Category Archives: 11th Century

“It Is One Thing to Reign, Another To Exercise Tyranny in the Kingdom”

Ah, the glories of Medieval political thought! I love this one! Therefore even as the royal dignity and authority excels all earthly authorities, so no infamous or shameful man is appointed to administer it, but he who no less in … Continue reading

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If He Doesn’t Do Right, He Doesn’t Get to Be King (And You Don’t Have to Obey Him)

Real history, not the pop-history of apologists, is incredibly fascinating. I’ve written a number of posts on this blog and research papers as well outlining the fact that from the earliest times all the way up to the eve of … Continue reading

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Don’t Ignore “the Usual Scene”

It has been remarked by various scholars that the Gregorian reformation of the eleventh century was essentially an attempt to re-order all of Christian society on a monastic pattern. So dark were the monkish perceptions of the state of Christian … Continue reading

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The Normans

“Normans” is the name given to the most culturally-prominent descendants of the savage “Northmen” (the Vikings) who descended upon Western Christendom in unpredictable raids for nearly three centuries beginning in the mid-ninth century.:”(For outstanding summaries of these invasions and their … Continue reading

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Avicenna, Pt. II

As mentioned in the previous installment, Avicenna is famous for making a distinction between essence (“what it is”) and existence (“that it is”) regarding contingent beings. Given that at the same time as he was attempting to correlate Muslim doctrine … Continue reading

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Avicenna, Pt. I

This set of posts will be exploratory in nature. Not being a professional philosopher or even a full-time student of philosophy, I represent my presentations or conclusions in these posts to be merely provisionally informative, the result of my non-specialist … Continue reading

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Al-Ghazali and Averroes: Islamic “Nominalism” vs. Islamic “Realism,” Pt. III

Returning to his earlier example of there being no necessary causal connection between fire and the burning of a piece of cotton brought into contact with the fire, Al-Ghazali gets to the root of his voluntaristic understanding of God: “If … Continue reading

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Al-Ghazali and Averroes: Islamic “Nominalism” vs. Islamic “Realism,” Pt. II

In the last entry I cautiously described the Medieval Arabic philosophers Al-Ghazali and Averroes as, respectively, an Islamic “nominalist” and an Islamic “realist.” Strictly speaking, I suppose the characteristic of Al-Ghazali with which I am here dealing is actually “voluntarism,” … Continue reading

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Al-Ghazali and Averroes: Islamic “Nominalism” vs. Islamic “Realism,” Pt. I

While I’m not sure if the characterizations of “nominalist” and “realist” properly apply to the 11th and 12th century Muslim philosophers Al-Ghazali and Averroes,:”(Indeed, over the past several years I have found myself increasingly having to revise my early thoughts … Continue reading

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Peter Abelard on God’s Actions (II)

Picking up from the last entry on Abelard, I want to focus on one of his closing statements about what God is capable of doing. Let me first quote it in full, noting that owing to the peculiarities of proto-Scholastic … Continue reading

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