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|Print List Price:||£14.99|
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Medieval Philosophy: A New History of Western Philosophy, Volume 2 Kindle Edition
|Length: 353 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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However, Kenny does sometimes need to make connections to Frege, Wittgenstein or Russell, none of which is likely helpful to undergraduate students of philosophy. And although I might have congratulated Kenny for his inclusion of Hypathia (he does give a proper overview of what little is known of her life and work) IF he had NOT chosen to illustrate her through the use of a 19th NUDE painting. His illustrations of Augustine, Boethius, Ockham, Duns Scotus, & Averoes all seem to have found some way to put clothing on, but not Hypatia, who is depicted as a victim rather than a scholar. Sexism in philosophy has a long history and Kenny's book is only one small part of it.
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.
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.