William of Ockham
William of Ockham was an English Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher and theologian, believed to have been born in Ockham, a small village in Surrey. He is considered to be one of the major figures of medieval thought and was at the centre of the major intellectual and political controversies of the 14th century, he is known for Occam's razor, the methodological principle that bears his name, produced significant works on logic and theology. In the Church of England, his day of commemoration is 10 April. William of Ockham was born in Ockham, Surrey in 1285 and joined the Franciscan order at an early age, it is believed that he studied theology at the University of Oxford from 1309 to 1321, but while he completed all the requirements for a master's degree in theology, he was never made a regent master. Because of this, he acquired the honorific title Venerabilis Inceptor, or "Venerable Beginner". During the Middle Ages, theologian Peter Lombard's Sentences had become a standard work of theology, many ambitious theological scholars wrote commentaries on it.
William of Ockham was among these scholarly commentators. However, William's commentary was not well received by the Church authorities. In 1324, his commentary was condemned as unorthodox by a synod of bishops, he was ordered to Avignon, France, to defend himself before a papal court. An alternative understanding proposed by George Knysh, suggests that he was appointed in Avignon as a professor of philosophy in the Franciscan school, that his disciplinary difficulties did not begin until 1327, it is believed that these charges were levied by Oxford chancellor John Lutterell. The Franciscan Minister General, Michael of Cesena, had been summoned to Avignon, to answer charges of heresy. A theological commission had been asked to review his Commentary on the Sentences, it was during this that William of Ockham found himself involved in a different debate. Michael of Cesena had asked William to review arguments surrounding Apostolic poverty; the Franciscans believed that Jesus and his apostles owned no property either individually or in common, the Rule of Saint Francis commanded members of the order to follow this practice.
This brought them into conflict with Pope John XXII. Because of the pope's attack on the Rule of Saint Francis, William of Ockham, Michael of Cesena and other leading Franciscans fled Avignon on 26 May 1328, took refuge in the court of the Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV of Bavaria, engaged in dispute with the papacy, became William's patron. After studying the works of John XXII and previous papal statements, William agreed with the Minister General. In return for protection and patronage William wrote treatises that argued for emperor Louis to have supreme control over church and state in the Holy Roman Empire. "On June 6, 1328, William was excommunicated for leaving Avignon without permission," and William argued that John XXII was a heretic for attacking the doctrine of Apostolic poverty and the Rule of Saint Francis, endorsed by previous popes. William of Ockham's philosophy was never condemned as heretical, he spent much of the remainder of his life writing about political issues, including the relative authority and rights of the spiritual and temporal powers.
After Michael of Cesena's death in 1342, William became the leader of the small band of Franciscan dissidents living in exile with Louis IV. William of Ockham died on 9 April 1347, he was rehabilitated by Innocent VI in 1359. William of Ockham espoused fideism; the ways of God are not open to reason, for God has chosen to create a world and establish a way of salvation within it apart from any necessary laws that human logic or rationality can uncover." He saw God as the only ontological necessity. His importance is as a theologian with a developed interest in logical method, whose approach was critical rather than system building. In scholasticism, William of Ockham advocated reform in both method and content, the aim of, simplification. William incorporated much of the work of some previous theologians Duns Scotus. From Duns Scotus, William of Ockham derived his view of divine omnipotence, his view of grace and justification, much of his epistemology and ethical convictions. However, he reacted to and against Scotus in the areas of predestination, his understanding of universals, his formal distinction ex parte rei, his view of parsimony which became known as Occam's Razor.
William of Ockham was a pioneer of nominalism, some consider him the father of modern epistemology, because of his argued position that only individuals exist, rather than supra-individual universals, essences, or forms, that universals are the products of abstraction from individuals by the human mind and have no extra-mental existence. He advocated the reduction of ontology. William of Ockham is sometimes considered an advocate of conceptualism rather than nominalism, for whereas nominalists held that universals were names, i.e. words rather than extant realities, conceptualists held that they were mental concepts, i.e. the names were names of concepts, which do exist, although only in the mind. Therefore, the universal concept has for its object, not a reality existing in the world outside us, but an
Alma mater is an allegorical Latin phrase for a university, school, or college that one attended. In US usage it can mean the school from which one graduated; the phrase is variously translated as "nourishing mother", "nursing mother", or "fostering mother", suggesting that a school provides intellectual nourishment to its students. Fine arts will depict educational institutions using a robed woman as a visual metaphor. Before its current usage, alma mater was an honorific title for various Latin mother goddesses Ceres or Cybele, in Catholicism for the Virgin Mary, it entered academic usage when the University of Bologna adopted the motto Alma Mater Studiorum, which describes its heritage as the oldest operating university in the Western world. It is related to alumnus, a term used for a university graduate that means a "nursling" or "one, nourished". Although alma was a common epithet for Ceres, Cybele and other mother goddesses, it was not used in conjunction with mater in classical Latin. In the Oxford Latin Dictionary, the phrase is attributed to Lucretius' De rerum natura, where it is used as an epithet to describe an earth goddess: After the fall of Rome, the term came into Christian liturgical usage in association with the Virgin Mary.
"Alma Redemptoris Mater" is a well-known 11th century antiphon devoted to Mary. The earliest documented use of the term to refer to a university in an English-speaking country is in 1600, when the University of Cambridge printer, John Legate, began using an emblem for the university's press; the device's first-known appearance is on the title-page of William Perkins' A Golden Chain, where the Latin phrase Alma Mater Cantabrigia is inscribed on a pedestal bearing a nude, lactating woman wearing a mural crown. In English etymological reference works, the first university-related usage is cited in 1710, when an academic mother figure is mentioned in a remembrance of Henry More by Richard Ward. Many historic European universities have adopted Alma Mater as part of the Latin translation of their official name; the University of Bologna Latin name, Alma Mater Studiorum, refers to its status as the oldest continuously operating university in the world. Other European universities, such as the Alma Mater Lipsiensis in Leipzig, Germany, or Alma Mater Jagiellonica, have used the expression in conjunction with geographical or foundational characteristics.
At least one, the Alma Mater Europaea in Salzburg, Austria, an international university founded by the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2010, uses the term as its official name. In the United States, the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, has been called the "Alma Mater of the Nation" because of its ties to the country's founding. At Queen's University in Kingston and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, the main student government is known as the Alma Mater Society; the ancient Roman world had many statues of the Alma Mater, some still extant. Modern sculptures are found in prominent locations on several American university campuses. For example, in the United States: there is a well-known bronze statue of Alma Mater by Daniel Chester French situated on the steps of Columbia University's Low Library. An altarpiece mural in Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library, painted in 1932 by Eugene Savage, depicts the Alma Mater as a bearer of light and truth, standing in the midst of the personified arts and sciences.
Outside the United States, there is an Alma Mater sculpture on the steps of the monumental entrance to the Universidad de La Habana, in Havana, Cuba. The statue was cast in 1919 by Mario Korbel, with Feliciana Villalón Wilson as the inspiration for Alma Mater, it was installed in its current location in 1927, at the direction of architect Raul Otero. Media related to Alma mater at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of alma mater at Wiktionary Alma Mater Europaea website
The Four Books of Sentences is a book of theology written by Peter Lombard in the 12th century. It is a systematic compilation of theology, written around 1150; the Book of Sentences had its precursor in the glosses by the masters who lectured using Saint Jerome's Latin translation of the Bible. A gloss might concern syntax or grammar; these glosses, were not continuous, rather being placed between the lines or in the margins of the biblical text itself. Lombard went a step further, collecting texts from various sources and compiling them into one coherent whole. In order to accomplish this, he had to address two tasks: first, that of devising an order for his material, because systematic theology had not yet been constituted as a discipline, secondly, finding ways to reconcile doctrinal differences among his sources. Peter Abelard's Sic et Non provided crucial inspiration for the latter tasks. Lombard arranged his material from the Bible and the Church Fathers in four books subdivided this material further into chapters.
Between 1223 and 1227, Alexander of Hales grouped the many chapters of the four books into a smaller number of "distinctions". In this form, the book was adopted as a theological textbook in the high and late Middle Ages. A commentary on the Sentences was required of every master of theology, was part of the examination system. At the end of lectures on Lombard's work, a student could apply for bachelor status within the theology faculty; the importance of the Sentences to medieval theology and philosophy lies to a significant extent in the overall framework they provide to theological and philosophical discussion. All the great scholastic thinkers, such as Aquinas, Ockham and Scotus, wrote commentaries on the Sentences, but these works were not commentaries, for the Sentences was a compilation of sources, Peter Lombard left many questions open, giving scholars an opportunity to provide their own answers. Minuscule 714 – the manuscript of the New Testament and of Sententiae Peter Lombard, The Sentences, Books 1–4.
Transator, Giulio Silano, 4 vols.. Book 1: The Mystery of the Trinity Book 2: On Creation Book 3: On the Incarnation of the Word Book 4: On the Doctrine of Signs Elizabeth Frances Rogers, Peter Lombard and the Sacramental System. Philipp W. Rosemann, Peter Lombard. Philipp W. Rosemann, The Story of a Great Medieval Book: Peter Lombard's "Sentences". Various commentaries, a partial English translation of The Four Books of the Sentences itself Textus Sententiarum Textus Sententiarum: cum conclusionibus magistri Henrici Gorichem Libri Quattuor Sententiarum Page from the Logic Museum about the Book of Sentences. Scriptum super Sententiis by St. Thomas Aquinas
Hildegard of Bingen
Hildegard of Bingen known as Saint Hildegard and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German Benedictine abbess, composer, Christian mystic and polymath. She is considered to be the founder of scientific natural history in Germany. Hildegard was elected magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136. One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama and arguably the oldest surviving morality play, she wrote theological and medicinal texts, as well as letters, liturgical songs, poems, while supervising miniature illuminations in the Rupertsberg manuscript of her first work, Scivias. She is noted for the invention of a constructed language known as Lingua Ignota. Although the history of her formal consideration is complicated, she has been recognized as a saint by branches of the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. On 7 October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named her a Doctor of the Church. Hildegard was born around the year 1098, her parents were Mechtild of Merxheim-Nahet and Hildebert of Bermersheim, a family of the free lower nobility in the service of the Count Meginhard of Sponheim.
Sickly from birth, Hildegard is traditionally considered their youngest and tenth child, although there are records of only seven older siblings. In her Vita, Hildegard states that from a young age she had experienced visions; because of Hildegard's visions, or as a method of political positioning, Hildegard's parents offered her as an oblate to the Benedictine monastery at the Disibodenberg, reformed in the Palatinate Forest. The date of Hildegard's enclosure at the monastery is the subject of debate, her Vita says she was professed with an older woman, the daughter of Count Stephan II of Sponheim, at the age of eight. However, Jutta's date of enclosure is known to have been in 1112, when Hildegard would have been fourteen, their vows were received by Bishop Otto Bamberg on All Saints' Day, 1112. Some scholars speculate that Hildegard was placed in the care of Jutta at the age of eight, the two women were enclosed together six years later. In any case and Jutta were enclosed together at the Disibodenberg, formed the core of a growing community of women attached to the male monastery.
Jutta was a visionary and thus attracted many followers who came to visit her at the cloister. Hildegard tells us that Jutta taught her to read and write, but that she was unlearned and therefore incapable of teaching Hildegard sound biblical interpretation; the written record of the Life of Jutta indicates that Hildegard assisted her in reciting the psalms, working in the garden and other handiwork, tending to the sick. This might have been a time. Volmar, a frequent visitor, may have taught Hildegard simple psalm notation; the time she studied music could have been the beginning of the compositions she would create. Upon Jutta's death in 1136, Hildegard was unanimously elected as magistra of the community by her fellow nuns. Abbot Kuno of Disibodenberg asked Hildegard to be Prioress. Hildegard, wanted more independence for herself and her nuns, asked Abbot Kuno to allow them to move to Rupertsberg; this was to be a move towards poverty, from a stone complex, well established to a temporary dwelling place.
When the abbot declined Hildegard's proposition, Hildegard went over his head and received the approval of Archbishop Henry I of Mainz. Abbot Kuno did not relent until Hildegard was stricken by an illness that kept her paralyzed and unable to move from her bed, an event that she attributed to God's unhappiness at her not following his orders to move her nuns to a new location in Rupertsberg, it was only when the Abbot himself could not move Hildegard that he decided to grant the nuns their own monastery. Hildegard and about twenty nuns thus moved to the St. Rupertsberg monastery in 1150, where Volmar served as provost, as well as Hildegard's confessor and scribe. In 1165 Hildegard founded a second monastery for her nuns at Eibingen. Before Hildegard's death, a problem arose with the clergy of Mainz. A man buried in Rupertsburg had died after excommunication from the Church. Therefore, the clergy wanted to remove his body from the sacred ground. Hildegard did not accept this idea, replying that it was a sin and that the man had been reconciled to the church at the time of his death.
Hildegard said that she first saw "The Shade of the Living Light" at the age of three, by the age of five she began to understand that she was experiencing visions. She used the term'visio' to describe this feature of her experience, recognized that it was a gift that she could not explain to others. Hildegard explained that she saw all things in the light of God through the five senses: sight, taste and touch. Hildegard was hesitant to share her visions, confiding only to Jutta, who in turn told Volmar, Hildegard's tutor and secretary. Throughout her life, she continued to have many visions, in 1141, at the age of 42, Hildegard received a vision she believed to be an instruction from God, to "write down that which you see and hear." Still hesitant to record her visions, Hildegard became physically ill. The illustrations recorded in the book of Scivias were visions that Hildegard experienced, causing her great suffering and tribulations. In her first theological text, Hildegard describes her struggle within: But I, though I saw and heard these things, refused to write for a l
Thomism is the philosophical school that arose as a legacy of the work and thought of Thomas Aquinas, philosopher and Doctor of the Church. In philosophy, Aquinas' disputed questions and commentaries on Aristotle are his most well-known works. In theology, his Summa Theologica is one of the most influential documents in medieval theology and continues to be the central point of reference for the philosophy and theology of the Catholic Church. In the 1914 encyclical Doctoris Angelici Pope Pius X cautioned that the teachings of the Church cannot be understood without the basic philosophical underpinnings of Aquinas' major theses: The capital theses in the philosophy of St. Thomas are not to be placed in the category of opinions capable of being debated one way or another, but are to be considered as the foundations upon which the whole science of natural and divine things is based; the Second Vatican Council described Aquinas' system as the "Perennial Philosophy". Thomas Aquinas believed, his doctrines draw from Greek and Jewish, philosophers.
He was a realist. He followed Aristotelian terminology and metaphysics, wrote comprehensive commentaries on Aristotle affirming Aristotle's views with independent arguments. Aquinas respectfully referred to Aristotle as "the Philosopher", he adhered to some neoplatonic principles, for example that "it is true that there is first something, being and good, which we call God... everything can be called good and a being, inasmuch as it participates in it by way of a certain assimilation..." With the decree Postquam sanctissimus of 27 July 1914, Pope Pius X declared that 24 theses formulated by "teachers from various institutions... contain the principles and more important thoughts" of Aquinas. Principal contributors to the Church's official statement of the "24 Theses" of Thomism include Dominican philosopher and theologian Edouard Hugon of the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas and Jesuit philosopher theologian Guido Mattiussi of the Pontifical Gregorian University. Potency and Act divide being in such a way that whatever is, is either pure act, or of necessity it is composed of potency and act as primary and intrinsic principles.
Since act is perfection, it is not limited except through a potency which itself is a capacity for perfection. Hence in any order in which an act is pure act, it will only exist, in that order, as a unique and unlimited act, but whenever it is finite and manifold, it has entered into a true composition with potency. The one God and simple, alone subsists in absolute being. All other things that participate in being have a nature. A thing is called a being because of "esse". God and creature are not called beings univocally, nor wholly equivocally, but analogically, by an analogy both of attribution and of proportionality. In every creature there is a real composition of the subsisting subject and of added secondary forms, i.e. accidental forms. Such composition cannot be understood unless being is received in an essence distinct from it. Besides the absolute accidents there is the relative accident, relation. Although by reason of its own character relation does not signify anything inhering in another, it often has a cause in things, hence a real entity distinct from the subject.
A spiritual creature is wholly simple in its essence. Yet there is still a twofold composition in the spiritual creature, that of the essence with being, that of the substance with accidents. However, the corporeal creature is composed of act and potency in its essence; these act and potency in the order of essence are designated by the names form and matter respectively. Neither the matter nor the form have being of themselves, nor are they produced or corrupted of themselves, nor are they included in any category otherwise than reductively, as substantial principles. Although extension in quantitative parts follows upon a corporeal nature it is not the same for a body to be a substance and for it to be quantified. For of itself substance is indivisible, not indeed as a point is indivisible, but as that which falls outside the order of dimensions is indivisible, but quantity, which gives the substance extension differs from the substance and is an accident. The principle of individuation, i.e. of numerical distinction of one individual from another with the same specific nature, is matter designated by quantity.
Thus in pure spirits there cannot be more than one individual in the same specific nature. By virtue of a body's quantity itself, the body is circumscriptively in a place, in one place alone circumscriptively, no matter what power might be brought to bear. Bodies are divided into two groups. In the case of the living things, in order that there be in the same subject an moving part and an moved part, the substantial form, designated by the name soul, requires an organic disposition, i.e. heterogeneous parts. Souls in the vegetative and sensitive orders cannot subsist of themselves, nor are they produced of themselves. Rather, they are no more than principles whereb
Saint Thomas Aquinas was an Italian Dominican friar, Catholic priest, Doctor of the Church. He is an immensely influential philosopher and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is known as the Doctor Angelicus and the Doctor Communis; the name Aquinas identifies his ancestral origins in the county of Aquino in present-day Lazio, Italy. He was the father of Thomism, his influence on Western thought is considerable, much of modern philosophy developed or opposed his ideas in the areas of ethics, natural law and political theory. Unlike many currents in the Church of the time, Thomas embraced several ideas put forward by Aristotle—whom he called "the Philosopher"—and attempted to synthesize Aristotelian philosophy with the principles of Christianity, his best-known works are the Disputed Questions on Truth, the Summa contra Gentiles, the Summa Theologiae. His commentaries on Scripture and on Aristotle form an important part of his body of work. Furthermore, Thomas is distinguished for his eucharistic hymns, which form a part of the Church's liturgy.
The Catholic Church honors Thomas Aquinas as a saint and regards him as the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood, indeed the highest expression of both natural reason and speculative theology. In modern times, under papal directives, the study of his works was long used as a core of the required program of study for those seeking ordination as priests or deacons, as well as for those in religious formation and for other students of the sacred disciplines. Thomas Aquinas is considered philosophers. Pope Benedict XV declared: "This Order... acquired new luster when the Church declared the teaching of Thomas to be her own and that Doctor, honored with the special praises of the Pontiffs, the master and patron of Catholic schools." The English philosopher Anthony Kenny considers Thomas to be "one of the dozen greatest philosophers of the western world". Thomas was most born in the castle of Roccasecca, Aquino, in the Kingdom of Sicily, c. 1225, According to some authors, he was born in the castle of Landulf of Aquino.
Though he did not belong to the most powerful branch of the family, Landulf of Aquino was a man of means. As a knight in the service of King Roger II, he held the title miles. Thomas's mother, belonged to the Rossi branch of the Neapolitan Caracciolo family. Landulf's brother Sinibald was abbot of the first Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino. While the rest of the family's sons pursued military careers, the family intended for Thomas to follow his uncle into the abbacy. At the age of five Thomas began his early education at Monte Cassino but after the military conflict between the Emperor Frederick II and Pope Gregory IX spilled into the abbey in early 1239, Landulf and Theodora had Thomas enrolled at the studium generale established by Frederick in Naples, it was here that Thomas was introduced to Aristotle and Maimonides, all of whom would influence his theological philosophy. It was during his study at Naples that Thomas came under the influence of John of St. Julian, a Dominican preacher in Naples, part of the active effort by the Dominican order to recruit devout followers.
There his teacher in arithmetic, geometry and music was Petrus de Ibernia. At the age of nineteen Thomas resolved to join the founded Dominican Order. Thomas's change of heart did not please his family. In an attempt to prevent Theodora's interference in Thomas's choice, the Dominicans arranged to move Thomas to Rome, from Rome, to Paris. However, while on his journey to Rome, per Theodora's instructions, his brothers seized him as he was drinking from a spring and took him back to his parents at the castle of Monte San Giovanni Campano. Thomas was held prisoner for one year in the family castles at Monte San Giovanni and Roccasecca in an attempt to prevent him from assuming the Dominican habit and to push him into renouncing his new aspiration. Political concerns prevented the Pope from ordering Thomas's release, which had the effect of extending Thomas's detention. Thomas passed this time of trial tutoring his sisters and communicating with members of the Dominican Order. Family members became desperate to dissuade Thomas.
At one point, two of his brothers resorted to the measure of hiring a prostitute to seduce him. According to legend, Thomas drove her away wielding a fire iron and two angels appeared to him as he slept and strengthened his determination to remain celibate. By 1244, seeing that all of her attempts to dissuade Thomas had failed, Theodora sought to save the family's dignity, arranging for Thomas to escape at night through his window. In her mind, a secret escape from detention was less damaging than an open surrender to the Dominicans. Thomas was sent first to Naples and to Rome to meet Johannes von Wildeshausen, the Master General of the Dominican Order. In 1245 Thomas was sent to study at the Faculty of the Arts at the University of Paris, where he most met Dominican scholar Albertus Magnus the holder of the Chair of Theology at the College of St. James in Paris; when Albertus was sent by his superiors to teach at the new studium generale at Cologne in 1248, Thomas followed him, declining Pope Innocent