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Title: Averroes and Aquinas on the Agent Intellect's Causation of the Intelligible
Author(s): CORY, Therese Scarpelli
Journal: Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume: 82    Issue: 1   Date: 2015   
Pages: 1-60
DOI: 10.2143/RTPM.82.1.3080624

Abstract :
This article examines two medieval thinkers – Averroes and Aquinas – on the kind of causation exercised by the agent intellect in 'abstracting' or producing intelligibles from images in the imagination. It argues that abstraction in these thinkers should be interpreted in causal terms, as an act whereby images in the imagination, through the power of the agent intellect, educe their intelligible likeness in a receptive intellect. This Averroean-Thomistic causal approach to abstraction offers an intriguing alternative to the usual approach to abstraction as an epistemological content-sorting. The article also demonstrates the extensive common ground uniting these thinkers’ cognition theories, despite Aquinas’s well-known rejection of Averroes’s theory of separate Intellects.

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