published on April 15, 2014
The Will in Averroes and Aquinas
Despite the drastic differences in their views of the intellect and the location and specific function of the will both Aquinas and Averroes are able to claim that their systems allow for moral agency because they both place the will—a faculty that is of prime importance to the process of moral action—in the individual. Both philosophers think that they are following Aristotle in making their claims about the will and the intellects. This paper will examine the issue of will and the related issue of the intellects as it appears in the Aristotelian texts and in the subsequent work of Averroes and Aquinas. It will argue that at least some of the divergence in Averroes and Aquinas can be attributed to (1) an issue of translation regarding De Anima, and (2) a difference in the role of cogitation and the intellects regarding will.