The early albertus Magnus and his arabic sources on the theory of the soul

Vivarium 46 (3):232-252 (2008)
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Albertus Magnus favours the Aristotelian definition of the soul as the first actuality or perfection of a natural body having life potentially. But he interprets Aristotle's vocabulary in a way that it becomes compatible with the separability of the soul from the body. The term “perfectio” is understood as referring to the soul's activity only, not to its essence. The term “forma” is avoided as inadequate for defining the soul's essence. The soul is understood as a substance which exists independently of its actions and its body. The article shows that Albertus' terminological decisions continue a tradition reaching from the Greek commentators, and John Philoponos in particular, to Avicenna. Albertus' position on another important issue is also influenced by Arabic sources. His defense of the unity of the soul's vegetative, animal and rational parts rests on arguments from Avicenna and Averroes. It is shown that Averroes' position on the problem is not clearcut: he advocates the unity thesis, but also teaches the plurality of the generic and individual forms in man. This double stance is visible in the Latin reception of Averroes' works, and also in Albertus, who presents Averroes both as supporter and opponent of the plurality thesis.



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Citations of this work

Aquinas and Aristotelians on Whether the Soul is a Group of Powers.Nicholas Kahm - 2017 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 34 (2):115-32.
Mirum est si intellectus noster omnem scientiam accipiens ex phantasmate.Ile Vlad - 2021 - Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch Fur Antike Und Mittelalter 23.
Transcending natural philosophy or disregarding metaphysics? : Albert the Great on humors, reason and intellect.Vlad Ile - 2020 - Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch Fur Antike Und Mittelalter 23 (1):117-140.

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References found in this work

Essence and existence.John F. Wippel - 1982 - In Norman Kretzmann, Anthony Kenny & Jan Pinborg (eds.), Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 385--410.
Averroes and the Plurality of Forms.Emily Michael - 1992 - Franciscan Studies 52 (1):155-182.
Albert the great.Markus Führer - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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