A 'mysterious Order of Possibles': Some remarks on the views of Avicenna and Aquinas on creation: al-Ilahiyat, the Quaestiones de Potentia and Beatrice Zedler's interpretation

O.L. Lizzini

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Avicenna's distinction between essence and existence was-and sometimes still is-read in the sense of a priority of essence. My analysis will focus on an important example of such a reading: Beatrice Zedler's interpretation of one of the most important texts for Thomas's discussion of Avicenna's philosophy, the Quaestiones de Potentia. Independently of its consistency, Zedler's interpretation gives me the opportunity to discuss Avicenna's supposed "essentialism" (supposed also by Thomas Aquinas). My aim is to show that Avicenna is very well aware of the aporia that an essence existing independently of existence (and therefore "before" it) would represent. If essentialism is a risk of Avicenna's metaphysics, this is not because of the essence-existence distinction. It is because of the ethical dimension that creation perforce implies (creation is good and brings into existence what is good), that Avicenna seems in fact to posit an "independent order of possibles" before God's creative action. © 2014, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-270
JournalAmerican Catholic Philosophical Quarterly
Volume88
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A 'mysterious Order of Possibles': Some remarks on the views of Avicenna and Aquinas on creation: al-Ilahiyat, the Quaestiones de Potentia and Beatrice Zedler's interpretation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this