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Ten Arguments in Search of a Philosopher: Averroes and Aquinas in Ficino's Platonic Theology

In: Vivarium
Author:
Brian Copenhaver UCLA

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Abstract

In book 15 of his Platonic Theology on the Immortality of the Soul, Marsilio Ficino names Averroes and the Averroists as his opponents, though he does not say which particular Averroists he has in mind. The key position that Ficino attributes to Averroes—that the Intellect is not the substantial form of the body—is not one that Averroes holds explicitly, though he does claim explicitly that the Intellect is not a body or a power in a body. Ficino's account of what Averroes said about the soul's immortality comes not from texts written by Averroes but from arguments made against Averroes by Thomas Aquinas in the Summa contra gentiles.

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