The Latin Aristotle

Robert Pasnau

in The Oxford Handbook of Aristotle

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195187489
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

The Latin Aristotle


There is some temptation to say that the history of Aristotle in medieval Latin philosophy is just the history of medieval Latin philosophy, but this would be to oversimplify matters. The fountainhead of Christian philosophy, Augustine (354–430 AD), betrays almost no familiarity with Aristotelian thought, and describes in the Confessions how he was underwhelmed by a reading of the Categories at the age of twenty. Boethius (c. 476–c. 526) aspired to translate into Latin and comment upon the whole Aristotelian corpus, and reconcile it with Plato as well, but only a fraction of the project (the logic) was completed. Moreover, even once the influence of Aristotle was felt in its full force—and even more so before then—Platonism remained a strong influence on Latin philosophy. This article discusses the rise of scholastic Aristotelianism and its eventual decline, the history of Aristotelianism in the Latin West, the distinctive character of scholastic Aristotelianism, and disagreements within scholastic Aristotelianism.

Keywords: Aristotle; Latin philosophy; Latin West; scholastic Aristotelianism; Augustine; Plato; Platonism

Article.  12426 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Classical Philosophy

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