Ibn Rushd (Averroes) Philosophy Summary


Bú al-Walid Ibn Rushd, better known as Averroes. As a philosopher, lawyer and physician, Averroes studied and taught many branchs of the knowledge, from medecine to philosophy.

Averroes and the Aristotle legacy:

Averroes retained from the Aristotle’s thought the following points:t the world is eternal, the human species provides no fault with their incessant news that people are dying, still others replace them, and if the science is lacking in a point on Earth, we can be sure it is in any other: the man, as being specific, is always necessarily “attached” to the intellects.

Of course it is different for men features: the thought of each is linked to its own images. Therefore, despite the uniqueness of the minds, the thoughts of man are different from those of others, it also explains my thought is, in a sense, my own, since it depends on me to join the intellect “agent”, ie to make the abstract intelligible either of my images. But, Aristotle teaches, the imagination is related to body and dies with him, so the individual thought is perishable, and, after death, “we do not remember more.” And seems removed any belief in personal immortality, but in the “al-Tahafut Tahafut” Averroes points out that, according to Aristotle, the alteration of an organ, eye, for example, does not necessarily imply that of the corresponding faculty (here, the view) which may suggest that the intellect is not only to survive the death of the body. But the question of the mind, man “has received little science,” as the Koran says a passage quoted by Averroes: and the problem remains open.

However, the doctrine of Averroes is perfectly clear regarding an issue debated for years by the Muslim philosophers, that of “joint” (ittisal, continuatio in Latin translations) with the intellect “agent”. Our author explains this in several places: in its comments to the Treaty of the soul, and in three “letters” on this issue. To understand how we are “moving towards the junction,” must be added to what was said above that in passing the act, the material intellect is intellect habitus, that is, possession stable knowledge, concepts, whose number is increasing at will. When we are updated to all intelligible the material intellect was potentially “the intellect soon joins us” is the term of the movement towards the junction. What is it exactly? Knowledge is exceeded by abstraction: if the material intellect acquires perfection in mind forms involved in the matter, he can let alone thinking of immaterial forms, intelligible by itself (it still comes Alexander ‘s Aphrodisias).

Averroes and Beatitude

On the other hand, the great commentary on the Metaphysics says that separate substances – and the intellect is one – can be known by us intellectually, although this is difficult. The “junction” unites us to the intelligible so pure when it is “bliss,” “the great end, the immense happiness” rights in this situation is the link between the news of the intelligible and sensitive, since it thinking that it amounted “to perfection to perfection, from form to form.” Averroes goes on to say that according Themistius (fourth century), then it is “equated with God knows what he is and all beings as beings, and their causes, are only the knowledge of God “. Not for Averroes the intellect is God, but the junction at this intellect elevates man at the separated substances and the pure intelligible. If one can speak of mystical, it’s a special meaning, recalling Averroes criticizes Sufis for neglecting the way speculative, and, conversely, it places the happiness in the perfection of knowledge: one is then tried to recall Spinoza. More importantly, in his discovery of the method, Averroes, encountering the problem of the vision of God, as he solves it resolves all questions of this kind: the Quran and the Prophet taught us that God is light, simple minds understand they shall see God as we see the sun, and scientists that happiness is increased knowledge (this complete and nuance his first papers on the subject). So this last example shows again that for Averroes, the supreme bliss is formulated both in terms borrowed from the revelation that in those of Aristotle’s philosophy, according to two distinct modes and must remain so.

Averroes’ Philosophy Summary:

Averroes rejects the idea of ​​creating the world in time, the world, says he has no beginning. The manner of Aristotle, he conceived God as the “prime mover”, the autonomous force that stimulates movement, transforming the existing potential.

The human soul emanates from the unique universal soul united.

Averroes was admired by the Jews of Spain who spread his philosophy in Europe, particularly Italy and France after they were forced to leave Spain. The thought of Averroes was interpreted by Christian thinkers who called it the “theory of double truth.” Although Averroes never really supported the existence of two categories of truth, one philosophical, the other religious. This implies a separation of reason and faith and influenced the philosophical and theological speculation for many centuries.

It is the Jews and Christians committed to preserving and translating his works that he owes his posthumous influence.

Conclusion: the tolerant rationalism of Averroes

Doctor, lawyer and philosopher Arab Averroes plays an important role in the rediscovery of Aristotle in the West.

In his comments, which were used in preference to the original texts of Aristotle, he believes that metaphysical truths can be expressed in two ways: through philosophy (represented by the views of Aristotle and the Neoplatonists of late antiquity) and religion (represented as simplified and allegorical revealed books).

It is this philosophy that left the mainstream of Latin Averroism followed respectively by Siger de Brabant (1235 – 1282) in Paris and by the physician Pietro de Abano (1250-1315) Padua (“The … Medicine is called “second philosophy”: the two disciplines are complementary, one caregiver’s soul and one body … medicine and philosophy are sisters. “)

This doctrine was later opposed by Thomas Aquinas, who sought to reconcile faith and reason to establish theology as rational science.

This philosophical principle has caused great controversy and has raised heated debate. It was later declared heretical by Muslims and Christians because it contradicted the doctrine of personal immortality (conviction by the Bishop of Paris in 1270 and by Pope Leo X in 1513). The comments have considerable influence both on the scholastic Christian philosophy in medieval Europe and the Jewish philosophers of the Middle Ages.

Averroes has profoundly influenced the development of theoretical medicine, which paved the way for understanding the Greek theories on the subject, and, thanks to critical reviews he produced works of Galen and others, but also its critical analysis of their theories and the formulation of opinions contrary to theirs.

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