1.orthodoxy of a scholastic variety
1.the system of philosophy dominant in medieval Europe; based on Aristotle and the Church Fathers
ScholasticismScho*las"ti*cism (?), n. The method or subtilties of the schools of philosophy; scholastic formality; scholastic doctrines or philosophy.
The spirit of the old scholasticism . . . spurned laborious investigation and slow induction. J. P. Smith.
doctrine philosophique : selon l'époque (fr)[Classe...]
qualité du caractère (fr)[Classe...]
défaut du caractère (fr)[Classe...]
tournure d'esprit (fr)[Classe]
caractère, état, propriété (fr)[Classe...]
défaut du style littéraire (fr)[DomainJugement]
Dark Ages, Middle Ages[Thème]
hidebound, traditionalist, traditionalistic[Propriété~]
frugality; restraint; austerity[Classe]
raideur du style (fr)[DomaineDescription]
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Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics (scholastics, or schoolmen) of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context. It originated as an outgrowth of, and a departure from, Christian monastic schools.
Not so much a philosophy or a theology as a method of learning, scholasticism places a strong emphasis on dialectical reasoning to extend knowledge by 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: a topic drawn from the tradition is broached in the form of a question, opponents' responses are given, a counterproposal is argued and opponent's arguments rebutted. Because of its emphasis on rigorous dialectical method, scholasticism was eventually applied to many other fields of study.
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 but also of Neoplatonism. (See also Christian apologetics.)
The main figures of scholasticism historically are Anselm of Canterbury, Peter Abelard, Alexander of Hales, Albertus Magnus, Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, Bonaventure and Thomas Aquinas. Thomas Aquinas's masterwork, the Summa Theologica, is often seen as the highest fruit of Scholasticism. Important work in the scholastic tradition has been carried on, however, well past Aquinas' time, for instance by Francisco Suárez and Molina, and also among Lutheran and Reformed thinkers.
The terms "scholastic" and "scholasticism" derive from the Latin word scholasticus (Greek: σχολαστικός), which means "that [which] belongs to the school." The "scholastics" were, roughly, "schoolmen."
The first significant renewal of learning in the West came with the Carolingian Renaissance of the Early Middle Ages. Charlemagne, advised by Peter of Pisa and Alcuin of York, attracted the scholars of England and Ireland, and by decree in AD 787 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 the Greek language had vanished in the west except in Ireland, where it was widely dispersed in the monastic schools. Irish scholars had a considerable presence in the Frankish court, where they were renowned for their learning. Among them was Johannes Scotus Eriugena, (815–877) 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 and the Greek theological tradition.
The other three founders of scholasticism were the 11th-century scholars Peter Abelard, Archbishop Lanfranc of Canterbury and Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury. Anselm is sometimes misleadingly called the "Father of scholasticism," owing to the prominence accorded to reason in his theology. Rather than establish a position by appeal to authority, he used argument to demonstrate why what he believed on authority must be so.
The period also saw the beginning of the 'discovery' 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 the Reconquista of the 12th century, Spain opened even further for Christian scholars, who were now able to work in 'friendly' religious territory. As these Europeans encountered Islamic philosophy, they opened a wealth of Arab knowledge of mathematics and astronomy.[full citation needed]
At the same time Anselm of Laon systematised the production of the gloss on Scripture, followed by the rise to prominence of dialectic (the middle subject of the medieval trivium) in the work of Abelard, and the production by Peter Lombard of a collection of Sentences or opinions of the Church Fathers and other authorities.
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. Scholars such as Adelard of Bath travelled to Sicily and the Arab world, translating works on astronomy and mathematics, including the first complete translation of Euclid's Elements. Powerful Norman kings gathered men of knowledge from Italy and other areas into their courts as a sign of their prestige. William of Moerbeke's translations and editions of Greek philosophical texts in the middle half of the thirteenth century helped in forming a clearer picture of Greek philosophy, and particularly of Aristotle, than was given by the Arabic versions on which they had previously relied, and which had distorted or obscured the relation between Platonic and Aristotelian systems of philosophy.[full citation needed] His work formed the basis of the major commentaries that followed.
The 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 and the Dominicans. The Franciscans were founded by Francis of Assisi in 1209. Their leader in the middle of the century was Bonaventure, a traditionalist who defended the theology of Augustine and the philosophy of 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, Peter Auriol and William of Ockham.
By contrast, the Dominican order, a teaching order founded by 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 and (especially) 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 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.
The revival and development from the second half of the 19th century of medieval scholastic philosophy, sometimes called neo-Thomism.
Academic Scholasticism went into decline in the 1970s when the Thomistic revival that had been spearheaded by Jacques Maritain, Étienne Gilson, and others came to an end. Partly, this was because Thomism had ceased to be a living philosophy engaging the questions of the day, and had become a quest to understand the historical Aquinas, and also because after the Second Vatican Council, other theological schools came to the fore. Still, those who had learned Scholastic philosophy continued to have unresolved questions about how the insights of the medieval synthesis could be applied to contemporary problems. This conversation departed from the academic environment and entered internet discussion groups such as Aquinas, Christian Philosophy, and Thomism, and websites such as Open Philosophy, where it continues today.
A renewed interest in the "scholastic" way of doing philosophy has recently awoken in the confines of the analytic philosophy. 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, Józef Maria Bocheński, Peter King[disambiguation needed ], Thomas Williams[disambiguation needed ] or David Oderberg. As a pioneer part of this movement can be seen Analytical Thomism.
The scholastics would choose a book by a renowned scholar, auctor (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.
Once the sources and points of disagreement had been laid out through a series of dialectics, 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 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 to show that contradictions did not exist but were subjective to the reader.
Scholastic schools had two methods of teaching. The first was the lectio: a teacher would read a text, expounding on certain words and ideas, but no questions were permitted; it was a simple reading of a text: instructors explained, and students listened in silence.
The second was the disputatio, which goes right to the heart of scholasticism. There were two types of disputationes: the first was the "ordinary" type, whereby the questions (quaestiones) to be disputed were announced beforehand; the second was the quodlibetal, whereby the students proposed a question to the teacher without prior preparation. The teacher advanced a response, citing authoritative texts to prove his position. Students then rebutted the response, and the quodlibetal went back and forth. Someone took notes on what was said, allowing the teacher to summarise all arguments and present his final position the following day, riposting all rebuttals.
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