ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf

108. Verbal Definition. Scholasticism and the Schools. -- By "scholasticism" Hauréau understands philosophy as it was taught in the schools of the Middle Ages.{1} Picavet also calls "scholasticism" the "child of the schools".{2} This definition is purely etymological and verbal; for in the Middle Ages whoever was titular of a lectureship in a schola received the title of scholasticus. It does not convey any information on the subject of our enquiry. We may know that by schola is meant the lectureship par excellence, that of philosophy and theology, the two sciences which were regarded as the crown of all knowledge; but this will not help us to understand or form any opinion on the teaching itself that proceeded from those medieval chairs. Moreover, as all knowledge was imparted orally in the Middle Ages, scholasticism, understood as the "child of the schools," might not mean philosophy or theology any more than medicine or law. And it would appertain no more to the Middle Ages than to our own time, seeing that the publication of books has not put an end to oral teaching. By a logical extension of the meaning of the term, it can be and has been said that "there are scholastics among the Neo-Platonists, and among the followers of Kant, of Hegel and of Cousin".{3} But the term has no recognized application outside the Middle Ages, and we doubt if it ever will have.

{1} Hist. philos. scol., i., p. 36; Dictionn. sciences philosoph. (Franck), under the word scolastique.

{2} Revue Philos., 1902, p. 185; Grande Encycl., under the word scolastique.

{3} PICAVET, in the Moyen âge, 1902, p. 34. In this he is more consistent than Hauréau, who would have the decay of scholasticism synchronize with the invention of printing.

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