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p. 545. Institutions and literary formslocked

  • John Marenbon


‘Institutions and literary forms’ explains how the history of Latin Christian philosophy is strikingly different from the other three traditions, because so much of the best work took place in, and was shaped by, institutions dedicated to teaching and learning. In Islamic lands, the focus of teaching and learning was on the relationship between teacher and pupil. In all four traditions, medieval philosophizing centred around commentary, but there was also a tendency for thinkers to try to bring together in a single work (summa or treatise) their understanding of the whole of philosophy or theology. Dialogues and other literary forms, such as versification and novels, were also used.

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