Note well that this is a non-Catholic work. As we remarked, at the commencement of our observations on the Life of Aquinas, the invariableness of character in the different Philosophers of the Schools is the point to which we would first direct attention, in order to arrive at just views of the nature of the Scholastic Philosophy. The uniform aspect of their biography and their Philosophy is equally remarkable, when we compare them with the eminent men of any other period of Literary History. Take, for instance, Socrates, Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, all, we may say, trained in the same method, and nearly contemporary: and yet how different is the character both of their Iives and of their Philosophy! We see in them all the variety of original minds; the later, indeed, versed in the systems of the former, but yet striking out a path for themselves, and throwing into their speculations the peculiarities of their own turn of thought and of their respective condition of life. But compare Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, Willialn Ockam, the four most eminent in the annals of Scholasticism, and to whom we may most properly refer as illustrations of its spirit and form, and we observe only an expansion and working out of the same ideas, in Ockam the last in the succession, which we find in Albert the first. There maybe minor differences in parts; the conclusions at which they arrive are sometimes directly opposed. But still it is one note that we hear sounding through all. One might think that it was some mechanical process by which the several elaborate systems of these authors had been constructed: so little evidence is there in them of the vitality of human nature; of their Works having been composed by men each of whom had his own feelings, his own views, his own temper and prejudices.
Rev Renn Dickson Hampden DD, Paperback, ISBN 10: 150332558X, ISBN 13: 9781503325586