A Comparative Study of the Relationship between the Material Intellect and the Active Intellect from the Perspective of Averroes and Al-Farabi
Dr. Davoud Zandi

The relationship between the material intellect and the active intellect is an important issue in the realm of epistemology in Islamic philosophy. The aim of the present study is to compare the views of Averroes and Al-Farabi in this regard. Reviewing their theories, this study shows that both the mentioned philosophers agree upon the fact that the Active Intellect exists apart from human soul and acts as a creator of forms, but as for the relationship between the Material Intellect and the Active Intellect, there is disagreement between Averroes and Al-Farabi.Averroes believes that in some aspects both of them are the same yet they are different in some other aspects, namely regarding their acts they are different because the active intellect acts as creator of forms while the material intellect is just receiver of the forms. Nevertheless, they are the same, since the material intellect achieves perfection through the active intellect, whereasin Al-Farabi’s opinion, ontologically speaking; the material intellect and the active intellect are different in their existence. The material intellect in al-Farabi’s perspective is one of the stages of human intellect that is inherent in human soul, whereas the active intellect is an immaterial substance that existsapart from human soul.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jisc.v3n2a5