Metaphysics as a Way of Life: Heymericus de Campo on Universals and the “Inner Man”

Vivarium 58 (4):305-334 (2020)

Abstract

Pierre Hadot famously claimed that, between Antiquity and German Idealism, Western philosophy had lost its practical role of guiding the life of the practitioner. Scholars who challenged this view focused on two medieval models. This article argues that the overlooked work Colliget principiorum iuris naturalis, divini et humani philosophice doctrinalium by Heymericus de Campo postulates a third model. On the basis of St. Paul’s teaching about the “inner man,” Heymericus reconsiders the Aristotelian doctrines of abstraction and of being as such in relation to the Neoplatonic model of intellectual progression and interior conversion. In a realist conceptual framework, he holds that only metaphysics reflects the true nature of the human being inasmuch as it presupposes a way of life that assumes both the interaction with and withdrawal from the sensible world. However, Heymericus’ theory is neither limited to nor conditioned by Christian principles, but by Peripatetic philosophy.

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Dragos Calma
Cambridge University

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