The Problem of the Rational Soul in the Thirteenth Century


The Problem of the Rational Soul in the Thirteenth Century traces the Latin scholastics' attempt to deal with two essentially incompatible notions of the human soul: the scientific view of Aristotle which considers it to be a form, and the Augustinian view of the soul as a substance in its own right, from Gundissalinus to the Parisian condemnation of 1277. It traces the growing disarray of Latin notions of the soul, the growth of the monopsychism controversy, the solutions of Bonaventure and Aquinas, through the variety of responses to Aquinas's De unitate intellectus. Among its conclusions are that the traditional dualism diminished with time, that there was little agreement among the “heterodox Aristotelians,” and that, with two exceptions, no one in the thirteenth century taught the present position of the Catholic Church, that the rational soul is infused at conception.

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Richard C. Dales, Ph.D. (1955) in History, University of Colorado, is the John R. Hubbard Professor of European History at the University of Southern California. He has published extensively in medieval intellectual history including Medieval Discussions of the Eternity of the World, (Brill, 1990).
All those interested in intellectual history, history of theology and philosophy, scholasticism, and the history of science.
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