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The Cambridge Companion to Abelard (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy) [Paperback]

by Jeffrey E. Brower, Kevin Guilfoy
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 29, 2004 0521775965 978-0521775960
Although best known for his views about universals and his dramatic love affair with Heloise, Peter Abelard (1079-1142) also made important contributions in metaphysics, logic, philosophy of language, mind and cognition, philosophical theology, ethics, and literature. The essays in this volume survey the complete range of Abelard's thought by examining his overall achievement in its intellectual and historical context. They also trace Abelard's influence on later thought and his relevance to contemporary philosophical debate.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Someone looking for an interesting collection of articles on Abelard's logic and some theological themes will appreciate the Cambridge Companion." - Matthias Perkams, Friedrich- Schiller-Universitat Jena

Book Description

Peter Abelard (1079 1142) is one of the greatest philosophers of the medieval period. Although best known for his views about universals and his dramatic love affair with Heloise, he made a number of important contributions in metaphysics, logic, philosophy of language, mind and cognition, philosophical theology, ethics, and literature. The essays in this volume survey the entire range of Abelard's thought, and examine his overall achievement in its intellectual and historical context. They also trace Abelard's influence on later thought and his relevance to philosophical debates today.

Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Companions to Philosophy
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (March 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521775965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521775960
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,057,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of Abelard's Philosophy January 19, 2008
By Greg
Format:Hardcover
This volume in the excellent Cambridge Companions Series examines the ideas and contributions of the medieval philosopher Peter Abelard. Noted more for his eventful life as a controversialist, heretic and his famous affair with his student Heloise (which led to Abelard being castrated in revenge by her powerful uncle, Fulbert via hired henchmen), Abelard was also an outstanding philosopher and logician whose work anticipated many of the important developments in medieval philosophy which, taken up by thinkers such as Ockham, would spell the end of the medieval philosophical project.

Edited and with contributions from John Marenbon, one of the leading experts on Abelard and medieval thought, this volume explores Abelard's ideas on language and logic, metaphysics, human cognition and ethics. Abelard's insights in language, logic and ethics are especially interesting, as they overlap with many issues now being explored in contemporary philosophy.

This volume is a must for any student of Abelard and also of medieval philosophy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expert Commentary by Dedicated Scholars April 19, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Cambridge Companion to Abelard, Edited by Jeffrey Brower and Kevin Guilfoy.

One expects anything with the 'Cambridge University Press' impimatur to be of high quality, and this book is no exception. As I consulted it for a book on Abelard's theory of atonement, I was just a bit disappointed that there was no chapter dedicated to that subject; however, once I got past the Table of Contents, I discovered Chapter 8 on 'Sin, Grace, and Redemption' which treats that very subject, beginning with the important observation that 'atonement' as a theological issue seemed to bloom in the 12th and 13th centuries, with two of the three main competing theories arising within 50 years of one another, from Anselm of Canterbury and Peter Abelard, respectively.

One of the tragedies for those interested in Abelard is that we do not (yet) have a complete translation of his commentary on Romans. However, the author of Chapter 8, Thomas Williams, who, understandably, is adept in Latin, offers a summary of Abelard's thought from the whole Romans commentary.

The book covers all facits of Abelard's work, including his literary writings, especially Abelard's autobiography and letters to Heloise. The chapter headings show how remarkably modern Abelard's thinking was, as it includes Logic, Philosophy of Language, and Mind and Cognition. (I will be less surprised now to find similar topics in the works of other 11th - 13th century thinkers.)

As far as I know, the authors are all experts on Abelard. The biographical chapter is written by John Marenbon, a medievalist and author of 'The Philosophy of Abelard'. It's notable that all authors and editors have chairs in philosophy and not theology. With Abelard, that is probably a very good thing.
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