Where did public discussions take place in the late Middle Ages, where today? In the library showcase in the Barfüsserkirche, we show the beginnings of philosophy in Basel and recognise the image of a medieval people eager for discussion and searching for truth. The small presentation was created in close cooperation with the Department of Philosophy and the University Library of Basel.
Today, public discussions often take place in the digital space. It is becoming increasingly important to understand who is exchanging ideas, whether what is being exchanged is true and whether the arguments are good. Even if the cultures of the exchange of ideas were different in the late Middle Ages than they are today, it is worth looking back at the medieval universities, libraries, discussions and philosophical commentaries. They paint a picture of a Middle Ages eager for discussion and in need of communication, searching for truth, evaluating arguments and combating false claims.
Just like today, the University of Basel served as a nucleus for all kinds of different forms of exchange of ideas in the late Middle Ages, some of which are presented in the small exhibition in the library showcase. The exhibits selected from the university library are related to the work of the philosopher Johannes Heynlin (ca. 1430 -1496) in Basel.
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