Mikołaj Krasnodębski

Teoria intelektu możnościowego i jej konsekwencje w kontekście polemiki Tomasza z Akwinu z awerroizmem łacińskim
[The Theory of Passive Intellect in Thomas Aquinas’ Polemic against Latin Averroism]

09 - 2004, pages 139–155
Date of online publication: 29 August 2016
Date of publication: 01 November 2004


This article discusses Thomas Aquinas’ arguments regarding the passive intellect in his dispute with Latin Averroism, represented by Siger of Brabant, Boethius of Sweden, and others. Averroes distinguished two kinds of intellect: passive (eternal) and material (mortal). For him, the passive intellect is a spiritual substance, present in the esse of human bodies in a detached way. It combines our ideas and is common to all people. The material intellect is associated with the human body by means of ideas. Thomas’ criticism is pitched on two levels: those of faith and of reason. According to him, the Averroists’ views are incompatible with faith because they “destroy punishment and reward in eternal life,” and with reason because they contradict the principles of true philosophy,” by which Thomas most likely means common sense” as it appears in Aristotle’s philosophy.


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