2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
The task which Ibn Rushd (known in the West as AverroŽs) set for himself was challenging: he hoped to harmonize the teachings of Greek philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, with the teachings of the Koran. He was accused of heresy in 1195 and imprisoned. His commentary on Aristotle, whom he considered an unerring genius, influenced Western thinking about the philosopher and about the relationship between philosophy and religion. Mediśval Averroists, perhaps misunderstanding his intent, proposed that religious and philosophic truth are species of the truth which do not have to agree.
Born into a family of judges in Cůrdoba, Ibn Rushd (c. 1126-1198) became a doctor and a lawyer. He was court physician in Morocco and served as a judge in Seville. A rationalist, AverroŽs believed that the Koran was allegorical and that the intersection of religion and philosophy was the logical understanding of faith. He was critical of the mysticism of al-Ghazzali and disagreed with Ibn Sinna (Avicenna) over the nature of God, whom Ibn Rushd saw as a distant prime mover from whom emanated intelligences in a descending series, of which man was the end. Humankind participates in a single intellect that serves the entire species.
Few of AverroŽs' works exist in Arabic; most survive in Latin translation or Hebrew transliteration. His important medical work is The Book of Generalities; his lengthy study of Aristotle (whose work he read mostly in Latin translation) is his most influential work. AverroŽs summarizes the works of Aristotle paragraph by paragraph. He comments on the first word of each paragraphy and on Aristotle's observations. AverroŽs promoted the use of syllogism over the dialectic as the most logical tool for argument.
Karen Rae Keck
including the header and this copyright remain intact.