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Calamitatum Of The Individual

Uploaded by Admin on Jan 22, 1999

In the realm of critical thinking, Abelard undoubtedly ranked highly in his day. He was an expert dialectician, philosopher and theologian, and as a result led a movement towards individual thinking. He traveled a lonely path of individuality, and when his ideas were suppressed, he found different ways to express his individuality. The beginning of his life was marked by extreme personal freedom. As his journey through life continued, he found himself compounded with innumerable restrictions. The role of monk could not change Abelard, and his individuality brought him even greater misfortune. He may forewarn others against the risks of such extreme individualism, but his life clearly shows that Abelard thought his individuality was a natural part of him, a part that was as inseparable as his faith. From the beginning of Abelard's Story of my Calamities he portrays himself as an individual. The as oldest child in his family his life was intended for a military career, but as he tells us, he abandoned Mars for Minerva, denouncing the popular and glorious profession of arms for that of learning. In writing this he shows his clever and distinct way of thinking by referring to dialectic, the art of examining options or ideas logically, as a weapon of war. "I chose the weapons of dialectic to all the other teachings of philosophy, and armed with these I chose the conflicts of disputation instead of the trophies of war." (p. 58, ll. 7-9). This is remarkable for the son of a soldier to make such a choice - even renouncing his inheritance - and pursue only intellectual advancement. Leaving home, he traveled off to school in Paris. He was welcomed for a short while, but soon found disfavor with his teacher Champeaux, the grand master of dialectic at the time, by refuting his arguments and proving himself several times to be the superior in debate. This shows Abelard's superior intellect at a very early age. This is no doubt a major reason for his individuality. One of his intellectual rank finds it hard to conform to others' standards, and naturally becomes a spectacle when showing his skills. This early conflict caused Abelard to leave and start his own school. Unfortunately, he could not maintain it and had to return home. Years later he was teaching in Paris again, he tells us how pupils flocked to him from every country in Europe, a statement...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   01/22/1999

Category:   Literature

Length:   6 pages (1,420 words)

Views:   1567

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