Medieval Philosophy


In this course, we look at philosophy from around the 4th to the 14th centuries. In the Autumn semester, 2022, we will be especially concerned with problems related to free will: how authors in our period characterized free will; whether they thought we had any; and some of the emerging philosophical and theological issues.

2022 Autumn syllabus – BA
2022 Autumn syllabus – MA
2020 Spring syllabus
2019 Spring syllabus
2018 Spring syllabus

Assignments, 2022 Autumn

Argument reconstruction paper (BA students)
Argument reconsruction and response (MA students)

Class Schedule, 2022 Autumn

(updated: 12/09/2022)

Date Topic Text
30/09 Introduction; faith and reason Lewis, Discarded Image
07/10 Augustine on Free will and evil On Free Choice of the Will I
14/10 Boethius and the problem of foreknowledge The Consolation of Philosophy (sel.)
21/10 Anselm and the fall of the devil On the Fall of the Devil (sel.)
28/10 Free will in Arabic philosophy; Al-Ghazali Al-Ghazali, Incoherence (sel.)
04/11 Reading week (no class)
11/11 Aquinas on free choice Summa theologiae I, q. 83
18/11 Henry of Ghent on will and intellect Quodlibet I, q. 14
25/11 Duns Scotus on willing happiness Ordinatio IV, supp. d. 49, qq. 9–10
02/12 Will and virtues in some women thinkers Marguerite Porete, The Mirror of Simple Souls (sel.)
09/12 Free will in Jewish philosophy Josef Albo, Book of Principles, IV.25, 27