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Extra info for Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes, on Intellect: Their Cosmologies, Theories of the Active Intellect, and Theories of Human Intellect
Zeller, followed by Bruns, the editor of the De intellectu, therefore ingeniously conjectured that "Aristotle" is a copyist's error for "Aristokles," the name of Alexander's supposed teacher. See Zeller (n. 26 above) 815. P. Moraux, Der Aristotelismus bei den Griechen 2 (Berlin 1984) 83 and n. 6, has responded that Alexander had a teacher named Aristotle and that the reference is to him. See also F. Trabucco, "II problema del de Philosophia di Aristocle di Messene e la sua doctrina," Acme 11 (1958) 117, 119.
It has an active side, which "destroys ... " Similarly, the "acting \fdcil] intellect in us"—which here means the human material intellect, described in the lines immediately preceding as active—both "separates off forms through its active side and "takes hold" of them through its passive side. Lest anyone suppose that recognizing an active side of the human intellect leaves the transcendent active intellect otiose, the De intellectu insists: Although the human potential intellect develops spontaneously, the active intellect "acquired from without [nonetheless] .
Now, to be actually intelligible is to be actually thought by a thinking subject. And according to Aristotle, "actual intellect is identical with what is actually thought"; an intellect actually thinking an intelligible thought is identical with whatever thought it thinks. If a form exists independently of matter, is hence actually intelligible by its own nature, and contains nothing apart from what is actually intelligible, the subject thinking it would be wholly identical with it. A pure form would, in other words, be both an actual object of thought and also the subject having it as the object of thought.