Was Ibn Rushd an Averroist? The Problem, the Debate, and Its Philosophical Implications
Modern scholars disagree about the extent to which the historical Ibn Rushd actually defended the ideas commonly associated with Averroism and whether his philosophical ideas were controversial in his own day and age. The medieval sources mention persecutions, but the details of the conflict remain unclear. Controversies concerning the case of Ibn Rushd are connected to more general disagreements about the history of philosophy in the Islamic world. One of the main controversies divides the Straussians from their opponents. This contribution surveys the debate concerning Ibn Rushd’s radicalism and analyses some of the methodological differences among modern historians of Arabic philosophy. Understanding some of these differences may help to explain the reasons for such diverging assessments of Ibn Rushd’s thought.