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Medieval Philosophy (A New History of Western Philosophy, Vol. 2)
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Top Customer Reviews
This includes the following topics: God, Mind and Soul, Logic and Language, Knowledge, Physics, Metaphysics, Ethics, as well as an excellent treatment of philosophy and religious belief from Augustine to Maimonides,and scholasticism from the twelfth century renaissance (Abelard and the 'nominales' school) to the so-called renaissance proper (roughly 1360-1550), at which point scholasticism began to give way to the new schoolman, the humanists.
Kenny is especially good at explaining the intellectual current of a given period and how such a current has bearing on the topic at hand, this is particularly seen in his discussion of physics. As such, the historical context of each topic and its subsequent development is presented thoroughly but briefly; however, little attention is given to the explication of any particular thinker's arguments on any given topics. For that reason, you will find little critical analysis of the particular arguments presented.
All in all it's an excellent work, written clearly and informatively, by a very capable philosopher. It's a good introduction for undergraduates at the freshman and sophomore level. But if you've had more than a survey course in medieval philosophy, you need something with a bit more depth.
Kenny's book will be useful to anyone with a more-than-casual interest in philosophy or in medieval intellectual history. It may prove too difficult for absolute beginners with no philosophical background. Non-specialist academics and students, among others, will relish the book both for the helpfulness of its content and for the charm and grace of Kenny's writing.
The only minor downsides to the book are stylistic. A few strangely-worded cultural references make you feel like you're listening to 'Old Man Kenny' on occasion. More seriously, there are some instances where it's a little hard to follow the narrative voice, leaving you unsure at first where critical exposition ends and judgment begins. Thankfully, though, these defects are minimal in number and effect. Anyone with a moderate interest in philosophy will find this a worthwhile purchase.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dr. Kenny is the Copelston for the new generation. Kenny's attempt to put the history of Western Phil. into four volumes (about 1100 pages) is probably good enough. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Michigan Rifleman
Just like the first volume I've enjoyed reading this work on Medieval Philosophy. For a casual student of philosophy this is probably
as light an introduction as can be... Read more