Contextualizing Premodern Philosophy
Explorations of the Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and Latin Traditions
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This volume brings together contributions from distinguished scholars in the history of philosophy, focusing on points of interaction between discrete historical contexts, religions, and cultures found within the premodern period. The contributions connect thinkers from antiquity through the Middle Ages and include philosophers from the three major monotheistic faiths—Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.
By emphasizing premodern philosophy’s shared textual roots in antiquity, particularly the writings of Plato and Aristotle, the volume highlights points of cross-pollination between different schools, cultures, and moments in premodern thought. Approaching the complex history of the premodern world in an accessible way, the editors organize the volume so as to underscore the difficulties the premodern period poses for scholars, while accentuating the fascinating interplay between the Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and Latin philosophical traditions. The contributors cover many topics ranging from the aims of Aristotle’s cosmos, the adoption of Aristotle’s Organon by al-Fārābī, and the origins of the□ Plotiniana Arabica to the role of Ibn Gabirol’s Fons vitae in the Latin West, the ways in which Islamic philosophy shaped thirteenth-century Latin conceptions of light, Roger Bacon’s adaptation of Avicenna for use in his moral philosophy, and beyond. The volume’s focus on "source-based contextualism" demonstrates an appreciation for the rich diversity of thought found in the premodern period, while revealing methodological challenges raised by the historical study of premodern philosophy.
Contextualizing Premodern Philosophy: Explorations of the Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and Latin Traditions is a stimulating resource for scholars and advanced students working in the history of premodern philosophy.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Narrating Premodern Philosophy in Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and Latin: Origins, Developments, Innovations Katja Krause, Luís Xavier López-Farjeat, and Nicholas A. Oschman
Part I: Traditions and Their Origins
1. Why the Prime Mover Is Not an Exclusively Final Cause: Alexander of Aphrodisias and Averroes David Twetten
2. Philoponus and Forms Owen Goldin
3. Pseudo-Ammonius’ Ārāʾ al-falāsifa and Its Influence on Early Ismāʿīlī Thought Janis Esots
4. Roger Bacon and His "Arabic" Sources in His Moralis philosophia Thérèse-Anne Druart
5. Averroes’ Commentaries on Book 7 of Aristotle’s Physics Josep Puig Montada
6. The Influence of Mansūr Ibn Sarjūn (John of Damascus) on Aquinas’ Philosophy of Religious Worship Francisco J. Romero Carrasquillo
7. Ibn Taymiyya on Ibn Rushd in the Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql (with Special Attention to His Quotations of Ibn Rushd’s Tahāfut al-tahāfut) Jules Janssens
Part II: Traditions Facing Forward
8. How Light Makes Color Visible: The Reception of Some Greco-Arabic Theories (Aristotle, Avicenna, Averroes) in Medieval Paris, 1240s–1250s Therese Scarpelli Cory
9. Anniyya faqaṭ Again: Reading Liber de causis 8 with Richard C. Taylor Cristina D’Ancona
10. Ontology and Logic in Avicenna’s Concept of Truth: A Commentary on Ilāhiyyāt 1. 8 Olga L. Lizzini
11. Al-Fārābī on What Is Known Prior to the Syllogistic Arts in His Introductory Letter, the Five Aphorisms, and the Book of Dialectic Terence J. Kleven
12. Dominicus Gundissalinus’ On Unity and the One Nicola Polloni
13. Institution and Causality in Albert the Great’s Sacramental Theology Isabelle Moulin
14. Averroes’ Decisive Treatise (Faṣl al-maqāl) and Exposition (Kashf) as Dialectical Works Peter Adamson
15. Averroes on Imagination (takhayyul) as a Cognitive Power Deborah L. Black
Part III: Forging New Traditions
16. The Emergence of a Science of Intellect: Albert the Great’s De intellectu et intelligibili Henryk Anzulewicz
17. Action by Being Alone in the Plotiniana Arabica Michael Chase
18. "Incepit quasi a se": Averroes on Avicenna’s Philosophy in the Long Commentary on the De anima Amos Bertolacci
19. Averroist by Contagion? Marsilius of Padua on civilis scientia Joerg Alejandro Tellkamp
20. Some Choice Words: Al-Ṭūsī’s Reconceptualization of the Issue of the World’s Age Jon McGinnis
21. Unfounded Assumptions: Reassessing the Differences among Averroes’ Three Kinds of Aristotelian Commentaries Steven Harvey
Appendix: "Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’": A Short History Richard C. Taylor and Brett Yardley.
Katja Krause, a historian of philosophy and science, is professor of the history of science at the Technische Universität Berlin and leads the research group "Experience in the Premodern Sciences of Soul and Body, ca. 800–1650" at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin.
Luis Xavier López-Farjeat, professor of philosophy at Universidad Panamericana, Mexico, has published widely on classical Islamic philosophy. He is co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Islamic Philosophy (2016), associate director of the "Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’ International Working Group," and editor of Tópicos, Journal of Philosophy.
Nicholas A. Oschman is a scholar of classical philosophy in the lands of Islam and a member and officer of the "Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’ International Working Group." He currently teaches at the Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, TN.
"This is an excellent collection with contributions from an impressive number of top international scholars in Medieval and Ancient philosophy. The collection outlines and exemplifies important nuances of Professor Richard C. Taylor’s hermeneutic, ‘source-based contextualism.’ It will prove helpful to anyone concerned with philosophy as understood through its own history."
Matthew Robinson, St. Thomas University, Canada