Medieval Scholasticism - History of Philosophy

Medieval Scholasticism

The first scholastic and last Roman - Boethius (480-525). He was born after the wreck in 476 of the Western Roman Empire. In 493, Rome was conquered by the Ostrogoths. Their king Theodoric the Great (493-526) tried to create a kind of Gothic-Roman state, but in the final analysis he failed. In the mid-20's. VI century. the relationship between the Goths and the Romans became aggravated. First, the Ostrogoths were still lower in their social development; Secondly, the conflict between the Arian variety of Christianity accepted by the Goths (Christ-honored not so much in the image of God as in the image of the hero more understandable for the warlike characters) was deepened, and Roman Catholicism, leveling the Christ-Logos-Son born from God with born of the Creator-God-the-Father. Boethius, invited by Theodoric and occupying a high position in his entourage, was slandered, imprisoned, and then executed in this acute situation. In prison, he wrote the book "About Consolation by Philosophy".

Philosophy, emphasized Boethius, is the highest good for man; it empowers, enlightens his soul. Philosophy, allergically portrayed by Boethius, is a strict and domineering lady with difficult to determine age and height. The rigor of philosophy is symbolized by the fact that engaging it requires seriousness, work and discipline. The scepter in one hand symbolizes the leading mission of philosophy in life and science, the book in the other hand is a sign of enlightenment. The elusive age - the features of both antiquity and youth - a sign that philosophy is always relevant. Its growth, then ascending to heaven, then diminishing to human dimensions, means that it is a knowledge of the truths of the divine and the things of men; it is universal in both the subject and the method. Finally, her clothes give out both the high origin of philosophy, and the complex history of life. The garment is imperishable, as imperishable are those forms of thought and words in which philosophy expresses itself. The letters on her dress and the barely noticeable steps, starting from the letter P to the F & gt; & gt; say that philosophy has left the schools of Plato and Aristotle, where thought, theoretical life has always been put above the life of the practical. At the same time, her clothes are partially torn - this is because many unworthy people have repeatedly forged her fans, breaking off from her philosophy elements of her external attributes and remaining completely unrelated to her true inner nature.

The central problem of the book of Boethius is the problem of fate , which acts in the form of Fortune, then in the form of fate. Boethius proposes to treat Fortune - accidental happiness or misfortune - calmly, not too rejoice when we are lucky, and do not lose heart when not lucky, always remember that changeability is the essence and nature of Fortune. If Fortune obeyed the constancy and the law, it would cease to be itself, for the Latin word "Fortuna" is derived from forte & quot ;, which means accidentally & quot ;, accidentally & quot ;, can be (it may not be). That is why for a long time Fortuna was depicted standing on the ball (as a sign of its instability), and its symbol is a rotating wheel that carries the rim points up and down. At the same time, Boethius believes that people should be more grateful to Fortune for turning away from them than favoring them. Luck, which has become a habit, relaxes, which makes the change of Fortune especially painful. On the contrary, the tests temper and make an unexpected turn of fortune for the better especially pleasant.

Boethius believes that for man there is nothing more precious than his own "I": this is what fate can not give or take. Everything else is transitory things. That's why the unfortunate fate is even better than the fate of the good: good deceives, unhappy - edifies, and only God gives true happiness. Everything happens in accordance with God's justice. Good people are rewarded with good fortune or are disciplined by the evil one. Evil people are corrected by evil destiny, and good does not bring them happiness.

According to Boethius, good is the only object of human aspirations. Happiness is a communion to the good: "Bliss is the good that, when it is achieved, leaves nothing to be desired." Like all Platonists, like Augustine, Boethius believes that in the final analysis, the foundation of good should be sought not in finite, external things, but in the soul of man, for man is the image of God, and this image is primarily in his immortal soul. Aspiring to the lower, a man insults his Creator. At the same time, Boethius believes, and in the pursuit of vain goods one way or another reflects a vague understanding of man that is the true, genuine good. When a person seeks wealth, he feels that you can not be blissful if you need everything. Anyone who wants power knows that slavery and powerlessness are evil. Seeking honor and glory, a person is actually seeking respect and recognition, without which there is no real bliss, but indulging in pleasure, he feels that there is no bliss without joy. After all, by the very meaning of the highest good - this is something that does not need anything. The trouble is that people always stop halfway. He aspires to material wealth, which does not satiate his greed, but even more incites him. In this case, there are new "worries", because for the treasure you need the appropriate "vessels" and protection .

Domination over others inevitably deprives a person of security and power over himself - the only authority that makes him really strong. Occupying high posts, people hope to gain respect, but the ranks add nothing to their personal merits, rather, flaunt their vices. Aspiring to glory, people are tormented by vanity, indulging in pleasure, they end up in pain instead of joy.

Human good is one and indivisible. It is to people in their entirety or not at all. Ultimately, good is perfection, and it is achieved in the path of virtue. By doing good, we are necessarily attached to the good as such. But how to distinguish between good and evil? According to Boethius, good, good coincides with God: God is the greatest Being. And because we have the concept of God as the greatest Being, so far as He is, He exists. God is good; Divine Mind & quot ;, World Soul create peace, therefore our world is good. Evil is non-being, falling away from God. God is all-powerful, omnipotent and omniscient, but he does not want to create evil and can not, which is why evil is nothing. Evil people are not happy, they are unhappy, evil corrodes the soul, so "grieve for the people of evil, love the right of the good!"

But why is there evil? After all, God creates the world, and creates according to his plan. The thing is, says Boethius, that the real world is developing gradually, and that is why it depends on fate, the case, etc. And the more time interval from the creation of the ideal image of the world to its embodiment, the more contingencies in the fate of people. The larger the radius of rotation of the wheel, the farther the point is from the center, the more unstable and uncertain its position in space and time. Also with the destiny of man. But if a person lives according to the laws of Divine Providence, if he takes his life as the will of God, if he loves his fate (amor fati ), it stops throwing it up and down. Then misunderstanding, perplexity, evil will disappear. If a person perceives everything that happens to him as a blessing, as the will of Divine Providence, he is free and happy. This is the essence of theodicy - the justification of divine justice (from the Greek theos - God and dike - justice). However, God directs the world to good only in eternity; at each particular moment of time a person is free: he is free to choose either good or evil. Philosophy helps him choose good.

Philosophy, emphasized Boethius, is the highest good for man. Philosophy first of all must study, heal the soul of man. The soul is treated by Boethius in the spirit of Aristotle as having three forces s: vegetable (vital), sensitive (animal) and reasonable. Boethius believes that animals are not only able to sense, but also to judge. However, only people have the ability to foresee. The reasonable part of the soul is manifested, in his opinion, in the contemplation of objects, in thinking about them, in the search for unknown objects. But in order to think rationally, to reason about objects, it is necessary, Boetius believes, to master the reasoning science - logic.

Boethius introduces a dichotomy, characteristic of the whole medieval philosophy, "substance-accidence". As for substance , here, in the spirit of the Neoplatonists, he makes the form responsible for being. The principle of materiality he identifies with the principle of nonexistence and actually accepts the principle of emanation. Matter is the source of multiplicity and complexity; form is the source of unity and simplicity. God is the absolute one whole; it can not consist of something, can not be plural, complex, material, that is why He is the most complete being. All other things, because they have matter in them, do not have that being. The concept of accidents is used by Boethius in two senses: broad - just a property and in a narrow one - as a random, adjoining property.

Boethius also distinguishes between the concepts first for us and first by nature & quot ;. The first for us is specific individual things, which are in fact infinitely complex for cognition. The simplest to know by nature - higher births, they are the most remote from us, but without them do not build any evidence. Obviously, Boethius in the dispute about universals (typical for the Middle Ages) takes an average, moderate position. He rejects universals in the sense that they are interpreted by the extreme realism presented by Plato, Eriegen, Augustine, Anselm and others, who endowed common ideas, often considered as ideas and thoughts.

God, really a concrete being. From the point of view of Boethius, these are empty concepts, concepts about anything. He also rejects the view on childbirth, species, and so on. as pure design of our thought, having no analogue in objective reality - extreme conceptualism. Rejects it and extreme nominalism (Rosselin), which recognizes only a lot of singular things. As for universals, the adherents of nominalism considered them only as singular speech sounds, serving as names - signs of a set of singular things. Moderate nominalists acknowledge the ability to retain the common properties of individual things (Ockham, Hobbes and Berkeley). Moderate conceptualists admit common properties of things; the general in its pure form exists only in the mind, but it has its own real basis in the similarity of things (Abelard, Locke).

A prominent representative of the Scholasticism of Eriogen (810-877) in his work "On the division of nature" in the spirit of Neo-Platonism identifies four natures:

1) nature is not created, by creative - is God the Creator;

2) nature created and creative are heavenly ideas (in Plato's formulation), over which the whole creation is created;

3) nature created and not creating is the World, the Universe, including man;

4) nature is not created and does not create - is God as the ultimate cause.

Following and further Neoplatonic ideas, Eriugena came to the conclusion that creations are an emanation from God: God is the beginning, middle and end of the whole cosmos; God in all things, he is the essence of all things.

Eriugena was one of the first who tried to rationalize theology. Authority, in his opinion, is based on the mind, and not vice versa. The tool of the mind is the dialectic, understood by Eriugena as the art of juxtaposing opposing points of view in order to clarify the truth. At the same time he argued that there is no contradiction between reason and revelation.

Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) also closely linked faith and philosophy, but believed that philosophy should be subordinated to faith. Without faith there is no true knowledge: "I believe to understand". Holy Scripture indicates that there is truth, reason must justify it. Concerning the existence of God, Anselm cited the following evidence. Things form a series of increasing perfection, hence, there is the most perfect essence - God. There are things more or less useful, good, therefore, there are absolute Benefits, Good, i.e. God. And the main proof, metaphysical, ontological: since we think of God as the general principle of Being, then it exists, for if He existed only in thought, He would be deprived of perfection, but this is impossible, hence He exists in reality.

In the dispute about universals, Anselm manifested himself as a moderate realist. General concepts, he believed, exist independently of individual things, but nevertheless are related to them, for they are derived by generalizing the common features of individual things.

The representative of extreme nominalism John Rosselin (1050-1110) taught that there is nothing outside of single things. The general has no real existence. Common concepts are only sounds, voice, speech.

In contrast to the position of Anselm of Canterbury, "I believe to understand" Pierre Abelard (1079-1142) advanced the position of "know to believe". You can not believe without understanding; believers need to be prepared to understand the truths of Holy Scripture. Of particular interest to Abelard was the problem of universals. He took an intermediate position between realism and nominalism, which was called conceptualism. According to Abelard, universals are things (that is, they do not exist separately from objects). This means that it is absurd to say that only humanity, and not people, "horsepower", is real, and not individual horses, "abbreviation", and not Socrates. Concepts man & quot ;, humanity corresponds to the reality of the universal, existing in all people, and in the people themselves, and not outside them. But universals are not arbitrary names; they are real as ideas of God, who created specific things.

An important literary and cultural monument is the correspondence between Abelard and Eloise. In the years 1114-1118. philosopher headed the department at the school of Notre Dame, which became later

French University. About this same time, the story of the tragic love of Abelard and Eloise, described by him in the "Stories of My Disasters", is related. The secret marriage was not recognized as the guardian of Eloise, who abused Abelard and forcibly forced Eloise to get a haircut for a nun. Soon Abelard withdrew from the world. There is a correspondence of lovers, as well as poems of Abelard, dedicated to Eloise. Becoming a monk, Abelard settled in the monastery of Saint-Denis, where he continued his studies.

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