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Historical Studies of Medieval Philosophy from the Renaissance on

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.1, 2018

 

Historical Studies of Medieval Philosophy from the Renaissance on

(Abstract)

 

Wu Tianyue

 

Since the 1980s, historical studies of medieval philosophy have gone ahead by leaps and bounds. However, while the fog has been partially dispersed, new misunderstandings, misinterpretations and even myths are constantly added. Here the intellectual positions of the historians themselves, especially their real-world philosophical concerns, profoundly affect their narratives of the history of medieval philosophy. They often unreflectingly project their prior understanding of philosophy into history, ignoring the complexity and richness of the medieval historical context. Therefore, a critical examination of the historiography of medieval philosophy since the Renaissance will undoubtedly help Chinese academia undertake more cautious and also more open research on the history of medieval philosophy, and at the same time, will help us effectively forge subtle linkages between ourselves, as moderns, and medieval philosophers as the other. This will enable the historiography of medieval philosophy to become a fruitful dialogue of ideas.