Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The main ideas of Averroism (found in AverroŽs commentaries to Aristotle) were:
- that the world was eternal
- the soul was divided into two parts, one individual part and one divine part
- that the individual soul was not eternal and
- that all humans at the basic level shared one and the same divine soul, also known as monopsychism
- the resurrection of the dead is not possible (BoŽthius of Dacia)
This standpoint resulted in two condemnations in 1270 and 1277, this time by Bishop Etienne Tempier of the Catholic church. Tempier specified 219 different unacceptable Averroist theses. To resolve the problem, Sigerus of Brabant tried to claim that there existed a "double truth": one factual or "hard truth" which is reached by science and philosophy, and one "religious truth" reached through religion. This idea had not originated in AverroŽs.
The later philosophical concept of Averroism was the idea that the philosophical and religious worlds are separate entities. However, upon scrutinizing the 219 theses condemned by Tempier, it was obvious that not many of them originated in AverroŽs, so for a while other terms were commonly used to refer to the actual philosophical movement started by Sigerus and BoŽthius: Radical Aristotelianism or Heterodox Aristotelianism are other words used for this movement, but nowadays most scholars call it Averroism.
Although condemned in 1277 many Averroistic theses survived during the 16th century and can be founded in the philosophy of Giordano Bruno or Pico della Mirandola. These theses talk about the superiority of philosophers to the common people and the relation between the intellect and human dignity.
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