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What is scholasticism?

What is scholasticism? Who were the scholastic thinkers we discussed in class? How did each of these thinkers try to prove their arguments? Please make sure you bring the article into your discussion.

The age of antiquity was inclined towards philosophy and the medieval period emphasized the importance of the Church. Church as an institute was in-charge of education of Latin and theology and it was in this period that the teaching methodology of scholasticism emerged. The same was also followed in medieval universities. The main focus of this approach was to find answers through inference or to eliminate ambiguities. Scholasticism remained a leading method for analyzing philosophy until the Renaissance time. Prominent scholastics are Thomas Aquinas, Jean Buridan, Duns Scotus, and William Ockham.

Thomas Aquinas was an Italian priest of the Dominican order and a philosopher. He is considered the father of the school of thought called Thomism. He proposed the ideas of natural theology which considered his notion that God embodies both faith and reason, philosophy and theology. This was the pathway to finding the truth. His work was inspired by the philosophies of Aristotle.

William Ockham was an English professor and theologist who produced prominent works in physics, theology, and logic. His understanding was that religious truths can be revealed through faith. He believed that God’s way of granting salvation did not require any logic. As scholasticism, he wanted to simplify and reform methods and content. He fathered nominalism and the principle of parsimony known as Ockham’s razor.

Duns Scotus was a Scottish priest, philosopher, and university professor. He is considered to have left a remarkable impact on secular and theological subjects. He also presented the idea of the univocity of being which means that the properties of humans can be described the same a humans. He wrote philosophical commentaries that addressed domains of haecceity and the existence of God. He also used Aristotle’s work on metaphysics considering the ideas of realism.

During the high period of Scholasticism, it had moved beyond philosophy into psychology, epistemology, and physics. However, Scholasticism was considered a fixed method and became outdated with the emergence of the scientific method of discovery and reasoning in the Renaissance (Ayala, 2021).


Ayala, A. (2021). Scholasticism and Thomism. The Incarnate Word, 8(1), 87–103.

O’Neill, D. S. (2014). Augustine and Boethius, Memory and Eternity. 6, 20.



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