Philosophy in the Islamic World, Anselm & Aquinas on God, or From Faith to Reason

* The Great Conversation 8th or 7th edition

The assignment is to be 2-3 pages in length (approx. 1300 words or 125 lines) using standard 12″ font size with 1.5 spacing. You may use bullet lists sparingly for only part of the essay.

In this comparison/contrast essay, choose one to the following questions to answer. Place one of the bold titles at the top of your essay. The prompts under each question are intended to guide your response.

  • Philosophy in the Islamic World: Relying upon Al-Kindi, Al-Farabi, and Avicenna discusssome of the following themes.
    • Philosophy vs Theology
    • Existence of God (possible or necessary) Existence & Essence
    • Emanations & the Active Intellect
    • View of the human Soul.
  • Anselm & Aquinas on God: Compare and contrast the method and approach taken by Anselm & Aquinas to rationally prove the existence of God. In your reply consider someof the following;
    • What is the difference between an Ontological and Cosmological approach?
    • How is an a priori form of reasoning different from an a posteriori form of reasoning?
    • Aquinas’ argument relies upon reasons and evidence? What is the evidence?
    • Anselm proves his point from reason alone. What are his reasons?
    • What are some of the rational assumptions that Aquinas relies upon. For example; Is it reasonably compelling to reject an infinite regress? Explain.
    • How does the difference between contingency and necessity impact these arguments?
    • Is relying upon reason alone a sufficient condition to prove something exist? Explain.
  • From Faith to Reason Explain the Medieval view of “The World God Made for Us” as described in the opening chapter From Medieval to Modern Europe. Then considersome of the following:
    • What was the accepted view and conception of God, man and nature as expressed in at least one example from Christian and Islamic sources?
    • In what specific ways did the Humanism of Erasmus and Pico della Mirandola challenge the older view?
    • What were the consequences of the challenges made by Protestant Reformation to the old order and its authority as represented in the works and ideas of Luther and Montaigne?
    • How did the Scientific Revolution challenge the older world-view that was grounded in the authority of revelation, faith, and qualitative distinctions?
    • What were their new criteria (vocabulary) for authority and the new vision of the world that resulted from the works and ideas of Copernicus and Galileo? Be specific and cite examples that support your position.
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