That a thinker discusses a topic is often noted, while how he discusses that topic is left insufficiently clear. A case in point is Peter Abelard, "who," D. E. Luscombe has claimed, "first in his time attempted a serious philosophical discussion of natural virtue and who first really put the human virtues upon the theological map." Despite continuing interest in Abelard, and his ethics in particular, little has been done to illuminate what he takes a virtue to be, how the virtues are interrelated, and how Abelard's account compares to other treatments of the virtues. This paper attempts, if only in a preliminary fashion, to answer some of these questions, and to suggest what implications follow from those answers.

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Copyright © 1986, Villanova University. This article first appeared in Proceedings of the Patristic, Medieval, and Renaissance Conference (1986), 71-82.

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