Medieval Philosophy

Maynooth University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Medieval Philosophy

  • Host University

    Maynooth University

  • Location

    Dublin, Ireland

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This module begins with the thought of Augustine and Boethius, and concentrates on the most prominent representatives of the period up to c.1350: Eriugena, Abelard, Grosseteste, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Scotus and Ockham. Some time will be given at the outset to defining 'medieval' and 'Middle Ages', to highlighting some of the main features of medieval philosophy in general and to suggesting ways in which the study of the medieval period in Western thought is important for philosophy today.

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:
    -Define 'medieval', 'Middle Ages' and 'medieval philosophy' in a meaningful way which serves to underline the importance of considering the Western intellectual tradition from Antiquity to the 14th century.
    -Identify key thinkers (and key texts by key thinkers) from the medieval period in Western thought and analyse their contribution to philosophy.
    -Assess key problems (recurring themes) of medieval philosophy: e.g. the problem of universals, the problem of representation, the problem of time and eternity, the problem of divine foreknowledge and future contingency, the soul-body problem, the mind-soul problem.
    -Identify and assess key trends and key movements in medieval philosophy: e.g Augustinism, Aristotelianism, Latin-Averroism, Illuminationism, Realism, Conceptualism, Nominalism.
    -Discuss the complex issue of the 'sources' for medieval thought: in Neoplatonism, in Aristotle, the medieval Islamic and Jewish philosophical heritage and its influence on Western Christian thought in the Middle Ages.
    -Identify the 'medieval in the modern', i.e. where elements of medieval thought may be discerned in patterns of philosophical thinking today.
    -Demonstrate, through written and verbal communication skills, a philosophical approach to the meaningful reading of medieval thought from the standpoint of the present day.

    Teaching & Learning methods:
    24 lecture hours and 4 tutorial hours

    Continuous Assessment detail(s): 5% = Attendance at Tutorials. 15% = Presentation 20% = Tutorial essay-assignment (c. 1,000 words) 60% = Final Essay-Assignment (c.2,000 words).

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.