Abelard Sentence Examples
At this point we must also call to mind the wide currency given to the term theology by Abelard, and his editors or copyists.
In matters of doctrine the pope supported Bernard of Clairvaux in his prosecution of Abelard and Arnold of Brescia, whom he condemned as heretics.
The philosopher in Abelard's Dialogus inter Judaeum Philosophum et Christianum expects to be saved ex sola lege naturali; here " law of nature " is fully equivalent to Natural Religion, and the word sola sets it in contrast with Christianity.
Such is the teaching, along different lines, alike of St Anselm and of Abelard.
It is so with Bernard of Clairvaux (109053), who condemns Abelard's distinctions and reasonings as externalizing and degrading the faith.Advertisement
It is divisible into two well-marked periods - the first extending to the end of the 12th century and embracing as its chief names Roscellinus, Anselm, William of Champeaux and Abelard, while the second extended from the beginning of the 13th century to the Renaissance and the general distraction of men's thoughts from the problems and methods of Scholasticism.
From the scanty and ill-natured notices of his opponents (Anselm and Abelard), we gather that he refused to recognize the reality of anything but the individual; he treated " the universal substance," says Anselm, as no more than " flatum vocis," a verbal breathing or sound; and in a similar strain he denied any reality to the parts of which a whole, such as a house, is commonly said to be composed.
William of Champeaux (1070-1121), who is reputed the founder of a definitely formulated Realism, much Y as Roscellinus is regarded as the founder of Nominalism, was instructed by Roscellinus himself in dialectic. Unfortunately none of William's philosophical works have survived, and we depend upon the statements of his opponent Abelard, in the Historia calamitatum mearum, and in certain manuscripts discovered by Cousin.
From these sources it appears that he professed successively two opinions on the nature of the universals, having been dislodged from his first position by the criticism of Abelard, his quondam pupil.
He taught, says Abelard, that the same thing or substance was present in its entirety and essence in each individual, and that individuals differed no whit in their essence but only in the variety of their accidents.Advertisement
This was called the argument of the homo Socraticus; and it appears to have been with the view of obviating such time and space difficulties, emphasized in the criticism of Abelard, that William latterly modified his form of expression.
Abelard says, " Sic autem correxit sententiam, ut deinceps rem eamdem non essentialiter sed individualiter diceret."
But the outstanding figure in the controversies of the first half of the 12th century is Abelard.
His position is ordinarily designated by the name Conceptualism (q.v.), though there is very little talk of concepts in Abelard's own writings.
There can be no doubt, at all events, that Abelard himself intended to find a compromise.Advertisement
This is manifestly true, however real the facts may be which are designated by the generic and specific names; and the position is fully accepted, as has been seen, by a Realist like Gilbert, who perhaps adopted it first from Abelard.
Abelard also perceived that Realism, by separating the universal substance from the forms which individualize it, makes the universal indifferent to these forms, and leads directly to the doctrine of the identity of all beings in one universal substance or matter - a pantheism which might take either an Averroistic or a Spinozistic form.
Against the system of non-difference Abelard has a number of logical and traditional arguments to bring, but it is sufficiently condemned by his fundamental doctrine that only the individual exists in its own right.
For that system still seems to recognize a generic substance as the core of the individual, whereas, according to Cousin's rendering of Abelard's doctrine, " only individuals exist, and in the individual nothing but the individual."
Holding fast then on the one hand to the individual as the only true substance, and on the other to the traditional definition of the genus as that which is predicated of a number of individuals (quod praedicatur de pluribus), Abelard declared that this definition of itself condemns the Realistic theory; only a name, not a thing, can be so predicated - not the name, however, as a flatus vocis or a collection of letters, but the name as used in discourse, the name as a sign, as having a meaning - in a word, not vox but sermo.Advertisement
By these distinctions Abelard hoped to escape the consequences of extreme Nominalism, from which, as a matter of history, his doctrine has been distinguished under the name of Conceptualism, seeing that it lays stress not on the word as such but on the thought which the word is intended to convey.
What Abelard combats is the substantiation of these resembling qualities, which leads to their being regarded as identical in all the separate individuals, and thus paves the way for the gradual undermining of the individual, the only true and indivisible substance.
Abelard's discussion of the problem (which it is right to say is on the whole incidental rather than systematic) is thus marked by an eclecticism which was perhaps the source at once of its strength and its weakness.
Abelard's application of dialectic to theology betrayed the Nominalistic basis of his doctrine.
The germs of Rationalism were unquestionably present in several of Abelard's opinions, and still more so, the traditionalists must have thought, in his general attitude towards theological questions.Advertisement
Abelard's remarkable compilation Sic et Non was not calculated to allay their suspicions.
In bringing together the conflicting opinions of the fathers on all the chief points of Christian dogmatics, it may be admitted that Abelard's aim was simply to make these contradictions the starting point of an inquiry which should determine in each case the true position and via media of Christian theology.
The book was undoubtedly the precursor of the famous Books of Sentences of Abelard's own pupil Peter Lombard and others, and of all the Summae theologiae with which the church was presently to abound.
Abelard, Peter Lombard, Gilbert de la Porree and Peter of Poitiers he calls the " four labyrinths of France."
In order to see the difference in this respect between the schools we have only to compare the peaceful and fortunate life of William of Champeaux (who enjoyed the friendship of St Bernard) with the agitated and persecuted existence of Roscellinus and, in a somewhat less degree, of Abelard.
Albert and no doubt stood on a higher level than Anselm and Abelard, not merely by their wider range of knowledge but also by the intellectual massiveness of their achieve ments; but it may be questioned whether the earlier writers did not possess a greater force of originality and a keener talent.
Among his pupils was Abelard.
For his views and his controversy with Abelard, see Scholasticism and Abelard.
Abelard, too, started from tradition; but he discovered that the statements of the various authorities are very often in the relation of sic et non, yes and no.
Beyond the fact that he was of Saxon, not of Norman race, and applies to himself the cognomen of Parvus, " short," or "small," few details are known regarding his early life; but from his own statements it is gathered that he crossed to France about 1136, and began regular studies in Paris under Abelard, who had there for a brief period re-opened his famous school on Mont St Genevieve.
After Abelard's retirement, John carried on his studies under Alberich of Reims and Robert of Melun.
Guido of Citta di Castello (Tiferno), born of noble Tuscan family, able and learned, studied under Abelard and became a cardinal priest.
The two were to perform a new variation upon the theme of Abelard and HeloIse.
Philosophy had attempted to free itself from the trammels of theological orthodoxy in the hardy speculations of some schoolmen, notably of Scotus Erigena and Abelard.
He studied theology in Paris, but there is no proof that he was a pupil of Abelard.
His "Eloisa to Abelard" (1717) is carefully modelled on the form of Ovid's "Heroides," while in his Moral Essays he adopts the Horatian formula for the epistle.
The Sententiae show the influence of Abelard, both in method and arrangement, but lack entirely the daring of Sic et Non.
Probably about this time he composed his Sentences, based on the Introductio ad theologiam of Abelard.
The common account of his philosophical position, that he reintroduced nominalism, which had been in decadence since the days of Roscellinus and Abelard, by teaching that universals were only flatus vocis, is scarcely correct.
From Melun, where he had resumed teaching, Abelard passed to the capital, and set up his school on the heights of St Genevieve, looking over Notre-Dame.
Abelard was now at the height of his fame.
Few teachers ever held such sway as Abelard now did for a time.
Fair, but still more remarkable for her knowledge, which extended beyond Latin, it is said, to Greek and Hebrew, she awoke a feeling of love in the breast of Abelard; and with intent to win her, he sought and gained a footing in Fulbert's house as a regular inmate.
To appease her furious uncle, Abelard now proposed a marriage, under the condition that it should be kept secret, in order not to mar his prospects of advancement in the church; but of marriage, whether public or secret, Heloise would hear nothing.
He and some others broke into Abelard's chamber by night, and perpetrated on him the most brutal mutilation.
It was in the abbey of St Denis that Abelard, now aged forty, sought to bury himself with his woes out of sight.
For this Abelard himself was partly responsible.
When this historical heresy led to the inevitable persecution, Abelard wrote a letter to the abbot Adam in which he preferred to the authority of Bede that of Eusebius' Historia Ecclesiastica and St Jerome, according to whom Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, was distinct from Dionysius the Areopagite, bishop of Athens and founder of the abbey, though, in deference to Bede, he suggested that the Areopagite might also have been bishop of Corinth.
Life in the monastery was intolerable for such a troublesome spirit, and Abelard, who had once attempted to escape the persecution he had called forth by flight to a monastery at Provins, was finally allowed to withdraw.
Upon the return of new dangers, or at least of fears, Abelard left the Paraclete to make trial of another refuge, accepting an invitation to preside over the abbey of St Gildas-de-Rhuys, on the far-off shore of Lower Brittany.
Living on for some time apart (we do not know exactly where), after his flight from St Gildas, Abelard wrote, among other things, his famous Historia Calamitatum, and thus moved her to pen her first Letter, which remains an unsurpassed utterance of human passion and womanly devotion; the first being followed by the two other Letters, in which she finally accepted the part of resignation which, now as a brother to a sister, Abelard commended to her.
After preliminary negotiations, in which Bernard was roused by Abelard's steadfastness to put forth all his strength, a council met at Sens (1141), before which Abelard, formally arraigned upon a number of heretical charges, was prepared to plead his cause.
When, however, Bernard, not without foregone terror in the prospect of meeting the redoubtable dialectician, had opened the case, suddenly Abelard appealed to Rome.
Meanwhile, on his way thither to urge his plea in person, Abelard had broken down at the abbey of Cluny, and there, an utterly fallen man, with spirit of the humblest, and only not bereft of his intellectual force, he lingered but a few months before the approach of death.
Great as was the influence exerted by Abelard on the minds of his contemporaries and the course of medieval thought, he has been little known in modern times but for his connexion with Heloise.
A genuine work, the Glossulae super Porphyrium, from which Charles de Remusat, in his classical monograph Abelard (1845), has given extracts, remains in manuscript.
The general importance of Abelard lies in his having fixed more decisively than any one before him the scholastic manner of philosophizing, with its object of giving a formally rational expression to the received ecclesiastical doctrine.
Outside of his dialectic, it was in ethics that Abelard showed greatest activity of philosophical thought; laying very particular stress upon the subjective intention as determining, if not the moral character, at least the moral value, of human action.
The literature on Abelard is extensive, but consists principally of monographs on different aspects of his philosophy.
Charles de Remusat's Abelard (2 vols., 1845) remains an authority; it must be distinguished from his drama Abelard (1877), which is an attempt to give a picture of medieval life.
McCabe's life of Abelard is written closely from the sources.
The hall of the Sorbonne was crowded as the hall of no philosophical teacher in Paris had been since the days of Abelard.
His ircpi OeoXoylas is a dissertation on the knowledge of God.1 Many centuries later Abelard generalized the expression in books which came to bear the titles Theologia Christiana and Introductio ad Theologian.
Fuller details regarding Abelard's writings in the same author's art.
One thinks one sees traces of it, though held down by other influences, in the whole of medieval theology, and notably in Abelard.
With Anselm Ritschl takes Abelard, who explains the Atonement simply by God's love, and thus is the forerunner of " moral " or " subjective " modern theories as Anselm is of the " objective " or " forensic " theory.
It must be admitted, however, that there is less definiteness of outline in Abelard than in Anselm.
Contemporaneously with the new and vivid intellectual life of an Anselm or an Abelard, the " freezing up " of traditionalism is evidenced by the preparation of volumes of Sentences from Scripture and the Fathers.
The great outburst of Sentences at a later time has been referred to the consternation produced by Abelard's Sic et Non.
If throughout the middle ages Scripture is treated as the ultimate authority in doctrine, yet Abelard seems to stand alone in definitely contrasting Scripture with later authorities.
Moderns will question the possibility of asserting Bible infallibility a priori; but it is more really startling and noteworthy that Abelard should preserve a living sense of fallibility outside the Bible.
If Abelard stands for the intellectual daring of scholasticism, Lombard represents its other pole - interest in piety, i.e.
He does not open up difficulties like Abelard, but smoothes them over.
Yet Ritschl claims that his doctrine of Christ as Head of the Church combines the lines of thought found separately in Anselm and Abelard, while Schleiermacher is said to have been one-sidedly Abelardian.
In a more real sense Abelard (1079-1142) tries to establish the connexion between man's ill desert and his free consent.
The general tendency of Abelard's thought was suspiciously regarded by contemporary orthodoxy; 2 and the over-subtlety of the last-mentioned distinction provoked vehement replies from orthodox mystics of the age.
Thus the summum bonum for man is objectively God, subjectively the happiness to be derived from loving vision of his perfections; although there is a lower kind of happiness to be realized here 1 Abelard afterwards retracted this view, at least in its extreme form; and in fact does not seem to have been fully conscious of the difference between (I) unfulfilled intention to do an act objectively right, and (2) intention to do what is merely believed by the agent to be right.
It is not confined to German affairs, as the author digresses to tell of the preaching of Bernard of Clairvaux, of his zeal against the heretics, and of the condemnation of Abelard; and discourses on philosophy and theology.
This tendency undoubtedly shows a marked reaction from the contentious theology of Roscellinus and Abelard.
In this respect it contrasts unfavourably with the later theory of Abelard.
It was the ideas of Cluniac monks that freed the Church from feudal supremacy, and in the 11th century produced a Pope Gregory VII.; the spirit of free investigation shown by the heretics of Orleans inspired the rude Breton, Abelard, in the 12th century; and with Gerbert and Fulbert of Chartres the schools first kindled that brilliant light which the university of Paris, organized by Philip Augustus, was to shed over the world from the heights of Sainte-Genevive.
The latent nominalism of Aristotle only came gradually to be emphasized through the prominence which Christianity gave to the individual life, and, apart from passing notices as in Abelard, first found clear enunciation in the school of Duns Scotus.
Berengar of Tours (11th century) had struggled in that interest, and with Abelard, in the 12th century, the revolt against authority in belief grew loud.
It is expressly repudiated by Anselm and Abelard.
Up and coming student, Peter Abelard, leads his teacher to the verge of a nervous breakdown with his philosophical tenets.
Even Abelard's mediating doctrine of conceptualism was sufficiently near to obnoxious ideas to involve him in lifelong persecution.
If, however, we are more illnatured, we may regard the phrase, with Prantl, as simply a meaningless makeshift in extremities; and if so, Abelard's account of the subsequent decline of William's reputation would be explained.
Moreover, Abelard evidently did not mean to imply that the distinctions of genera and species are of arbitrary or merely human imposition.
Of the alternatives three Gods or una res - which his Nominalistic logic presented to Roscellinus, Roscellinus had chosen the first; Abelard recoiled to the other extreme, reducing the three Persons to three aspects or attributes of the Divine Being (Power, Wisdom and Love).
But the antinomies, as they appeared in Abelard's treatise, without their solutions, could not but seem to insinuate a deep-laid scepticism with regard to authority.
In Thomas Thomas has his own technical name - doctrine (sing.) or rather sacra doctrina; and this expression holds its ground, though the usage of Abelard, Theologia, was destined to an even more important place (see Theology).
St Bernard accused him of sharing the doctrines of Abelard (see Ep. 189, 195), and procured his condemnation by the council of Sens (I 140) at the same time as that of the great scholastic. This was perhaps no more than the outcome of the fierce polemical spirit of the abbot of Clairvaux, which led him to include all his adversaries under a single anathema.
The modern reader can hardly banish the impression that Abelard writes in a spirit of sheer mischief.
Avicenna's view of the universal may be compared with that of Abelard, which calls it " that whose nature it is to be predicated of several," as if the generality became explicit only in the act of predication, in the sermo or proposition, and not in the abstract, unrelated form or essence.
Can we not hire some Abelard to lecture to us?