תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

The sciences ibal were taugbt in these schools.

tion in the art of healing ; but the medical precepts which rendered the doctors of Salernum so famous, were all derived from the writings of the Arabians, or from the schools of the Saracens in Spain and Africa.' It was also from the schools and writings of the Arabian sages, that the absurd and puerile tricks of divination, and the custom of foretelling future events from the position of the stars, the features of the face, and the lines of the hand, derived their origin. These ridiculous practices, proceeding from so respectable a source, and moreover adapted to satisfy the idle curiosity of impatient mortals, were carried on in all the European nations; and in process of time the pretended sciences of astrology and divination acquired the highest reputation and authority,

v. The seven liberal arts, as they were now styled, were taught in the greatest part of the schools that were erected in this century for the education of youth. The first stage of these sciences was grammar, which was followed successively by rhetoric and logic. When the disciple having learned these three branches, which were generally known by the name of trivium, extended his ambition farther, and was desirous of new improvement in the sciences, he was conducted slowly through the quadrivium" to the very summit of literary fame. But this method of teaching, which had been received in all the western schools, was considerably changed toward the latter end of this century. For as the science of logic, under which metaphysics were in part comprehended, received new degrees of perfection from the deep meditations and the assiduous industry of certain acute thinkers, and was taught with more detail and subtilty than in formertimes, the greatest part of the studious youth became so enamoured of this branch of philosophy, as to abandon grammar, rhetoric, and all the other liberal arts, that they might consecrate their whole time to the discussion of logical questions, and the pursuit of metaphysical specula

i Muratori Antiq. Ital. tom. jii. p. 935. Giannone, Hist. de Naples, tom. ii. p. 151. Freind's History of Physic. It is well known, that the famous precepts of the school of Salernum, for the preservation of healtb, were composed in this century, at the request of the king of England.

Dk The trivium was a term invented in the times of barbarism to express the three sciences that were first learned in the schools, viz. grammar, rhetoric, and logic ; and the schools, in which these sciences alone were taught, were called triviales. The quadricium comprehended the four mathematical sciences, viz. arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy.

tions. Nor was this surprising, when we consider, that according to the opinion which now prevailed in the republic of letters, a man who was well versed in dialectics, i. e. in logical and metaphysical knowledge, was reputed sufficiently learned, and was supposed to stand in need of no other branches of erudition. Hence that contempt of languages and eloquence, of the more elegant sciences, and the finer arts, which spread its baneful influence through the Latin provinces; and hence that barbarism and pedantic sophistry that dishonoured, in succeeding ages, the republic of letters, and corrupted, in a most hideous manner the noble simplicity of true theology, and the purest systems of philosophical wisdom. vi. The philosophy of the Latins, in this century, was

absolutely confined within the circle of dialectics; Dialecture on while the other philosophical sciences were

scarcely known by name.' This dialectic indeed was miserably dry and barren, as long as it was drawn from no other source than the ten categories, falsely attributed to St. Augustin, or from the explications of the Aristotelian philosophy, composed by Porphyry and Averroes.

logic in bigh repule.

I See Boulay, Hist. Acad. Paris. tom. i. p. 408, 409, 511, 512. This is too likely te become the prevailing taste even in our times; but it is an ancient taste, as we may easily perceive by casting an eye upon the literary history of the eleventh century. And to confirm still farther that truth of the vulgar saying, that there is nothing new under the sun, we shall quote the following passage from the Metalogicum of Jobn of Salisbury, a writer of no mean abilities, lib. i. cap. iii. p. 741, edit. Lugdun. Bat. 1639. “Poetæ, Historiographi, habebantur infames, et si quis incumbebat laboribus antiquorum, notabatur ut non modo asello Arcadiæ tardior, sed obtusior plumbo vel lapide, omnibus erat in risum. Suis enim, aut magistri sui, quisquis incumbebat inventis. Fiebant erge summi repente philosophi; nam qui illiteratus accesserat, fere non morabatur in scholis ulterius quam eo curriculo temporis, quo avium pulli plumescunt. Sed quid docebant novi doctores et qui plus somniorum, quam vigiliarum in scrutinio philosophiæ consumserant ? Ecce nova fiebant omnia ; innovabatur grammatica, immutabatur dialectica, contemnebatur rhetorica, et novas totius quadriviivias, evaciatis priorum regulis, de ipsius philosophiæ adytas proferebant. Solam convenientiam, sive rationem loquebantur, argumentum sonabat in ore omnium; ac ineptum, trimis aut rude et a philosopho alienum, impossibile credebatur convenienter et ad rationis norman quicquam dicere aut facere, nisi convenientis et rationis mentio expressim erat inserta.” Many more passages of this nature are to be found in this author.

m We shall indeed find many, in the records of this century, honoured with the title of Philosophers. Thus we hear of Manegoldus the Philosopher, Adalardus the Philosopher, &c. But we must not attribute to the term Philosopher, when applied to these grammarians, the sense which it bore among the ancient Greeks and Latins, and which it still bears in our times. In the style of wbat we call the middle age, every mar, of learning, of whatever kind bis erudition might be, was called a Philosopher, and this title was also given to the interpreters of Scripture, though that set of men were generally speaking, destitute of true philosophy. See the Chronicon Salernitanum in Muratori, Scriptor. rerum Italicar. tom. ii. pars ii. cap. cxxiv. p. 265, where we are told, that in the tenth century, in which the sciences were almost totally extinguished in Italy, there were thirty-two philosophers at Benevento. We learn, bowever, hy what follows, that these philosophers were partly grammarians, and partly persons who were more or less versed in certain liberal arts.

These however were the only guides which the schools had to follow in the beginning of this century ; nor had the public teachers either genius or courage enough to enlarge the system, or to improve upon the principles, of these

dictators in philosophy, whose authority was treated as infallible, and their productions, for a long time, regarded as perfect, to the great detriment of true science. But about the year 1050, the face of philosophy began to change, and the science of logic assumed a new aspect. This revolution began in France, where several of the books of Aristotle had been brought from the schools of : the Saracens in Spain, and it was effected by a set of men

highly renowned for their abilities and genius, such as Berenger, Roscellinus, Hildebert, and after them by Gilbert de la Porre, the famous Abelard, and others. These eminent logicians, though they followed the Stagirite as their guide, took nevertheless the liberty to illustrate and model anew his philosophy, and to extend it far beyond its ancient limits.

vii. The philosophers of this age, who were most famous for their zealous and successful endeavours to improve the science of logic, and accommodate it to general use, were Lanfranc, an Italian by birth, who was abbot of St.Stephens at Caen in Normandy, and was called from thence by William the Conqueror, to the see of Canterbury, Anselm his successor, and Odo, whose last promotion was the bisphoric of Cambray. Lanfranc was so deeply versed in this science, that he was commonly called the Dialectician; and he employed with great dexterity the subtilties of logic in the controversy which was carried on between him and the learned Berenger, against whom he maintained the real presence of Christ's body and blood in the holy sacrament. Anselm, in a very learned dialogue De Grammatico, throws much light upon the darkness and perplexity in which the science of logic had lain so long involved; and among other things, investigates, with no small sagacity, the nature of substance, and mode or quality, in order to convey juster notions of these metaphysical entities than had been hitherto entertained." This great prelate, who shone with a distinguished lustre in several branches of literature both sacred and profane, was the first of the

n This dialogue is to be found in the works of Anselm, published by father Gerberon, tom. I. p. 143.

Latin doctors who dispelled the clouds of ignorance and
obscurity that hung over the important sciences of meta-
physic and natural theology, as appears from two books
of his composition, wherein the truths concerning the
Deity, which are deducible from the mere light of nature,
are enumerated and explained with a degree of sagacity
which could not well be expected from a writer of this cen-
tury. He was the inventor of that famous argument, vul-
garly and erroneously attributed to Des Cartes, which de-
monstrates the existence of God from the idea of an
infinitely perfect Being naturally implanted in the mind of
man, and which is to be found, without exception, in the
breast of every mortal. The solidity of this argument was
indeed called in question almost as soon as it was proposed,
by Gaunilo, a French monk, whose objections were
answered by Anselm, in a treatise professedly written for
that purpose. Odo, the third restorer of logic whom we
mentioned above, taught that science with the greatest ap-
plause, and illustrated it in three learned productions,
which have not survived the ruins of time.P
VIJI. The restoration of logic was immediately fol.

lowed by a vehement dispute between its restorers
and patrons, concerning the object of that science;
such was the term employed by the contending

parties. This controversy, which was long agitated in the schools, was in its nature extremely trivial and unimportant; but considered in its consequences, it became a very serious and weighty affair ; since the disputants on both sides made use of their respective opinions in

[ocr errors]

Disputes among the logicians. Nominalists and realists.

o Gaunilo's treatise is to be found in the works of Anselm, with the answer of that learned prelate. CP As Anselm makes such a shining figure in the literary history of England, it will not be improper to add here a more ample account of his character and writings than that which is given by Dr. Mosheim. His life and manners were without reproach, though his spiritual ambition exposed him justly to censure. His works are divided into three parts. The first contains his dogmatical tracts, and begins with a discourse concerning the Existence of God, the Divine Attributes, and the Trinity. This discourse is called Monologia, because it is drawn up in the form of a soliloquy. In this first part of the works of Anselm, there are many curious researcbes upon subjects of a very difficult and mysterious nature, such as the Fall of Satan, the Reason why God created Man, the doctrine of Original Sin, and the Manner of its Communication to Adam's Posterity, the Liberty of the Will, and the Consislency of Freedom rcith the Divine Prescience. The second and third parts of the writings of this eminent prelate contain his practical and devotional performances, such as Homilies, Poems, Prayers, &c. and his Letters, which are divided into four books.

p The titles of these three treatises are as follows: De Sophista, De Complexionibus, De Re et Ente. The learned Heriman, in his Narratio restaurationis Abbatiæ Şti. Marlini Tornacensis, which is published in Dacherius's Spicilegium Scriptor. Veter. tom. ij. p. 839, speaks of Odo in the following honourable manner; “ Cum Odo septem liberalium artium esset peritus, præcipue tamen in dialectica eminebat, et pro ipsa maxime clericorum frequentia eum expetebat."

explaining the doctrines of religion, and reciprocally loaded each other with the most odious invectives and the most opprobrious accusations. In one point only they were unanimous, acknowledging that logic or dialectic had for its essential object the consideration of universals in their various relations and points of comparison, since particular and individual things, being liable to change, could not be the objects of a sure and immutable science. But the great question was, whether these universals, which came within the sphere of logical inquiries, belonged to the class of real things or to that of mere denominations. One set of these subtile disputants maintained that universals were undoubted realities, and supported their hypothesis by the authority of Plato, Boetius, and other ancient sages; the other affirmed, that they were mere words and outward denominations, and pleaded in behalf of their cause the respectable suffrages of Aristotle and Porphyry. The former were called realists on account of their doctrine, and the latter nominalists for the same reason. Each of the contending parties were, in process of time, subdivided into various sects, on account of the different ways in which many explained the doctrine that was the badge and characteristic of their sect. This controversy made a prodigious noise in all the schools throughout Europe during many succeeding ages, and produced often unhappy contentions and animosities between philosophers and divines. Some are of opinion, that it derived its origin from the disputes that were carried on between Berenger and his adversaries, concerning the eucharist ;" a notion which, though it be advanced without authority, is yet by no means destitute of probability, since the hypothesis of the nominalists might be very successfully employed in de.

9 The learned Brucker, in his Historia Critica Philosophiæ, tom. iii. p. 904, gives an ample account of the sect of the Nominalists, and enlarges a good deal upon the na. ture and circumstances of this logical contest; he also mentions the various writers, who have made this sect and its doctrine the object of their researches. Among these writers, the principal was John Salabert, presbyter in the diocess of Agen, who published at Paris, in the year 1651, in 8vo. a treatise, entitled Philosophia Nominalium Vindicala. This book, which is extremely rare, has been seen by none of the authors who have written professedly concerning the sect of the Nominalists. A copy of it, taken from the manuscript in the French king's library, was communicated to me, from which it appears, that Salabert, who was certainly a very acute and ingenious logieian, employed his labour rather in defending the doctrine of the Nominalists, than in giving an accurate account of their sect. There are, however, several things to be found in his book, which are far from being generally known, even among the learned.

r Du Boulay, Histor. Acad. Paris. tom. i. p. 443, Gerh. du Bois, Histor. Ecclesias. Paris. tom. i. p. 770.

« הקודםהמשך »