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Adelard of Bath

A twelfth-century Scholastic philosopher, b. about 1100

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Adelard of Bath, a twelfth-century Scholastic philosopher, b. about 1100. Adelard was probably an Englishman by birth; he seems to have studied at Tours and Laon and probably taught at Laon and at Paris. He was one of the first medieval scholars to seek knowledge by travelling in Greece and Asia Minor. It was these journeys that, apparently, brought him into contact with the learning of the Arabians, which he utilized especially in the discussion of physical and physiological problems. He wrote a translation of Euclid’s geometry from the Arabic, and composed two original treatises entitled “De eodem et diverso” and “Quaestiones naturales”. The former was edited in 1903 and printed in Bäumker’s “Beiträge”; the latter exists in an edition dated 1477. Adelard was a pronounced Platonist in psychology and metaphysics, while he opposed the Platonic doctrine of realism in his theory of universals. His position in regard to the latter question was that of Walter of Montagne, and the other Indifferentists. His most noteworthy contribution to psychology is his attempt to localize mental functions, in which he shows the influence of Galen and the Arabians.

WILLIAM TURNER


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