Expresses his contempt for the ordinary school rhetorician, the hair-splitting dialecticians and their "sense of inability to speak, since they dare not even pronounce their own name for fear of expressing themselves ambiguously."
Richard of St Victor, prior of the monastery from 1162 to 1173, is still more absorbed in mysticism, and his successor Walter loses his temper altogether in abuse of the dialecticians and the Summists alike.
The Summists have as much to say against the existence of God as for it, and the dialecticians, having gone to school to the pagans, have forgotten over Aristotle the way of salvation.
But now the greater boldness of the dialecticians awakened a spirit of general distrust in the exercise of reason on sacred subjects, and we find even a Realist like Gilbert de la Porree arraigned by Bernard and his friends before a general council on a charge of heresy (at Rheims, 1148).
The strength of these men lay in destructive criticism rather than in construction: as dialecticians they were successful, but they contributed little to ethical speculation.