Jean Buridan

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Buridan, Jean


Born circa 1300 in Bethune (Artois); died circa 1358. French philosopher; a representative of nominalism.

Buridan began teaching at the University of Paris in 1328. He contributed to the dissemination in France of Ockham’s philosophy and many concepts of natural science (explanation of the movement of falling bodies and the possibility of unlimited immovable space, for example). Buridan saw the problem of freedom of will as logically insoluble. He did not coin the proverbial expression “Buridan’s ass.”


Quaestiones super libris quattuor de caelo et mundo. Cambridge, Mass., 1942.


Istoriia filosofii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1941. Page 478.
Maier, A. Die Vorläufer Galileis im 14. Jahrhundert. Rome, 1949.
Faral, E. “Jean Buridan, maître ès arts de l’Université de Paris.” In his book Histoire littéraire de la France. Paris, 1950.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The philosophy section ranges through fourteenth-century nominalism and probabilism (with two papers on Jean Buridan), medieval understandings of Augustine on lying, and realist philosophies of truth from the thirteenth to fourteenth centuries.
The Liar Paradox (which for him is "the so-called liar paradox") can be addressed without any metalinguistic maneuvering simply by saying, with Jean Buridan, that the utterer of a Liar Sentence is speaking falsely.
The names of Jordanus Nemorarius, Jean Buridan, John Philoponus, Robert Grosseteste, Roger Bacon, Nicholas of Oresme, and Leon Battista Alberti may not be known to many, even to many contemporary scientists.
Due to the success of Thomist theology during the fifteenth century, Jean Buridan's nominalist definition of human freedom as being rooted in the aptitude to felicity seemingly disappeared from the public discourse, together with the proliferation of his works in Italy (David Lines).
For example, the History's coverage of the reception of Aristotle's Ethics and especially the debate about the ultimate end can be profitably studied in connection with this volume's two extended treatments of book 10 of the Ethics (Albert the Great in translation 1 and Jean Buridan in translation 16); and the History's discussion of conscience is fleshed out in translation 2, which presents Bonaventure's analysis of conscience and synderesis.
Jean Buridan, rector of the same university in the mid-1300s.
There was, as the documents he uncovered showed, intense intellectual activity during the Middle Ages, and a leading part was played by the masters of the Paris schools, in particular by Jean Buridan and Nicholas Oresme.
(11) "Unde substantias non percipimus mediante sensu sub conceptibus substantialibus, sed bene sub conceptibus accidentalibus et connotativis, et non mere absolutis"; John Buridan, Le traite de l'ame de Jean Buridan (De Prima Lectura), ed.
See also the developments in fourteenth-century scholasticism (`William of Occam, Jean Buridan, Gregory of Rimini, Nicholas of Autrecourt), whose relation to humanism has scarcely been studied.