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35 - Boethius on the Ordering of Knowledge

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 October 2023

Lewis Ayres
Affiliation:
University of Durham and Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
Michael W. Champion
Affiliation:
Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
Matthew R. Crawford
Affiliation:
Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
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Summary

This chapter investigates Boethius’ approach to the division of the sciences and his understanding of their relationship to philosophy as a whole. The questions are raised as to whether certain differences in approach discernible in texts spanning roughly two decades indicate development in his thinking, and whether his formal articulation of a quadrivium of mathematical sciences as subsidiary branches of philosophy implies or is intended to leave room for a trivium of linguistic arts. Finally, brief consideration is given to Cassiodorus’ understanding of the seven liberal arts vis-à-vis the Boethian taxonomy of philosophy, and its implications for instructional practice at Vivarium.

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The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity
Reshaping Classical Traditions
, pp. 663 - 689
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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