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Introduction to Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy

During the Winter 2014 Quarter I will be a teaching assistant in Philosophy 100B: Introduction to Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy at UCLA. Here, I will post links to material that I think students in the course might find helpful or that provide interesting perspectives on things we go over in discussion sections. None of these materials are required for this course -- I simply think that they may help explain concepts better or show how issues from class and discussion section are treated by philosophers and others.

General Outline

While the Marenbon book is the class's main source for a discussion of notable names, ideas, and events in the history of medieval philosophy, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a useful source for further clarification and concise discussion of the philosophers and ideas that we will address.  This entry provides an overview of medieval philosophy, and some of the notable philosophers and concepts that characterize that time period.


Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Links

These links below will take you to the Stanford Encyclopedia page on each of these philosophers.  On those pages, you will  find a description of each philosopher and the major arguments the philosopher made.  If you would like to know more about a particular philosopher, or if you are having issues understanding a certain philosopher's position from the Marenbon text, this resource may be helpful for filling in the gaps.

John Scottus Eriugena
William of Champeaux
Thomas Aquinas
William of Ockham
Peter of Spain

Philosophical Issues

The Problem of Universals

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: The Medieval Problem of Universals

One of the topics that Marenbon focuses on a lot, but that we have not had very much of an opportunity to delve into in discussions is the problem of universals.  This entry provides a pretty approachable summary of what the problem is, as well as the progression of arguments about this problem as time went on.  Because this entry is focused only on the problem of universals, it might be a bit easier at communicating the trends in argumentation than the Marenbon work, which is organized by time periods, rather than by issues.


Examples of Bad Sentences

While this post discusses bad sentences in the context of judicial opinions, this will hopefully be a nice illustration of what not to do when writing answers for midterms or final exams.

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