- (1101–1164)French philosopher and writer. Educated at the Benedictine convent of Argenteuil and intellectually renowned from an early age, Héloïse was tutored privately by Abelard, who seduced her (apparently with some violence) and made her pregnant. Against her will she married Abelard secretly, and returned with the child Astralabe to the home of her uncle, Fulbert, but when Fulbert made the marriage public she was ordered by Abelard to take the veil. Angry at the denial of the marriage, Fulbert had Abelard castrated (sympathy with Abelard's fate tends to disguise the fact that he played a rather shoddy part in the affair). Héloïse became abbess and prioress of the Paraclete house, a nunnery. Her writings include the Problemata Heloissae, a set of philosophical questions addressed to Abelard. The letters between her and Abelard purport to have begun after Abelard had written the Historia Calamitatum Abaelardi . They were published in 1616 and testify to Héloïse's deep moral learning, as well as her passion for Abelard; unfortunately, however, they are sometimes regarded as forgeries written by Abelard.
Philosophy dictionary. Academic. 2011.