Hervormde Teologiese Studies
Print version ISSN 0259-9422
BEUKES, Johann. From Ockham to Cusa: the encyclopaedic case for 'post-scholasticism' in Medieval philosophy. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2012, vol.68, n.1, pp. 124-143. ISSN 0259-9422.
This article argues for the encyclopaedic recognition of 'post-scholasticism', indicating the very last and complex period (circa 1349-1464) in late Medieval philosophy, where the via moderna and logica modernorum have clearly departed from the fundamental premises of high scholasticism, the via antiqua and the logica novus, as manifested in the work of William of Ockham (and, eventually, in the political theory of Marsilius of Padua). The article argues that post-scholasticism should be distinguished from late scholasticism (exiting Ockham) and early Renaissance philosophy (entering Nicholas of Cusa). The article indicates that there is a tendency in many introductions to and secondary texts in Medieval philosophy to proceed straight from Ockham to Cusa (the 'very last Medieval and very first Renaissance philosopher'), understating more than a century of pertinent Medieval scholarship. In the modern encyclopaedia of philosophy, this understatement manifests in either a predating of Renaissance philosophy to close the gap between Ockham and Cusa as far as possible, or in understating this period as philosophically sterile, or in, without argument, simply proceeding straight from Ockham to Cusa. The article covers some of the essential philosophical contributions presented during this fragile philosophical-historical period, indicating that post-scholasticism is indeed a difficult and complex, yet productive period in the history of late Medieval philosophy, which should not be bypassed as a trivial gateway to either Renaissance philosophy or early modernity as such, but valued for its own idiosincracies, intricacies and overall contribution to the history of ideas in philosophy and theology.