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Medieval Philosophy

3. Averroes

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About this Lecture


In this module, we explore the philosophy of the Islamic philosopher Averroes (1126-98), focusing in particular on his life as a qadi (Islamic magistrate or judge) in the Almohad Caliphate and his readings in Aristotle—and especially Aristotle's treatise On the Soul.


In this course, Professor John Marenbon (University of Cambridge) explores Medieval Philosophy through seven key thinkers. In the first module, we explore the philosophy of Avicenna, thinking in particular about his proof of existence of God and his views on the human soul. After that, we turn to Abelard and his proposed solution to the problem of universals. In the third module, we focus on the Islamic philosopher Averroes, focusing on his readings of Aristotle, before turning in the fourth module to the Jewish philosopher Maimonides. In the fifth module, we look at the works of Duns Scotus, including his thoughts on free will and the problem of universals, before turning to another Jewish philosopher—Gersonides—in the sixth module. In the final module, we look at the philosophy of a slightly later thinker, Pietro Pomponazzi, and his views on the mortality of the soul and the autonomy of the discipline of philosophy.


John Marenbon is a Fellow of the British Academy, Senior Research Fellow of Trinity College, and Honorary Professor of Medieval Philosophy, as well as Visiting Professor at the Philosophy Department of Peking University. His interests cover the whole breadth of philosophy in the Long Middle Ages (c. 200 – c. 1700), in the Latin and Greek Christian, Islamic and Jewish traditions. He has written both general books (especially Medieval Philosophy: an historical and philosophical introduction (2007) and (as editor) the Oxford Handbook of Medieval Philosophy (2012), as well as more specialized studies of Boethius and Abelard. His most recent book is Pagans and Philosophers. The Problem of Paganism from Augustine to Leibniz (2015). You can find a CV, List of Publications and copies of many of his recent articles at

He is is one of the leaders of the project 'Immateriality, Thinking and the Self in the Philosophy of the Long Middle Ages', a joint project of the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge and the Department of Philosophy, Peking University, financed by the British Academy through an International Partnership and Mobility Grant, March 2015 – February 2016.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Marenbon, J. (2018, August 15). Medieval Philosophy - Averroes [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Marenbon, J. "Medieval Philosophy – Averroes." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,