Henry Chadwick

in Boethius

Published in print October 1990 | ISBN: 9780198265498
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682896 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks


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The tripartite division (Physics, Metaphysics, and Ethics) of theoretical philosophy is commonplace, very frequently repeated by Boethius's Neoplatonic masters. In Boethius, it receives its most striking statement in the second section of his first theological tractate, De Trinitate, where he is seeking to place theology in relation to other human knowledge. Boethius adds the characteristic Aristotelian point that each discipline has its own method and logic. The term ‘intellectualis’ of theology appears early on in the first commentary on Porphyry. In the first commentary on the Isagoge, Boethius describes the midway ‘intelligible’ as including the study of astronomy, the higher regions of the sublunary realm, and human souls. The hierarchical ordering of the sciences is established doctrine for the Neoplatonic schools. For Boethius, the studies of mathematics and logic are foothills of a massif whose summit is in heaven.

Keywords: philosophy; rhetoric; Porphyry; Aristotle; lsagoge; hypothetical syllogism

Chapter.  24800 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Christianity

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