Averroes and Aquinas on the Agent Intellect’s Causation of the Intelligible, 2015
By: Therese Scarpelli Cory
Title Averroes and Aquinas on the Agent Intellect’s Causation of the Intelligible
Type Article
Language English
Date 2015
Journal Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie médiévales
Volume 82
Issue 1
Pages 1–60
Categories Thomas, Psychology, Metaphysics
Author(s) Therese Scarpelli Cory
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
This article examines two medieval thinkers – Averroes and Aquinas – on the kind of causation exercised by the agent intellect in 'abstracting' or producing intelligibles from images in the imagination. It argues that abstraction in these thinkers should be interpreted in causal terms, as an act whereby images in the imagination, through the power of the agent intellect, educe their intelligible likeness in a receptive intellect. This Averroean-Thomistic causal approach to abstraction offers an intriguing alternative to the usual approach to abstraction as an epistemological content-sorting. The article also demonstrates the extensive common ground uniting these thinkers’ cognition theories, despite Aquinas’s well-known rejection of Averroes’s theory of separate Intellects.

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Intentionality in Medieval Arabic Philosophy, 2010
By: Deborah L. Black
Title Intentionality in Medieval Arabic Philosophy
Type Article
Language English
Date 2010
Journal Quaestio
Volume 10
Pages 65-81
Categories Avicenna, Psychology, Metaphysics, Linguistics
Author(s) Deborah L. Black
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
It has long been a truism of the history of philosophy that intentionality is an invention of the medieval period, and within this standard narrative, the central place of Arabic philosophy has always been acknowledged. Yet there are many misconceptions surrounding the theories of intentionality advanced by the two main Arabic thinkers whose works were available to the West, Avicenna and Averroes. In the first part of this paper I offer an overview of the general accounts of intentionality and intentional being found in the linguistic, psychological, and metaphysical writings of Avicenna and Averroes, and I trace the terminology of “intentions” to a neglected passage from Avicenna’s logic. In the second part of the paper I examine the way that Avicenna and Averroes apply their general theories of intentionality to the realm of sense perception. I offer an explanation of why Avicenna might have chosen to denominate the objects of the internal sense faculty of estimation as “intentions”, and I explore the implications of Averroes’s decision to attribute intentionality to the external senses and the media of perception.

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Averroes and Aquinas on the Agent Intellect’s Causation of the Intelligible, 2015
By: Therese Scarpelli Cory
Title Averroes and Aquinas on the Agent Intellect’s Causation of the Intelligible
Type Article
Language English
Date 2015
Journal Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie médiévales
Volume 82
Issue 1
Pages 1–60
Categories Thomas, Psychology, Metaphysics
Author(s) Therese Scarpelli Cory
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
This article examines two medieval thinkers – Averroes and Aquinas – on the kind of causation exercised by the agent intellect in 'abstracting' or producing intelligibles from images in the imagination. It argues that abstraction in these thinkers should be interpreted in causal terms, as an act whereby images in the imagination, through the power of the agent intellect, educe their intelligible likeness in a receptive intellect. This Averroean-Thomistic causal approach to abstraction offers an intriguing alternative to the usual approach to abstraction as an epistemological content-sorting. The article also demonstrates the extensive common ground uniting these thinkers’ cognition theories, despite Aquinas’s well-known rejection of Averroes’s theory of separate Intellects.

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Intentionality in Medieval Arabic Philosophy, 2010
By: Deborah L. Black
Title Intentionality in Medieval Arabic Philosophy
Type Article
Language English
Date 2010
Journal Quaestio
Volume 10
Pages 65-81
Categories Avicenna, Psychology, Metaphysics, Linguistics
Author(s) Deborah L. Black
Publisher(s)
Translator(s)
It has long been a truism of the history of philosophy that intentionality is an invention of the medieval period, and within this standard narrative, the central place of Arabic philosophy has always been acknowledged. Yet there are many misconceptions surrounding the theories of intentionality advanced by the two main Arabic thinkers whose works were available to the West, Avicenna and Averroes. In the first part of this paper I offer an overview of the general accounts of intentionality and intentional being found in the linguistic, psychological, and metaphysical writings of Avicenna and Averroes, and I trace the terminology of “intentions” to a neglected passage from Avicenna’s logic. In the second part of the paper I examine the way that Avicenna and Averroes apply their general theories of intentionality to the realm of sense perception. I offer an explanation of why Avicenna might have chosen to denominate the objects of the internal sense faculty of estimation as “intentions”, and I explore the implications of Averroes’s decision to attribute intentionality to the external senses and the media of perception.

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