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WIELKOŚĆ ŚW. ALBERTA Z LAUINGEN, ZWANEGO TAKŻE ALBERTEM WIELKIM

MARIAN KURDZIAŁEK
Roczniki Filozoficzne / Annales de Philosophie / Annals of Philosophy
Vol. 30, No. 1, METAPHYSIQUE, LOGIQUE, HISTOIRE DE LA PHILOSOPHIE / METAPHYSICS, LOGIC, HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY / METAFIZYKA, LOGIKA, HISTORIA FILOZOFII (1982), pp. 5-32
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43407622
Page Count: 28
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WIELKOŚĆ ŚW. ALBERTA Z LAUINGEN, ZWANEGO TAKŻE ALBERTEM WIELKIM
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Abstract

From among numerous anniversaries celebrated in 1980 and relating to Medieval culture the 1000th anniversary of Avicenna's birthday and the 700th anniversary of St Albert's death aroused most interest. The UNESCO commemorated Avicenna's millenium with a special medal and organized the „Colloque International sur l'Islam” in Paris in July 1981. The world's attention was focused on St Albert's anniversary owing to John Paul II's pilgrimage to St Albert's tomb in Köln. Also the Catholic University of Lublin (KUL) participated in the celebrations on account of the fact that St Albert is the patron saint of the Faculty of Christian Philosophy at KUL. The writings of St Albert are of a great value as source-works mainly because they were based on comparatively early Latin translations of Aristotle's works and include references to unknown or little known works and authors (eg. David of Dinant, „Quaestiones Nicolai Peripatetici”). St Albert's paraphrases are particularly interesting. The fact that he chose that type of commentary as the means of expression proves that he was more interested in the reconstruction of Aristotle's writings and in his doctrine than in its interpretation. He, himself, used to stress the following: „I am faithful to the words of Aristotle and Peripatetics' thought and never add a word from myself 11 . Many historians, among them Gilson and Böhmer, concluded that St Albert's own thought should be reconstructed on the basis of his independent writings like „Summae” (Handbooks) and the „Commentary on the Four Books of Lombard's Sentences”. In the light of the latter writing St Albert appears to be much more of a Platonian or Neoplatonian than Aristotelian. Aristotelism in St Albert's thought was strongly underlined by M. Grabmann who called St Albert the originator of Christian aristotelism and a man „who first looked in the face of aristotelism”. What was the reason which inclined St Albert to be preoccupied with Peripatetic philosophy throughout his life starting with his „Summae Parisiensis” and till the „Handbook of Theology”? As early as during his stay Paris he came to the conclusion that the injunction of 1210 (renewed later many times) demanding that Aristotle's „Metaphysics” and other natural writings were not read at the University of Paris was inconsiderate, unnecessary and even detrimental not only to the development of natural sciences and philosophy but also to theology. He came to such a conclusion after he became acquainted with the „Liber David Dinanthensis per theologos factus qui totus est haereticus”, a collection of excerpts irom David's „Quaternuli” prepared for the Synod in Paris in 1210 by Parisian theologians. On the basis of that document St Albert claimed that there are no, or nearly no, grounds to charge Aristotle with David's charges. However, the injunction did not restrain the spread of heterodoxal aristotelism but rather favoured it instead; the „Quartier latin” of true Aristotle, which could have over come soreading pseudo-aristotelism, being prohibited. In addition, the injunctions suggested implicite that true Aristotle was a variance with Christian faith. St Albert's paraphrases aimed at convincing the authorities that the writings on natural science and the „Metaphysics” did not constitute any threat to Christian faith. Their aim was also to convince heterodoxal Aristotelians that the Aristotle interpreted historically ie. in the light of his own or well rendered texts and in the light of Peripatetics' thought is different from that they popularized. For St Albert authentic Aristotelism was the aristotelism of Aristotle and Peripatetics, particularly of Avicenna.

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