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For the crater, see Avicenna (crater). Avicenna_sentence_0

"Ibn Sīnā" redirects here. Avicenna_sentence_1

It is not to be confused with Ali Sina (activist), Bu-Ali Sina University, or Lenin Peak (mountain peak). Avicenna_sentence_2



Ibn SinaAvicenna_header_cell_0_0_0

BornAvicenna_header_cell_0_1_0 980

Afshona, Bukhara, Samanid Empire (now in present-day Uzbekistan)Avicenna_cell_0_1_1

DiedAvicenna_header_cell_0_2_0 June 22, 1037(1037-06-22) (aged 56–57)

Hamadan, Kakuyid dynasty (now in present-day IranAvicenna_cell_0_2_1

Other namesAvicenna_header_cell_0_3_0 Avicenna_cell_0_3_1
Academic backgroundAvicenna_header_cell_0_4_0
InfluencesAvicenna_header_cell_0_5_0 Avicenna_cell_0_5_1
Academic workAvicenna_header_cell_0_6_0
EraAvicenna_header_cell_0_7_0 Islamic Golden AgeAvicenna_cell_0_7_1
School or traditionAvicenna_header_cell_0_8_0 Aristotelianism, AvicennismAvicenna_cell_0_8_1
Main interestsAvicenna_header_cell_0_9_0 Avicenna_cell_0_9_1
Notable worksAvicenna_header_cell_0_10_0 Avicenna_cell_0_10_1
InfluencedAvicenna_header_cell_0_11_0 Avicenna_cell_0_11_1

Ibn Sina (Persian: ابن سینا‎), also known as Abu Ali Sina (ابوعلی سینا), Pur Sina (پورسینا), and often known in the West as Avicenna (/ˌævɪˈsɛnə, ˌɑːvɪ-/; c. 980 – June 1037), was a Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age, and the father of early modern medicine. Avicenna_sentence_3

Sajjad H. Rizvi has called Avicenna "arguably the most influential philosopher of the pre-modern era". Avicenna_sentence_4

He was a Muslim Peripatetic philosopher influenced by Aristotelian philosophy. Avicenna_sentence_5

Of the 450 works he is believed to have written, around 240 have survived, including 150 on philosophy and 40 on medicine. Avicenna_sentence_6

His most famous works are The Book of Healing, a philosophical and scientific encyclopedia, and The Canon of Medicine, a medical encyclopedia which became a standard medical text at many medieval universities and remained in use as late as 1650. Avicenna_sentence_7

Besides philosophy and medicine, Avicenna's corpus includes writings on astronomy, alchemy, geography and geology, psychology, Islamic theology, logic, mathematics, physics and works of poetry. Avicenna_sentence_8

Name Avicenna_section_0

Avicenna is a Latin corruption of the Arabic patronym ibn Sīnā (ابن سينا‎), meaning "Son of Sina". Avicenna_sentence_9

However, Avicenna was not the son but the great-great-grandson of a man named Sina. Avicenna_sentence_10

His formal Arabic name was Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbdillāh ibn al-Ḥasan ibn ʿAlī ibn Sīnā (أبو علي الحسين بن عبد الله بن الحسن بن علي بن سينا). Avicenna_sentence_11

Circumstances Avicenna_section_1

Avicenna created an extensive corpus of works during what is commonly known as the Islamic Golden Age, in which the translations of Greco-Roman, Persian, and Indian texts were studied extensively. Avicenna_sentence_12

Greco-Roman (Mid- and Neo-Platonic, and Aristotelian) texts translated by the Kindi school were commented, redacted and developed substantially by Islamic intellectuals, who also built upon Persian and Indian mathematical systems, astronomy, algebra, trigonometry and medicine. Avicenna_sentence_13

The Samanid dynasty in the eastern part of Persia, Greater Khorasan and Central Asia as well as the Buyid dynasty in the western part of Persia and Iraq provided a thriving atmosphere for scholarly and cultural development. Avicenna_sentence_14

Under the Samanids, Bukhara rivaled Baghdad as a cultural capital of the Islamic world. Avicenna_sentence_15

There, the study of the Quran and the Hadith thrived. Avicenna_sentence_16

Philosophy, Fiqh and theology (kalaam) were further developed, most noticeably by Avicenna and his opponents. Avicenna_sentence_17

Al-Razi and Al-Farabi had provided methodology and knowledge in medicine and philosophy. Avicenna_sentence_18

Avicenna had access to the great libraries of Balkh, Khwarezm, Gorgan, Rey, Isfahan and Hamadan. Avicenna_sentence_19

Various texts (such as the 'Ahd with Bahmanyar) show that he debated philosophical points with the greatest scholars of the time. Avicenna_sentence_20

Aruzi Samarqandi describes how before Avicenna left Khwarezm he had met Al-Biruni (a famous scientist and astronomer), Abu Nasr Iraqi (a renowned mathematician), Abu Sahl Masihi (a respected philosopher) and Abu al-Khayr Khammar (a great physician). Avicenna_sentence_21

Biography Avicenna_section_2

Early life Avicenna_section_3

Avicenna was born c. 980 in Afshana, a village near Bukhara (in present-day Uzbekistan), the capital of the Samanids, a Persian dynasty in Central Asia and Greater Khorasan. Avicenna_sentence_22

His mother, named Sitāra, was from Bukhara; While, according to most scholars, most of Avicenna's family were Sunnis, his father, Abdullāh, was a respected scholar from Balkh who might have converted to Ismailism. Avicenna_sentence_23

It was an important town of the Samanid Empire, in what is today Balkh Province, Afghanistan. Avicenna_sentence_24

His father worked in the government of Samanid in the village Kharmasain, a Sunni regional power. Avicenna_sentence_25

After five years, his younger brother, Mahmoud, was born. Avicenna_sentence_26

Avicenna first began to learn the Quran and literature in such a way that when he was ten years old he had essentially learned all of them. Avicenna_sentence_27

According to his autobiography, Avicenna had memorised the entire Quran by the age of 10. Avicenna_sentence_28

He learned Indian arithmetic from an Indian greengrocer, Mahmoud Massahi and he began to learn more from a wandering scholar who gained a livelihood by curing the sick and teaching the young. Avicenna_sentence_29

He also studied Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) under the Sunni Hanafi scholar Ismail al-Zahid. Avicenna_sentence_30

Avicenna was taught some extent of philosophy books such as Introduction (Isagoge)'s Porphyry (philosopher), Euclid's Elements, Ptolemy's Almagest by an unpopular philosopher, Abu Abdullah Nateli, who claimed philosophizing. Avicenna_sentence_31

As a teenager, he was greatly troubled by the Metaphysics of Aristotle, which he could not understand until he read al-Farabi's commentary on the work. Avicenna_sentence_32

For the next year and a half, he studied philosophy, in which he encountered greater obstacles. Avicenna_sentence_33

In such moments of baffled inquiry, he would leave his books, perform the requisite ablutions, then go to the mosque, and continue in prayer till light broke on his difficulties. Avicenna_sentence_34

Deep into the night, he would continue his studies, and even in his dreams problems would pursue him and work out their solution. Avicenna_sentence_35

Forty times, it is said, he read through the Metaphysics of Aristotle, till the words were imprinted on his memory; but their meaning was hopelessly obscure to him until he purchased a brief commentary by al-Farabi from a bookstall for three dirhams (a very low price at the time). Avicenna_sentence_36

So great was his joy at the discovery, made with the help of a work from which he had expected only mystery, that he hastened to return thanks to God, and bestowed alms upon the poor. Avicenna_sentence_37

He turned to medicine at 16, and not only learned medical theory, but also by gratuitous attendance of the sick had, according to his own account, discovered new methods of treatment. Avicenna_sentence_38

The teenager achieved full status as a qualified physician at age 18, and found that "Medicine is no hard and thorny science, like mathematics and metaphysics, so I soon made great progress; I became an excellent doctor and began to treat patients, using approved remedies." Avicenna_sentence_39

The youthful physician's fame spread quickly, and he treated many patients without asking for payment. Avicenna_sentence_40

Religion Avicenna_section_4

A number of theories have been proposed regarding Avicenna's madhab (school of thought within Islamic jurisprudence). Avicenna_sentence_41

Medieval historian Ẓahīr al-dīn al-Bayhaqī (d. 1169) considered Avicenna to be a follower of the Brethren of Purity. Avicenna_sentence_42

On the other hand, Dimitri Gutas along with Aisha Khan and Jules J. Janssens demonstrated that Avicenna was a Sunni Hanafi. Avicenna_sentence_43

Avicenna studied Hanafi law, many of his notable teachers were Hanafi jurists, and he served under the Hanafi court of Ali ibn Mamun. Avicenna_sentence_44

Avicenna said at an early age that he remained "unconvinced" by Ismaili missionary attempts to convert him. Avicenna_sentence_45

However, the 14th century Shia faqih Nurullah Shushtari according to Seyyed Hossein Nasr, claimed he was a Twelver Shia. Avicenna_sentence_46

Conversely, Sharaf Khorasani, citing a rejection of an invitation of the Sunni Governor Sultan Mahmoud Ghazanavi by Avicenna to his court, believes that Avicenna was an Ismaili. Avicenna_sentence_47

Similar disagreements exist on the background of Avicenna's family, whereas most writers considered them Sunni, recent Shiite writers contested that they were Shia. Avicenna_sentence_48

Adulthood Avicenna_section_5

Avicenna's first appointment was that of physician to the emir, Nuh II, who owed him his recovery from a dangerous illness (997). Avicenna_sentence_49

Avicenna's chief reward for this service was access to the royal library of the Samanids, well-known patrons of scholarship and scholars. Avicenna_sentence_50

When the library was destroyed by fire not long after, the enemies of Avicenna accused him of burning it, in order for ever to conceal the sources of his knowledge. Avicenna_sentence_51

Meanwhile, he assisted his father in his financial labours, but still found time to write some of his earliest works. Avicenna_sentence_52

At 22 years old, Avicenna lost his father. Avicenna_sentence_53

The Samanid dynasty came to its end in December 1004. Avicenna_sentence_54

Avicenna seems to have declined the offers of Mahmud of Ghazni, and proceeded westwards to Urgench in modern Turkmenistan, where the vizier, regarded as a friend of scholars, gave him a monthly stipend. Avicenna_sentence_55

The pay was small, however, so Avicenna wandered from place to place through the districts of Nishapur and Merv to the borders of Khorasan, seeking an opening for his talents. Avicenna_sentence_56

Qabus, the generous ruler of Tabaristan, himself a poet and a scholar, with whom Avicenna had expected to find asylum, was on about that date (1012) starved to death by his troops who had revolted. Avicenna_sentence_57

Avicenna himself was at this time stricken by a severe illness. Avicenna_sentence_58

Finally, at Gorgan, near the Caspian Sea, Avicenna met with a friend, who bought a dwelling near his own house in which Avicenna lectured on logic and astronomy. Avicenna_sentence_59

Several of his treatises were written for this patron; and the commencement of his Canon of Medicine also dates from his stay in Hyrcania. Avicenna_sentence_60

Avicenna subsequently settled at Rey, in the vicinity of modern Tehran, the home town of Rhazes; where Majd Addaula, a son of the last Buwayhid emir, was nominal ruler under the regency of his mother (Seyyedeh Khatun). Avicenna_sentence_61

About thirty of Avicenna's shorter works are said to have been composed in Rey. Avicenna_sentence_62

Constant feuds which raged between the regent and her second son, Shams al-Daula, however, compelled the scholar to quit the place. Avicenna_sentence_63

After a brief sojourn at Qazvin he passed southwards to Hamadãn where Shams al-Daula, another Buwayhid emir, had established himself. Avicenna_sentence_64

At first, Avicenna entered into the service of a high-born lady; but the emir, hearing of his arrival, called him in as medical attendant, and sent him back with presents to his dwelling. Avicenna_sentence_65

Avicenna was even raised to the office of vizier. Avicenna_sentence_66

The emir decreed that he should be banished from the country. Avicenna_sentence_67

Avicenna, however, remained hidden for forty days in sheikh Ahmed Fadhel's house, until a fresh attack of illness induced the emir to restore him to his post. Avicenna_sentence_68

Even during this perturbed time, Avicenna persevered with his studies and teaching. Avicenna_sentence_69

Every evening, extracts from his great works, the Canon and the Sanatio, were dictated and explained to his pupils. Avicenna_sentence_70

On the death of the emir, Avicenna ceased to be vizier and hid himself in the house of an apothecary, where, with intense assiduity, he continued the composition of his works. Avicenna_sentence_71

Meanwhile, he had written to Abu Ya'far, the prefect of the dynamic city of Isfahan, offering his services. Avicenna_sentence_72

The new emir of Hamadan, hearing of this correspondence and discovering where Avicenna was hiding, incarcerated him in a fortress. Avicenna_sentence_73

War meanwhile continued between the rulers of Isfahan and Hamadãn; in 1024 the former captured Hamadan and its towns, expelling the Tajik mercenaries. Avicenna_sentence_74

When the storm had passed, Avicenna returned with the emir to Hamadan, and carried on his literary labors. Avicenna_sentence_75

Later, however, accompanied by his brother, a favorite pupil, and two slaves, Avicenna escaped from the city in the dress of a Sufi ascetic. Avicenna_sentence_76

After a perilous journey, they reached Isfahan, receiving an honorable welcome from the prince. Avicenna_sentence_77

Later life and death Avicenna_section_6

The remaining ten or twelve years of Avicenna's life were spent in the service of the Kakuyid ruler Muhammad ibn Rustam Dushmanziyar (also known as Ala al-Dawla), whom he accompanied as physician and general literary and scientific adviser, even in his numerous campaigns. Avicenna_sentence_78

During these years he began to study literary matters and philology, instigated, it is asserted, by criticisms on his style. Avicenna_sentence_79

A severe colic, which seized him on the march of the army against Hamadan, was checked by remedies so violent that Avicenna could scarcely stand. Avicenna_sentence_80

On a similar occasion the disease returned; with difficulty he reached Hamadan, where, finding the disease gaining ground, he refused to keep up the regimen imposed, and resigned himself to his fate. Avicenna_sentence_81

His friends advised him to slow down and take life moderately. Avicenna_sentence_82

He refused, however, stating that: "I prefer a short life with width to a narrow one with length". Avicenna_sentence_83

On his deathbed remorse seized him; he bestowed his goods on the poor, restored unjust gains, freed his slaves, and read through the Quran every three days until his death. Avicenna_sentence_84

He died in June 1037, in his fifty-six year, in the month of Ramadan, and was buried in Hamadan, Iran. Avicenna_sentence_85

Philosophy Avicenna_section_7

Avicenna wrote extensively on early Islamic philosophy, especially the subjects logic, ethics, and metaphysics, including treatises named Logic and Metaphysics. Avicenna_sentence_86

Most of his works were written in Arabic – then the language of science in the Middle East – and some in Persian. Avicenna_sentence_87

Of linguistic significance even to this day are a few books that he wrote in nearly pure Persian language (particularly the Danishnamah-yi 'Ala', Philosophy for Ala' ad-Dawla'). Avicenna_sentence_88

Avicenna's commentaries on Aristotle often criticized the philosopher, encouraging a lively debate in the spirit of ijtihad. Avicenna_sentence_89

Avicenna's Neoplatonic scheme of "emanations" became fundamental in the Kalam (school of theological discourse) in the 12th century. Avicenna_sentence_90

His Book of Healing became available in Europe in partial Latin translation some fifty years after its composition, under the title Sufficientia, and some authors have identified a "Latin Avicennism" as flourishing for some time, paralleling the more influential Latin Averroism, but suppressed by the Parisian decrees of 1210 and 1215. Avicenna_sentence_91

Avicenna's psychology and theory of knowledge influenced William of Auvergne, Bishop of Paris and Albertus Magnus, while his metaphysics influenced the thought of Thomas Aquinas. Avicenna_sentence_92

Metaphysical doctrine Avicenna_section_8

Early Islamic philosophy and Islamic metaphysics, imbued as it is with Islamic theology, distinguishes more clearly than Aristotelianism between essence and existence. Avicenna_sentence_93

Whereas existence is the domain of the contingent and the accidental, essence endures within a being beyond the accidental. Avicenna_sentence_94

The philosophy of Avicenna, particularly that part relating to metaphysics, owes much to al-Farabi. Avicenna_sentence_95

The search for a definitive Islamic philosophy separate from Occasionalism can be seen in what is left of his work. Avicenna_sentence_96

Following al-Farabi's lead, Avicenna initiated a full-fledged inquiry into the question of being, in which he distinguished between essence (Mahiat) and existence (Wujud). Avicenna_sentence_97

He argued that the fact of existence cannot be inferred from or accounted for by the essence of existing things, and that form and matter by themselves cannot interact and originate the movement of the universe or the progressive actualization of existing things. Avicenna_sentence_98

Existence must, therefore, be due to an agent-cause that necessitates, imparts, gives, or adds existence to an essence. Avicenna_sentence_99

To do so, the cause must be an existing thing and coexist with its effect. Avicenna_sentence_100

Avicenna's consideration of the essence-attributes question may be elucidated in terms of his ontological analysis of the modalities of being; namely impossibility, contingency, and necessity. Avicenna_sentence_101

Avicenna argued that the impossible being is that which cannot exist, while the contingent in itself (mumkin bi-dhatihi) has the potentiality to be or not to be without entailing a contradiction. Avicenna_sentence_102

When actualized, the contingent becomes a 'necessary existent due to what is other than itself' (wajib al-wujud bi-ghayrihi). Avicenna_sentence_103

Thus, contingency-in-itself is potential beingness that could eventually be actualized by an external cause other than itself. Avicenna_sentence_104

The metaphysical structures of necessity and contingency are different. Avicenna_sentence_105

Necessary being due to itself (wajib al-wujud bi-dhatihi) is true in itself, while the contingent being is 'false in itself' and 'true due to something else other than itself'. Avicenna_sentence_106

The necessary is the source of its own being without borrowed existence. Avicenna_sentence_107

It is what always exists. Avicenna_sentence_108

The Necessary exists 'due-to-Its-Self', and has no quiddity/essence (mahiyya) other than existence (wujud). Avicenna_sentence_109

Furthermore, It is 'One' (wahid ahad) since there cannot be more than one 'Necessary-Existent-due-to-Itself' without differentia (fasl) to distinguish them from each other. Avicenna_sentence_110

Yet, to require differentia entails that they exist 'due-to-themselves' as well as 'due to what is other than themselves'; and this is contradictory. Avicenna_sentence_111

However, if no differentia distinguishes them from each other, then there is no sense in which these 'Existents' are not one and the same. Avicenna_sentence_112

Avicenna adds that the 'Necessary-Existent-due-to-Itself' has no genus (jins), nor a definition (hadd), nor a counterpart (nadd), nor an opposite (did), and is detached (bari) from matter (madda), quality (kayf), quantity (kam), place (ayn), situation (wad), and time (waqt). Avicenna_sentence_113

Avicenna's theology on metaphysical issues (ilāhiyyāt) has been criticized by some Islamic scholars, among them al-Ghazali, Ibn Taymiyya, and Ibn al-Qayyim. Avicenna_sentence_114

While discussing the views of the theists among the Greek philosophers, namely Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle in Al-Munqidh min ad-Dalal ("Deliverance from Error"), al-Ghazali noted that the Greek philosophers "must be taxed with unbelief, as must their partisans among the Muslim philosophers, such as Avicenna and al-Farabi and their likes." Avicenna_sentence_115

He added that "None, however, of the Muslim philosophers engaged so much in transmitting Aristotle's lore as did the two men just mentioned. Avicenna_sentence_116

[...] The sum of what we regard as the authentic philosophy of Aristotle, as transmitted by al-Farabi and Avicenna, can be reduced to three parts: a part which must be branded as unbelief; a part which must be stigmatized as innovation; and a part which need not be repudiated at all. Avicenna_sentence_117

Argument for God's existence Avicenna_section_9

Main article: Proof of the Truthful Avicenna_sentence_118

Avicenna made an argument for the existence of God which would be known as the "Proof of the Truthful" (Arabic: burhan al-siddiqin). Avicenna_sentence_119

Avicenna argued that there must be a "necessary existent" (Arabic: wajib al-wujud), an entity that cannot not exist and through a series of arguments, he identified it with the Islamic conception of God. Avicenna_sentence_120

Present-day historian of philosophy Peter Adamson called this argument one of the most influential medieval arguments for God's existence, and Avicenna's biggest contribution to the history of philosophy. Avicenna_sentence_121

Al-Biruni correspondence Avicenna_section_10

Correspondence between Avicenna (with his student Ahmad ibn 'Ali al-Ma'sumi) and Al-Biruni has survived in which they debated Aristotelian natural philosophy and the Peripatetic school. Avicenna_sentence_122

Abu Rayhan began by asking Avicenna eighteen questions, ten of which were criticisms of Aristotle's On the Heavens. Avicenna_sentence_123

Theology Avicenna_section_11

Avicenna was a devout Muslim and sought to reconcile rational philosophy with Islamic theology. Avicenna_sentence_124

His aim was to prove the existence of God and His creation of the world scientifically and through reason and logic. Avicenna_sentence_125

Avicenna's views on Islamic theology (and philosophy) were enormously influential, forming part of the core of the curriculum at Islamic religious schools until the 19th century. Avicenna_sentence_126

Avicenna wrote a number of short treatises dealing with Islamic theology. Avicenna_sentence_127

These included treatises on the prophets (whom he viewed as "inspired philosophers"), and also on various scientific and philosophical interpretations of the Quran, such as how Quranic cosmology corresponds to his own philosophical system. Avicenna_sentence_128

In general these treatises linked his philosophical writings to Islamic religious ideas; for example, the body's afterlife. Avicenna_sentence_129

There are occasional brief hints and allusions in his longer works however that Avicenna considered philosophy as the only sensible way to distinguish real prophecy from illusion. Avicenna_sentence_130

He did not state this more clearly because of the political implications of such a theory, if prophecy could be questioned, and also because most of the time he was writing shorter works which concentrated on explaining his theories on philosophy and theology clearly, without digressing to consider epistemological matters which could only be properly considered by other philosophers. Avicenna_sentence_131

Later interpretations of Avicenna's philosophy split into three different schools; those (such as al-Tusi) who continued to apply his philosophy as a system to interpret later political events and scientific advances; those (such as al-Razi) who considered Avicenna's theological works in isolation from his wider philosophical concerns; and those (such as al-Ghazali) who selectively used parts of his philosophy to support their own attempts to gain greater spiritual insights through a variety of mystical means. Avicenna_sentence_132

It was the theological interpretation championed by those such as al-Razi which eventually came to predominate in the madrasahs. Avicenna_sentence_133

Avicenna memorized the Quran by the age of ten, and as an adult, he wrote five treatises commenting on suras from the Quran. Avicenna_sentence_134

One of these texts included the Proof of Prophecies, in which he comments on several Quranic verses and holds the Quran in high esteem. Avicenna_sentence_135

Avicenna argued that the Islamic prophets should be considered higher than philosophers. Avicenna_sentence_136

Thought experiments Avicenna_section_12

Main article: Floating man Avicenna_sentence_137

While he was imprisoned in the castle of Fardajan near Hamadhan, Avicenna wrote his famous "Floating Man" – literally falling man – a thought experiment to demonstrate human self-awareness and the substantiality and immateriality of the soul. Avicenna_sentence_138

Avicenna believed his "Floating Man" thought experiment demonstrated that the soul is a substance, and claimed humans cannot doubt their own consciousness, even in a situation that prevents all sensory data input. Avicenna_sentence_139

The thought experiment told its readers to imagine themselves created all at once while suspended in the air, isolated from all , which includes no sensory contact with even their own bodies. Avicenna_sentence_140

He argued that, in this scenario, one would still have self-consciousness. Avicenna_sentence_141

Because it is conceivable that a person, suspended in air while cut off from sense experience, would still be capable of determining his own existence, the thought experiment points to the conclusions that the soul is a perfection, independent of the body, and an immaterial substance. Avicenna_sentence_142

The conceivability of this "Floating Man" indicates that the soul is perceived intellectually, which entails the soul's separateness from the body. Avicenna_sentence_143

Avicenna referred to the living human intelligence, particularly the active intellect, which he believed to be the hypostasis by which God communicates truth to the human mind and imparts order and intelligibility to nature. Avicenna_sentence_144

Following is an English translation of the argument: Avicenna_sentence_145

However, Avicenna posited the brain as the place where reason interacts with sensation. Avicenna_sentence_146

Sensation prepares the soul to receive rational concepts from the universal Agent Intellect. Avicenna_sentence_147

The first knowledge of the flying person would be "I am," affirming his or her essence. Avicenna_sentence_148

That essence could not be the body, obviously, as the flying person has no sensation. Avicenna_sentence_149

Thus, the knowledge that "I am" is the core of a human being: the soul exists and is self-aware. Avicenna_sentence_150

Avicenna thus concluded that the idea of the self is not logically dependent on any physical thing, and that the soul should not be seen in relative terms, but as a primary given, a substance. Avicenna_sentence_151

The body is unnecessary; in relation to it, the soul is its perfection. Avicenna_sentence_152

In itself, the soul is an immaterial substance. Avicenna_sentence_153

The Canon of Medicine Avicenna_section_13

Main article: The Canon of Medicine Avicenna_sentence_154

Avicenna authored a five-volume medical encyclopedia: The Canon of Medicine (Al-Qanun fi't-Tibb). Avicenna_sentence_155

It was used as the standard medical textbook in the Islamic world and Europe up to the 18th century. Avicenna_sentence_156

The Canon still plays an important role in Unani medicine. Avicenna_sentence_157

Liber Primus Naturalium Avicenna_section_14

Avicenna considered whether events like rare diseases or disorders have natural causes. Avicenna_sentence_158

He used the example of polydactyly to explain his perception that causal reasons exist for all medical events. Avicenna_sentence_159

This view of medical phenomena anticipated developments in the Enlightenment by seven centuries. Avicenna_sentence_160

The Book of Healing Avicenna_section_15

Main article: The Book of Healing Avicenna_sentence_161

Earth sciences Avicenna_section_16

Avicenna wrote on Earth sciences such as geology in The Book of Healing. Avicenna_sentence_162

While discussing the formation of mountains, he explained: Avicenna_sentence_163

Philosophy of science Avicenna_section_17

In the Al-Burhan (On Demonstration) section of The Book of Healing, Avicenna discussed the philosophy of science and described an early scientific method of inquiry. Avicenna_sentence_164

He discusses Aristotle's Posterior Analytics and significantly diverged from it on several points. Avicenna_sentence_165

Avicenna discussed the issue of a proper methodology for scientific inquiry and the question of "How does one acquire the first principles of a science?" Avicenna_sentence_166

He asked how a scientist would arrive at "the initial axioms or hypotheses of a deductive science without inferring them from some more basic premises?" Avicenna_sentence_167

He explains that the ideal situation is when one grasps that a "relation holds between the terms, which would allow for absolute, universal certainty". Avicenna_sentence_168

Avicenna then adds two further methods for arriving at the first principles: the ancient Aristotelian method of induction (istiqra), and the method of examination and experimentation (tajriba). Avicenna_sentence_169

Avicenna criticized Aristotelian induction, arguing that "it does not lead to the absolute, universal, and certain premises that it purports to provide." Avicenna_sentence_170

In its place, he develops a "method of experimentation as a means for scientific inquiry." Avicenna_sentence_171

Logic Avicenna_section_18

An early formal system of temporal logic was studied by Avicenna. Avicenna_sentence_172

Although he did not develop a real theory of temporal propositions, he did study the relationship between temporalis and the implication. Avicenna_sentence_173

Avicenna's work was further developed by Najm al-Dīn al-Qazwīnī al-Kātibī and became the dominant system of Islamic logic until modern times. Avicenna_sentence_174

Avicennian logic also influenced several early European logicians such as Albertus Magnus and William of Ockham. Avicenna_sentence_175

Avicenna endorsed the law of non-contradiction proposed by Aristotle, that a fact could not be both true and false at the same time and in the same sense of the terminology used. Avicenna_sentence_176

He stated, "Anyone who denies the law of non-contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned." Avicenna_sentence_177

Physics Avicenna_section_19

In mechanics, Avicenna, in The Book of Healing, developed a theory of motion, in which he made a distinction between the inclination (tendency to motion) and force of a projectile, and concluded that motion was a result of an inclination (mayl) transferred to the projectile by the thrower, and that projectile motion in a vacuum would not cease. Avicenna_sentence_178

He viewed inclination as a permanent force whose effect is dissipated by external forces such as air resistance. Avicenna_sentence_179

The theory of motion presented by Avicenna was probably influenced by the 6th-century Alexandrian scholar John Philoponus. Avicenna_sentence_180

Avicenna's is a less sophisticated variant of the theory of impetus developed by Buridan in the 14th century. Avicenna_sentence_181

It is unclear if Buridan was influenced by Avicenna, or by Philoponus directly. Avicenna_sentence_182

In optics, Avicenna was among those who argued that light had a speed, observing that "if the perception of light is due to the emission of some sort of particles by a luminous source, the speed of light must be finite." Avicenna_sentence_183

He also provided a wrong explanation of the rainbow phenomenon. Avicenna_sentence_184

Carl Benjamin Boyer described Avicenna's ("Ibn Sīnā") theory on the rainbow as follows: Avicenna_sentence_185

In 1253, a Latin text entitled Speculum Tripartitum stated the following regarding Avicenna's theory on heat: Avicenna_sentence_186

Psychology Avicenna_section_20

Avicenna's legacy in classical psychology is primarily embodied in the Kitab al-nafs parts of his Kitab al-shifa (The Book of Healing) and Kitab al-najat (The Book of Deliverance). Avicenna_sentence_187

These were known in Latin under the title De Anima (treatises "on the soul"). Avicenna_sentence_188

Notably, Avicenna develops what is called the Flying Man argument in the Psychology of The Cure I.1.7 as defence of the argument that the soul is without quantitative extension, which has an affinity with Descartes's cogito argument (or what phenomenology designates as a form of an "epoche"). Avicenna_sentence_189

Avicenna's psychology requires that connection between the body and soul be strong enough to ensure the soul's individuation, but weak enough to allow for its immortality. Avicenna_sentence_190

Avicenna grounds his psychology on physiology, which means his account of the soul is one that deals almost entirely with the natural science of the body and its abilities of perception. Avicenna_sentence_191

Thus, the philosopher's connection between the soul and body is explained almost entirely by his understanding of perception; in this way, bodily perception interrelates with the immaterial human intellect. Avicenna_sentence_192

In sense perception, the perceiver senses the form of the object; first, by perceiving features of the object by our external senses. Avicenna_sentence_193

This sensory information is supplied to the internal senses, which merge all the pieces into a whole, unified conscious experience. Avicenna_sentence_194

This process of perception and abstraction is the nexus of the soul and body, for the material body may only perceive material objects, while the immaterial soul may only receive the immaterial, universal forms. Avicenna_sentence_195

The way the soul and body interact in the final abstraction of the universal from the concrete particular is the key to their relationship and interaction, which takes place in the physical body. Avicenna_sentence_196

The soul completes the action of intellection by accepting forms that have been abstracted from matter. Avicenna_sentence_197

This process requires a concrete particular (material) to be abstracted into the universal intelligible (immaterial). Avicenna_sentence_198

The material and immaterial interact through the Active Intellect, which is a "divine light" containing the intelligible forms. Avicenna_sentence_199

The Active Intellect reveals the universals concealed in material objects much like the sun makes colour available to our eyes. Avicenna_sentence_200

Other contributions Avicenna_section_21

Astronomy and astrology Avicenna_section_22

Avicenna wrote an attack on astrology titled Resāla fī ebṭāl aḥkām al-nojūm, in which he cited passages from the Quran to dispute the power of astrology to foretell the future. Avicenna_sentence_201

He believed that each planet had some influence on the earth, but argued against astrologers being able to determine the exact effects. Avicenna_sentence_202

Avicenna's astronomical writings had some influence on later writers, although in general his work could be considered less developed than Alhazen or Al-Biruni. Avicenna_sentence_203

One important feature of his writing is that he considers mathematical astronomy as a separate discipline to astrology. Avicenna_sentence_204

He criticized Aristotle's view of the stars receiving their light from the Sun, stating that the stars are self-luminous, and believed that the planets are also self-luminous. Avicenna_sentence_205

He claimed to have observed Venus as a spot on the Sun. Avicenna_sentence_206

This is possible, as there was a transit on May 24, 1032, but Avicenna did not give the date of his observation, and modern scholars have questioned whether he could have observed the transit from his location at that time; he may have mistaken a sunspot for Venus. Avicenna_sentence_207

He used his transit observation to help establish that Venus was, at least sometimes, below the Sun in Ptolemaic cosmology, i.e. the sphere of Venus comes before the sphere of the Sun when moving out from the Earth in the prevailing geocentric model. Avicenna_sentence_208

He also wrote the Summary of the Almagest, (based on Ptolemy's Almagest), with an appended treatise "to bring that which is stated in the Almagest and what is understood from Natural Science into conformity". Avicenna_sentence_209

For example, Avicenna considers the motion of the solar apogee, which Ptolemy had taken to be fixed. Avicenna_sentence_210

Chemistry Avicenna_section_23

Avicenna used steam distillation to produce essential oils such as rose essence, which he used as aromatherapeutic treatments for heart conditions. Avicenna_sentence_211

Unlike al-Razi, Avicenna explicitly disputed the theory of the transmutation of substances commonly believed by alchemists: Avicenna_sentence_212

Four works on alchemy attributed to Avicenna were translated into Latin as: Avicenna_sentence_213


  • Liber Aboali Abincine de Anima in arte AlchemiaeAvicenna_item_0_0
  • Declaratio Lapis physici Avicennae filio sui AboaliAvicenna_item_0_1
  • Avicennae de congelatione et conglutinatione lapidumAvicenna_item_0_2
  • Avicennae ad Hasan Regem epistola de Re rectaAvicenna_item_0_3

Liber Aboali Abincine de Anima in arte Alchemiae was the most influential, having influenced later medieval chemists and alchemists such as Vincent of Beauvais. Avicenna_sentence_214

However Anawati argues (following Ruska) that the de Anima is a fake by a Spanish author. Avicenna_sentence_215

Similarly the Declaratio is believed not to be actually by Avicenna. Avicenna_sentence_216

The third work (The Book of Minerals) is agreed to be Avicenna's writing, adapted from the Kitab al-Shifa (Book of the Remedy). Avicenna_sentence_217

Avicenna classified minerals into stones, fusible substances, sulfurs, and salts, building on the ideas of Aristotle and Jabir. Avicenna_sentence_218

The epistola de Re recta is somewhat less sceptical of alchemy; Anawati argues that it is by Avicenna, but written earlier in his career when he had not yet firmly decided that transmutation was impossible. Avicenna_sentence_219

Poetry Avicenna_section_24

Almost half of Avicenna's works are versified. Avicenna_sentence_220

His poems appear in both Arabic and Persian. Avicenna_sentence_221

As an example, Edward Granville Browne claims that the following Persian verses are incorrectly attributed to Omar Khayyám, and were originally written by Ibn Sīnā: Avicenna_sentence_222

Legacy Avicenna_section_25

Classical Islamic civilization Avicenna_section_26

Robert Wisnovsky, a scholar of Avicenna attached to the McGill University, says that "Avicenna was the central figure in the long history of the rational sciences in Islam, particularly in the fields of metaphysics, logic and medicine" but that his works didn't only have an influence in these "secular" fields of knowledge alone, as "these works, or portions of them, were read, taught, copied, commented upon, quoted, paraphrased and cited by thousands of post-Avicennian scholars — not only philosophers, logicians, physicians and specialists in the mathematical or exact sciences, but also by those who specialized in the disciplines of ʿilm al-kalām (rational theology, but understood to include natural philosophy, epistemology and philosophy of mind) and usūl al-fiqh (jurisprudence, but understood to include philosophy of law, dialectic, and philosophy of language)." Avicenna_sentence_223

Middle Ages and Renaissance Avicenna_section_27

As early as the 13th century when Dante Alighieri depicted him in Limbo alongside the virtuous non-Christian thinkers in his Divine Comedy such as Virgil, Averroes, Homer, Horace, Ovid, Lucan, Socrates, Plato, and Saladin. Avicenna_sentence_224

Avicenna has been recognized by both East and West, as one of the great figures in intellectual history. Avicenna_sentence_225

George Sarton, the author of The History of Science, described Avicenna as "one of the greatest thinkers and medical scholars in history" and called him "the most famous scientist of Islam and one of the most famous of all races, places, and times." Avicenna_sentence_226

He was one of the Islamic world's leading writers in the field of medicine. Avicenna_sentence_227

Along with Rhazes, Abulcasis, Ibn al-Nafis, and al-Ibadi, Avicenna is considered an important compiler of early Muslim medicine. Avicenna_sentence_228

He is remembered in the Western history of medicine as a major historical figure who made important contributions to medicine and the European Renaissance. Avicenna_sentence_229

His medical texts were unusual in that where controversy existed between Galen and Aristotle's views on medical matters (such as anatomy), he preferred to side with Aristotle, where necessary updating Aristotle's position to take into account post-Aristotelian advances in anatomical knowledge. Avicenna_sentence_230

Aristotle's dominant intellectual influence among medieval European scholars meant that Avicenna's linking of Galen's medical writings with Aristotle's philosophical writings in the Canon of Medicine (along with its comprehensive and logical organisation of knowledge) significantly increased Avicenna's importance in medieval Europe in comparison to other Islamic writers on medicine. Avicenna_sentence_231

His influence following translation of the Canon was such that from the early fourteenth to the mid-sixteenth centuries he was ranked with Hippocrates and Galen as one of the acknowledged authorities, princeps medicorum ("prince of physicians"). Avicenna_sentence_232

Modern reception Avicenna_section_28

In present-day Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, he is considered a national icon, and is often regarded as among the greatest Persians. Avicenna_sentence_233

A monument was erected outside the Bukhara museum. Avicenna_sentence_234

The Avicenna Mausoleum and Museum in Hamadan was built in 1952. Avicenna_sentence_235

Bu-Ali Sina University in Hamadan (Iran), the biotechnology Avicenna Research Institute in Tehran (Iran), the ibn Sīnā Tajik State Medical University in Dushanbe, Ibn Sina Academy of Medieval Medicine and Sciences at Aligarh, India, Avicenna School in Karachi and Avicenna Medical College in Lahore, Pakistan, Ibn Sina Balkh Medical School in his native province of Balkh in Afghanistan, Ibni Sina Faculty Of Medicine of Ankara University Ankara, Turkey, the main classroom building (the Avicenna Building) of the Sharif University of Technology, and Ibn Sina Integrated School in Marawi City (Philippines) are all named in his honour. Avicenna_sentence_236

His portrait hangs in the Hall of the Avicenna Faculty of Medicine in the University of Paris. Avicenna_sentence_237

There is a crater on the Moon named Avicenna and a mangrove genus. Avicenna_sentence_238

In 1980, the Soviet Union, which then ruled his birthplace Bukhara, celebrated the thousandth anniversary of Avicenna's birth by circulating various commemorative stamps with artistic illustrations, and by erecting a bust of Avicenna based on anthropological research by Soviet scholars. Avicenna_sentence_239

Near his birthplace in Qishlak Afshona, some 25 km (16 mi) north of Bukhara, a training college for medical staff has been named for him. Avicenna_sentence_240

On the grounds is a museum dedicated to his life, times and work. Avicenna_sentence_241

The Avicenna Prize, established in 2003, is awarded every two years by UNESCO and rewards individuals and groups for their achievements in the field of ethics in science. Avicenna_sentence_242

The aim of the award is to promote ethical reflection on issues raised by advances in science and technology, and to raise global awareness of the importance of ethics in science. Avicenna_sentence_243

The Avicenna Directories (2008–15; now the World Directory of Medical Schools) list universities and schools where doctors, public health practitioners, pharmacists and others, are educated. Avicenna_sentence_244

The original project team stated "Why Avicenna? Avicenna_sentence_245

Avicenna ... was ... noted for his synthesis of knowledge from both east and west. Avicenna_sentence_246

He has had a lasting influence on the development of medicine and health sciences. Avicenna_sentence_247

The use of Avicenna's name symbolises the worldwide partnership that is needed for the promotion of health services of high quality." Avicenna_sentence_248

In June 2009, Iran donated a "Persian Scholars Pavilion" to United Nations Office in Vienna which is placed in the central Memorial Plaza of the Vienna International Center. Avicenna_sentence_249

The "Persian Scholars Pavilion" at United Nations in Vienna, Austria is featuring the statues of four prominent Iranian figures. Avicenna_sentence_250

Highlighting the Iranian architectural features, the pavilion is adorned with Persian art forms and includes the statues of renowned Iranian scientists Avicenna, Al-Biruni, Zakariya Razi (Rhazes) and Omar Khayyam. Avicenna_sentence_251

The 1982 Soviet film Youth of Genius (Russian: Юность гения, romanized: Yunost geniya) by Elyor Ishmukhamedov [] recounts Avicenna's younger years. Avicenna_sentence_252

The film is set in Bukhara at the turn of the millennium. Avicenna_sentence_253

In Louis L'Amour's 1985 historical novel The Walking Drum, Kerbouchard studies and discusses Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine. Avicenna_sentence_254

In his book The Physician (1988) Noah Gordon tells the story of a young English medical apprentice who disguises himself as a Jew to travel from England to Persia and learn from Avicenna, the great master of his time. Avicenna_sentence_255

The novel was adapted into a feature film, The Physician, in 2013. Avicenna_sentence_256

Avicenna was played by Ben Kingsley. Avicenna_sentence_257

List of works Avicenna_section_29

The treatises of Avicenna influenced later Muslim thinkers in many areas including theology, philology, mathematics, astronomy, physics, and music. Avicenna_sentence_258

His works numbered almost 450 volumes on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived. Avicenna_sentence_259

In particular, 150 volumes of his surviving works concentrate on philosophy and 40 of them concentrate on medicine. Avicenna_sentence_260

His most famous works are The Book of Healing, and The Canon of Medicine. Avicenna_sentence_261

Avicenna wrote at least one treatise on alchemy, but several others have been falsely attributed to him. Avicenna_sentence_262

His Logic, Metaphysics, Physics, and De Caelo, are treatises giving a synoptic view of Aristotelian doctrine, though Metaphysics demonstrates a significant departure from the brand of Neoplatonism known as Aristotelianism in Avicenna's world; Arabic philosophers have hinted at the idea that Avicennawas attempting to "re-Aristotelianise" Muslim philosophy in its entirety, unlike his predecessors, who accepted the conflation of Platonic, Aristotelian, Neo- and Middle-Platonic works transmitted into the Muslim world. Avicenna_sentence_263

The Logic and Metaphysics have been extensively reprinted, the latter, e.g., at Venice in 1493, 1495, and 1546. Avicenna_sentence_264

Some of his shorter essays on medicine, logic, etc., take a poetical form (the poem on logic was published by Schmoelders in 1836). Avicenna_sentence_265

Two encyclopedic treatises, dealing with philosophy, are often mentioned. Avicenna_sentence_266

The larger, Al-Shifa' (Sanatio), exists nearly complete in manuscript in the Bodleian Library and elsewhere; part of it on the De Anima appeared at Pavia (1490) as the Liber Sextus Naturalium, and the long account of Avicenna's philosophy given by Muhammad al-Shahrastani seems to be mainly an analysis, and in many places a reproduction, of the Al-Shifa'. Avicenna_sentence_267

A shorter form of the work is known as the An-najat (Liberatio). Avicenna_sentence_268

The Latin editions of part of these works have been modified by the corrections which the monastic editors confess that they applied. Avicenna_sentence_269

There is also a حكمت مشرقيه‎ (hikmat-al-mashriqqiyya, in Latin Philosophia Orientalis), mentioned by Roger Bacon, the majority of which is lost in antiquity, which according to Averroes was pantheistic in tone. Avicenna_sentence_270

Avicenna's works further include: Avicenna_sentence_271


  • Sirat al-shaykh al-ra'is (The Life of Avicenna), ed. and trans. WE. Gohlman, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1974. (The only critical edition of Avicenna's autobiography, supplemented with material from a biography by his student Abu 'Ubayd al-Juzjani. A more recent translation of the Autobiography appears in D. Gutas, Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition: Introduction to Reading Avicenna's Philosophical Works, Leiden: Brill, 1988; second edition 2014.)Avicenna_item_1_4
  • Al-isharat wa al-tanbihat (Remarks and Admonitions), ed. S. Dunya, Cairo, 1960; parts translated by S.C. Inati, Remarks and Admonitions, Part One: Logic, Toronto, Ont.: Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies, 1984, and Ibn Sina and Mysticism, Remarks and Admonitions: Part 4, London: Kegan Paul International, 1996.Avicenna_item_1_5
  • Al-Qanun fi'l-tibb (The Canon of Medicine), ed. I. a-Qashsh, Cairo, 1987. (Encyclopedia of medicine.) manuscript, Latin translation, Flores Avicenne, Michael de Capella, 1508, Modern text. Ahmed Shawkat Al-Shatti, Jibran Jabbur.Avicenna_item_1_6
  • Risalah fi sirr al-qadar (Essay on the Secret of Destiny), trans. G. Hourani in Reason and Tradition in Islamic Ethics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.Avicenna_item_1_7
  • Danishnama-i 'ala'i (The Book of Scientific Knowledge), ed. and trans. P. Morewedge, The Metaphysics of Avicenna, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973.Avicenna_item_1_8
  • Kitab al-Shifa' (The Book of Healing). (Avicenna's major work on philosophy. He probably began to compose al-Shifa' in 1014, and completed it in 1020.) Critical editions of the Arabic text have been published in Cairo, 1952–83, originally under the supervision of I. Madkour.Avicenna_item_1_9
  • Kitab al-Najat (The Book of Salvation), trans. F. Rahman, Avicenna's Psychology: An English Translation of Kitab al-Najat, Book II, Chapter VI with Historical-philosophical Notes and Textual Improvements on the Cairo Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1952. (The psychology of al-Shifa'.) ()Avicenna_item_1_10

Persian works Avicenna_section_30

Avicenna's most important Persian work is the Danishnama-i 'Alai (دانشنامه علائی, "the Book of Knowledge for [Prince] 'Ala ad-Daulah"). Avicenna_sentence_272

Avicenna created new scientific vocabulary that had not previously existed in Persian. Avicenna_sentence_273

The Danishnama covers such topics as logic, metaphysics, music theory and other sciences of his time. Avicenna_sentence_274

It has been translated into English by Parwiz Morewedge in 1977. Avicenna_sentence_275

The book is also important in respect to Persian scientific works. Avicenna_sentence_276

Andar Danesh-e Rag (اندر دانش رگ, "On the Science of the Pulse") contains nine chapters on the science of the pulse and is a condensed synopsis. Avicenna_sentence_277

Persian poetry from Avicenna is recorded in various manuscripts and later anthologies such as Nozhat al-Majales. Avicenna_sentence_278

See also Avicenna_section_31

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avicenna.