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Siger, Avicenna, and Albert the Great on universals and natures

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This paper examines Siger of Brabant’s doctrine of universals in light of Siger’s critical discussion of two highly influential philosophers on the issue of universals in the Middle Ages, Avicenna and Albert the Great. Although Siger unequivocally rejects Albert’s views on universals – rightly so, given Albert’s commitment to a rather robust form of realism –, he is far less hostile to Avicenna’s ideas on the subject than he is to Albert’s. The paper examines Siger’s contrasting attitudes to both authors, highlights Siger’s perspicuity as a reader and interpreter of the works of other philosophers, and shows how Siger uses the doctrines of Albert and Avicenna to sharpen his own position.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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