Esencia y existencia en Avicenna y Averroes, 2009
By: Catarina Belo
Title Esencia y existencia en Avicenna y Averroes
Translation Essence and Existence in Avicenna and Averroes
Type Article
Language Spanish
Date 2009
Journal Al-Qanṭara
Volume 30
Issue 2
Pages 403–426
Categories Metaphysics
Author(s) Catarina Belo
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
This article explores the views on existence of medieval Muslim philosophers Avicenna (d. 1037) and Averroes (d. 1198), whose works followed closely the philosophy of Aristotle. In addition to the Aristotelian influence, which permeated all medieval Islamic philosophy, Avicenna and Averroes were also inspired by Islamic theology, known in Arabic as kalām. The distinction between essence and existence is one of the most central and controversial aspects of Avicenna's philosophy, together with his claim that existence is an accident. Averroes in turn has a radically different conception of existence, identifying it with existing beings rather than considering it as something in itself. With the Latin translation of Avicenna's metaphysical works in the 12th century, the Avicennian distinction went on to shape much of the debate on existence in medieval Scholastic philosophy and beyond. This article assesses the meaning of the distinction in Avicenna as well as Averroes' criticism. In explicating their radically different views on existence, it also touches on later discussions concerning existence, for example the issue whether existence is a predicate, in the Modern Age.

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Ibn Rushd on God's Decree and Determination (al-qaḍāʾ wa-l-qadar), 2009
By: Catarina Belo
Title Ibn Rushd on God's Decree and Determination (al-qaḍāʾ wa-l-qadar)
Type Article
Language English
Date 2009
Journal Al-Qanṭara
Volume 27
Issue 2
Pages 245–264
Categories Metaphysics
Author(s) Catarina Belo
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
This article is based on Ibn Rushd's chapter on God's qaḍāʾ wa-qadar, which adresses the question of predestination, as illustrative of a rationalistic approach that introduces philosophical views into an age-old religious debate. My aim is to present Ibn Rushd's argument, which has unmistakable Aristotelian overtones; therefore, the harmonization of religion and philosophy implicit in his argument is one of the points I would like to explore in this paper. In the same way, I am interested in discussing whether Ibn Rushd's proposed solution constitutes a middle way between two opposite positions and solves the perennial problem of determinism. The paper also discusses the issue whether he supports predestination, i.e., the view that events are predetermined by God before they happen.

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Averroes and Aquinas on Aristotle's Criterion of Substantiality, 2009
By: Gabriele Galluzzo
Title Averroes and Aquinas on Aristotle's Criterion of Substantiality
Type Article
Language English
Date 2009
Journal Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
Volume 19
Issue 2
Pages 157–187
Categories Metaphysics, Thomas
Author(s) Gabriele Galluzzo
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
The paper analyses Averroes's and Aquinas's different reconstructions of Aristotle's ontology in the central books of the Metaphysics. The main claim the paper argues for is that Averroes endorses an explanatory criterion of substantiality, while Aquinas favours an independent existence criterion. The result of these different choices is that the Arabic commentator believes that the forms of sensible objects are more substances than the objects of which they are the forms, while the Dominican Master sticks to the traditional picture that sensible objects hold some kind of priority over their ontological constituents in general and over form in particular. For Averroes, therefore, the central books of the Metaphysics mark a major departure from the Categories ontology, where particular sensible objects are regarded as fundamental entities and so primary substances. On Aquinas's reconstruction, by contrast, sensible objects are still thought of in the Metaphysics as primary substances in spite of their being analysable into matter and form.

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Demonstration and First Philosophy. Averroes on Met. Zeta as a Demonstrative Examination (al-fahs al-burhānī), 2009
By: Matteo Di Giovanni
Title Demonstration and First Philosophy. Averroes on Met. Zeta as a Demonstrative Examination (al-fahs al-burhānī)
Type Article
Language English
Date 2009
Journal Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale
Volume 20
Pages 95–126
Categories Metaphysics
Author(s) Matteo Di Giovanni
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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Avicenna and Averroes on the Proof of God's Existence and the Subject-Matter of Metaphysics, 2007
By: Amos Bertolacci
Title Avicenna and Averroes on the Proof of God's Existence and the Subject-Matter of Metaphysics
Type Article
Language English
Date 2007
Journal Medioevo. Rivista di storia della filosofia medievale
Volume 32
Pages 61–79
Categories Avicenna, Metaphysics
Author(s) Amos Bertolacci
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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Il Dio artefice, Sāni'. E il primo motore di metafisica nella dottrina teologica d'Averroè, 2007
Title Il Dio artefice, Sāni'. E il primo motore di metafisica nella dottrina teologica d'Averroè
Type Article
Language undefined
Date 2007
Journal Medioevo
Volume 32
Pages 119–138
Categories Metaphysics, Theology
Author(s) no authors
Publisher(s) no authors
Translator(s) no authors

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Individuation by Matter in Averroes' Metaphysics, 2007
By: Matteo Di Giovanni
Title Individuation by Matter in Averroes' Metaphysics
Type Article
Language undefined
Date 2007
Journal Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale
Volume 18
Pages 187–210
Categories Metaphysics
Author(s) Matteo Di Giovanni
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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Averroes on God's Knowledge of Particulars, 2006
By: Catarina Belo
Title Averroes on God's Knowledge of Particulars
Type Article
Language English
Date 2006
Journal Journal of Islamic Studies
Volume 17
Issue 2
Pages 177–199
Categories Metaphysics
Author(s) Catarina Belo
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
This article discusses a central issue in the debate between philosophy and theology in the Islamic Middle Ages. In his attempt to show that Greek philosophy was contrary to Islam, theologian al-Ghazzālī charged Muslim philosophers with unbelief (kufr) on three counts: the eternity of the world, bodily resurrection and God's knowledge of particulars. The latter was particularly significant within an Islamic context. If God does not know particulars, how can He know for instance individual prophets or pass judgement on Doomsday? The main target of al-Ghazālī's criticism was Avicenna and his contention that God knows particulars in a universal way. In the Aristotelian epistemological model followed by Avicenna the subject and object of knowledge become one in the epistemological process. Since God is immutable He cannot know particulars in time, therefore He must know individuals insofar as they are universal.In his response to al-Ghazzālī, Averroes' main contribution is his rejection of Avicenna's formulation that God knows particulars in a universal way. Averroes criticizes this view because it does away with the distinction between divine and human knowledge. While in humans the process of knowing entails abstraction of universals from individual substances, God's knowledge cannot be characterized as universal or particular. It is neither particular—because it does not involve sense experience—nor universal—because it is not abstracted from individuals.Consequently, Averroes presents the essence of God's knowledge as at bottom unknowable to the human mind. This position may resemble al-Ghazzālī's overall negative stance concerning our understanding of this issue but in actuality it is radically different. By way of stating what it is not, and by clearly showing the differences between divine and human knowledge, Averroes provides a clearer grasp of what divine knowledge must be like.

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On the Arabic Translations of Aristotle's Metaphysics, 2005
By: Amos Bertolacci
Title On the Arabic Translations of Aristotle's Metaphysics
Type Article
Language English
Date 2005
Journal Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
Volume 15
Pages 241–275
Categories Metaphysics, Aristotle
Author(s) Amos Bertolacci
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
The article aims at providing a comprehensive account of the process of translation of Aristotle's Metaphysics into Arabic during the Middle Ages. It consists of four sections. In the first three, the historical sources regarding the translations are taken into account. Section 1 offers a new interpretation of the available testimonia, and, on their basis, determines more precisely the original extent of the two major Arabic translations of the Metaphysics (by Usṭāṯ and Isḥāq ibn Ḥunayn). Section 2 surveys the extant translations themselves. Section 3 focuses on the translation of one of the books of the Metaphysics (A), and argues for the existence of an Arabic version of this book different from the extant one, as attested by its quotations in Avicenna and al-Shahrastānī. The fourth section, finally, reconsiders the data gathered in the previous three sections: the Arabic translations of the Metaphysics are divided into three consecutive but distinct phases (9th century; first half of 10th century; second half of the 10th century-beginning of the 11th century), and the main features of each of these phases are indicated.

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Soggetto e statuto della filosofia prima in Averroè, 2005
By: Giuseppe Roccaro
Title Soggetto e statuto della filosofia prima in Averroè
Type Article
Language Italian
Date 2005
Journal Quaestio
Volume 5
Pages 345–362
Categories Metaphysics
Author(s) Giuseppe Roccaro
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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Ibn Rushd on God's Decree and Determination (al-qaḍāʾ wa-l-qadar), 2009
By: Catarina Belo
Title Ibn Rushd on God's Decree and Determination (al-qaḍāʾ wa-l-qadar)
Type Article
Language English
Date 2009
Journal Al-Qanṭara
Volume 27
Issue 2
Pages 245–264
Categories Metaphysics
Author(s) Catarina Belo
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
This article is based on Ibn Rushd's chapter on God's qaḍāʾ wa-qadar, which adresses the question of predestination, as illustrative of a rationalistic approach that introduces philosophical views into an age-old religious debate. My aim is to present Ibn Rushd's argument, which has unmistakable Aristotelian overtones; therefore, the harmonization of religion and philosophy implicit in his argument is one of the points I would like to explore in this paper. In the same way, I am interested in discussing whether Ibn Rushd's proposed solution constitutes a middle way between two opposite positions and solves the perennial problem of determinism. The paper also discusses the issue whether he supports predestination, i.e., the view that events are predetermined by God before they happen.

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Ibn Rushd/Averroes and "Islamic" Rationalism, 2009
By: Richard C. Taylor
Title Ibn Rushd/Averroes and "Islamic" Rationalism
Type Article
Language English
Date 2009
Journal Medieval EncountersAl-Andalus, Sepharad and Medievela Iberia. Cultural Contact and Diffusion
Volume 15
Issue 2
Pages 225–235
Categories Metaphysics, Theology
Author(s) Richard C. Taylor
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
The classical rationalist philosophical tradition in Arabic reached its culmination in the writings of the twelfth-century Andalusian Averroes whose translated commentaries on Aristotle conveyed to the Latin West a rationalist approach which significantly challenged and affected theological and philosophical thinking in that Christian context. That methodology is shown at work in his Fasl al-Maqāl or Book of the Distinction of Discourse and the Establishment of the Relation of Religious Law and Philosophy (c. 1280), although the deeply philosophical character of his subtle arguments has gone largely unappreciated. Here the philosophical foundations for his reasoning are exposed to reveal key elements of his rationalism. That approach is confirmed in his assertion in his later Long Commentary on the Metaphysics (c. 1290) that the highest worship of God is to be found first and foremost in the philosophical science of metaphysics rather than in the rituals of religion.

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Ibn Rušd on the Structure of Aristotle's Metaphysics, 2010
By: Rüdiger Arnzen
Title Ibn Rušd on the Structure of Aristotle's Metaphysics
Type Article
Language English
Date 2010
Journal Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale
Volume 21
Pages 375–410
Categories Metaphysics, Aristotle, Alexander of Aphrodisias
Author(s) Rüdiger Arnzen
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
The structure of Aristotle's Metaphysics was a matter of dispute among ancient and Medieval Greek, Arabic, and Latin-writing commentators. The present article investigates the question in which way the Arab philosopher Averroes dealt with this problem in his so-called Epitome and his literal commentary on the Metaphysics. It tries to show that in the Epitome Averroes restructured the contents of the Metaphysics according to his own conception of this discipline, and that this conception was partly indebted to his own main sources, al-Fārābī and Ibn Sīnā, partly independent from these. Furthemore, the article examines whether and, if so, in which whay Averroes changed his mind about metaphysics as such and/or the structure of Aristotle's Metaphysics in his late literal commentary. It is argued that Averroes discarded there some of his earlier Avicennian positions in favour of a certain rapprochement to positions held by Alexander of Aphrodisias, but never gave up in general his overall conception of the Metaphysics as displayed in the Epitome.

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Il Dio artefice, Sāni'. E il primo motore di metafisica nella dottrina teologica d'Averroè, 2007
Title Il Dio artefice, Sāni'. E il primo motore di metafisica nella dottrina teologica d'Averroè
Type Article
Language undefined
Date 2007
Journal Medioevo
Volume 32
Pages 119–138
Categories Metaphysics, Theology
Author(s) no authors
Publisher(s) no authors
Translator(s) no authors

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Individuation by Matter in Averroes' Metaphysics, 2007
By: Matteo Di Giovanni
Title Individuation by Matter in Averroes' Metaphysics
Type Article
Language undefined
Date 2007
Journal Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale
Volume 18
Pages 187–210
Categories Metaphysics
Author(s) Matteo Di Giovanni
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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La definizione delle sostanze sensibili nel Commento grande (Tafsīr) di Averroé a Metafisica Z 10, 2003
By: Matteo Di Giovanni
Title La definizione delle sostanze sensibili nel Commento grande (Tafsīr) di Averroé a Metafisica Z 10
Type Article
Language Italian
Date 2003
Journal Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale
Volume 14
Pages 27–63
Categories Metaphysics
Author(s) Matteo Di Giovanni
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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La sustancia corazón de la metafísica en Averroes, 2011
By: Idoia Maiza Ozcoidi
Title La sustancia corazón de la metafísica en Averroes
Type Article
Language Spanish
Date 2011
Journal Éndoxa
Volume 27
Pages 13-36
Categories Metaphysics
Author(s) Idoia Maiza Ozcoidi
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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La tradizione testuale del Commento medio di Averroè alla Metafisica di Aristotele tra Quattrocento e Cinquecento, 2013
By: Mauro Zonta
Title La tradizione testuale del Commento medio di Averroè alla Metafisica di Aristotele tra Quattrocento e Cinquecento
Type Article
Language Italian
Date 2013
Journal L'averrismo in età moderna (1400–1700)
Pages 15–23
Categories Metaphysics
Author(s) Mauro Zonta
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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Le genre des substances dans la métaphysique d'Averroès, 2001
By: Laurence Bauloye
Title Le genre des substances dans la métaphysique d'Averroès
Type Article
Language French
Date 2001
Journal Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale
Volume 12
Pages 143–153
Categories Metaphysics
Author(s) Laurence Bauloye
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)

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On the Arabic Translations of Aristotle's Metaphysics, 2005
By: Amos Bertolacci
Title On the Arabic Translations of Aristotle's Metaphysics
Type Article
Language English
Date 2005
Journal Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
Volume 15
Pages 241–275
Categories Metaphysics, Aristotle
Author(s) Amos Bertolacci
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
The article aims at providing a comprehensive account of the process of translation of Aristotle's Metaphysics into Arabic during the Middle Ages. It consists of four sections. In the first three, the historical sources regarding the translations are taken into account. Section 1 offers a new interpretation of the available testimonia, and, on their basis, determines more precisely the original extent of the two major Arabic translations of the Metaphysics (by Usṭāṯ and Isḥāq ibn Ḥunayn). Section 2 surveys the extant translations themselves. Section 3 focuses on the translation of one of the books of the Metaphysics (A), and argues for the existence of an Arabic version of this book different from the extant one, as attested by its quotations in Avicenna and al-Shahrastānī. The fourth section, finally, reconsiders the data gathered in the previous three sections: the Arabic translations of the Metaphysics are divided into three consecutive but distinct phases (9th century; first half of 10th century; second half of the 10th century-beginning of the 11th century), and the main features of each of these phases are indicated.

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