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Calamitatum Of The Individual In the realm of critical thinking Abelard undoubtedly ranked highly in his day He was an expert dialectician philosopher and theologian and as a result led a movement towards individual thinking He traveled a lonely path of individuality and when his ideas were suppressed he found different ways to express his individuality The beginning of his life was marked by extreme personal freedom As his journey through life continued he found himself compounded with innumerable restrictions The role of monk could not change Abelard and his individuality brought him even greater misfortune He may forewarn others against the risks of such extreme individualism but his life clearly shows that Abelard thought his individuality was a natural part of him a part that was as inseparable as his faith From the beginning of Abelards Story of my Calamities he portrays himself as an individual The as oldest child in his family his life was intended for a military career but as he tells us he abandoned Mars for Minerva denouncing the popular and glorious profession of arms for that of learning In writing this he shows his clever and distinct way of thinking by referring to dialectic the art of examining options or ideas logically as a weapon of war I chose the weapons of dialectic to all the other teachings of philosophy and armed with these I chose the conflicts of disputation instead of the trophies of war p 58 ll 7-9 This is remarkable for the son of a soldier to make such a choice - even renouncing his inheritance - and pursue only intellectual advancement Leaving home he traveled off to school in Paris He was welcomed for a short while but soon found disfavor with his teacher Champeaux the grand master of dialectic at the time by refuting his arguments and proving himself several times to be the superior in debate This shows Abelards superior intellect at
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