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“Albert the Great on animal and human origin in his early works”

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Krause,  Katja
Department Ideals and Practices of Rationality, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Krause, K. (2015). “Albert the Great on animal and human origin in his early works”. Lo Sguardo, 18(2), 205-232.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-5B77-4
Abstract
Among historians of philosophy and science, Albert the Great (ca. 1200-1280) is well-known for his scientific outlook on animals. His mature commentary on the De animalibus (after 1258) has been praised for its revival of a scientia de animalibus, covering animal diversity in its psycho-physiological nature, generation and habitat, and the causes that lead to this diversity. Far less attention has been paid to the genesis of this scientific outlook, found in his early theological works. This lack of attention, however, has resulted in two gaps in the literature. On the one hand, we have not fully appreciated Albert’s motivations and reasons for his mature scientific decisions. On the other hand, we have not fully grasped the systematic impact that his appropriation of the scientia de animalibus had on the developments of related systematic fields, such as his eschatology and theological anthropology. The purpose of this paper is to begin to address this second gap in the literature. I show how and why Albert’s systematic integration of the Aristotelian model of animal epigenesis into his eschatology and theological anthropology resulted in a thorough modification of his Christian conception of the human soul’s creatio ex nihilo in his mature works.