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John Magee: “The First Philosophical Impulses in the Medieval West”
December 16, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Prof. John Magee is presenting on The First Philosophical Impulses in the Medieval West” online to the Practices of Commentary Group. Please contact Prof. Walid Saleh (email@example.com) if you would like a link to join. Materials are attached below.
Abstract: The texts comprising the “Old Logic” – Porphyry’s Isagoge and Aristotle’s Categories and De interpretatione – disappear from view in the Latin West ca. 560-80 and resurface at about the turn of the 9th c. Aristotle, who was to be the driving force behind so much of medieval philosophy, initially appears only in a body of commentary lemmata which form an incomplete text of his De interpretatione. A standard account of his reappearance intersects with a traditional narrative about the Carolingian “Renaissance,” the philosophical portion of which in turn revolves around a particular manuscript now housed at the Vatican Library (Pagès 1). A redating of that manuscript and revised assessment of its origins undercut the traditional narrative and suggest that the first philosophical movement in the medieval West originated with an anonymous body of scholars working earlier and further East than has been imagined rather than in Lyon or at the court of Charlemagne. The focus of this study is the textual tradition of Boethius’ elementary De interpretatione commentary and its implications for our understanding of how Aristotle’s thought resurfaced in the later 8th c.