DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-B078-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved October 05, 2022, from

6. Scholarship in medieval philosophy

Contemporary study of medieval philosophy faces special obstacles. First, a large body of medieval philosophical and theological literature has survived in European libraries, but because many of these collections have not yet been fully catalogued, scholars do not yet have a complete picture of what primary source materials exist. Second, the primary sources themselves – in the form of handwritten texts and early printed editions – can typically be deciphered and read only by those with specialized paleographical skills. Only a very small portion of the known extant material has ever been published in modern editions of a sort that any reader of Latin could easily use. Third, an even smaller portion of the extant material has been translated into English (or any other modern language) or subjected to the sort of scholarly commentary and analysis that might open it up to a wider philosophical audience. For these reasons, scholarship in medieval philosophy is still in its early stages and remains a considerable distance from attaining the sort of authoritative and comprehensive view of its field now possessed by philosophical scholars of other historical periods with respect to their fields. For the foreseeable future, its progress will depend not only on the sort of philosophical and historical analysis constitutive of all scholarship in the history of philosophy but also on the sort of textual archeology necessary for recovering medieval philosophy’s primary texts.

Citing this article:
MacDonald, Scott and Norman Kretzmann. Scholarship in medieval philosophy. Medieval philosophy, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-B078-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2022 Routledge.

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