This classic introduction by a noted scholar compresses much of substance into comparatively little space, offering students and general readers an insightful, accessible survey of the major philosophical trends and thinkers of the Middle Ages.
In 200 pages, the text basically covers the thought of ten centuries … “clearly no light task,” says the Times Literary Supplement of London, adding that “this is a careful and erudite book, full of patience and tolerance, catholic in every sense of the word.” Beginning with the origins and character of medieval philosophy, Professor Copleston goes on to discuss, with great clarity and precision, the problem of universals, the growth of Scholasticism in the early Middle Ages, Islamic and Jewish philosophy, and the Franciscan philosophers of the universities. This is followed by clear, detailed summaries of the thought of such major figures as Thomas Aquinas, the Averroists, Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham.
Concluding chapters take an enlightening look at speculative mysticism, and the work of Nicholas of Cusa, and medieval political philosophy. “A better conspectus of medieval philosophy than this would be difficult to conceive … a notable achievement.” — The Tablet (London).