Essay - Changing Concepts of Nature and Individual Differences in the Late...


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Changing Concepts of Nature and individual Differences in the late Middle Ages

Explore the ways ***** which ***** humanities reflect changing concepts of nature and individual differences during the Late Middle *****. Select specific works to illustrate your view of the changes that have occurred and present explanation of how and why the concepts characterize the period. Make a connection ***** Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome ***** discuss the changes that are evident.

It would be too easy to generalize that the ancient Greeks and Romans saw ***** as 'good' and that early Christian medieval society did not. Greeks such as Hippocrates celebrated the need to c***** of ***** body, while Platonists disdained the value ***** ***** material, bodily world in contrast to the heavenly sphere of ***** 'forms.' Roman Stoics stressed mastery of the body as a way ***** becoming more harmonious with the natural ***** and strove ***** to counteract humanity's innate sense of balance with nature but the ***** army mastered nature by constructing mighty aqueducts. **********, while ***** ascetics mortified their physical bodies, the ***** world could not be rejected entirely ***** Christians as God had created the *****, thus the world must be good, even if humanity was fallen. In fact, the stress upon physical relics ***** signified the miracles ***** presence of the saints in the material world were ***** unlike the religious significance given to the corporal body in Ancient Egypt. Of course, the body itself did not ascend to heaven ***** Christian belief, as it did according to the pagan, Egyptian belief system. However, the stress upon creating beautiful ********** to enclose the ***** remains of the dead is analogous to Egyptian attitudes.

Thus, the divide in human thought regarding the individual and nature is not ***** clear as one might be tempted to assume. Particularly during the *****, as opposed to the early Middle Ages, there was a revivification in the interest s*****n towards ***** classical *****, and learning which was part ***** a new respect for the ***** and an accept*****ce of the natural sciences. For example, the ***** ***** philosopher Augustine wrote that although God had created ***** universe "as nebulous matter, *****in which lay 'primal seeds'" ***** "grew and developed into the ***** and its life forms, guided by ***** natural laws that God had laid down...investigation ***** debate about such matters ***** not encouraged in the early Middle Ages; Augustine himself wrote, 'Seek not to understand that you may *****lieve, but believe that you may understand'" (Waggoner, 1997). But later, Aquinas joined the two approaches of philosophy and *****ology to present a theory of the cosmos. "Reason was no longer conceived as ***** nemesis of Faith...Aquinas [claimed] that both were paths to a single truth: '***** exists'" (Kreis, 2000). Philosophy and reason in general were ***** longer seen as hostile to faith.

The Late Middle Ages w***** characterized by *****terest in ana*****my, as is reflected ***** the ***** individuated representations of ***** human form in

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