thought and countless

criticism infiltrated literature

ways and became the hallmark of

were many

intellectual ties

and poetry

so-called libertines.

between France and

Italy

around

in

There 1540.^^

Calvin was well acquainted with the Italians and distrusted them.

They

are the ones, he wrote in 1539,

who

said "that religion

was

invented in ancient times by a few astute, subtle minds for the

From

purpose of restraining the ignorant populace."

^^

1567 Vicomercato, at the request of Francis

taught Averroism

the College of France.

at

Fernel

who

in the

De

portrait of a confirmed

^ ^

Busson, Sources,

first

1542 to

In France he had students hke Jean

abditis

rerum causis (1548) sketched the

Alexandrian

part of

I,

Book

Institution chretienne , ed. Lefranc,

I, I,

whom

he

chaps, iv and v. 5.

calls

Brutus.

THE RENAISSANCE

233

The

VI

"A even

Movement: Leonardo da Vinci

Scientific

lie

is

if it

so vile,"

wrote Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), "that

spoke well of divine things,

charm; truth

is

meanest things that

and

significant

it

of such excellence that it

praises.

inferior

would

Truth, even

things,

is

if it

from

detract

lends

it

their

nobiUty to the

its

has to do with in-

superior to uncertain

infinitely

opinions concerning the most sublime and exalted problems.

But you who

live

on dreams, you find your pleasure

.

.

.

in the sophisms

concerning revealed, uncertain things rather than in certain, natural conclusions that do not rise to such heights." His opinion was

Pomponazzi had

diametrically opposed to that of the Paduans; stated that the nobility of a science derived

all

the implications of this. In the centuries

we have been the

means

is

whose

God

studying, the good was identified with

of attaining to "truth," then,

through the Word, or reason; but truth

means

nobility of

itself

was always beyond the

If,

on the contrary, truth

defined through certain, natural conclusions,

it

for this very

is

human mind;

be defined without reference to a transcendent, external also true,

as a systematic is

due

is

in

and

for the

and

total vision of the universe

same

reason, that truth

to revelation, to reason, or to

some way dismembered

himself;

either divine revelation

human mind.

at the disposal of the

history

was

reason proportionate to the resources of the

it is

its

than from the certainty of demonstration. Let us

object rather

examine

from the

is

it

can

reality.

But

not revealed

(whether the vision

both revelation and reason), but

into a multitude of propositions linked

not by the unique truth that they express but by the method through

which

As

their certainty has

been acquired.

a scholar, Leonardo, though he did not accept the results of

the dynamics of the Ockhamists, was nevertheless of those the

who

syllogism

propagated

its

spirit.

among

the ranks

Criticizing the spider

and looking upon alchemists and

webs of

astrologers

as

"charlatans or fools," he allied himself with those who, like Tartaglia

and

Galileo, placed above

all

else the

works of Archimedes and

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

234

took up the questions of dynamics at the point where he

As

left

Leonardo was

a typical Italian of the Renaissance, however,

dynamist: in motion he sought the spiritual mover; in the

body he sought the action of a soul that has realized

human form; and

idea of the ful

nature." sire,

.

.

.

Still,

and

this

there

is

same

its

desire

is

new

spring,

always the

new

the inseparable quintessence of

obviously a vast difference between this de-

the ancient Aristotelian

It

body

an effusive production of forms that are forever changing, and

is static

VII

in the

a

human

in the spirit, desire "which, with joy-

impatience, always awaits the

summer

them.

form

on things an order

that imposes

that

and, to the degree that matter permits, eternal.

Pyrrhonism: Montaigne would be impossible

to

overemphasize the importance of the

who looked with scorn on all systems, who spoke as men to other men and not as masters to their disciples, and who in the study of the human mind provided us with an example of sincerity like that provided by such men as Leonardo in the study of nature. thinkers

There were of course outspoken venture des Periers,

who

in his

Cymbalum mundi

the style of Lucian, ridiculed the Gospel

We

also

find

freethinkers like Bona-

critics,

and

its

(1537), written in

miracles.

throughout the sixteenth century a current of

Pyrrhonism and Skepticism which did not run counter

which was often even against philosophy tainty

and Vanity

in

agreement with

and the

it,

of the Sciences

dialectic: the sciences

(and by

as the arts of divination,

and

and the Arts

this

late

On

(1527),

the Uncer-

Agrippa von

Middle Ages against

he meant mathematics

as well

horsemanship, and the like) are uncertain

useless since religion alone

Omer

but which was directed

sciences. In his treatise

Nettesheim recalled the old diatribes of the

to religion,

shows us the road

to happiness.

Talon, the author of the Academia (1548), stated that Aristotle

was "the father of

atheists

and

fanatics," ^^

and

that by attacking

him, he was attacking "the philosophy of the pagans and the ^Quoted by

Busson, Sources, p. 287.

THE RENAISSANCE

235

heathen."

Thus Pyrrhonism,

ridiculed by Rabelais

(who borrowed

no way

anti-Christian.^^

the formulations of Sextus Empiricus),

Omer Talon

viewed

it

not as a criticism of faith but as true philos-

ophy "which has complete freedom

ment

that

it

is

brings to bear on things and

opinion or to an author."

On

and judg-

in the appreciation

not chained to an

is

book follows Cicero's

basic points his

Academica. Rabelais and Montaigne surpassed by far the authors of such incidental writings.

They were

the creators of matchless literary

forms in which thought, liberated from the trated to things

dialectical

mold, pene-

and men. Though these moralists had hardly any

contact with the scientific

movement

of their time, they developed

which was not

a scrupulous intellectual integrity

easily

compromised.

Rabelais' lucid raillery spared neither the debaters in the universities,

nor the workers of miracles, nor the authors of

false decretals.

pudiating any theoretical construction, Montaigne

man

himself and others the true nature of man, to view

in his in-

and moral nakedness, apart from the deceptive ap-

tellectual

pearances imparted to

through

him by

pretentious doctrines that define

his relation to the universe

and

to

In a passage from the Apology for

Montaigne drew up the balance sheet

"The heavens and

(1580)

for science in his century:

the stars have been in motion for three thousand

when someone earth that moved

took

dred years ago,

was the

.

upon himself

and

.

.

it

in our

has established the doctrine so firmly that all

astrological consequences.

.

.

.

own

latter possess,

what

human

reason.

named ^ Tiers

Paracelsus livre

is

time Copernicus

won .

.

acceptance, .

What

cre-

particular privilege causes the

course of our invention to end with them? that medicine has been in the

hun-

maintain that

Before the principles of matter,

other principles found favor with

do the

to

regularly applied to

it is

form, and privation introduced by Aristotle had dentials

him

God.

Raymond Sebond

years; everybody believed this to be true until about eighteen

it

Re-

strove to find in

world?

It is

.

.

.

How

said that a

long

is

it

newcomer

changing and reversing the whole order of

de Pantagniel (1546), chap. xxix.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

236

the ancient rules.

thought

is

.

.

.

And

have been told that in geometry (which

I

have gained the highest point of certainty

to

sciences)

the truth of experience.

For example, Jaques

house that he had found two

had nevertheless even

who

the

cast

Peletier told

me

at

my

moving toward each other but

lines

verified that they could never touch each other

extended to

if

among

there are inevitable demonstrations that are subverting

A

...

infinity.

thousand years ago, anyone

doubt on the science of cosmography and universally

ac-

cepted opinions would have been guilty of Pyrrhonism; to believe

was

in antipodes

heresy. In our

solid earth has just

dicates

more

century an infinite expanse of

men

clearly that reflective

were deeply conscious of the universe.

own

been discovered" (Essais

ii.

No

passage in-

of the late sixteenth century

medieval vision of the

fragility of the

The abandonment

12).

of geocentrism

and

criticism of the

principles established by Aristotle, innovations in medicine, the dis-

covery of asymptotes, the discovery of America



all

were

facts that

showed, contrary to what had been beHeved, that reason could not attain

fixed

to

founded a

and immutable principles on which might be

definitive

science:

mathematics, astronomy, medicine,

philosophy, everything was at that

Was

a definitive science?

was

:

moment undergoing

change.

the old, ineffectual science to be replaced by another science,

"Who

Montaigne was by no means convinced

may

"but that a third opinion, a thousand years from now, turn the

that

it

knows," he said in speaking of Ptolemy and Copernicus,

first

two?"

And

in spite of

geographers of our day" are wrong "in assuring us that thing has been discovered and seen." state; it is the

continuous state of the

was not indifference and

inertia

over-

Columbus' discovery, "the

Change

is

now

every-

not a provisional

human mind. But Pyrrhonism

either:

dogmatism was

inert;

skepticism was an investigation, an unlimited inquiry conducted by

an almost insatiable mind. Montaigne was

not, like

Omer

Talon,

an academician; he did not share in the "ordinary, bland opinion .

.

.

introduced by docile people

.

.

.

that our self-sufficiency can

lead us to the cognizance of other things, limitations

beyond which

it is

and that

foolhardy to put

it

it

has certain

to use."

His skep-

THE RENAISSANCE

237

ticism could not

accommodate the imposition

on the human mind: it .

and

curious

is .

avid.

.

.

and take shape gradually

to ascribe

our mind, for

to

not rigidly cast but evolve

arts are

as they are repeatedly

do not cease probing and searching

I

of fixed boundaries

bounds

Having proven through experience

.

and the

that the sciences

.

hard

"it is

for

wielded and polished,

my

whatever

cannot discover; and by re-examining and shaping the I

provide

more

my

my

to

The

only

my

it is

fixed principles.

unburden on ing, his

me

all

that

and the

fact

causes

first

and

said

principles, let

the rest of his science;

if

is

(iii.

is

who

started

man

not boldly miss-

is

not directed

"proceed

to-

presumed pace

at a

8)

that Montaigne's universe, as

lack

"If a

:

him

the foundation

criticism

self-sufficiency of those

and varied

diverse

my

which supposedly

the positive results of the sciences but toward their

The as

was

Concerning such a science he

too imperiously magistral"

still

it

for a third person,

despair, nor should

words are barren." Montaigne's

principles

matter,

own."

science that he repudiated

admits his ignorance of

new

deriving from

same thing

make me

ought not

of strength, for

ward

facility for

pleasure; so long as he does the

difficulty

from

some

successor with

strength

if

the traditional

we

can

is

just

image of the world

be-

call

that,

it

queathed by antiquity was unified and monotonous: nothing

re-

mains of the universal analogy that dominated the ancient conception of things.

"The world

"No

so universal in this

quality

variety.

.

.

is

is

but variety and dissemblance"

image of things

.Resemblance does not

difference creates otherness"

(iii.

among

"nations

13).

who have

But

this diversity

must not be

shows that there are

common

in the

new

never heard of us," customs and

beliefs strikingly similar to those of the Christian nations

there then a

2).

and

create oneness to the degree that

stated too categorically: experience Indies,

(ii.

as diversity

dealing with beliefs which, no matter

how we

12). Is

(ii.

natural source? Certainly not! For here

we

are

approach them, "do

not seem to belong to our natural discourse." Such resemblances are

more astounding than worker of miracles."

reassuring:

"The human mind

is

a

great

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

238

No

which the

ture

Human

unique, permanent nature at the heart of things.

recommended

Stoics

we

that

follow

is

na-

nothing that

can be known; of course

"it is

some natural

seen in other creatures; but they are no

laws, as

is

longer to be found in us, for everything, dominating,

reasonable to believe that there are

human

reason boldly interferes in

commanding, muddling, and confounding

the appearance of things in keeping with

its

vanity and inconstancy"

(ii.I2).

Under such

conditions, the doctrinal learning of

draws

scholars by profession ture but

mental

men ...

of

true usage the noblest

its

from knowledge

rigidity not it

mean

price"

to penetrate into a region that

kind; little

draws

its

value not from

how

to

draw from

itself

this

is

from

probably

does not cause

divine and superior to

is

its

And

8).

(iii.

from

object but

the boasting of a surgeon

is

he knows

less

his

it

worth

it

and most powerful acquisition

Montaigne's authentic discovery: science by

man

of na-

and very precious usage, which

a thing of very noble

not to be possessed at a

are

"to establish their funda-

and worth." This does not prevent

self-sufficiency

being "in

is

its

from those who seek through

men who

who

its

man-

usage; of

recounts his cures "un-

his treatment

something

to

shape

judgment." The worth of science derives from the worth of the

man who

it to use. That is why Montaigne man— not evasive universal nature or man saved by the grace of God, but man as he finds him, "bereft of outside help, armed solely with his own arms and stripped of divine

dominates

it

and puts

has for his perpetual subject,

cognizance and grace" Essais,

(ii.

12).

Hence

the

undertaking of the

whose methodical character becomes more

definite as

he

writes: "I dare not only to speak of myself, but to speak only of

myself"

(iii.

8). "It is a

thorny undertaking, more so than

would

it

seem, to follow such a vagabond course as that of our mind, to penetrate the dark depths of

hend

so

many

several years self,

I

fleeting

its

inner recesses, to choose and appre-

motions created by

have been directing

my

its

agitations.

.

.

.

For

thoughts only toward my-

examining and studying only myself; and

if

I

study some-

"^^^

239 thing,

it is

RENAISSANCE

for the purpose of applying

aptly, in myself.

.

.

description of one's

neither to

and

ciples self

fall

.

No

self,

it

more

description compares in difficulty to the

or surely in utility"

self

The

6).

(ii.

back upon what are presumed

harden one's

to

put

to myself, or to

it

to

object

is

be rational prin-

against experience, nor to

one's

let

be borne along willy-nilly by universal change. Here, too, one

must "choose and apprehend," and

Unked

to a divine

world but

involves not an intellect

this

sincere, attentive,

and prolonged

self-

examination.

The same

active skepticism

was put forward

the doctor Francisco Sanchez in his

way

Quod

brilliantly

by

nihil scitur (1581).

By

less

of contrast, however, this breviary of skepticism in

draws together the arguments against the existence of

which he

a perfect

and

complete science (things are so interlinked that complete knowledge of one of

them would imply complete knowledge

is

inaccessible to us) contains positive advice

is

accessible to

which tact

VIII

is

man: "One must not turn

to forsake nature,

The

and

Political

to

men and

but one must above

with things through experience."

Moralists

to

of the whole that

on how

know

Plutarch, were

life

The

brought ancient

read most assiduously, Cicero, Seneca, and even

imbued with popular Stoicism

philosophical doctrine.

Still,

a nucleus of Stoic ideas,

we

the Stoicism of St.

of the type concerned

the exposition of a rational

can hardly speak of a rebirth since

though somewhat neglected, had never

appeared during the whole medieval period.

We

Ambrose, which preserved

a Ufe of virtuous

^ Quoted by G. Sortais, La ^ De officiis i. 135; 85. i.

con-

Thinners

more with moral guidance than with

end

make

^^

conditions of development of the intellectual

who were

that

their writings,

all else

about a rebirth of Stoicism in the sixteenth century. authors

all

need only

as the

harmony between nature and philosophie moderne, p. 40.

dis-

recall

appropriate

self,^^

and the

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

240

extent to

which handbooks of moral guidance such

Alcuin,^^ Hildebert of Lavardin,^^ and

and Cicero

many

in their definitions of virtues

as

those of

others followed Seneca

and

vices

and

in their

conception of honesty. Roger Bacon's moral philosophy was inspired

from

start to finish

by Seneca. The moral philosophy of the Stoics

could be put in juxtaposition with the truly Christian Christianity could never absorb or supplant

it;

but

life,

the Stoics of the

Renaissance were conscious of the independence of their ethic even

though they were not

hostile to Christianity;

indeed, their Neo-

Stoicism represented a concerted attempt to reconcile the Stoic doc-

with the Christian

trine

the part of

men

life.

Not without

like Calvin,

who

protestations, however,

on

ardently defended the Christian

doctrine against the reproach of Stoicism; he viewed with horror the confusion "maUciously" created by his enemies between pre-

destination in nature

there

and

Stoic "fate," the latter being "a necessity contained

by virtue of a perpetual conjunction of

a vast difference between the Christian

is

and the

Stoic sage

who

who

seems "to be indifferent

things"; and

all

carries the Cross

to everything

and

msensitive to pam. It

was nonetheless

century especially,

true that in the second half of the sixteenth

many men showed

a predilection for the ethical

works of Cicero and Marcus Aurelius, and an even larger number for the

works of Seneca and Epictetus;

lated into French, studied, annotated,

all

of their

works were

trans-

and imitated. These works,

proceeding through metaphors and precepts which are impressed on the

mind through

strations,

a kind of immediate necessity, without

and which

satisfy a

demon-

need for comfort or consolation, met

with unprecedented success. They train the

mind

to discriminate

between the supernatural end of our actions that can be

known

only

through revelation and the effective guidance of our conduct. "M. T. Cicero and the other pagan Philosophers

^ Migne, ""

M/^.,

Pairologia Latina, CI, 613

CLXXI,

ff.

1007.

^Institution chretienne ,

I, viii,

xvi;

III, viii, ix.

may have

erred by mis-

THE RENAISSANCE

241

interpreting the end of

good works, but Christians can

from them and acquire from them But

was the complete

it

from Louvain, took pains

and Physiologia Stoicorum)

[1603]

classified all that eca,

was

works (Manuductio ad

excellent short

learn

Stoic doctrine, including metaphysics, that

Justus Lipsius, the scholar

The

profitable doctrines."

still

^^

known

could be

to disseminate.

Slot cam philosophiam

which he drew together and

in

in his time (mainly

through Sen-

about the Stoics), were preceded by a preface in which the author

warn

careful to

us "that no one should follow the Stoics in

seeking the ultimate good or happiness in nature unless nature

God

understood as

We

himself."

Seneca's inspiration that he

was

is

but the will of

himself his In the

own

life

God

able to

mind:

that could shock the Christian fate

can say that

it

was thanks

deny everything

is

to

in Stoicism

for instance, Seneca says that

himself and that

God

is

free "since he

is

necessity."

and works of Guillaume

Du

Vair (1556-1621)

significance of Neo-Stoicism.

fully the practical

family of magistrates, he was at

first

we

see

Coming from

under strong suspicion

a

at the

League, but with the arrival of Henry IV he became clerk-counselor

and

of the parlement of Paris, of Aix.

His Stoicism, contrary

true during this period,

draws from

He

later first president of the

to

what seems

was not

to

parlement

have been frequently

that of a submissive

man who

his readings only the strength to accept the inevitable.

was ready

for action

(and

this is the soul of Stoicism, the Stoi-

cism of Epictetus). At the risk of his Hfe he supported the cause of the legitimate king in his Traite de la Constance et Consolation es

Calamitez publique, written in 1590 during the siege of Paris by

Henry

of Navarre.

The

his country," to cure ity,

the

treatise

France of

was inspired by all

his desire to "serve

her ills— the luxury of the nobil-

simony of the Church, the perversion of

justice.

Neo-Stoicism born of the desire for moral guidance was quite ferent (and here ^Preface

to

we

find

what might be

of chap,

iii

dif-

paradox of history)

Les Offices de M. T. Ciceron. trans. Belleforest (1583); quoted by siecle, p. 131 (on translations, cf.

Mile Zanta, La Renaissance du sto'icisme an XVl^ all

called a

of the second part).

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

242

from the

minds

Stoic naturalism that nourished the

such as the Paduans or the Platonists of the

of freethinkers

Renaissance.

late

The

sentiment of spirituality that permeates the thinking of the Stoics

whom we

have been discussing

ception of the universe;

from being linked

far

it

to

is

not linked to any particular con-

concerns only the conscience of

blends with the Platonic spirituality whose role dicated. It

interesting to note that

is

man

Du

we have

already in-

Vair's Constance ends with

the words spoken on his deathbed by de

Thou, president

parlement of Paris, concerning self-knowledge: "Discourse sary for

knowing

things

whose forms

immersed

are

avoid learning anything about

naked and take up

it.

.

.

.

And

all

it.

the

For

is

back completely into one's

By

self-consciousness."^^

to raise self,

it is, it

of the neces-

manner

.

.

must enter the

.

to

is

in-

room; anything accessory thwarts

for this reason the true

of the nature of the soul

as

is

in matter

but to try to understand the nature of our soul in this

tellect

and,

any pantheistic vision of the world, readily

means it

of acquiring

knowledge

above the body and draw

it

so that self-reflection will lead to

asserting

the

independence of the

self,

such Stoicism borders on spiritualism, which asserts the autonomy

mind with

of the

Stoicism

among

is

respect to the

who were

Du

pressed so perfectly in

that

ills

not Stoics in the

is

itself.

right

strict

.

.

.

sense, to

with defective judgment which

we

it

is

find ex-

Vair ("for our will has the power to ad-

our opinion in such a manner that

which

has of

This idea from Epictetus, which

to us to reform.

just

it

responsible for the preservation of the tendency, even

the moraUsts

identify the source of our

up

knowledge

it

will give

its

assent only to

adhere to things that are manifestly true,

forbear and delay in the case of doubtful things, and reject whatever is

false"),

is

also at the heart of Pierre Charron's Sagesse (1603), not-

withstanding the strength of Montaigne's influence on the book.^^

Charron

If

"lofty

who

refrains

to

the

word "wisdom"

the

and bombastic meaning of the theologians and philosophers

take pleasure in describing and depicting things that have not

^Ed. Flach,p. 221. La Philosophic morale

^^

from attributing

des Stoiques, quoted by Zanta, p. 293.

"T^^

243

RENAISSANCE

yet been seen

fection that

and elevating them

human

nature

is

to

such a high degree of per-

incapable of reaching

than through the imagination" (Preface),

he requires

and

as the conditions of

freedom with respect

We

it is

nonetheless true that

"liberation

from the

world and the passions," and "complete

vices of the

Epictetus.

wisdom

them other

to

judgment

errors

intellectual

as well as will." ^^ All this

pure

is

should add that his concept of freedom entails the

precept "to obey and observe the laws, customs, and ceremonies of the land." It

follows that the moralist

stead of trying to find

According foibles ist is

is

to

inclined to study

is

some transcendent

man

as

he

is

in-

principle for his conduct.

Charron, self-knowledge or knowledge of

human

an important element of wisdom, and the task of the moral-

and

therefore to depict passions

their causes.

Contemporaneously with humanistic moral philosophy there arose a reaUstic politics

which refused

which

rejected everything concerning the divine

and contracts between princes and

right of princes

to see in society

their subjects,

anything more than the play of

human forces and the collision of passions. The prime example of the new politics is The Prince, the famous work by Niccolo Machiavelli ( 1 469-1 527), who gives us the fruits of the experience he acquired as a diplomatic agent of the Florentine Republic. Here are the aphorisms that justify the solidated his authority:

means through which the prince con-

"The common people take delight in evil; a ^^ Whether he is a prince is worthless."

multitude without a leader

by the will of the people

who wish

to use

authority.

The

institutions,

prince

and

is

against the powerful, yield to his

not a legislator but a warrior: "war,

discipline

its

him

must make everyone

or by the grace of the powerful, he

are

the only object to

its

which the

prince ought to give his thoughts and his application and which he

ought

who

to

make

his profession; for

war

is

the true profession of one

governs."^* Consequently a prince ought not to worry over

^ Book II, chaps, and ^ Histoire, II, 34; Discours, i

ii.

I,

44.

^Prince, chap, xiv, trans, in F. Franzoni, La Pensee de N. Machiavel,

p. 173.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

244

when he

the charge of cruelty jects.

True clemency

exacting obedience from his sub-

is

few examples of harshness

consists in setting a

rather than in allowing the initiation of disturbances that will over-

Nor

turn the whole social order.

word

if

such fideUty

know how

circumstances: a prince "must act like a beast or like a

with laws, but

this

way

ten act "like a beast"

Here everything depends on

hurtful.

is

man"; he

of fighting

—that

is,

the prince obliged to keep his

is

acts like a

not

is

and a century

sufficient,

men

of-

of the Renaissance found

later Francis

must thank Machiavelli and

writers like

without dissimulation what

men

they ought to do."

and he must

he must use violence.

Lessons in realism are indeed what in Machiavelli,

the

moment to man when he fights

at the right

"We

Bacon could write:

him who

say openly

are accustomed to do, not

and

what

^^

the problem of the prince that Machiavelli poses at the be-

It is

ginning of the sixteenth century in

Italy;

it is

the problem of the

tyrant that fitienne de la Boetie (1530-1563) poses in his Discours

de

la servitude volontaire,

which he wrote, according

to his friend

Montaigne, "not yet having attained the age of eighteen, in honor of liberty

and against

How

tyrants."

can an infinite number of

persons allow themselves to be tyranized by one velli's

problem, considered

this

common

prince but from the viewpoint of the

could do nothing

if

will to be enslaved: "It

is

right,"

it is

so tiny

who

the people serfs

people.

The

tyrant

cut their throats; who,

to their misfortune, or rather

people cease in this

way

to use their "natural

because "the seeds of good that nature plants in us are

and

endure the

delicate that they cannot

caused by improper nourishment;

it

is

slightest

De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum Book ^Ed. Paul Bonnefon (1922), p. 56. '^

,

Ibid., p. 69.

wound

harder for them to subsist

than to degenerate, to decrease, and to come to nothing."

''

Machia-

or freemen, forsake their freedom

and take on the yoke; who consent it."^^ If the

It is

he did not find on the part of the people the

having the choice of being pursue

man ?

time not from the viewpoint of the

VII, chap,

ii,

sec. lo.

^^

Thus

RENAISSANCE

'T^^

245

La

the thought of

Boetie manifests a concern for the right of the

people and a juridical idealism that

set

him completely

apart

from

Machiavelli.

IX

An

Adversary of Aristotle: Peter

On

reading the elegant works of Peter

modern reader may

The

fact

is

that he

and by the

of the

wished

to

instruction

remedy the

a

man who was

offered

situation,

a speculative phi-

in

disturbed by the

the Parisian

schools,

who

and who encountered routine

re-

His tribulations are well known: born of a

sistance at every turn.

very poor family in Picardy, he 1536 by defending the

thesis

won

his degree of

Master of Arts in

"Everything that Aristotle taught

is

icommenticid) r In 1543 he published the Aristotelicae animad-

versiones\ the Peripatetics

was put before

the case

had him brought before

the king; Francis

I,

and

letters

lishing.

The

sions he

kingdom through

Ramus from

fault with Aristotle,

his ignorance,

suring strongly

was

his "con-

many

lifted

he obviously manifested and

and he even showed bad

faith

things that are good and true."^^

by Henry

II in 155 1,

and

for ten years

by cen-

The interRamus had

a brilliant career at the College of France, without departing

the old

framework of grammar,

dealt with

Converted

all

teaching or pub-

decree states that "because in his book on Animadver-

found

made known diction

sciences," prohibited

the parlement;

on account of

cern" for "the growth and enrichment of his

good

(1515-1572)

tragic events that they

was not primarily

losopher but rather a professional sterility

Ramus

well be astounded by his fame in his time, by

the tempests raised by his books, initiated.

false

Ramus

Ramee)

{Pierre de la

to

from

and quadrivium,

for his lessons

rhetoric, dialectic, arithmetic,

and geometry.

the trivium

Calvinism in 1562, he

left

Paris during the civil wars;

he found a hearty welcome in Germany and Switzerland, where he taught from 1568 to 1570. assassinated

two days

He

after the

returned to Paris in 1570 and was

massacre of

^ Decree quoted by Waddington, Ramus,

p. 50.

St.

Bartholomew, on

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

246

August

A

Charpentier, his colleague and implacable enemy,

26, 1572.

was accused of

murder.

his

teacher before

and

a simplicity

all else,

clarity

he tried

to

bring to every subject taught

no longer prevalent.

He

was, as Bacon said

not without irony, the "father of summations." His Animadversiones (1543)

was supplemented by

his brief Dialectique (1555)

and by

Advertissements sur la reformation de VUniversite de Paris au (1562), in

The

which he protested against the complexity

heart of his criticism of Aristotle

lines

"He wanted

:

to

make two

the other for opinion"; he

is

his

Roy

of instruction.

probably stated in these

systems of logic, one for science and

wanted

to separate live discussion, that

practiced naturally by "poets, orators, philosophers and, in a word,

by

excellent

all

men," from a

certain chaotic accumulation of useless

To sum up

rules that clutter the mind.^^ logic or dialectic

is

a practical art based

from doctrine and think

start

how

to reel off the rules in

Ramus: Some people

the thought of

on nature.

that they are learning logic "to school." ^^

from nature and keep company

One ought

know

instead to start

for a long time with poets, orators,

and philosophers. It

has been judiciously observed that Ramus* dialectic was

eled

on the

into

two

which

disposition or arrangement,

These are the topics, fects,

two

first

He

divides dialectic

consists in finding

arguments; and

and Quintilian.*^

rhetoric of Cicero

parts: invention,

which

consists in putting

classes of

order once they have been found. For the discovery of arguments.

Method

resolution of problems such as this one

grammar on we put them ** *^

in order.

arguments

—causes,

ef-

so forth. Disposition concerns both the formulation of ar-

guments and the method of grouping them

^ La

them

parts of rhetoric. Invention goes back to the

which indicate the general

and

mod-

a square of paper in order?

Dialectique, p.

Ramus

in the clearest possible

Ramus

order

is

distinct

from

or order applies only to the :

Having put each

precept of

and jumbled the squares, how can

has only to remark: "First, there will

8.

La Dialectique (1576 edition), p. 65. G. Sortais, La phlosophie moderne, p.

24, n. 3,

and

p. 39.

THE RENAISSANCE

247

be no need for invention, for everything has already been discovered."

He

therefore has not the sUghtest presentiment of the intimate

bond between order and invention

that Descartes discovered not in

and poets but in mathematics.

orators

In some contemporaneous

treatises

we

find a clearer presentiment

of method. In 1558 Acontio published a

method

examining the truth of a thing

and

which

it

parts:

method

method

(citra veritatis

has been acquired."

it

examen),

Thus

*^

his definition contains

is

general ideas but also "innate notions which,

is

two

from the most familiar

and the most familiar

pel everyone to grant assent

pursue knowledge

to

and method of exposition. The

investigation

of investigation consists in going

the least familiar

that defined

possible, in addition to

proper fashion the method through

to teach in a

of

De methodo

procedure that makes

as "a correct

to

Acontio not only

to

when advanced, com-

—for instance, the notion that the whole

greater than the part." But the

method remains nothing more

than an accessory that will not eliminate the need for examination of the thesis to

which

it

leads.

Ramism had

Despite such real weaknesses, the middle

Ramus

seventeenth

the

of

clearly recognized

and

century,

and write

ample of good to

the fruit of

vulgar language, ciples

I

—things that

many

We

desire,

scholars, to deliver

make known

disputes."

and that led him

in the vulgar language:

Greek and Latin schools and

especially

my

my

"When

I

Germany.

to forsake the

return from the

by way of imitating the exlesson to

my

country

study through the

was unable

.

medium

perceive several things repugnant I

in

called attention to the exigency of

clarity that characterized his era

schools

a strong appeal until

.

.

and

of the

to these prin-

to perceive in school because of so

^^

should add that Ramus, the enemy of AristoteHanism, met

along the

way

all

the pupils of the Paduans.

He

attacked Aristotle

not only as a logician but also as a freethinker and as the author of a theology that denies providence

and creation

La philosophic moderne de Bacon et Ramus,

*^

Quoted by G.

*'

Preface to the Dialectique, quoted by Waddington,

Sortais,

as well as the Leibniz, p. 46. p. 405.

author

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

248

He

of a moral philosophy independent of religion. his

the

opponents

Paduan

him with

ethic, the

as

Ramus

(Pro

P. Rami, 1551)

con-

novum Academiam

the indispensable character of an independent

one which "taught the pagans their domestic, public, and

and which teaches us

civil duties,

no price

sions"; "at

God

ence to

had

the libertines of his time. Galland, the friend of

all

Peripatetic Vicomercato, in his reply to

schola parisiensi contra

fronted

therefore

will

I

our desires and our pas-

to control

allow anyone to advocate piety and obedi-

while remaining silent about civic virtues."

^^

Platonism: Postel and Bodin

X

The

had

Platonic spirit

a pressing need for unity, a

need not

evidenced elsewhere. This search for unity characterized the great systems that brought to a close the period of the Renaissance.

came Guillaume

First

Postel's attempt, practical as well as theoreti-

nature, to utilize his

cal in

knowledge

1542). Postel thought that such unity rational character of religious truths

broke the unity of Christianity, no icism,

:

of oriental languages to

{De

realize the religious unity of the globe

was

orbis terrae concordia,

possible

by virtue of the

hostile to Protestantism,

less

than to authoritarian Cathol-

which estabUshed the Council of Trent, he saw

in a return to the forgotten origin of all religions,

His main concern was

to

refute the

which

salvation only

which

is

reason.

Paduans by demonstrating

creation ex nihilo

and personal immortality, and he confronted them

with Plato: "For

to refute Plato's Ideas, the

stances,

and everything implied by innate wisdom, they have gone

so far as to act." ^^

a

man

notion of separate sub-

We

deny

God

must add

by representing him

being constrained

that Postel's rational religion

of the Renaissance, that of a scholar

and Pico

as

della Mirandola, tried to relate

who, it

to

remained that of

like Marsilio Ficino

to a tradition

whose

echoes he found not only in Plato but also in the revelation of the sibyls, in the

Jewish Cabala, and

**

Quoted by Busson, Sources,

*^

Ibid., p. 297.

p. 225.

among

the Etruscans to

whom

he

RENAISSANCE

"^^^

249

devoted one book: a tradition that derives from Reason, here conceived no longer as a simple faculty of ratiocination but as the

Word,

the Logos, the world soul that animates

all

beings and in-

spires the prophets.

The

Jean Bodin was the author of a Republique (1577),

jurist

which he opposed Plato

in

to

MachiaveUi and stated that the

authority of the state remains subject to natural law (for instance,

cannot aboHsh private property), and that the

human

than that of the highest parative

method

in

good.

state

He

it

has no end other

introduced the com-

law with the intention of deducing from the

comparison a universal law. The fundamental idea of

his

plomeres, a colloquy between seven learned

Catholic,

men —a

Heptaa

Lutheran, a Calvinist, a Jew, a renegade Moslem, a Theist, and a Skeptic

—was

religions a

which

was

"is

still

the

same

common

as that of Postel: to select

core that can

simply the pure

more

all

existing religion

quest for God." But his religion

spirit's

simplified than Postel's, for

thing except the affirmation of one the exercise of moral virtues; attitude that caused

him

and

from

become the universal it

God and

in practice

contained hardly any-

of his worship through

he arrived

at a tolerant

to recognize all religions "in order not to

be accused of being an atheist or a dissident capable of disturbing the tranquiUty of the RepubHc."

^^

Italian Platonism: Telesio

XI

Social preoccupations

dominated the thought of Postel and of

Bodin. Quite different were the Italian thinkers to be discussed now: those

who beUeved

in universal animism. Like the Paduans, they

subscribed to the theory of a living universe; they differed from the

Paduans

in that,

first,

they were hostile to Aristotle and, second,

they offered their doctrine as a comprehensive view of reality, some-

thing wholly self-sufficient and not simply an adjunct to faith.

In the forefront was Telesio (1509-1588) who, according

Bacon, was the 'Ubid.,^. 168.

first

of the

to

Francis

moderns {novorum hominum primum).

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

250

He its

known through

revived Stoic animism, which he could have

He

Diogenes Laertius, Seneca, and Cicero.

two

principles:

heat

and

an active force and completely inert and passive

moving

matter. But the

force

or

force

contractile

divided into expansive force or

is

Expansion and contraction,

cold.

through their diverse degrees, explain of living beings. living being,

The

which

dynamism with

accepted

is

active force

a part of

is

the qualitative differences

a body, and the soul of the

also a body, a breath or

it, is

spread throughout the cerebral

all

cavities

pneuma,

and nerves. This conception

of the soul, popularized in the prevalent theory of animal spirits,

implies a thesis similar to that of the Stoics concerning the nature of

knowledge: sensation

is

wherein an object modifies the

a contact

breath or spirit which reacts defensively in accordance with nature;

its

De finibus)

own

(here Telesio follows the third

act of self-preservation

book of Cicero's

its

accounts for the development of ethics,

thanks to man's awareness of the interdependence of his welfare and that of others; is

officiis)

and the principal

(as in Cicero's

social virtue

mankind, whereas the inner virtue

is

the sublimity that

goodness in virtue. Intellectual knowledge

finds

De

(memory and

thought) consists in turn of preserving sensations and using them as a substitute for the senses

when

the latter are missing. Further-

more, sensation and consciousness are found not only

and animals but constitutes the

also in all

among men

Hving beings whose harmonious whole

animate universe.

Telesio also firmly supported the thesis of an immaterial soul

which

is

added

to the other soul

natural destiny, but

it is

and which has

to

do with our super-

difficult to interpret this

addition as any-

thing but a prudent measure in view of the powers of the Church

XII

Italian Platonism:

Giordano Bruno

Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) often named among

his

Italian

masters Francesco Patrizzi (1529-1597), professor at Ferrara and

Padua,

who had an

important role in disseminating

this esoteric

type of Platonism that blends together the ideas in the dialogues.

THE RENAISSANCE

251

Hermetic books, and the Chaldean

the mysticism of the

The same

oracles.

syncretism appears in the works of Bruno.

"Only an ambitious and presumptuous man," wrote Bruno, to

persuade others that there

of nature.

.

.

.

is

Even though we must always

most contemplative and

firmest, the

mode

of meditation,

yields

good

fruits

we have no

elect the surest

path and the

many good

things even though he does not

by reading Anaxagoras,

same

who

go beyond the

sets

many

soul.

No

We

above the soul an

intellect that Socrates, Plato, Trismegistus,

God."

tree.

things even though they

and

loftiest

mode

right to censure another

above the qualities of matter. Heraclitus says

rise

call

distinct

even though they are not from the same

Epicureans have said

"tries

but one path that leads to knowledge

that

The

do not

excellent

can profit

—the

intellect

and our theologians

^^

passage could better express Bruno's electicism and his dream

of an

He had

all-encompassing philosophy.

Aristotle

—the

man

"injurious

parage the opinions of

all

only one

enemy

and ambitious, who wished

other philosophers and their

to dis-

manner

of

philosophizing."

Such richness or rather such profusion of thoughts who,

like Leibnitz at a later date,

wished

to lose

in a philosopher

no part of the

speculations of his predecessors, has always been disconcerting to

those

who

contains

World

a

hierarchy of Plotinian

Soul,

infinity of tus'

try to explain systematically the doctrine of

hypostases

—God,

It

and Matter; the heliocentrism of Copernicus and the

worlds linked to

it;

Parmenides' Identity; and Democri-

atomistic theory, along with corpuscular physics.

Bruno's principal theses, not ordinarily found together. seen

Bruno.

Intelligence,

Plotinism closely Unked to geocentrism, which

These are

We alone

have can

provide a sensible image of unity; but Plotinus condemns any theory of atomism that

would

the continuity of

Do we

life.

substitute mechanical composition for

find in

systems? This seems impossible "Delia Causa

(ed. Gentile)

i.

170.

Bruno

when we

a series of successive

consider the works that

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

252

he wrote over a period of ten years 34 and 44.

Or do we

(i 582-1 592),

between the age of

prefer to see a tissue of contradictions in the

works written throughout

a troubled Hfetime by a

doned the Dominican convent in

man who

aban-

1576, aroused the suspicions of

Lutherans and Calvinists aHke, and languished for eight years in

from which he was released

the prisons of the Inquisition,

only to be burned at the stake ?

many

and even

inconsistencies

we

true that

It is

such

absurdities,

in 1600

find in his works as

singular

his

mathematical atomism which, composed of rows of points, seems to date from a period prior to Plato, before the discovery of irrationals.

But he nevertheless managed solidarities: indeed,

we

to extricate

Platonism from damaging

recall that in the

beginning Platonism, un-

was not linked

like the system of Aristotle,

centrism; that Erigena and Nicholas of Cusa,

whom

Bruno

in

any way

two great

to geo-

Platonists

particularly esteemed, favored the heliocentrism of the

Pythagoreans; that in the Timaeus Plato himself, after speaking of the world as of a living being

and of

which the world

of atoms according to

regular solids inscribable in spheres.

(and not

to that of

the

to Plato atoms, lines,

and

who

suggested to

is

soul, outlines a doctrine

composed of

It is to Plato's

Democritus) that Bruno

"To Pythagoras

text:

its

him

first

principles are

surfaces." ^^ It

is

corpuscles,

doctrine of atoms

refers in the following

monads and numbers;

Plato,

the idea of giving to

all

and not Epicurus, atoms a spherical

shape.

Thus Bruno,

a true exponent of intuition, broke

secular associations of ideas.

the contemplatio ordinis, things, but this

is

Vulgar

Platonists did not

knowledge

away from go beyond

of the hierarchical order of

merely the fourth degree in a scale that includes

nine degrees, the

last

two of which

one's self into the thing

are "the transformation

of

and the transformation of the thing into

one's self."^^ Furthermore,

Bruno

sees the perfect interpenetration

of every degree of knowledge: "It can be demonstrated," he writes,

"that

if

intelligence participates in sense,

^ De minimo ^ Sigillus

i.

lo.

sigillorum

i.

34.

then sense will be in-

THE RENAISSANCE

253

This significant text contains no trace of the op-

telligence itself."

and the

position between the senses

among

the vulgar Platonists, and

which

intellect

of thought: a continuous sUding (whether he

and

intellect or

most hallowed

is

clearly reveals Bruno's pattern

it

with the sensible and the

dealing with sense

is

intelligible)

from par-

ticipation to identity.

This fact explains the principal

He



reduces

all

one: the

to

hypostases

life

animal," which

is

—God,

same time one and

he cannot postulate matter that

and

Soul, Matter

and venerable

multiple.^^ In particular,

nothing more than non-being

is

that does not already contain every seminal reason.

from Plotinus

differs

divine reality

is

than

less

exactly

and

stance

him

unities of

numbers

existence.

God

is

Here he

generally supposed, for a truly the term intelligible

only modes of a unique sub-

numbers

are to the substance as

compound owe their

they

is

what Plotinus meant by

matter. All individuals are to

the

World

Intelligence,

of the universe, "the holy, sacred, at the

world.

traits of his vision of the

to unity, or rather as

which

to the primitive unity to

the

monad

of beings, the substance of substances, or as

of monads, the entity it

expressed in

is

De

immenso: .

.

.

Rerum

fades

Intimius cunctis

dum

quam

tantum fluctuat sint sibi

extra,

quaeque, vigens

est

Entis principium, cunctarum fons spicierum,

Mens, Deus, Ens, Unum, Verum, Fatum, Oratio, Ordo?^

"Whereas the surface of things continues essential to all things

Mind all

all

Word, Order." In

realities of different

infused into

he

is

more

than they are to themselves, the living principle

of being, the source of Fate,

to fluctuate,

forms. Mind, God, Being, One, Truth,

certain expositions

degrees: all

Mind

Mind

broken up into

superior to everything, or

things, or Nature;

and Mind that

things, or Reason.^^ In other expositions a

^ De immenso, quoted by Charbonnel, La ^^ De immenso viii. 10. i. ^^ De minima (beginning).

is

unique

Pensee italienne, p. 455,

traverses

reality n. 2.

God; is

the

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

254

focal point

and such

differences are of slight importance; they are

of value only to those

who

ports transcendence of

immanence, which makes sense only when

seek to determine whether

we accept God and nature as static and when we accept Bruno's dynamism with

contiguous stress

its

Bruno sup-

realities,

on the

not

active,

animating principle.

That

is

the explanation of the thesis of the infinity of the universe,

for divine infinity can be expressed only in a universe that

That

infinite.

is

adology)

.

The

also

the explanation, in spite of the apparent paradox,

of his atomistic theory (which could fact

is

prime

simplicity the

is

more

aptly be called

that Bruno, like Leibnitz at a later date,

monmakes

Compositum porro

characteristic of substance:

nullum substantia vera est^^ he accepts atoms, but they are not the

for this reason that

It is

"impious elements" of Democritus.^* Bruno's physics

way

mechanistic: surrounding atoms

region in which the world moves and

is

is

not in any

the ether, "an

lives," ^^ a

immense

medium which

fills

the space, body, and soul of the world and in which atoms are constituted

and combined; and

the nucleus around result

is

that

in each individual

which atoms

Bruno preserves both

collect

and

is

a soul that

fall

is

into place.

Hke

The

the Plotinian conception of the

individual as the image of the whole and a microcosm, and the

Democritean conception of the

indivisible element as a constituent

unit.

Through

his system

Bruno hoped,

ism, to achieve true religious unity,

as Ficino

did through Platon-

which he contrasted with the

unity of the Reformers, misanthropic minds that

sow discord

every-

where; with the unity of fanatical, pessimistic Catholicism that the

enemy

bloodthirsty

of nature; with the unity of

Judaism and

its

is

jealous,

God;^^ with the unity that he associates with the

"Egyptian religion," that

with the religious Platonism of Hermes

is,

Trismegistus. His religion

is

^ De minimo 3. 29. " De immenso v. 8. 36. ^ De minimo 2. 10. ^ Cf. the texts in Charbonnel, La

a gnosis;

it is

knowledge on the part

i.

i.

Pensee italienne, pp. 488-90.

THE RENAISSANCE

255 of

man

that

"God

than he can be

The thought Bruno

of

near him, with him, and more essential to

is

to himself."

of Lucilio

in precision

Vanini (1585-1619)

and

He

in breadth.

falls far

fled

short of that

from one place

another seeking refuge from his persecutors and finally to the Inquisition,

He

which had him burned

remembered mainly

is

him

^^

as a heretic at

as the disseminator

fell

to

victim

Toulouse.

and popularizer of

the theses of the Paduans.

Italian Platonism:

XIII

The

Campanella

animistic current culminated in the system of

Campanella,

who was

unquestionably a

spite of the period in

portant work,

De

published in 1620,

which he

is

which

parts of his parts are

clarity to obscurity

preservation

of

it is

ever

is

whole."

the

In

it

scholars

The

first

have

all

argument

is

Stoics

attributed only

to

the

main arguments

are sentient

it

and that

animals

is

parts are

imply sensa-

that of Chrysippus in Cicero's

De

and what-

all its

instincts or impulses that

deorum\ the second uses the theory of beings, following the

have identified

of the

a sentient being are of Stoic origin

a fortiori in the whole;

is

sentient because they tion.

is

Two

sentient because certain parts of

in the parts

demonstrated that the

but sufficient for his preservation and for the

demonstrate that the world

that

it is

knowing God, and that all his imbued with sense ranging from

panpsychism of Bruno and of Telesio. to

His most im-

described in the subtitle as "an admirable con-

the statue of the living,

and the

parts

of the Renaissance in

lived (1568-1639).

sensu rerum et magia, completed in 1604 and is

tribution to occult philosophy in

world

man

Tommaso

finibus, but

extended here to

De

natura

what the all

living

example of Plotinus. Campanella no longer

recognizes the hierarchy of animals, plants, and inanimate beings postulated by Aristotle and the Stoics. Like Plato and Plotinus he sees only

degrees: the nutritive faculty presupposes the sentient

faculty; intellect *'^

is

identical to sense; animals think

Quoted by Blanchet, Campanella,

p. 452.

and are en-

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

256

dowed with something cursus universalis)

.

To

that resembles

this

magic, conceived as Plotinus conceived a positive art of stars or

which

employing the occult

from the simple tension

is

discursive reasoning

conception of the world it

Ennead:

as

emanate from the

The

of the will.^^

{dis-

linked natural

in the fourth

forces that

typical of the action of nature,

is

action of magic,

diametrically opposed to

is

mechanism, which was then on the verge of triumph.

On

the naturalism of the Renaissance

erected a metaphysic

is

that develops the principle of the Plotinian system:

sympathy

in the sensible

world

the intelligible world. Sensible object

and

subject;

it

is

knowledge

more about

reveals to us nothing

the object

identified with

is

perceived. Typical of intellectual knowledge, however,

edge that the soul acquires independently of is

in fact inseparable

knowledge of cause itself

it is;

it is

itself;

all

just such self-consciousness.

is

knowl-

is

By acquiring itself

moment when

other things at the

changed into them. Yet the change

what

knowledge

knowledge of

things, "the soul acquires

what

it is

from

is

but a contact between

is

than the aspect through which the perceiver is

whatever

intimate union and identity in

it

be-

feels

not knowledge but the

cause or occasion of knowledge." According to the same principle, the

common

properties

and

similarities that

bind things together

provide the soul with an opportunity to contemplate Ideas; the assimilation of the

known

object to the

reahzed in our general concepts,

The

soul

all

—Power,

subject, imperfectly

perfectly reaUzed in the Idea.

and nature lead Campanella

"primaHties"

and of

is

knowing to a

Wisdom, and Love

God who

—the

contains in his

model

of our soul

things: a universal analogy that allows this sensuaHst to

ascend from the sensible to the

intelligible.^^

In 1599 Campanella took part in a conspiracy in Calabria where,

according to the records of the

trial instituted

parently represented himself as a

against him, he ap-

new Messiah and

tried to set

a theocratic republic similar to the one described later in

^ Cf. Blanchet, ^ Gilson, "Le

Campanella,

Citta

p. 217.

raisonnement par analogic chez T.

philosophic medievale, p. 125.

La

up

Campanella,"

in

Etudes de

THE RENAISSANCE

257

that of the regeneration of

The dominant mankind on the

He was

deeply concerned

del Sole, completed in 1602

idea of his Utopia

is

and published

more productive organization.

basis of a

with economic

in 1623.

"There are seventy thousand souls

realities:

in

Naples," he wrote, "and hardly ten or fifteen thousand workers are

numbered among them. Thus die for the sake of an

the workers exhaust themselves

employment

and

that exceeds their strength. In

the city of the Sun, the tasks are equally distributed, with the result that

no one works

economic

on

result

for

more than four hours each

was not the

to the discovery of the

God

them

drives

of a regenerated

there for

essential point:

day."

"A few men

Still,

the

are spurred

new world by the desire for riches, but a much more exalted purpose." This idea

humanity

that

would

attain

its

unity through a

natural religion basically identical to Christianity, was the funda-

mental idea of those

who brought

about the revival of Platonism

during the Renaissance.

XIV

Spanish Mysticism

Just as

the experimental

method

Leonardo abandoned the

of

metaphysical construction of the universe and saw in things mo-

mentary and changing equilibriums of tion of an ideal plan, so the

forces rather than the realiza-

contemporaneous mysticism of the

Spaniards abandoned speculation on the structure of the divine reaUty.

The

"God," said

sixteenth-century mystics practiced intellectual humihty: St.

John of the Cross (died

to give full credence (to

in 1591), "does not

wish us

our intimate and personal revelations) so

human channel of man's Church was total. The same St. John

long as they have not passed through the

mouth."

^^

Submission

to the

was

of the Cross rejected the idea that there that could lead the spirit

from the

sensible

procedure

a rational

world

to

God "Nothing :

created or conceived can provide the intellect with an appropriate

means **

of uniting with

God. Everything

Miguel de Unamuno, L'Essence de I'Espagne,

p.

that can be accomplished 215.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

258

by the him."

intellect

^^

an obstacle rather than a means of approaching

is

Thus what

the mystic seeks through union with

God

not

is

the revelation of the essence of things or an answer to a question,

but above

all else

an inner freedom that

liberates

him from any

an immediate knowledge not dependent on meditation

restraints,

or on a process of reasoning. According to the testimony of

St.

Theresa (1515-1582), the divine inner words which the mystic cannot

fail to

hear,

which transform the

soul,

and which have such

a force that nothing can efface them, are nevertheless produced in the soul at

them and

moments when

are not

the mystic

prompted by

is

incapable of understanding

a desire to hear them.^^

The Spanish

mystic seeks the inner perfection of his soul and not, Uke Erigena or Eckhart, the revelation of the principles of the universe.

nature of the relation between the religious intellectual

life

'^

Cf.

J.

The

history of

thought, which had gone on for centuries, changed

under the influence of such mysticism.

^

and the

Baruzi, Saini-Jean de la Croix, pp. 412-13.

Vie de sainte Therese (trans. Bouix), chap, xxv, p. 323.

Bibliography

I

and

II

Texts E., Kristeller, P., and Randall, J., Jr. (eds.). The Renaissance Philosophy of Man. Chicago, 1948. Santillana, G. (ed.). The Age of Adventure: The Renaissance Philoso-

Cassirer,

De

phers. Boston, 1957.

Studies

Humanism. Translated by A. V. Littledall. WestminMd., 1958. Burckhardt, J. The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy. Translated by S. G. Middlemore. New York, 1935. New edition, 1944. Bush, D. The Renaissance and English Humanism. Toronto, 1939.

Bouyer, L. Christian ster,

Collins,

J.

A

History of Modern European Philosophy. Milwaukee, 1954. Pp.

13-50.

De

Lagarde. Le naissance de

l' esprit

Idique au declin

du moyen

age. 6 vols.

Paris, 1948.

W. The

Ferguson,

Renaissance in Historical Thought: Five Centuries of

Interpretation. Boston, 1948.

N. Renaissance Concepts

Gilbert,

of

"Humanisme medievale

Gilson, E.

Method.

New

York, i960.

et Renaissance," in

Les idees

et les lettres.

Paris, 1932.

Haydn, H. The Counter-Renaissance. New York, 1950. Howell, W. Logic and Rhetoric in England, i^oo-iyoo. Princeton, 1956. Kristeller, P. Renaissance Thought: The Classic, Scholastic and Humanist Strains. .

Lucas, H. Riedl,

New

York, 1955.

Thought and Letters. Rome, 1956. The Renaissance and the Reformation. New York, 1934.

Studies in Renaissance

A

J.

Catalogue of Renaissance Philosophers (1^^0-16^0). Milwaukee,

1940. Sellery,

G. The Renaissance:

259

Its

Nature and Origins. Madison, Wise, 1950.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

26o

III

Texts Erasmus. Opera omnia. Lugduni Batavorum, 1703-1706. The Praise of Folly. Translated by H. H. Hudson. Princeton, 194 1. Leon Hebreo. Critical edition of Dialoghi di Amore. Edited by C. Gebhardt. .

Heidelberg, 1929. The Philosophy of Love. Translated by C. Roth. Soncino Jewish Publication Society. 1937. .

Marsilio Ficino. Opera omnia. Paris, 1641. .

Five Questions concerning the Mind. Translated by

E. Cassirer, et

al.,

The Renaissance Philosophy

J.

Burroughs, in

Man. Pp. 193-214. Edited by E. Hoffman and R. of

Opera omnia. 7 vols. Klibansky. Leipzig, 1932-53. On Learned Ignorance. Translated by G. Heron. London, 1954. The Vision of God. Translated by E. Salter. New York, i960.

Nicholas of Cusa.

.

.

Paracelsus. Selected Writings. Translated by

N. Gutterman.

New

York, 1951.

Pico della Mirandola, Opera. Bologna, 1496. Oration on the Dignity of Man. Translated by E. Forbes, in E. Cas.

sirer, et al.,

The Renaissance Philosophy

of

Man,

pp. 223-54.

Studies Bett,

H. Nicholas of Cusa. London,

Cassirer,

1932.

"Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola," fournal of the History of

E.

Ideas, III (1942), 123-44, 319-46.

Dulles,

A. Princeps concordiae: Pico della Mirandola and the Scholastic

Tradition. Cambridge, 1941.

Huizinga,

J.

Erasmus

Kristeller, P. .

"The

of Rotterdam.

The Philosophy Scholastic

New

York, 1952.

of Marsilio Ficino.

New

York, 1943.

Background of Marsilio Ficino," Traditio,

257-318.

II

(1944),

H. Magic into Science: The Story of Paracelsus. New York, 195 1. M. Erasmus and the Northern Renaissance. London, 1949. Robb, N. Neoplatonism of the Italian Renaissance. London, 1935. Sigmund, P. Nicholas of Cusa and Medieval Political Thought. New Haven Pachter,

Phillips,

and Oxford,

1963.

Vansteenberghe, E. Le Cardinal Nicolas de Cues. 1920.

THE RENAISSANCE

26l

IV

VI

to

Texts Leonardo da Vinci. The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. Arranged and translated by E. MacCurdy. 2 vols. New York, 1938. Philosophical Diary. Selections, translated by Wade Baskin. New .

York, 1959. Petrarch. Opera. Venice, 1503. On His Own Ignorance and That of Many Others, and other selections, in E. Cassirer, et al., The Renaissance Philosophy of Man, pp. 34.

146.

Pomponazzi. Opera.

On

.

by

J.

Man,

Basel, 1567.

the Immortality of the Soul. Translated by

Randall,

Jr.,

in E. Cassirer, et

al..

W. Hay,

II.

Revised

The Renaissance Philosophy

of

pp. 280-384.

Studies Douglas, A. The Philosophy and Psychology of Pietro Pomponazzi. York, 1910.

Duhem,

Etudes sur Leonard de Vinci. Paris, 1906-13. "Augustine and the Early Renaissance," Review of Religion,

P.

Kristeller,

P.

VIII (1944), 339-58. On Petrarch. "Ficino and Pomponazzi on the Place of .

Man

in

the Universe,"

Journal of the History of Ideas, V (1944), 220-26. Mabilleau, L. Cesare Cremonini: La philosophic de la renaissance en Paris,

1

MacCurdy, Randall,

New

Italic.

88 1. E.

J.,

The Mind of Leonardo da Vinci. New York, "The Development of Scientific Method

Jr.

1928. in

the School of

Padua," Journal of the History of Ideas, I (1940), 177-206. Seailles, G. Leonard de Vinci. 4th ed. Paris, 191 2. Whitfield, J. Petrarch and the Renascence. Oxford, 1943. .

Machiavelli. Oxford, 1947.

Ufe of Petrarch. Chicago, 1961. Vidari. "G. Cardano," Rivista italiana di filosofia, VIII (1893). Wilkins, E.

VII

to

X

Texts Guillaume du Vair. The Moral Philosophic of the Stoic\s, written in French by Guillaume Du Vair. Translated by Thomas James. Edited by R. Kirk. New Brunswick, N. J., 1951.

THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

262

Justus Lipsius.

Two

Bootes of Constancie, written

in Latin

by Justus Lipsius.

Translated by Sir John Stradling. Edited by R. Kirk and C. Hall.

Brunswick, N. Machiavelli,

J.,

New

1939.

N. Tutte

le

opere.

Edited by G. Mazzoni and M. Casella,

Florence, 1929. .

The Prince and Other Wor\s. Translated by A.

Gilbert.

New

York,

1941. -.

The

Discourses. Translated by L. Walker. 2 vols.

London,

1950.

Montaigne. The Complete Wor\s of Montaigne. Translated by D. Frame. Stanford, 1957. Pierre Charron.

Of Wisdom. Translated by G. Stanhope.

3 vols.

London,

1729.

Studies Frame, D. Montaigne's Discovery of Man. New York, 1955. Gilbert, A. Machiavelli' s Prince and Its Forerunners. Durham, N. C., 1938. Hale, J. Machiavelli and Renaissance Italy. New York and London, 1961. Mauzey, J. Montaigne's Philosophy of Human Nature. Annandale-on-Hudson, N. Y., 1933. Mesnard, P. L'essor de la philosophic politique au XVI^ siecle. Paris, 1951. Ong, W. Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue. Cambridge, 1958. Popkin, R. The History of Scepticism from Erasmus to Descartes. Assen, i960. Ridolfi,

Sabrie,

The J.

Saunders,

Life of Niccolb Machiavelli. Chicago, 1963.

De I'humanisme J.

au rationalisme: Pierre Charron. Paris, 1913. The Philosophy of Renaissance Stoicism. New

L. fustus Lipsius:

York, 1955. Strowski, F. Montaigne. Paris, 1931. Whitfield,

Zanta, L.

XI

J.

Machiavelli. Oxford, 1947.

La Renaissance du

stoicisme au

XVI^

siecle. Paris, 1914.

XV

to

Texts Campanella. Opera. Vols. Giordano Bruno. Opere .

I, II,

and IV.

Paris, 1637.

Edited by G. Gentile. 3 vols. Bari, 1907-9. Opera latina conscripta. Edited by F. Fiorentino, et al. 3 vols. Naples, italiane.

1879-91.

On the Infinite Universe and Worlds. Translated by D. Singer in Giordano Bruno: His Life and Thought. New York, 1950. -. Concerning the Cause, Principle and One. Translated by A. Greenberg in The Infinite in Giordano Bruno. New York, 1940. Guillaume Postel. De orbis concordia. Book IV. Basel, 1544. Jean Bodin. Les six livres de la Republique. Lyons, 1579. .

THE RENAISSANCE

263

Jean Bodin.

The Six Boo\

of a

translation of 1606, edited

Commonweale. Facsimile

reprint of the English

by Kenneth Douglas McRae.

New Haven

and

Oxford, 1962. St.

John of the Cross. The Complete Worhj of by E. Peers. London, 1934.

St.

John of the Cross. Edited

Studies Baruzi,

Saint Jean de la Croix et le probleme de I'experience mystique.

J.

Paris, 1924.

New

edition, 1931.

Blanchet, L. Campanella. Paris, 1920.

Bruno de

Jesus-Marie. Saint Jean de la Croix. Paris, 1929.

Tommaso Campanella:

DiNapoli, G.

Filosofo della restaurazione cattolica.

Padua, 1947. Fiorentino, F. Telesio, studii storici suU'idea della natura nel risorgimento italiano. Naples, 1872-74.

"Communication sur Jean Bodin," Academie des

Lefranc, A.

(Session of January

Mercati, A.

Mesnard,

//

J.

de

Inscriptions

1928).

sommario del processo

P. L'essor

Moreau-Reibel,

6,

di Giordano Bruno. Vatican City, 1942.

la philosophic politique

Jean Bodin et

le

droit public

au

XVl^

siecle.

compare dans

Paris,

1936.

ses rapports

avec la philosophic de Vhistoire. Paris, 1933. E. Les aspects de Dieu dans la philosophic de G. Bruno. Paris, 1926.

Namer, Nelson,

J.

Renaissance Theory of Love:

The Context

New

of

Giordano Bruno's

York, 1958. Peers, E. Spanish Mysticism: A Preliminary Survey. London, 1926. Studies of the Spanish Mystics. New York and Toronto, 1927. "Eroici Furiori."

.

Troilo, E.

La

filosofia di

Yates, F. Giordano

Giordano Bruno. Turin, 1907.

Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. Chicago,

1964.

INDEX Abelard, 41, 46, 48, 52, 59-68, 71-74, 78-79, 106, 114, 117, 137, 191, 219

Abraham,

Amaury

89, 167

Abubacer, 99 Acontio, 247 Acropolites, George, 106

Adam,

133, 208

Adam du

Petit-Pont, 79

Adelard of Bath,

Adelmann

Alkindi, 93-94, 96, 116 Allah, 91

49,

50

of Liege, 31

of Bene, 76-77

Ammonius,

6, 91,

107

Anacharsis, 6

Anaxagoras, 251 Anselm of Laon, 47, 59 Apollonius, 172

Apuleius,

II,

27-28

Aratus, 27

Alan of Lille, 52-53, 72-73, 75 Alberic of Rheims, 66

Archimedes, 219, 233 Arianism and Arians,

Albert the Great, 77, 113, 118, 123, 131-35, 150, 153, 158-60, 168, 201

Aristocles, 231

11,

60

Aristotelianism and Aristotelians, 28,

Albert of Saxony, 20Q-201

42, 48, 51, 60, 63, 70, 119, 125, 131-

Albigenses, 74-76

32,

Al

158,

161,

230,

232, 234,

Bitrogi, 165

Alchvvarismi, 49 Alcuin, 16, 27-29, 240

Alexander, 91 Alexander of Aphrodisias, 100, 230-

139-40,

Aristotle,

144-46,

177,

6-7,

149,

152-53,

207, 222, 225,

197,

247

15,

17,

28-30, 33-34,

38, 41, 50, 61-62, 65-66, 80, 91-94, 121,

126-29,

137-39,

141-42,

144-45,

156,

158-60,

164-65,

104,

106-7,

131,

133,

1

16-17,

Alexander of Hales, 113, 123-24, 129 Alexander Neckham, 165

147-49,

Alexandrians, 230 Alfanus, 53

202, 215, 219, 223,

151,

167, 174-76, 183, 191, 195-96, 198-

225, 228,

230,

232, 234-35, 245-47, 251-52, 255

Alfarabi, 94-96, 116, 119-20

Aristoxenus, 105

Alfred of Sereshel, 165 Algazel, 98

Arius, 2-3

Alger of Liege, 31-32 Alhazen, 98, 170, 172

Ashari, 98

265

Arnold of Ata, 90

Brescia, 74

INDEX

266

Bouchard, Amaury, 226

Athanasius, 3

and

Augustinianism

161,

154,

10, 34,

Augustinians,

165,

167,

183-88,

Bouix, 258 n.

Bovo

of Saxony, 28

Boyer, 12 n.

202, 207

Avempace, 99

Bradley, 20

Averroes, 98-101, 117, 134, 143, 148,

Bradwardine, Thomas, 189 Brahmans, 6

153, 165, 225

and

Averroism 164,

Averroists,

159-61,

219, 224, 230-33

174,

Avicebron, 78, 102-3, 116, 133, 149,

130-31,

Bruno, Giordano, 250-55 Buridan, 199, 230 Busson,

154 n.

154,

Avicenna,

Brehier, E., 33 n.

96-98, 147,

100,

i53-54>

116,

120-21,

165

216

H.,

Bacon, Francis, 244, 246, 249 Bacon, Roger, 167-72, 240

Caiphas, 68

Bartholomew

Calvin, 232, 240

Baruzi,

J.,

154 n.

256

n.

226

n.,

248 n.

n.

Capreolus, Johannes, 202

Bayle, 231 n.

Becket,

n.,

Calvinism and Calvinists, 245, 249, 252 Campanella, Tommaso, 218, 255-57,

258 n. n.,

n.,

Cajetan, 202

of Messina, 116

Basil of Caesarea, 17

Bauemker, 98 Baur, 165, 166

225

n.,

227 n., 228 n., 232 n., 234 Byzantine philosophy, 104-8

Thomas

a,

Cardano, Geronimo, 231, 232

78

Bede (Venerable),

11, 14, 16, 27, 47,

Carra de Vaux, Cassiodorus,

69, 168

9,

B.,

99

n.

27

Belleforest, 241 n.

Castiglione, Baldassare, 227

BerdiaefT, N., 216 n.

Cathari, 74, 76 Chalcidius, 15, 31, 49

Berengar of Tours, 29-32 Bernard of Chartres, 49, 51, 55 Bernardus Silvestris, 51-52

Charbonnel, 254

R.,

228

n.,

230

n.,

253

n.,

n.

Bernier of Nivelles, 160

Charlemagne,

Bernold of Constance, 47

Charles de Bouelles (Bouillus), 224 n.

Berossus, 167

Charles the Bald, 17 Charpentier, 246

Bessarion (Cardinal), 104, 225 Biel, Gabriel,

Christianity 13,

Jacob, 226

49-50, 60-63, 65, 69, 80,

136, 195, 215 Boethius of Sweden, 160

Boivin, 106 n.

Bonaventure, see St. Bonaventure Bonnefon, Paul, 244 n.

15,

and

Christians, 2, 3, 7,

17-18,

33,

38,

48, 51-52, 56-58, 60,

Boethius, 5-10, 13, 15, 17, 27-30, 4142,

10, 16

Charron, Pierre, 242-43

202

Blonchet, 255 n., 256 n. Bodin, John, 249

Boehme,

i,

120,

76, 105, 107-8,

1

d-],

40-41,

46,

71-73, 75-

13-14, 116-17, 121-

23, 131, 145-46, 152, 169, 184, 208,

216-19,

224-26, 232,

257 Chrysippus,

6, 81,

240-41,

248,

255

Cicero, 8-9, 15, 17, 28, 78, 81, 240

Claudianus Mamertus,

5,

9

INDEX

267

Durand

Clement IV, 168, 170 Clement VI, 197

Du

of Saint Pourgain, 192-93

Vair, Guillaume, 241-42

Clerval, A., 28 n.

Eckhart, see Meister Eckhart

Climacus, 107

Columbus, 236 Combes, A., 203 n., 209 Comte, Auguste, 113

Empedocles, 92 Epictetus, 240-43

n.

and

Epicureanism

Conciliarism, 192

Epicureans,

55,

215, 251

Constantine IX, 105 Constantine the African, 49, 54 Copernicus, 232, 235-36, 251 Cousin, v., 52 n., 61 n., 63 n., 64 66 n., 67-68, 72 n.

Epicurus, 81

252

n., 91,

Epiphanius, 17 Erasmus, 216 n.

Cremonini, 232

Eric of Auxerre, 28

Erigena, John Scotus, 16-22, 49, 63, 65, ^-j, 117, 201, 203 n., 252, 258

Cres, 113 n.

Euclid,

Cynicism, 107 Cyril of Alexandria, 3

Eugene

56 Eustratius, 106-7

Dante, 164 David of Dinant, 77-78, 118, 135 David the Jew, 131

Fernel, Jean, 232

Dehove, 65

Fracastoro, 222

9, 49, 73, 105, 172,

222

III,

Ficino, Marsilio, 219, 224-25, 248, 254

Flach, 242 n.

n.

Francis

Delacroix, 76 n.

Demetrios Kydonis, 106

I, 232, 245 Francis of Meyronnes, 201

Democritus, 49, 251-52, 254

Franciscans, 122-24, 189, 193-94, 202,

Descartes, 201, 227, 230, 247

227 Franzoni,

Des

Periers, Bonaventure,

234

F.,

243 n.

Fredegisus, 29

Dietrich of Vriberg, 173

Diodorus, 81

Frederick

Diogenes, 107

Fulbert of Chartres, 28, 31, 59

Diogenes Laetius, 250 Dionysius the Areopagite, 74,

77,

107,

118,

136,

17,

19-20,

149,

199,

II,

165

Galen, 49, 91-92, 165 Galileo, 201, 230, 232-33 Galland, 248

203 n., 220 Dionysius the Carthusian, 202

Gandillac,

Diophantus, 105 Dominicans, 122-24,

Gaunilon, 39 Gauthier (Prior of

193,

i35j

^^i,

204

Dominicus Gundissalinus, 119 Donatism and Donatists, 3, 9 Donatus, 9 Draeseke, 38

Duhem,

n.

P., 197,

230 n.

173,

M.

de, 224 n.

St.

Victor), 79

Gauthier of Martagne, 64 Gemistus, Georgias, see Pletho Gentile, 251 n.

George of Trebizond, 106 Gerard of Bologna, 164 Gerard of Cremona, 1 16-18

Dulin, 203 n.

Gerbert of Aurillac, 28-29

Duns

German

Scotus, 183-90, 197

mysticism, 203-9

INDEX

268

Gerson, 107, 203, 203

Hrabanus Maurus, 12-15,

209 n.

n.,

Gilbert of Poitiers (Gilbert de

la

Por-

54-55, 69-70, 73, 78-79

ree),

Gilbert the Universal, 66

Rome, 164

Gilson,

fi.,

125

n.,

122

St.

of St. Victor, 56-58, 149

n.,

12411.,

198

Hussites, 193

12911., 15811., 160 n.,

256 n. Giovanni di Fidanza, 125 Gnosticism and Gnostics, 75, 77 Godfrey of Fontaines, 163-64

lamblichus, 105

Gottschalk, 18-19

Imbart de

Grabmann, 43 Gregory Gregory Gregory Gregory

18

Cher, 161

of Strasbourg, 135

Hume,

711., 7611.,

126

n.,

of

Humbert, 164

Giles of Lessines, 159-60, 163

Giles of

Hugh Hugh Hugh

Ibn Pakuda, 103 Ibn Rochd, see Averroes

Ibn Tufail, see Abubacer la

Tour,

P., 191 n.

Innocent

II,

IX, 114, 118

Innocent

III, 74, 76, 1

of Nazianzen, 17

Isaiah, 34

of Nyssa, 17, 22

Isidore of Seville, 11, 27, 47, 49, 57,

n.,

79 n.

the Great, 4-5

72, 72 n.

13-14, 176

166

Grosseteste, Robert, 116, 165-67, 170,

172

Israeli, Isaac, loi,

119

Italian Platonism,

249-57

Grotius, H., 156, 156 n.

Guido

of Castello, 60

Jesuits,

Gurvitch, 156 n.

Jesus

228

Christ,

30,

2,

32,

40,

42,

57, 60, 72, 75-77, 82, 89, 106,

Hadrian, 167 Halphen, 88 n.

184, 208, 231 Jewish philosophy, 101-3

Harnack, 2 n., 4 n. Haureau, B., 58 n. Hebreo, Leon, 227-28

Joachim of Fiore, 76, 124 Johannes de Rupello, 124 Johannes Italus, 106-7 John (Pope), 16, 72

Hegel, 20

John XXI, 160 John XXII, 160,

Hello, 209 n. Heloi'se, 59, 60 n.

Henry Henry Henry Henry Henry

245 of Brabant, 116 II,

of Ghent, 162-64, 185, 187 of

Hainbuch,

192, 201

Heraclitus, 31, 251

Orthodoxy and

Hermes

164, 192, 194

John Philoponus, 92 John of Damascus, 105, 143 John of Jandun, 160, 192 John of La Rochelle, see Johannes de Rupello

of Navarre, 241

Heresies, see

47, 164,

heresies

Trismegistus, 251, 254 Hesychasts, 107

John John John John

of Mirecourt, 190, 197 of

Parma, 124

of Ripa, 202 of Salisbury, 51, 51 n., 63, 6^

Heurtevent, 31 n. Hildebert of Lavardin, 240 Hincmar, 18-19

Josqelin of Vierzy, 66

Hippocrates, 49, 165

Joseph, 106

65, 70 n., 74,

n.,

78-82

John of Viterbo, 157

i

269

INDEX Marius Victor, 9

Josephus, 167

Marsilius of Inghen, 201

Martianus Capella, 8-9, Martin V, 201

Kepler, 230, 232

Kilwardby, Robert, 123, 161 Koyre, 38 n.

B.,

50

Mary, 3

Matthew of Aquasparta, Maximus, 17, 107

La Boderie, Fevre de, 226 La Boetie, Etienne de, 244 Landry,

11, 28,

131

Megarians, 33, 79 Meister Eckhart, 135, 203-9, ^^6, 258 Metochites, Theodore, 106

189 n.

Lanfranc, 31 n., 32, 34 Latin Averroism, 157-60

Michael

17

II,

Laurentius Valla, 215-16

Michael Cerularius, 106

Lefevre, G., 62 n.

Michael

Lefranc, 232 n.

Michael of Ephesus, 106-7

106

Italicos,

Leibnitz, 231, 254

Michael the Scot, 165

Leo X, 230 Leo Magentinus, 107 Leonardo da Vinci,

Migne, 5 19 218, 233-34, 257

Linus, 226

n.,

10

n.,

20

n.,

n.,

n.,

54 n., 60 240 n.

n.,

41 n., 48 n., 53

70

n.,

72

14 n., 15 n., 16

31 n., 32 n., 33

n,,

n.,

107

34 68

n., n., n.,

n.,

Lipsius, Justus, 241

Mohammed,

Lombard, see Peter Lombard Lorenzo the Magnificent, 215

Montaigne, 234-39, 242 Moralists and political thinkers, 239-

Louis XI, 197 Louis XII, 190

Moslem

theologies, 89-91

Louis of Bavaria, 192 Louis of Padua, 202

Museum

of Alexandria,

Louis the Pious, 17 Lucan, 8, 27, 234

Mutazilites, 90

89, 106

45 i

Mutakallimoun, 90 Mysticism of the Victorines, 56-59

Lucian, 234 Lucretius, 55 Lull, Ramon, 174-75

Nagy, 93

Luther, 190, 202

Nemesius, 53 Neo-Platonism and Neo-Platonists,

n.

Nathin, 202

Lutherans, 252

2,

II, 17-19, 21, 40, 57, 78, 89, 91-93,

Machiavelli, Niccolo, 218, 243-45, 249

101-3,

Macrobius,

139-40, 172-73, 176, 184, 187, 208,

15, 28, 33-34, 49, 63, 6j,

123,

125,

130,

137,

220-32, 248-57

78

Maimonides

105-8,

(Moses

ben

Maimon),

Nestorianism, 60

103-4 Maitre, L., 27 n.

Mandonnet, P., 158 n., 159 n., 199 Manegold of Lautenbach, 34 Manicheism, 75

Neo-Stoicism, 240-41 Nestorius, 3

n.

Nettesheim, Agrippa von, 234

Marcian, 72

Nicephorus Blemmydes, 106 Nicephorus Gregoras, 106 Nicephorus Pediasimus, 107

Marcus Aurelius, 240

Nicholas of Autrecourt, 197, 199, 201

270

INDEX

Nicholas Cabasilas, 107 Nicholas of Cusa, 192, 216-18, 22024,

Peter of Poitiers, 48, 79

252

Modon, 106 Nicomachus of Gerasa, 8, Nicolas of

204 n. Pflaum, H., 228 n. Pfeiffer,

105

Pherecydes of Syros, 53 Philip Augustus, 1 13-14 Philo of Alexandria, 10,

Nifo, 230

Nominalism, 193-203

Ockham, see William of Ockham Ockhamism and Ockhamists, 194-99,

201-2,

217,

219-20,

156,

223,

Photius, 104

Pico della Mirandola, 225, 248 Plato, 5-7, 10, 16-17, 33, 35, 50, 62-

Talon, 234-36

63, 67, 69, 92, 104-7, ii7» 126, 195,

Origen, 17 Orpheus, 228

201, 219, 225-27, 251-52, 255

Platonism and Platonists,

Orthodoxy and 17, 52,

heresies, 2-5,

74-78

169,

165,

Pachymeres, George, 107

177,

Pliny the Elder,

Paracelsus, 226, 236

Plotinians

204

17,

14,

171,

i,

34, 206,

n.,

231,

126,

105,

140,

171,

204,

205, 208, 223-25, 229, 230 n.,

251,

253,

255-56

Plutarch, 81, 92, 239

122, 131, 161

Poggio, 215-16

60

Political

thinkers, see Moralists

and

political thinkers

Pelagius, 3, 4 Peletier, Jacques, 236

Pomponazzi, 228-31, 233

Peripatetics,

161, 165, 186, 193, 197-99,

152-

245

Porphyry,

(y-']^

15,

28-29, 62, 65, 80,

91, 105

Guillaume, 248-49

Perspectivists, 172-73

Postel,

Peter Auriol, 194-95 Peter Comestor, 48

Prantl, 29, 63 n.

Proclus, 36, 53, 73, 92, 96, 105-6, 173, 207, 220-21

Peter

124-25,

11,

and Plotinism,

96,

94,

Pediasimus, John, 107

115,

9,

Plotinus, 7, 12, 15, 20, 22, 57, 77, 92,

Patrizzi, Francesco, 250

Damian, 33 Peter Lombard, 48-49,

242,

229, 231, 251, 254, 256

Parmenides, 251 Paschasius Radbertus, 30 Pastor, 204 n.

and

218-32,

229

Parisian Nominalists, 199-202

3, 16,

193,

225

255 Palamas, Gregory, 107

54,

15,

248-57 Pletho (Georgias Gemistus), 104, 106,

Paduans, 228-31, 233, 242, 247, 249,

Peripateticism

6,

70, 105, 119, 126, 130-31, 133, 139,

78

Peckham, John,

i,

36-37, 40-41, 46, 49-52, 55-56, 64,

Oxonian masters, 165-67

Pelagianism,

21-22,

Pippin, 17

Oresme, Nicole, 201

Ovid,

12,

loi, 208, 225

57,

37,

23i» 233

Omer

Peter of Bruys, 75 Peter of Maricourt, 171

65,

183

69,

79,

Psellus, 104-6

Pseudo-Dionysius, 131

Peter of Abano, 219

Pseudo-Hrabanus Maurus, 30

Peter of Ailly, 192, 201, 203

Ptolemy, 92, 105, 118, 167, 236

INDEX

271

Ptolemy of Luca, 157

St.

Pyrrho, 107

St.

Bruno of Cologne, 56 Francis of Assisi, 124

Pyrrhonism, 234-39 Pythagoras,

17, 33, 92, 226,

252

Pythagoreanism and Pythagoreans,

i,

118, 20 r, 226, 252

6,

St.

Hillary, 12

St.

Jerome,

St.

John, 107

St.

Quintilian, 9, 246

133

17,

John of the Cross, 257 5, 60

St.

Paul,

St.

Theresa, 258

St.

Thomas Aquinas,

49, 77, 103, 113,

Rabelais, 235

115-16, 121

Radulphus Ardens, 47

131,

Ramism, 247 Ramon, 116 Ramus, Peter

183-84, 187, 191, 193, 196 St.

Ramee),

(Pierre de la

245-48

123-24, 126-27, 129,

135-59, 161, 163-64, 167, 172,

Vincent of Lerins,

11,

47

Sanchez, Francisco, 239 Sathas, N., 105 n.

Reason and

Remi

n.,

10-16

faith,

Schneider, 132 n.

of Auxerre, 28

Richard of

St.

School of Chartres, 49-52 Scotism and Scotists, 201-2

Victor, 58

Robert, 66

n., 79 n. Robert Pulleyn, 47 Robert of Cour^on, 118

Seeberg, 43 n. Seneca, 10, 51, 70, 78, 239-41, 250

Robert of Melun, 47

Sextius, 6

Roland-Gosselin, 121 Roscelin sis),

Sententiaries, 46-49

n.,

(Roscellinus

41-43, 62, 66

n.,

151 n.

Sextus Empiricus, 117, 198, 235

Compendien-

Siger of Brabant, 123, 135-36, 157-61,

198-99, 219, 229

191

Rousseau, 59 Rousselot, 227 n.

Simplicius, 30, 41, 107

Ruysbroeck, Henry John, 208

Skepticism and Skeptics, 98-99, 234-

Saadiagaon (Saadia ben Joseph), 102

Socrates, 30, 41, 50, 62, 64, 186, 251

Silvester

II,

28

39

Solomon, 107

Sabellius, 2 St. St.

Ambrose, 17, 22, 216, 239 Anselm, 34-42, 59, 65, 68,

137, St.

73, 133,

14

n.,

15-17,

3-5,

40.,

19-20,

19

9,

11-13,

n.,

28-30,

Stoicism and Stoics,

35> 37-39, 49» 57, 59, 69, 118, 123,

St.

Bartholomew, 245 Bernard (Bernard of Clairvaux),

56-57,

60,

65,

68,

71,

72

18, 38, 40,

52, 56-57, 77, 80-82, 81 n., 107, 166,

n.,

78,

Sufi, 89,

98

Suso, Henry, 208 Sylvester, Francis, 202

203 n.

Symeon, 107

Bonaventure, 113, 123-31, 124 n., 138, 161, 185, 191, 203 n., 228 n.

Tartaglia, 233

St.

4, 7,

n.

206, 219, 229-31, 238-41, 250, 255

128-29, 131-32, 151, 167-68 St.

ibn-Gabirol, see Avicebron

Sophonias, 107 Sortais, G., 239 n., 246 n., 247 Spanish mysticism, 257-58 Staupitz, 202

196

141, 184,

Antoninus, 202 Augustine,

St.

Solomon

INDEX

272

Voemel, 106

Tauler, John, 208

n.

Taylor, 106 n. Teles, 8

Wadding, 185 n. Waddington, 245

Telesio, 249, 255

Tempier,

fitienne, 159, 161, 168

Themistius, 91, 116

Therapeutae,

Peter, 75 Wazil, 90 Weigel, Valentin, 226

106, 106 n.

i

Thierry, 51

Thomas Aquinas,

see

St.

Thomas

Aquinas

Thomism and

Thomists, 161-64, 167-

Thou, 242 Tonquedec, 141

78,

William

116,

135-36,

of

Ockham,

192,

194-99,

202, 220

William of St. Amour, 124, 131 William of St. Thierry, 68-69 William the Clerk, 116

^

Ulrich of Strasbourg, 135 Ultramontanists, 192

Unamuno, Miguel

Witelo, 98, 172

de, 257 n.

Worms,

Universities, 190-94

E

98 n.

Wulf, M. de, 163 n., 164 Wiirschmidt, 28 n.

Vanini, Lucilio, 255

Vansteenberghe,

William of La Mare, 163 William of Moerbecke, 172, 198, 207

Trajan, 81

n.

Wyclifle, John, 190

192

217 n. Varro,

William of Auvergne, 120-22 William of Champeaux, 47, 62-63 William of Conches, 52-56, 63, 68, 191

68, 173, 183-85, 188, 199, 201

Ulger,

247 n.

Waldo,

Theodoric, 6

Theodorus Gaza,

n.,

Waldenses, 74-76

9 Vasquez, 156 6,

n.,

204

n.

Xiphilinus, 105

Yves of Chartres, 47-48

I

Vergil, 8, 17, 78, 81

Vicomercato, 232, 248

Zanta, 241

n.,

Victorines, 56-59, 203, 227

Zervos, 105

Vincent of Lerins, 47

Zoroaster, 6

242 n.

n.,

106 n.

PHOENIX BOOKS in

P

I

Philosophy

Herman Randall, Jr.: The Renaissance Philoso-

Ernst Cassirer, Paul Oskar Kristelkr, and John

phy of Man

P 5 P 8 P9 P i6

Jacques Maritain:

T.V.

Man

and the State

Smith: editor: Philosophers Speak for Themselves:

T. V. Smith: editor: Philosophers Speak for Themselves:

Karl Lowith: Meaning in History:

The Theological

From From

Thales to Plato Aristotle to Plotinus

Implications of the Philosophy

of

History

P

17

T. V. Smith and Marjorie Grene, editors:

P

18

T. V. Smith and Marjorie Grene, editors:

P P P P P

30

Rudolph Carnap: Meaning and Necessity:

34

Marjorie Grene: Introduction to Existentialism

Philosophers Speak for Themselves:

From

Descartes to Locke

Philosophers Speak for Themselves: Berkeley,

A

in Semantics

Richard Weaver: Ideas

Yves R. Simon: Philosophy of Democratic

81

Hans Reichenhach: Experience and Prediaion: Structure of Knowledge

Government

An

Manley Thompson: The Pragmatic Philosophy of C. Leo

Strauss:

The

Political

Lewis White Beck: Michael Polanyi:

and Modal Logic

Have Consequences

44 67

P no P 112 P 114 P 128 P 142 P 143 P 155 P 167 P 184 P 195 P 198 P 199 P 201 P 225 P 239

Hume, and Kant

Study

Philosophy of Hobbes:

A Commentary

Its

Analysis of the Foundations and the S. Peirce

Basis

and

Its

Genesis

on Kant's Critique of Practical Reason

The Study of Man

Charles Hartshorne and William L. Reese, ediiors: Philosophers Speak

Karl Jaspers:

The Future of Mankind

Michael Polanyi: Science, Faith and Society

Muhsin Mahdi: Ibn Khaldun's Philosophy of History Paul Shorey:

Leo

Strauss:

What

Plato Said

Natural Right and History

Emile Brehier: Emile Brehier:

The The

Hellenic

Age

Hellenistic

David Grene: Greek

Political

and

Roman Age

Thought

N. A. Nikam and Richard McKeon, editors: The Edicts of Asoka Robert B. Heywood, editor:

The Works of the Mind

of God

PHOENIX BOOKS in Religion

P 19

Paul

P 92 P 95 P 131 P 137 P 141 P 142 P 154 P 162 P 164 P 193 P 215 P 220

Joachim

Tillich:

The

W^dc/i;

Protestant Era

Sociology of Religion

Archibald G. Baker, editor:

A

Short History of Christianity

The Prayers of Kierkegaard Dallin H. Oaks, editor: The Wall between Church and Solomon Goldman: The Ten Commandments

Perry D. LeFevre, editor:

State

Charles Hartshorne and William L. Reese, editors: Philosophers Speak of

Paul

Tillich: Biblical

Thomas Ernest

F.

O'Dea: The

Cadman

God

Religion and the Search for Ultimate Reality

Mormons

The Study of the Bible, Revised Edition and Freedom in the Modem World Desert Saints: The Mormon Frontier in Utah Colwell:

Herbert J. Muller: Religion

Nels Anderson:

Edgar J. Goodspeed:

A

History of Early Christian Literature. Revised by Robert

M. Grant

4

PHOENIX BOOKS in History

P

2

P

II

John A. Wilson: The Culture of Ancient Egypt

P

13

Ernest Staples Osgood:

P 16

Edward Chiera: They Wrote on Clay

The Day of the Cattleman

The

Karl Lowith: Meaning in History:

Theological Implications of the Philosophy of

History

P 22

Euclides da

P 27 P 28

Daniel ]. Boorstin:

P 29 P 36

David M.

Cunha: Rebellion in the Backlands

Potter:

The Genius of American

The King and His England

Eleanor Shipley Duckett: Alfred the Great:

A. T. Olmstead: History of the Persian Empire

P 40 P 61

Giorgio de Santillana:

P 66

Alan Simpson: Puritanism in Old and

P 69

Gustave E. von Grunebaum: Medieval Islam

P 70 P 80

Oscar Jdszi: Dissolution of the Habsburg

P

125

Warren

S. Tryon:

Life in America, 1790-1870

P 150

Kenneth Stampp:

P

Eric L. McKitrick:

McDonald:

Donald Culross

P 156-157

Marc

New

England

Monarchy

When Egypt

George Steindorff and Keith C. Seek: Forrest

P 161

The Crime of Galileo

My Native Land:

The Colonial Craftsman

Carl Bridenhaugh:

P 144 P 147 153

Politics

People of Plenty: Economic Abundance and the American Character

We the People: The Economic

Peattie:

Ruled the East Origins of the Constitution

Venice: Immortal Village

And the War Came: The North and the Andrew Johnson and Reconstruction

Bloch: Feudal Society, Vols I and II

Richard C.

Wade: The Urban Frontier: Pioneer Life

Lexington, Louisville, and

St.

163

Ernest

P

165

Almont Lindsey: The Pullman Strike

K. Bramsted: Aristocracy and the Middle-Classes

P 166

William H. McNeill: Past and Future

P 167 P 168

Muhsin Mahdi: Ibn Khaldun's Philosophy of History

P 179

Leon F. Litwack: North of Slavery

P

Karl Lehmann:

Henry Bamford Parkes: Marxism:

in

Germany

An Autopsy

Thomas Jefferson

P 186

Frederick B. Artz:

P

Herbert ]. Midler: Religion and

193

in Early Pittsburgh, Cincinnati,

Louis

P

181

Secession Crisis, 1860-61

From

the Renaissance to Romanticism

Freedom

P 194

M. M. Knappen: Tudor Puritanism

P 202

Reginald C. McGrane:

P 210

Avery Craven: The

P 222

Milton Mayer:

in the

Modem World

The Panic of 1837

Coming of the

Civil

War

They Thought They Were

Free:

The Germans 1933-45

PHOENIX BOOKS and Law

in Political Science

A. Hayek: The Road to Serfdom

P 4

F.

P

Jacques Maritain:

5

Man

and the State

The Genius of American

P 27

Daniel ]. Boorstin:

P 67

Yves R. Simon: Philosophy of Democratic

P 84

Edward H.

P 97

Gertrude Himmelfarb:

P III

Milton Friedman: Capitalism and

P 112

Leo

P

Carl Brent Swisher:

113

P 115

An

Levi:

Strauss:

The

Robert A. Dahl:

Introduction to Legal Reasoning

Lord Acton:

Political

A

Preface to Democratic

The

Sebastian de Grazia:

P

Bertrand de Jouvenel: Sovereignty:

135

Politics

Its

Basis

Political

and

Its

in the

Genesis

United

States

Theory

Community:

A

Study of Anomie

A. Hayek, editor: Capitalism, and the Historians

An

Walter J. Blum and Harry Kalven,Jr.:

Carl Joachim Friedrich:

Inquiry into the Political

The Uneasy Case

The Philosophy of Law

P 137

Dallin H. Oaks, editor:

P

Karl Jaspers:

143

Conscience and

in

Philosophy of Hobbes:

F.

P

Study

The Growth of Constitutional Power

P 116

121

A

Freedom

P 120 P 130

PoUtics

Government

Good

for Progressive Taxation

in Historical Perspective

The Wall between Church and

State

The Future of Mankind

We the People

P 144

Forrest

McDonald:

P 152

Allison

Dunham and

P 160

Robert Endicott Osgood: Ideals and Self-Interest in America's Foreign Relations

Philip B. Kurland, editors:

An

Mr.

P 168

Henry Bamford Parkes: Marxism:

P 174

Morris Janowitz:

P

Ernst Freund: Standards of American Legislation

182

The

A

Autopsy

Military in the Political

Development of New Nations

Study of War

P 185

Quincy Wright:

P 189

Hans Morgenthau:

P 190

Karl Loewenstein: Political

Scientific

Man

vs.

Power

Power and

Politics

the Governmental Process

P 196

Walter F. Murphy: Congress and the Court

P 197

Lloyd A.

P 203

Philip B. Kurland, editor:

P 207

Arthur A. Cohen:

P 223

James Q. Wilson: The Amateur Democrat

Fallers:

Justice

Bantu Bureaucracy

The Supreme Court and

the Constitution

The Communism of Mao Tse-tung