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Week 5 Notes

by: Wendell Rodrigues

Week 5 Notes HUM1B

Wendell Rodrigues

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Justinian Medieval Philisophy
Humanities Honors 1B
Dr. Cooper
Class Notes
medieval, philosophy, Justinian, HUM1B
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Wendell Rodrigues on Monday February 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HUM1B at San Jose State University taught by Dr. Cooper in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 27 views. For similar materials see Humanities Honors 1B in Arts and Humanities at San Jose State University.

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Date Created: 02/29/16
Medieval Philosophy, Faith and Reason, and the Aristotle Revival:    ● The “Patristic” era: Faith  ○ Faith was a gift from God  ○ Reason was device useful mainly for navigating the sinful City of Man  ○ Augustine was influenced by Plato   ○ Plato’s world and the perfect forms was similar to Augustine’s city of God  ○ The quality of human reason seemed to be appropriate for navigating real life   ○ There is a change that takes place, in part because of Aristotle, saying that life is  not just about faith but also reason being a gift from God  ● Intellectual Fallout from the Crusades:  ○ Al­Farabi 872­951 of Damascus “The Second Teacher” after Aristotle.  ○ Looming figure of the Islamic “Golden Age” and a key scholar in the medieval  survival and transmission of the Aristotelian texts  ○ Once the crusades began and the ports open, then the exchange of information  and spread of knowledge began to prosper   ● The Spanish Transmission:  ○ Aristotle’s politics came from Spain  ○ Spain had a strong belief to protect western civilization   ○ Albertus Magnus:  ■ He was fascinated with Aristotle and translated a lot of his writings   ■ His student, Thomas, was left to explain how Aristotle was so important   ● The Growth of Scholastic Debate:  ○ Fra. Angelico, the Meeting of Sts. Dominic and Francis, ca. 1430.  ○ Rather than thinking of reason as fall from faith, but rather as a gift from God,  then people who have never experienced or known of a God, were being  influenced by God   ○ How could faith and theology and reason be able to exist together?   ○ The Scholastic Method in later centuries was ridiculed, but in its discovery it was  made to answer this question   ● Thomas Aquinas  ○ Life:  ■ Thomas Aquinas, 1225­1274, and the 512 questions, 2669 articles, and  10,000 objections of the Summa Theologica  ● It was suppose to be a training guide for people trying to get into  philosophy and theology   ● The 512 questions are contained in 50 volumes that tends to  answer these questions, as well as bring in the objections and  articles all answering or debating these questions  ● What kinds of questions were in there? Were they right or his  answers at least.  ■ He devotes his life to rehabilitating Aristotle and bringing him back to his  people  ○ Using Reason to Untangle the Problem of Free Will:  ■ Boethius (480­524) a late Roman senator and philosopher, executed by  King Theodoric, wrote ​The Consolation of Philosophy   ■ Boethius’s Arguments:  ● Since God is eternal, He lives in an eternal present.   ● God does not have foreknowledge of future events, but knowledge  of a never changing present.  ● Therefore, divine foreknowledge simply sees things present before  it, as they will later turn out to be in what we regard as the future.  ● Therefore God knows that something will happen in the future (our  future) and at the same time knows that it will not happen through  necessity.    ○ Using Reason to Prove the existence of God:  ■ Anselm (of Canterbury, 1033­1109) denies that his proof supplanted or  diminished his faith; he argues that it served as a confirmation of faith.  ■ Anselm’s Ontological Argument:  ● It is not possible to think of any being greater than God.  ● WE have the idea of God in our mind.  ● A being that exists both in the mind and in reality is greater than a  being that exists only in the mind. (How do we know that he  actually exists in reality? That’s not proof that’s just like thinking of  it.)  ● If God exists only in our mind, then we CAN think of a greater  being­­one that exists in reality. Since this is not possible,  ● having the idea of God in our mind proves that God must exist in  reality.   ■ Using Reason to prove the existence of God:  ■ Aquinas (1225­1274) ​ uinque viae or FIve Ways ​to prove the existence  of God  ● The Unmoved Mover (Aristotle Chain­of­being Argument)  ○ For anything that moves, it must be set in motion by  something else, and so on and so forth  ○ Eventually you get to God, the unmoved mover.  ○ What was the first thing that set the universe in motion?  ● The Efficient Cause (almost like the Big Bang Theory ­­ but God is  the Bang)  ○ What’s the first cause then? If something caused the Big  Bang or God, then what happened before?  ● The Argument from Contingency.  ○ There must be one being whose existence is not  contingent on something else  ○ But if you keep tracing existences back on something, then  you’re gonna get to something not contingent on  something else, therefore that must be god!  ● The Argument from Degree (of perfection)  ● The Teleological Argument  ○ Even unintelligent beings seem to act with a purpose ­­  which can only be supplied by God   ○ Things all seem to have a purpose to them, then who  controls these purposes? God, of course…  ■ Eternal Law (Only in the Mind of God):  ● We are mere mortals and we have to look at indirect ways to  understand the mind of God  ● Divine Law: Reading the Bible reveals aspects of God’s Eternal  Law  ● What is needed to understand the Bible? Faith!   ● Aquinas takes a different approach by saying:  ○ Natural Law: Observing nature reveals God’s plan too;  since God created the laws of Nature   ○ What is needed to understand nature? Reason!   ○ Social and Political Thought:  ■ People cannot only be ran by themselves alone but a higher being or  some other person to control them   ■ However we were created, we were given abilities to think and reason  ○ Thomistic Influence:  ■ Devil’s Advocate: “But there are no miracles!”  ■ To make sure there are no sinful things the saints   ■ Pope (John XXII, 1323): “There are 2669 miracles.”  ● His own mind is a miracle and a gift from God      • Monastic order grew exponentially • Many monks lived a rich life • Money went to social functions of the monastery • The emperors tried to limit the Church’s power • The Church also tried to centralize in order to increase their power • Universities became trending • In order to educate people • Influenced by Muslim libraries • The copy of the Digest of Justinian was recovered • Justinian wanted to mimic the glory of the Roman Empire • Made a set of laws to enhance his reputation as a promoter of justice • Collected the relevant laws and made an outline of laws • Led to a tripartite division • Institutes (the basic principles of the law) • The Digest (a collection of excerpts from all the Roman law codes) • The Code (A collection of all authoritative legal rules from ancient civilizations • Only one complete copy of the Excerpts remained • People only thought of the Digest as a curiosity • Later realized its potential to use it to learn more about the society of antiquity • The public sphere • Ecclesiastical • Secular • Learning (the third sphere) • Universities competed for recognition • Were made for the purpose of the advancement of education • Created an approach called Scholasticism • Focused on the assumption that the truth is unitary • There is only one truth • The truth must be infallible, and consistent • The study of legal rhetoric allowed people to find inconsistencies in the law • Ambiguity was argued • Contradictory laws (earlier law vs later law) • Later law wins • Intent vs literal • Abelard • An early pioneer of exposing contradictory writing • Uses rhetorical rules to deal with apparent contradictions • Cathedrals gained wealth • Gained the means to support education • Took the “crown” from monasteries • There were also specialty schools • Legal school • Medical school • Abelard said you cannot reject the authority of any text • The reader does not have to believe every “truth” laid out in text • Abelard got Eloise, his student pregnant • Gets a son (Astrolabe) • Eloise’s uncle exposes the scandal • Abelard attempts to hide Eloise • Some goons castrated Abelard • He retreated to a monastery and dedicated his life to reflection • Abelard was accused of Heresy • Died two laters later • Eloise died 20 years later • University of Bologna • The main focus was Roman Law • the civil law


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