Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Beattie, Blake R.

Author's Keywords

Twelfth century; Peter Abelard; Medieval philosophy


Abelard, Peter, 1079-1142; Civilization, Medieval--12th century; Philosophy, Medieval


Historians and philosophers alike remember Peter Abelard as the most brilliant, original, and influential philosopher of the twelfth century. Much ofthis reputation stems not from Abelard's intellectual contributions but due to Abelard's scandalous personal life and the nonexistence of documents of Abelard's contemporary philosophers. Though brilliant, Abelard exerted little influence through his ideas. Unlike a modem professor who changes the paradigms of his discipline with innovative theses, Abelard was a skilled teacher who sought to teach students the skills they required to advance their careers within a reformed Catholic Church, which was newly interested in logic, philosophy, and theology. Seen from this perspective, Abelard has much more in common with his contemporary intellectuals and is more consistent with the context of his age than the secondary scholarship typically recognizes.