ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf

138. Extreme Realism. -- This solution "realizes" the object of our abstract concepts, clothing it, in the extramental order, with the universality under which we conceive it. It seems to have been the first view to gain adherents, for Abelard refers to it as an antiqua doctrina,{1} and, down to the end of the twelfth century, its opponents are called moderni. We may attribute the popularity of extreme realism for four centuries to two main causes. Firstly, it seemed to offer an intelligible explanation of certain dogmas of the Catholic faith, such as that of the transmission of original sin (142). And secondly, it is a categorical and simple solution of a troublesome problem. Indeed of all the solutions it is the least complex, for it asserts an adequate correspondence between the things of Nature and our intellectual representations of them: by its very simplicity it seduced philosophers into embracing it.

{1} Similarly an anonymous MS. of the twelfth century, published by HAURÉAU (Not. et extr. ins. lat. Bibl. Nat., t. 31, part 21, p. 201) "Est autem antiqua sententia et quasi antiquis erroribus inveterata".

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