Aristotle and His Medieval Interpreters (Canadian Journal of by Richard Bosley, Martin M. Tweedale

By Richard Bosley, Martin M. Tweedale

This publication is an in depth overview and research of Aristotelian suggestion as acquired and tailored by means of such medieval commentators as Ammonius, Philoponus, Boethius, al-Farabi, Yahya ibn 'Adi, Avicenna, Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Martin of Dacia, Simon of Faversham, John Duns Scotus, Peter of Spain, Robert Kilwardby, William of Ockham, and Giles of Rome. The discussions diversity from metaphysics to common sense, linguistics, and epistemology, encompassing such issues as being, god, causation, reality, potentiality, universals, individuation, signification, cognition, walk in the park, infallibility, errors, lack of knowledge, analogy, grammar, interpretation, foundationalism, and the eucharist and transubstantiation.

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De Anima III 6 [Aristotle (3)] and Metaphysics IX 10 [Aristotle (4)]) but also many scattered bits and pieces. And almost all these texts, long and short, were discussed in Aquinas's commentaries on Aristotle as well as cited frequently by him as he developed his own position. This vast array of sources and Aquinas's intricate weaving of his own epistemology through Aristotle's would make it intolerably distracting to try to trace the Aristotelian thread in every Thomistic doctrine. So I will only occasionally point to a relationship between them, and I will often speak only of Aquinas's position when I might appropriately have referred to Aristotle's as well.

52 In retrospect, it seems clear that this description by itself should have given us pause about adopting the view of Aquinas as a Foundationalist whose theory of scientia is a theory of knowledge. A Foundationalist theory of knowledge is a theory which explains what counts as knowledge and what does not and which accounts for the trustworthiness of what counts as knowledge. But the theory of scientia is a different enterprise; scientia is a matter of cognizing causes of things, of finding causal explanations for currently accepted claims.

Which of the three parts of such a theory one emphasizes is a function of one's whole worldview and values. Given Aquinas's robust faith in a provident creator of the world who has made human beings in his image and, like himself, cognizers of the truth, it is not surprising that some elements of the theory don't get much explicit development or analysis. He takes for granted that (I') the goal aimed at in the use of human intellect is the acquisition of truth about the world and its creator and the avoidance of falsehood.

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