The De anima Tradition In Early Franciscan Thought. A Case Study In Avicenna’s Reception


  • Lydia Schumacher


In the 12th and early 13th centuries, we witness a steady rise in the level of sophistication with which scholars analysed the nature of the rational soul. This increase was undoubtedly attributable to the translation movement of the period, which made many Greek and Arabic philosophical texts available in Latin for the first time. This paper will show how the introduction of Avicenna’s De anima in particular mediated readings of Aristotle as well as Augustine in the period of the Summa’s authorship, specifically, as regards its account of the soul, its relationship to the body, and its cognitive operations. In this way, I will illuminate the extent to which the reading of Avicenna shaped fundamentally the ways in which the Franciscan tradition came to construe human nature.

Keywords: psychology, Summa Halensis, Franciscan, John of La Rochelle, Avicenna, Aristotle, Augustine, soul, body, angel, illumination, Avicebron, senses, intellect.

Ancient and medieval studied Authors: Alexander of Aphrodisias, Alexander of Hales, Aristotle, Augustine, Avicenna, Averroes, Avicebron, Bonaventure, Costa Ben Luca, Dominicus Gundissalinus, Hugh of St Cher, James of Venice, John Blund, John of Damascus, John of Spain, John of La Rochelle, Michael Scotus, Philip the Chancellor, Roger Bacon, Roger Marston, William of Auvergne, Thomas Aquinas.