The Age of Reason associated with the names of Descartes, Newton, Hobbes, and the French philosophers, actually began in the universities that first emerged in the late Middle Ages (1100 to 1600) when the first large scale institutionalization of reason in the history of civilization occurred. This study shows how reason was used in the university subjects of logic, natural philosophy, and theology, and to a much lesser extent in medicine and law. The final chapter describes how the Middle Ages acquired an undeserved reputation as an age of superstition, barbarism, and unreason.
'This is a most stimulating study and one that should become required reading for all historians.' Contemporary Review '... this book provides a good introduction to the uses of logic and reason in the medieval university as well as a strong corrective to the still current view of the middle ages as a period of intellectual sterility.' History