the life of ibn sina

For further reading, see the entries on There are reports that he wrote major portions of his greatest work, The Cure, without any books to consult (Gohlman 1974, 58; transl. 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. 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. The lesser philosophical schools of antiquity—the Stoics, Epicureans, Sceptics, and Pythagoreans, who had ceased to exist long before late antiquity—he knew mostly as names with certain basic views or sayings affiliated with them. 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). with philosophy, or more specifically, with the philosophical sciences as classified and taught in the Aristotelian tradition. It dominated intellectual life in the Islamic 4th Crusade. Ibn Sina collected in over 100 books the enti re scientific knowledege of his time and is called the "P rince of Science". Avicenna took this book seriously, following both the curriculum, in which this book was made the center of logical practice, and especially his two Peripatetic predecessors in Baghdad, Abū-Bishr Mattā and al-Fārābī, who made it the cornerstone of their philosophy and advertised its virtues (cf. In the field of metaphysics, Ibn Sina differentiates between what exists and its essence. 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. ), and finally in Isfahan (1024?–1037), in the court of ʿAlāʾ-ad-Dawla, the Kakuyid ruler of the area (Gutas 2014b-I, 6–9). 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. Buy The Life of Ibn Sina: A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation (Studies in Islamic philosophy and science) by Gohlman, W.E. He was inspired by Aristotelian philosophy and … 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 )—the generally accepted date 6—of an Ismailian family concerned with intellectual sciences and philosophical inquiry, all of which had its effect upon the scientific career of Avicenna. 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. 25–27). ?Abd All?h Ibn S?n?, ?Abd al-W? it represents the culmination of the Hellenic tradition, defunct in 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. 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. In 999 the Turkic Qarakhanids effectively put an end to the Samanids and took over Bukhara. . 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. 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. Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BP 2014, 59).[9]. al-raʾīs), after Aristotle, whom Avicenna called 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. 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). Hasse 2013, 118). 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. According to this document, Avicenna was born in Afshana, a village in the outskirts of metropolitan Bukhara, some time in the 70s of the tenth century, perhaps as early as 964; it has not been possible to determine the year of his birth with greater In Latin translation, His reach was as global in its aspirations as his system was all-encompassing in its comprehensiveness; and history bore him out. 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. His father was a scholar working for the Samanid Empire, which used to cover all of today's Afganistan. 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. 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. 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. Awais Ahmad 2. 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). 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. He completed his education on Islam, math, and medicine when he was just 13 years old. It was certainly a matter of prestige for a ruler to be flanked by the top scientists of his day, but patronage of the sciences was also seen, politically more importantly, as legitimizing his right to whatever throne he was occupying. Bukhara was no backwater provincial town, teeming as it was with scholars in residence and visiting intellectuals. of the world in the West (of India), he is second only to Aristotle, Ibn Sina, also known as Avicenna in the west lived in the period between 980 – June 1037. ], Arabic and Islamic Philosophy, historical and methodological topics in: Greek sources | philosophical/scientific[2] In In both of these books he left out the mathematical sciences and the subjects of practical philosophy, only the former of which was later supplemented by Jūzjānī, first in Arabic and then in Persian, on the basis of earlier writings by Avicenna. Book 9, Chapter 7: Destination of the rational soul in the afterlife and its bliss and misery; real happiness is the perfection of the rational soul through knowledge. Avicenna, Arabic Ibn SÄ«nā, in full AbÅ« Ê¿AlÄ« al-Ḥusayn ibn Ê¿Abd Allāh ibn SÄ«nā, (born 980, near Bukhara, Iran [now in Uzbekistan]—died 1037, Hamadan, Iran), Muslim physician, the most famous and influential of the philosopher-scientists of the medieval Islamic world. 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. In essence, following this method of logical verification meant for Avicenna examining the texts of Aristotle, read in the order in which they are presented in the curriculum, and testing the validity of every paragraph. 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. ‘And if the deity<’s state> is always like the state in which we sometimes are, then this is marvelous; and if it is more, then it is even more marvelous’” 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). 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. Thus began Avicenna’s lifelong itinerant career and the attendant quest for patronage and employment (Reisman 2013). ), 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. Finally after reading a manual by a famous philosopher al-Farabi, he found … 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. [Please contact the author with suggestions. Toward the end of his life Avicenna wrote two more summae in slightly divergent modes. 7 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. (notably Maimonides in his Arabic Guide of the Perplexed and Apart from the references in the text, the bibliography also lists several recent studies on Avicenna along with some reference works. 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. Out of his 450 various publications and treatises, almost 240 of them have survived, majority of which belongs to philosophy and medicine. And because we (i.e. 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. 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. 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). 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). 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. It comes about after prolonged engagement with intellective techniques through syllogistic means until the human intellect is not obstructed by the internal or external senses and has acquired a certain familiarity or “intimacy” with its object, “without, however, the middle term ceasing to be present.” This kind of intellection is accompanied by an emotive state of joy and pleasure (Gutas 2006a,b). 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?) 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). [1] 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. 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. –––, 2002, “The Heritage of Avicenna: The Golden Age of Arabic Philosophy, 1000 ‑ ca. 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. 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. 1350,” in Janssens and De Smet 2002: 81–97. 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. In his work he combined the disparate strands of 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 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. With this secure and syllogistically verified knowledge, the prophet then is in a position to legislate and regulate social life as well as have a legitimate ground for gaining consent. He died in 1037 in Hamadhan and was buried there. Book 10, Chapter 1: Celestial effects on the world: inspiration, dreams, prayer, celestial punishment, prophecy, astrology. Its contents can be seen in his extensive treatment of it all at the end of the metaphysics part of The Cure, as follows. His ultimate aim was to prove God’s presence and existence and the world is His creation through scientific reason and logic. Born in Uzbekistan, Ibn Sina, also known as Avicenna was a humble, devout Muslim who always sought out to gain knowledge, as the Quran emphasised the importance of education. 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. philosophy influenced mightily the medieval and Renaissance precision. and 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. 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. 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. Islam into a rationally rigorous and self-consistent scientific system Accordingly Avicenna set himself the task of presenting and writing about philosophy as an integral whole and not piecemeal and occasionalistically; bringing philosophy up to date; and studying how the human soul (intellect) knows as the foundation of his theory of knowledge, logical methodology, and the relation between the celestial and terrestrial realms, or the divine and human. 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. 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. 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. 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). 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). Sina was Persian by ethnicity. 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. al-?usayn b. Grasping the logic and the comprehensible is the first step towards determining the fate of one’s soul, thereby deciding human actions. this.”[8] 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. 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. 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 … Z. Iskandar , D.Phil. 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. 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. Chapter 3: Acts of worship as reminders of the afterlife and as exercises predisposing the rational soul to engage in intellection (cf. ibn sina biography thinking in Greek late antiquity and early paraphilosophical constructs, determined developments in philosophy, 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. 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. 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). Furthermore, he is one of the most substantial philosophers of the pre-modern period. Lizzini 2009). 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). 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. Avicenna picked up on the very concept of the talent for hitting upon the middle term, literally translated in the Arabic version as ḥads (guessing correctly, hitting correctly upon the answer), and made it the cornerstone of his epistemology (Gutas 2001). 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. This difference applies to all things except God, said Ibn Sina. He also attempted at a philosophical interpretation of religion and religious beliefs. The course of ibn Sina's life was dominated by the period of great political instability through which he lived. His productivity never flagged, even during these years that were militarily and politically turbulent. His real name is Abu Ali al-Husayn Ibn Abd Allan Ibn Sina, however, he is commonly referred to under his Latinized name Avicenn… On coming to be and passing away (Aristotle’s, Arithmetic (Nicomachus of Gerasa, Diophantus, Euclid, Thābit b. Qurra, and others), Universal Science: the study of being as being, first philosophy, natural theology (Aristotle’s, Metaphysics of the Rational Soul (phenomena of religious and paranormal life studied as functions of the rational soul), Prophetic legislation as the basis for the three parts of practical philosophy, Politics (prescriptions by the prophet legislator for public administration and political ruler to succeed him; [Plato’s and Aristotle’s books on politics]), Household management (prescriptions of the prophet legislator for family law; [Bryson’s, Ethics (as legislated by a caliph; [Aristotle’s, Adamson, P., 2004, “Non-Discursive Thought in Avicenna’s Commentary on the Theology of Aristotle,” in, Biesterfeldt, H.H., 2000. Ibn e Sina passed away in June 1037, in the Hamadan area of Iran. 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. 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. At some point in his later years, Avicenna wrote for or dictated to his student, companion, and amanuensis, AbÅ«-Ê¿Ubayd al-JÅ«zjānÄ«, his Autobiography, reaching till the time in his middle years when they first met; al-JÅ«zjānÄ« continued the biography after that point and completed it some time after the master’s death in 1037 AD. 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. 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. At an early age, his family moved to Bukhara where he studied Hanafi jurisprudence with Isma‘il Zahid and at about 13 years of age he studied medicine with a number of teachers. 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. –––, 2015, “The Author as Pioneer[ing Genius]: Graeco-Arabic Philosophical Autobiographies and the Paradigmatic Ego,” in. Avicenna, also called Ibn Sina, belongs to present-day Uzbekistan and was born in 980. 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 … Fast Shipping. 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. The system was therefore both a research program and a worldview. Vajda, G., 1951, “Les notes d’Avicenne sur la «Théologie d’Aristote»,”. The book, in two parts, deals with logic in the first and with physics, metaphysics, and metaphysics of the rational soul in the second. The philosophical knowledge that Avicenna received was neither complete nor homogeneous. 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. Ibn Sina also penned down a significant number of short treatise on Islamic theology and the prophets, whom he termed as ‘inspired philosophers’. 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. Ibn Sina [Avicenna]: logic | 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). Ibn Sina [Avicenna]: metaphysics | Avicenna calls this process of acquisition or apprehension of the intelligibles a “contact” (ittiṣāl) between the human and active –––, 2010, “The Ps.-Avicenna Corpus II: The Ṣūfistic Turn,” in. 600–800) with the translation and paraphrase, in Arabic this time, of the canonical source texts (Gutas 2004a), these compositional practices reappeared. When philosophy was resuscitated after a hiatus of about two centuries (ca. 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. 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 – the original and commentaries – in the natural sciences and metaphysics, and the gates of knowledge began opening for me. His mother Setareh was from the same village, while his father Abdullah was Ismaili, who was a respected local governor, under the Samanid dynasty was from the ancient city of Balkh (today Afghanistan). 7–27. Patronage and Learning in Medieval Islam,” in Adamson 2013, pp. 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). Marmura 1990). philosopher and physician of the Islamic 109–119. 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. He was born in 980 in Efşene village (Uzbekistan) near Bukhara and … Ibn-Sina Married With Children DVD Buy all 12 seasons and 267 episodes on 20 dvd's. 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. In the court of ʿAlāʾ-ad-Dawla in Isfahan where he spent his last thirteen years or so, Avicenna enjoyed the appreciation that it was felt he deserved. –––, 2014b-VII, “The Empiricism of Avicenna,” in Gutas 2014b, article VII. 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. Instead, it must proceed to them from their perceived effects. “Medieval Arabic Encyclopedias of Science and Philosophy,” in, –––, 2002, “Arabisch-islamische Enzyklopädien: Formen und Funktionen,” in, Black, D., 2008, “Avicenna on Self-Awareness and Knowing that One Knows,” in, –––, 2000, “Avicenna’s Eastern (“Oriental”) Philosophy: Nature, Contents, Transmission,”, –––, 2001, “Intuition and Thinking: The Evolving Structure of Avicenna’s Epistemology,”. 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. Sources on his life range from his autobiography, written at the behest of his disciple ‘Abd 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 ‘histories of philosophy’ of medieval Islam such as Ibn al-Qifti’s Ta’rikh al-hukama (History of the Philosophers) and Zahir al … Complete happiness (eudaimonia, saʿāda) is To have thought so would have negated the entire philosophical project Avicenna so painstakingly constructed. though they were far less receptive than their Roman Catholic Avicenna had an excellent education on all subjects, but he dwells at length in the Autobiography on his study of the intellectual sciences, that is, the philosophical curriculum in practice in the Hellenic schools of higher education in late antiquity, notably in Alexandria. and analysis in Gutas 2014b-VII, esp. Gutas 2014a, 377; cf. Ibn Sina (981 - 1037 C.E. 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. Barhebraeus in his Syriac Cream of Wisdom). He developed a style of supple Arabic expository prose, complete with technical philosophical terminology, that remained standard thenceforth. When he was a few years old his family had to move to the city of Bukhara for some reasons. Ibn Sina, also known by his Latinized name in Europe as Avicenna, was a Persian philosopher and polymath, born in 980 CE. As a result, many a ruler evinced sheer interest in science itself out of a desire to appear knowledgeable and participated in scientific debates, usually conducted in political fora. This is also evident in his disregard (rather than neglect?) Muslim scientists thought about the origin of minerals, rocks, mountains, earthquakes and water, etc. IBN SINA 980 - 1037 Persian Scientist Ibn Sina was the most famous of the philosopher-scientists of Islam. 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). 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. How did Avicenna (Ibn Sina) ‘prove’ God exists? In the Autobiography he provides no political context for his decision but merely says, “necessity led me to forsake Bukhara” (Gohlman 1974, 40–41), though the nature of this “necessity” could hardly be mistaken by his contemporaries and even by us. 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). Avicenna, Ab? Ibn Sina's independent thought was served by an extraordinar y intelligence … The lowest is the person with an impure soul, who lacks the capability of developing an argument. But the social context in which philosophy now found itself had changed. para-philosophy:[6] –––, 2013, “The Life and Times of Avicenna. 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. As Google Doodle celebrates his … At the age of 16, he established himself as a respected physician. “The First Teacher” (al-muʿallim al-awwal). 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. Aristotelian ethics provided the foundation of the edifice. 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. Ibn Sina’s natural philosophy. The Life of Ibn Sina: A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation. Even though the Autobiography has particular philosophical points to make (discussed in the next section), this is no mere boast. Ibn Sina’s metaphysics Open access to the SEP is made possible by a world-wide funding initiative. and analysis Gutas 2014a, 35–40; Gutas 2000). 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. Gutas 2014a, 145). 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. philosophers and scholars, just as the Latin translation of his Hasse, D.N., and A. Bertolacci (eds. Ibn Sina [Avicenna]: natural philosophy, Copyright © 2016 by 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. 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 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. first in Jurjan, off the southeastern Caspian, and then going on into the Iranian heartland, in Ray (1014?–1015), in Hamadhan (1015–1024? He also linked rational philosophy with interpretation of Quran, the holy book of muslims. –––, 2014b-I, “Avicenna: Biography,” in Gutas 2014b, article I. 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 Here the scientist spent almost ten years, from 1015 to 1024, these were very eventful years. 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). At a higher level, Avicenna analyzed non-discursive thinking, which takes no time and grasps its object in a single act of intellection, though the knowledge acquired is still structured syllogistically, complete with middle terms (because in its locus, the active intellect, it is so structured) (Adamson 2004). His treatise on philosophy, the Cure, or al Shifa, was greatly influential on European scholastics, such as Thomas Aquinas. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. century. 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. “The full argument is a bit complicated, but here is a somewhat simplified version. Gutas 2014a, 18). its integral and comprehensive articulation of science and philosophy, The Metaphysics of the Rational Soul; Practical Philosophy, Arabic and Islamic Philosophy, historical and methodological topics in: Greek sources. In his influence on the intellectual history 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). Details: In the Muslim world, he is known simply as Ibn Sina. Ibn-Sīnā [Avicenna] (ca. Ibn Sina lived in Persia between 980 and 1037 during a period known as the Islamic Golden Age. (Geoffroy et al. He wrote with the purpose of reaching all layers of (literate) society, but also with an eye to posterity. People can elevate their position in the categories by having a rational approach, balanced temperament and by purifying their soul. 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. 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. 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. At thirteen, Ibn Sina began a study of medicine that resulted in ‘distinguished physicians . Avicenna lived his philosophy, and his desire to communicate it beyond what his personal circumstances required, as an intellectual in the public eye, is manifest in the various compositional styles and different registers of language that he used. His father, originally from Balkh farther to the southeast who had moved north as a young man apparently in search of (better) employment, was a state functionary, a governor of the nearby district Kharmaythan. 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.). But history dealt its blows, ending Avicenna’s idyllic existence of secure employment, intellectual renown, and the admiration of his compatriots. 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. revealed religion and its theological and mystical elaborations. The title refers to Avicenna’s adjudication between traditional Aristotelian exegeses and Avicenna’s own views by presenting arguments in support of the latter. He wrote more, and more frequently, on these two subjects than on anything else. He says specifically, “The active principle [i.e. 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. medical Canon (GMed 1), often revised, formed the basis of Being a devout Muslim himself, Ibn Sina applied rational philosophy at interpreting divine text and Islamic theology. He became so famous that, he was invited by the king of Bukhara for the treatment of a disease that many … For him, God is the basic cause and so it is both the essence and the existence. 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. [3] 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). The starting point of Avicenna’s logic is that all knowledge is either forming concepts (taṣawwur) by means of definitions—i.e. medical instruction in European universities until the 17th The Jewish The inspiration here is clearly the beginning of Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics (cf. reading the science of medicine under [him]’ (Sirat al-shaykh al-ra… ?id J?zj?n? He was born in the village Afshena near Khorasan in … Abu Ali Al-Husain Ibn Abdullah Ibn Sina who has been called the prince of physicians, known as Avicenna in the west. Performance of the first task, necessarily entailed the second, bringing philosophy up to date. Avicenna, manifestly because of his close affiliation with the ruling dynasty and his high position in the Samanid administration, saw fit to flee Bukhara. 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). 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. 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. POLYMATH extraordinaire Ibn Sina was the father of modern medicine who devoted his entire life to the pursuit of knowledge. This is humanist ethics dictated by a scientific view of the world. 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. , The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is copyright © 2016 by The Metaphysics Research Lab, Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI), Stanford University, Library of Congress Catalog Data: ISSN 1095-5054, 4. world for centuries to come, and the sundry reactions to it, ranging 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. Hasse, D.N., 2013, “Avicenna’s Epistemological Optimism,” in Adamson 2013, pp. Thus, he is considered as the first significant Muslim philosopher of all times. Abū-ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn-ʿAbdallāh 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. Ibn Sina, also known by his Latinized name in Europe as Avicenna, was a Persian philosopher and polymath, born in 980 CE. 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. 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. from acceptance to revision to refutation and to substitution with His teachings and views on theology were part of the core curriculum of various schools across the Islamic world well into the nineteenth century. And Avicenna who wrote in different styles and genres to reach as many people as possible, as also noted above, clearly intended as much. 2014), along with two incomplete recensions of his commentary on the Theology of Aristotle (GS 11b; Vajda 1951). 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. 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 further argued that soul is ethereal and intangible; it cannot be destroyed. 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. Avicenna’s proof actually has nothing to do with design, he doesn’t need the idea that the universe is intelligently put together. EARLY LIFE Ibn Sina’s 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 Sina’s mother, Sitarah. Much work still remains to be done in this regard. Thus logic and the theory of the soul as the basis for epistemology are the two motors driving Avicenna’s philosophy. (Gutas 2004a, 2010). For a full list of Avicenna’s works in Arabic and Persian, their editions, translations, and studies, see the inventory in Gutas 2014a, also for further bibliography. 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). Independent treatises on individual subjects written by Avicenna deal with most subjects, but especially with those for which there was greater demand by his sponsors and in which he was particularly interested, notably logic, the soul, and the metaphysics of the rational soul. ?Al? 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. McGinnis, J., with the assistance of D.C. Reisman, 2004. Ibn Sina is called the father of modern medicine for establishing a clinical practice. It is also our most extensive source about Avicenna’s life and times. At the age of 16, he became a famous physician in his area. The Life of Ibn Sina: A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation (Hardcover) The Arabophone Jewish and Christian scholars within Islam, to 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. 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. This entailed detailed study of the operations of the soul in its totality and in all its functions, whether rational, animal, or vegetative. He spent the last years of his life in Ha madan, where he 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. Avicenna’s name only through its occurrence in the Greek science, religion, theology, and mysticism. Tradition Arabe,” in, –––, 2012b, “Avicenna: The Metaphysics of the Rational Soul,”. 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 ….

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