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On Politics: Augustine, Aquinas and their synthesis

[This is a summary of our discussion of chaptes 7 and 8 of Alan Ryan’s On Politics. It was written by Jotun Hein]

I read the chapter on 14th century [7] and we had an intense discussion about this and the Aquinas chapter. The discussion was very motivating and people really had a lot of expertises and thus comments that highly supplemented the book.

The main questions were: “Why Aristotle returned with such force in 11-13th century”, “What was the consequences of the Platonism of St. Augustin and the Aristoleanism of Acquinas”, and why did these two thinkers become so dominant after their own life time and what were their ideological purpose.

Chapter 8 covered Dante, Marselius of Padua, Barrolus and Ockham. I only knew Dante’s Divine Comedy and “the new life” about his love for Beatrice, but in this chapter “De Monarchia” was discussed where he argued for a strong king.

I decided to browse Summa Theologica but was deterred when I discovered it was 4000 pages.

In the discussion managed consistently to refer to “The 10 Commandments” as the “The 10 Amendments”. I apologise (to whom?? Maybe Richard Dawkins…)

I wonder what I will think of “On Politics” when I get to the end.

We will meet again close to November 30th and discuss chapters 9-10-11


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