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Liberty And Limit: Controlling And Challenging Knowledge In Late Medieval Europe

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Chapter Summary

According to this chapter, obviously, knowledge did and does not exist in a material way. But it can be described as an individual as well as collective capacity and strategy, which helps or even enables people to sustain their life and change their world. Furthermore, knowledge may be explained as part of medieval society, that is of concepts of order, of religious ideals, and of learned traditions or innovations with varying degrees of instrumental value. Knowledge has obviously always been part of the self-consciousness of humankind and of their ideas about the world and their imaginations of reality. To put it in other words: any definition of knowledge has to take into account the concept of liberty and limit. The link between knowledge and politics seems to have been established by tradition and by the translation of commentaries on Aristotelian ethics, from Abelard up to Nicolas Oresme.

Keywords: Aristotelian ethics; Knowledge; liberty; medieval society



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