A History of Philosophy - Ockham to the Speculative Mystics by Copleston, Frederick

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By Copleston, Frederick

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In the thirteenth century there naturally appeared a variety of commentaries on the Aristotelian logic and of logical handbooks and treatises. Among English authors may be mentioned William of Shyreswood (d. 1249), who composed Introductiones ad logicam, and among French authors Lamber of Auxerre and Nicholas of Paris. But the most popular and influential work on logic was the Summulae logicales of Peter of Spain, a native of Lisbon, who taught at Paris and later became Pope John XXL He died in 1277.

It is clear enough that the three thinkers, some of whose philosophical ideas we have considered in this chapter, were not revolutionaries in the sense that they set themselves against the traditional philosophical currents in general. For example, they did not manifest any marked preoccupation with purely logical questions and they did not show that mistrust of metaphysics which was characteristic of Ockhamism. They were, indeed, in varying degrees critical of the doctrine of St. Thomas. But Henry of Harclay was a secular priest, not a Dominican; and in any case he showed no particular hostility towards Thomism, though he rejected St.

Indeed, the former would never have been asserted without the latter; for if a class-word like ‘man’ were devoid of any objective reference and if there were no such thing as human nature, there would be no reason for ascribing to God a universal idea of man, that is, an idea of human nature. In the second volume of this work an account has been given of the course of the controversy concerning universals in the Middle Ages up to the time of Aquinas; and there it was shown how the early mediaeval form of ultra-realism was finally refuted by Abelard.

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