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Document Details :
Title: From Reconstruction to Reformation
Subtitle: Jacob Thomasius's Use of Aristotle in the Debate on the Origin of the Human Soul
Author(s): RADEVA, Zornitsa
Journal: Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume: 84 Issue: 2 Date: 2017
This article sheds new light on the complex relationship between Jacob Thomasius’s main occupation as a professor of Aristotelian philosophy at the Lutheran University of Leipzig and his works on the history of philosophy, which showed the incompatibility of Aristotle with central Christian doctrines. I argue for a strong inner consistency between these two seemingly conflicting aspects of Thomasius’s intellectual activity. Far from paralyzing his way of doing ‘Christian Peripatetic philosophy,’ the history of philosophy was for Thomasius an indispensable analytical tool for reforming Aristotelianism. To illustrate my thesis, I investigate the way Thomasius used his historical reconstruction of Aristotle’s theory of intellect to intervene in a contemporary debate on the origin of the human soul, a debate which played a central role in the crystallization of a Lutheran confessional identity.