Gilbert de la Porrée
Gilbert de la Porrée
Bishop of Poitiers, philosopher, theologian and general scholar; b. at Poitiers in 1076; d. in 1154

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Gilbert de la Porree
    Gilbert de la Porrée
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Gilbert de la Porrée
    (Gilbertus Porretanus)
    Bishop of Poitiers, philosopher, theologian and general scholar; b. at Poitiers in 1076; d. in 1154; studied under Hilary in Poitiers, under Bernard of Chartres at the famous school there, and finally under Anselm at Laon, where he probably first met Peter Abelard. Returning later to Chartres, he taught philosophy and the arts there for about fifteen years, receiving a canonry and holding at intervals the office of chancellor of the school. He was present at the Council of Sens (1141), at which Abelard was censured. The following year we find him teaching in Paris, with John of Salisbury among his pupils; but only for a brief space, for in 1142 he became Bishop of Chartres. His high character for learning and ecclesiastical zeal seems to have won for him the universal respect and veneration of his contemporaries. But his teaching regarding the Blessed Trinity involved him in trouble for a time. Two of his own archdeacons, alarmed at its novelty, reported it to Eugene III, and induced St. Bernard to oppose Gilbert's doctrines in the pope's presence at the Councils of Paris (1147) and Reims (1148). The dispute ended amicably without any very definite issue. Gilbert died universally regretted in the year 1154.
    He lived and taught during the critical epoch when the great scholastic synthesis, both in and in theology, was just beginning to take shape. The principles, methods, and doctrines of purely rational research were being extended from philosophy to theology and applied — often rashly, as with Abelard — to the elucidation of revealed truth. Aristotle's philosophy was finding its way through Moorish and Jewish channels into the Christian schools of Europe, gradually to supplant Platonic influences there, and the discussion of the great central problem of the validity of knowledge — the controversy on the Universals, as it was then called — was waxing warm and vehement. Gilbert's place among his contemporaries was a leading and honoured one; while his philosophical writings secured for him a fame that long survived him. In his "Liber Sex Principiorum" he explained the last six categories of Aristotle, the latter having treated expressly only the first four. The work immediately took its place as a scholastic textbook, side by side with the "Isagoge" and the "Categories", and was studied and expounded for three centuries in the medieval schools. His "Commentary on the Four Books of Boethius", especially on the two "De Trinitate", contain those applications of his doctrine on the Universals which for a time brought his orthodoxy under suspicion.
    Gilbert's attitude on the controverted question of the Universals has been very variously interpreted: as ontological realism (Prantl), empiric realism (Clerval, Zigliara), moderate realism ill-defined (de Wulf, Turner). The latter is, perhaps, nearest to the truth. Gilbert's doctrine, like that of Abelard, is an attempt, though only partially successful, to repudiate the extreme realism of the epoch, with its pantheistic tendencies. The universal concept (of the genus or class) has corresponding to it in the world of sense a number of similar singular objects. This similarity is, however, explained by Gilbert in away that brings it quite near identity. The created essence (forma nativa, eidos) of the individual member of a class is a copy of the Divine exemplar, "singularis in singularibus, sed in omnibus universalis" (John of Salisbury, Metal., II, xvii). He means that the forma nativa is not really (numerically) one and the same in omnibus, but only conceptually, i.e. by the consideration of the mind; so much is fairly evident from another reference of his to "universalia ... quae ab ipsis individuis humana ratio quodammodo abstrahit" (P.L., LXIV, 1374). Yet there are grounds for supposing that he attributed to the forma nativa, as it is in the individual, the universality of the logical concept. In the actual individual he distinguishes between the common or class essence which he calls subsistentia, e.g. "humanity" or "human nature" in the abstract, and that which makes it an existing individual and which he calls substantia e.g. "Plato". This process of objectifying and dividing off the abstract from the concrete, in the individual, he carried so far as to allege that in it "universality" was a distinct subsistentia, different from "singularity", and that the "unity" of the individual was a subsistentia distinct from the individual which it made "one". He thus mistook mental distinctions for real; and he carried his error into theology. Between God and His Divinity, the Father and His Paternity, the Son and His Sonship, the Holy Ghost and His Procession, the Divine Persons and the Divine Nature, he saw a distinction which is really due to our human way of grasping reality as a concrete embodying an abstract, a singular containing a universal, an essence determined by an existence but which Gilbert, with his Platonizing tendency to model the ontological upon the logical, conceived to be due to a division and plurality in the Godhead Itself. This was an excessive reaction against the Pantheism which would submerge all the real distinctions of things in an identity with one indivisible Divine existence.
    Gilbert's "Liber Sex Principiorum" and his "Commentary on Boethius" are in P.L., CLXXXIV and LXIV. He also left numerous commentaries on various books of the Old and New Testaments. A philosophical work called "Liber de Causis", sometimes attributed to him, is in reality an abridged Latin translation, through the Arabic, of the "Elevatio Theologica" of Proclus, a Greek Neo-Platonist of the fifth century.
    BERTHAUD, Gilbert de la Porree (Paris, 1892); CLERVAL, Les Ecoles de Chartres au moyen age (Paris, 1905); POOLE, Illustrations of the History of Medieval Thought (London, 1884); DE WULF, Histoire de la philosophie medievale (Louvain and Paris, 1895); TURNER, History of Philosophy (Boston, 1903).
    P. COFFEY
    Transcribed by Diane E. Dubrule

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


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  • Gilbert de la Porrée — Gilbert de la Porrée, (connu aussi comme Gilbertus Poretta, de préférence à Porretanus[1], ou Pictavieiisis, ou simplement Gilbert de Poitiers), (né à Poitiers en 1076, mort le 4 septembre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gilbert De La Porrée — (Miniature, Basel, Universitätsbibliothek. Ms. O II 24, 14r) Gilbert de la Porrée, connu aussi comme Gilbertus Poretta (de préférence à Porretanus[1]) ou Pictavieiisis et parfois simplement Gilbert de Poitiers, où il est né vers 1070/75 (?). Il y …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gilbert de la Porree — Gilbert de la Porrée Gilbert de la Porrée (Miniature, Basel, Universitätsbibliothek. Ms. O II 24, 14r) Gilbert de la Porrée, connu aussi comme Gilbertus Poretta (de préférence à Porretanus[1]) ou Pictavieiisis et parfois simplement Gilbert de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gilbert de la porrée — (Miniature, Basel, Universitätsbibliothek. Ms. O II 24, 14r) Gilbert de la Porrée, connu aussi comme Gilbertus Poretta (de préférence à Porretanus[1]) ou Pictavieiisis et parfois simplement Gilbert de Poitiers, où il est né vers 1070/75 (?). Il y …   Wikipédia en Français

  • GILBERT DE LA PORRÉE — (1080? 1154) Après 1126, Gilbert de La Porrée est chancelier de la cathédrale de Chartres; en 1141, Jean de Salisbury assiste à ses cours à Paris; il est évêque de Poitiers en 1142, et meurt en 1154. C’est avant tout un théologien, qui aura, de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Gilbert de la Porrée — Gilbert von Poitiers, auch Gilbert Porreta, Gilbertus Porretanus, Gilbert de la Porrée (* 1080; † 1155) war ein scholastischer Philosoph und Theologe. Der Schüler Bernhards von Chartres, Anselms von Laon und Radulfs von Laon war Lehrer in… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gilbert de la Porrée — Gilbert de la Porrée, also known as Gilbert of Poitiers, Gilbertus Porretanus or Pictaviensis (1070 ndash; September 4, 1154) was a scholastic logician and theologian.LifeHe was born in Poitiers. He was educated under Bernard of Chartres and… …   Wikipedia

  • Gilbert de la Porrée —   [ʒil bɛːr də la pɔ re], Gilbẹrtus Porretanus, Gilbert Porreta, Gilbert von Poitiers [ pwa tje], französischer Philosoph und Theologe, * Poitiers um 1080, ✝ ebenda 4. 9. 1154; Schüler des Bernhard von Chartres und des Anselm von Laon; lehrte in …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Gilbert de la Porrée — (Gislebertus Porretanus), namhafter franz. Scholastiker, geboren um 1070 in Poitiers, gest. daselbst 4. Sept. 1154, war zuerst Kanzler der Kirche von Chartres, mit welcher Stelle ein Lehramt verbunden war, dann Lehrer der Dialektik und Theologie… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Gilbert de la Porrée — (c. 1080–1154)    Bishop and Theologian.    Gilbert was born in Poitiers, France, and was a pupil of bernard of chartres and anselm of laon. He was consecrated Bishop of Poitiers in 1142. He was the author of commentaries on the Psalms and on the …   Who’s Who in Christianity

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