Jean Buridan, a French philosopher of the 14th century, born at Bethune, in Artois. He studied at the university of Paris, of which he became rector in 1347. He was a disciple of Occam, and his best works relate to the philosophy of Aristotle. He was prominent in the school of nominalistic philosophy, and several contradictory stories are told of the incidents of his life. His celebrity in modern times arises from a popular illustration, attributed to him, of the determining reasons in reference to the action of the will. According to it, an ass, placed midway between two bundles of hay, equally attractive, would maintain his position, and die of starvation, from want of a reason determining him to turn to one side or the other for the purpose of satisfying his appetite. This illustration of the theory opposed to the doctrine of free will, popularly known as " Buri-dan's ass," is not to be found in Buridan's writings, nor is it of his invention. It is found, in a somewhat different form, in Aristotle, and is fully stated in the opening verses of the fourth canto of Dante's "Paradise.1'