Faith and science in the Middle Ages. Philosophy

Faith and science in the Middle Ages. Philosophy

The worldview of a medieval man was religious, he perceived the world through religious images and concepts. Few doubted that the beginning and end of all there is God. They argued only about how to learn it – by faith or by the mind? Some thought: by faith and only by it! Say, God gave people revelation instead of any other knowledge, therefore, those who will study the Bible, science is not needed, because they without it will be the wisest of the sages.

VI century. From the book of the Roman writer and the politician Cassiodorus “On the study of the sciences of the divine and human”

We should know that reason is given not only by the sciences, but that God gives the perfect wisdom to whomever he wants. For if the knowledge of good was concluded only in

the sciences, then they could not possess the perfect wisdom not learned in the sciences. But since many illiterates reach true knowledge and true faith through revelation from above, then, unquestionably, God gives pure and pious minds that which he considers useful to them.

Completeness, others wondered, why then did God give people intelligence if one should rely only on divine revelation? If we confine ourselves to faith, then we will continue to have in the works of theologians an abundance of absurdities and disagreements. The basis of knowledge must be only the mind! To believe, one must understand!

There were also scientists who did not go to extremes and tried to reconcile faith and reason. They belonged, in particular, the Arab philosopher in Spain Averroes. He believed that faith and reason should be delineated. Let theologians deal with questions of faith and leave the science alone, and scientists do not interfere in matters of faith. So it will be better for both religion and science. Averroes had his associates in other European countries, primarily in France and England.

There were people in the Middle Ages who did not believe in anything.

In the XI century. In the cultural life of the West a new phenomenon has appeared – Scholasticism. Scholastic scholars tried to confirm the science of

religious truth, that is, to prove by the mind what is not subject to it and does not need its intervention. Scholastics admired Logic and often tried to answer it with absurd questions: can God become a cucumber?

How many angels can be placed on the tip of a needle? Their philosophizing often provoked frank mockery. But the Scholastics made a lot of useful for European culture. They brilliantly developed logic, influenced medieval art and architecture, arranged texts, etc.

Did not find the answer to the European Middle Ages and the controversial question: does a man act as he pleases, or as God points out to him? The French scholar Zh. Buridan believed that a person does not have freedom of choice, and he proved his case by such an example. If you put the donkey at the same distance from two identical piles of hay, it will fall from hunger, because it will not dare to choose one of them. A person in such a situation would have acted, thanks to God, more judiciously. The expression “Buridani donkey” became winged. This is the name of one who is in a state of extreme indecision.

In the XII century. In the West, interest in the works of ancient authors, first of all Aristotle, increased. The Church initially pursued those who turned to these works, but later decided that it was better to include Aristotle’s conclusions in the Catholic dogma. Church scientists of the 12th-13th centuries undertook this task. Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas. The latter argued that the truth can be found in the Bible and in science. These his views formed the basis of Catholic theology.

Scholasticism is a medieval philosophy that aims to scientifically substantiate a religious worldview.

Logic is the science of laws, form and ways of thinking.


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Faith and science in the Middle Ages. Philosophy