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Terms in this set (61)
Why does Rubenstein say of the prospect of discovering Aa body of learning so powerful . . . it would revolutionize our
thinking and transform our lives@ that for us Athe notion is utter fantasy?@
We have already discovered so much, keep such good records, and are so established in modern culture that no new discovery could totally transform our society the way the rediscovery of Aristotle did.
How do you understand the distinction that
Rubenstein makes between Ahard@ scientific knowledge, and Asoft@ learning? Is this dichotomy valid?
"Hard knowledge" are objective, cumulative, provable truths. "Soft" knowledge is better understood as "wisdom" and has cannot really be proved, only understood.
argues that the rediscovery of Aristotle had Aa slingshot effect, accelerating the pace of scientific and philosophical enquiry.@
What does he mean by this?
The rediscovery of Aristotle invigorated and inspired a new age of scientific and philosophical inquiry within Europe that may not have arisen otherwise.
What is the Amyth of cultural authenticity,@ and how does it affect our understanding of the
development of Western Civilization?
The myth that one's culture developed originally and organically rather than by the influence of previous and outside forces. It affects out understanding because we rarely grow up learning about how much of Western society comes from the advancements of the Arabs and Jews.
What did William of Ockham believe about the relationship between science
Aquinas had erred in trying to create a "natural theology" and that science and religion were best left separated
To what extent do modern divisions between modernists and post-modernists on the one hand, and
traditionalists and fundamentalists on the other hand echo earlier ideological conflicts?
A very large extent. The divorce between science and the church continues to rear its head in modern politics and science.
Why is it Ahard not to think of twelfth-century Spain as a scholars= paradise?@
The cities and scholars were so cosmopolitan and multicultural in their knowledge and intellectual pursuits
What was the AReconquista?@
A campaign by Christians to reclaim the Iberian Peninsula from the Muslims
Rubenstein asks: AHow had the former horsemen of the Arabian Peninsula managed to develop such remarkable competence
in science and philosophy?@ What answer does he give?
They were well-learned in ancient philosophy and science that had been translated into Arabic thus making them intellectually-stimulating to Christians and therefore worthy of respect and admiration
What was the role of Archbishop Raymund of Toledo in
this rediscovery by Christian Europe of the lost knowledge of the ancient world?
He opened the translation center in Toledo that translated hundreds of ancient manuscripts into Latin for use in European science and culture
Who was Aristotle of Stagira?
Son of a physician who studied at the the Greek Academy under Plato and who believed that everything could be explained using natural causes
How did the theories of Hippocrates regarding epilepsy and other afflictions challenge the medical theories of the
Hippocrates proposed that epilepsy and all other diseases had natural causes and that attributing them to the Gods was only a cop-out of admitting one's own ignorance. ie "we can't figure out what causes it so it must clearly be the Gods"
Why did Speusippus - and not Aristotle - succeed as director of the Academy on Plato=s death?
Aristotle was likely too young and Speusippus was Plato's nephew. It's who ya know.
may have persuaded Aristotle to join the Macedonian court of Philip II?
Aristotle and Philip were childhood friends. Philip needed an advisor and tutor for Alexander while he was gone. Aristotle's world view was similar to the empire Alexander and Philip sought to create.
How did the curriculum of the Lyceum
differ from that of the Academy?
It was more extensive and scientifically-oriented
How did the sudden and unexpected death of Alexander the Great cause the
Philosopher to find himself in serious trouble?
The death of Alexander resulted in an anti-Macedonian revolt in Athens. Because Aristotle was the advisor for the Macedonian court it meant exile from Athens or death.
What fate befell Aristotle=s manuscripts after his death?
He passed them down to his pupil, who passed them to his pupil, who hid them in his basement until after he died. They were rediscovered 70 years later and redistributed.
What are the qualities that characterize the writing of Aristotle?
He is very conversational and seeks to create a dialogue between himself and his listeners/readers. He sees humans as rational, thinking creatures, and believes that our senses do not limit or pervert our understanding of the universe, but allow for us to share our knowledge because our senses provide common experience.
Did Aristotle believe in God?
Yes, but not in the sense we understand. "God" is neither creator nor created. He/it simply exists as an eternal resident that does not intervene in the affairs of humans or act as a redeemer.
What was the explanation offered by Augustine of Hippo for the catastrophic decline of the Roman Empire? (47-49)
Rome fell because of the sins it had committed against god
does Rubenstein characterize the differences between Aristotelian epochs and Platonic eras? (49, 50)
Aristotelian epochs are characterized by happy, cohesive societies seeking to better themselves and derive meaning and understanding from the world around them. By contrast Platonic eras are usually sad and marked by the periods of longing and confusion created by our lack of knowledge. Life is a transformation to something after death.
How did Clement of
Alexandria see the role of philosophy in the pagan world? (51)
Philosophy was used by God to prepare the Greeks' minds for Christ, so the church must also use philosophy to prepare and sharpen minds for Christ. (tolerant)
What parallels exist between Christian theology and Platonic
One single God, immortality of the soul, God is the supreme being of the universe, Plato had his own trinity of beings/concepts.
How did Augustine derive his theory of knowledge from Platonic philosophy? (55, 56)
Human knowledge required a form of illumination or inspiration. In the case of the Christians this came from God. (Note: this goes against Aristotle's view that the universe can be understood form observation alone)
What was the role
played by Boethius in the preservation and transmission of Aristotelian thought in the West? (57-67)
He translated many of Aristotle's most prominent works into Latin and offered commentaries. After the destruction of libraries and loss of Greek literacy in Latin culture his works were all that were left of Aristotle and classical philosophy for more than 500 years.
How and why would
Boethius have disagreed with mark Twain=s definition of Faith? (63, 64)
Twain said "Faith is believing what you know ain't so." Boethius would have disagreed because he saw faith and reason as things which were connected - not mutually exclusive.
How did Cassiodorus play such a vital role in the
preservation of the legacy of Boethius? (67, 68)
He preserved many of the things Boethius wrote and opened a monastery to copy and preserve ancient manuscripts
How did the fifth century struggle over the personhood and nature(s) of
Christ contribute to the Amurder@ of Lady Philosophy? (68-76)
She was the philosophical consul to the Roman official seen as antagonizing the local Christian population of Alexandria and was killed by religious zealots.
Why did the Emperor Justinian close the Platonic Academy
in Athens in 529? (77)
He believed that the study of philosophy only gave fuel to the arguments of heretics and presented a danger to the values of Christianity
In what ways would the first encounter with Aristotle=s works for a Christian newly arrived in Toledo
in the era of Archbishop Raymund have been profoundly shocking? (78-80)
It would have been shocking to read/hear the opinions of someone who did not believe in the Abrahamic God, did not think that the world was subject to the will of God, but rather could be understood through logic and reason, and that happiness really could exist; that life was not some prelude to an afterlife, but something to be enjoyed and cherished.
What contribution was made by the Islamic
philosopher Avicenna to the task of reconciling Plato and Aristotle? (81, 82)
Avicenna argued that the universe was a reflection of the eternal spirit (God), and that the realms of spiritual and rational inquiry are not separate, but tied together.
How had it some about that Afalsafah@ was
dying in the Islamic world just as it reached a takeoff point in Europe? (84
Muslim and Jewish philosophers had failed to provide a method whereby Muslim and Jewish teachings could also "synchronize" with Aristotle. Many religious authorities believed that one could not believe both, so they began attacking Aristotle.
What was the role of al-Ghazali in Islamic
intellectual history? (85)
His book ""The Incoherence of the Philosophers" was the most influential in discrediting the ideas of the ancient philosophers and having their books and ideas banned in almost every Muslim and Jewish community.
Why did the rabbis of Provence ask the Inquisition to burn AThe Guide To The Perplexed@ by
Moses Maimonides? (85)
They saw it as heretical since it praised Aristotle's thinking - they saw it as a danger to traditional Jewish society
Why was Peter Abelard so sought after and admired by so many students? (88-91
He was one of the greatest intellectual thinkers and debaters of his time, and was not afraid to ask the tough, insightful questions.
Why, in the context of the twelfth
century, was Abelard=s question - whether the Jews who killed Christ sinned by doing so - so shocking? (90-92)
It was commonly accepted that it was a sin to kill and condemn God, and that even to question this was in itself a form of heresy.
the methodology taught in Peter Abelard=s Sic et Non? (92)
He presented 158 different propositions such as "God is not single" and found quotes both for and against the proposition ("Yes and No") given by famous church leaders, and asked his students to figure out the differences and consolidate the ideas themselves.
How was Peter Abelard=s teaching style different from that of his
He didn't just lecture to his students, but he asked questions of them (used Socratic method) and wanted for them to engage in dialogue, not just listen to a lecture
What were Peter Abelard=s feelings about his love affair with Héloise, and his subsequent castration? (98)
At first he was't too happy about it, but then saw it as the price he had to pay for his affair in the eyes of God.
How did global climate change beginning in the eleventh century combine with other factors to bring about a profound shift in
cultural values? (100)
It provided for a century of good farming, increasing the sedentary potential of the population and allowing for more advanced cities and institutions to form because of this.
What was Anselm of Canterbury=s purpose in writing the Monologion and the Proslogion? (102)
To provide an idea which by itself constituted the proof of God's existence, or to show that faith alone was sufficient
How was Anselm the Apioneer of a new theology@ as Rubenstein claims? (104)
He started the tradition of recognizing the opposing argument and deconstructing it point-by-point using logic and reason, not just divine text and mandates (ie, because God says so)
How was Abelard=s theory of Universals so
destructive to that held by William of Champeaux? (111-113)
Abelard held that there were different orders of universals. Two people are both men and animals, but not all animals are men, so animals were a larger universal than men. However, even though men exist in the same universal, they can be very different. There is not single universal, and not everything within a universal is the same.
How did the extreme Nominalism of Roscelin of Compiègne
lead him to be accused of Tritheism? (115)
He spoke of the father, son, and holy spirit so distinctly that many came to believe that he thought each one was its own deity independent of the others.
Why did Bernard of Clairvaux believe that Abelard was so dangerous? (121,
He believed that Abelard's questions led devout people to question God, and that his questions should not be presented to simple minds because they present too dangerous of concepts.
What were the aims of Pope Gregory VII=s reform of the church? (128, 129)
He wanted to eliminate the marriage of clergy and church employees who were violating their vows by having children, getting married, cohabiting with the opposite general, and accumulating needless wealth.
Why did Henry the Monk call the prostitutes
of Le Mans to the town square? (131)
He wanted for them to strip and burn their fancy clothes and destroy anything that was a symbol of their past life. He then gave them new clothes and had them married to respected townspeople on the spot.
Why was Arnold of Brescia an unlikely revolutionary? (134, 135)
He was a man who renounced worldly comforts, but didn't become a clergyman until AFTER he had finished all of his education. He also didn't come from a prominent family yet still wielded a great deal of political influence.
conclusions did Arnold of Brescia draw from his critique of the church=s entanglement with society? (136 ff.)
The church should give up all of its property and power to secular authorities who should in turn give it to the laypeople. If the bishops refused then they should be deposed by popular uprising.
In what ways
did the movement led by Arnold of Brescia anticipate the later revolt led by the German monk Martin Luther? (139, 140)
It had anti-clerical anger, evangelical zeal, and secular political ambition. Unlike Luther his movement lacked a credible challenge to orthodox theology.
In what sense(s) were the Cathars dualists? (142-144)
They believed in two coequal and co powerful Gods. Good God created the spiritual universe. Bad God (Satan) create the material universe. Satan raided heaven for angel to fill human bodies as soldiers creating demons and the battle has been going since. (Weird stuff)
How were Cathars able to provide a satisfying (if unorthodox) explanation for the problem of evil? (146-149)
There are two Gods - neither of them omnipotent. The tyrannical God of the Old Testament and the benevolent God of the new testament. If God is good, then he cannot be omnipotent as he would not allow for suffering or evil to have ever existed. If God is omnipotent then he cannot be good because he allows or, in the case of Job, creates evil.
How did Aristotle help the Cathars to make their arguments effective?
Since for any new thing (in this case evil) to come into existence it must have a new cause, since without a new cause things would have simply gone on the way that they had forever. Therefore, there must be two Gods, one good who has always created good, and one evil who has always created evil, each of which caused the first good and evil event (respectively) to occur, with humans caught in the middle.
What was the strategy of Innocent III for rescuing the church from Catharism? (153-157)
He excommunicated Count Raymond VI of Toulouse (a Cathar territory) and said that anyone following him was cursed, and those who renounced him blessed. After one of Raymond's men (acting freely) assassinated the chief papal legate who had carried out the excommunication, Innocent III used this as his excuse to declare war on the Cathar territories for heresy. He then launched a crusade which killed tens of thousands of innocent people, and pretty much wiped Catharism off the map.
How was Innocent
III, through his vision and moderation, able to Asave@ the church from becoming utterly dominated y a culture of repression?
He incorporated the teachings and followers of Francis of Assisi (who thought all priests should be beggars and should not even own their own homes) into the church to help with its public image and refocus its mission.
How did David of Dinant come to conclusions that other theologians recognized as pantheistic? (164)
God is everywhere, therefore God is everything. God, matter, mind, body, and spirit are one.
Rubenstein asks: AHow did we come to believe the fable of medieval ignorance?@ How indeed? How did the concept of
Aimpetus,@ introduced by Jean Buridan, prove explosive? (273-275)
We have been raised to believe that science could not prosper until it was freed from the shackles of religion. However, this implies that the two are mutually exclusive and can't have any other relationship than hero and enemy.
With regards to "impetus," Buridan theorized that heavenly bodies did not maintain their motion because they were continually being moved by an "unmoved mover" (God) as Aristotle proposed, but rather that these objects were initially set in motion and have remained that way because they have not encountered any RESISTANCE.
Why, do you suppose, did Nicole Oresme opt in his
last published work (1377) for a rotating rather than a stationary earth? (274-278)
Relativity: if you are on earth you can only observe the universe moving about the earth. If you are in the heavens then the earth moves about the heavens. Since at that time no experiment to observe the true movement of the earth through the heavens (or vice versa) could be created then both ideas and theories were equally valid.
What, according to Edward Grant, was
Athe best kept secret of Western Civilization?@ (282, 283)
"The habit of applying reason to resolve the innumerable questions about our world, and of always raising new questions [was a gift from the Latin West to the Modern Period]"
Why were early modern thinkers and reformers, from Martin
Luther to Thomas Hobbes, so ready to abandon the enormous Aristotelian legacy of the middle ages? (285-289)
1. By ditching Aristotle it also separated the debt which western science owed to more advanced Muslim civilizations, which appealed to people's desire to have their civilization be "self-created"
2. By ditching Aristotle, whose philosophy was deeply ingrained in Catholic theology, it allowed for Protestants to get even more footing and stand even more opposed to the Catholic church.
In thinking of science alone as representing "hard" knowledge, and religion and ethics as representing "subjective opinions," what seem to have been some of the consequences for our culture? (292 ff.)
It seems because science is becoming ever more prominent in areas of policy and culture that were previously ruled by religion that we should abandon religious consideration the creation of public policy. On a national level this may be the case, but religion still plays a large role in individual decision making.
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