John Buridan

(c. 1295—1360)

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(c.1300–after 1360)

French scholastic philosopher. Buridan was educated under Ockham and taught at Paris, where he was also rector of the university. Little is known directly of Buridan's life, although it is known that he climbed Mont Ventoux considerably before Petrarch, and it was rumoured that he was tossed into the Seine in a sack for dallying with the Queen of France. He was a logician rather than a theologian, and pursued issues of formal logic for their own sake rather than for the sake of doctrinal argument. In addition to his writings in philosophy and logic, he contributed extensively to the science of his time, and his ethics shows a teleological bent related to Cicero and Seneca rather than to the more authoritarian and deontological ethics of Ockham. In logic his Consequentiae and Sophismata contain discussions of modal logic and of paradoxes of self-reference which still hold considerable interest.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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