In this tour de monde medievale he moves easily back and forth between the figures and the doctrines that made medieval philosophy unique in Western thought. After reflecting on the invidious implications of the phrase "Middle Ages," Pieper turns to the fascinating personality of Boethius whose contribution to prison literature, The Consolation of Philosophy, is second only to the number of manuscript copies. The Neo-Platonic figures-- Dionysius and Eriugena--are the occasion for a discussion of negative theology. The treatment of Anselm of Canterbury's proof of God's existence involves later voices, e.g., Kant. Like other historians, Pieper is enamored of the twelfth century, which is regularly eclipsed by accounts of the thirteenth century. Pieper does justice to both. Also his account of the rivalry between Peter Abelard and Bernard of Clairvaux is adequately covered.
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