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Scholasticism was a
medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...

medieval
school of philosophy that employed a critical method of philosophical analysis predicated upon a
Latin Catholic , native_name_lang = la , image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , alt = Façade of the Archbasilica of St. John in Lateran , caption = Archbasilica of Saint John ...
theistic Theism is broadly defined as the belief in the existence of a Supreme Being or deities. In common parlance, or when contrasted with '' deism'', the term often describes the classical conception of God that is found in monotheism Monotheism i ...
curriculum which dominated teaching in the
medieval universities A medieval university was a Corporation#History, corporation organized during the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to the late 15th centuries, similarly to th ...
in Europe from about 1100 to 1700. It originated within the Christian
monastic school Monastic schools ( la, Scholae monasticae) were, along with cathedral school Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages (historiography), Dark Ages, ...
s that were the basis of the earliest European universities. The rise of scholasticism was closely associated with these schools that flourished in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...
,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
and
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
. Scholasticism is not so much a philosophy or a theology as a method of learning, as it places a strong emphasis on
dialectical reasoning Dialectic or dialectics ( grc-gre, διαλεκτική, ''dialektikḗ''; related to dialogue; german: Dialektik), also known as the dialectical method, is at base a discourse between two or more people holding different Opinion, points of view a ...
to extend knowledge by
inference Inferences are steps in reasoning, moving from premises to logical consequences; etymologically, the word ''wikt:infer, infer'' means to "carry forward". Inference is theoretically traditionally divided into deductive reasoning, deduction and i ...

inference
and to resolve contradictions. Scholastic thought is also known for rigorous conceptual analysis and the careful drawing of distinctions. In the classroom and in writing, it often takes the form of explicit
disputation In the scholasticism, scholastic system of education of the Middle Ages, disputations (in Latin: ''disputationes'', singular: ''disputatio'') offered a formalized method of debate designed to uncover and establish truths in theology and in scie ...

disputation
; a topic drawn from the tradition is broached in the form of a question, oppositional responses are given, a counterproposal is argued and oppositional arguments rebutted. Because of its emphasis on rigorous dialectical method, scholasticism was eventually applied to many other fields of study.Patte, Daniel. ''The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity.'' Ed. Daniel Patte. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010, 11132-1133 As a program, scholasticism began as an attempt at harmonization on the part of medieval Christian thinkers, to harmonize the various authorities of their own tradition, and to reconcile Christian theology with classical and late antiquity philosophy, especially that of
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental quest ...

Aristotle
but also of
Neoplatonism Neoplatonism is a strand of Platonic philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, m ...
. Some of the main figures of scholasticism include
Anselm of Canterbury Anselm of Canterbury (; 1033/4–1109), also called ( it, Anselmo d'Aosta, link=no) after his birthplace and (french: Anselme du Bec, link=no) after his monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic ...

Anselm of Canterbury
("the father of scholasticism"),
Peter Abelard Peter Abelard (; french: link=no, Pierre Abélard; la, Petrus Abaelardus or ''Abailardus''; 21 April 1142) was a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, or ...

Peter Abelard
,
Alexander of Hales Alexander of Hales (also Halensis, Alensis, Halesius, Alesius ; 21 August 1245), also called ''Doctor Irrefragibilis'' (by Pope Alexander IV in the ''Bull De Fontibus Paradisi'') and ''Theologorum Monarcha'', was a Franciscan friar, theologian an ...
,
Albertus Magnus Albertus Magnus (c. 1200 – November 15, 1280), also known as Saint Albert the Great or Albert of Cologne, was a German Catholic The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominat ...

Albertus Magnus
,
Duns Scotus John Duns ( – 8 November 1308), commonly called Duns Scotus ( ; ; "Duns the Scot"), was a Scottish Catholic priest and Franciscan friar The Franciscans are a group of related Mendicant orders, mendicant Christianity, Christian Ca ...

Duns Scotus
,
William of Ockham William of Ockham (; also Occam, from la, Gulielmus Occamus; 1287 – 1347) was an English Franciscan friar, Scholasticism, scholastic philosopher, and theologian, who is believed to have been born in Ockham, Surrey, Ockham, a small village in ...

William of Ockham
,
Bonaventure Bonaventure ( ; it, Bonaventura ; 1221 – 15 July 1274), born Giovanni di Fidanza, was an Italian medieval Franciscan, Scholasticism, scholastic theologian and philosopher. The seventh Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, he w ...

Bonaventure
, and
Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican Dominican may refer to: * Someone or something from or related to the Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, ...

Thomas Aquinas
. Aquinas's masterwork ''
Summa Theologica The ''Summa Theologiae'' or ''Summa Theologica'' (), often referred to simply as the ''Summa'', is the best-known work of Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino, Italy, Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) ...
'' (1265–1274) is considered to be the pinnacle of scholastic, medieval, and Christian philosophy; it began while Aquinas was regent master at the ''studium provinciale'' of
Santa Sabina The Basilica of Saint Sabina ( la, Basilica Sanctae Sabinae, it, Basilica di Santa Sabina all'Aventino) is a historic church on the Aventine Hill The Aventine Hill (; la, Collis Aventinus; it, Aventino ) is one of the Seven Hills on which a ...

Santa Sabina
in Rome, the forerunner of the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, ''Angelicum''. Important work in the scholastic tradition has been carried on well past Aquinas's time, for instance by
Francisco Suárez Francisco Suárez (5 January 1548 – 25 September 1617) was a Spain, Spanish Jesuit Catholic priest, priest, philosopher and theology, theologian, one of the leading figures of the School of Salamanca movement, and generally regarded among the ...

Francisco Suárez
and
Luis de Molina Luis de Molina (; 29 September 1535 – 12 October 1600) was a Spanish Jesuit priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the Sacred rite, sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans ...

Luis de Molina
, and also among Lutheran and Reformed thinkers.


Etymology

The terms "scholastic" and "scholasticism" derive from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
word ', the Latinized form of the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
('), an adjective derived from ('), "
school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is sometimes compuls ...

school
". ''Scholasticus'' means "of or pertaining to schools". The "scholastics" were, roughly, "schoolmen".


History

The foundations of Christian scholasticism were laid by
Boethius Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius, commonly called Boethius (; also Boetius ; 477 – 524 AD), was a Roman Roman Senate, senator, Roman consul, consul, ''magister officiorum'', and philosopher of the early 6th century. He was born about a ye ...

Boethius
through his logical and theological essays, and later forerunners (and then companions) to scholasticism were Islamic Ilm al-Kalām, literally "science of discourse",Winter, Tim J. "Introduction." Introduction. The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2008. 4–5. Print. and
Jewish philosophy Jewish philosophy () includes all philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mi ...
, especially
Jewish Kalam Jewish Kalam was an early medieval style of Jewish philosophy#Jewish scholarship after destruction of Second Temple, Jewish philosophy that evolved in response to Kalam in Islam, which in turn was a reaction against Aristotelianism. The term "Jew ...
.


Early Scholasticism

The first significant renewal of learning in the West came with the
Carolingian Renaissance The Carolingian Renaissance was the first of three medieval renaissances, a period of cultural activity in the Carolingian Empire The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large Franks, Frankish-dominated empire in western and central Europe dur ...
of the
Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages ...
.
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by i ...

Charlemagne
, advised by Peter of Pisa and
Alcuin of York Alcuin of York (; la, Flaccus Albinus Alcuinus; 735 – 19 May 804) – also called Ealhwine, Alhwin, or Alchoin – was an English scholar, clergyman, poet, and teacher from York York is a cathedral city and unitary authority, ...
, attracted the scholars of England and Ireland. By decree in AD 787, he established schools in every abbey in his empire. These schools, from which the name ''scholasticism'' is derived, became centers of medieval learning. During this period, knowledge of Ancient Greek had vanished in the West except in Ireland, where its teaching and use was widely dispersed in the
monastic school Monastic schools ( la, Scholae monasticae) were, along with cathedral school Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages (historiography), Dark Ages, ...
s. Irish scholars had a considerable presence in the Frankish court, where they were renowned for their learning. Among them was
Johannes Scotus Eriugena John Scotus Eriugena or Johannes Scotus Erigena ( – c. 877) was an Irish theologian, neoplatonist philosopher, and poet. He succeeded Alcuin of York Alcuin of York (; la, Flaccus Albinus Alcuinus; 735 – 19 May 804) – a ...
(815–877), one of the founders of scholasticism.: "
Abelard Peter Abelard (; french: Pierre Abélard; la, Petrus Abaelardus or ''Abailardus''; 21 April 1142) was a Middle Ages, medieval French Scholasticism, scholastic philosopher, leading logician, theologian, teacher, musician, composer, and poet. This ...

Abelard
himself was ... together with John Scotus Erigena (9th century), and
Lanfranc Lanfranc; it, Lanfranco) (1005  1010 – 24 May 1089) was a celebrated Italian people, Italian jurist who renounced his career to become a Order of St. Benedict, Benedictine Christian monasticism, monk at Bec Abbey, Bec in Duchy of Normand ...
and
Anselm of Canterbury Anselm of Canterbury (; 1033/4–1109), also called ( it, Anselmo d'Aosta, link=no) after his birthplace and (french: Anselme du Bec, link=no) after his monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic ...

Anselm of Canterbury
(both 11th century), one of the founders of scholasticism."
Eriugena was the most significant Irish intellectual of the early monastic period and an outstanding philosopher in terms of originality. He had considerable familiarity with the Greek language and translated many works into Latin, affording access to the
Cappadocian Fathers (Fresco Fresco (plural ''frescos'' or ''frescoes'') is a technique of Mural, mural painting executed upon freshly laid ("wet") lime plaster. Water is used as the vehicle for the dry-powder pigment to merge with the plaster, and with the setting ...
and the Greek theological tradition. The other three founders of scholasticism were the 11th-century scholars
Peter Abelard Peter Abelard (; french: link=no, Pierre Abélard; la, Petrus Abaelardus or ''Abailardus''; 21 April 1142) was a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, or ...

Peter Abelard
, Archbishop
Lanfranc of Canterbury Lanfranc; it, Lanfranco (1005  1010 – 24 May 1089) was a celebrated Italian jurist A jurist is a person with expert knowledge of law; someone who analyses and comments on law. This person is usually a specialist legal scholarnot ...
and Archbishop
Anselm of Canterbury Anselm of Canterbury (; 1033/4–1109), also called ( it, Anselmo d'Aosta, link=no) after his birthplace and (french: Anselme du Bec, link=no) after his monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic ...

Anselm of Canterbury
. This period saw the beginning of the ' rediscovery' of many Greek works which had been lost to the Latin West. As early as the 10th century, scholars in Spain had begun to gather translated texts and, in the latter half of that century, began transmitting them to the rest of Europe. After a successful burst of
Reconquista The ' (Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portug ...

Reconquista
in the 12th century, Spain opened even further for Christian scholars, and as these Europeans encountered Islamic philosophy, they opened a wealth of Arab knowledge of mathematics and astronomy.Grant, Edward, and Emeritus Edward Grant. The foundations of modern science in the Middle Ages: their religious, institutional and intellectual contexts. Cambridge University Press, 1996, 23–28 Scholars such as
Adelard of Bath Adelard of Bath ( la, Adelardus Bathensis; 1080? 1142-1152?) was a 12th-century English natural philosopher. He is known both for his original works and for translating many important Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic languag ...
traveled to Spain and Sicily, translating works on astronomy and mathematics, including the first complete translation of
Euclid Euclid (; grc-gre, Εὐκλείδης Euclid (; grc, Εὐκλείδης – ''Eukleídēs'', ; fl. 300 BC), sometimes called Euclid of Alexandria to distinguish him from Euclid of Megara, was a Greek mathematician, often referre ...

Euclid
's '' Elements'' into Latin. At the same time,
Anselm of LaonAnselm often refers to Saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of Q-D-Š, holiness, likeness, or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context and Christian ...
systematized the production of the gloss on Scripture, followed by the rise to prominence of
dialectic Dialectic or dialectics ( grc-gre, διαλεκτική, ''dialektikḗ''; related to dialogue Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States Engli ...
(the middle subject of the medieval
trivium The trivium is the lower division of the seven liberal arts Liberal arts education (from Latin "free" and "art or principled practice") is the traditional academic program in Western higher education. ''Liberal arts'' takes the term ''Art ( ...
) in the work of
Abelard Peter Abelard (; french: Pierre Abélard; la, Petrus Abaelardus or ''Abailardus''; 21 April 1142) was a Middle Ages, medieval French Scholasticism, scholastic philosopher, leading logician, theologian, teacher, musician, composer, and poet. This ...

Abelard
.
Peter Lombard Peter Lombard (also Peter the Lombard, Pierre Lombard or Petrus Lombardus; 1096, Novara – 21/22 July 1160, Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of F ...
produced a collection of ''
Sentences ''The Four Books of Sentences'' (''Libri Quattuor Sententiarum'') is a book of theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an Discipline (academia), aca ...
,'' or opinions of the Church Fathers and other authorities


High Scholasticism

The 13th and early 14th centuries are generally seen as the high period of scholasticism. The early 13th century witnessed the culmination of the recovery of Greek philosophy. Schools of translation grew up in Italy and Sicily, and eventually in the rest of Europe. Powerful Norman kings gathered men of knowledge from Italy and other areas into their courts as a sign of their prestige.
William of Moerbeke William of Moerbeke, O.P. ( nl, Willem van Moerbeke; la, Gulielmus de Morbeka; 1215–35 – 1286), was a prolific medieval translator of philosophical, medical, and scientific texts from Greek language into Latin, enabled by the period of ...
's translations and editions of Greek philosophical texts in the middle half of the thirteenth century helped form a clearer picture of Greek philosophy, particularly of Aristotle, than was given by the Arabic versions on which they had previously relied.
Edward Grant Edward Grant (April 6, 1926 – June 21, 2020) was an American historian of medieval science. He was named a Distinguished Professor in 1983. Other honors include the 1992 George Sarton Medal, for "a lifetime scholarly achievement" as an histori ...
writes "Not only was the structure of the Arabic language radically different from that of Latin, but some Arabic versions had been derived from earlier Syriac translations and were thus twice removed from the original Greek text. Word-for-word translations of such Arabic texts could produce tortured readings. By contrast, the structural closeness of Latin to Greek, permitted literal, but intelligible, word-for-word translations."
Universities A university () is an of (or ) and which awards s in several . Universities typically offer both and programs in different schools or faculties of learning. The word ''university'' is derived from the ''universitas magistrorum et scholari ...

Universities
developed in the large cities of Europe during this period, and rival clerical orders within the church began to battle for political and intellectual control over these centers of educational life. The two main orders founded in this period were the
Franciscans , image = FrancescoCoA PioM.svg , image_size = 250px , caption = A cross, Christ's arm and Saint Francis's arm, a universal symbol of the Franciscans , abbreviation = OFM , predecessor = , m ...
and the
Dominicans Dominican may refer to: * Someone or something from or related to the Dominican Republic ( , stress on the "mi"), on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles, in the Caribbean ** People of the Dominican Republic ** Demographics of the Domin ...
. The Franciscans were founded by
Francis of Assisi Francis of Assisi (born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone; it, Francesco d'Assisi; la, Franciscus Assisiensis; 1181 or 1182 – 3 October 1226), was an Italian , , and . He founded the men's , the women's , the and the . Francis is one of ...

Francis of Assisi
in 1209. Their leader in the middle of the century was
Bonaventure Bonaventure ( ; it, Bonaventura ; 1221 – 15 July 1274), born Giovanni di Fidanza, was an Italian medieval Franciscan, Scholasticism, scholastic theologian and philosopher. The seventh Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, he w ...

Bonaventure
, a traditionalist who defended the theology of and the philosophy of
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought and the Platoni ...

Plato
, incorporating only a little of Aristotle in with the more neoplatonist elements. Following Anselm, Bonaventure supposed that reason can only discover truth when philosophy is illuminated by religious faith. Other important Franciscan scholastics were
Duns Scotus John Duns ( – 8 November 1308), commonly called Duns Scotus ( ; ; "Duns the Scot"), was a Scottish Catholic priest and Franciscan friar The Franciscans are a group of related Mendicant orders, mendicant Christianity, Christian Ca ...

Duns Scotus
,
Peter Auriol Petrus AureolusAlso known as: Petrus Aureoli, Peter Auriol, and Pierre Auriol; also Aureol, Aureole or Oriol. ( – January 10, 1322) was a scholastic philosopher Scholasticism was a medieval school of philosophy that employed a critical metho ...
and
William of Ockham William of Ockham (; also Occam, from la, Gulielmus Occamus; 1287 – 1347) was an English Franciscan friar, Scholasticism, scholastic philosopher, and theologian, who is believed to have been born in Ockham, Surrey, Ockham, a small village in ...

William of Ockham
. By contrast, the Dominican order, a teaching order founded by
St Dominic Saint Dominic ( es, Santo Domingo), also known as Dominic of Osma and Dominic of Caleruega, often called Dominic de Guzmán and Domingo Félix de Guzmán (; ; 8 August 1170 – 6 August 1221), was a Castilian Catholic priest and founder of the ...

St Dominic
in 1215, to propagate and defend Christian doctrine, placed more emphasis on the use of reason and made extensive use of the new Aristotelian sources derived from the East and Moorish Spain. The great representatives of Dominican thinking in this period were
Albertus Magnus Albertus Magnus (c. 1200 – November 15, 1280), also known as Saint Albert the Great or Albert of Cologne, was a German Catholic The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominat ...

Albertus Magnus
and (especially)
Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican Dominican may refer to: * Someone or something from or related to the Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, ...

Thomas Aquinas
, whose artful synthesis of Greek rationalism and Christian doctrine eventually came to define Catholic philosophy. Aquinas placed more emphasis on reason and argumentation, and was one of the first to use the new translation of Aristotle's metaphysical and epistemological writing. This was a significant departure from the
Neoplatonic Neoplatonism is a strand of Platonism, Platonic philosophy that emerged in the second century AD against the background of Hellenistic philosophy and Hellenistic religion, religion. The term does not encapsulate a set of ideas as much as it encap ...
and Augustinian thinking that had dominated much of early scholasticism. Aquinas showed how it was possible to incorporate much of the philosophy of Aristotle without falling into the "errors" of the Commentator,
Averroes Ibn Rushd ( ar, ; full name Image:FML names-2.png, 300px, First/given, middle and last/family/surname with John Fitzgerald Kennedy as example. This shows a structure typical for the Anglosphere, among others. Other cultures use other struc ...

Averroes
.


Spanish Scholasticism


Late Scholasticism


Lutheran Scholasticism


Reformed Scholasticism

Following the Reformation,
Calvinists Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformat ...
largely adopted the scholastic method of theology, while differing regarding sources of authority and content of theology.


Neo-Scholasticism

The revival and development from the second half of the 19th century of medieval scholastic philosophy is sometimes called neo-
Thomism Thomism is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or somethi ...
.


Thomistic Scholasticism

As J. A. Weisheipl O.P. emphasizes, within the
Dominican Order The Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominicans ( la, Ordo Praedicatorum; abbreviated OP), is an order of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by ...
Thomistic scholasticism has been continuous since the time of Aquinas: "Thomism was always alive in the Dominican Order, small as it was after the ravages of the Reformation, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic occupation. Repeated legislation of the General Chapters, beginning after the death of St. Thomas, as well as the Constitutions of the Order, required all Dominicans to teach the doctrine of St. Thomas both in philosophy and in theology." Thomistic scholasticism or scholastic
Thomism Thomism is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or somethi ...
identifies with the philosophical and theological tradition stretching back to the time of St. Thomas. It focuses not only on exegesis of the historical Aquinas but also on the articulation of a rigorous system of orthodox Thomism to be used as an instrument of critique of contemporary thought. Due to its suspicion of attempts to harmonize Aquinas with non-Thomistic categories and assumptions, Scholastic Thomism has sometimes been called, according to philosophers like
Edward Feser Edward C. Feser (; born April 16, 1968) is an American philosopher. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epist ...
, "Strict Observance Thomism". A discussion of recent and current Thomistic scholasticism can be found in ''La Metafisica di san Tommaso d'Aquino e i suoi interpreti'' (2002) by , which includes such figures as Sofia Vanni Rovighi (1908–1990),
Cornelio FabroCornelio Fabro CSS ( Flumignano, Udine, 24 August 1911 – Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capit ...
(1911–1995), Carlo Giacon (1900–1984), Tomas Tyn O.P. (1950–1990), Abelardo Lobato O.P. (1925–2012), Leo Elders (1926– ) and Giovanni Ventimiglia (1964– ) among others. Fabro in particular emphasizes Aquinas' originality, especially with respect to the ''actus essendi'' or act of existence of finite beings by participating in being itself. Other scholars such as those involved with the "Progetto Tommaso" seek to establish an objective and universal reading of Aquinas' texts. Thomistic scholasticism in the English speaking world went into decline in the 1970s when the Thomistic revival that had been spearheaded by
Jacques Maritain Jacques Maritain (; 18 November 1882 – 28 April 1973) was a French Catholic philosopher. Raised Protestant, he was agnostic before converting to Catholicism in 1906. An author of more than 60 books, he helped to revive Thomas Aquinas for ...

Jacques Maritain
,
Étienne Gilson Étienne Henri Gilson (; 13 June 1884 – 19 September 1978) was a French philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'lover ...

Étienne Gilson
, and others, diminished in influence. Partly, this was because this branch of
Thomism Thomism is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or somethi ...
had become a quest to understand the historical Aquinas after the
Second Vatican Council The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, commonly known as the , or , was the 21st ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological e ...
.


Analytical Scholasticism

A renewed interest in the "scholastic" way of doing philosophy has recently awoken in the confines of the
analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality ...
. Attempts emerged to combine elements of scholastic and analytic methodology in pursuit of a contemporary philosophical synthesis. Proponents of various incarnations of this approach include
Anthony Kenny Sir Anthony John Patrick Kenny (born 16 March 1931) is an English people, English philosopher whose interests lie in the philosophy of mind, ancient philosophy, ancient and Scholasticism, scholastic philosophy, the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenst ...
, Peter King, Thomas Williams or David Oderberg.
Analytical Thomism Analytical Thomism is a philosophical movement A philosophical movement is either the appearance or increased popularity of a specific school of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as t ...
can be seen as a pioneer part of this movement.


Scholastic method

Cornelius O'Boyle explained that Scholasticism focuses on how to acquire knowledge and how to communicate effectively so that it may be acquired by others. It was thought that the best way to achieve this was by replicating the discovery process (''modus inveniendi''). The scholasticists would choose a book by a renowned scholar, ''
auctor''Auctor'' is Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...
'' (author), as a subject for investigation. By reading it thoroughly and critically, the disciples learned to appreciate the theories of the author. Other documents related to the book would be referenced, such as Church councils, papal letters and anything else written on the subject, be it ancient or contemporary. The points of disagreement and contention between multiple sources would be written down in individual sentences or snippets of text, known as
sententiae ''Sententiae'', the nominative plural of the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. T ...
. Once the sources and points of disagreement had been laid out through a series of
dialectic Dialectic or dialectics ( grc-gre, διαλεκτική, ''dialektikḗ''; related to dialogue Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States Engli ...
s, the two sides of an argument would be made whole so that they would be found to be in agreement and not contradictory. (Of course, sometimes opinions would be totally rejected, or new positions proposed.) This was done in two ways. The first was through
philological Philology is the study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed o ...
analysis. Words were examined and argued to have multiple meanings. It was also considered that the ''auctor'' might have intended a certain word to mean something different. Ambiguity could be used to find common ground between two otherwise contradictory statements. The second was through logical analysis, which relied on the rules of formal
logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning. Informal logic seeks to characterize Validity (logic), valid arguments informally, for instance by listing varieties of fallacies. Formal logic represents statements and ar ...

logic
– as they were known at the time – to show that contradictions did not exist but were subjective to the reader.Colish, Marcia L. ''Medieval foundations of the western intellectual tradition, 400–1400.'' Yale University Press, 1999, 265–273


Scholastic instruction

Scholastic instruction consisted of several elements. The first was the ''lectio'': a teacher would read an authoritative text followed by a commentary, but no questions were permitted. This was followed by the ''meditatio'' (
meditation Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness Mindfulness is the practice of purposely bringing one's attention in the present moment without evaluation,Mindfulness Training as a Clinical Interventio ...
or reflection) in which students reflected on and appropriated the text. Finally, in the ''quaestio'' students could ask questions (''quaestiones'') that might have occurred to them during ''meditatio''. Eventually the discussion of ''questiones'' became a method of inquiry apart from the ''lectio'' and independent of authoritative texts. ''Disputationes'' were arranged to resolve controversial ''quaestiones''. Questions to be disputed were ordinarily announced beforehand, but students could propose a question to the teacher unannounced – ''disputationes de quodlibet''. In this case, the teacher responded and the students rebutted; on the following day the teacher, having used notes taken during the disputation, summarised all arguments and presented his final position, riposting all rebuttals. The ''quaestio'' method of reasoning was initially used especially when two authoritative texts seemed to contradict one another. Two contradictory propositions would be considered in the form of an either/or question, and each part of the question would have to be approved (''sic'') or denied (''non''). Arguments for the position taken would be presented in turn, followed by arguments against the position, and finally the arguments against would be refuted. This method forced scholars to consider opposing viewpoints and defend their own arguments against them.


See also

* ''
Actus primus ''Actus primus'' is a technical expression used in scholastic philosophy. The Latin word ''actus'' means determination, complement. In every being there are many actualities, which are subordinated. Thus existence supposes essence; power supposes ...
'' *
Allegory in the Middle Ages Allegory in the Middle Ages was a vital element in the synthesis of biblical and classical tradition The Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasma ...
*
Aristotelianism Aristotelianism ( ) is a philosophical tradition inspired by the work of Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philo ...
*
Casuistry Casuistry ( ) is a process of reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, label=none, lit=possessed of reason, intellectua ...
*
History of science in the Middle Ages The history of science covers the development of science Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe. ...
* List of scholastic philosophers *
Medieval philosophy Medieval philosophy is the philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philo ...
*
Nominalism In metaphysics Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of ...
*
Pardes (Jewish exegesis) "Pardes" refers to (types of) approaches to biblical exegesis Exegesis (; from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republ ...
*
Renaissance of the 12th century The Renaissance of the 12th century was a period of many changes at the outset of the High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full sto ...
*
Scotism alt= ., Blessed John Duns Scotus (c.1265-1308) the eponym of Scotism. Scotism is the philosophical and theological system or school named after 13th century Scottish people, Scottish philosopher-theologian Duns Scotus, John Duns Scotus. The wor ...


References


Primary sources

* *


Secondary sources

* * * Decock, W. (2013),
Theologians and Contract Law: The Moral Transformation of the Ius Commune (c. 1500-1650)
', Leiden/Boston, Brill/Nijhoff, . * Fryde, E., ''The Early Palaeologan Renaissance'', Brill 2000. * * Gracia, J. G. and Noone, T. B., eds., (2003) ''A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages''. London: Blackwell, * McGrade, A. S., ed., (2003) ''The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Philosophy''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * * *


Further reading

* Trueman, Carl R. and R. Scott Clark, ''jt. eds''. (1999). ''Protestant Scholasticism: Essays in Reassessment''. Carlisle, Eng.: Paternoster Press.


External links


Scholasticon by Jacob Schmutz

Medieval Philosophy Electronic Resources

"Scholasticism"
In ''
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin for "British Encyclopaedia") is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia which is now published exclusively as an online encyclopedia, online encyclopaedia. It was formerly published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., ...
'' Online.
''Scholasticism''
Joseph Rickaby, (1908), 121 pp
(also at googlebooks)


in The Catholic Encyclopedia
Yahoo! directory category: Scholasticism


article by James Franklin on the influence of scholasticism on later thought

by James Hannam *
ALCUIN – Regensburger Infothek der Scholastik
– Huge database with information on biography, text chronology, editions. {{Authority control Philosophical schools and traditions Philosophical traditions
Christian theological movements Movements Theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an Discipline (academia), academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries. It occupie ...
Catholicism in the Middle Ages Christianity in the Middle Ages Thomas Aquinas
Trinitarianism Trinity, Trinitarianism is the Christian dogma, doctrine that God exists as three ''persons'' (Greek ''hypostasis (religion), hypostases'') but is monotheism, one being. The ''persons'' are understood to exist as God the Father, God the Son (incarna ...
Christian terminology Words or phrases used to refer to concepts associated with Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings o ...
Western Christianity Western culture Western philosophy