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‘Iam Corpus’ or ‘Non Corpus’? On Abelard’s First Argument Against Material Essence Realism in the Logica ‘Ingredientibus’

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AbstractThis paper investigates Abelard’s first argument against the ‘material essence’ realist view on universals in the Logica ‘Ingredientibus’. It analyses three different interpretations of the argument, those of Alain de Libera, Peter King and Martin Tweedale. Much depends on the (for this section, single) manuscript reading ‘iam corpus’ in a crucial passage. The paper argues against the manuscript reading (endorsed by some scholars) and in favour of the emendation ‘non corpus’ suggested by the editor, Bernhard Geyer. The emended reading is supported by comparison with similar arguments of Abelard and his school found in published and unpublished sources.

Affiliations: 1: St. John’s College, University of Cambridge


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