Scritti di logica [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 24 (4):739-740 (1971)

Of Peter Abelard's logical writings, the fruit of thirty-five years of his activity as a teacher and dialectician, there have been to date only four editions worthy of note: that of Cousin in 1836, of Geyer in 1919 and 1936, of Dal Pra in 1954, and lastly the critical reconstruction of Abelard's literal glosses by L. M. Rijk in 1956. With this handsome second edition of minor but relevant glosses of Abelard, Dal Pra aims to fill the gap still existing in the previous collections. His volume includes Abelard's writings found in the Paris BN manuscripts n. 13.368 and 7493. Chronologically the former belongs to the period when Abelard was given the chair of dialectic at the University of Paris in 1114 and the latter to Abelard's more mature period when he began original speculations on the logical status of propositions in 1121. Dal Pra argues at great length that the glosses in the first manuscript are to be read as the best and only introduction to Abelard's own work on dialectic. Hence he suggests against Rijk the title Introductiones Dialecticae rather than Introductiones Parvulorum. He assembles them according to what he believes was Abelard's intellectual development at the time. They are: the glosses to Porphyrius, to Aristotle's Categories, to the De Interpretatione, and to Boethius' De Devisione. [[sic]] The second section of the volume contains the glosses Super Topica where Abelard discusses among other subjects his first position on the problem of universals. Against Geyer who had consigned these works to the literal glosses of Abelard, Dal Pra offers strong evidence for locating them in the bulk of Abelard's De Ingredientibus precisely between the De Interpretatione and the De Syllogismo Hypothetico. The modernity of Abelard's logical theory is well known among contemporary logicians. Dal Pra's finely planned and handsomely executed edition makes an excellent contribution to the history of medieval logic as well as to contemporary logical theories on names and propositions.--L. M. P.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph197124469
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