John Buridan

Paperback | December 20, 2008

byGyula Klima

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This is a brief, accessible introduction to the thought of the philosopher John Buridan (ca. 1295-1361). Little is known about Buridan's life, most of which was spent studying and then teaching at the University of Paris. Buridan's works are mostly by-products of his teaching. They consistmainly of commentaries on Aristotle, covering the whole extent of Aristotelian philosophy, ranging from logic to metaphysics, to natural science, to ethics and politics. Aside from these running commentaries on Aristotle's texts, Buridan wrote influential question-commentaries. These were a typicalgenre of the medieval scholastic output, in which the authors systematically and thoroughly discussed the most problematic issues raised by the text they were lecturing on. The question-format allowed Buridan to work out in detail his characteristically nominalist take on practically all aspects ofAristotelian philosophy, using the conceptual tools he developed in his works on logic. Buridan's influence in the late Middle Ages can hardly be overestimated. His ideas quickly spread not only through his own works, but to an even larger extent through the work of his students and youngercolleagues, such as Nicholas Oresme, Marisilius of Inghen, and Albert of Saxony, who in turn became very influential themselves, and turned Buridan's ideas into standard textbook material in the curricula of many late medieval European universities. With the waning of scholasticism Buridan's famequickly faded. Gyula Klima argues, however, that many of Buridan's academic concerns are strikingly similar to those of modern philosophy and his work sometimes quite directly addresses modern philosophical questions.

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This is a brief, accessible introduction to the thought of the philosopher John Buridan (ca. 1295-1361). Little is known about Buridan's life, most of which was spent studying and then teaching at the University of Paris. Buridan's works are mostly by-products of his teaching. They consistmainly of commentaries on Aristotle, covering t...

Gyula Klima is a Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University.

other books by Gyula Klima

Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:December 20, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195176235

ISBN - 13:9780195176230

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Buridan's Life, Works, and Influence2. Buridan's logic and the medieval logical tradition3. The Primacy of Mental Language4. The various kinds of concepts and the idea of a mental language5. Natural language and the idea of a "formal syntax" in Buridan6. Existential import and the Square of Opposition7. Ontological commitment8. The properties of terms (proprietates terminorum)9. The semantics of propositions10. Logical validity in a token-based, semantically closed logic11. The possibility of scientific knowledge12. Buridan's anti-skepticism13. Buridan's essentialist nominalismBibliography