Volltext: Dictionary of philosophy and psychology including many of the principal conceptions of ethics, logics, aesthetics ... and giving a terminology in English, French, German and Italian, vol. 2 [lead-zwing] (2)

name of the period of mediaeval thought in 
which philosophy was pursued under the 
domination of theology, having for its aim 
the exposition of Christian dogma in its 
relations to reason. See History or Philo¬ 
sophy, and Latin and Scholastic Termino¬ 
(2) Any mode of thought characterized by 
excessive refinement and subtlety; the making 
of formal distinctions without end and without 
special point. 
Scholasticism is distinguished, on one 
hand, from Arabian philosophy (see, however, 
lower down) carried on outside the pale of 
the Church ; and from Mysticism (q. v.), which 
is found within the Church paralleling Scho¬ 
lasticism. The latter emphasizes logical and 
formal processes ; as the former, feeling and 
inner experience. Charlemagne founded 
schools of learning all over Prance, which 
was, thereafter, the special home of learning 
and of science. The teachers were termed 
doctor es scholastici (Ueberweg, Hist, of 
Philos., i, according to whom the use of the 
term may be traced hack to Theophrastus), 
while the wandering scholar-teachers from 
the mission schools of the Church were termed 
scholastici (Erdmann, Hist, of Philos., i. 288). 
They were ecclesiastics, so it is not a matter 
of surprise that they philosophize wholly in 
the interests of the Church. The language 
is Latin. The method is comment upon and 
exposition of selected passages of Scripture 
and the early logicians, and finally of the 
Church fathers and Aristotle. They com¬ 
bined with their strictly philosophic pursuits 
all the science and culture of their age (in the 
Trivium and Quadrivium). Cf. Patristic 
The schools were founded in the 8th 
century, hut it is not till the 9th that 
specifically philosophic thought appears. 
While in one sense scholasticism still con¬ 
tinues as the official teaching of the Roman 
Catholic Church, its dominance and its 
independent career ceased with the Renais¬ 
sance and the 15th century. The intervening 
five centuries are conveniently divided into 
three sub-periods: (1) the formation of 
scholasticism, formulation of its problems ; 
(2) its systematization; (3) its decline. The 
three periods may also be characterized by their 
reference to antiquity. The first was based 
upon fragments of Aristotle’s logical writings 
and Neo-Platonic commentaries; the second is 
due to systematic acquaintance with Aristotle; 
the third to the humanistic revival of all 
ancient learning, which, even when honouring 
Aristotle, gave him a freer interpretation. 
I. In the first period, Scotus Erigena 
is in many respects nearer to the mystics 
than to the scholastics proper, and is pan¬ 
theistic in his theology. He is influenced 
chiefly by the Neo-Platonists rather than by 
Aristotle. But in two respects he is ex¬ 
tremely important for scholasticism in the 
narrower sense, (a) He asserts the essential 
identity of the content of faith and reason, 
and in the most immediate way. Any dictum 
of authority is reasonable, and every rational 
principle may be considered as dogma ; true 
religion is true philosophy, and vice versa. 
The problem thus raised of the relation 
between the two is of determining importance 
for the entire period. (b) He assumes a 
complete parallelism of the hierarchy of 
being on one side, and thought on the other, 
proceeding from the most universal to the 
most particular ; the former comprehends 
and produces the latter. Creation is equiva¬ 
lent to the logical unfolding or making 
explicit of the supreme universal, from God 
down, in a graded scale of beings, to the 
individual things of sense—the lowest form 
of reality. This might be termed the deduc¬ 
tive process. On the other hand is the 
eternal return to God—i. e. the logical in¬ 
clusion of the particulars again in the 
universal, the inductive movement. This 
involves, as aptplied to man, the theory of 
redemption, immortality, &c. Now the signifi¬ 
cance of this is not only in its frankly stated 
Realism (q. v., i), but in the use of this 
realism to state and explain the fundamental 
doctrines of the Church—those of creation, 
the Trinity, sin, and redemption. 
In this connection the discussion becomes 
one of tremendous import—of the relation of 
God as the universal to the individual, to 
man. When separated from this relationship, 
the whole realistic-nominalistic discussion 
degenerates into formal subtleties and re¬ 
finements. It is Anselm who carries out in 
a systematic and reflective way the philo¬ 
sophical statement of all the dogmas of the 
Church, and who sees in realism the only 
justification of the supi’eme authority of God, 
of the doctrine of the Trinity, and asserts 
that nominalism is only the deification of 
sensible things. It also leads him to the 
Ontological Argument (q. v.). Roscelin, 
as a nominalist, had shown that its effect 
on theology is to substitute a doctrine of 
tritheism for the Trinity, while Berengar 


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