Scholasticism

776 Words Mar 30th, 2015 4 Pages
Scholasticism is the theological and philosophical movement that tried to use the classical Greco-Roman philosophy to understand the religious revelation of Christianity. It was the dominant theological and philosophical thought of medieval times, after the patristic thinking of late antiquity. It was based on the coordination between faith and reason, with the established assumption that reason was subordinate to faith.

It dominated in the cathedral schools and general studies leading to medieval European universities. However, its origins are heterogeneous in nature as it adapted not only Greco-Latin philosophical thinking, but also Arab and Jewish[1].

Scholasticism can also be defined as a method of intellectual work where all
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In this period its highest representatives are John Duns Scotus, called the “Subtle Doctor”[6], and William of Ockham. Scotus arrives at the idea that God and the Infinite, are notions reached via metaphysics; it was understood by the Franciscans in the strict Aristotelian sense as the science of being as being. Eventually, this led to the establishment of the autonomy of philosophy and theology. He made it clear that each of these disciplines has its own method and object; although Scotus assumed that theology presupposes a metaphysical course.

It was William of Ockham however, which further lead this development on the metaphysical. His famous principle of economy, called "Ockham's Razor"[7], postulated that it was necessary to remove anything that was not obvious and given in sensible intuition: " Don't multiply entities beyond necessity.”[8]

In the act of knowing we prioritize empirical experience or "intuitive knowledge" which is an immediate knowledge of reality, because if everything that exists is singular and concrete, then they are not abstract entities separate from things or inherent to them. Universals are only names and exist only in the soul. Ockham’s approach, also known as “nominalism”[9], opposes the Aristotelian-scholastic tradition, which was fundamentally realistic. Universal concepts, for Ockham, are nothing more than mental processes by which