John Buridan and the Problems of Dualism in the Early Fourteenth Century

In this paper I argue that the famous problems of dualism between mind (soul) and body, that is, the problems of interaction and unification, concerned philosophers already in a medieval Aristotelian tradition. The problems, although traceable earlier, become particularly visible after William Ockham in the early fourteenth century, and in formulating his own position on the animal and human souls I argue that Buridan realized these problems and laid down the only views on the soul he thought to be possible in an Aristotelian framework. His discussion then sets the stage for the following centuries. In presenting the background to Buridan's discussion I treat Aquinas, Ockham, Walter Chatton and Adam Wodeham