What Occam’s Razor Leaves Behind (Notes:78)

Occam’s contribution to medieval philosophy is located within logic and metaphysics, not necessarily ‘reason and faith’. But, he does have his importance to this project. Top among these principles is the idea that has since come to be known as “Occam’s Razor”. The second is his denial that there are universal entities. Professor Williams remarks…Read more »

Scotus on Saying Exactly what God Is (Notes:77)

Aristotle’s theory of knowledge. Scotus and Aquinas did not disagree on everything and here, among others, is one of the best places to understand; namely, that our natural knowledge of God begins with our experience of sensible things. Scotus, however, will draw a different conclusion from Aquinas’s own; whereas Aquinas believed that there was always…Read more »

Scotus on God’s Freedom and Ours (Notes:76)

Modern students of medieval philosophy usually see Aquinas’s reconciliation of Aristotelian and Christian doctrine as the high point of medieval philosophy. However, to many of Aquinas’s contemporaries, the idea of making good Aristotle seemed dangerous. Just a few years after his death we see what’s known now as the Condemnation of 1277, something which reoriented…Read more »

Aquinas on Natural and Supernatural Virtues (Notes:75)

Aquinas believed that in addition to the natural order which philosophy investigates, there was a supernatural order which did not supersede the natural but was simply beyond the competency of philosophy to understand. Faith, then, did not destroy Reason, rather, it brought it to a higher fulfillment. In Aquinas, we see this most powerfully in…Read more »