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Averroes On Celestial Causation And Providence

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Chapter Summary

Averroes' analysis of chance in his commentaries on Aristotle's Physics highlights the connection between chance and providence. Providence appears in the long commentaries on the Physics and the Metaphysics, and features prominently in the Kashf, a work in which Averroes seeks to settle the main theological issues within Islam and where he states that the world was created by God and did not come to be by chance or spontaneously. Averroes' theory of celestial causation undergoes a radical evolution. The young Averroes embraces the Neoplatonic theory of emanation which states that from one only one effect proceeds. Later, partly as a result of a reflection on al-Ghazzālī's scathing criticism of the Muslim philosophers, in particular Avicenna, he seeks to revert to a more genuinely Aristotelian position and states that God creates all effects at once, in his role as prime mover, thereby buttressing God's agency, and indeed omnipotence.

Keywords: Aristotle's Physics; Averroes; celestial causation; Kashf; providence



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