The horrific attacks of a group of militant Ismāʿīlīs called the Qarāmiṭa in 311/924–319/931 underscored the Abbasid regime’s weakness and inability to govern. However, it is precisely because the regime was so weak that the populace was forced to react — be it by fighting, escaping or demonstrating against the ruling elite. This essay examines the emotions and actions of the inhabitants of Baghdad and southern Iraq during the Qarāmiṭa attacks. It asks whether the threats and fear that the populace experienced fragmented society or united it. Although the answer is complex, it is possible to discern that in the long run the Qarāmiṭa scare caused the deterioration of Sunni and Shi’i relations.
Sufyān al-Thawrī (d. 161/777?) was a major Kufan jurisprudent with a later reputation for special hostility to Abū Ḥanīfa (d. 150/767) and his school and for upholding hadith against raʾy. However, the record of his hadith transmission as preserved in third/ ninth-century collections shows that he mainly collected and disseminated hadith in Kufa. The record of his agreements and disagreements in law as preserved in Muḥammad b. Naṣr al-Marwazī (d. 295/907–8?), Ikhtilāf al-fuqahāʾ, Ibn al-Mundhir (d. 318/930–1?), al-Ishrāf, and al-Jaṣṣāṣ al-Rāzī (d. 370/981), Mukhtaṣar Ikhtilāf al-ʿulamāʾ, shows preponderant agreement with the Ḥanafiyya and a lower degree of agreement with, among others, al-Awzāʿī and al-Shāfiʿī. The biographical dictionaries record few traces of a personal school of law after him. Doubts have been raised, but in the end he is to be counted an adherent of the Kufan regional school of law.
This article reconstructs Abelard’s account of eternal truths as it is presented in the Dialectica, in the so-called Sententiae Parisienses, and in the Theologia “Scholarium.” It first shows how in the Dialectica Abelard had to transform the traditional account of topical inferences in order to make sense of the idea that true conditional propositions express eternal truths. It clarifies Abelard’s claim that eternal truths are grounded on the “nature of things” and explains why Abelard thought that these truths hold even when there are no things. The article then considers Abelard’s reply to an objection according to which eternal truths have in fact been false in the past. It examines Abelard’s mature views on eternal truths as we find them in the Sententiae Parisienses and Theologia “Scholarium.” Here, Abelard grants the status of eternal truth also to what is expressed by contingently true categorical propositions. These truths are grounded on the “events of things” that exist eternally as the proposition-like objects of God’s will and foreknowledge.
The identification of two possible readings – de re and de dicto – of modal claims is considered one of the greatest achievements of Abelard’s logic. In the Dialectica and the Logica “Ingredientibus,” Abelard uses this distinction as a basis for his modal semantics and theory of modalities. Rather than focusing on Abelard’s own theory, the aim of this article is to pay attention to a number of sources that – like Abelard’s logical works – are datable to the first decades of the twelfth century, to investigate whether the de re–de dicto distinction was already adopted and debated in them. It argues that, even if there is no systematic theorization of the distinction in these sources, Abelard’s contemporaries put forward a number of questions concerning the syntax and the signification of modal claims that contributed to set the stage for the distinction’s identification and later development.
The study of the interdependence of grammar and logic at the beginning of the twelfth century is a difficult subject and progress here has been slow. With the recent publication of the Notae Dunelmenses, however, we are now able to see rather more clearly how closely the two disciplines were bound to one another. The following article draws upon this newly published material and on unpublished material from contemporary commentaries on Aristotle’s Categories to investigate how the grammarians’ account of number was reconciled with that given by Aristotle. It considers in particular the problem of the meaning of numerical terms such as ‘pair’ (binarius) and of collective names such as ‘people’ (populus) and how attempting to solve it shaped thinking about the metaphysics of number.
This special issue grew out of a small conference The Known & the Unknown: Exploring Twelfth-Century Philosophy, which was funded by the Carlsberg Foundation, hosted by the Saxo Institute, and held at the University of Copenhagen in April 2018. Its central topic was the many, mostly unexplored, commentaries on Aristotle, Boethius, and Porphyry that constitute the key textual evidence for a fascinating phenomenon that, although it played a pivotal role in the philosophical revival of Western Europe, remains frustratingly underexplored to this day: the logical schools of the twelfth century. The present introduction has two parts. In the first part, John Marenbon lays out the background to this special issue of Vivarium as a whole, explaining both what the philosophical project pursued by twelfth-century logicians was and how, and how far, the historical project of understanding it has progressed over the last two hundred years. In the second part, Heine Hansen briefly presents the issue and its contents.
This article aims to demonstrate the interdependence of semantics and noetics against the referentialist trend in Abelard studies conceiving semantics as confined to the truth/falsity function. The article takes as a turning point of the argument Abelard’s question “can a true proposition generate a false understanding?” which secondary literature does not take into account. Starting from the analysis of this question, the article aims to show the development of an enhanced notion of understanding compared to the Boethian one. The core of this enhanced notion of understanding is the action of attentio, which is the condition for the elaboration of a coherent and global definition of signification (de rebus and de intellectibus). The analysis of the mental action of attentio entails the description of other kinds of mental actions, leading one to conceive understanding as a multi-layered complex of actions.
Medieval philosophers had a predilection for using the correlative pair father and son as an illustrative example in their discussions of relations. The use of this example has sometimes led to charges of confusion on the grounds that fatherhood and sonship are not proper converses. The present article shows how a group of twelfth-century philosophers from the milieu around the logician Alberic of Paris handled the problems arising from the use of this illustrative example which they had inherited from their ancient and late-ancient predecessors.