Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie
Ed. by Horn, Christoph / Serck-Hanssen, Camilla / Carriero, John / Meyer, Susan Sauvé
Editorial Board: Adamson, Peter / Allen, James V. / Bartuschat, Wolfgang / Curley, Edwin M / Emilsson, Eyjólfur Kjalar / Floyd, Juliet / Förster, Eckart / Frede, Dorothea / Friedman, Michael / Garrett, Don / Grasshoff, Gerd / Guyer, Paul / Irwin, Terence / Kahn, Charles H. / Knuuttila, Simo / Koistinen, Olli / Kosch, Michelle / Kraut, Richard / Longuenesse, Béatrice / McCabe, Mary / Pasnau, Robert / Perler, Dominik / Reginster, Bernard / Simmons, Alison / Timmermann, Jens / Trifogli, Cecilia / Weidemann, Hermann / Zöller, Günter
CiteScore 2017: 0.33
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.335
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.968
Peter Abelard on Material Constitution
Abstract: Some scholars have suggested that Peter Abelard has a solution to Allan Gibbard’s famous puzzle concerning a lump of clay and the statue that the clay composes. Although Abelard does not explicitly address an analogue of this puzzle, I claim that an Abelardian solution can be constructed based on principles drawn from his discussions of sameness and difference in his later theological writings. In this study, I first summarize the puzzle and several standard solutions to it. I then present and analyze Abelard’s account of sameness and difference, with special emphasis on his description of the ways in which the matter of a statue is both the same as and different from the statue. I then show how we can reconstruct an Abelardian solution to the problem from these remarks. Finally, I consider whether this Abelardian solution is coherent and plausible. In doing so, I show how the Abelardian solution reveals an underlying tension in Abelard’s later ontology.