Who are the Philosophers from the Early Middle Ages?

The Early Middle Ages period of philosophy represents a renewed flowering of Western philosophical thought after the intellectual drought of the Dark Ages.

It includes the following major philosophers:

Avicenna (Ibn Sina) (980 – 1037) Persian
Anselm, St. (1033 – 1109) Italian
Abelard, Peter (1079 – 1142) French
Averroes (Ibn Rushd) (1126 – 1198) Spanish-Arabic
Maimonides (1135 – 1204) Spanish-Jewish
Albertus Magnus (c. 1206 – 1280) German
Bacon, Roger (c. 1214 – 1294) English
Aquinas, St. Thomas (1225 – 1274) Italian
Scotus, John Duns (c. 1266 – 1308) Scottish
Ockham (Occam), William of (c. 1285 – 1348) English

Much of the period is marked by the influence of Christianity and many of the philosophers of the period were greatly concerned with proving the existence of God and reconciling Christianity with classical philosophy. The early Christian theologians St. Augustine and Boethius represent a link between the Roman and Medieval periods, and arguably had more in common with the later Medieval philosophers than with the earlier Romans (where they have been included for the purposes of this guide).

An important development in the Medieval period was the establishment of the first universities with professional full-time scholars. It should also be noted that there was also a strong resurgence in Islamic and Jewish philosophy at this time.

The most influential movements of the period were Scholasticism and its off-shoots Thomism and Scotism, and the Islamic schools of Averroism, Avicennism and Illuminationism.


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