Avicenna makes a point to say that he studied these subjects all by himself, in this order, at increasing levels of difficulty, and that he achieved proficiency by the time he was eighteen. His ultimate aim was to prove God’s presence and existence and the world is His creation through scientific reason and logic. To these philosophers should be added the philosophically sophisticated theologians of the various Muʿtazilite branches (one of whose most prominent representatives, the judge ʿAbd-al-Jabbār, Avicenna may have met in Ray between 1013 and 1015). Avicenna also discussed a facility for or habituation with intellection, which he called direct vision or experience (mushāhada) of the intelligibles. Ibn Sina … timabens1. In 999 the Turkic Qarakhanids effectively put an end to the Samanids and took over Bukhara. This was the result of the cultural, scientific, and philosophical effervescence taking place in Baghdad due to the rationalistic outlook in political and social affairs espoused by the ʿAbbāsid dynasty upon its accession to power in 750 and the attendant Graeco-Arabic translation movement (Gutas 1998; Gutas 2014a, 359–62). This is also evident in his disregard (rather than neglect?) Thus unfettered, their knowledge can be completely intellective because they perceive and know the intelligibles from what causes them, while the human intellect is in need of the corporeal senses, both external and internal, in order to perceive the effect of an intelligible from which it can reason syllogistically back to its cause. It proved hugely popular as a succinct though frequently amphibolous statement of his mature philosophy, open to interpretation, and it became the object of repeated commentaries throughout the centuries, apparently as Avicenna must have intended. Learn. ibn Sina was born in AH 370/AD 980 near Bukhara in Central Asia, where his father governed a village in one of the royal estates. Avicenna - Avicenna - Legacy: It is difficult to fully assess Avicenna’s personal life. it represents the culmination of the Hellenic tradition, defunct in At some point in his later years, Avicenna wrote for or dictated to his student, companion, and amanuensis, Abū-ʿUbayd al-Jūzjānī, his Autobiography, reaching till the time in his middle years when they first met; al-Jūzjānī continued the biography after that point and completed it some time after the master’s death in 1037 AD. The Arabophone Jewish and Christian scholars within Islam, to However, Ibn Sina mentioned he did not share their doctrine - with regards to the Universal Intellect and the Universal Soul. Ibn Sina born in 980 B.C. And Ibn Sina if he was an Ismaili would have declared his allegience to the Ismaili Imam of his time. The highest category comprises of the prophets, who have pure rational souls and have knowledge of all things intelligible. Marmura 1990). But in addition to intelligible knowledge, the divine effluence from the intellects and the souls of the celestial spheres also includes information about events on earth, past, present, and future—what Avicenna calls “the unseen” (al-ghayb)—, for all of which the intellects and souls of the celestial spheres are directly responsible. Other than in the summae, Avicenna wrote comprehensively on all philosophy in two major and massive works, both in about twenty volumes, both now lost. Learn more about Avicenna’s life and accomplishments in this article. Avicenna grew up and was educated there and began his philosophical career as a member of the educated elite in political circles close to the Samanids. He went on to write seven more such summae in his career, ranging in length from a sixty-page booklet (Elements of Philosophy, ʿUyūn al-ḥikma, GS 3), written earlier in his career, to the monumental The Cure (al-Shifāʾ), in his middle period. He is considered by many to be "the father of modern medicine." the extent that they were writing for their respective communities and Ibn Sina became so famous as a doctor that the Samanid emir(the prince Nur ibn Mansur) came to him when he was sick. Gutas 2014a, 145). Though Aristotelianism is the philosophical tradition most worthy of adherence, Avicenna says, it is nevertheless not perfect, and it is the task of philosophers to correct and amplify it through the acquisition of further intelligibles by syllogistic processes. Avicenna, aka Abu Ali al-Husain ibn Abdallah ibn Sina, was a Persian polymath, physician, philosopher, and scientist who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived. In any case, what we know about his life, can confirm this assumption. medical Canon (GMed 1), often revised, formed the basis of What did Ibn Sina do? –––, 2015, “The Author as Pioneer[ing Genius]: Graeco-Arabic Philosophical Autobiographies and the Paradigmatic Ego,” in. 0 0 1. book. Performance of the first task, necessarily entailed the second, bringing philosophy up to date.  Toward the end of his life Avicenna wrote two more summae in slightly divergent modes. –––, 2010, “The Ps.-Avicenna Corpus II: The Ṣūfistic Turn,” in. PLAY. The method Avicenna adopted already at the start of his career was logic, and the mental apparatus wherewith we know involved an understanding and study of the human, rational soul. The human intellect can engage in a syllogistic process in the order which includes the middle terms and which is identical with that of the celestial intellects for the simple reason, as Avicenna repeatedly insists, that both human and celestial intellects are congeneric (mujānis), immaterial substances. Avicenna wrote in different genres, but his major innovation was the development of the summa philosophiae, a comprehensive work that included all parts of philosophy as classified in the late antique Alexandrian and early Islamic tradition (cited above). It presented for the first time to the world a comprehensive, unified, and internally self-consistent account of reality, along with the methodological tools wherewith to validate it (logic)—it presented a scientific system as a worldview, difficult to resist or even refute, given its self-validating properties. pencil. In addition, he engaged in protracted correspondence with scholars who asked or questioned him about specific problems; noteworthy are his Answers to Questions Posed by Bīrūnī [GP 8], the other scientific genius of his time, on Aristotelian physics and cosmology, and especially the two posthumous compilations of his responses and discussions circulating under the titles Notes (GS 12a) and Discussions (GS 14). Performance of this second task, in turn, entailed the third, the accuracy and verifiability of the knowledge which would constitute the contents of his updated philosophy. Grasping the logic and the comprehensible is the first step towards determining the fate of one’s soul, thereby deciding human actions. ), and finally in Isfahan (1024?–1037), in the court of ʿAlāʾ-ad-Dawla, the Kakuyid ruler of the area (Gutas 2014b-I, 6–9). Life and Works 1.1 Life. This analysis and understanding of the rational soul, precisely elaborated on the basis of the Aristotelian theory but also going much beyond it, enable Avicenna to engage systematically primarily with all aspects of religion, cognitive and social alike, and secondarily with what we would call paranormal phenomena (prognostication of the future, telekinesis, evil eye, etc.). Match. (Wikipedia Commons) Ibn al Nafis (Ala ad-Din Abu al Hasan Ali Ibn Abi-Hazm al Qarsh) was a Muslim polymath known as the father of Circulatory Physiology.He is considered to be the first to describe the pulmonary circulation of the blood, although the Western educational institutes attribute that discovery to the 17th-century English scientist William Harvey. Gutas 2014a, 184). As mentioned above, the prophet, through his supremely developed ability to hit upon the middle of terms of syllogisms, acquires all knowledge (all the intelligibles actually thought by the active intellect) “either at once or nearly so.” This acquisition “is not an uncritical reception [of this knowledge] merely on authority, but rather occurs in an order which includes the middle terms: for beliefs accepted on authority concerning those things which are known only through their causes possess no intellectual certainty” (GS 5, De anima, 249–250; transl. Furthermore, he is one of the most substantial philosophers of the pre-modern period. world. Despite his peregrinatory life spent in historically turbulent times and areas, including the frequently unfavorable personal circumstances in which he found himself (as recounted in the Autobiography and Biography, Gohlman 1974), Avicenna was terribly productive, even by the standards of the highly prolific authors writing in Arabic in medieval Islam. Learn Ibn Sina (Avicenna) with free interactive flashcards. When did Ibn sina born? philosophical/scientific Ibn Sina was still only 18 years old! Muslim scientists thought about the origin of minerals, rocks, mountains, earthquakes and water, etc. its integral and comprehensive articulation of science and philosophy, Bukhara was no backwater provincial town, teeming as it was with scholars in residence and visiting intellectuals. The Canon of Medicine (Arabic: القانون في الطب al-Qānūn fī al-Ṭibb; Persian: قانون در طب) is an encyclopedia of medicine in five books compiled by Persian Muslim physician-philosopher Avicenna (Ibn Sina) and completed in 1025. His Al-Quanun fi al-Tibb, was a masterpiece of Arabic systemization, in which he sought to collate and organize all known medical knowledge. He is one of the most significant, physicians, intellectuals, writers and astronomers of the Golden Islamic era. Constantinople were quite indifferent to philosophical developments revealed religion and its theological and mystical elaborations. The same applies to other forms of communication from the supernal world. At the same time, however, given his undisputed fame and immense intellectual authority that he exercised soon after his death, pseudepigraphy became a major factor multiplying the works attributed to him (Reisman 2004 and 2010). Ibn Sina [Avicenna]: logic | From his autobiography we learn that he was born in an Isma_ili family in Afshana, in the Persian region of Bukhara. al-Ṭūsī.. And Avicenna who wrote in different styles and genres to reach as many people as possible, as also noted above, clearly intended as much. Ibn Sina’s natural philosophy. The title refers to Avicenna’s adjudication between traditional Aristotelian exegeses and Avicenna’s own views by presenting arguments in support of the latter. This theory made the core of syllogistic verification by means of hitting upon the middle term the one indispensable element of all certain intellectual knowledge, and it explained why people differ in their ability to apply this syllogistic method by presupposing that they possess a varying talent for it, as with all human faculties.  Shortly thereafter he wrote his first work, Compendium on the Soul (GP 10), dedicated to the ruler in apparent gratitude for the permission to visit the library. Aristotle himself stands at the very beginning of this process. Initially he moved north to Gurganj in Khwarizm (999?–1012), but eventually he had to leave again and traveled westwards, staying for a while (1012–1014?) IBN SINA 980 - 1037 Persian Scientist Ibn Sina was the most famous of the philosopher-scientists of Islam. Engaging in science and philosophy during the first three Abbasid centuries (750–1050) in Islam was done mostly under the political patronage of the rulers and the ruling elite who were the sponsors and also among the consumers of the scientific production. Ibn Sina obtained thorough education and was known for his astonishing mind and intelligence. Only the contemplative life while in the body prepares the intellect, which has to use the corporeal external and internal senses to acquire knowledge and gain the predisposition for thinking the intelligibles, for the contemplative life after death. However, their respective acquisition of knowledge is different because of their different circumstances: the human intellect comes into being in an absolutely potential state and needs its association with the perishable body in order to actualize itself, whereas the celestial intellects are related to eternal bodies and are permanently actual. Avicenna, Muslim physician, the most famous and influential of the philosopher-scientists of the medieval Islamic world. Furthermore, the Islamic tradition before Avicenna was not any less unhomogeneous, as it was represented by the eclectic al-Kindī and his disciples, the Aristotelians of Baghdad, and the sui generis Rhazes (of whom Avicenna thought little even as a physician). Avicenna’s proof actually has nothing to do with design, he doesn’t need the idea that the universe is intelligently put together. His real name is Abu Ali al-Husayn Ibn Abd Allan Ibn Sina, however, he is commonly referred to under his Latinized name Avicenna. To have thought so would have negated the entire philosophical project Avicenna so painstakingly constructed. In the Autobiography he says that by the time he was eighteen he had mastered all subjects in philosophy without anything new having come to him since (Gohlman 1974, 30–39). This difference applies to all things except God, said Ibn Sina. our essential core which identifies us and survives, our rational souls) are given a body and our materiality hampers our unencumbered intellection like that enjoyed by the First and the other celestial beings, we have to tend to the body by all means, behavioral (religious practices, ethical conduct) and pharmacological, to bring its humoral temperament to a level of equilibrium that will help the function of the intellect in this life and prepare it for unimpeded and continuous intellection, like that of the deity, in the next. He completed there his major work, The Cure (al-Shifāʾ, GS 5), and four further summae of philosophy, along with shorter treatises, and conducted a vigorous philosophical correspondence with students and followers in response to questions they raised about sundry points in logic, physics, and metaphysics. The book, in two parts, deals with logic in the first and with physics, metaphysics, and metaphysics of the rational soul in the second. Chiefly being a metaphysical philosopher, Ibn e Sina attempted at presenting a comprehensive system linking human existence and experiences with its contingency, while staying in harmony with the Islamic exigency. That Avicenna was able to produce such a work (and repeat it seven more times thenceforth) is of course a tribute to his genius (universally acknowledged both then and now), but that the request for it should have come from his society is telling evidence of its cultural attitude regarding science. Also, please provide SERIOUS answers. In an effort to reach a wider audience, he expressed his theories on the rational soul in two allegories, Alive, Son of Awake (Ḥayy b. Yaqẓān, GM 7; Goichon 1959) and The Bird (GM 8; Heath 1990), and he versified still others: The Divine Pearl (al-Jumāna al-ilāhiyya) on the oneness of God and the emanated creation in 334 verses (GM 9), The Science of Logic, in verse, in 290 lines (GL 4), and a number of poems on medical subjects, notably his Medicine, in verse, in 1326 lines (GMed 27), which was commented upon by Averroes. When philosophy was resuscitated after a hiatus of about two centuries (ca. Is it the soul which compels a person to choose between good and evil in this world, and is a source of reward or punishment in the hereafter. In my mind you may find the answer to this question by his works on Islamic theology. In the second, also his very last summa, he diverged even more drastically from traditional modes of presentation and developed an allusive and suggestive style which he called “pointers and reminders” (al-Ishārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt, GS 9). 2012-11-13 20:12:36 2012-11-13 20:12:36. Ibn Sina flowered as a polymath, writing not only about medicine but also philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, alchemy (which he did not respect), geology, even optics. Book 10, Chapter 1: Celestial effects on the world: inspiration, dreams, prayer, celestial punishment, prophecy, astrology. When, at the end of all these operations just described, the intellect hits upon a middle term or just perceives an intelligible that it had not been thinking about before, it acquires the intelligible in question (hence the appellation of this stage of intellection, “acquired intellect,” al-ʿaql al-mustafād ), or, otherwise expressed, acquires it from the active intellect which thinks it eternally and atemporally since the active intellect is, in effect, the locus of all intelligibles, there being no other place for them to be always in actual existence. Avicenna (Ibn Sina) (c. 980—1037) Abu ‘Ali al-Husayn ibn Sina is better known in Europe by the Latinized name “Avicenna.” He is probably the most significant philosopher in the Islamic tradition and arguably the most influential philosopher of the pre-modern era. There is thus a deeply ethical aspect to Avicenna’s philosophical system. The Canon of Medicine (Arabic: القانون في الطب al-Qānūn fī al-Ṭibb; Persian: قانون در طب) is an encyclopedia of medicine in five books compiled by Persian Muslim physician-philosopher Avicenna (Ibn Sina) and completed in 1025. 600–800) with the translation and paraphrase, in Arabic this time, of the canonical source texts (Gutas 2004a), these compositional practices reappeared. The human intellect can think an intelligible for some time, but then it disappears, it being impossible for the immaterial intellect to “store” it, or have memory of it, as opposed to the two internal senses, imagery and memory, which have a storage function for their particular oblects (forms and connotational attributes) because they have a material base in the brain. Avicen… Ibn Sina lived in Persia between 980 and 1037 during a period known as the Islamic Golden Age. Its contents can be seen in his extensive treatment of it all at the end of the metaphysics part of The Cure, as follows. 2. 4th Crusade. Beyond general physics (al-samāʿal-ṭabīʿī), the physical sciences are furtherdivided into various special sciences distinguished according toeither the kind of motion investigated or the kind of body treated.While Avicenna himself does not explicitly identify his decisionprocedure for dividing the special natural sciences, it is evidencedin the way that he divides up t… Faced with this situation, Avicenna set himself the task of revising and updating philosophy, as an internally self-consistent and complete system that accounts for all reality and is logically verifiable, by correcting errors in the tradition, deleting unsustainable arguments and theses, sharpening the focus of others, and expanding and adding to the subjects that demanded discussion. AVICENNA . His reach was as global in its aspirations as his system was all-encompassing in its comprehensiveness; and history bore him out. Avicenna’s identification of hitting upon the middle term as the central element in logical analysis on the one hand established that the syllogistic structure of all knowledge is also as it is thought by the celestial intellects, and on the other enabled Avicenna to unify and integrate the different levels of its acquisition by the human intellect within a single explanatory model. 3–21. We present a reconstruction of Avicenna's face from the only photograph of his skull available today. philosophy influenced mightily the medieval and Renaissance Aristotelian ethics provided the foundation of the edifice. Abu Ali al-Hussain ibn Abdallah ibn Sina (Avicenna in Latin) was born in the village of Afshaneh, close to Bukhara in the present-day Uzbekistan in August 23, 980 AD , . Ibn Sina’s vast oeuvre, mostly in Arabic but also in Persian, dealt with philosophy, psychology, musical theory, autobiography, and even two short stories. Sina is also regarded as the father of medieval medicine science. People can elevate their position in the categories by having a rational approach, balanced temperament and by purifying their soul. Avicenna was conscious of having attained a new level in the pursuit of philosophical truth and its verification, but he never claimed to have exhausted it all; in his later works he bemoaned the limitations of human knowledge and urged his readers to continue with the task of improving philosophy and adding to the store of knowledge. Avicenna complied, and thus was born the first philosophical summa treating in a systematic and consistent fashion within the covers of a single book all the branches of logic and theoretical philosophy as classified in the Aristotelian tradition. However, once the soul has been freed of the body after death, and if, while still with the body, it has acquired the predisposition to perceive the intelligibles through philosophical training, then it can behold the intelligibles through their causes and become just like the celestial spheres, a state which Avicenna describes as happiness in philosophical terms and paradise in religious. Today's Google Doodle celebrates what would have been Muslim philosopher Ibn Sina's 1038th birthday. 109–119. He based his theories on God as the chief Existence, and this forms the foundations of his ideas on soul, human rationale and the cosmos. In the case of the prophet, he acquires all the intelligibles comprising knowledge, complete with middle terms as already mentioned, because the intellective capacity of his rational soul to hit upon the middle terms and acquire the intelligibles is extraordinarily high; this capacity is coupled with an equally highly developed internal sense of imagination that can translate this intellective knowledge into language and images (in the form of a revealed book) that the vast majority of humans can easily understand. He developed a style of supple Arabic expository prose, complete with technical philosophical terminology, that remained standard thenceforth. though they were far less receptive than their Roman Catholic counterparts, preferring Averroes instead. Hasse 2013, 118). as it was intuitively acknowledged in the Islamic world where he is school equipment Ibn Sina. In the 14th century, the Moroccan wanderer Ibn Battuta allegedly spent nearly 30 years traveling some 75,000 miles across Africa, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia. Thus logic and the theory of the soul as the basis for epistemology are the two motors driving Avicenna’s philosophy. notebook. A crater on the moon is named after him and several countries coined money, stamps and medallions in commemoration of Ibn Sina. He was in the employ of the Persian Samanid dynasty that ruled Transoxania and Khurasan with Bukhara as its capital (819–1005), where the family moved when Avicenna was still a boy. Ibn Sina's father and brother were Ismailies. Avicenna's father was the administrator of treasury and connoisseur for the Samanid king of Bukhara, Nuh ibn Mansur . –––, 2004, “The Pseudo-Avicennan Corpus, I: Methodological Considerations,” in McGinnis with Reisman 2004, pp. Many of his woorks concentrated on philosophy and medicine. Ibn Sina subsequently settled at Rai, in the vicinity of modern Tehran, (present day capital of Iran), the home town of Rhazes; where Majd Addaula, a son of the last Buwayhid emir, was nominal ruler under the regency of his mother (Seyyedeh Khatun). the active intellect] lets flow upon the [human rational] soul form after form in accordance with the demand by the soul; and when the soul turns away from it [the active intellect], then the effluence is broken off” (GS 5, De anima, 245–246; transl. The logistics of the reception of information from the supernal world thus varies in accordance with what is being communicated and who is receiving it, but in all cases the recipient has to be ready and predisposed to receive it. Ibn Sina was an extremely religious man. He was particularly noted for his contributions in the fields of Aristotelian philosophy and medicine. He charts in great detail the operations of all the senses, both the five external senses and especially the five internal senses located in the brain—common sense, imagery (where the forms of things are stored), imagination, estimation (judging the imperceptible significance or connotations for us of sensed objects, like friendship and enmity, which also includes instinctive sensing), and memory—and how they can help or hinder the intellect in hitting upon the middle term and perceiving intelligibles more generally. But this is groundless; the “flow” has nothing mystical about it; it just means that the intelligibles are permanently available to human intellects who seek a middle term or other intelligibles at the end of a thinking process by means of abstraction and syllogisms. IBN SINA (980–1037) Ibn Sina (Avicenna), was a poet, music theorist, astronomer, and politician, but he was best known as a philosopher and asa medical doctor. Out of his 450 various publications and treatises, almost 240 of them have survived, majority of which belongs to philosophy and medicine. [Please contact the author with suggestions. I realize he contributed to medical science the al-Qanun, but how did that influence today? This knowledge, which represents and accounts for reality and the way things are, also corresponds, Avicenna maintains, with what is found in books, i.e. 1. IBN SINA’S Risalah fi’l-‘ishq, a translation of which is offered here, was edited critically by M. A. F. Mehren in 1894 and again in Cairo in 1917, the latter edition being mostly, though not invariably, in agreement with the former. Ibn Sina’s metaphysics Ibn Sina, who was born in the year 980, is often described as one of the pre-modern world’s most influential philosophers. As the emir’s doctor, Ibn Sina got to read many rare books in the emir’s library. (According to the book written by his student al-Juzjanî, the date of birth may be 979.) In the emanative language which he inherited from the Neoplatonic tradition, and which he incorporated in his own understanding of the cosmology of the concentric spheres of the universe with their intercommunicating intellects and souls, he referred to the flow of knowledge from the supernal world to the human intellect as “divine effluence” (al-fayḍ al-ilāhī). 970–1037) was the preeminent He wrote more, and more frequently, on these two subjects than on anything else. Already in his very first philosophical treatise, Compendium on the Soul, which Avicenna dedicated to the Samanid ruler, as noted above, he presented the theoretical knowledge (the intelligible forms) to be acquired by the rational soul precisely as classified in the philosophical curriculum (Gutas 2014a, 6–8), and with his second work, the Philosophy commissioned by ʿArūḍī, he fleshed out this outline into the first scholastic philosophical compendium or summa. However, Ibn al-Nafis did not pay attention to the type of water intake whilst Ibn Sina advised avoidance of “turbid waters” . Ibn Sina argued for the use of quarantine to control the spread of diseases in his five-volume medical encyclopedia “The Canon of Medicine,” originally published in 1025. His mother Setareh was from the very same village, while his father Abdullah who was a high official under the Samanid dynasty was from the ancient city of Balkh in present-day Afghanistan. The wording itself of this acquisition of knowledge by the human intellect—“contact with the active intellect,” or receiving the “divine effluence”—has misled students of Avicenna into thinking that this “flow” of knowledge from the divine to the human intellect is automatic and due to God’s grace, or it is ineffable and mystical. Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna) STUDY. By his eighteenth year, he had internalized the philosophical curriculum and verified it to his own satisfaction as a coherent system with a logical structure that explains all reality. Thus began Avicenna’s lifelong itinerant career and the attendant quest for patronage and employment (Reisman 2013). Although Ibn Sina and other Muslim philosophers often did not know classical Greek, they were familiar with … It is this understanding that enabled Avicenna to have a progressive view of the history of philosophy and set the framework for his philosophical project. precision. He never took care of his health due to research work in the last years of his life. The starting point of Avicenna’s logic is that all knowledge is either forming concepts (taṣawwur) by means of definitions—i.e. Thanks in advance. Lameer 2006). Abū-ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn-ʿAbdallāh (Gutas 2004a, 2010). In the meanwhile Shams al-Dawla contracted colic again. The literate population in the Islamic near and farther East during the early Abbasid period was favorably disposed toward philosophy as a rational scientific system, and with the different parts of this system—the philosophical curriculum—broadly known in its range if not in detail, it was possible, indeed expected, that an educated layman like Avicenna’s neighbor in Bukhara, Abū-l-Ḥasan Aḥmad ibn-ʿAbdallāh al-ʿArūḍī (I give his full name because he deserves to be noted in a history of philosophy), would be interested to have and read a comprehensive account of the entire discipline and to commission such a work from the youthful Avicenna. Avicenna (Ibn Sina) Avicenna (Ibn Sina) was a Persian physician and philosopher who profoundly influenced medieval Islamic philosophy, while his synthesis of ancient Greek and theology also had a major influence on the Western thought, especially that of the medieval Christian philosophers. A mausoleum in that city today purports to be his. philosophers and scholars, just as the Latin translation of his Ibn e Sina passed away in June 1037, in the Hamadan area of Iran. Ibn Sina, also known by his Latinized name in Europe as Avicenna, was a Persian philosopher and polymath, born in 980 CE. century. His father, Abdullah, was a respected scientist from Balkh, the important city of the Samani Empire, and was from the Shia Ismaili sect. that encompassed and explained all reality, including the tenets of As a result, his philosophical system dominated intellectual history in both Shi’ite and most of Sunni Islam (Gutas 2002), and through the sundry reactions it elicited, it determined, and can now explain, developments not only in philosophy but also in theology and mysticism, and it generated several fields of what can be called He was born in August 980 A.D. 7 Terms. An area that needed to be added most urgently in both the theoretical and practical parts of philosophy, if all reality was to be covered by his system, was all manifestations of religious life and paranormal events. On the social side of religion, he added a fourth subdivision to practical philosophy (in addition to ethics, household management, and politics) which he called “the discipline of legislating” (al-ṣināʿa al-shāriʿa, Kaya 2012; Kaya 2014; Gutas 2014a, 470–471, 497). Avicenna served the various local rulers in these cities certainly in his dual capacity as physician and political counselor, functions he had assumed already back home, but also as scientist-in-residence. He also studied philosophy with even greater difficulty understandin… 25–27). Prince of Physicians. It is for this reason that we find Avicenna, involved in certain political/intellectual controversies in some of the cities in which he lived, addressing to political elites a scientific treatise instead of political oratory in his defense (Michot 2000; Reisman 2013, 14–22; Gutas 2014a, personal writings listed on p. 503). Most of what is known of Avicenna is found in the autobiography dictated to his longtime protégé al-Jūzjānī. Avicenna subscribed fully to this view of human happiness in this world, and extended it to make it also the basis for happiness in the next—as a matter of fact, he made it a prerequisite for happiness in the next. The imperative to know, and to know rationally, which is the motivation behind Avicenna’s conception and then realization of his scientific system, is based on Aristotle’s concept of happiness as the activity of that which differentiates humans from all other organic life, of the mind (Nicomachean Ethics X.7, 1177b19–25): “the activity of the intellect is thought to be distinguished by hard work (spoudê, ijtihād), since it employs theory, and it does not desire to have any other end at all except itself; and it has its proper pleasure …. He also wrote what amounts to open letters depicting the controversies in which he was involved and seeking arbitration or repudiating calumniatory charges against him (GPW 1–3). This again proves the originality of Ibn al-Nafis and shows, in addition to many other pieces of evidence, that Al-Mujaz fi al-Tibb is not just a summary for the Canon of Medicine as claimed by some modern historians. in good Aristotelian fashion, realizing the genus and specific difference of something—or acknowledging the truth (taṣdīq) of a categorical statement by means of syllogisms. Restless, nomadic life of Ibn Sina, hard work did not promote excessive sex. The purpose in this, for which he borrowed the topos of late antique Aristotelian commentarial tradition explaining why Aristotle had developed a cryptic style of writing, was to train the student by providing not whole arguments and fully articulated theories but only pointers and reminders to them which the student would complete himself. Each philosopher, through his own syllogistic reasoning and ability to hit correctly upon the middle terms, modifies and completes the work of his predecessors, and reaches a level of knowledge that is an ever closer approximation of the intelligible world, of the intelligibles as contained in the intellects of the spheres, and hence of truth itself.
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