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The Virtue Of Virginity: The Aristotelian Challenge

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Chapter Summary

The discussion of the virtue of virginity in medieval commentaries on the Nicomachean Ethics provides a significant example of the kind of challenges Aristotle?s work posed to the beliefs and values of its medieval readers. Thomas Aquinas, the first commentator to take up the challenge, argued that virginity is different from the vice of insensibility because it involves abstinence not from all, but only from sexual pleasures. Radulphus?s discussion of virginity is almost entirely centred on a philosophical refutation of the Aristotelian challenge. While Henry?s assessment of virginity in the sentential closely follows Aquinas?s Sententia libri Ethicorum, his quaestio on insensibility is heavily indebted to Giles of Orleans, the Erlangen and Erfurt commentaries, and John of Tytynsale. The Carmelite friar Guido Terreni composed his commentary on Aristotle?s Ethics in the early fourteenth century. New perspectives were opened in the commentaries of Gerald of Odo and John Buridan.

Keywords: Aristotelian challenge; Gerald of Odo; Giles of Orleans; Henry of Friemar; John Buridan; medieval commentary; Nicomachean Ethics; Radulphus Brito; Thomas Aquinas; virtue of virginity

10.1163/ej.9789004163164.i-376.47
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004163164.i-376.47
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