ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf


338. The Rise of Anti-scholastic Averroïsm. -- Averroës, who was called the "Commentator" par excellence down to the close of the Middle Ages, became known to the Latin world in company with Aristotle: he was everywhere welcomed as the inseparable servant of the great master whose livery he wore. His Commenta were prohibited at Paris at the same time as the works of the Stagirite: they were involved in a common condemnation with the writings of David of Dinant and Amalric of Bène (228). But the preventive measures of 1210 and 1215 failed to banish Averroës, any more than Aristotle, from the Paris schools. From the early decades of the thirteenth century the name of Averroës was in every mouth. Most of the masters eschewed his teachings, but some must have given them their secret adherence. In 1256 Pope Alexander IV. requested Albert the Great to write a treatise ex professo, De unitate Intellectus contra Averroëm: a plain proof that Averroïsm had got a footing in the schools and was contending openly against scholasticism. Later on, it assumed a more menacing attitude. The ecclesiastical condemnations checked its progress for the time, but without killing it. In subsequent centuries it reappeared with renewed life and vigour. Even within the ranks of the scholastics, many were unable to guard themselves altogether from its influence: its taint is found in various special theories propounded by them (Ch. V.).

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