Greek Philosophy in the Middle Ages Essay

3011 WordsOct 29, 201313 Pages
Running Head: Preservation and Transmission of Greek Philosophy in the Middle Ages Preservation and Transmission of Greek Philosophy In the Middle Ages Antilkumar Gandhi Professor Fleming Religion and Philosophy Introduction Greek philosophy focused on the role of reason and inquiry in the study of the natural world. Many philosophers today concede that Greek philosophy has shaped all of Western thought since its inception. As Alfred Whitehead once noted, with some exaggeration, "Western philosophy is just a series of footnotes to Plato," (Brickman, 1961). Clear and unbroken lines of influence lead from Ancient Greek and Hellenistic philosophers, to medieval Muslim philosophers, and to the European Renaissance and Enlightenment. Early Greek philosophy, in turn, was influenced by the older wisdom literature and myths of the Near East. As M.L. West points out: "contact with oriental cosmology and theology helped to liberate the early Greek philosophers' imagination; it certainly gave them many suggestive ideas. But they taught themselves to reason. Philosophy as we understand it is a Greek creation," (Griffin, 2001). Prior to the Middle Ages, the ideas of Aristotle and Plato were lost to Europeans for centuries. The introduction of Greek philosophy and science into the culture of the Latin West in the Middle Ages was an event that transformed the intellectual life of Western Europe. It consisted of the discovery of many original works, such as those written by Aristotle in the Classical period, commentaries by Hellenistic philosophers written in Late Antiquity, and commentaries from early Muslim philosophers in the Arab world written during the Islamic Golden Age from the ninth to the twelfth centuries, (Grant, 1996). Preservation and Transmission of Greek Philosophy As knowledge

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