Dialectic of Abelard, Explanation of DialecticJune 27, 2021
Abelardus’ most famous work is “Yes and No”, originally called “Sic et Non”.
Here, Abelardus exhibited a dialectical style of discussion that will be remembered with Scholastic times. He raised more than 150 questions to which Church Pastors responded with contradictory views. His goal is to invite students to resolve these controversial theological issues, he said. “By doubting we go to question, by questioning we grasp the truth.”
Thomas Aquinas later made changes to Abelardus’ method. An added feature to Abelardus’ methodology was his analysis of opposing arguments. Abelardus created confusion and controversy just by the technique he used. It angered traditionalists because it saw theology as an opportunity for heated debate and questioning rather than contemplation and acceptance. However, there is no doubt about what he really committed. After his conviction in 1141, he wrote to his lover Heloise: “If it is necessary to deny Paul, then I do not want to be a philosopher. If it is necessary to separate from Jesus, I do not want to be Aristotle.”
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook