ARISTOTELIANISM—methods, principles, theories and problems that form in an essential way a systemic-metaphysical and scientific profile of Aristotle’s doctrines; in a broader sense, the history of Aristotle’s doctrines in ancient times, the Middle Ages, and modern times.
ANCIENT TIMES. Aristotelianism began to develop in the Lyceum. The direct disciples of Aristotle, called the old Peripatetics, continued the scientific investigations started by Aristotle. Theophrastus worked on botany and the history of philosophy in his doxographic version. Euthydes was the most faithful to Aristotle’s doctrine and worked on the history of mathematics and astronomy. He also commented upon his master’s Metaphysics. Aristoxenes was renowned as one of the best-known ancient theoreticians on music and as a biographer. Dicearchus brought fame to the Lyceum with his works on geography and cartography. They interpreted the Aristotelian doctrine of the soul through the prism of his doctrine of the pneuma (πνευ&mu:alpha;), entelecheia (’εντελεχεια), and ether (’αιθηρ). As a result they were inclined to treat the soul and other substantial forms as corporeal. These naturalistic and materialistic tendencies also appeared in the views of Straton of Lampsacus and Critilaus of Phaselis who belonged to the so-called Middle Lyceum. Straton thought that according to Aristotle intellectual cognition is not essentially different from sense cognition, and so there is no basis for conceiving of the soul as a spiritual substantial form, or to conceive of the First Mover as a completely immaterial being. Critolaus, not without some influence from Stoic doctrines, taught that the human soul is of the same nature as the entelecheia of the entire cosmos, that is, it is a substance that unites in itself the features of the Aristotelean ether and pneuma, Platonic stellar matter, the soul of the world, the Stoic “creative fire”, and the pneuma that breathed though everything. The philosophical views of the Peripatetics we have mentioned inform us that even in the Lyceum Aristotle’s dialogues were used in philosophical discussion more than Aristotle’s scholastic writings. His scholastic writings became influential in the time of Andronicus of Rhodes. Andronic, then his students and continuators, commented on Aristotle’s logical treatises, and on rare occasions they commented on the Metaphysics (Eudorus) and Ethics (Aspasius). Alexander of Aphrodisia (2nd and 3rd century) wrotes commentaries on the entire Corpus Aristotelicum. He stated that the possible intellect was the form of the body and was mortal. Only the agent intellect was immortal, but it did not belong to human nature. This interpretation is commonly called Alexandrianism. Historians see in it either the apogee of Stratonism, or an attempt to reconcile the Peripatetic theory of the agent intellect with the Platonic conception of illumination (illuminism) and participation. Those who hold the second hypothesis protest against treating Alexander as a “naturalist” and “materialist”. Beginning in the third century, commentaries by neo-Platonists such as Porphyry appeared more and more frequently besides the commentaries written by Peripatetics.
Christian theologians who tended toward Platonism also had a lively interest in the works of Aristotle, especially his logical treatises. They quickly understood that without the study of logic the basic truths of faith cannot be properly defined, nor could the dogmatic disputes that were then frequent be resolved. For these reasons the Nestorians and Monophysites studied Aristotle. The study of Aristotle was particularly intense in Alexandria (the Alexandrian exegetical school). The neo-Platonist, John Philoponus of Alexandria, initiated an Aristotelian orientation in Byzantine theology and so paved the way for John Damascene.
THE MIDDLE AGES. In the Middle Ages, Aristotelianism referred to attempts to combine Aristotle’s doctrine and the doctrines of ancient Aristotelianism with Muslim, Jewish, and Christian philosophy. Al-Kindi (9th century) was the first Arab to take an interest in Aristotle’s philosophy. In metaphysics Al-Kindi departed from the proper line of the Peripatetics and worked with a neo-Platonic negative theology. Al-Farabi (10th century) was also influenced by neo-Platonism. Avicenna and Averroes, the two leading Arab Aristotelians, interpreted Aristotle’s metaphysics and psychology in the same spirit. The influence of neo-Platonism on the Muslim Peripatetics was due to the fact that the Arabs learned Aristotle’s writings together with commentaries written by neo-Platonists. Some of these writings, e.g., the Theology of Aristotle were in fact excerpts from the writings of Plotinus, Proclus, or Platonic writers who falsely attributed their own thoughts to Aristotle. Furthermore, the Arab imagination was most attracted tot he conception of God as uniting in himself the concept of a being who is absolutely one with the concept of a first, transcendental, and unmoved Mover. A reaction against the penetration of Greek philosophy started by al-Ghazali and supported by the followers of al-Ashari led Arab Peripatetic philosophy to almost complete ruin in the late twelfth and early thirteenth century. In this same period, a Jewish Aristotelianism began to take shape in Spain, and then in south France. Its chief representative was Moses Maimonides. Like Arab Aristotelianism, the Jewish version took form under the influence of neo-Platonism, as is apparent in the views of Avicebron.
The neo-Platonist Agorius Praetextatus introduced Aristotle’s doctrine into Latin culture. He translated Themistius’ commentaries on the Prior Analytics and Posterior Analytics. Boethius became a true propagator of Aristotle’s logic. His translations and commentaries were the basic source of logical and philosophical teaching until the mid-twelfth century. From these humble beginnings, Latin Aristotelianism began to grow vigorously in the mid-twelfth and thirteenth century as scholars assimilated almost the entire body of Aristotle’s work. They worked mainly with manuscripts translated from Greek or Arabic. Translations from Greek appeared especially in south Italy. Two of the earliest translators were Jacob of Venice who published the Prior Analytics and Posterior Analytics around 1130, and Henry Aristippus (d. 1168) who translated some of Aristotle’s works on nature. Translations from Arabic appeared in Spain, mostly in Toledo. Only some translations came from Sicily (Palermo). The most renowned translators include Dominic Gundisalvi, Gerard of Cremona, Alfred of Sareshel, and Micheal Scot. The translations from Arabic came later and were less faithful to the original than the Greco-Latin ones. The translations from Arabic appeared together with commentaries by Averroes and writings by Avicenna, which influenced how they were received by the Latins and led Christian theologians to distrust them. Their suspicions were all the more well founded since the first metaphysical-theological interpretation of Aristotle’s natural and philosophical doctrines as presented by David of Dinant was condemned in 1210 at the Synod of Paris. Consequently the reading of Aristotle’s writings on nature and his Metaphysics was prohibited. The prohibition was renewed several times (1231, 1245, 1263), but even before 1240 it was disregarded. Also in this period one of the most important attempts to revive Aristotelianism began. Albert the Great took up this work, and his student Thomas Aquinas brought it to fruition (Thomism). Thomas Aquinas used William of Moerbeke’s excellent Latin translation of the Corpus Aristotelicum. The variety of Aristotelianism they created is commonly called orthodox Aristotelianism as distinct from heterodox Aristotelianism, that is, Latin Averroism, whose chief representative was Siger de Brabant. The theses taught by Siger were in disagreement with the Christian faith and evoked a new wave of distrust toward Aristotelianism. As a result, in 1270 the Bishop of Paris Stephan Tempier condemned thirteen philosophical statements. In 1270 a series of new statements was added to those already condemned, and some of these were Thomistic positions. Thomism, however, was speedily rehabilitated and thereafter was recognized as the most perfect expression of Christian Aristotelianism. Averroism developed in the fifteenth century in Padua and survived there until the seventeenth century. It took root also in Paris, but to a lesser degree (Boethius of Dacia, John of Jandun), and in Oxford (Fitzralph, J. Bacon).
MODERN TIMES. In the fifteenth century scholars turned their interest to Plato. Nonetheless Latin editions and the Greek text of the Corpus Aristotelicum were published. Philological operations to “purify” Aristotle’s doctrines went together with attempts to free it from the entanglement of scholastic and Averroistic interpretations. In the sixteenth century, Aretinus (Bruni), Theodore Gaza, Bessarion, J. Argyropulos, and George of Trapezunto work to restore the ancient, original, or (as É. Gilson described it) “archeological” form of Aristotelianism. Some Renaissance Aristotelians (P. Pomponazzi) thought that Alexander of Aphrodisia had reproduced the first version of Aristotelianism. Others (A. Achillini, A. Nifo, M. A. Zimara) were convinced that the only authentic Aristotelianism was Averroism. P. Melanchthon cultivated and propagated philosophy in the spirit of Aristotle, and his metaphysics was introduced into the curriculum of Protestant universities. D. Cramer, C. A. Martini, G. Gutke, V. Fromm, A. Calov, and G. Timpler were Protestant Aristotelians. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, T. Hobbes, G. Berkeley, R. Descartes, G. W. Leibniz, and G. W. F. Hegel were influenced by Aristotle’s writings. Aristotle began to attract especially intense interest from the meritorious and historical point of view in the nineteenth and twentieth century. F. Brentano, B. Bolzano, and E. Husserl refered to the Aristotelian-scholastic tradition. J. Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire, A. Trendelenburg, H. Bonitz, K. Prantl, and O. Spongler studied Aristotelianism under all possible aspects which made possible the preparation of a critical edition of Aristotle’s works under the auspices of the Prussian Academy of the Sciences (Opera Graece-Latine cum scholiis, I–V, B 1831–1870). Apart from the Greek and Latin texts, translations into modern languages were published (Aristoteles Vernaculus). Almost all of Aristotle’s works were translated in Russia. Toward the end of the nineteenth century A. Jourdain began to study the reception of Aristotle in the Middle Ages. C. Baeumeker, G. Grabmann, F. Van Steenberghen, and A. Mansion were noted scholars in this field.
The published series of Aristoteles latinus (I R 1939, II C 1955, III Bg 1961) presents the literature concerning the translations of Aristotle’s works and of his Greek and Latin commentators. A. Birkenmajer’s treatise, Le rôle joue par les médecins et les naturalistes dans la réception d’Aristote au XI et au XII siècles (Wwa 1930) played an important role in shaping views on the course of the recpetion of Aristotle’s writings and doctrines.
P. Petersen, Geschichte der aristotelischen Philosophie im protestantischen Deutschland, L 1921; H. Windischer, Franz Brentano und die Scholastik, In 1936; F. Dirlmeier, Peripatos und Orient, Antike 14 (1938), 120–153; E. Troilo, Averroismo e aristotelismo padovano, Pd 1939; K. O. Brink, RKASupl VII 899–947; C. Giacon, La seconda scholastica I. I grandi commentatori di san Tommaso, Mi 1944; F. Wehrli, Die Schule des Aristoteles, Bas 1944–1959, 1967–19692; W. Wąsik, Arystoteles w Polsce [Aristotle in Poland], Collectanea Theologica 23 (1952) n. 3–4, 274–317; A. Mansion, Het a. in het historisch perspectief, Lv 1954; F. Van Steenberghen, Aristotle in the West, Lv 1955; A. Mansion, Les progrès de l’“Aristoteles latinus”, RPL 54 (1956), 90–111; M. Plezia, Od Arystotelesa do “Złotej legendy” [From Aristotle to the “golden legend”], Wwa 1958; W. Wąsik, Historia filozofii polskiej [History of Polish philosophy], I, Wwa 1958, II, 1966; Dzieje Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego w latach 1364–1764 [History of Jagiellonian University in the years 1364 to 1764], I–II, Kr 1964; F. Brunner, Platonisme et aristotelisme, Lv 1965; S. Kurdziałek, Arystotelizm, najtrudniejsza z dróg św. Tomasza [Aristotelianism, the most difficult of the ways of St. Thomas] in: Pastori et Magistro, Lb 1966, 361–372; P. Merlan, Greek Philosophy from Plato to Plotinus, in: The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy, C 1967, 107–123; J. Gotje, Studien zur Überlieferung der aristotelischen Psychologie im Islam, Hei 1971; Totok II 316–325 (bibliogr.); M. Schneid, Aristoteles in der Scholastik. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Philosophie im Mittelalter, Aalen 1975; D. O’Brien, Four Essays on Democraticus, Plato and Aristoteles. A Study in the Development of Ideas, Les Belles Letres 1981; E. Booth, Aristotelian Aporetic Ontology in Islam and Christian Thinkers, C 1983; N. J. Green-Pedersen, The Tradition of the Topics in the Middle Ages, Mü-W 1984; C. B. Schmitt, The Aristotelian Tradition and Renaissance Universities, Lo 1984; F. H. Sandbach, Aristotle and the Stoics, C 1985; M. Markowski, Repertorium commentariorum medii aevi in Aristotelem Latinorum quae in bibliothecis Wiennae asservantur, Wr 1985; A. Zimmerman, Aristotelisches Erbe im arabish-lateinisch Mittelalter, B 1986; J. Kurfess, I. Düring, Aristotle and His Influence, NY 1987; C. Flüeler, Rezeption und Interpretation der Aristotelischen Politica im späten Mittelalter, A 1992; U. R. Jeck, Aristoteles contra Augustinum. Zur Frage nach dem Verhältnis von Zeit und Seele bei den antiken Aristoteleskommentatoren, im arabischen Aristotelismus und im 13. Jahrhundert, A 1993; M. Kurdziałek, Średniowiecze między platonizmem a arystotelizmem [The Middle Ages between Platonism and Aristotelianism], Lb 1996; Reale III (passim).
Marian Kurdziałek, Zbigniew Pańpuch
ARISTOTELIANISM IN POLAND. Aristotle’s thought had an influence on the shaping of the history of Poland’s intellectual culture, but the scope and character of that influence varied in different periods. For a few centuries, Aristotelianism was the foundation of philosophical studies, which consisted mainly in commentaries upon Aristotle’s works (often from the point of view of the doctrines of other thinkers); furthermore, theologians, philosophers, and other scholars either drew upon Aristotle’s works when editing their own works or made critical-historical studies of his works.
Aristotelianism in Poland dates back to the mid-fourteenth century (the Silesian philosopher John of Grodków drew on Aristotle in his own treatise on logic), but it began its true development in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century and was associated with the activity of the Kraków Academy. The masters of Kraków in the fifteenth century gathered a great number of Aristotle’s writings and commentaries by authors from the twelfth to the fifteenth century and on the basis of these works they edited many works of their own. The approach of the Kraków commentators to Aristotle was, as throughout the Middle Ages, ahistoric, and their works were compilations and syncretic in character. The most dynamic and creative period in Poland was the fifteenth century when J. Buridan and Thomas Aquinas exerted a strong influence. Albert of Saxony, Marcilius of Inghen, Henry of Ojta, Albert the Great, and Walter Burleigh also were influential. The Kraków masters were most interested in practical problems (commentaries to the Ethics held first place), logical problems, natural problems (commentaries to the Physics, Meteorologica, Parva naturalia, and De generatione et corruptione), and psychological problems (commentaries to the De anima), while metaphysical problems were of secondary importance (commentaries on the Metaphysics). Paul of Worczyń (author of several works, including the most extensive commentary on the Ethics in Poland) and Benedict Hesse were among the most prolific commentators. John Isner, Andrew Wężyk, and Peter of Siena were also notable commentators. In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century far fewer compilations appeared and the commentaries were no longer profound and extensive but compendiums for use in schools. Interest in practical problems declined while interest in logic, the study of nature, psychology, and metaphysics increased. At the time, Albert the Great, Duns Scotus, Thomas Aquinas, and John Versor were the most influential authors. The Kraków authors who wrote commentaries include John of Głogów (who wrote the greatest number), Michael of Bystrzyków, John of Stobnica, and Michael of Wrocław.
In the sixteenth century, Polish libraries acquired numerous printed works of Aristotle published in Poland and elsewhere. They also acquired Latin translations and the original Greek texts. Scholars were chiefly interested in practical and natural problems. Professors commented on Aristotle as part of university studies using printed works and applying a philological method. At the same time Aristotle’s views presented to a popular audience. In ethical, social, and political thought, political writers creatively employed these works: A. Frycz-Modrzewski, S. Orzechowski, P. Skarga, W. Goślicki. In the early sixteenth century, A. Glabrer of Kobylino made the first translation and adaptation of Aristotle’s minor works in the Polish language: Problems and Physiognomy. At the beginningof the seventeenth century, S. Petrycy of Pilzno translated the Economics, Politics, and half of the Nicomachean Ethics. He also wrote extensive commentaries to these works in Polish. These were based on the Latin commentaries of the Renaissance.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth century Aristotelianism also developed outside of Kraków. The most important school was the Academy of Wilno. In this period, commentaries that referred to particular writings of Aristotle were replaced by extensive compendiums, so-called courses, which included Aristotle’s entire philosophy in four sections: logic, rational physics, metaphysics, and ethics. Aristotle was interpreted mainly in the spirit of Thomistic and Scotistic philosophy. Some authors who wrote courses of this kind were B. Keckermann, A. S. Zaluski, T. Młodzianowski, A. K. Krasnodębski, S. S. Makowski, S. Sczaniecki, W. Tylkowski, A. Miaskowski, and A. Podlesiecki. Along with the growth of Aristotelianism, there was an explicit anti-Aristotelian movement. It was most apparent in the philosophy of nature, which was more and more in contradiction with the development of the empirical sciences (e.g., V. Magni fought against Aristotelianism). The Enlightenment was characterized by an anti-Aristotelian attitude in all areas.
From the second half of the nineteenth century to this day there has been interest in Aristotelianism from a critical and historical point of view. Many authors have found Aristotelianism to be an inspiration for their own views (e.g., for some neo-Thomists). Logical problems and metaphysical-epistemological problems have been most extensively considered, and in this area the published authors include F. Gabryl, W. Wąsik, K. Twardowski, J. Łukasiewicz, T. H. Czeżowski, T. Kotarbiński, K. Ajdukiewicz, R. Ingarden, J. Salamucha, S. Adamczyk, A. Korcik, P. Chojnacki, J. Słpecki, S. Swieżawski, I. M. Boacheński, M. A. Krąpiec, M. Kurdziałek, S. Kamiński, M. Jaworski, M. Gogacz, T. Kwiatkowski, S. Kowalczyk, W. Dłubacz, P. Jaroszyński, and A. Maryniarczyk. There are a relatively large number of works in the area of practical philosophy (ethics and politics) whose authors include W. Lutosławski, S. Schnajder, W. Maliniak, W. Tatarkiewicz, J. W. Przysławska, J. Stepa, A. Usowicz, J. Kalinowski, and P. Rybicki. There are also works in psychology (e.g., Z. Uranowicz, P. Siwek, S. Swieżawski) and aesthetics (e.g., T. Sinek, R. Gasińniec, R. Ingarden, and M. Plezia). Translations into the Polish language include: Constitution of Athens (three translations: I. Wierzbicki, E. Paszkiewicz, L. Piotrowicz), the Poetics (two translations: S. Siedlecki, T. Sinek), the Categories (W. Wąsik), a fragment of the Analytics (W. Rubczyński); Nicomachean Ethics (D. Gromska), the Politics and the pseudo- Aristotelan Economics (L. Piotrowicz), parts of the Metaphysics (T. Żeleźnik), the Physics (K. LeŶniak), Short psychological and biological works and On the soul (P. Siwek), the Great Ethics and Eudemian Ethics (W. Wroblewski), the Categories and Hermeneutics with the addition of Porphyry’s Isagoge (K. Leśniak), On the generation of animals (P. Siwek), On the parts of animals (P. Siwek), On the motion of animals, On the locomotion of animals (P. Siwek), Topics, On sophistic refutations (K. Leśniak), Assorted writings (L. Regner), Meteorology, On the world (A. Pociorek), Prior and Posterior Analystics (K. LeŶniak), On the sky (P. Siwek), On generation and corruption (L. Regner), Metaphysics (K. LeŶniak), Rhetoric and Poetics (H. Podbielski), Exhortation to Philosophy (K. LeŶniak), Zoology (P. Siwek), Natural Problems (L. Regner).
The Scientific Publishing House PWN began in 1990 to publish all the works of Aristotle in Polish translation (I–VII). In 1996 a new translation of the Metaphysics was completed and published in three languages: Greek, Latin, and Polish (M. A. Krąpiec, I. Żeleźnik, A. Maryniarczyk). The works of K. Leśniak and A. Krąpiec are generally concerned with Aristotle and his views, as well as a selection of fragments from his writings in Polish translation. Some authors who have made important studies on the reception of Aristotle include J. Fijałek, K. Michalski, W. Wąsik, A. L. Birkenmajer, S. Świeźawski, M. Plezia, Z. Kuksewicz, M. Kurdziałek, M. Markowski, and J. Czerkawski. A separate place is occupied by the works on the reception of Aristotle in medieval Poland written by authors including P. Czartoryski, J. B. Koroliec, Z. Kuksewicz, M. Markowski, R. Palacz, J. Rebeta, W. Seńko, S. Swieżawski, Z. Włodek, and S. Wielgus.
W. Wąsik, Arystoteles w Polsce [Aristotle in Poland], Collectanea Theologica 28 (1952) n. 3–4, 275–317; P. Czartoryski, Z problematyki badań nad dziejami nauki polskiej w XV wieku [On the problematic of studies on the history of Polish science in the fifteenth century), Kwartalnik Historii Nauki i Techniki [Quarterly of the History of Science and Technology] 5 (1960), 17–47; S. Swieżawski, Pour mieux connaitre l’ambiance philosophique en Pologne médiévale ZNKUL 4 (1961) n. 1, 85–118; P. Czartoryski, Wczesna receptcja ”Polytiki” Arystotelesa na Uniwersytecie Krakowskim [The early recpetion of Aristotle’s “Politics” at the University of Kraków], Wr 1963; S. Swieżawski, Wr 1963; P. Swieżawski, Filozofia na Uniwersytecie Krakowskim do XVI w [Philosophy at the University of Kraków to the sixteenth century], ZNKUL 7 (1964) n. 2, 19–51; Dzieje Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego w latach 1364–1764 [History of the Jagiellonian University in the years 1364–1764], I–II, Kr 1964 (passim); K. Leśniak, Arystoteles [Aristotle], Wwa 1965; M. Kurdziałek, Udział ks. Konstantego Michalskiego i Aleksandra Birkenmajer w odkrywaniu filozofii średniowiecznej [The role of Fr. Constance Michalski and Alexander Birkenmajer in the rediscovery of medieval philosophy], SPCh 2 (1966) n. 1, 83–105; Filozofia polska [Polish philosophy], Wwa 1967 (passim); W. Tatarkiewicz, Filozofia w Uniwersytecie Jagiellońskim od XVII do połowy XX w. [Philosophy in the Jagiellonian University from the seventeenth to the mid- twentieth century], ZNUJ 16 (1967), 11–36; M. Gogacz, Filozofia chrześciańska w Polsce Odrodzonej (1918–1968) [Christian philosophy in Reborn Poland (1918–1968)], SPCh 5 (1969) n. 2, 50–79 (passim); Historia nauki polskiej [History of Polish science], I–II, Wr 1970 (passim); J. Rebeta, Komentarz Pawła z Worczyna do “Etyka nikomachejskiej” Arystotelesa z 1424 roku. Zarys problematyki filozoficzno-społecznej [Paul of Worczyń’s commentary on Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics”. Outline of the philosophical- social problematic], Wr 1970; M. Markowski, Burydanizm w Polsce w okresie przedkopernikańskim. Studium z historii filozofii i nauk śisłych na Uniwersytecie Krakowskim w XV w. [Buridanism in Poland in the pre-Copernican period. A study in the history of philosophy and the exact sciences at Kraków University in the fifteenth century], SCop 2, Wr 1971 (passim), J. Czerkaski, Arystotelizm na wydziale sztuk Uniwersytetu Krakowskiego w XVI i XVII w. [Aristotelianism in the department of arts of Kraków University in the sixteenth and seventeenth century], in: Nauczanie filozofii w Polsce w XV–XVIII w. [The teaching of philosophy in Poland in the fifteenth to eighteenth century], Wr 1978, 45–85; M. Kurdziałek, Średniowiecze mi&281;dzy platonizmem a arystotelizmem [The Middle Ages between Platonism and Aristotelianism], Lb 1996.