Medieval Transmission and Humanist Solution to the Scandal of Philosophy

A presentation I gave on December 6, 2016 as Fordham University’s Medieval Fellow for 2016–17.


One of the most vexing problems in philosophy is the problem of induction: How we can draw reliable universal conclusions from limited experience? Scholastics thought of the problem in a way that made it unsolvable. But humanists then had a breakthrough—a reconceptualization that unfortunately has now been lost. In this lecture, McCaskey will trace the medieval history and recover the promising late medieval solution to the problem called “The Scandal of Philosophy.”

John P. McCaskey earned his PhD from Stanford University and has taught there, at Brown University, and at Columbia University. He has been studying the history and philosophy of induction for over ten years and is now, as the Center for Medieval Studies 2016–17 Fellow, completing a book on the topic.

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