An Abstractionist Correction of Avicenna’s Theory of Intentionality in the Early Averroes

Francisco J. Romero Carrasquillo

Abstract: This paper offers an account of Averroes’ early doctrine of the internal senses with special reference to the role that intentionality plays in internal sense cognition. The author points out that, whereas for Avicenna an “intention” is the object of a specific faculty, for Averroes it is the formal aspect at any level of internal-sense cognition. This interpretation is required by the need to find coherence among those passages in Averroes’ Epitome de Parva naturalia that ascribe the joining of images and intentions to both the cogitative and memorative faculties. Consequently, Averroes’ account is hopelessly incoherent unless one interprets him as departing from, and indeed revising, the Avicennian doctrine of intentionality along more a faithful Aristotelian-abstractionist framework.

Keywords: Aristotelian philosophy, Averroes, Avicenna, imagination, memorative faculty, theory of intentionality.