Rereading Metaphysics Ε2-3: Aristotle's argument against determinism, and how Averroes twisted it in his Long Commentary, 2022
By: Dustin Klinger
Title Rereading Metaphysics Ε2-3: Aristotle's argument against determinism, and how Averroes twisted it in his Long Commentary
Type Article
Language English
Date 2022
Journal Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
Volume 32
Issue 1
Pages 109–135
Categories Metaphysics, Commentary, Providence
Author(s) Dustin Klinger
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
In the fresh reading proposed here of the still not satisfactorily interpreted passages in Metaphysics Ε2-3, Aristotle emerges as making a case against determinism based on a robust notion of the accident. Accidental beings are uncaused causes and have their rightful place in Aristotle's ontology. The resulting physical indeterminism is here used as a litmus test for the exegetical practice of the great Commentator, Averroes, whose self-proclaimed, and later proverbial, loyalty to Aristotle's text will be shown to give way to idiosyncratic interpretations at times. His explanations of Metaphysics Ε2-3 are sparse and no less obscure than Aristotle's text. It is only when read together with his commentaries on the Physics, to which he explicitly refers twice in his Long commentary on Metaphysics Ε2-3, that a surprising picture emerges. Averroes recycles the notion of the accident, now reconceptualised in cosmological terms, and – putting it to the opposite use of Aristotle's – weaves it into an original theory of motion that integrates both supra- and sublunar realms into a deterministic framework of uninterrupted causal chains, thus safeguarding the principle of Divine providence.

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Happiness, Eros, and the Active Intellect: Understanding Erotic Desire in Averroes’s Long Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics Λ in Light of the Middle Commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics, 2021
By: Yehuda Halper
Title Happiness, Eros, and the Active Intellect: Understanding Erotic Desire in Averroes’s Long Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics Λ in Light of the Middle Commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics
Type Book Section
Language English
Date 2021
Published in The Pursuit of Happiness in Medieval Jewish and Islamic Thought. Studies Dedicated to Steven Harvey
Pages 195–213
Categories Aristotle, Metaphysics, Commentary
Author(s) Yehuda Halper
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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New Wine in Old Vessels: Alexander of Aphrodisias as a Source for Averroes’ Metaphysics, 2021
By: Matteo Di Giovanni
Title New Wine in Old Vessels: Alexander of Aphrodisias as a Source for Averroes’ Metaphysics
Type Book Section
Language English
Date 2021
Published in Alexander of Aphrodisias in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Pages 59–76
Categories Alexander of Aphrodisias, Commentary, Aristotle, Metaphysics
Author(s) Matteo Di Giovanni
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
Besides his best-known merits as a philosopher, Averroes stands out in the history of the classical tradition as a unique testimony to Alexander’s lost commentary on Metaphysics Lambda and, through it, his interpretation of the argument running through the whole text of the Metaphysics. The gist of this interpretation is laid out in the elaborate prologue to the Lambda commentary that goes back to Alexander and is preserved by Averroes. Building on this textual evidence, the study investigates Averroes’ philosophical appropriation of the Alexander material that is interwoven into the fabric of the former’s exegesis, from the earlier epitome to the later long commentary on the Metaphysics. A number of doctrines turn out to be ultimately inspired by Alexander, including Averroes’ view of the tripartite structure of metaphysics, his notion of book Gamma as an epistemology (“specific logic”) for metaphysics, the function of Delta, the downgrading of both mental and accidental being in Epsilon, and Aristotle’s argument in Zeta. Averroes’ debt to his source is brought to the fore without prejudicing the further question, awaiting future research, of whether Averroes’ acquaintance with Alexander’s line of interpretation was always unmediated or any figures in the philosophical tradition played some role in its transmission.

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Multitude et bene esse chez Averroès et Dante. Retour sur la Monarchie I,3, 2019
By: Jean-Baptiste Brenet
Title Multitude et bene esse chez Averroès et Dante. Retour sur la Monarchie I,3
Type Book Section
Language French
Date 2019
Published in Dante et l’averroïsme
Pages 357–383
Categories Metaphysics, De anima, Politics, Aristotle, Commentary
Author(s) Jean-Baptiste Brenet
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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Averroes’ Rewrite of Aristotle’s Metaphysics Δ: Establishing the Plain Meaning of the Text in the Middle Commentary, 2019
By: Yehuda Halper
Title Averroes’ Rewrite of Aristotle’s Metaphysics Δ: Establishing the Plain Meaning of the Text in the Middle Commentary
Type Article
Language English
Date 2019
Journal Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume 86
Issue 2
Pages 259–281
Categories Aristotle, Commentary, Metaphysics
Author(s) Yehuda Halper
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
Averroes’ Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics Δ provides a rewrite of Aristotle’s text that was apparently intended to convey the plain meaning of the text to a general, though at least somewhat educated, audience. Such a commentary was necessary because ᾿Usṭāṯ’s ninth-century Arabic translation was insufficient in many respects for conveying Aristotle’s ideas into Arabic. Accordingly, Averroes’ Middle Commentary sought to rephrase and rewrite the text in such a way as to clarify the text, correct apparent errors in it, simplify the text, and add short explanations to it. This article offers a philological characterization of the Middle Commentary that should be an aid for reading the text and comparing it with other commentaries, especially Averroes’ Long Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics Δ.

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Ibn Rushd and Aquinas on God’s Causal Omniscience, 2019
By: Stephen Ogden
Title Ibn Rushd and Aquinas on God’s Causal Omniscience
Type Article
Language English
Date 2019
Journal The Muslim World
Volume 109
Issue 4
Pages 595–614
Categories Thomas, Metaphysics, Aristotle, Commentary, Theology
Author(s) Stephen Ogden
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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Averroes and the Philosophical Account of Prophecy, 2018
By: Richard C. Taylor
Title Averroes and the Philosophical Account of Prophecy
Type Article
Language English
Date 2018
Journal Studia graeco-arabica
Volume 8
Pages 287–304
Categories Metaphysics, Commentary, Natural Philosophy
Author(s) Richard C. Taylor
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
Prophecy is conspicuous by its complete absence from all three of the commentaries on De Anima by Averroes. However, prophecy and philosophical metaphysics are discussed by him in his Commentary on the Parva Naturalia, a work written before his methodological work on philosophy and religion, the Faṣl al-maqāl, generally held to have been written ca. 1179-1180. The analyses and remarks of Averroes presented in that Commentary have been characterized by Herbert Davidson as “extremely radical” to the extent that “The term prophet would, on this reading, mean nothing more than the human author of Scripture; and the term revelation would mean a high level of philosophical knowledge”. In the present article I discuss Averroes on method in matters of religion and philosophy as well as prophecy in philosophically argumentative works and in dialectical works, with particular consideration of the reasoning of his Commentary on the Parva Naturalia. I conclude that Averroes found in philosophy and its sciences the most complete and precise truth content and highest levels of knowledge and understanding and from them constructed his worldview, while he found prophecy and religion to be like an Aristotelian practical science in that they concern good and right conduct in the achievement of an end attained in action, not truths to be known for their own sake.

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Sujet Libre. Pour Alain de Libera, 2018
By: Jean-Baptiste Brenet (Ed.), Laurent Cesalli (Ed.)
Title Sujet Libre. Pour Alain de Libera
Type Edited Book
Language undefined
Date 2018
Publication Place Paris
Publisher Vrin
Categories Avicenna, Metaphysics, Commentary
Author(s) Jean-Baptiste Brenet , Laurent Cesalli
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
Nous avons souhaité ce livre pour rendre hommage à Alain de Libera et fêter son travail. Celles et ceux qui écrivent ici sont des maîtres, des pairs, des collègues, d’anciens étudiants; en divers sens, ce sont tous des amis. Plutôt que d’imposer une présentation, nous avons choisi comme ordre le hasard alphabétique des noms, sans chapitres. Deux consignes seulement avaient été fournies. La brièveté, d’abord – quelques pages, tenues par un nombre de signes. L’absence de notes, ensuite, pour livrer des textes de plain-pied. Restait, pour évoquer l’œuvre et la personne d’Alain de Libera, l’objet, l’angle. Nous n’avions cette fois indiqué qu’une chose, qui donne à ce volume son titre : sujet libre.

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Some Remarks on Averroes’ Long Commentary on the Metaphysics Book Alpha Meizon, 2017
By: Ilyas Altuner
Title Some Remarks on Averroes’ Long Commentary on the Metaphysics Book Alpha Meizon
Type Article
Language English
Date 2017
Journal Entelekya Logico-Metaphysical Review
Volume 1
Issue 1-2
Pages 5–17
Categories Aristotle, Metaphysics, Commentary
Author(s) Ilyas Altuner
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
Averroes, considered to be the greatest Aristotelian commentator in the Middle Ages, has written three different types of commentary on almost all the works of this great philosopher: short, middle and long. These commentaries have been translated into Latin and Hebrew in the early period, and profoundly influenced both Medieval Europe and Jewish thought for centuries. The effect of Averroes in the West was to spread the whole of Europe under the name of Latin Averroism. The text what you have consists of some remarks about the translation of the commentary on the ‘Book Alpha Meizon’, the second book of Averroes’ Tafsīr Mā Ba’d at-Ṭabī’a.

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The Aristotelian Tradition: Aristotle’s Works on Logic and Metaphysics and Their Reception in the Middle Ages, 2017
By: Börje Bydén (Ed.), Christina Thomsen Thörnqvist (Ed.)
Title The Aristotelian Tradition: Aristotle’s Works on Logic and Metaphysics and Their Reception in the Middle Ages
Type Edited Book
Language English
Date 2017
Publication Place Toronto, ON
Publisher Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies
Series Papers in Mediaeval Studies
Volume 28
Categories Aristotle, Tradition and Reception, Logic, Metaphysics, Commentary
Author(s) Börje Bydén , Christina Thomsen Thörnqvist
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
The twelve essays in this volume are the result of a research programme by a Danish-Swedish research network into The Aristotelian Tradition: The reception of Aristotle’s works on logic and metaphysics in the Middle Ages. This impressive and wide-ranging volume, which has its roots in the disciplines of both philology and philosophy, has at its core a focus on the different historical manifestations of Aristotelian thought on logical and metaphysical matters. The volume includes studies of texts by, among others, Apuleius, Boethius, Anonymus Aurelianensis III, Michael of Ephesus, Averroes, Nicholas of Paris, Robert Kilwardby, Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham, and Francisco Suárez, relating to themes and passages in Aristotle’s Categories, On Interpretation, Prior Analytics, Posterior Analytics, Sophistical Refutations and Metaphysics. The book concludes with a new edition, with English translation and commentary, of the first part of a fiercely anti-Aristotelian work, which has been described as the starting-point for Renaissance Platonism and Aristotelianism alike: George Gemistos Plethon’s On Aristotle’s Departures from Plato.

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A Companion to the Latin Medieval Commentaries on Aristotle's Metaphysics, 2013
By: Fabrizio Amerini (Ed.), Gabriele Galluzzo (Ed.)
Title A Companion to the Latin Medieval Commentaries on Aristotle's Metaphysics
Type Edited Book
Language undefined
Date 2013
Publication Place Leiden
Publisher Brill Academic Publishers
Series Brill's Companions to the Christian Tradition
Volume 43
Categories Tradition and Reception, Commentary, Metaphysics
Author(s) Fabrizio Amerini , Gabriele Galluzzo
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
Few philosophical books have been so influential in the development of Western thought as Aristotle’s Metaphysics. For centuries Aristotle’s most celebrated work has been regarded as a source of inspiration as well as the starting point for every investigation into the structure of reality. Not surprisingly, the topics discussed in the book – the scientific status of ontology and metaphysics, the foundations of logical truths, the notions of essence and existence, the nature of material objects and their properties, the status of mathematical entities, just to mention some – are still at the centre of the current philosophical debate and are likely to excite philosophical minds for many years to come. This volume reconstructs in fourteen chapters a particular phase in the long history of the Metaphysics by focusing on the medieval reception of Aristotle’s masterpiece, specifically from its introduction in the Latin West in the twelfth through fifteenth centuries. Contributors include: Marta Borgo, Matteo di Giovanni, Amos Bertolacci, Silvia Donati, Gabriele Galluzzo, Alessandro D. Conti, Sten Ebbesen, Fabrizio Amerini, Giorgio Pini, Roberto Lambertini, William O. Duba, Femke J. Kok, and Paul J.J.M. Bakker.

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A reference to al-Fârâbî’s Kitâb al-hurûf in Averroes’ critique of Avicenna (Tahâfut al-Tahâfut, 371,5-372,12 Bouyges), 2014
By: Cecilia Martini Bonadeo
Title A reference to al-Fârâbî’s Kitâb al-hurûf in Averroes’ critique of Avicenna (Tahâfut al-Tahâfut, 371,5-372,12 Bouyges)
Type Article
Language English
Date 2014
Journal Studi Magrebini
Volume 12-13
Pages 433-452
Categories al-Fārābī, Avicenna, Commentary, Metaphysics
Author(s) Cecilia Martini Bonadeo
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
Al-Fārābī’s Book of Letters (Kitāb al-ḥurūf) and the analyses devoted in this text to the terminology of “being” are authoritative references for Averroes from the epitomes of his youth to his mature treatises. Also the Farabian doctrine of the conventionality of the natural language plays a role in Averroes’ thought. This paper discusses the Tahāfut al-Tahāfut, (pp.371,5-372.12 Bouyges), where Averroes has recourse to the Book of Letters in criticizing Avicenna’s distinction between essence and existence. Averroes explicitly mentions the title of the work and recalls a passage from the fifteenth chapter. This passage had already inspired him in the Epitome on Metaphysics, where Averroes did not mention explicitly his source, but followed in al-Fārābī’s footsteps as for the analysis of the uses of “being”. Averroes uses tacitly the same passage also in his Commentary on Metaphysics Delta 7.

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Abraham Bibago on Intellectual Conjunction and Human Happiness, Faith and Metaphysics according to a 15th century Jewish Averroist, 2015
By: Yehuda Halper
Title Abraham Bibago on Intellectual Conjunction and Human Happiness, Faith and Metaphysics according to a 15th century Jewish Averroist
Type Article
Language English
Date 2015
Journal Quaestio
Volume 15
Pages 309–318
Categories Averroism, Jewish Averroism, Commentary, Metaphysics
Author(s) Yehuda Halper
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
The 15th century Jewish Aragonian thinker, Abraham Bibago treats conjunction in his two main works, Derekh Emunah (“The Way of Faith”) and Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics. In the former, which explicitly interprets Biblical and Talmudic stories along philosophical lines, Bibago promotes a neo-Platonic intellectual emanation schema and boldly asserts that human happiness is attained through conjunction with higher intellects. In the Commentary, which primarily treats Aristotle’s Metaphysics and Averroes’ commentaries on it, Bibago gives an account of conjunction that does not necessarily fit with the intellectual conjunction of Derekh Emunah. Indeed, his remarks in the Commentary are much less decisive about human happiness, suggesting that Bibago qua philosopher is more open minded about the summum bonum than he is qua religious thinker.

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Averroes against Avicenna on Human Spontaneous Generation: The Starting-Point of a Lasting Debate, 2013
By: Amos Bertolacci
Title Averroes against Avicenna on Human Spontaneous Generation: The Starting-Point of a Lasting Debate
Type Book Section
Language English
Date 2013
Published in Renaissance Averroism and Its Aftermath: Arabic Philosophy in Early Modern Europe
Pages 37–54
Categories Avicenna, Commentary, Metaphysics
Author(s) Amos Bertolacci
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
The first criticism of Avicenna in Averroes’s Long Commentary on Metaphysica (II, 993a30-995a20) regards Avicenna’s doctrine of the asexual (so-called ‘spontaneous’) generation of human beings. This criticism is interesting in two main regards. When considered in the general historical context of the confrontation between advocates and opponents of spontaneous generation, the specific debate between Averroes and Avicenna on this issue can be said to have had a long-lasting impact on Latin philosophy up until the Renaissance. Doctrinally, the criticism in question can be taken as a paradigm of Averroes’s more general anti-Avicennian polemic and of the ideological reasons of his dissent towards his illustrious predecessor. In fact, the criticism in questions displays three leitmotivs of Averroes’s dissent towards Avicenna: the harsh tone and the ad personam character of the attack, stressing an error unworthy of Avicenna’s alleged fame in philosophy; the insistence on Avicenna’s agreement and consonance with contemporary thinkers, a fact that in Averroes’s eyes evidences the profound gap separating Avicenna from the ancient masters, depositaries of authentic philosophy; the reproach addressed to Avicenna of being too conversant with, and receptive of, Islamic theology, thus disregarding the requirements of true philosophy. The article shows that in each of these three respects Averroes in fact presents Avicenna’s position in a biased way: indeed Avicenna does not uphold the specific version of human spontaneous generation that Averroes ascribes to him; his doctrine of human spontaneous generation is deeply rooted in ancient philosophy; and his account of this doctrine evidences clear non-religious (and therefore non-theological) traits.

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Averroes and the Philosophical Account of Prophecy, 2018
By: Richard C. Taylor
Title Averroes and the Philosophical Account of Prophecy
Type Article
Language English
Date 2018
Journal Studia graeco-arabica
Volume 8
Pages 287–304
Categories Metaphysics, Commentary, Natural Philosophy
Author(s) Richard C. Taylor
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
Prophecy is conspicuous by its complete absence from all three of the commentaries on De Anima by Averroes. However, prophecy and philosophical metaphysics are discussed by him in his Commentary on the Parva Naturalia, a work written before his methodological work on philosophy and religion, the Faṣl al-maqāl, generally held to have been written ca. 1179-1180. The analyses and remarks of Averroes presented in that Commentary have been characterized by Herbert Davidson as “extremely radical” to the extent that “The term prophet would, on this reading, mean nothing more than the human author of Scripture; and the term revelation would mean a high level of philosophical knowledge”. In the present article I discuss Averroes on method in matters of religion and philosophy as well as prophecy in philosophically argumentative works and in dialectical works, with particular consideration of the reasoning of his Commentary on the Parva Naturalia. I conclude that Averroes found in philosophy and its sciences the most complete and precise truth content and highest levels of knowledge and understanding and from them constructed his worldview, while he found prophecy and religion to be like an Aristotelian practical science in that they concern good and right conduct in the achievement of an end attained in action, not truths to be known for their own sake.

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Averroes‘ Interpretations of Aristotle’s Metaphysics and their Different Receptions in the Hebrew Philosophical Tradition, 2017
By: Mauro Zonta
Title Averroes‘ Interpretations of Aristotle’s Metaphysics and their Different Receptions in the Hebrew Philosophical Tradition
Type Book Section
Language English
Date 2017
Published in Appropriation, Interpretation and Criticism: Philosophical and Theological Exchanges between the Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Intellectual Traditions
Pages 261–278
Categories Aristotle, Metaphysics, Commentary, Tradition and Reception
Author(s) Mauro Zonta
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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Averroes’ Rewrite of Aristotle’s Metaphysics Δ: Establishing the Plain Meaning of the Text in the Middle Commentary, 2019
By: Yehuda Halper
Title Averroes’ Rewrite of Aristotle’s Metaphysics Δ: Establishing the Plain Meaning of the Text in the Middle Commentary
Type Article
Language English
Date 2019
Journal Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume 86
Issue 2
Pages 259–281
Categories Aristotle, Commentary, Metaphysics
Author(s) Yehuda Halper
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
Averroes’ Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics Δ provides a rewrite of Aristotle’s text that was apparently intended to convey the plain meaning of the text to a general, though at least somewhat educated, audience. Such a commentary was necessary because ᾿Usṭāṯ’s ninth-century Arabic translation was insufficient in many respects for conveying Aristotle’s ideas into Arabic. Accordingly, Averroes’ Middle Commentary sought to rephrase and rewrite the text in such a way as to clarify the text, correct apparent errors in it, simplify the text, and add short explanations to it. This article offers a philological characterization of the Middle Commentary that should be an aid for reading the text and comparing it with other commentaries, especially Averroes’ Long Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics Δ.

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Commentary on Metaphysics, Delta 7, 2005
By: Averroes
Title Commentary on Metaphysics, Delta 7
Type Book Section
Language English
Date 2005
Published in Classical Arabic Philosophy. An Anthology
Pages 360–366
Categories Metaphysics, Commentary
Author(s) Averroes
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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Commentary on Metaphysics, Zeta 9, 2005
By: Averroes
Title Commentary on Metaphysics, Zeta 9
Type Book Section
Language English
Date 2005
Published in Classical Arabic Philosophy. An Anthology
Pages 330–335
Categories Metaphysics, Commentary
Author(s) Averroes
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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Des Mégariques aux Ashʿarites : le commentaire d’Averroès à Métaph. Θ 3, 2016
By: Ziad Bou Akl
Title Des Mégariques aux Ashʿarites : le commentaire d’Averroès à Métaph. Θ 3
Type Article
Language French
Date 2016
Journal Rursus
Volume 9
Categories Aristotle, Commentary, Metaphysics, Theology
Author(s) Ziad Bou Akl
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
In his commentary on Metaphysics IX 3, Averroes draws an analogy between the Megarian conception of dunamis, presented and refuted by Aristotle, and that of the Ashʿarites theologians. The study of the Arabic translation of lemmatas of Aristotle’s text (1047a26-28) and of the reformulation by Averroes of the third argument against the Megarians shows a shift commanded by theological issues: since the omnipotence of God can now bypass natural powers, the question of who possess the power should be added to that of its sole possession.

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