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John of Salisbury (1115/20–1180)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-B065-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved October 02, 2023, from

Article Summary

John of Salisbury is one of the most learned and penetrating of twelfth-century Latin writers on moral and political matters. In his style as in his teaching, John represents a style of medieval philosophy heavily indebted to Roman models of rhetorical education. His interests in grammar, dialectic, politics and ethics are subordinated to an over-arching concern for moral formation. Three of John’s works stand out. The Entheticus de dogmate philosophorum (Entheticus of the Teaching of the Philosophers) is a satire on the pretensions and immoralities of those who divorce eloquence from philosophy in order to pursue power. The Metalogicon defends the traditional arts of the trivium and asserts the unity of eloquence and the other verbal arts with philosophy. By far the most important is the Policraticus, a sustained argument for philosophic wisdom against the vanities of worldly success, especially in politics.

Citing this article:
Jordan, Mark D.. John of Salisbury (1115/20–1180), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-B065-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2023 Routledge.

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