Nature and reason
in John of Salisbury and the medieval Roman renaissance
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This chapter discusses the significance of the term natura in John’s works and the notion of ‘living in accordance with nature’ - a guideline borrowed from the works of Cicero. It compares John’s views to those of his contemporaries, illustrating how he transformed the Ciceronian trope into one that had direct application in a Christian context. It examines the role played by reason in this transformation, and looks particularly at the example of intention to illustrate how the interior character of the individual was the principal factor in determining the worth of an act.

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