, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 113-120

First online:

The transcendentals in the middle ages: An introduction

  • Jorge J. E. GraciaAffiliated withState University of New York at Buffalo

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Although most predicates may be truthfully predicated of only some beings, there are others that seem to apply to every being. The latter, including ‘being’ itself, were known as the transcendentals in the Middle Ages and gave rise to the much disputed “doctrine of the transcendentals”. This article explores the main tenets of the doctrine and the difficulties that they face, the reasons why scholastic authors were interested in these issues, and the origins of the doctrine.