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Abelard's Dialectica was probably written before 1117, possibly 1118-19, based on lectures he gave in Paris 1115-16, around the beginning of his affair with Heloise. It is an independent treatise in logic divided into five parts

  1. De partibus orationis: Aristotle's categories and parts of speech, only the second part of which is extant (De Rijk, 51-145)
  2. De propositionibus et syllogismis categoricis: categorical propositions and syllogisms (ibid 145-249)
  3. Topica: the rules of inference or "topics" (ibid 253-468)
  4. De propositionibus et syllogismis hypotheticis: hypothetical propositions and syllogisms (ibid 469-531)
  5. Liber divisionum et definitionum: division and definition (ibid 532-572)

The only known witness is Paris. B. Nat. lat. 14614, missing the beginning and perhaps the end of the work as well[1].


  • Dialectica. Assen: Van Gorcum, 1956. First complete edition of the Parisian manuscript; with an introduction by L.M. De Rijk (Introduction CVI pages; Text pages 51-637); second revised edition 1970 (Introduction CXII; Text pages 51-669). See De Rijk 1956.
  • Incompletely by Victor Cousin in Ouvrages inédits d'Abélard, Paris 1836, pp. 173-497.

See also


  1. "I commence the text on p. 51, in the case someone should be fortunate enough to find it [the beginning]" (De Rijk, note 3, p XIII).
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