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The Philosophy of Peter Abelard - Dr. John Marenbon

The Philosophy of Peter Abelard

Paperback Published: 22nd November 1999
ISBN: 9780521663991
Number Of Pages: 396

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This book offers a major reassessment of the philosophy of Peter Abelard (1079-1142) which argues that he was not, as usually presented, a predominantly critical thinker but a constructive one. By way of evidence the author offers new analyses of frequently discussed topics in Abelard's philosophy, and examines other areas such as the nature of substances and accidents, cognition, the definition of 'good' and 'evil', virtues and merit, and practical ethics in deatil for the first time. Part I discusses Abelard's life and works, and considers problems of chronology and canon (including the question of the authenticity of the correspondence with Heloise). Part II analyses Abelard's ontology, epistemology and semantics, showing how he tried to reconstruct the ideas he had learned from Aristotle, Porphyry and Boethius to fit his presumption that there is nothing which is not a particular. Part III analyses Abelard's ethical theory, showing that it is far wider and more sophisticated than has been believed.

'... most satisfying to read, combining a clear sense of purpose with an exemplary clarity of thought. It is difficult to overestimate its importance for the study of Abelard and of twelfth-century intellectual culture in general.' Early Medieval Europe '... not only an outstanding exposition of Abelard's philosophy, but a work that opens up for specialists and non-specialists the world of twelfth-century thought.' The Times Literary Supplement

Preface
List of abbreviations
Note on the reference system
Introduction
A life
Teachings and writings on logic
Abelard's theological project; Excursus I the letters of Abelard and Heloise
Conclusion: Abelard's logic and his theory
Introduction
Logic, philosophy and exegesis
Substance, differentiae and accidents
Forms and language
Perception and knowledge
Universals
Conclusion: dicta, non-things and the limits of Abelard's ontology
Introduction
Ethics, God's power and his wisdom
God's goodness: theodicy and the meaning of 'good'
Act, intention and consent
Contempt, law and conscience
Virtue, love and merit; Excursus II: love, selflessness and Heloise
Ethics, society and practice
Conclusion: Abelard's theological doctrines and his philosophical ethics
General conclusion
Appendix: Abelard as a 'critical thinker'
Select bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521663991
ISBN-10: 0521663997
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 396
Published: 22nd November 1999
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.24
Weight (kg): 0.58