Héloïse d’Argenteuil se filosofiese uitset

HTS Theological Studies 75 (4):1-12 (2019)
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The philosophical output of Héloïse d’Argenteuil. This article attempts to deconstruct the overhyped erotic relationship between the philosopher-monk Peter Abelard and philosopher-nun Héloïse d’Argenteuil, by surveying Héloïse’s extant texts as such, isolating three themes in her philosophical output: her concept of Cicerian love, her criticism of marriage and her notion of moral and material responsibility, which includes her understanding of an ethics of attitude and intention. When Héloïse is read against the grain of the standardised Abelard-reception, she is brought into perspective as an independent thinker, who deserves more intellectual respect than to be caricaturised as either Abelard’s secret young lover, or his unwilling wife. When her texts are read as independent outputs, albeit often in the form of correspondence, she steps forward as the ‘first female philosopher of the Middle Ages’. Her relationship with Abelard, important as it was for both of them, is secondary to her standing as a philosopher proper.



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Johann Beukes
University Of The Free State

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