Although modern editions of Roger Bacon's works do not explicitly cite the text of The Guide, Bacon knew and used this work in the context of his discussion of the many philosophical themes mentioned above. The fact is that he frames his discussion of Aristotle and Ptolemy's positions in the manner in which Maimonides placed it. And since he knew about the importance of The Guide for Natural Philosophy and Metaphysics from the Summa sapientiale of Thomas of York, it would be most unlikely that he never consulted it for his own work in Natural Philosophy and Metaphysics in the Communia naturalium. In fact, it would be most reasonable to conclude that he did use it. A further external piece of evidence points in the direction of his having used Maimonides' Guide as one of his auctoritates. The significant Summa philosophiae of the Pseudo-Grosseteste contains a history of philosophy and a list of authorities in Book one which matches to a great extent Bacon's Opus maius (Pseudo-Grosseteste, Summa philosophiae, Baur, 1912).9 There has been a scholarly consensus that the Summa philosophiae has a connection with the interests of Roger Bacon. Further, it makes much more explicit the broad range of the auctoritates which Bacon cites throughout the Opus maius and related works.
Indeed, the reader of Bacon's works cannot miss the fact that Bacon is very careful to hide and conceal some of his sources. He is evidently worried about what he calls the Violence' of the Vulgusphilosophantium and of the theologians at Paris. The fact that he does not cite Maimonides is interesting in itself, and merits further study. But from the present study, it should be clear that there is strong evidence for his knowledge and use of Maimonides' Guide.
It is clear from the initial section of this chapter that a number of significant themes from Maimonides recur in the later works of Roger Bacon. They are (1) a somewhat similar criticism of the analogy of Being, and a treatment of Analogy as a species of equivocation. (2) A common concern with the importance of and limitations of Astrology. This shows up too with an almost similar criticism of the "false" astrologers. Further, the correction of the false astrologers by means of experiential medicine is found in both authors, and the role of freedom of choice in human action is acknowledged. (3) There is an identical criticism of the Aristotelian doctrine of the notion of reasonable anger. The Wise Person is the Virtuous person who has expunged anger. And while Bacon draws on Seneca's De ira as his source for the anti-Aristotelian arguments, he takes this up into a Christian doctrine of the theological virtues, Faith, Hope and Love, with its evident roots in Old Testament notions of the place of the humble human before God. The parallels here between Bacon and Maimonides are strong, even-though Bacon's praise of Aristotelian magnanimity does not fit too well with Christian humility. (4) Both authors in common with Dante Alighieri believe in the subordination of Metaphysics to Moral Philosophy. Thus, Moralis philosophiae, with its implication of the "Care of the Self" is the queen of the philosophical sciences, the finis philosophiae. (5) The broad application of the distinction between the Wise and the Vulgar may draw on Maimonides as well as on Al-Farabi. (6) Bacon's own personal style of writing echoes that style found in Thomas of York which Dorothy Sharp saw as an imitation of Maimonides' style of philosophical discourse.
One thing is clear: Roger Bacon knew and used the texts from THE GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED as found in the SUMMA SAPIENTIALE of Thomas of York. Indeed, he takes over the arguments of Thomas of York, an ardent admirer of Rabbi Moses, as his own, specifically on the topics of Matter, Form, Cause, Universal and Individuation. And in Thomas of York, the arguments are justified by reference to the text of The Guide.
Again, the fact that Bacon reproduces the terms of reference for the debate between Aristotle and Ptolemy concerning epicycles and eccentrics as set out by Maimonides suggests strongly that he had read and used Book II, Ch. 24 of the Dux neutrorum.
Roger Bacon has commonly been defined by modern historians of philosophy as a follower of Aristotle who is a representative of an Augustinianisme Avicennisant. And that is of course the case. Yet, labels can hide other influences. And it should be clear from this chapter that it certainly concealed the role which Maimonides does play in the philosophy of Roger Bacon. There is a real and effective influence by Maimonides on the 'later philosophy' of Roger Bacon, that is the philosophy from 1250-1292. And once again, one recognizes just how complex are the influences which go into the philosophical/theological synthesis which is usually named Neo-Augustinianism. The results of the research in this chapter are preliminary. They need to be supplemented, and will be in the near future with a study of the role of Maimonides in Thomas of York, Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon and Giles of Rome. A more intense and prolonged study may yield some explicit but unacknowledged textual citation. That is another project.
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