Medieval political philosophy

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Medieval philosophy is the philosophy produced in Western Europe between Boethius and Descartes, a period of over one thousand years. Medieval political philosophy is the part of medieval philosophy that is concerned with political matters. Philosophical writing about politics during the middle ages (as during the early modern period) was often an attempt to influence public events, and the history of the subject therefore involves reference to those events. It also involves reference to developments in medieval culture, e.g., the renaissances of the ninth and twelfth centuries, and to the development of institutions such as the legal system and the universities. The strong relationship during this period between philosophy and religion also complicates the story. These “extra-philosophical” connections are among the reasons why political philosophy underwent considerable development in the course of the middle ages, as religious and political thinking was modified by cultural developments and the stress of events. The general arrangement of this article is chronological.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStanford encyclopedia of philosophy
EditorsEdward N Zalta
Place of PublicationStanford, Calif.
PublisherStanford University Press
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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