The Discarded Image, Ch. 3

In this chapter, Lewis surveys important classical works read by Medievals.  Elements of the Medieval mind gleaned from this chapter are:

1 The Platonism they held was limited in scope and filtered down to them through other writers; they only had the Timaeus in those days.  This means their Platonism had a particular character.
2 The Principle of the Triad: no two things relate to one another without some third acting as an intermediary.
3 The Principle of Plenitude: Spheres of existence must in some way be “inhabited.”  There is no room for cold, dead space.  This reminds us of Ransom’s experience of “outer space” in Out of the Silent Planet.
4 The body tends to have less importance than the mind or spirit.
5 Medievals tended to not distinguish between books of different sorts.  Thus an old figurative description of something by a poet might be taken as a factual description, such as one might find in a travelogue.
6 You could say the Medievals developed their own goddess of Nature, because of the way they processed previous writings concerning “Nature.”
7 And, of course, their cosmology was inherited from the Classics and adapted.

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