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William of Conches

c.1080-c.1154. Norman philosopher. He was a disciple of Bernard of Chartres and himself taught at Chartres, where he sought to further classical learning and literature. John of Salisbury,* one of his pupils, considered him an accomplished grammarian. After 1140 he was attacked by opponents of classical studies and by William of St.-Thierry,* who detected in his writings the influence of Abelard's* heresies. Withdrawing from public teaching to the court of Geoffrey Plantagenet, he taught the future king of England, Henry II. He wrote commentaries on all the basic Platonic texts of the early Middle Ages. His treatises Philosophia Mundi and Pragmaticon reveal strongly Platonistic and Realistic tendencies. Leaning toward pantheism, he identified the Holy Spirit as the world soul.

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