Philosophers of the middle ages investigated such ‘modern’ concerns as cosmology and freedom, the question of being, skepticism about truth and immortality, the nature of happiness and ‘the good life’, love and hate, political authority, beauty, faith and reason. This unit explores texts from the fourth to the fourteenth century that address such concerns. It considers the historical milieux, philosophical thought and selected texts of authors that may include Augustine, Boethius, Erigena, Avicenna, Anselm, Abelard, Peter Lombard, Hildegard, Phillip the Chancellor, Albert, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Siger of Brabant, Roger Bacon, Matthew of Aquasparta, Eckhart, Scotus, and Ockham.

Unit code: AP3120C (Approved)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Philosophy

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Adumbrate the specifically-medieval conceptual framework behind the texts studied in the unit


Expound the fundamental ideas, positions and arguments of the thinkers studied in the unit;


Compare in a preliminary way ideas, positions and arguments on themes that are found in more than one of the thinkers studied in the unit


Appraise the strengths and weaknesses of the major arguments and positions of the thinkers considered in the unit


Analyse the conceptual frameworks and arguments of the thinkers that are studied in the unit – both singularly and in relation to one another where appropriate – in relation to the core themes examined in the unit.

Unit sequence

30 points of philosophy at second level


Lectures, seminars, tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Anselm of Canterbury. The Major Works. Edited and translated by Brian Davies and G. R. Evans. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • Bosley, Richard, and Martin, M. Tweedale, eds. and trans. Basic Issues in Medieval Philosophy: Selected Readings Presenting the Interactive Discourses Among the Major Figures. Orchard Park: Broadview Press, 1997.
  • Delhaye, Philippe. Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages. London: Burns & Oates, 1960.
  • Klima, Gyula, ed. Medieval philosophy: essential readings with commentary. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2007.
  • Kretzmann, Norman, and Eleonore Stump, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Aquinas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  • Knowles, David. The Evolution of Medieval Thought. New York: Longman, 1988.
  • Marenbon, John. Medieval Philosophy. New York: Routledge, 1998.
  • McGrade, Arthur, John Kilcullen, and Matthew Kempshall, eds. Ethics and Political Philosophy. Vol. 2, The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  • Pasnau, Robert, ed. Mind and Knowledge. Vol. 3, The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
  • Williams, Thomas, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Written Examination

Unit variation one: 2-hour written examination (2,000 words)

Unit variation two: 3 take-home examinations comprising 2,500 words total

One of the variations set out here is chosen by the lecturer/unit coordinator prior to the start of the unit, in conjunction with the Dean, and is published in the unit outline. The lecturer may choose different variations for different levels in the same unit. Students may have choices within a given variation, but are not able to make choices outside that set variation.

0 50.0

1 x 2,500-word essay

0 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2021-03-31 10:23:15 +1100