ABELARD, PETER Peter Abelard (1079-1142) (Pierre Abélard or Abailard; the Latin form, Petrus Abaelardus) first achieved fame as a dialectician who rejected the authority of William of Champeaux on the question of universals. In Dialectica (c. 1112-1117) and Logica “Ingredientibus” (c. 11181122), Abelard argued that a universal term was a word signifying some attribute of an individual, rather than a real thing in itself. He attached great importance to the singularity of individual objects, and questioned the notion that identical individuals shared a common essence. Abelard had no direct knowledge of the scientific works of Aristotle. He was also critical of those scholars who were so fascinated by *Plato’s Timaeus that they identified the world soul with the Holy Spirit. Nonetheless, Abelard was intrigued by the rational order of the universe, and interpreted Plato’s world soul as a poetic image of divine goodness sustaining creation.