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The History of Medieval Philosophy

Selected Figures of Scholastic Tradition I

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Ladislav Tkáčik

Calling an epoch Middle Age already involves some sort of judgment. But Middle Ages represent a historic period, in which the identity was established, which was denied by the renaissance, modern world and which however is now being discovered again in its sense and beauty. It is a period in which a co-existence between faith and intellect, between ecclesiastical and profane culture was possible. It was a varied living space in which philosophy, mystique and practice could exist side by side. It is a world which is lost today and which we can get a hold of again only by intellectual appropriation.

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1. Boundaries and Concept of Middle Ages and its Philosophical Thinking

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71. Boundaries and Concepts of the Middle Ages and its Philosophical Thinking Claudio Leonardi says that the “Middle Ages represent a historic period, in which the identity, which was denied and destroyed by the modern world and which however is now being discovered again in its beauty, was estab- lished. It is a period in which dialogue and therefore also a confl ict between faith and intellect, church and empire and between culture based in God and culture based in man, were possible. It is a  living space in which mys- tique and philosophy could exist side by side on a his- toric level. It is world which is lost today and which we can get hold of again only by intellectual appropriation” (Středověká Latinská Literatura, p. 24).   To understand the specifi city of certain period and con- ceive its essence, it is undoubtedly desirable to distin- 8guish it from the times which preceded and follow it. This belief lies behind our eff ort to periodise time. This eff ort, which no longer has theological and eschatologi- cal characteristics, can be traced back to the 14th and 15th centuries. It was during this period when the epoch of the Middle Ages was defi ned for the fi rst time. There- fore, in the sense of more modern periodization, the Middle Ages were defi ned as the fi rst epoch. Medieval scholars restricted the term “ancient times” or “antiquity” to the epoch of Greek and Roman erudi- tion, which they tried...

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