Dissertation, University of Alberta (2018)

Authors
Roxane Noël
Cambridge University
Abstract
This thesis focuses on Abelard’s solution to the problem of understanding universals as presented in the Tractatus de Intellectibus. He examines this issue by asking what is understood when we consider the term ‘man’, a problem I call the ‘homo intelligitur [man is understood]’ problem. This is an important question, since earlier in the Treatise, Abelard states that understandings paying attention [attendens] to things otherwise than they are are empty, and thus, cannot be true. The challenge is therefore to explain how understandings about universals, such as genera and species, can be sound, given that Abelard is a nominalist and, as such, does not believe in the existence of universal entities. His own answer to the problem is that such understandings attend to natures. However, since natures are, on his view, nothing more than the individuals they belong to, it is unclear how his solution is intended to work. I propose two ways to understand Abelard’s solution to the ‘homo intelligitur’ problem, identifying their respective merits and drawbacks. The first one is to treat ‘nature’ as meaning ‘status’. I explore this solution in Chapters 2 and 3, and conclude that while it has the advantage of establishing links between De Intellectibus and previous logical works by Abelard, it has some significant drawbacks, most notably that it is unclear how we can have epistemic access to status given that status are not things, which renders unclear how the criteria for the soundness of understandings can be met. The second one involves treating natures as referring to behaviors typical of members of a given genus or species. These behaviors come from the particular essential forms possessed by individuals, i.e. their differentiae understood as analogous to nuclear tropes in Peter Simons’ trope theory. I conclude that this solution is more intuitive than the first one and has the advantage of not depending on a specific interpretation of the evolution of Abelard’s thought. However, it is unclear how to treat behaviors and regularities in his ontology.
Keywords Universals  Understandings  Abelard  Medieval Philosophy  Twelfth Century  Nature
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Particulars in Particular Clothing: Three Trope Theories of Substance.Peter Simons - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (3):553-575.
The Metaphysic of Abstract Particulars.Keith Campbell - 1981 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 6 (1):477-488.
Substance Substantiated.C. B. Martin - 1980 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 58 (1):3 – 10.
States of Affairs.Mark Textor - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 32 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Cambridge Companion to Abelard.Jeffrey E. Brower & Kevin Guilfoy (eds.) - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
The Philosophy of Peter Abelard.John Marenbon - 1997 - Cambridge University Press.
Peter Abelard's Theory of the Proposition.Kevin Stephen Guilfoy - 1999 - Dissertation, University of Washington
Abelard and Heloise.C. J. Mews - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Abelard's Rejection of the Tarski Biconditional.Kevin Guilfoy - 2002 - Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 5.
Responsibility, Passion, and Sin: A Reassessment of Abelard's Ethics.Jean Porter - 2000 - Journal of Religious Ethics 28 (3):367 - 394.
Peter Abelard's Philosophical Thoughts of Nominalism.Ji-Xuan Zhang - 2006 - Philosophy and Culture 33 (6):29-43.
Peter Abelard: Collationes.Peter Abelard (ed.) - 2001 - Clarendon Press.
Abelard and the Jews.Eileen C. Sweeney - 2014 - In Babette S. Hellemans & E. J. Brill (eds.), Rethinking Abelard: A Collection of Critical Essays. pp. 37-50.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-02-07

Total views
231 ( #34,948 of 2,344,158 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
79 ( #6,893 of 2,344,158 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes