Although the treatise presented here is most interesting, it was never widely disseminated. As far as we know, it is preserved only in Latin, in one manuscript. The text poses many questions. Who produced a copy of the text? Who is the translator? Is the treatise a genuine work of Averroes? And if so, what was his intention in writing this monograph on the First Cause?
Francesco Piccolomini interprets Aristotle’s theory of friendship from a Christian-Neoplatonic perspective. This paper focuses on the various sources of Piccolomini’s interpretation and shows that he succeeds in expounding a coherent doctrine in which the Aristotelian ideal of civic friendship is integrated into a theocentric ethics of spiritual love.
Although Themistius does not develop a theodicy, his observations on evil are fairly consistent. Both in his paraphrases of Aristotle and in his speeches, he argues that since God is the intelligent and powerful cause of all good things in the universe, evil is due to the στέρησις in matter and to the ἄνοιι of human beings. Despite some (Neo-)Platonic and Stoic influences, Themistius defends a basically Peripatetic world-view, in which evil is minimized.
In Book 9 of his Confessions, Augustine recounts that his mother Monica told him how ‘a weakness for wine gradually got grip upon her’ as a little girl. After some time, so the story goes, God healed her from her bad habit. In this context, Augustine observes: ‘When father and mother and nurses are not there, you are present. You have created us, you call us, you use human authorities set over us to do something for the health of our (...) souls.’ Even though at first sight this passage does not seem to pose any problems, one wonders about the exact meaning of the last part: etiam per praepositos homines boni aliquid agis ad animarum salutem. First, it is to be noted that Henry Chadwick's translation cited here leaves etiam untranslated. Moreover, it is not certain at all that Augustine really wants to say that God heals human souls ‘even by those human beings who are set over us’. As the subsequent lines of this paragraph make clear, God freed Monica from her sin through her servant, who scoffingly called her young mistress ‘a little boozer’. This renders the phrase etiam per praepositos homines problematic, on the one hand, because the meaning of etiam is unclear and, on the other, because it is difficult to regard Monica's servant as one of the ‘human authorities’. Nothing in the text compels us to identify this servant with the old famula of Monica's parents who, according to the preceding paragraph, was ‘vehement with a holy severity in administering correction and soberly prudent in her teaching’. At any rate, the ancilla mentioned here is depicted not as an authoritative person but rather as someone who quarrels with her young domina, not in order to heal or educate her but merely to irritate her. (shrink)
In Nicolas of Cusa’s De li non aliud, chapter 19, one should read “in prima seu metaphysicali philosophia” instead of “in prima seu mentali philosophia.” This conjectural emendation is required because the identification of ‘first philosophy’ with ‘mental philosophy’ is attested nowhere else. The paper shows that the huge literature on Cusanus’ alleged re-interpretation of metaphysics as Geistphilosophie rests on a copyist’s mistake.
In his remarkable study Species Intelligibilis. From Perception to Knowledge, L. Spruit succinctly outlines the main points of Henry Bate’s cognitive psychology. Spruit observes that «though endorsing a Neoplatonic innatism, he does not relinquish Peripatetic views on the impact of sensory representations in the generation of intellectual cognition». Moreover, Spruit rightly notes that Bate considers the species doctrine «a pivotal philosophical issue». However, his brief account of Bate’s theory of the sensible species is far from being accurate. The aim of (...) this paper consists in presenting a more or less exhaustive interpretation of Bate’s doctrine of the sensible species. First, an attempt will be made to situate this doctrine in the context of Bate’s Speculum divinorum. Second, I shall summarize the principal views of the authors which Bate discusses in order to shed light on the doctrinal background of his theory of sensible species. Third, I shall analyze Bate’s concept of the sensible species, focusing on its ontological status and its function. Finally, I shall show that Bate’s exposition on sense-perception is profoundly influenced by Platonic theories of the soul. (shrink)
Over the last decades, the Commissio Leonina has built up a very strong reputation. Editions such as theSentencia libri De anima and the Sentencia libri de sensu et sensato by R.-A. Gauthier or the commentaries on Boethius by P.-M. Gils, L.-J. Bataillon and C.A. Grassi have set new philological standards, not only because of their fine critical introductions and excellent reconstructions of Thomas Aquinas’ texts, but also because of their rich and accurate apparatus fontium. It may be doubted, however, whether (...) the present edition of De spiritualibus creaturis by Father J. Cos lives up to the same high standards. (shrink)
La prima parte dello studio verte sulla dottrina metafisica di Bate, caratterizzata dall'idea di conciliare la dottrina di Platone e di Aristotele. La seconda parte indaga l'idea metafisica di forma, essenziale per capire la cosmologia batiana, la cui fonte principale è individuata in Averroè. La discussione è centrata sul concetto di materia nelle forme separate, sull'identità fra forma separata e atto puro, sull'idea di dio come forma delle forme.
Bate shares with Thomas Aquinas the common scholastic world-view, in which Aristotle’s philosophy of nature, psychology, ethics and metaphysics are interpreted against a Christian-Neoplatonic background. Nonetheless, an analysis of the Platonizing and often anti-Thomistic interpretations of Aristotle which are developed in the Speculum divinorum shows that Bate cannot be characterized as a Thomist, but rather is a compiler who endeavors to bring different philosophies into harmony.
Throws light on the particular renewal of the theological and philosophical tradition which Henry of Ghent brought about and elucidates various aspects of his metaphysics and epistemology ethics, and theology.