In 1633 pope Urban VIII received from the Jesuit theologian Melchior Inchofer the Tractatus syllepticus, expressly conceived as a justification of the sentence against Galileo. Inchofer refers to the bull Apostolici regiminis, published in 1513 by pope Leo X, in order to argue that “truth does not contradict truth”, and therefore Copernicans are not allowed to use the “artful distinction” between what can be said “according to philosophy” and what can be said “according to theology”. It is well known that the aforementioned distinction had been widely used by Aristotelian philosophers from mid-thirteenth century onwards; and for a long time it was presented by historians as the hallmark of the so-called ‘Averroism’, which was supposed to accept a ‘double-truth theory’ claiming that a doctrine could be true for philosophy while being false for theology (or vice versa). This paper shows that the roots of the principle of the unity of truth, sanctioned by Leo X in his attack against masters of philosophy who supported the ‘Alexandrist’ and the ‘Averroist ’ interpretations of Aristotle’s psychology, can be found not only in Aristotle’s but also in Averroes’ works; that Averroes gave it one of its clearest formulations; and that he had no significant impact on the way of understanding the relationship between philosophy and religious beliefs suggested by thirteenth-century Parisian Arts masters generally labelled as ‘Latin Averroists’. Rebuked in 1277 by bishop Tempier for holding that there are “two contrary truths”, these masters tried indeed to avoid the conflict between Aristotle’s philosophy and the teachings of Christian faith using Aristotelian logical tools. However one evaluates their strategy, it seems clear that it was within Latin Christian thought that the different conceptions of the dialectic between ‘reason’ and ‘faith’ generated the phantom of ‘double truth’.

From Pope Urban VIII to Bishop Étienne Tempier : the strange history of the doctrine of ‘double truth’ / L.M. BIANCHI. - In: FREIBURGER ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR PHILOSOPHIE UND THEOLOGIE. - ISSN 0016-0725. - 64:1(2017), pp. 9-26.

From Pope Urban VIII to Bishop Étienne Tempier : the strange history of the doctrine of ‘double truth’

L.M. BIANCHI
2017

Abstract

In 1633 pope Urban VIII received from the Jesuit theologian Melchior Inchofer the Tractatus syllepticus, expressly conceived as a justification of the sentence against Galileo. Inchofer refers to the bull Apostolici regiminis, published in 1513 by pope Leo X, in order to argue that “truth does not contradict truth”, and therefore Copernicans are not allowed to use the “artful distinction” between what can be said “according to philosophy” and what can be said “according to theology”. It is well known that the aforementioned distinction had been widely used by Aristotelian philosophers from mid-thirteenth century onwards; and for a long time it was presented by historians as the hallmark of the so-called ‘Averroism’, which was supposed to accept a ‘double-truth theory’ claiming that a doctrine could be true for philosophy while being false for theology (or vice versa). This paper shows that the roots of the principle of the unity of truth, sanctioned by Leo X in his attack against masters of philosophy who supported the ‘Alexandrist’ and the ‘Averroist ’ interpretations of Aristotle’s psychology, can be found not only in Aristotle’s but also in Averroes’ works; that Averroes gave it one of its clearest formulations; and that he had no significant impact on the way of understanding the relationship between philosophy and religious beliefs suggested by thirteenth-century Parisian Arts masters generally labelled as ‘Latin Averroists’. Rebuked in 1277 by bishop Tempier for holding that there are “two contrary truths”, these masters tried indeed to avoid the conflict between Aristotle’s philosophy and the teachings of Christian faith using Aristotelian logical tools. However one evaluates their strategy, it seems clear that it was within Latin Christian thought that the different conceptions of the dialectic between ‘reason’ and ‘faith’ generated the phantom of ‘double truth’.
double truth; averroism; Galileo; Boethius of Dacia; condemnation of 1277
Settore M-FIL/06 - Storia della Filosofia
Settore M-FIL/08 - Storia della Filosofia Medievale
FREIBURGER ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR PHILOSOPHIE UND THEOLOGIE
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/525370
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