ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf

340. Supporters of Averroïsm. -- The Averroïsts whose memory is preserved in the history of the thirteenth century, adopted an aggressive attitude towards scholasticism. These are: Siger of Brabant, in the first place; then, of lesser importance, Boethius the Dacian and Bernier of Nivelles. We know, moreover, that Siger had a strong following in the Paris Faculty of Arts,{1} and the stirring episodes in the history of Averroïsm are a proof of the vitality of the anti-scholastic forces.{2} Then, outside the universities, Averroïsm also took root in the court of Frederick II. of Sicily and his son, Manfred (226, II.). To Frederick is attributed the saying that Moses, Jesus and Mahommet were three impostors.{3} There is no truth in Renan's contention{4} that the Franciscan schools were centres of Averroïsm (351): the facts are all the other way. Renan failed to see that the doctrinal differences between the Franciscans and the Dominicans, at the time of the censures of 1277, all concerned the opposition of the older scholasticism to Thomism, and that the two great mendicant orders joined their forces in the fight against Averroïsm.{5}

{1} Chartul., i., p. 556.

{2} It is likely that further research will bring to light other Averroïstic writers. MANDONNET quotes several anonymous texts (op. cit., ccxxxvii).

{3} The saying is referred to in the compilation De Erroribus Philosophorum, which attributes this error also to Averroës: "Quod nulla lex est vera, licet possit esse utilis" (MANDONNET'S edit., p. 11). Cf. decree of 1277, props. 174 and 175.

{4} Averroès et l'Averroïsme, pp. 259 sqq.

{5} KARL WENCK, in the Historisch. Zeitsch., Bd. 94, I, connects with Averroïsm the reiterated accusations made against Boniface VIII.: War Bonifaz VIII. ein Ketzer?

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