Abelard, Peter

Abelard, Peter
(Abaelard, Abailard 1079–1142)
French scholastic philosopher. Born near Nantes, Abelard lived a hectic life, quite apart from the misfortune he incurred as a result of his romance of 1118 (for the details of which, see Héloïse ). He was educated at Chartres and Paris, and lived as monk and abbot at a succession of monasteries. He survived an attempt on his life at a Breton monastery in 1132. A controversial figure, he found his work condemned in 1121, and his scepticism about the legends of St Dionysius forced him to leave the Abbey of St Denis. In 1125 he became Abbot of St Gildas, and later returned to Paris. His work was denounced by Bernard of Clairvaux, who described him as having sweated to prove that Plato was a Christian, but only proved himself a heretic. He was again censured in 1140, but he died in the one of the daughter monasteries of the Abbey of Cluny.
Abelard wrote extensively on the problem of universals, probably adopting a moderate realism, although he has sometimes been claimed as a nominalist . He wrote commentaries on Porphyry and other authorities. His Scito te Ipsum (‘Know Thyself’) is a treatise on ethics holding that sin consists entirely in contempt for the wishes of God; action is therefore less important than states of mind such as intention. Consistent with this, his theory of the atonement is that it is simply a supreme example for us to follow. Abelard lived at a time when a new sense of the clash of classical authorities was becoming evident; translations revealed discrepant opinions and generated the disputatious atmosphere in which Abelard flourished. His Sic et Non (‘For and Against’) is a collection of contradictions from scripture and early writings, coupled with his own rules for resolving disputes. It provided the initial programme for the scholastic method. Abelard's hymns include O quanta qualia (‘Oh how great and glorious are those sabbaths’).

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Abelard, Peter — • Dialectician, philosopher, and theologian (1079 1142) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Abelard, Peter — (Pierre Abelard) (1079–1142)    Perhaps the most famous man in Europe in his own lifetime, Peter Abelard was a renowned teacher, philosopher, theologian,writer and lover, as famous for his celebrated affair with HELOISE as for his provoking… …   Encyclopedia of medieval literature

  • Abelard, Peter — born 1079, Le Pallet, near Nantes, Brittany died April 21, 1142, Priory of Saint Marcel, near Chalon sur Saône, Burgundy French theologian and philosopher. The son of a knight, he abandoned his inheritance to study philosophy. He became private… …   Universalium

  • Abelard, Peter — (1079–1142)    Theologian.    Abelard was born at Pallet, near Nantes in France. He attracted large audiences to his theological lectures at the Cathedral Schools of Paris. After his love affair with Héloïse, the niece of Fulbert, Canon of Notre… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Abelard,Peter — Ab·e·lard (ăbʹə lärd ) also A·bé·lard (ä bā lärʹ), Peter or Pierre 1079 1142. French theologian, philosopher, and composer whose nominalist application of the principles of ancient Greek logic to the doctrines of the medieval Catholic Church led… …   Universalium

  • Abelard, Peter — See Twelfth century ( …   History of philosophy

  • ABELARD, Peter — (1079 1142)    medieval philosopher and theologian best known for his tragic love of Héloise. His philosophy, CONCEPTUALISM, rejected both REALISM and NOMINALISM by suggesting that UNIVERSALS require real things for their existence. His views… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Abelard — Abelard, Peter …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Peter Abelard —     Peter Abelard     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Peter Abelard     Dialectician, philosopher, and theologian, born 1079; died 1142. Peter Abelard (also spelled Abeillard, Abailard, etc., while the best manuscripts have Abaelardus) was born in the… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Peter Abelard — Infobox Philosopher region = Western Philosophers era = Medieval Philosophy color = #B0C4DE |thumb image caption = Abaelardus and Heloïse surprised by Master Fulbert , by Romanticist painter Jean Vignaud (1819) name = Pierre Abélard birth = 1079… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.