chapter  1
Libertas Inquirendi and the Vitium Curiositatis in Medieval Thought
ByEdward Peters
Pages 10

In the world of medieval thought corporate entity of the university possessed de facto liberties that nearly equalled the great libertas of kings and clergy. Faust's perversion of the gifts of ingenium and memoria through his long study of philosophy and theology led him to curiositas — an overripe example of the medieval academic vice, rather than the herald of a new age of intellectual freedom. The chapter focuses on defense and criticism of the new learning, its claims to — and practical expression of — freedom of inquiry, and the role of the vice of curiositas in criticism of inquiry, constituting as it were a kind of negative definition of libertas inquirendi on basis of moral theology. Anselm goes on to identify forty-four genera curiositatis which range from careful study to learn the secrets of others to "numbering, measuring and considering by how much the sun and moon are distant from Earth, or how great sun and moon are".