Davidson, Herbert A. (Herbert Alan), Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes on intellect: their cosmologies, theories of the active intellect, and. Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes on Intellect: Their. Cosmologies, Theories of the Active Intellect, and Theories of Human Intellect (review). Terence Kleven. Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes on Intellect: Their Cosmologies, Theories of the Active Intellect, and Theories of Human Intellect (review); Terence Kleven.
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Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes, on Intellect – Herbert A. Davidson – Oxford University Press
Every line is full of information, and although there are occasional overviews, it is still difficult to see each item in its proper perspective. In some ways this is more a work aviceenna reference than a book to be read at a sitting. That being said, however, l have no avicebna in recommending it to the attention of anyone with a serious interest in medieval philosophy.
Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes on Intellect: Oxford University Press, x Avifenna begins with a summary of the original formulation of the theory of the active intellect as it is presented in Aristotle’s De Anima, where Aristotle seeks to delineate the notions of potentiality and actuality in the human soul and to discover what agent causes the change from potentiality to actuality.
Aristotle’s cryptic account engendered extensive reflection and debate among his early Greek commentators and the Arabic philosophers. Davidson’s book is a laborious collocation of and commentary on published texts and manuscripts pertaining to the theory of the active avicena throughout the period from the writing of the De Anima in the fourth century s.
Davidson examines the texts in historical sequence, beginning in his introductory chapter with Aristotle’s De Anima. Chapter 3 is an examination of three themes–emanation, the active intellect, and the human intellect–in several writings of Aifarabi.
Chapter 4 continues the exploration of these three themes in Avicenna’s works. Chapter 5 is a digression from the main averfoes in order to clarify the “reverberations” of Alfarabi’s and Avicenna’s theories in their Islamic successors and in medieval Jewish and scholastic philosophy. The three final chapters, chapters 6 through 8, examine references to emanation, the active intellect as aicenna cause of existence, the material intellect, and the active intellect as the cause of human thought in the writings of Averroes.
Chapter 7 also entails a summary of Averroist conceptions of the active intellect in later Jewish and Christian thought.
Alfred L. Ivry, Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes, on Intellect – PhilPapers
The structure of the book maintains a historical perspective; this perspective has the merit of nourishing a comparison of the place of the active intellect in numerous writings composed over almost two millennia of Western philosophy. Davidson’s argument identifies the variations in the purpose of the active intellect as it is articulated in three of the finest philosophers in the Arabic Aristotelian tradition.
Davidson admits that a number of scholars have suggested that some of Alfarabi’s writings adopt an esoteric style of presentation 6 ; alarabi identifies alfaarabi in which AIfarabi is “probably dissimulating” 57 and he notices that Alfarabi’s style is such that he “almost always lays down his positions flatly, without argument” 6.
Davidson’s final judgment, however, is that the inconsistencies arise due to sources, and thus that AIfarabi is not completely to blame for his ostensible difficulties.
Davidson offers a more positive evaluation of Avicenna’s project; Avicenna is philosophically consistent throughout his career and “merely played with alternate formulations ” 6. Davidson not only acknowledges that Avicenna put forward his scheme as “a demonstrable and demonstrated scientific cosmology”but also judges that “although Avicenna’s universe may strike a If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click ‘Authenticate’.
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