Psychology and the Soul in Late Medieval Erfurt

In: Vivarium
Pekka Kärkkäinen University of Helsinki

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In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries the University of Erfurt was one of the strongholds of the via moderna in Germany. The present article examines how this school's identity was manifested in discussions on the soul and its powers, engaged in by three Erfurtian philosophers: Johannes Carnificis de Lutrea, Jodocus Trutfetter and Bartholomaeus Arnoldi de Usingen. In the various forms of their expositions these authors reveal a rather uniform stance concerning doctrinal issues. Their positions are largely based on the tradition of the via moderna going back to the early fifteenth century, and their argumentation is deeply bound to the problems arising from this school's position. Comparisons with concurrent Thomist and Scotist sources show that the Erfurtians describe the positions of other schools in an appropriate manner, although the arguments for and against these positions are often borrowed from the authorities of their own school rather than from contemporaneous discussion.

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