The Rise and Decline of the Scholastic Quaestio Disputata

With Special Emphasis on its Use in the Teaching of Medicine and Science


Author: Lawn
This book represents a major contribution to the study of scholastic disputation or quaestio disputata. Based on an ever increasing use of logic in law, theology, the arts and medicine, this method rapidly became one of the chief tools of instruction in all these disciplines. Its history is traced from its beginnings in the early 12th century to its decline in the 16th and 17th century and ultimate demise in the 18th. Special emphasis is given to its use in the teaching of science ( physica) and medicine since it was this very method which helped to lay the foundations of what has been called the Scientific Revolution of the late 16th and early 17th century. The use of this multidisciplinary approach throughout this period permits a level of analysis and perspective that could not be achieved by any other means.
Brian Lawn † was practising as a physician until 1990. Author of The Salernitan Questions, An Introduction to the History of Medieval and Renaissance Problem Literature (1963). Editor of The Prose Salernitan Questions (1979).
' ...a useful summary of a great deal of information...admirable book...'
RC, Reviews in Religion and Theology, 1994.
' ...einem wichtigen Hilfsmittel für weitere Forschung...'
A. Radl S.J., Theologie und Philosophie, 1994.
' Lawn's study is an important review of the scholastic disputation, and readers will find it especially helpful as a review.'
André Goddu, Journal of the History of Medicine, 1994.
' ...a clear scholarly analysis, adopting a multi-disciplinary approach...'
E. Haywood and P. L. Rossi, Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, 1993.
' Based on the exploration of a very wide range of sources, both primary and secondary, it constitutes an excellent summa on the theme, offers a rare standard of erudition, and raises very interesting questions.'
Tiziana Pesenti, Physis, 1995.
' excellent addition to E.J. Brill's series on Educational Society in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance...'
Chronique, 1994.
' ...well written and well researched...'
John F. Wippel, Isis, 1995.

I. The use of the quaestio disputata in legal circles
II. The development of the quaestio disputata in the teaching of theology
III. The use of the quaestio disputata in the teaching of physica
IV. The quaestio disputata
V. The Merton tradition
VI. The diffusion of Mertonian ideas 1300-1450
VII. Medical quaestio disputata c.1250-1450
VIII. Quaestio disputata in physica during the late 15th and 16th centuries
IX. The reaction against dialectic
X. The decline of the quaestio disputata in teh 17th century

Index nominum
A vast variety of readers concerned with the history of the various disciplines of law, theology, the arts and medicine.