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Welcome to History of Medieval Philosophy.




TEACHER:  Charlotte Hoare (


This course (25 classes) examines the rich array of philosophical concerns, questions and theories that developed under the influence of Christianity between the late 5th and early 14th centuries. The course encompasses a wide range of perennially relevant topics: the nature of reality (metaphysics), God (natural theology), human nature and behaviour (anthropology and ethics) and the possibility and validity of human knowledge (epistemology and logic). Students will examine what a variety of thinkers taught with regards to these topics, with a particular emphasis given to the philosophical-theological contributions of Saints Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.


By the end of this course students should be able to

1. become familiar with the key thinkers who shaped the development of philosophical thought in the medieval period, and develop an appreciation for the historical and perennial importance of Saint Thomas’ teachings

2. understand the complementary and mutually beneficial relationship between philosophy and theology (reason and faith) that developed during the scholastic period

3. recognise the interdependence of metaphysics, epistemology and ethics by examining the core medieval philosophical ideas and theories that thereafter shaped the trajectory of the Western tradition of thought (in particular metaphysical realism and nominalism)


The full subject program is available here  | VIEW


25%       Presentation – Historical figures

75%       “Take home” questions  (3 x 25% each – mix of short and mid-length responses)


Essential Reading

SARANYANA, J.I., History of Medieval Philosophy, Sinag-Tala Publications, Manila 1996

COPLESTON, F., A History of Philosophy, Newman Press, Westminster (Maryland) 1953

Recommended Reading

BROCK, Stephen, The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas: A Sketch, Cascade Books, Oregon 2015

GILSON, É., A History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages, Sheed and Ward, London 2000

GILSON, E., Reason and Revelation in the Middle Ages, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York 1983

GILSON, E., The unity of philosophical experience, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York 1937 (Chapter 1)

MONDIN, B., A History of Medieval Philosophy, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome 1991