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Averroes On Chance

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Chapter Summary

Averroes' theory of chance is based on Aristotle's discussion in Physics II (195b31-200b8) and is expounded in his commentaries. This chapter discusses Averroes' views on chance, and his position vis-à-vis other philosophers and commentators who have discussed the issue, from the Presocratics to Avicenna. In his commentary of Aristotle's discussion, Averroes expounds the main topics that were also treated by Avicenna, namely what kind of cause chance is. Two main questions are debated in connection with chance, the relation to the efficient cause, with the implication that chance is not an essential efficient cause, and the affirmation that nature in general follows a purpose or final cause and is not ruled by chance. The chapter shows that Averroes associates chance with the material, sublunar world.

Keywords: Aristotle's discussion; Averroes; chance; final cause; sublunar world



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