ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf


416. His Place In Philosophy. -- How are we to classify Nicholas of Cusa, a man whose strange philosophy reveals so many diverse and conflicting tendencies? In him we hear the first faint murmur of the Renaissance war-cry: "Down with the Aristotelian faction!" But his invective is directed mainly against those dialecticians who opposed his mystic theory of the Coincidentia Oppositorum.{1} Though his ideas are suggestive of coming upheavals in the world of speculation, they are in themselves rather a syncretism of the past, a fusion of mysticism, theosophy and quasi-pantheism. Nicholas is a discontented scholastic, but still a scholastic, imbued with the spirit of the schools: we will place him at the end of this third period in the history of medieval philosophy, at the very threshold of the Renaissance.

{1} "Unde, cum nunc Aristotelica secta praevaleat, quae heresim putat esse oppositorum coincidentiam, in cujus admissione est initium ascensus in Mysticam Theologiam . . ." (Apologia Doctae Ignorantiae, p. 64 of the Omnia Opera, Basle edit., 1565).

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