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The Early Albertus Magnus And His Arabic Sources On The Theory Of The Soul

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows that Albertus terminological decisions continue a tradition reaching from the Greek commentators, and John Philoponos in particular, to Avicenna. Albertus position on another important issue is also influenced by Arabic sources. His defense of the unity of the souls vegetative, animal and rational parts rests on arguments from Avicenna and Averroes. It is shown that Averroes position on the problem is not clearcut: he advocates the unity thesis, but also teaches the plurality of the generic and individual forms in man. This double stance is visible in the Latin reception of Averroes works, and also in Albertus, who presents Averroes both as supporter and opponent of the plurality thesis. First, the chapter focuses on Albertus theory, and then deals with the question whether Albertus prolongs Arabic traditions in this matter.

Keywords: Albertus Magnus; Arabic Sources; Arabic tradition; Averroes; Avicenna; John Philoponos; theory ofthe soul



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