History and Texts of Philosophy of the Middle Ages and Renaissance

lfilo1235  2018-2019  Louvain-la-Neuve

History and Texts of Philosophy of the Middle Ages and Renaissance
5 credits
45.0 h
Counet Jean-Michel;
Main themes
This course explains the key stages in the development of Medieval and Renaissance philosophy. It will cover the main topics of Medieval philosophy (the quarrel of the universals, the faith-reason dialectic, the representation of nature) and its different institutional contexts (monasteries, universities, the advent of Aristotelianism and Arabic philosophy), and of Renaissance philosophy (the dignity of man, the status of space and movement, the return to antiquity and, in particular, to Plato, Epicure and the sceptic tradition, the impact on philosophy of advances in arts and science). In class, students will read and comment on representative texts by leading philosophers.

For the Latin Middle Ages, the authors and movements studied in the course will include the following milestones: Augustine, Anselme, Abelard, the Dominican school (Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas) and the Franciscan school (Duns Scotus, Ockham).

For the Renaissance, Neo-Platonic authors (Nicholas of Cusa, Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola), political thinkers (Machiavelli, Jean Bodin), art theoreticians (Alberti), naturalists (Telesio, Giordano Bruno) and Montaigne.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :


By the end of the course, students will be able to present an overview of the main movements and themes of Medieval and Renaissance philosophy. They will have developed their critical reading of Medieval and Renaissance philosophical texts and secondary literature.


The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Bachelor in Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Bachelor in Philosophy

Bachelor in Ancient Languages and Literatures: Oriental Studies

Minor in Philosophy

Minor in Medieval Studies