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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Averroès et l'intellect matériel diaphane - Remarques sur une analogie variable, 2018
By: Jean-Baptiste Brenet
Title Averroès et l'intellect matériel diaphane - Remarques sur une analogie variable
Type Article
Language French
Date 2018
Journal Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume 85
Issue 2
Pages 261–284
Categories Commentary, De anima
Author(s) Jean-Baptiste Brenet
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
This paper studies the analogy set forth by Averroes in his Great Commentary on the De anima between the material intellect and the transparent medium. The overall context of the present inquiry is the 'question of Theophrastus' concerning the nature of the material intellect. The paper argues that the analogy between material intellect and transparent medium arises because, just like the transparent medium, the material intellect’s functioning requires a prior actualization: just as colors shine through the transparent medium only insofar as it is itself actually illuminated, the material intellect can receive intelligible forms only insofar as it is fundamentally actualized by the agent intellect. The aim of this paper is thus to reconsider the nature of the material intellect’s potency and its formal relation to the agent intellect.

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A Hidden Source? Considerations on Averroes’ Recourse to Avicenna’s Madkhal of the Shifâ’ in the Middle Commentary on Porphyry’s Isagoge, 2018
By: Silvia Di Vincenzo
Title A Hidden Source? Considerations on Averroes’ Recourse to Avicenna’s Madkhal of the Shifâ’ in the Middle Commentary on Porphyry’s Isagoge
Type Article
Language English
Date 2018
Journal Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale
Volume 29
Pages 125–136
Categories Avicenna, Commentary
Author(s) Silvia Di Vincenzo
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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Le statut «scientifique» de l’éthique d’après le Commentaire moyen d’Averroès à l’Éthique à Nicomaque d’Aristote, 2018
By: Frédérique Woerther
Title Le statut «scientifique» de l’éthique d’après le Commentaire moyen d’Averroès à l’Éthique à Nicomaque d’Aristote
Type Article
Language French
Date 2018
Journal Oriens
Volume 46
Issue No. 3/4
Pages 332–367
Categories Aristotle, Commentary, Nicomachean ethics
Author(s) Frédérique Woerther
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
Following an exegetical method similar to the one used two years earlier in his Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s Rhetoric, Averroes usually stays very close to the Arabic version of the Nicomachean Ethics in his Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. For he mostly reproduces Aristotle’s text without reformulating it. When necessary he nonetheless deletes the most obscure passages and develops those requiring more explanation, adding examples and replacing some terms with other terms, usually technical ones. By doing so, Averroes gives the ten Books of Aristotle’s treatise a greater unity and coherence. One of the commonest modifications that Averroes introduced in the Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics on the microstructural level is the use of the term scientia/ ḥokhma to refer to the content of the Ethics, whereas Aristotle’s text had no specific word for this. Likewise, Averroes makes clear in the first lines of his Commentary on the Republic that the discursive mode he is going to follow is the mode of scientific or theoretical arguments, not dialectical arguments. Hence, bestowing the status of a «science» on ethics (and on politics) clearly seems problematic – from a strictly Aristotelian perspective at any rate. This contribution seeks to understand, from Books I and X of Averroes’ Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, how the «scientific» status of ethics shall be understood, by observing in particular the inscription of the Ethics in the knowledge system as Averroes conceives it, and by raising the question of the addressee of his Middle Commentary, who obviously is no longer the Aristotelian figure of the legislator ἐπιειϰής.

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Averroismi al plurale. La ricezione del Tafsîr kitâb al-nafs di Ibn Rushd nel Commento alle Sentenze di Tommaso d’Aquino, 2017
By: Federico Minzoni
Title Averroismi al plurale. La ricezione del Tafsîr kitâb al-nafs di Ibn Rushd nel Commento alle Sentenze di Tommaso d’Aquino
Type Article
Language Italian
Date 2017
Journal Dianoia
Volume 24
Pages 15-32
Categories Aristotle, Commentary, De anima, Averroism, Siger of Brabant, Thomas
Author(s) Federico Minzoni
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
A widespread historiographic commonplace, established by Thomas Aquinas himself in his Tractatus de unitate intellectus (1270), takes Siger of Brabant’s Quaestiones in tertium de anima (ca. 1265) to be a latin formulation of Ibn Rušd’s theory of the unity of the material intellect as exposed in the Tafsīr Kitāb al-Nafs (Long Commentary on the De anima, ca. 1186); according to the same view, Aquinas’ philosophy of mind would be the expression of a strongly antiaverroistic – and therefore more orthodox – kind of aristotelianism. Building on a thorough analysis of key texts in Aquinas’ Commentary on the Sentences (1255), I argue in this paper that those who hold Aquinas’ noetic to be anti-averroistic are greatly mistaken: while Siger’s always superficial rushdian inspiration is better understood against the background of a neoplatonic-tinged mind-body dualism clearly at odds with Ibn Rušd’s own strictly peripatetic ontology, Aquinas’ psychology, hylomorfic and not-dualist at its core, is aristotelian mainly inasmuch as it is rushdian.

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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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Les noms propres dans le Commentaire moyen à l’Éthique à Nicomaque d’Averroès. Contribution à une étude sur les traductions latine et hébraïque du Commentaire,, 2017
By: Frédérique Woerther
Title Les noms propres dans le Commentaire moyen à l’Éthique à Nicomaque d’Averroès. Contribution à une étude sur les traductions latine et hébraïque du Commentaire,
Type Article
Language French
Date 2017
Journal Bulletin de Philosophie Médiévale
Volume 59
Pages 3–32
Categories Commentary, Nicomachean ethics
Author(s) Frédérique Woerther
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
Les présentes remarques se proposent d’observer la façon dont les noms propres ont été traités par Averroès dans son Commentaire moyen à l’Éthique à Nicomaque (= CmEN), rédigé à partir de la traduction arabe du traité aristotélicien (ENar), dont une seule copie unique existe aujourd’hui, conservée dans la bibliothèque Quaraouiyine de Fès. Perdu dans sa version originale arabe, ce Commentaire n’existe – à l’exception d’une trentaine de petits fragments – que dans sa traduction latine, réalisée en 1240 par Hermann l’Allemand, et dans sa traduction hébraïque, achevée par Samuel de Marseille en 1340. Analyser l’attitude d’Averroès devant les noms propres de ENar, qui pour la plupart ont été translittérés par le traducteur arabe, entraîne par voie de conséquence un examen de la façon dont Hermann et Samuel ont à leur tour réagi face à des noms propres (quand ils ont été conservés par Averroès dans son Commentaire), dont ils ne connaissaient pas nécessairement les référents puisqu’ils appartiennent à une aire culturelle différente de la leur.

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Il libro Epsilon della Metafisica di Aristotele nell’Epitome di Aevrroè (1126-1198), 2017
By: Carmela Baffioni
Title Il libro Epsilon della Metafisica di Aristotele nell’Epitome di Aevrroè (1126-1198)
Type Article
Language Italian
Date 2017
Journal Bulletin de Philosophie Médiévale
Volume 59
Pages 33–56
Categories Aristotle, Metaphysics, Theology, Commentary
Author(s) Carmela Baffioni
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
This article deals with Averroes’s interpretation of Metaph. Ε 1, where Aristotle discusses the nature and object of metaphysics, as well as its place in the hierarchy of sciences. Among Averroes’s predecessors, al-Kindī seems to see a coincidence between metaphysics and theology, since God can be described as the “first cause of everything”. However, al-Fārābī and Avicenna discovered that “first philosophy” could be conceived as an ontology distinct from theology; moreover, they considered theology to be only a part of metaphysics, not even the most important one. In the Great Commentary on Metaphysics - where the Arabic translation of the work by the Jacobite monk Usṭāth is quoted, Averroes often just paraphrases the original passages. One may infer that theology in the strict sense is merely mentioned by way of example. In the Epitome of Metaphysics, the objects of metaphysics are “general” ones; metaphysics studies the “absolute being” and cannot be identified with theology as “pertaining to God”.

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Twenty-Nine Hebrew Glosses on Averroes‘ Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics, 2017
By: Mauro Zonta
Title Twenty-Nine Hebrew Glosses on Averroes‘ Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics
Type Article
Language English
Date 2017
Journal Aleph
Volume 17
Issue 2
Pages 335–353
Categories Aristotle, Metaphysics, Commentary
Author(s) Mauro Zonta
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
Jewish engagement with Aristotle's Metaphysics in Hebrew began in the thirteenth century when the text was presented in Hebrew encyclopedias; it continued with a number of translations in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. The study of Hebrew philosophical texts often resulted in supercommentaries on them. In this study I present a hitherto unnoticed work, preserved in a unique Oxford manuscript, that bears witness to the study of the Metaphysics. Consisting of twenty-nine short comments or glosses on key passages of Averroes' Middle Commentary on books Alpha minor and Beta, as well as two passages from the Middle Commentary on book Theta, it can be described as a kind of supercommentary on Averroes. The glosses as preserved in the manuscript were apparently collected by an unknown redactor from works of two or more authors, whom I try to identify. One of them may be R. Gershon, the father of Levi ben Gershon (1288–1344). An edition of the 29 glosses and, for comparison, several glosses on logic by R. Gershon, are also presented.

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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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Averroës's Search: The Aesthetics of Failure as a Starting Point for Writing, 2020
By: Hernán Martínez Millán
Title Averroës's Search: The Aesthetics of Failure as a Starting Point for Writing
Type Article
Language English
Date 2020
Journal Variaciones Borges
Volume 49
Pages 257-282
Categories Borges, Poetics, Commentary
Author(s) Hernán Martínez Millán
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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Boèce, Averroès et Abū al-Barakāt al-Baġdādī. Témoins des écrits de Thémistius sur les Topiques d'Aristote, 2007
By: Ahmad Hasnawi
Title Boèce, Averroès et Abū al-Barakāt al-Baġdādī. Témoins des écrits de Thémistius sur les Topiques d'Aristote
Type Article
Language French
Date 2007
Journal Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
Volume 17
Issue 2
Pages 203–265
Categories Transmission, Commentary, Themistius, Logic, Aristotle
Author(s) Ahmad Hasnawi
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
Aristotle's Topics, and especially, as far as the subject of this study is concerned, their central books (II-VII), played a role of central importance both in the medieval Latin and in the Arabic logical tradition. This did not occur without transformations, which affected the nature and the function of the loci of which these books set forth the theory. One of the most visible signposts of this tradition of re-elaboration of the Topics is represented by Themistius (ob. c. 388), to whom both Boethius and Averroes refer. Yet no work by Themistius on the Topics has come down to us in Greek. With a view to reconstructing the work(s) of this author, we have here collected and translated the passages that are attributed to him explicitly (with the exception of one of them) in Averroes' Middle Commentary on the Topics, comparing them, where necessary, to the testimonies collected by Boethius in his De topicis differentiis. In addition - and this is a new element added to the file - we show that the Themistian classification of loci was taken up by Abū al-Barakāt al-Baġdādī (ob. after 1164), author of a philosophical summa entitled al-Kitāb al-muʿtabar (The meditated book). These three testimonies are all the more precious in that they are independent of one another. The study of the chapter in the logical part of al-Kitāb al-muʿtabar, containing the Themistian classification of loci, of which a corrected text with translation is offered, shows that one finds in it some of the most singular aspects of this classification, as it appears in Boethius. Abū al-Barakāt al-Baġdādī thus reveals himself to be closer than Averroes to the testimony of Boethius. This suggests the idea of a double redaction by Themistius of the classification of loci: one, more concentrated, comes from an introduction to the paraphrase of the central books of the Topics, which may have inspired Averroes; the other, more extensive, which will have been part of an original work, and inspired the classifications of Boethius and of Abū al-Barakāt al-Baġdādī.

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Comentario mayor al libro 'Acerca del alma' de Aristóteles. Traducción parcial, 2005
By: Averroes,
Title Comentario mayor al libro 'Acerca del alma' de Aristóteles. Traducción parcial
Translation Averroes' Long Commentary on Aristotles' De Anima. A Partial Translation
Type Article
Language undefined
Date 2005
Journal Anales del Seminario de Historia de la Filosofía
Volume 22
Pages 65–109
Categories Psychology, Commentary, Aristotle
Author(s) Averroes ,
Publisher(s)
Translator(s) Josep Puig Montada

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De l’ὑπόκρισις au أخذ بالوجوه. L’interprétation de l’action oratoire par Averroès dans le Commentaire moyen à la Rhétorique d’Aristote, 2015
By: Frédérique Woerther
Title De l’ὑπόκρισις au أخذ بالوجوه. L’interprétation de l’action oratoire par Averroès dans le Commentaire moyen à la Rhétorique d’Aristote
Transcription De l’hypokrisis au akhdh bi-l-wujûd. L’interprétation de l’action oratoire par Averroès dans le commentaire moyen à la Rhétorique d’Aristote
Type Article
Language French
Date 2015
Journal Studia Graeco-Arabica
Volume 5
Pages 59-76
Categories Aristotle, Rhetoric, Commentary
Author(s) Frédérique Woerther
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
The notion of ὑπόκρισις (hypokrisis) was employed for the first time with the meaning of “rhetorical delivery” in Aristotle’s Rhetoric, where it is the target of a short and highly critical analysis. A practice borrowed directly from the theatre, and apparently resistant to any form of technicisation that might give it a legitimate place alongside the other means of rhetorical persuasion, ὑπόκρισις (hypokrisis) was nevertheless extremely effective–as Aristotle acknowledged with undisguised irritation. In the face of Aristotle’s ambivalence, and torn between a purist and idealist conception of rhetoric on the one hand, and the contemporary reality of speech, which required him to recognise a practice of which he could not approve, on the other, what was Averroes’ attitude in his Middle Commentary on the Rhetoric? Dependent on the Arabic version of the Rhetoric where the term ὑπόκρισις (hypokrisis) was – with one exception – translated by the expression أخذ بالوجوه (aḫḏ bi-l-wuǧūh) – “the taking of faces” –, has Averroes followed Aristotle in his hesitations and reticences? Or has he instead chosen to legitimise the use of hypokrisis in rhetorical technique? The analysis of the Rushdian interpretation of the ‘taking of faces’ will allow a better understanding of Averroes’ exegetical method, and grasp of what it meant, to him, to be faithful to the First Master.

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Der Physikkommentar von Averroes in der Editio Iuntina. Die mittelalterlichen Quellen für Buch 6, Text 87, 2001
By: Horst Schmieja
Title Der Physikkommentar von Averroes in der Editio Iuntina. Die mittelalterlichen Quellen für Buch 6, Text 87
Type Article
Language German
Date 2001
Journal Bulletin de philosophie médiévale
Volume 43
Pages 75–93
Categories Physics, Commentary, Transmission
Author(s) Horst Schmieja
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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Des fragments de l’Averroes Latinus (Commentaires de la Logica Vetus) à Darmstadt Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, Ms. 426, 2011
By: Roland Hissette
Title Des fragments de l’Averroes Latinus (Commentaires de la Logica Vetus) à Darmstadt Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, Ms. 426
Type Article
Language French
Date 2011
Journal Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie médiévales
Volume 78
Issue 1
Pages 1-24
Categories Transmission, Commentary, Logic
Author(s) Roland Hissette
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
On the inside covers of Ms. 426 of the Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Darmstadt (Da), one finds parchment pastedowns containing passages from the medieval Latin translation of Averroes’s Middle Commentaries on the Categories and Peri Hermeneias. The collation of these fragments shows that Da is nothing but a copy of the well-known Ms. UB Erfurt, Dep. Erf. CA. 2°, 318. Consequently, Da has no value for the critical reconstruction of the text.

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Des leçons doubles dues à Guillaume de Luna?. Le cas de sa traduction du commentaire moyen d'Averroès sur l'Isagoge, 2010
By: Roland Hissette
Title Des leçons doubles dues à Guillaume de Luna?. Le cas de sa traduction du commentaire moyen d'Averroès sur l'Isagoge
Type Article
Language French
Date 2010
Journal Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale
Volume 21
Pages 433–455
Categories Commentary, Logic, Transmission
Author(s) Roland Hissette
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
William of Luna, master at the studium of Naples during the reign of the Hohenstaufens, is considered to be the author, among other translations from Arabic, of the Latin version of Averroes' Middle Commentary on the Isagoge. The Arabic text of this commentary is lost, but the translation into Hebrew, made by Jacob Anatoli, seems to reflect faithfully the syntax and word order of the original text. Now, many single terms or expressions in Anatoli's translation correspond to two terms or expressions, rather than one in the various witnesses of William of Luna's version. Are these double equivalences due to William himself, who would have then provided, here and there, more than one translation? For at least five of the eighteen cases analyzed in the present article, the question seems particularly appropriate.

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Dialecticians and Dialectics in Averroes’ Long Commentary on Gamma 2 of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, 2016
By: Yehuda Halper
Title Dialecticians and Dialectics in Averroes’ Long Commentary on Gamma 2 of Aristotle’s Metaphysics
Type Article
Language English
Date 2016
Journal Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
Volume 26
Issue 1
Pages 161–184
Categories Aristotle, Metaphysics, Commentary
Author(s) Yehuda Halper
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
While Averroes’ work is often considered to represent the culmination of the method of Aristotelian demonstration in Arabic philosophy, a short passage of his Long Commentary on Aristotle's Metaphysics Γ.2 emphasizes the prominence of dialectic and calls for a re-examination of dialectic and demonstration in Averroes’ philosophical works. In this passage Averroes describes dialectic as an acceptable form of philosophy and the dialectician as a kind of scientist. In putting dialectic and demonstration on an equal, or nearly equal footing, Averroes seems to go against his own account of the dialectical and demonstrative classes of people in the Decisive Treatise. Moreover, this interpretation of Metaphysics Γ.2 also contradicts Averroes’ explanation of the same passage in the Middle Commentary on the Metaphysics as well as Aristotle's own description of dialectic throughout the Metaphysics. That is, in the Long Commentary on the Metaphysics, Averroes departs from his earlier views, and describes dialectic as a necessary part of metaphysics, even though the centrality of dialectic argumentation could call into question the entire project of metaphysics and consequently of the sciences whose demonstrations rely on metaphysical ground, i.e., all sciences. Averroes does not emphasize this view, but its presence is nevertheless unambiguous.

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Did Maimonides Recommend Reading Averroes’ Commentaries on Aristotle?, 2021
By: Steven Harvey
Title Did Maimonides Recommend Reading Averroes’ Commentaries on Aristotle?
Type Article
Language English
Date 2021
Journal Jewish Studies Quarterly
Volume 28
Issue 2
Pages 159–190
Categories Maimonides, Commentary
Author(s) Steven Harvey
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
An article published in 2016 by Doron Forte claimed that the universally cited version of the concluding bibliographical section of Maimonides' letter to the translator of the Guide of the Perplexed, Samuel Ibn Tibbon, is both late and corrupt (Jewish Studies Quarterly 23). This claim entails that Maimonides did not recommend Averroes' commentaries on Aristotle in the letter. The current paper argues against this claim. It comprises seven considerations: two philological (based on testimonia Forte chose to ignore), two terminological and three just common sense. I present these considerations as complementary, one supporting the other, that together make clear that the most-often cited version of the letter is very old, the most reliable and likely the most authentic version. In fact, current evidence now points to Ibn Tibbon as the translator of this version, which shows that Maimonides indeed recommended Averroes' commentaries in this letter.

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