Original Research

Policraticus en Metalogicon: ʼn Bywerking van die Saresberiensis-navorsing, 2013–2018

Johann Beukes
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 40, No 1 | a1959 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v40i1.1959 | © 2019 Johann Beukes | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 December 2018 | Published: 17 July 2019

About the author(s)

Johann Beukes, Department of Philosophy, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


Policraticus and Metalogicon: Updating the Saresberiensis-research, 2013-2018. This article provides an overview of the philosophical outputs of John of Salisbury (ca. 1115–1180), with reference to his two main philosophical texts, Policraticus and Metalogicon (both circulated in 1159). After presenting current research challenges in Medieval philosophy, Salisbury is presented as an example of a ‘non-canonised’ figure in Medieval philosophy; one who is throughly researched in his niche compartment, but remains unacknowledged in ‘canonised’ Medieval philosophy. Few introductions, readers and companions in the discipline give attention to ‘non-canonical’ thinkers such as Salisbury – yet when the niche research itself comes forward with a remarkable output in a short period of just five years, the ‘canon’ of Medieval philosophy itself could possibly be challenged. The niche research in Salisbury’s case has indeed presented an energetic output over the past few years, which transcends the standardised sources and enriches the discipline. The question lingers: do these combined efforts have the ability to challenge the notion of a ‘canonised’ Medieval philosophy? Four contributions from the niche scholarship from 2013 to 2018 are henceforth discussed: i) A new translation of Metalogicon (Hall & Haseldine 2013); ii) A research-updated introduction (Grellard & Lachaud 2015), the first of its kind in Salisbury scholarship in more than three decades; iii) A monography (O’ Daly 2018, overstating the own case contra Nederman, yet with a stunning Roman premise); and iv) The replacement of the complete Salisbury section in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Bollermann and Nederman 2016).

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: As a millennium-long discourse, Medieval philosophy functions in a Venn diagrammatical relationship with Medieval history, Church history, patristics and philosophy of religion. Whenever ‘mainstream’ or ‘canonised’ Medieval philosophy is impacted from the niche research, it may well have implications that these closely related disciplines could take note of.


John of Salisbury; Saresberiensis-Research; Policraticus; Metalogicon; Hall & Haseldine 2013; Grellard & Lachaud 2015; Irene O’Daly 2018


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