the life of ibn sina
it represents the culmination of the Hellenic tradition, defunct in Avicenna is quite explicit about the need for the human intellect to be prepared and to demand to hit upon a middle term, or actively to seek an intelligible, in order to receive it. 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. He did the same, in Persian this time, for his patron the Kakuyid ʿAlāʾ-ad-Dawla, the Philosophy for ʿAlāʾ (Dāneshnāme-ye ʿAlāʾī, GS 7). However, both the substantive and temporal diversity of these sources in the tradition presented grave inconsistencies and divergent tendencies, to say nothing of anachronisms, while the surviving work even of Aristotle himself contained discrepancies and incomplete treatments. 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. Being a devout Muslim himself, Ibn Sina applied rational philosophy at interpreting divine text and Islamic theology. The subjects of all parts of practical philosophy are covered briefly also at the very end of The Cure, as follows: Book 10, Chapter 2: Proof of prophecy on the basis of the need for laws, to be enacted by the prophet legislator, in order to regulate social life which is necessary for human survival. “Geometry and the Rebirth of Philosophy in Arabic with al‑Kindī,” in, –––, 2004b, “Avicenna’s Marginal Glosses on, –––, 2006a, “Intellect Without Limits: The Absence of Mysticism in Avicenna,” in, –––, 2006b, “Imagination and Transcendental Knowledge in Avicenna,” in, –––, 2012a, “Platon. Greek after the sixth century, reborn in Arabic in the 9th 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. The inspiration here is clearly the beginning of Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics (cf. called “The Preeminent Master” (al-shaykh ), and finally in Isfahan (1024?–1037), in the court of ʿAlāʾ-ad-Dawla, the Kakuyid ruler of the area (Gutas 2014b-I, 6–9). 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. I won't talk a lot about Ibn Sina, I would just let him tell you about himself: "I devoted myself to studying the texts â the original and commentaries â in the natural sciences and metaphysics, and the gates of knowledge began opening for me. [Please contact the author with suggestions. Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BP 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. In subsequent centuries, when the polyphony subsided to just two voices, of the Platonists and the Aristotelians, which eventually had to be presented as one for political reasons (to counter the one “divine” voice of the rapidly Christianizing Roman empire, east and west), the tendency to return to the texts of the two masters (ad fontes) for their defense, which had started even before the domination of Christianity, intensified. Avicenna, Arabic Ibn SÄ«nÄ, in full AbÅ« Ê¿AlÄ« al-á¸¤usayn ibn Ê¿Abd AllÄh ibn SÄ«nÄ, (born 980, near Bukhara, Iran [now in Uzbekistan]âdied 1037, Hamadan, Iran), Muslim physician, the most famous and influential of the philosopher-scientists of the medieval Islamic world. 7 In section after section and chapter after chapter in numerous works he analyzes not only questions of formal logic but also the mechanics through which the rational soul acquires knowledge, and in particular the conditions operative in the process of hitting upon the middle term: how one can work for it and where to look for it, and what the apparatus and operations of the soul are that bring it about (Gutas 2001). Regarded as one of the most influential thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age, Ibn Sina wrote extensively on philosophy of ethics and metaphysics, medicine, astronomy, alchemy, geology psychology and Islamic theology. At the basic level there is discursive thinking in which the intellect proceeds to construct syllogisms step by step with the aid of the internal and external senses, and acquires the intelligibles by hitting upon the middle terms (something which in emanationist terms—but also, though less conspicuously, Aristotelian—is described as coming into “contact” with the active intellect, to be discussed further below, note 6). Ibn Sina, also known as Avicenna in the west lived in the period between 980 â June 1037. Gutas 2014a, 183–184). At the age of 16, he became a famous physician in his area. (notably Maimonides in his Arabic Guide of the Perplexed and 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.). 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. 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). Verifiability depends on two interdependent factors for the person doing the verification: following a productive method and having the mental apparatus to employ that method and understand its results. As a result, he succeeded in de-mystifying concepts like inspiration, enthusiasm, mystical vision, and prophetic revelation, explaining all as natural functions of the rational soul. Under the Samanids in the 9th and 10th centuries, who followed a deliberate agenda of Persian linguistic revival as well as promotion of the high Arabic-Islamic culture radiating from the center of the Islamic world, Baghdad, it provided a sophisticated and refined milieu for the cultivation of the arts and sciences. 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. This auto-/biographical complex, which also contains bibliographies and has been transmitted as a single document (Gohlman 1974), is an early representative of an Arabic literary genre much cultivated by scientists and scholars in medieval Islam (Gutas 2015). He became so famous that, he was invited by the king of Bukhara for the treatment of a disease that many â¦ Those whom we call Neoplatonists he knew as commentators of Aristotle along with the rest, and even Plotinus and Proclus were available to him in translated excerpts under the name of Aristotle, as the Theology of Aristotle and The Pure Good respectively. 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. He also attempted at a philosophical interpretation of religion and religious beliefs. Accordingly, some medieval bibliographies of his works (and some modern ones, based on the former) list close to three hundred titles, though a recent sober tally of them brings the authentic writings down to fewer than one hundred, ranging from essays of a few pages to multi-volume sets, and flags the pseudepigraphs that need to be assessed and authenticated (Gutas 2014a, Appendix, 387–540). This is also evident in his disregard (rather than neglect?) Avicenna, or in Arabic, Abu Ali al-Husain ibn Abdallah ibn Sina or simply Ibn Sina (as he is called by Persians) (980 - 1037), was a physician, philosopher, and scientist.He was the author of 450 books on many subjects, many on philosophy and medicine. IBN SINA 980 - 1037 Persian Scientist Ibn Sina was the most famous of the philosopher-scientists of Islam. 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. His clinical practice based on experiments and regarding every patient unique and recognizing that health of the body is intertwined with the science of behavior and mind, embracing all â¦ In one of them, which he called Eastern Philosophy (al-Mashriqiyyūn or al-Ḥikma al-mashriqiyya, GS 8) to reflect his own locality in the East of the Islamic world, broader Khurasan (mashriq), he concentrated on “matters about which researchers have disagreed” in logic, physics, and metaphysics, but not mathematics or the subjects of practical philosophy (except for prophetic legislation which he introduced; see below) insofar as there was little disagreement about them. . Avicenna synthesized the various strands of philosophical thought he inherited—the surviving Hellenic traditions along with the developments in philosophy and theology within Islam—into a self-consistent scientific system that explained all reality. Essence is what comprises the nature of things, and should be recognized as something separate from the physical and mental realization of things. philosopher and physician of the Islamic Ibn Sina, also known by his Latinized name in Europe as Avicenna, was a Persian philosopher and polymath, born in 980 CE. ], Arabic and Islamic Philosophy, historical and methodological topics in: Greek sources | It is a difficult work, and it must be understood always through constant reference to the more explicit expository statement of Avicenna’s theories in The Cure. the extent that they were writing for their respective communities and As Avicenna explains his title, “I divided [in the book] scholars into two groups, the Westerners [the Greek commentarial tradition and the Baghdad Aristotelians] and the Easterners [Avicenna’s positions], and I had the Easterners argue against the Westerners until I intervened to judge fairly when there was a real point of dispute between them” (GS 14, 375; transl. Ibn Sina [Avicenna]: metaphysics | After The Cure, he was asked to write a brief exposition of the philosophical subjects, which he did by collecting and putting together—at times even splicing together—material from his earlier writings and produced The Salvation (al-Najāt). His most famous works are The Book of Healing and The Canon of Medicine, also known as the Qanun.. its integral and comprehensive articulation of science and philosophy, EARLY LIFE Ibn Sinaâs father was a prominent Ismaili scholar and government official in the region of Balkh (in modern day Afghanistan) under the Samanid dynasty; he later moved to Bukhara charged with governing the village of Kharmaythan where he met and married Ibn Sinaâs mother, Sitarah. 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. ), better known in the West as Avicenna, has a leading contribution in his famous Encyclopaedia of Philosophy and Natural Sciences â âKitab Al-Shifaâ (the Book of Healing). The Metaphysics of the Rational Soul; Practical Philosophy, Arabic and Islamic Philosophy, historical and methodological topics in: Greek sources. 7–27. and analysis Gutas 2014a, 109–115), that he composed in a single night, dusk to dawn, a treatise on logic in one hundred quarto (large size) pages (Gohlman 1974, 76–81), and that he compiled The Salvation (GS 6) “en route”—on horseback, manifestly, or during rests from riding—in the course of a military expedition in which he had accompanied his master, ʿAlāʾ-ad-Dawla (Gohlman 1974, 66–67). In the field of metaphysics, Ibn Sina differentiates between what exists and its essence. (Gutas 2004a, 2010). Ibn Sina lived in Persia between 980 and 1037 during a period known as the Islamic Golden Age. pp. 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). When he was still young, Ibn Sina was highly baffled by the work of Aristotle on metaphysics so much so that he would pray to God to guide him. 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. Traditionally it has rarely been read except together with a commentary, notably those of Fakhr-ad-Dīn al-Rāzī and especially Naṣīr-ad-Dīn Ibn Sina’s natural philosophy. 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). Ibn Sina's independent thought was served by an extraordinar y intelligence â¦ Hasse, D.N., 2013, “Avicenna’s Epistemological Optimism,” in Adamson 2013, pp. He says specifically, “The active principle [i.e. For human knowledge, therefore, the intellect functions as a processor of the information provided by the external and internal senses. –––, 2014b-VII, “The Empiricism of Avicenna,” in Gutas 2014b, article VII. Regarded as one of the most influential thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age, Ibn Sina wrote extensively on philosophy of ethics and metaphysics, medicine, astronomy, alchemy, geology psychology and Islamic theology. Ibn Sina (Avicenna) 3. Chapter 3: Acts of worship as reminders of the afterlife and as exercises predisposing the rational soul to engage in intellection (cf. Book 10, Chapter 1: Celestial effects on the world: inspiration, dreams, prayer, celestial punishment, prophecy, astrology. The philosophical knowledge that Avicenna received was neither complete nor homogeneous. However, the identity between absolute knowledge, in the form of the intelligibles contained in the intellects of the celestial spheres, and philosophy, as recorded in the Aristotelian tradition, is not complete. Ibn Sina is called the father of modern medicine for establishing a clinical practice. philosophical/scientific For Ibn Sina, gaining education was of foremost importance. Ibn e Sina passed away in June 1037, in the Hamadan area of Iran. 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. His reach was as global in its aspirations as his system was all-encompassing in its comprehensiveness; and history bore him out. His achievement consisted in his harmonization of the disparate parts into a rational whole, and particularly in bringing the sublunar and supralunar worlds into an intelligible relation for which he argued logically. Bukhara was their capital and it, together with Samarkand, were the cultural centres of the empire. He completed his education on Islam, math, and medicine when he was just 13 years old. with philosophy, or more specifically, with the philosophical sciences as classified and taught in the Aristotelian tradition. (ISBN: 9780873952262) from Amazon's Book Store. Avicennaâs proof actually has nothing to do with design, he doesnât need the idea that the universe is intelligently put together. 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. Exaggerated and hagiographic as some of these reports might be, it is clear that Avicenna had constructively internalized (not to say “memorized”) the philosophical curriculum and he could reproduce it, properly assimilated and analytically reconstructed, at will. Avicenna calls this process of acquisition or apprehension of the intelligibles a “contact” (ittiṣāl) between the human and active And Avicenna who wrote in different styles and genres to reach as many people as possible, as also noted above, clearly intended as much. Details: In the Muslim world, he is known simply as Ibn Sina. Don't want to give too much away about Ibn Sina's achievements, but suffice to say, he was a genius well ahead of his time, and just to share one of his achievements, he was father of medicine - His Canon of Medicine including details of ailments and surgical procedures was standard textbook of medicine in the middle ages for centuries. He was born in the village Afshena near Khorasan in â¦ world. At some point in his later years, Avicenna wrote for or dictated to his student, companion, and amanuensis, AbÅ«-Ê¿Ubayd al-JÅ«zjÄnÄ«, his Autobiography, reaching till the time in his middle years when they first met; al-JÅ«zjÄnÄ« continued the biography after that point and completed it some time after the masterâs death in 1037 AD. 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. Persian philosopher Ibn Sina or Avicenna (c.980-1037) was born in the village of Afshana near the present-day Bukhara (in Uzbekistan) then a leading city in Persia (Iran.) The book was unfortunately lost during some military rout, and only the commentary on Book Lambda, 6–10, of Aristotle’s Metaphysics survives (GS 11a; Geoffroy et al. Avicenna, also called Ibn Sina, belongs to present-day Uzbekistan and was born in 980. 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. Aristotelian ethics provided the foundation of the edifice. “The First Teacher” (al-muʿallim al-awwal). medical instruction in European universities until the 17th 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. Sources on his life range from his autobiography, written at the behest of his disciple âAbd al-Wahid Juzjani, his private correspondence, including the collection of philosophical epistles exchanged with his disciples and known as al-Mubahathat (The Discussions), to legends and doxographical views embedded in the âhistories of philosophyâ of medieval Islam such as Ibn al-Qiftiâs Taârikh al-hukama (History of the Philosophers) and Zahir al â¦ His father having died in the meantime, he was forced to take up, but clearly had no difficulty in finding, a post in the financial administration of the Samanids. 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. Toward the end of his life Avicenna wrote two more summae in slightly divergent modes. 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. In the polyphony of philosophical voices and systems that followed his death in 322 BC and throughout the Hellenistic period (336–31 BC), his suggestions went mostly unheeded by the Peripatetics and were only followed, at the end of that period, by Andronicus of Rhodes if only for the purposes of the order in which he put Aristotle’s school treatises (his extant corpus) in his first edition of them. The Autobiography, written at a time when Avicenna had reached his philosophical maturity, touches upon a number of issues that he felt were highly significant in his formation as a thinker and accordingly point the way to his approach to philosophy and his philosophical aims and orientation. Born in Afshana, Bukhara in Central Asia, his work on medicine, specifically the Canon, or the Qanun fil Tibb, was taught in schools in the Islamic world and in Europe alike till the early modern era. Avicenna’s rationalist empiricism is the main reason why he strove in his philosophy on the one hand to perfect and fine-tune logical method and on the other to study, at an unprecedented level of sophistication and precision, the human (rational) soul and cognitive processes which provide knowledge through the application of rational empirical methods. Gutas 2014a, 145). His ultimate aim was to prove God’s presence and existence and the world is His creation through scientific reason and logic. He clearly had a conception of the unity of all philosophy, which could be systematically presented on the basis of the logical structure set forth in the Posterior Analytics (Barnes 1994, p. xii), while his classification of the sciences in Metaphysics E1 and K7 showed what the outline of such a systematic presentation would be. This was due as much to his own philosophical training, which followed this curriculum, as to the earliest commissions he received while still in Bukhara for works that would encompass all philosophy; but then these commissions inevitably reflect the broad philosophical culture of the period that viewed science and philosophy as an integral whole. There is thus a deeply ethical aspect to Avicenna’s philosophical system. 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. 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. Abū-ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn-ʿAbdallāh Ibn-Sina Married With Children DVD Buy all 12 seasons and 267 episodes on 20 dvd's. Gutas 2014a, 184). ), 2002, Kaya, M.C., 2012, “Prophetic Legislation: Avicenna’s View of Practical Philosophy Revisited,” in, –––, 2014, “In the Shadow of “Prophetic Legislation”: The Venture of Practical Philosophy after Avicenna,”, Lizzini, O., 2009, “Vie active, vie contemplative et philosophie chez Avicenne,” in. Science was much more integrally related to the social and political life and discourse during this period, which is also a significant factor in its rapid spread and development in the Islamic world. Somebody whose internal sense of imagination or estimation is overactive, for example, may be hindered thereby in the clear reception of dream images so that his dreams would require interpretation, while someone else not so afflicted may get clearer messages; or a soothsayer who wishes to receive information about the future has to run long and hard in order to bring about such a humoral equilibrium through the exertion, thereby preparing his intellect to receive the message. –––, 2013, “The Life and Times of Avicenna. philosophy influenced mightily the medieval and Renaissance Ibn Sînâ (980 - June 1037) is the father of Persian polymate and polymeric early medicine, considered one of the most important physicians, astronomers, thinkers and writers of the Golden Age of Islam. How he did this in practice, teasing out the figures and forms of syllogisms implied in Aristotle’s texts, can be seen in numerous passages in his works. 600–800) with the translation and paraphrase, in Arabic this time, of the canonical source texts (Gutas 2004a), these compositional practices reappeared. Ibn Sina collected in over 100 books the enti re scientific knowledege of his time and is called the "P rince of Science". 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. Early life He was born in around 370 (AH) / 980 (AD) in Afshana, his m other's home, a small city now part of Uzbekistan His father, a respected Ismaili scholar, was from Balkh now part of Afghanistan .He had his son very carefully educated at Bukhara. All issues relating to the cognitive side of religion he added to the traditional contents of metaphysics, and those relating to the social side he added to the practical sciences. 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). para-philosophy: Complete happiness (eudaimonia, saʿāda) is The most famous of the philosopher-scientists of Islam, Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn-Abd Allah ibn-Sina, known in the West as Avicenna, was born in Bukhara, Persia, and died in Hamadan. 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). 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. not as members of the Islamic commonwealth, accepted most of his ideas 1350,” in Janssens and De Smet 2002: 81–97. 2014), along with two incomplete recensions of his commentary on the Theology of Aristotle (GS 11b; Vajda 1951). Furthermore, he is one of the most substantial philosophers of the pre-modern period. ), 2012, Heath, P., 1990, “Disorientation and Reorientation in Ibn Sina’s. 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. Plato was not available in Arabic other than in brief excerpts, in Galen’s epitomes, in gnomologies, and in second-hand reports in Aristotle and Galen (Gutas 2012a), and accordingly Avicenna could dismiss him. –––, 2015, “The Author as Pioneer[ing Genius]: Graeco-Arabic Philosophical Autobiographies and the Paradigmatic Ego,” in. Thus began Avicenna’s lifelong itinerant career and the attendant quest for patronage and employment (Reisman 2013). 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). The title refers to Avicenna’s adjudication between traditional Aristotelian exegeses and Avicenna’s own views by presenting arguments in support of the latter. 25–27). Ibn Sina’s metaphysics Using the words of Aristotle, Avicenna paraphrases this passage as follows: “As for the foremost ‘understanding (noêsis, fahm) in itself, it is of what is best in itself;’ and as for ‘what understands itself, it is’ the substance ‘of the intellect as it acquires the intelligible, because it becomes intelligible’ right away just as if ‘it touches it,’ for example. 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. And because we (i.e. His real name is Abu Ali al-Husayn Ibn Abd Allan Ibn Sina, however, he is commonly referred to under his Latinized name Avicennâ¦ Some marginal notes on De anima, surviving independently as transcribed in a manuscript, have the same approach and manifestly belong to the same period and project (GS 11c; Gutas 2004b). Apart from the references in the text, the bibliography also lists several recent studies on Avicenna along with some reference works. The implementation of the first task, the treatment of all philosophy as a unified whole, though historically seemingly unachievable, was accomplished by Avicenna almost without effort. 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. 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). The Samanid dynasty, the first native dynasty to arise in Iran after the Muslim Arab conquest, controlled Transoxania and Khorasan from about 900. world for centuries to come, and the sundry reactions to it, ranging The book, in two parts, deals with logic in the first and with physics, metaphysics, and metaphysics of the rational soul in the second. for keeping copies of his works; as it must have happened rather frequently, when commissioned or asked to write about a subject that he had treated earlier, it was apparently just as easy for him to compose a treatise anew as it was to copy an earlier version of it. He was born in 980 in EfÅene village (Uzbekistan) near Bukhara and â¦ –––, 2014b-I, “Avicenna: Biography,” in Gutas 2014b, article I. This information can also be received by humans in various forms—as waking or sleeping dreams, as visions, as messages to soothsayers—depending on the level of the humoral equilibrium of the recipient, the proper functioning of his internal and external senses, and the readiness of his intellect. Performance of the first task, necessarily entailed the second, bringing philosophy up to date. al-Ṭūsī.. He had no access to the entirety of even the very lacunose information that we now have about the philosophical movements during the 1330 years separating him from Aristotle (Avicenna gives this quite accurate number himself), but could view the entire tradition as essentially Aristotelian. It dominated intellectual life in the Islamic These consisted of logic as the instrument of philosophy (the Organon), the theoretical sciences—physics (the natural sciences), mathematics (the quadrivium: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music), and metaphysics—, and the practical sciences—ethics, oeconomics (household management), and politics. 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?) precision. The Life of Ibn Sina: A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation (Hardcover) His teachings and views on theology were part of the core curriculum of various schools across the Islamic world well into the nineteenth century. 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. century. al-raʾīs), after Aristotle, whom Avicenna called He is one of the most significant, physicians, intellectuals, writers and astronomers of the Golden Islamic era. 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. Bukhara lies on one of the main trade routes of the Silk Road between Samarkand and Marw, and like these and other cities along the Silk Road, had been economically and culturally active from pre-Islamic times. Ibn Sina was an extremely religious man. first in Jurjan, off the southeastern Caspian, and then going on into the Iranian heartland, in Ray (1014?–1015), in Hamadhan (1015–1024? In his influence on the intellectual history counterparts, preferring Averroes instead. But by the same token, and by its very nature, this worldview so clearly presented, documented, and validated, set itself up against other ideologies in the society with contending worldviews. It runs to twenty-two large volumes in the Cairo edition (1952–83), and its contents exhibit all the parts of philosophy in the Aristotelian tradition which they reproduce, revise, adjust, expand, and re-present, as follows: Avicenna did not treat all of these subjects in each one of his summae, but he varied their contents and emphasis depending on the specific purpose for which he composed them. How did Avicenna (Ibn Sina) âproveâ God exists? Only, as already mentioned, because of their varied circumstances, the latter think of the intelligibles directly, permanently, and atemporally, while the human intellect has to advance from potentiality to actuality in time by technical means leading to the discovery of the middle term as it is assisted by all the other faculties of the soul and body. Sina is also regarded as the father of medieval medicine science. McGinnis, J., with the assistance of D.C. Reisman, 2004. Even though the Autobiography has particular philosophical points to make (discussed in the next section), this is no mere boast.  In understanding the goal of human life in this manner Avicenna was again being true to the Aristotelian view of divine happiness as the identity of thinker, thinking, and thought (Metaphysics XII.7, 1072b18–26). The lowest is the person with an impure soul, who lacks the capability of developing an argument. Hasse, D.N., and A. Bertolacci (eds. Grasping the logic and the comprehensible is the first step towards determining the fate of one’s soul, thereby deciding human actions. 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. 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. It is also our most extensive source about Avicenna’s life and times. He died in 1037 in Hamadhan and was buried there. 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. For Ibn Sina, people can be categorized on the basis of their ability to grasp the intelligible. 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). As Google Doodle celebrates his â¦ Lizzini 2009). www.tvaddicts.tv AnswerNotes Library > Reference > AnswerNotes Source Ibn-Sina Islam's most renowned philosopher-scientist (980-1037), Ibn-Sina was a court physician in Persia, and wrote two of history's greatest works, The Book of In the former case he created a veritable metaphysics of the rational soul (Gutas 2012b), which he added to the traditional treatment of metaphysics (being as such, first philosophy, natural theology) as an additional subject, called “theological” (al-ʿilm al-ilāhī, al-ṣināʿa al-ilāhiyya). 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 course of ibn Sina's life was dominated by the period of great political instability through which he lived. There are reports that he wrote major portions of his greatest work, The Cure, without any books to consult (Gohlman 1974, 58; transl. Islam into a rationally rigorous and self-consistent scientific system al-?usayn b. At about that time he was allowed to visit the library of the Samanid ruler, just mentioned above, where, he says, he “read those books, mastered their teachings, and realized how far each man had advanced in his science” (Gohlman 1974, 36; transl. Up until that time, philosophical treatises on discrete subjects and abstruse commentaries, the two dominant forms of philosophical discourse, as just indicated, were matters for specialists that could not and did not claim endorsement or allegiance from society as a whole; the philosophical summa did. Thus, he is considered as the first significant Muslim philosopher of all times. Ibn Sina Avicenna 1. Avicenna, Ab? The palace library of the Samanids, where the teenager Avicenna was allowed to visit and study following his successful treatment of the ailing ruler, contained such books on all subjects, including books by the ancient Greeks in Arabic translation, as he had never seen before nor since (Gohlman 1974, 37). Next I sought to know medicine, and so I read the books written on it. Vajda, G., 1951, “Les notes d’Avicenne sur la «Théologie d’Aristote»,”. The highest level of intellection is that of the prophet, who, on account of his supremely developed ability to hit upon middle terms, acquires the intelligibles “either at once or nearly so … in an order which includes the middle terms” (GS 6, 273–274; transl. Muslim scientists thought about the origin of minerals, rocks, mountains, earthquakes and water, etc. Z. Iskandar , D.Phil. 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. He further argued that soul is ethereal and intangible; it cannot be destroyed. According to the scientific view of the universe in his day which he studied in the curriculum—Aristotelian sublunar world with Ptolemaic cosmology and Neoplatonic emanationism in the supralunar—all intelligibles (all universal concepts and the principles of all particulars, or as Avicenna says, “the forms of things as they are in themselves”) were the eternal object of thought by the First principle, and then, in descending hierarchical order, by the intellects of the celestial spheres emanating from the First and ending with the active intellect (al-ʿaql al-faʿʿāl), the intellect of the terrestrial realm. 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. A mausoleum in that city today purports to be his. ?id J?zj?n? reading the science of medicine under [him]â (Sirat al-shaykh al-raâ¦ People can elevate their position in the categories by having a rational approach, balanced temperament and by purifying their soul. 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. cAli Ibn Sina (known in Europe as Avicenna) was born in the village of Afshana in the vicinity of Bukhara (in what is now Uzbekistan), in 370 AH (980 AD )âthe generally accepted date 6âof an Ismailian family concerned with intellectual sciences and philosophical inquiry, all of which had its effect upon the scientific career of Avicenna. The creation of the philosophical summa—and not only this particular first one for ʿArūḍī but especially the major work, The Cure, and the alluring and allusive Pointers and Reminders—had momentous consequences. 970–1037) was the preeminent Accordingly, while the classification of the different parts of philosophy continued to be presented as a virtual blueprint for a potential philosophical summa, the main form of philosophical discourse was the individual treatise on one or more of related themes and, predominantly, the commentary on the works of “divine” Plato and, by the sixth century, also “divine” Aristotle. 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. 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. Gutas 2014a, 206–208). ?Abd All?h Ibn S?n?, ?Abd al-W? These were, first, his understanding of the structure of philosophical knowledge (all intellectual knowledge, that is) as a unified whole, which is reflected in the classification of the sciences he studied; second, his critical evaluation of all past science and philosophy, as represented in his assessment of the achievements and shortcomings of previous philosophers after he had read their books in the Samanid library, which led to the realization that philosophy must be updated; and third, his emphasis on having been an autodidact points to the human capability of acquiring the highest knowledge rationally by oneself, and leads to a comprehensive study of all functions of the rational soul and how it acquires knowledge (epistemology) as well as to an inquiry into its origins, destination, activities, and their consequences (eschatology). This was good for studying philosophy and disseminating it. But the social context in which philosophy now found itself had changed. Here the scientist spent almost ten years, from 1015 to 1024, these were very eventful years. paraphilosophical constructs, determined developments in philosophy, and This makes it necessary for Avicenna to have an empirical theory of knowledge, according to which “the senses are the means by which the human soul acquires different kinds of knowledge (maʿārif ),” and man’s predisposition for the primary notions and principles of knowledge, which come to him unawares, is itself actualized by the experience of particulars (GS 12a, 23; transl. 4th Crusade. Ibn Sina, or Avicenna, was born in Bukhara then a leading city in Persia.His youth was spent in the company of the most learned men of his time and he became accomplished in â¦ revealed religion and its theological and mystical elaborations. theology using philosophical discourse to express (or hide) Islamic content (the tradition of al-Ghazālī and his followers and imitators), “philosophical” mysticism (the tradition of Ibn al-ʿArabī, who was called the Greatest Master” [al-Shaykh al-Akbar] to rival Avicenna’s “The Preeminent Master” [al-Shaykh al-Raʾīs]), occultism, numerology, lettrism. The second, Fair Judgment (GS 11), composed in 1029, was a detailed commentary on the “difficult passages” of the entire Aristotelian corpus, in which was included even the suspect Theology of Aristotle (actually Plotinus’ Enneads IV–VI). For although the knowledge to be acquired, in itself and on the transcendent plane of the eternal celestial intellects, is a closed system and hence static, on a human level and in history it is evolutionary. It is important to realize that this is not because the intellect does not have the constitution to have purely intellective knowledge, like the celestial spheres, but because its existence in the sublunar world of time and perishable matter precludes its understanding the intelligibles through their causes. Marmura 1990). Ibn Sina argued for the use of quarantine to control the spread of diseases in his five-volume medical encyclopedia âThe Canon of Medicine,â originally published in 1025. His productivity never flagged, even during these years that were militarily and politically turbulent. ‘And the intellect,’ that which intellects, ‘and the intelligible are one and the same’ with regard to the essence of the thing as it relates to itself…. 3–21. that encompassed and explained all reality, including the tenets of Ibn Sina also penned down a significant number of short treatise on Islamic theology and the prophets, whom he termed as ‘inspired philosophers’. His fame grew, and when he was twenty-one he was asked by a neighbor named ʿArūḍī to write a “comprehensive work” on all philosophy, which he did (Philosophy for ʿArūḍī, GS 2), treating all subjects listed above except mathematics; another neighbor, Baraqī, asked for commentaries on the books of philosophy on all these subjects—essentially the works of Aristotle—and he obliged with a twenty-volume work he called The Available and the Valid (i.e., of Philosophy, GS 10) and a two-volume work on the practical sciences, Piety and Sin (GPP 1). In Latin translation, ?Al? The starting point of Avicenna’s logic is that all knowledge is either forming concepts (taṣawwur) by means of definitions—i.e. this.” Buy The Life of Ibn Sina: A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation (Studies in Islamic philosophy and science) by Gohlman, W.E. 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). The Jewish Aristotle himself stands at the very beginning of this process. His father was a scholar working for the Samanid Empire, which used to cover all of today's Afganistan. His treatise on philosophy, the Cure, or al Shifa, was greatly influential on European scholastics, such as Thomas Aquinas. Hasse 2013, 118). As he put it, “it behooves his [Aristotle’s] successors to gather the loose ends he left, repair any breach they find in what he constructed, and supply corollaries to fundamental principles he presented” (GS 8, 2–3; transl. His scientific edifice rested on Aristotelian physics and metaphysics capped with Neoplatonic emanationism in the context of Ptolemaic cosmology, all revised, re-thought, and critically re-assessed by him. Patronage and Learning in Medieval Islam,” in Adamson 2013, pp.
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