Hesperus is Bosphorus

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Aristoteles Latinus: How Scholastic Philosophy could have benefited from Alexander’s
Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics

Doç. Dr. Geoff Bove, Istanbul Technical University

Date: June 8, Friday
Time: 15-17:00
Place: JF 507

Abstract: In their respective commentaries on Aristotle’s Metaphysics, both Albertus Magnus (1200-1280) and Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) interpret Aristotle as advocating the banishment of wonder in metaphysical inquiry. These readings of Aristotle rely on the Latin translations of the Metaphysics of James of Venice (d. 1141), and William of Moerbeke (1215-1286). It is not until the translation of Bessarion of Trabzon (1403-1472), that the Latin world gets a proper sense of Aristotle’s true understanding of the aim and scope of metaphysical wonder. I argue that Latin translators like James, Michael Scot (1175-1232) and Moerbeke, and commentators like Duns Scotus (1266-1308), Aquinas and Albert all lacked one thing that Bessarion did not, namely a copy Alexander of Aphrodisias’ commentary on the Metaphysics, which was extant only in Constantinople. Bessarion’s translation of the Metaphysics reflects his use of this commentary, and

corrects the faulty conception of Aristotle as a banisher of wonder. Bessarion’s translation suggests that Aristotle calls upon us to wonder at how all things in the heavens and below the moon, from the political, to the biological, to the mechanical, imitate the Unmoved Mover.
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Written by sundemirili

June 5, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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