The focus of this course is the "problem of universals", that is, the question what sort of being universals have, and the approaches to that problem taken by various European philosophers from the eleventh to the fourteenth centuries. Although this is an issue in metaphysics, its history is closely connected to the history of logic. So, a fuller description of the subject of the course might be "The problem of universals in medieval logic and metaphysics". In addition, since one of the issues concerning universals in the Middle Ages was whether they exist in the mind only, and since this in turn has important connections with theories of the intellect, we will spend some time on Medieval views of the Intellect.
Class: 6:00-9:00 PM, Mondays, Bolton 213,
Instructor: Robin Smith
There are two collections of readings assigned as textbooks for this class:
I will also be providing a few handouts of other medieval philosophical texts not included in these two volumes.
Grades in this course will be based on the following written work:
|Short Exam 1||25%||March 1|
|Short Exam 2||25%||May 4|
|Term Paper (20 pages)||50%||May 10|
Please see the Texas A&M University Student Rules, Section 20 for definitions of types of academic dishonesty and the penalties that can be imposed for them.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal antidiscrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accomodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accomodation, please contact the Department of Student Life, Services for Students with Disabilities in Room 126 of the Koldus Building, on the Interet at http://studentlife.tamu.edu/ssd/, or by telephone at 979-845-1637.
This is intended as a guide to what we will be doing, and it is definitive when it comes to due dates for assigned work. However, readings and subjects are subject to change based on how the class actually goes.
|Jan. 19||No Class|
|Jan. 26||The Late Ancient Background||Augustine, Teacher (HW 20-33) Porphyry, Isagoge S 1-20; I will also discuss some works of Aristotle including Categories, On Interpretation,Topics I, De Anima III.3-5, Posterior Analytics II.19; Metaphysics Λ|
|Feb. 2||Porphyry's Introduction||Porphyry, Isagoge; Boethius, extracts from Second Commentary on Porphyry's Isagoge (S 20-25).|
|Feb. 9||Islamic Neoplatonism||Al-Farabi, Letter Concerning the Intellect (HW 215-221); Avicenna, (Handout); Averroes, Long Commentary on Aristotle's De Anima (HW 324-336)|
|Feb. 16||Peter Abelard||Peter Abelard, from Logica 'ingredientibus' (S 26-56)|
|Feb. 23||Aquinas and Siger of Brabant||Aquinas, De Ente et Essentia (HW 508-515); from Summa Theologiae I.I, Q. 84-86(HW 550-558); Siger of Brabant, Questions on the Eternity of the World(HW 499-502)|
|Mar. 1||John Duns Scotus||Scotus, Ordinatio (S 57-73)|
|Mar. 8||Scotus, contd.||Scotus, Ordinatio (S 74-93)|
|Mar. 15||SPRING BREAK|
|Mar. 22||Scotus, contd.||Scotus, Ordinatio (S 93-113)|
|Mar. 29||Walter Burleigh||(Handout)|
|Apr. 5||William of Ockham||Ockham, Ordinatio (S 114-132)|
|Apr. 12||Ockham, contd.||Ockham, Ordinatio (S 132-152 )|
|Apr. 19||Ockham, contd.||Ockham, Ordinatio (S 153-190)|
|Apr. 26||Ockham, contd.||Ockham, Ordinatio (S 190-231|
|May 3||Everyone||Second exam distributed|
|May 4||(Redefined Day)||Second exam due|
|May 10||Papers Due|