A twelfth-century Scholastic philosopher and theologian, b. about the year 1100. After having been a teacher of theology in Paris he became, about the year 1122, the tutor of Henry Plantagenet. Warned by a friend of the danger implied in his Platonic realism as he applied it to theology, he took up the study of philosophy and the physical science of the Arabians. When and where he died is a matter of uncertainty. There is a good deal of discussion in regard to the authorship of the works ascribed to him. It seems probable, however, that he wrote glosses on Plato's "Timaeus", a commentary on Boethius's "Consolations of Philosophy ", a dialogue called "Dragmaticon", and a treatise, "Magna de naturis philosophia". William devoted much attention to cosmology and psychology. Having been a student of Bernard of Chartres, he shows the characteristic Humanism, the tendency towards Platonism, and the taste for natural science which distinguish the "Chartrains". He is one of the first of the medieval Christian philosophers to take advantage of the physical and physiological lore of the Arabians. He had access to the writings of the Arabians in the translations made by Constantine the African.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online