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

188. Conclusion. -- John of Salisbury and Alan of Lille are the last great names of the twelfth century. The development we have had occasion to notice in psychology is indicative of maturity of thought. In fact scholasticism began to blossom forth in all its splendour from the dawn of the thirteenth century. And unforeseen events contributed to hasten the period of its culmination: notably the initiation of the astonished Western world to all the riches of the newly discovered literatures of Greece and Arabia (Second Period, Ch. I.). One is tempted to speculate as to what would have become of scholasticism if it were left to develop from its own inherent vitality, without the aid of the rich stores of thought which it gathered from the Arabians. Perhaps it would have produced more painfully, yet more gloriously, the giant thinkers who are its pride. For it is but right to recognize the value of the results achieved during this first period; and the best proof of their worth as a preparation for greater things is the very rapidity with which the splendid syntheses of the thirteenth century sprang into existence. Just a few years after the introduction of the new Aristotle into the schools of the West, Alexander of Hales and Albert the Great built up those great philosophical systems which certainly could never have been produced in an age and society not prepared to receive them.

Anyhow the thirteenth century can claim the honour of having constructed the great scholastic edifice on a magnificent scale and on having secured between all its parts the most harmonious proportions.

<< ======= >>