Sigieri di Brabante, Anima dell'uomo. Questioni sul terzo libro del "De anima" di Aristotele; L'anima intellettiva

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Siger of Brabant, soul of man. Questions on the third book of Aristotle's "De anima"; The intellectual soul

Antonio Petagine

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

[Autom. eng. transl.] Paris, 1270: the most prestigious University of the medieval Latin world is shaken by a lively debate on the nature of the human soul and intellect. At the center of the dispute is the teaching of Sigieri di Brabante, Belgian teacher of the Faculty of the Arts. Some of his theses provoke the "holy fury" of Thomas Aquinas and are affected by the ecclesiastical condemnations of 1270 and 1277. In the texts, which presenting for the first time in Italian translation, Sigieri would have assumed a dangerous “averroista” perspective, which leads him into the Questions on the third book of the De anima to claim that there is a single intellect for the whole human species. But if things really are this way, then what about our individuality, the personal responsibility for our actions, the Christian promises of salvation and resurrection? Accused by his contemporaries of "Averroism", Sigieri has highlighted, with a truly surprising lucidity, the main speculative difficulties linked to the Aristotelian conception of the human soul and human intellect. Theologians like Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas had attributed to the Islamic philosopher Averroè the merit of having provided a finally convincing explanation of the controversial Aristotelian thought, but without prejudice to some important reservations. Sigieri intends instead to go all the way, once certain principles have been assumed, without fear of philosophically drawing all the consequences, even when they go against the Christian faith. This unscrupulousness, as Sigieri explains in The intellectual soul, does not arise from an anticlerical mentality or disbelief, but from the conviction that faith and reason generate two very distinct paths: only faith in fact gives us the "truth that cannot lie"; however, this does not mean that the complete unfolding of rational inquiry must be hindered. Who lives without the continuous exercise of reason - says Sigieri paraphrasing Seneca - is as if he were already dead. By virtue of these convictions, which earned him a place in the Paradise of Dante Alighieri, to the right of St. Thomas himself, Sigieri stands authoritatively in a close confrontation with those we consider the "greats" of his time, arousing that "Averroism ”That still in modernity will make its echoes clear.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Siger of Brabant, soul of man. Questions on the third book of Aristotle's "De anima"; The intellectual soul
Original languageItalian
PublisherBompiani
Number of pages383
ISBN (Print)978-88-452-5933-3
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • Aristotele XIII secolo
  • Averroismo
  • anima
  • intelletto

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