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180020 SE Universals, Immateriality and Thinking in the Long Middle Ages (2017W)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work

Registration/Deregistration

Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).

Details

max. 30 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Tuesday 21.11. 14:15 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 22.11. 14:15 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 28.11. 14:15 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 29.11. 14:15 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 12.12. 14:15 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 13.12. 14:15 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 09.01. 14:15 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 10.01. 13:30 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 16.01. 14:15 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 17.01. 14:15 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

Aims
This course aims to examine the links between thinking, universals and immateriality in the western philosophy in the Long Middle Ages. Western philosophy is taken to include the Greek, Latin, Arabic and Jewish traditions. The Long Middle Ages arguably stretch from c. 200 to c. 1700, but in fact this course will be confined to the period from c. 500 – the early fourteenth century (though I hope to take a look at Spinoza in connection with Gersonides). The type of thinking investigated in one strand of this course is that done by the intellect, which was considered to be something incorporeal: this thinking was almost always taken to be about universals, themselves incorporeal as grasped in thought. But what, then, are universals? Another strand of this course will investigate some of the answers given to this metaphysical question.

Contents
The central content is defined by the primary texts, listed below.

Methods
We shall look at the primary texts in detail, analysing passages and discussing their interpretation and the problems they raise. I shall provide necessary background discussion. Two of the sessions will be mainly devoted to presentations by students.

Assessment and permitted materials

Students will be asked to write a short essay (c. 1500 words; focused on a particular passage); give a class presentation; and write a longer essay (c. 3000 – 3,500 words). Essays and presentations can be in English or German.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The elements will contribute to the final grade as follows: short essay 20%; class presentation 20%; longer essay 40%; attendance and contribution to class discussions 20%. At minimum, for a satisfactory grade, students must perform acceptably in all of these three elements and attend at least 80% of the course (unless given special permission for greater absence).

Examination topics

Reading list

Primary Texts

AVICENNA, On the Soul (Extracts from Al-Najat), in M.A. Khalidi, ed., Medieval Islamic Philosophical Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 27-58.

AVICENNA Texts quoted in: Michael Marmura, 'Avicenna's "Flying Man" in Context', The Monist, 69, no. 3 (1986): 383-95.

AVICENNA Metaphysics of the Shifâ’, Book 5, Chapter 1 in Metaphysics, ed. and transl. Michael Marmura, Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 2005.

BOETHIUS, From 2nd commentary on the Isagoge, in SPADE, Five Texts.

GERSONIDES, Wars of the Lord, translated by S. Feldman (Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1984), Book I.

JOHN DUNS SCOTUS, Ordinatio, II, d.3, Part 1, qq. 1 and 6 in SPADE, Five Texts.

PETER ABELARD From Logica Ingredientibus in SPADE, Five Texts.

PORPHYRY, Isagoge (opening) in SPADE, Five Texts.

SPADE, Paul Five Tests on the Medieval Problem of Universals, Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994.

THOMAS AQUINAS, Thomas,: Summa Theologiae Ia, qq. 85-86.

Secondary Reading

Full secondary reading lists will be issued at the time of the course. The following general surveys may be useful as Introductions:

BLACK, Deborah, 'Psychology: Soul and Intellect', in P. Adamson and R.C. Taylor, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 308-26.

DAVIDSON, Herbert, Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes, on Intellect: Their Cosmologies, Theories of the Active Intellect, and Theories of Human Intellect (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992).

DE LIBERA, Alain, La querelle des universaux. De Plato à la fin du Moyen Âge (Paris : Seuil, 1996).

KLIMA, Gyula, ‘The Medieval Problem of Universals’, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2016 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2016/entries/universals-medieval/>.

ROBINSON, James T., 'Soul and Intellect', in S. Nadler and T. Rudavsky, eds., The Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy. Vol. 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 524-58. Also available online at: http://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521843232.018.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:36