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A Short History of German Philosophy$
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Vittorio Hösle

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691167190

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691167190.001.0001

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The Birth of God in the Soul: The Beginnings of German-language Philosophizing in the Middle Ages in the Work of Meister Eckhart and Nicholas of Cusa’s Consummation and Demolition of Medieval Thought

The Birth of God in the Soul: The Beginnings of German-language Philosophizing in the Middle Ages in the Work of Meister Eckhart and Nicholas of Cusa’s Consummation and Demolition of Medieval Thought

Chapter:
(p.13) 2 The Birth of God in the Soul: The Beginnings of German-language Philosophizing in the Middle Ages in the Work of Meister Eckhart and Nicholas of Cusa’s Consummation and Demolition of Medieval Thought
Source:
A Short History of German Philosophy
Author(s):

Vittorio Hösle

, Steven Rendall
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691167190.003.0002

This chapter traces the beginnings of German philosophy in the Middle Ages. It considers Dominican Meister Eckhart (c. 1260–1327/28) as the first German philosopher because he was the first writer to express his own philosophical ideas in the vernacular. It then focuses on Nicholas of Cusa (1401–1464), who was clearly influenced by Eckhart and whose genius he praised. Nicholas' first work, De concordantia catholica (On Catholic Concordance), published in 1433, defended the conciliarist position: that the council could depose a pope who violated his duties. He also elaborated a philosophy of the state that justified rule largely on the basis of consensus. His subsequent philosophical-theological works include De docta ignorantia (“On Learned Ignorance,” 1440) and De venatione sapientiae (“On the Hunt for Wisdom,” 1463).

Keywords:   Meister Eckhart, Nichols of Cusa, German philosophy, German history, Middle Ages, German philosophers

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