Thomas Aquinas, Magister Ludi: The Relation of Medieval Logic and Theology

Hungarian Philosophical Review 64 (4):43-62 (2020)
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This paper seeks to articulate the relationship between medieval logic and theology. Reviewing modern scholarship, we find that the purpose of medieval logic, when it is even inquired about, has proven difficult to articulate without reference to theology. This prompts reflection on the metaphors of logic as a “tool” and a “game”: a tool is not merely instrumental, insofar as it can have its own intrinsic goods and can shape and be shaped by that which it serves; likewise a game, with its own intrinsic goods, may yet contribute to extrinsic goods as well. After reviewing some distinctive ways in which theology shaped developments of medieval logic, this paper summarizes key examples from the work of Thomas Aquinas where medieval logic shaped the articulation of, and is therefore crucial to a proper understanding of, theological arguments and claims. The conclusion suggests implications for future philosophical and theological work.

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Joshua P. Hochschild
Mount St. Mary's University


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