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Intellect As Intrinsic Formal Cause In The Soul According To Aquinas And Averroes

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Chapter Summary

The Principle of Intrinsic Formal Cause served st. thomas aquinas well in his critique of Averroes. But that critique succeeds only if Averroes is working solely in the Aristotelian framework as conceived by Aquinas. On the view of Averroes, at the heart of the Principle of Intrinsic Formal Cause is the assertion that what is essential to human intellectual understanding-the abstractive power of the Agent Intellect itself-cannot remain only transcendent but must also be intrinsically present in the individual human soul, and not in an accidental or incidental fashion. According to the account of Aquinas using the same principle, it was necessary that what is truly essential to human intellectual understanding-the abstractive power of the agent intellect itself-must be intrinsically present in the human soul and cannot at the same time exist separately and extrinsically.

Keywords: Aristotelian framework; Averroes; human soul; St. Thomas aquinas



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