Averroës' three short commentaries on Aristotle's by Charles E Butterworth

By Charles E Butterworth

Charles E. Butterworth presents a bilingual variation (Arabic and English) of numerous of this influential twelfth-century philosopher's maximum works.

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Additional info for Averroës' three short commentaries on Aristotle's ''Topics,'' ''Rhetoric,'' and ''Poetics''

Sample text

I. Butterworth, Charles E. II. Title. III. Series. A35B87 160 75-4900 ISBN 0-87395-208-1 Page v To My Wife Page vii Preface There was a time when Dante could be certain that even an oblique reference to Averroës would be immediately understood by any of his readers. Indeed, over the course of several centuries, fierce debate raged around the philosophy of Averroës: he was either extolled as the foremost interpreter of Aristotle or vilified as the gravest menace to Christian faith. Schools devoted to the study and propagation of his commentaries on Aristotle flourished, while others zealously committed to combatting the teachings of those commentaries had equal success.

If I have a severe but judicious Aristarchus, it must be Miriam Galston; she offered excellent criticism of the finished text and invaluable advice about how to translate technical Arabic into smooth English. Above all, the final presentation of the book owes much to the careful eye and agile mind of Muhsin Mahdi and to his sound advice at each stage of the project. I am especially grateful for the friendly help extended by each of these persons. I would like to acknowledge the assistance of the Graduate School of the University of Maryland which awarded me a fellowship for the summer of 1970 and a grant for typing expenses.

Shortly afterward, Renan reported Munk's discovery, but paid such little attention to the content of the treatise or to its identity that he spoke of the Hebrew version of the Short Commentary on Logic (which he called Abrégé de Logique) and of the manuscript discovered by Munk (which he called Abrégé de l'Organon) without ever associating the two. More importantly, he insisted that the treatises on rhetoric and poetics Page 4 contained in the Florence manuscript of Averroës's Middle Commentaries on Aristotle's Organon, which he had catalogued, were short commentaries.

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