Medieval Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction [#463]
Medieval Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction [#463]


  • Gives a comprehensive overview of the many traditions of medieval philosophy, over the full chronological range of the period
  • Discusses the importance of the religious and historical contexts of medieval philosophy
  • Shows how the philosophical traditions in the Middle Ages all stem from the Platonic schools of late antiquity and explains their evolution
  • Looks at key phlosophical figures of the time such as the Latin writers Boethius, Abelard, Duns Scotus, Dante and Pomponazzi; the Arabic writers al-Fârâbî, Avicenna, ibn Tufayl, Averroes and Maimonides, and Gersonides, who wrote in Hebrew

For many of us, the term 'medieval philosophy' conjures up the figure of Thomas Aquinas, and is closely intertwined with religion. In this Very Short Introduction John Marenbon shows how medieval philosophy had a far broader reach than the thirteenth and fourteenth-century universities of Christian Europe, and is instead one of the most exciting and diversified periods in the history of thought.

Introducing the coexisting strands of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish philosophy, Marenbon shows how these traditions all go back to the Platonic schools of late antiquity and explains the complex ways in which they are interlinked. Providing an overview of some of the main thinkers, such as Boethius, Abelard, al-Fârâbî, Avicenna, Maimonides, and Gersonides, and the topics, institutions and literary forms of medieval philosophy, he discusses in detail some of the key issues in medieval thought: universals; mind, body and mortality; foreknowledge and freedom; society and the best life. 


1: Introduction
2: A Map of medieval philosophy
3: Fields of medieval philosophy
4: Institutions and literary forms
5: Universals: Avicenna and Abelard
6: Mind, body and mortality: Averroes and Pomponazzi
7: Foreknowledge and freedom: Boethius and Gersonides
8: Society and the best life: ibn Tufayl and Dante
9: Why medieval philosophy?
Notes on sources for studies of individual texts
Further Reading


John Marenbon studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, where in 1978 he became, as he remains, a fellow. He is also a Fellow of the British Academy (2009) and Honorary Professor of Medieval Philosophy in the University of Cambridge (2010) . He has also taught at the Sorbonne (Paris IV) and has been a visiting fellow at the Centre for Mediaeval Studies and the Pontifical Institute at the University of Toronto, and at present holds a visiting appointment at Peking University. His books include Pagans and Philosophers. The problem of paganism from Augustine to Leibniz (Princeton University Press, 2015), and The Cambridge Companion to Boethius (Cambridge University Press, 2009).


ISBN : 9780199663224

John Marenbon
160 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Medieval Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction [#463]

Medieval Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction [#463]

Medieval Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction [#463]