„Perfectio“: the History of a Notion  Cover Image
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„Съвършенство”: история на едно понятие
„Perfectio“: the History of a Notion

Author(s): Elena Miteva
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Институт за българска философска култура

Summary/Abstract: In this paper I sketch the history of the Latin notion of ‘perfectio’ in the Middle Ages focusing on Albert the Great (1200-1280). Albert does not develop an independent theory of perfection, but utilizes the term in all his works, so that by studying themone might get a clue of some of Albert’s most important theories. In order to make a systematic overview of the meanings in which this notion occur in Albert’s philosophy, I have made a list of quotations based on a lexicographical study of Albert’s most relevant works which partly derives from my dissertation project. Albert’s usage of ‘perfectio’stands in between the Neoplatonicunderstanding of the terminherited from pseudo-Dionysius (5th c.) and Avicenna (ca. 980-1037) on the one hand, and the Aristoteliannotion of ‘entelecheia’, on the other. In the first case ‘perfectio’ stands for the process of becoming perfect, i.e. of improving and actualizingone thing’s capacity and power. In the second case ‘perfection’ rather means the state of being perfect. In Albert both meanings of ‘perfectio’, the Neoplatonic and the Aristotelian one of being completed, can be found. ‘Perfectio’is a key notion in Albert’s famous theory of the intellect, according to which the intellect is able to perfect step by step its own essence and to attain happiness when contemplating the divine essences. This theory has gained vast notoriety, but during my research it turned out that the same scheme of gradual perfection is found in Albert’s ethics as well: like the intellectual perfection, also the moral one brings man to the beatific contemplation of the divine...

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 140-157
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Bulgarian