Neoplatonism Through the Renaissance
What were Averroës most noteworthy ideas?
Overall, Averroës’ (c. 1126–c. 1198) Aristotelian views were shaped by Platonic ideas, partly because he mistakenly believed that the whole of ancient Greek thought was one unified system that had been composed cooperatively. He also believed that, according to Aristotle, all of the sciences could be studied with the same meaning of “being,” whereas Aristotle had insisted that the sciences were diverse and their subject matter inherently different. Averroës viewed all of nature as one harmonious order. On the subject of immortality, this holism was related to his idea that individual souls are not distinguished from one another after death, but combine into one form.
Averroës also interpreted Aristotle as claiming that Earth was eternal, which was against Christian doctrine of the creation. In On the Harmony between Religion and Philosophy, Averroës tried to show that the same truth can be reached through different means: dialectic in law, philosophy for those skilled in the use of pure reason, and rhetoric for those with only a general education.