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John Buridan’s Commentary on the Metaphysics

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Chapter Summary

One of the few commentaries that has come down originated at the University of Paris and was written by John Buridan. This chapter attempts to address Buridan's metaphysical project as reflected in his commentary on Aristotle's Metaphysics. The several versions of his Metaphysics-commentary and their influence move on to discuss Buridan's concept of metaphysics. Some individual metaphysical themes are considered, in order to see how Buridan's concept of metaphysics was put into practice, viz., his theory on being and essence, his views on substantiality, and his ideas on immaterial being. The chapter then briefs about a statement of the defining feature of Buridan's metaphysical enterprise. Buridan's discussion on being and essence can be called exemplary for his way of doing metaphysics. Buridan himself thought highly of the discipline of metaphysics, the importance of which was, according to him, beyond question.

Keywords: Aristotle's metaphysics; commentaries; John Buridan; University of Paris



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