Master Class on The First Known in 13th Century Epistemology

Feb 5, 2016
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Timothy B. NooneThe Catholic University of America


Medieval CosmologyTimothy B. Noone (Catholic University of America)


This master class is open to graduate and undergraduate students, including non-University of Chicago students. Space is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Copies of the readings will be provided.

This seminar will begin with crucial texts from the middle of the thirteenth century that set up the problem of the first known as that problem came to be discussed in the writings of Aquinas, Henry of Ghent, and Duns Scotus.  Thereafter, the seminar will examine the three authors mentioned on the issue of the first known and explore how their positions fit into other elements of their theories of cognition. The problem of whether or not to allow that God is in some vague sense the first thing known in an through the concept of being figures into, and is background to, parallel themes in the epistemology of thirteenth century philosophy, including the issue of divine illumination and the theory of abstraction.

Timothy B. Noone is Ordinary Professor of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., is also Co-Director of the Scotus Project and President of the Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and the M.S.L. from the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. He is the author of numerous book chapters and articles on medieval philosophy including Of Angels and Men: Sketches from High Medieval Epistemology (The Etienne Gilson Series 34) and has coedited numerous works in the theOpera Philosophica of Duns Scotus (St. Bonaventure, NY: Franciscan Institute) and has also coedited  A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 2003).