The present study focuses on Albert the Great’s reception of Arabic sources — especially of Avicenna — in his commentary on the Isagoge, i.e., the Super Porphyrium de V Universalibus. The paper is articulated into two main sections (I and II) and six appendixes (A-F). The first section (I) offers a preliminary evaluation of Albert’s use of Arabic sources in the SP. The second section (II) aims to assess Avicenna’s impact on Albert from the viewpoint of his doctrinal digressions. Two major doctrines of Avicenna are integrated into Albert’s theory of the predicables : first, the Avicennian distinction between an ontological consideration of the predicables, which pertains to metaphysics, and a logical one, which pertains to logic ; second, Avicenna’s redefinition of the epistemological status of logic, which is reassessed as a science in its own right with its own subject-matter, ceasing to be considered as a mere instrument for the other sciences. Both points were crucial to the thirteenth-century debate on the subject-matter of logic and the universal predicables : a comparison between Albert the Great’s and Robert Kilwardby’s treatments of these themes shows that Albert might have engaged in a debate with his colleagues which has gone unnoticed so far. It is argued that the recourse to Avicenna has provided Albert with a set of arguments which, assimilated and rearranged in his theory of the universal predicables, enabled him to elaborate original answers to the problems differently faced by his contemporaries.

Avicenna’s legacy to the thirteenth-century Latin reception of Porphyry: The case of Albert the Great’s Super Porphyrium de V Universalibus

Silvia Di Vincenzo
2019

Abstract

The present study focuses on Albert the Great’s reception of Arabic sources — especially of Avicenna — in his commentary on the Isagoge, i.e., the Super Porphyrium de V Universalibus. The paper is articulated into two main sections (I and II) and six appendixes (A-F). The first section (I) offers a preliminary evaluation of Albert’s use of Arabic sources in the SP. The second section (II) aims to assess Avicenna’s impact on Albert from the viewpoint of his doctrinal digressions. Two major doctrines of Avicenna are integrated into Albert’s theory of the predicables : first, the Avicennian distinction between an ontological consideration of the predicables, which pertains to metaphysics, and a logical one, which pertains to logic ; second, Avicenna’s redefinition of the epistemological status of logic, which is reassessed as a science in its own right with its own subject-matter, ceasing to be considered as a mere instrument for the other sciences. Both points were crucial to the thirteenth-century debate on the subject-matter of logic and the universal predicables : a comparison between Albert the Great’s and Robert Kilwardby’s treatments of these themes shows that Albert might have engaged in a debate with his colleagues which has gone unnoticed so far. It is argued that the recourse to Avicenna has provided Albert with a set of arguments which, assimilated and rearranged in his theory of the universal predicables, enabled him to elaborate original answers to the problems differently faced by his contemporaries.
Avicenna; Albert the Great; Porphyry; Universals; Medieval logic; Medieval Metaphysics; Kilwardby
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11771/13281
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