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1 A draft of this paper was presented at the annual Spring conference sponsored by the Commissio Leonina and the Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’ Project, “Thomas d’Aquin et ses sources arabes / Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’” held at the Bibliothèque du Saulchoir 27-28 March 2009. I benefitted from comments and questions raised there and elsewhere I have presented drafts of this article. I also benefitted from the comments of an anonymous evaluator for The Thomist. This article is a product of the Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’ Project. For information see www.AquinasAndTheArabs.org. 2 The Jewish rabbi, theologian, and philosopher Moses Maimonides, who wrote his famous Guide for the Perplexed in Arabic, was schooled in the Arabic / Islamic philosophical tradition and followed methods of philosophical analysis set forth by Al-F~r~b§, Avicenna, Averroës and others of that tradition. To that extent, his philosophical work, although distinctive, can reasonably be included as part of the classical rationalist Arabic / Islamic philosophical tradition. 509 The Thomist 76 (2012): 509-50 ARABIC / ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY IN THOMAS AQUINAS’S CONCEPTION OF THE BEATIFIC VISION IN IV SENT., D. 49, Q. 2, A. 11 RICHARD C. TAYLOR Marquette University / De Wulf-Mansion Centre Milwaukee, Wisconsin / Katholieke Universiteit Leuven I T IS WELL KNOWN that philosophical texts and ideas, analyses and arguments, from the Arabic/Islamic philosophical tradition exercised influence upon the development of theological and philosophical thinking in Latin Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and beyond. But too often the positive aspects of this influence have been eclipsed by the emphasis modern scholars have put upon the writings of Latin theologians arguing against reasoning received in the works of Avicenna, Averroës, and others of the classical rationalist philosophical tradition in Islam.2 Frequently that emphasis has had its own ideological ends, yielding results that have inappropriately led to the dismissal of the importance of the arguments and insights RICHARD C. TAYLOR 510 3 I have particularly in mind here, for example, the polemical treatment of the development of metaphysics in the Arabic / Islamic tradition found in Etienne Gilson’s Being and Some Philosophers (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1949). 4 For details on this project, see www.AquinasAndTheArabs.org. Although thinkers of the Arabic tradition were of various ethnic backgrounds, Aquinas often speaks of them as ‘the Arab philosophers” or “the Arabs.” The Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’ Project collaborates with the Commissio Leonina and holds two research conferences annually, in the Fall in North America and in the Spring in Europe. For information, see www.AquinasAndTheArabs.org and click on Research Seminar Conferences. 5 While it seems clear enough in the objections and contras of the article treated here that Aquinas regards these as synonymous phrases, he makes this perfectly clear in his own voice in the response to objection 16 [22739]: “Set Deus per essentiam suam coniungibilis est intellectui. Vnde non immediate uideretur, nisi essentia sua coniungeretur intellectui. Et hec uisio immediata dicitur uisio faciei” (“But God is able to be joined to the intellect in essence. Hence, he would not be seen immediately unless his essence were conjoined to the intellect; this unmediated vision is called vision of the face”). 6 This work was written in the period of 1251/52-1256. The best editions are S. Thomae Aquinatis, Scriptum super libros Sententiarum magistri Petri Lombardi episcopi Parisiensis, t. 1, ed. P. Mandonnet (Paris: P. Lethielleux, 1929); S. Thomae Aquinatis, Scriptum super libros Sententiarum magistri Petri Lombardi episcopi Parisiensis, t. 2, ed. P. Mandonnet (Paris: P. Lethielleux, 1929); S. Thomae Aquinatis, Scriptum super libros Sententiarum magistri Petri Lombardi episcopi Parisiensis, t. 3, ed. M. F. Moos (Paris: P. Lethielleux, 1956); S. Thomae Aquinatis, Scriptum super libros Sententiarum magistri Petri Lombardi episcopi Parisiensis, t. of Muslim and Jewish thinkers of the shared Abrahamic traditions of monotheism.3 Among the multiple purposes of the collaboration of the Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’ Project and the Commissio Leonina are (1) the presentation of a sound and accurate understanding of the value of the contributions of thinkers from the Arabic / Islamic tradition to the development of the theology and philosophy of Thomas Aquinas and other thinkers of his era and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 509-550
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-05
Open Access
No
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