<history of philosophy, biography> french logician and philosopher who first developed a theory of inertial motion (1295-1356). His commentaries on Aristotle's theory of action made famous the predicament involved in choosing (as must "Buridan's ass") between two equally attractive alternatives. Although he defended nominalism as a solution to the problem of universals, Buridan rejected the extreme version developed by his teacher, Ockham. Recommended Reading: Jean Buridan's Logic: The Treatise on Supposition, the Treatise on Consequences, ed. by Peter King (Reidel, 1986) and The Metaphysics and Natural Philosophy of John Buridan, ed. by J. M. M. H. Thijssen and Jack Zupko (Brill, 2000).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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