Scholastic Aristotelism in Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (the 17th and 18th centuries)
Keywords:Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, philosophical courses, Aristotelian tradition, scholasticism, Jesuits
The article shows that the Aristotelic tradition dominated the philosophical courses of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in the 17th and 18th centuries. It puts forward several arguments. First, the professors of the Academy called their philosophy Aristotelian, Peripatetic or ad mentem Aristotelis. The analysis of the titles of the courses reveals that since 1639 until 1751, when scholastic-type courses were taught, the Mohylanian professors never had shown allegiance to any other philosopher, but Aristotle. Second, the courses of logic and physics (the largest parts of the philosophical course) were structured around Aristotle’s books: Cathegories, De interpretatione, Prior Analytics, and Posterior Analytics; and Physics, De Caelo, De Ge neratione et Corruptione, De Meteoris, and De Anima, respectively. Third, the main concepts used by the professors come from Aristotle. However, Aristotelian tradition, which is evident in the courses, most likely does not come directly from reading of Aristotle’s texts, but from scholastic textbooks of the 17th-18th centuries. Kyiv-Mohyla courses were especially influenced by Jesuits. The Jesuits, unlike most Catholic orders of that time, also called their philosophy Aristotelian. Teaching philosophy ad mentem Aristotelis was instructed by regulative documents of the Society of Jesus, like Constitutiones and Ratio Studiorum. Nevertheless, there are cases in the Mohylanian courses when the professors had greater familiarity with Aristotle’s texts. For example, Theophan Prokopovych gives a detailed account of Aristotle’s books Cathegories and De interpretatione. It is possible to conclude that the Kyiv-Mohyla philosophical courses represented the Aristotelian tradition, but the level of familiarity with Aristotle’s texts depends on the professor.
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