Liber de Causis

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The Liber de Causis was a philosophical work once attributed to Aristotle that became popular in the Middle Ages, first in Arabic and Islamic countries and later in the Latin West. The real authorship remains a mystery, but most of the content is taken from Proclus' Elements of Theology. This was first noticed by Thomas Aquinas, following William of Moerbeke's translation of the works of Proclus into Latin. As such it is now attributed to a Pseudo-Aristotle.

The original title in Arabic was Kitāb al-Īḍāḥ li-Arisṭūṭālis fī l-khayr al-maḥd, "The book of Aristotle's explanation of the pure good". The title Liber de Causis came into use following the translation into Latin by Gerard of Cremona.


Text and translations[edit]

  • Otto Bardenhewer, Die pseudo-aristotelische Schrift ueber das reine Gute bekannt unter dem Namen Liber de Causis: Arabic text, German translation
  • Andreas Schönfeld, Liber de causis: Das Buch von den Ursachen, repr. 2005 Meiner Felix Verlag Gmbh ISBN 978-3-7873-1705-9: Latin text, German translation
  • Adriaan Pattin, Le Liber de Causis. Edition établie a l'aide de 90 manuscrits avec introduction et notes, in Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 28 (1966) pp. 90–203, Latin text
  • Dennis J. Brand (ed.), tr. The Book of Causes: Liber de Causis (English translation): 1st ed. 1984 Marquette University Press, 2nd ed. 2001 Niagara University Press
  • Pierre Magnard, Olivier Boulnois, Bruno Pinchard and Jean-Luc Solere, La demeure de l'être. Autour d'un anonyme. Etude et traduction du Liber de Causis, Paris 1990, Vrin (French translation)
  • Alexander Baumgarten, Pseudo-Aristotel, Liber de causis, traducere, note şi comentariu de Alexander Baumgarten, Univers Enciclopedic, Bucureşti, 2002 (Romanian translation)
  • Jean-Pierre Rothschild: Les traductions hébraïques du Liber de causis latin. Dissertation Paris 1985, Bd. 1, S. 172–243 (synoptic edition of parts of the Hebrew translations)


Secondary literature[edit]

  • Manuel Alonso Alonso, Las fuentes literarias del Liber de causis. Al-Andalus: revista de las escuelas de estudios árabes de Madrid y Granada, (10), 1945, pp. 345–382.
  • Andreas Bächli-Hinz, Monotheismus und neuplatonische Philosophie: Eine Untersuchung zum pseudo-aristotelischen Liber de causis und dessen Rezeption durch Albert den Großen, Frankfurt, Academia Verlag, 2002.
  • Dragos Calma, "The Exegetical Tradition of Medieval Neoplatonism. Considerations on a Recently Discovered Corpus of Texts", in Dragos Calma (ed.), Neoplatonism in the Middle Ages. New Commentaries on 'Liber de Causis' and 'Elementatio Theologica', 2 vols, Turnhout, Brepols, 2016, 983p. see
  • Paloma Llorente Megías, Liber de Causis: Indice y Concordancia, Florence, Olschki 2004.
  • Cristina D’Ancona Costa: Recherches sur le Liber de causis. Vrin, Paris 1995, ISBN 2-7116-1225-2
  • Cristina D’Ancona, Richard C. Taylor: "Le Liber de causis", in: Richard Goulet and others (ed.): Dictionnaire des philosophes antiques, CNRS, Paris 2003, ISBN 2-271-06175-X, S. 599–647
  • Thomas Ricklin: Die 'Physica' und der 'Liber de causis' im 12. Jahrhundert. Zwei Studien. University press, Freiburg (Switzerland) 1995, ISBN 3-7278-0994-9
  • Richard C. Taylor: "The Kalām fī maḥḍ al-khair (Liber de causis) in the Islamic Philosophical Milieu" in: Jill Kraye and others (eds.): Pseudo-Aristotle in the Middle Ages, Warburg Institute, London 1986, ISBN 0-85481-065-X, S. 37–52

External links[edit]