Avicenna (ibn-i sina) Philosophy Summary


One can say that Avicenna was one of the most extraordinary genius and the most prolific writers of his time. The number of his works was estimated at more than seventy, sometimes more than one hundred. It is difficult to give a complete catalog. Bodleian Library of Oxford and the University of Leiden have a rare and valuable collection. Besides his great work on medicine, the famous Canon, Avicenna wrote a vast encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences.

Avicenna and Science

What is the nature of the philosophy of Avicenna? The philosophy of Ibn Sina is essentially Aristotelian, like other Arab philosophers. Avicenna divides science into three parts:

1/ top science or metaphysical science of things that are not torn from the field;

2/  or less than the science knowledge of things in this area and is the physical

3/ Scientia which different branches are connected sometimes with metaphysics, sometimes with physics, which are the mathematical sciences.

We will try to expose the philosophical system of Avicenna especially in helping us to study very well made by Mehren.

The farthest point to which thought can rise, after covering the entire series of causation, is that of being absolutely necessary that the opposite is Possible. The absolute necessity is that which, supposed to be non-existing, would necessarily be inconceivable, while the possible is what is also seen as well as existing and not existing. We must distinguish the Possible which is possible only, c. Ie. sublunary things, which are born and die, and what is possible for oneself, which is not subject to birth and destruction, such as spheres and the intelligences. As for what is necessary for yourself, this is the first cause or the Absolute. The Absolute sees for himself his own being, it follows that it is also expected, the Thought, Thinking and Movement in Thought and Thought. It is always his own subject-object, the Good, the True, and the absolute beauty, love and eternal enjoyment, in addition, it is the All-Living, the All-Wishing, the Almighty, and Knower, without all this can be considered attributes residing in “something” because if they could be considered as such, his essence annihilated by decomposing into a plurality. These are the relationships, negative qualities that do not imply any idea of ​​plurality.

After defining the be-absolute, must be sought which determines the non-existence to actual existence. According to Avicenna, the first cause, is absolute unity, may not have the immediate effect the unit. But then, how come the multiple or the world of the Being who is One? It will find the first movement, not in the Absolute itself, but in an exiting and emanated from him, and this being is the eternal intelligence out of the Absolute by thinking of it, thinking that itself for its object. This is eternal intelligence, first emanation of the Eternal One, from the plurality that the eternal principles and the celestial bodies and the spheres that are subject to these principles, to the intelligible principle closest to us, ie d. Intellect in the world that produces the active elements, then in its highest development, the human body and soul.

Avicenna and Soul

The theory of the soul was treated by Avicenna with particular care. It can, according to Aristotle, defining the soul perfection or entelechy of any organized body endowed virtual life, one can, on the other hand, regard it as a force contained in all that is corporeal. Whatever the approach taken, there are, according to Avicenna, three kinds of souls: the plant or the vegetative soul, animal soul and the human soul. The latter, in its existence, suppose the other two, as the animal soul assumes the vegetative soul. The soul is not contained in any part of the body, or widespread as a force in the whole body and is united with him in this union and it is possible that one or the other takes the ascendancy. The soul is created for eternity in union with the body, it is ultimately to develop into an independent spiritual microcosm, where the good, the true and the beautiful blend with it in a single species. During our life on earth, we have a dark premonition of the future condition, this feeling occurs, according to the diversity of the natural desire more or less intense, and it is precisely this that depends on degree of our preparation. This preparation is completed only by the development of higher faculties of the soul. Thus prepared, the soul, as soon as it is delivered from the body, which has served as an instrument, into the enjoyment of eternal happiness as being purely spiritual. Every soul is eternal and imperishable, will eventually reach the beatitude for which it is created. If it deserves a punishment beyond the grave, the punishment will consist in the deprivation or suspension from that bliss.

Conclusion on his philosophy

From the above discussion, the philosophy of Avicenna can be seen as a spiritual deism. However, the fundamental ideas of Aristotle and sometimes of Platonism rise up across the system. Although Avicenna was recognized after his death as a follower of Islam, his writings have generally been estimated heretics and gigantic efforts were made to destroy his works.

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