Siger of Brabant Criticism - Essay

Fernand Van Steenberghen (essay date November 1951)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Steenberghen, Fernand Van. “Siger of Brabant.” The Modern Schoolman 29, no. 1 (November 1951): 11-27.

[In the following essay, Steenberghen discusses Siger's career, writings, doctrine, and historical role, offering suggestions for the direction of future studies.]

What is the present state of research in Siger of Brabant? To answer this question, I propose to give first a brief account of the conclusions that seem to be definitely reached and universally accepted about the career, writings, doctrine, and historical role of Siger. Then I shall briefly indicate the points that are still unsettled or that require further investigation.


(The entire section is 6746 words.)

Armand A. Maurer (essay date January 1956)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Maurer, Armand A. “The State of Historical Research in Siger of Brabant.” Speculum 31, no. 1 (January 1956): 49-56.

[In the following essay, Maurer provides a history of scholarly interest in Siger.]

Siger of Brabant is one of the most remarkable figures rescued from oblivion by research in mediaeval philosophy during the past fifty years. In the second half of the thirteenth century he was a well-known and influential philosopher at Paris. His views on philosophical questions and on the relationship of faith to reason were an important feature of the intellectual scene. St Thomas Aquinas thought them significant enough to single them out for attack. St...

(The entire section is 4341 words.)

Thomas P. Bukowski (essay date 1969)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Bukowski, Thomas P. “The Eternity of the World according to Siger of Brabant: Probable or Demonstrative?” Recherches de Théologie ancienne et médiévale 36 (1969): 225-29.

[In the following essay, Bukowski explains how recent discoveries of works by Siger have forced a reappraisal of his views on the eternity of the world.]

As a result of a new discovery of works by Siger of Brabant, the question of Siger's relationship to Thomas Aquinas has taken on greater interest1. With regard to that question, it is clearly opportune to direct attention to an interpretation developed some years ago by J. P. Muller, O.S.B., and commended by that...

(The entire section is 2182 words.)

Armand Maurer (essay date 1981)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Maurer, Armand. “Siger of Brabant on Fables and Falsehoods in Religion Mediaeval Studies.” Mediaeval Studies 43 (1981): 515-30.

[In the following essay, Maurer discusses Siger's understanding of the role of fables in philosophy and religion.]

While Siger of Brabant was teaching philosophy at the University of Paris in the early 1270's, it was obligatory for him to lecture on the Metaphysics of Aristotle. Reading and commenting on book 2, he had to deal with a subject warmly debated since antiquity by both pagan and Christian writers—the role of fables or myths in religion and philosophy.1 His comments on this topic are of interest not...

(The entire section is 6937 words.)

Edward P. Mahoney (essay date 1982)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Mahoney, Edward P. “Sense, Intellect, and Imagination in Albert, Thomas, and Siger.” In The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy: From the Rediscovery of Aristotle to the Disintegration of Scholasticism 1100-1600, edited by Norman Kretzmann, Anthony Kenny, and Jan Pinborg, pp. 602-22. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1982.

[In the following essay, Mahoney discusses Siger in the context of the ideas of Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas, focusing on Averroes's interpretation of Aristotle.]


Albert the Great reveals the influence of Avicenna and Averroes in his psychology, though he certainly...

(The entire section is 11540 words.)

Christopher J. Ryan (essay date 1983)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Ryan, Christopher J. “Man's Free Will in the Works of Siger of Brabant.” Mediaeval Studies 45 (1983): 155-99.

[In the following essay, Ryan examines Siger's position on free will and discusses the inadequacies of earlier critical analyses.]

The recent monograph1 by Fernand Van Steenberghen, the doyen of Sigerian studies, bids fair to remain for some time the standard work on the medieval philosopher and the starting point for any research on his medieval compatriot. Van Steenberghen remarks in introducing his relatively slight section on will and the moral life: ‘Les problèmes relatifs à la nature de l'âme intellective et de l'activité...

(The entire section is 22416 words.)

Armand Maurer (essay date 1988)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Maurer, Armand. “Siger of Brabant and Theology.” Mediaeval Studies 50 (1988): 257-78.

[In the following essay, Maurer compares Siger's account of sacred theology with Aquinas's and discusses Siger's remarks in the larger context of his total extant works.]

While William Dunphy and I were preparing the editions of the Vienna and Cambridge manuscripts of Siger of Brabant's Quaestiones in Metaphysicam, we found that both contain a passage in which he describes six ways in which sacred theology (which he calls ‘the science that is sacred Scripture’) differs from theology in the Aristotelian sense (which he calls ‘the theology that is part of...

(The entire section is 10598 words.)

Thomas P. Bukowski (essay date 1990)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Bukowski, Thomas P. “Siger of Brabant, Anti-Theologian.” Franciscan Studies 50, no. Annual 28 (1990): 57-82.

[In the following essay, Bukowski explores the differences between the theological views of Siger and those of Thomas Aquinas.]


1. Toronto's distinguished Professor Armand Maurer has, in Mediaeval Studies (1988), presented a veritable sequel, entitled “Siger of Brabant and Theology,” to a much earlier study of his. The earlier study, entitled “A Promising New Discovery for Sigerian Studies,” was done with his colleague William Dunphy as co-author, and had itself appeared in Mediaeval Studies...

(The entire section is 10165 words.)

Carlos Steel (essay date 2001)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Steel, Carlos. “Siger of Brabant versus Thomas Aquinas on the Possibility of Knowing the Separate Substances.” In Nach der Verurteilung von 1277: Philosophie und Theologie an der Universität von Paris im letzten Viertel des 13. Jahrhunderts; Studien und Texte, edited by Jan A. Aertsen, Kent Emery, Jr., and Andreas Speer, pp. 211-31. Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter, 2001.

[In the following essay, Steel discusses a commentary by Renaissance philosopher Agostino Nifo on a now-lost work in which Siger defends Averroes's theories concerning the nature of the intellect.]

In his second introduction to the Metaphysics, Aristotle remarks that the knowledge of...

(The entire section is 11083 words.)