Byzantine Pilgrimage Art by Gary Vikan

By Gary Vikan

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12 Even John of Salisbury, who followed Abelard’s introductory lectures on dialectic in 1136/37, never shows any profound familiarity with Abelard’s theology. 14 While John shares Abelard’s admiration for classical ethics, he is more sympathetic to the arguments of Gilbert of Poitiers about language and theology. In the Historia pontificalis, John gives a detailed and nuanced account of the accusations against Gilbert raised at Reims in 1148, subtly criticizing Bernard of Clairvaux for not appreciating Gilbert’s learning and theological depth.

Me´dard, in Soissons, and then abbot at Anchin. Enthusiasm in the schools for speculative grammar created a reaction among those who thought that too narrow a focus on the study of discourse could lead to a lack of attention to the ethical question of how one should live. These arguments, the result of increasing specialization in the schools, would continue to play themselves out throughout Abelard’s later career. Abelard’s earliest glosses on dialectic make no allusion to debate about universals, one particular type of vox.

He recognizes vocalist thinking without engaging in heated polemic against their position. He does not present a particularly sophisticated definition of universals beyond suggesting that a species is the material essence shared by different individuals distinguished by accidents, the position that Abelard forced him to modify around 1109. William also composed commentaries on Cicero’s De inventione and the Rhetorica ad Herennium in which he frequently refers to the teaching of grammar and rhetoric in Laon.

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