History of Medieval PhilosophyJune 28, 2021
The Middle Ages is an extremely important and rich period in the history of philosophy. Although it used to be called the dark period, medieval philosophy is now considered a brighter period thanks to the increasing interest in the last fifty years. It is possible to start medieval philosophy with Augustine (354-430). This period, St. It can be said that it ends with Thomas Iohannes (1589-1644).
Plato, perhaps the most important name in the history of philosophy, BC. He died in 348. For a time after his death Aristotle was influential on Greek philosophy. However, the influence of Greek philosophy, often portraying pagan thought, ceased around the third century. In other words, a period under the influence of a great master like Plato gave way to Neo-Platonism, which is named after him and thought to be the founder of Plotinus.
One of the most important achievements of Plotinos, who was born in Egypt in 204 or 205, probably in Lycopolis, is that he took lessons from Ammonius Saccas. Plotinos, who managed to deeply affect the entire history of philosophy after him, tried to bring together the Greek speculative thought on the one hand and the basic principles of Christianity on the other, and achieved a serious success in this field. The philosophy, which was reformed differently under the influence of Christianity in the Middle East, where it lived, included a new concept that it was not accustomed to before, into a whole understanding of existence. The idea of ”creation” (creatio), which was not included in Greek philosophy before, was taking its place in texts in the form of God, with the help of Platonic terminology and this time as the absolute power.
The new philosophical understanding that emerged in this way, despite the serious weight of Christianity, still managed to preserve its basic principles and concerns. The Neoplatonic school and its followers also maintained an understanding that preserved the philosophy of Ancient Greece in earnest. Ancient Greek still retained its importance, and works of philosophy continued to be written largely in Greek. Even the philosophers in Rome were studying Greek in Athens, writing their works in Greek. Ancient Greek was like a vein that kept Greek philosophy alive.
However, education was able to continue thanks to the basic works in some families and some monastic libraries in remote areas. Thanks to this education, names such as Augustine and Boethius emerged and began to shape the philosophy of the Middle Ages with their works. All of them are Christian. Beginning in the second century, they all made efforts to rationalize the faith of Christianity and used philosophy for this purpose. This understanding, which saw philosophy as a tool in the beginning, evolved over time and aimed philosophy enough to reveal important achievements in the most basic areas of philosophy.
In this respect, medieval philosophy did not only undertake the task of transferring Ancient Greek philosophy to modern philosophy. At the same time, another important task of him was to produce modern philosophy by differentiating the legacy from Ancient Greek philosophy through the style of interpretation. An important issue to remember is that Descartes, who is thought to be the initiator of modern philosophy (read Descartes), was actually educated in a medieval institution. Descartes, who studied at La Fleche founded by the Jesuits, discovered analytical geometry and tried to reconstruct speculative philosophy from there.
While Descartes had complaints about the inadequacies of medieval philosophy, some claimed that he did not know medieval philosophy well enough. Another important thought in this regard comes from Betül Çotuksöken, who started the studies on medieval philosophy in our country. According to that; Both Augustine and Anselmus are the teachers of Descartes. Descartes’ intellectual background is scholastic, although he seems to reject it with a naïve attitude from the beginning. (Betül Çotuksöken, “Anselmus’ Ontological Proof of God and His Place in New Age Philosophy (Descartes)”, 2nd Turkish Philosophy, Logic and History of Science Symposium (11-13 November 1987) -Separate Edition-, İzmir: Ege University Faculty of Letters Publications , TY, p. 53).
Therefore, the philosophy of the Middle Ages points to a period that should be emphasized in many respects. In order to understand this philosophy, as it can be easily understood from the above, it is necessary to have a good understanding of the Ancient Greek philosophy -mainly the thoughts of Plato and Aristotle – on the one hand, and modern philosophy on the other hand. Otherwise, breaks and deficiencies in the meaning of problems shaped in the continuity of philosophy will become inevitable.
Medieval philosophy covers the period from the end of Antiquity philosophy to the beginning of modern thought. BUSINESS. from the 2nd to the end of the 15th century; Early 16th century, Renaissance