Characteristics Of The Philosophical Thought Of The Renaissance And The Middle Ages

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Characteristics of the philosophical thought of the Renaissance and the Middle Ages

In ancient Greece, the first approaches of thought were philosophical, and with it different orientations arise being represented by important philosophers, mathematicians, scientific, religious of history, such as, such as Miletus, Hippocrates, Pythagoras, Socrates, Socrates,Plato, Aristotle among others.

These orientations were naturalist, biological, mathematics and humanist, each had their own philosophy and method of teaching, understanding and learning.

The Middle Ages is one of the longest periods in history, which began in 476, with the fall of the Roman Empire of the West and its end in 1492, with the discovery of America, the year in which Christopher Columbus arrivedto America.

It has a long and slow process that extends for five centuries, causing large and important changes at all levels, thoroughly exploring many of the situations that were lived at that stage, still influencing today.

It was such a widespread stage that history divides it in low, medium and high middle ages.

It is a time that is known as the moment when science, philosophy, thoughts of different schools based its truths and teachings on religious dogmas and beliefs, where science goes through a period of stagnation, since everything was based on what was based onDivine. At this time Europe was governed by mysticism, superstition and anti -interestingism. Heresy was unacceptable and was punished with great rudeness.

The main characteristics of this period was based on the great power and authority that the Christian Church had, with its approaches. His foundations on truth and knowledge were in God.

The Church made all government, economic and social decisions. The dogmas that were generated should be proposed and approved by the high clergy of the Church. Thought, actions and everything that the population will do should be approved, observed and governed by ecclesiastical laws, because of that Aristotelian thinking were not accepted.

Aristotle, was Plato’s disciple for 20 years, studied at the Royal Academy since he was 17, initially accepting the philosophy of his teacher, but later his sense of reality and empirical facts drive him to abandon ideas and doctrinesmystical immortality and soul transmigration. He was the creator of the logic that he considered a special and essential part of the naturalistic "method", perception of the mind, stimuli and responses. For him the senses are the only source of knowledge.

At this time the Church rejected Aristotle’s work, which was convicted of Buenaventura. However, medieval scholastics quickly tried to integrate their philosophy into Christian theology. Using an intellectual "marriage" in a metaphorical way between Aristotelian and Christian theory. Aristotle’s active reason was known as the immortal soul and the first Aristotelian engine with the Christian god.

With the power and role that the Church had at that time, figures such as Santo Tomás de Aquino and San Agustín de Hipona arise, whose ideas have been part of the development of psychology.

St. Augustine concentrated exclusively on human spirituality, believed that to get to knowledge it is necessaryAnd the memory and knowledge of the great author of all things "God". I thought the human being was dual. He raised the theory of lighting, in which he thought that human beings cannot perceive the immutable truth of things unless they are illuminated by a sun. That divine light that comes from God and illuminates the mind, which is the "intelligible light" and that by this light illuminates the intellect and all knowledge, illuminating our mind.

For him, the acceptance of the free will made sense of personal responsibility, since people are responsible for their actions, they can feel good or bad about themselves depending on the decisions they make. If people decide to change their actions to do good, through confessions they can receive forgiveness to their actions and sins, and thus lead a pure Christian life again. His work of "The Confessions" contains subtle observations about the emotion, the perception of time, memory and dreams.

Saint Thomas Aquinas achieves the reconciliation of faith with reason, arguing that reason and faith are not incompatible, for him, like other scholastic ones, all paths led to the same truth, "God and his glory".

He affirmed that reason and faith are not in conflict because the two lead to the same maximum "God" reality and that thought needs sensory experience, denied the existence of innate ideas.

Revived the Aristotelian conception of the human psyche as the set of functional abilities of the material body material. Recognized the intentional nature of psychological states such as thoughts, emotions, motivations and memories.

The religious crisis that is created in the 16th century arises from the questions made towards Catholic beliefs, the Church lives a process where its tradition, thoughts, philosophy, teachings and impositions were observed in detail and that for clergymen should beunquestionable.

All aspects of human life are put again in question and different investigations that live together in good or bad way;such as: physics, medicine, theology, occultism, anatomy, theology.

With this crisis that the Church was going through, the rupture of the state-church originates

Medieval culture does not have a pronounced fracture, since it is gradually spending a feudal and agricultural society to a national and commercial society.

  • What was the Renaissance?

Renaissance is defined as an anthropocentric period, being one of its main characteristics of this period. Known as a socio-cultural movement that occurred from the fifteenth century in Italy, which arose from the expansion of humanism’s ideas. This means that the human being becomes the reference center from which the sociocultural order is structured, displacing theocentric thinking. It is a philosophical doctrine that conceives the human being and its interests as the center of the entire universe. Through which ideas that give great meaning that continue today.

With the arrival of the Renaissance there was a change in the way of thinking of humanity.

The importance that Aristotelism gave to reason was so much that it could not be overlooked, all that information generated was the product of the empirical observation guided by reason, which placed the church in a complicated position.

The main characteristics of the Renaissance:

  • Classical Antiquity

It is a break with the previous era, of the Middle Ages, giving way to the classic values, which were precisely important for the study of the humanists, with this recovery and study, new disciplines were given, some of these were theclassical philosophy, archeology, numismatic and epigraphy.

In the area of technology, the invention of the printing press was carried out in the fifteenth century, which revolutionized the dissemination of knowledge, increasing the number of specimens, offered the scholars identical texts with which they could work, thus turningIntellectual work in collective work.

  • Humanism

Intellectual, philosophical and cultural current that emerged in the Europe of the fourteenth century, before the Renaissance. Inspired by the culture and classic thoughts of ancient Greece and Rome. Focused on human reason above faith and was interested in the concept of man as the center of the universe. I had the idea of a free individual.

The illustration was one of the most important movements that arose in the seventeenth century under the influence of Renaissance humanism.

  • Anthropocentrism

Philosophical current, founded on humanism passionate about the qualities of human nature.

  • Individualism

It is a characteristic related to the humanistic current, in which man is in a central position and is not only governed by the Church, but also by his emotions, becoming a decisive being which takes responsibility for his actions.

  • Rationalism

It is a philosophical cutting, which had great relevance for the development of different aspects of Renaissance thought despite medieval faith.

Together with empiricism and the appreciation of experience were essential for the change of mentality in the Renaissance period.

Find explanations through science, because of this is related to scientific expansion.

Reason is the only way to achieve knowledge.

  • Universalism

Philosophical current that affirms the existence of certain principles that are universally indisputable, therefore they must be admitted by all social and cultural groups.

Developed above all in Renaissance education supported by the development of human knowledge in various areas of knowledge.

  • Scientism

It comes with the importance of changing the mentality of man and asking questions about the world for greater knowledge of him with grounded bases.

Scientific curiosity was the order of the day in the Renaissance, in which there were many important advances in areas such as astronomy, anatomy, biology, botany, among others.

Some of the scientific discoveries that stand out at the time are made by Francis Bacon, René Descartes, Nicholas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Leonardo da Vinci, to mention some of the ones that contributed the most to science during the Renaissance and the “centuryof the lights ”;that is the "the Enlightenment".


Without a doubt in the Middle Ages it is one of the longest stages, with great history, full of diversity of philosophical thoughts, opening of schools, in which the Church was forced to access other type of development in its dogmas anddoctrines, thus allowing the progress to new teachings based not only on faith, or on the observation of the nature of the universe and humanity, but also developing as one of the main approaches to the study of humanity, its culture, learning, learning,behavior, in which the main currents that characterize it participated for this purpose, along with great characters in history, including theologians, philosophers, mathematicians, scientists, artists, etc., leaving great contributions and revelations of great importance to the world.  

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