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is clearly analysed by Cousin :—The final conclusion of ÎNTROBoethius,' says this writer, ‘upon the three questions contained in the sentence of Porphyry, is (1) that in one sense genera and species may be regarded as possessing an independent existence, though not in another; (2) that they are themselves incorporeal but exist only in corporeal objects of sense; (3) that though they have no real existence save in the individual and sensible object, they may be conceived, apart from the sensible and particular, as incorporeal and selfsubsistent. According to Plato, says Boethius, genera, species, and universals, exist not only as concepts of the intellect, but independently of sensible objects and abstracted from them; according to Aristotle, they have no real existence save in sensible objects and are universal and immaterial only as apprehended by the mind. It remains but to add that Boethius does not pretend to decide between the two; the decision of the controversy belongs to a higher branch of philosophy. If he has given us the Aristotelian conclusion, it is not because he approves it rather than that of Plato, but because the treatise on which he is commenting is an introduction to the Categories,—the work of Aristotle himself. From this statement, which is scrupulously accurate, it is evident that if Boethius in his first commentary would seem to favour without reservation and with but 'little judgement the Platonic theory; in the second, without a single opinion upon the question of Universals that can be called his own, but solely in his capacity as translator and commentator on Aristotle,—he adopts the Peripatetic theory, enunciates it with equal lucidity, follows it out into considerable detail, devoting but a single line to the theory of Plato; and it was thus that, of the two great schools which had divided antiquity, one only, that of Aristotle, was to any extent known, offering indeed with respect to the problem of Porphyry a doctrine not altogether satisfactory, but at least clear and well defined. Add to this that the Introduction by Porphyry and the two works of Aristotle translated by Boethius, are works on logic and grammar; that these only were studied and commented on, and this always in conformity


Rabanus Maurus shews that

INTRO. with Boethius; and it is evident that from this exclusive

study there could scarcely result anything but tendencies and intellectual habits entirely opposed to realism'.'

It will scarcely be deemed necessary that we should produce further evidence to shew-that not simply were the main features of the Realistic controversy carefully preserved in the pages of the best known author of the earlier Middle Ages, but that the Aristotelian refutation was especially

familiar to the learned of those times; and it is further to The gloss of be observed that the gloss of Rabanus Maurus quoted by

Mr Lewes in his History of Philosophy, and erroneously the contro- attributed by him to Boethius, constitutes not the locus Poetingels classicus, as he has inferred, for the origin of the controversy, to the ninth but is rather evidence that the controversy was sufficiently

familiar to the age in which Rabanus wrote to permit him to indicate it by nothing more than a passing allusion”. Cousin, indeed, has ventured to surmise that, inasmuch as Rabanus was a pupil of Alcuin at Tours and afterwards himself head of the school founded by Charlemagne at Fulda, this gloss may possibly represent the dialectical teaching of those schools. However this may be, it is sufficiently certain that the great dispute respecting Universals did not remain fossilised in three words from the time of Boëthius to that of Roscellinus, but that it was to a certain extent familiar to the students of the ninth and tenth centuries, and that when the daring upholder of ultra-Nominalism came forward to

was familiar


1 Cousin, Fragments Philosophiques, Abélard, pp. 100-102. The arguments which Boethius brings for. ward are borrowed from Aristotle, Metaphysics, Bks. III and viri pp. 62, 158, 174, ed. Brandis.

2 The following is the original of the passage quoted by Mr Lewes (Hist. of Phil. 11 25):- Intentio Porphyrii est in hoc opere facilem intellectum ad Prædicamenta preparare, tractando de quinque rebus vel vocibus, genere scilicet, specie, differentia, proprio et accidente, quorum cognitio valet ad Prædicamentorum cognitio

Mr Lewes (while quoting Cousin as his authority) has, as it appears te me, fallen into error on

three points:-(1) in ascribing to Boethius the foregoing passage, which as Cousin expressly states is part of the gloss of Rabanus Maurus ; (2) in applying the comments of Cousin on the translation of Porphyry by Boethius in the sixth century, to the gloss of Rabanus Maurus in the ninth; (3) in leaving it to be inferred that the above fragment of this gloss was the sole surviving passage wherein the question of Universals was adverted to by Boethius. So erroneous a representation of the history of what Mr Lewes himself terms the 'Great Dispute' of these times, attests a very hasty consultation of his authority.

ጎcገn. .


urge his philosophic arguments in contravention of the doc- INTRO trine of the Trinity, he did little more, as regards the arena of metaphysics, than add fresh fuel to a controversy already frequently debated'.

But though it would appear that Ruscellinus cannot Roscellinus. rightly be regarded as the first to renew the ancient battle, it is undeniable that he invested it with a greatly increased importance by the new element he introduced. Hitherto the existence of Universals had probably been regarded as little more than an abstract question, and indistinguishable as such from the many numerous discussions that exercised the ingenuity of the dialectician. The new starting point His applicaassociated with the name of Roscellinus, is that marked by controversy the application, which he was the first to make, of the Universals conclusions of the prevailing Nominalism to that great theo-tring of the logical doctrine which one writer has ventured to characterise as the foundation of all the metaphysical thought and speculation of the ages after Gregory the Great,'—the doctrine of the Trinity. The seeming relevancy of his opinion to this doctrine scarcely requires to be indicated. If indeed it were possible to show that essences or qualities, over and above their presence in the individual, had a separate entity, that this entity again was something apart from the concept in the mind,-equally distinct from the sentient subject and the sensible object,-it might seem to many to follow that the great mystery of a Triune Godhead, the Three in One, the One in Three, was in some degree brought nearer to human apprehension”. To such a conclusion however the Nomi

d. 1106 (?).


1. En avançant dans ce commen- péripatéticienne répandue par Boëce taire (that of Rabanus) on s'aperçoit prévalait généralement, mais qu'il y que ce doute n'est pas particulier à arait pourtant à côté de celle-une l'auteur ; on apprend qu'il avait déjà solution différente, qui, sans être aussi deux partis sur cette question et accréditée, avait aussi ses partisans.' comme deux écoles constituées, et Fragments Philosophiques, dbélard,p. que l'une de ces écoles prétevdait

106 and 119. For an exhaustive exque Porphyre ne considère dans cette amination of the relation of Boethius Introduction le genre, l'espèce, la dif- to the whole controversy see Rémusat, férence, le propre, l'accident, qu'ab- Abélard, 11 37–64. stractivement et comme des noms... ? Such, at least, was certainly the Il résulte...... que le problème posé view of Anselm :-- Qui enim nondum par Porphyre dans les premières intelligit quomodo plures homines in lignes de l'Introduction excitait déjà specie sint homo unus, qualiter in illa quelque attention ; que la solution secretissima natura comprehendet quo.


John of Salisbury. d. 1182.

nalism of Roscellinus which appeared inevitably to lead up to Pritlieism, offered an insuperable barrier, and hence the origin of that great controversy, commencing between this philosopher and Anselm, which so long divided the learning and the intellect of these times. Into the details of this long dispute: it is not within our province to enter! For more than two centuries it formed the rallying point of contending parties, and the Schools re-echoed to cries of universalia ante rem, and universalia in re. John of Salisbury, writing about the year 1152, relates how when he returned to Oxford after his residence at Paris, whither he had gone to study the canon law, he found the wordy warfare raging with undiminished vigour. The science of sciences, as Rabanus Maurus had called it, seemed likely altogether to absorb the rest The enthusiasm of the disputants was puzzling to his cool, practical, English mind, and elicited from him expressions of unqualified contempt,—the earliest,

perhaps, that greeted the ears of the learned of that period. His estimate “They bring forth,' he said, “some new opinion concerning berdies on the genera and species, that had escaped Boethius, and of which

Plato was ignorant, but which they, by wonderful good fortune have extracted from the mine of Aristotle. They are prepared to solve the old question, in working at which the world: has grown old, and more time has been expended than the Cæsars employed in winning and governing the universe, more money spent than Croesus ever possessed. Long has this question exercised numbers throughout their whole lives; this single discovery has been the sole object of their search; and they have eventually failed to arrive at any result whatever. The reason I suppose was that their curiosity was unsatisfied with that which alone could be discovered. For as in the shadow of any body the substance of solidity is vainly


modo plures persone, quarum singula
quæque est perfectus Deus, sint Deus
unus ?' De Fide Trinitatis sive In-
carnatione Verbi, contra blasphemias
Verbi, quoted by Cousin.

1 For an impartial account of the
controversy, see Appendix (A) to Pro-
fessor Bain's Mental und Moral

Science; Hauréau, Philosophie Scholastique ; Hampden's Bampton Lectures, Lect. II; and, for the important question of the relation of the Categories and the Isagoge of Porphyry to the controversy, Dean Mansel's Artis Logica Rudimenta, Appendix, Note A..

purer Latin

sought for, so in those things that belong to the intellect, INTROand can only be conceived as universals but cannot exist as universals, the substance of a more solid existence cannot be discerned. To wear out a life in things of this kind is to work, teach, and do nothing; for these are but the shadows of things, ever fleeing away and vanishing the more quickly the more eagerly they are pursued. It is an oft repeated reminder to which he gives utterance in his writings, that the dialectic art however admirable is not the sum and end of human acquirement? To such vagaries the school presided over by Bernard of Chartres at the close of the eleventh Bernard of century offers an agreeable contrast. Grammar and rhetoric appear to have there been taught after a far less mechanical His method fashion; an attention to correct Latinity was inculcated, and tion. Cicero and Quintilian were studied as models. The Roman poets were not neglected, and the whole system of instruction elicited the commendation of the writer above quoted. It is to be observed indeed, that Lanfranc, Anselm, John of Comparative

purity of the Salisbury', and Giraldus Cambrensis wrote far

Latinity of

this period. than is subsequently, to be found among those whose taste was completely corrupted by the barbarous versions of Aristotle that were studied by the later Schoolmen.

In the year 1109 Anselm died; it was the year in which William of Champeaux opened a school of logic at Paris. William of

Champeaux. Among his pupils was Abelard, and a few years later we see Abelard.

1 Policraticus, Bk. VII C: 12. His sola. Tunc demum eminet, cum ad. description of the different parties junctarum virtute splendescit.' also deserves quotation:—Sunt qui, 3 It may be here noted that the more mathematicorum, formas ab- numerous citations in John of Salis. strahunt, et ad illas quidquid de bury from. classical writers are freuniversalibus dicitur referunt. Alii quently second-hand. His knowledge discutiunt intellectus, et eos univer- of Greek was scanty; he had read salium nominibus censeri confirmant. with a learned Greek parts of the Fuerunt et qui voces ipsas genera Organon and of the Topica, but he dicerent esse et species; sed eorum nowhere professes to have read [for jam explosa sententia est,, et facile himself] a Greek book; we find in cum auctore suo evanuit. Sunt ta- him no citation from a Greek author, men adhuc qui deprehenduntur in not known to him through the mevestigiis eorum, licet erubescant auc- dium of Latin.' C. Schaarschmidt, torem vel sententiam profiteri, solis Johannes Saresberiensis nach. Leben nominibus inhærentes, quod rebus et und Studien, Schriften und Philoso. intellectibus subtrahant, sermonibus phie, (Leipzig, 1862) 113: (Quoted ascribunt.'

by Rev. J. E. B. Mayor, Pref. to * Metalogicus, Lib. 11 c. 9; rv 27. Richard of Cirencester (Rolls Series), 'Fere enim inutilis est logica, si sit

p. cxvii).

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