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Pèlerinage de la vie humaine, Guillaume de Deguileville, Intuitive cognition


This article maintains that the Pilgrim in Guillaume de Deguileville’s allegorical dream vision, Pèlerinage de la vie humaine, acquires a previously unrecognized importance through his cognitive abilities. Each personified figure’s significance depends not upon a general introduction, but the Pilgrim’s ability to identify those traits unique to their person. This mode of intellection mirrors the late Scholastic epistemology of intuitive cognition as championed by John Duns Scotus and William of Ockham. This theory allows the Pilgrim to grasp a particular object’s certitude without relying upon universals. Since this philosophy extols intellectual surety, it serves as a framework for interpreting the Pilgrim’s kind of knowing.