Chapter

The Decline and Recovery of Classical Rationality in the West

Michael Horace Barnes

in Stages of Thought

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780195396270
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199852482 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195396270.003.0008
The Decline and Recovery of Classical Rationality in the West

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In religious thought, the issue that most directly indicates a tension between concrete operational and formal operational thought is that of miracles. From Augustine and on into the 16th and 17th centuries, this was a troublesome topic. The fewer the miracles, the greater the intelligibility of the world. For a religion which believes that an Intelligent Being designed and created the universe, there is only one miracle compatible with an orderly natural world—the ongoing miracle of creation. Augustine's approach to miracles carried great authority, but even he had a difficult time making up his mind on how to deal with them. He ended up with as many as four different theories about miracles. The resurgence of western Europe began with the creation of new wealth, as a result of many technological advances. Learning also expanded greatly. Meanwhile, 13th-century nominalism focused on the dispute over God's power.

Keywords: miracles; Augustine; God's power; nominalism; Francis Bacon

Chapter.  9013 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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