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

422. Division. -- The new order of facts just outlined, in the various departments of human activity, were fraught with weighty consequences for the future. From another point of view they may be studied as an outcome and continuation of the past. This is especially true of philosophy. Traditional theories did not disappear suddenly as soon as new systems arose: the traditional currents continued to mingle their waters with those of the newer sources. We have thus, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, a number of transitional systems which prepared the way for modern philosophy all the while that they continued to preserve and transmit medieval modes of thought. It is under this latter aspect that we shall here study the philosophical systems of the Renaissance period. And we shall see that while all the newly conceived systems carried on an implacable war against scholasticism, they nevertheless borrowed from it a large body of their doctrines.{1}

Victory finally fell to the coalition of the non-scholastic forces. Having regard to this fact, we shall commence by a study of the non-scholastic systems (Chap. II.). There will be no need here, as for the preceding periods, to give a place apart to mere deviations from scholasticism. The paralysis of routine and exhaustion; the lack of all spirit of initiative; the necessity of focussing all available energy on the struggle for bare existence: all these causes at work in the various scholastic groups (Chap. III.), impeded such side-currents -- which were always dangerous, but always interesting as unmistakeable evidences of a vigorous vitality.

{1} Even in modern philosophy we may trace the influence of scholasticism. See list of special works in our Scholasticism Old and New (Dublin, 1907), p. 161, n. 2.

<< ======= >>