Article ID: CBB088863974

Vision and Visual Error in Later Middle Ages (2021)


Later medieval writers demonstrate a keen interest in visual error and deception. Unlike many early modern thinkers, the possibility that we might see things that do not exist does not cause them to take seriously the skeptical possibility that we cannot know the world around us. Rather, they accept our finitude and fallibility and ask, given those limits, what can we achieve? In this sense, medieval epistemological discussions mirror related discussions concerning the practice of confession. Medieval writers recognize that no confession of sins can be complete, that there are always other sins hiding in the recesses of the soul. Recognizing human limits and the demands of the task at hand, they counsel us to do our best [facere quod se in est] and leave the rest to God.

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Authors & Contributors
Zupko, Jack
Knuuttila, Simo
Biard, Joël
Boulnois, Olivier
Friedman, Russell L.
Speer, Andreas
Micrologus: Nature, Sciences and Medieval Societies
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques
Metascience: An International Review Journal for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science
Bruniana & Campanelliana: Ricerche Filosofiche e Materiali Storico-testuali
J. Vrin
Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies
Zeta Books
Icon Books
Catholic University of America Press
Natural philosophy
Philosophy and religion
Arab/Islamic world, civilization and culture
Buridan, Jean
Guillaume de Conches
Thomas Aquinas, Saint
Luther, Martin
Time Periods
17th century
13th century
14th century
11th century

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