The aim of this paper is to prove how what is apparently a mistake made by Plutarch, wheter deliberate or not, in his reference to the arson attack of Caesar´s soldiers in Alexandria as the end of the famous Library, show us the common sense of the term “bibliotheke” from that time up to now. Coming to this conclusion has required a detailed analysis of the Library of Alexandria since its birth applying Aristotelian doctrine to its configuration not only as (...) an organized space for books but also as an imaginary reading room from which the helenistic world of relations is established. In a second approach, we focus the attention on the change occurred in this collection with the introduction of alphabetical order and, then, with the philological activity of Callimachus. As a result of his Pinakes, the platonic concept of daimon, “guide”, became the first characteristic o a philologist or librarian. Using the information ordered in the Pinakes anybody could be a librarian and find a library anywhere. The old megále bibliotheke of Alexandría remains only with the idea of the conservation of original papyrus. This is de reason of the enigmatic sentence of Plutarch announcing the end of this situation caused by the action of the fire. (shrink)
Under the title The Reformation of Morals , the tenth-century Syrian Orthodox scholar Yahya ibn 'Adi offered encouragement to the effort to promote moral perfection, especially among kings and other members of the social elite: his tract, on the social virtues and vices, gives extensive advice about the cultivation of the former and the extirpation of the latter. Where there are many echoes of Hellenistic moral philosophy in his presentation, the topical profile of the work and the language the author (...) uses reveal his participation in the Baghdad circle of philosophers and intellectuals--both Christian and Muslim--who were responsible for much that has come to be regarded as typical of the classical culture of the Islamic world. In fact, this text has occasionally been attributed to one or another famous Muslim author. It now stands as an important Christian contribution, in Arabic, to a strand of moral philosophy that is an integral component of the intellectual tradition of the world of Islam. (shrink)
In this study, we want to show, through the analysis of a Christian author of the 10th. century, how commentaries on the works of Aristotle were continuously made, from the Greek commentators until Averroes. Taking as an example some texts of the Metaphysics, we can see that, even without direct contact with the original Greek version, several translations, both from the Greek and the Syriac, were compared by the author. In those cases, it was not only a translation, but also (...) a work of commentary on the text of Aristotle. KEY WORDS – Aristotle. Metaphysics. Islamic philosophy. Translations into Arabic. Commentaries. (shrink)
Abstract. Scholars have long debated the possibility of a mystical or illuminationist strain of thought in Ibn Sīnā 's body of writing. This debate has often focused on the meaning and contents of his partly lost work al-Mashriqiyyūn (The Easterners), also known as al-Ḥikma al-Mashriqiyya (EasternWisdom), mentioned by Ibn Sīnā himself as well as by numerous Western writers including Ibn Rushd and Ibn Ṭufayl. A handful of references to what is called Ibn Sīnā 's “Oriental Philosophy” are also found in (...) the Castilian and Hebrew works of the Castilian Jew Abner of Burgos (ca. 1270-ca.1347), known after his conversion to Christianity as Alfonso of Valladolid. Although the content of these citations has not been identified, it has been proposed that they may preserve otherwise unknown passages from Ibn Sīnā's lost work. This study considers the references to Ibn Sīnā 's so-called “Oriental Philosophy” within Abner's writings and concludes that rather than preserving lost passages from Ibn Sīnā's writing, Abner's references were drawn primarily from Ibn Ṭufayl and offer no support for the argument of a possible mystical or illuminationist strain in Ibn Sīnā 's thinking. -/- Résumé. Depuis longtemps, on a discuté de la possible présence d'une orientation mystique ou “illuminative” dans l'oeuvre d'Ibn Sīnā . Le sens et le contenu de son ouvrage (partiellement perdu) al-Mashriqiyyūn (Les Orientaux), également connu comme al-Ḥikma al-Mashriqiyya (La Sagesse orientale), mentionné par Ibn Sīnā lui-même et par des écrivains occidentaux comme Ibn Rushd et Ibn Ṭufayl, ont souvent été au centre de ce débat. On trouve aussi quelques références à ce qui est appelé la “philosophie orientale” d'Ibn Sīnā dans l'oeuvre du juif castillan Abner de Burgos (ca. 1270-ca. 1347) connu après sa conversion au christianisme sous le nom d'Alphonse de Valladolid. Sans avoir au préalable identifié le contenu de ces citations, on a fait l'hypothèse qu'elles auraient permis de conserver des passages, inconnus par ailleurs, de l'ouvrage perdu d'Ibn Sīnā. Cette étude porte sur les références à la “philosophie orientale” d'Ibn Sīnā dans l'oeuvre d'Abner de Burgos. Elle montre que les références d'Abner semblent avoir été essentiellement tirées d'Ibn Ṭufayl et ne renvoient donc pas aux passages perdus de l'ouvrage d'Ibn Sīnā. En conséquence elles ne peuvent servir d'argument pour confirmer la présence d'une orientation mystique ou “illuminative” dans l'oeuvre d'Ibn Sīnā. (shrink)
Study that try to expose and to define the different types of the language as the juridical, theological, and ascetic-mystical in Miftāḥ al-sa‘āda [Key of Happiness] of Ibn al-‘Arīf. Types that are analyzed in details, to conclude with the influence of the Sufi language of Ibn al-‘Arīf in Ibn ‘Arabī’s work, supporting on considerations of semantic as well as mystical nature.
This comparative study juxtaposes two celebrated medieval examples of negative speech, apophasis, and theorizes the languages of unsaying in the great medieval thinkers, Maimonides (d.1204) and Ibn ‘Arabī (d.1240). The paper coins a distinction between ‘asymmetrical’ versus ‘symmetrical’ approaches to language as a heuristic to analyze the two philosophical apophatic accounts comparatively. While apophatic thinkers in Neoplatonic traditions generally oscillate between these two poles in their various apophatic moments, the paper argues that Maimonides and Ibn ‘Arabī represented the climax of (...) these two non-linear poles in a visible tension and conversant with each other. I frame philosophical apophasis in the medieval Islamic lands in terms of the problem of God’s transcendence versus imminence. Maimonides celebrates apophasis and claims that negative speech, asymptotically approaching silence, is the only genuine praise to God. As an uncompromising exponent of absolute transcendence, and a severe critic of those who ascribe attributes to God, he privileges apophasis to kataphasis; he presents negative speech as a medium of purification and spiritual progress. Ibn ‘Arabī, on the other hand, is critical of this widespread asymmetry, and defends the gathering together of transcendence and imminence for human perfection. His intricate theory of transcendence and imminence appeals to a dialectical logic, explaining why kataphasis and apophasis are symmetrical in front of the Absolute. The productive tension between two apophatic minds challenges Hegelian habits of reading the history of thought, as well as various scholarly prejudices about medieval intellectual landscapes. (shrink)
This article discusses neoplatonic and aristotelian presence in Ibn Gabirol metaphysics. With this aim, Plotinus and Gabirol’s are confronted in some of the main points, where the resemblance had already been pointed: the First Principle, the intermediary between God and the world and the universal matter. Once the differences between the approaches of these authors regarding such questions have been identified, some contributions which may come from the works of Aristotle will be briefly presented, in order to clarify the origin (...) of Gabirol’s ideas. We believe that Gabirol´s metaphysics must be understood in its historical-philosophical context, characterized by a view of Plato and Aristotle´s doctrines not as conflicting but complementary, as well as in its effort of harmonize them with the abrahamic creationism which, in this case, obeys the Judaic primacy of radical separation between God and the creation. KEY WORDS – Ibn Gabirol. Universal Hylemorfism. Aristotle. Substance. Intelligible Matter. (shrink)
Ibn Gabirol foi um poeta e filósofo judeu espanhol que viveu no século XI. Sua filosofia racional, redigida em árabe, parece ser completamente desvinculada de sua poesia religiosa hebraica, considerada mística. Alguns estudiosos entendem que entre mística e filosofia existe um antagonismo insuperável. Redigido no período de formulação da Kabbalah , o poema Keter Malkhut , pela estreita relação que seu conteúdo mantém com alguns elementos filosóficos usados pelo autor, foi freqüentemente interpretado como mera alegoria estética para o sistema metafísico (...) desenvolvido em sua obra filosófica Fons Vitae . Este artigo visa oferecer uma reflexão introdutória sobre a mística judaica e, à luz desta, analisar a primeira parte do poema frente ao modelo metafísico apresentado no Fons Vitae . A partir de uma discussão sobre linguagem e simbolismo, surge a idéia de que tanto a poesia religiosa quanto a filosofia racional de Ibn Gabirol sejam frutos de uma única intuição inicial, inspirada na especulação mística milenar sobre o Trono da Glória ( Merkabah ), mas nos quais já podemos entrever certos elementos neoplatônicos que caracterizarão o novo modelo da Kabbalah . Palavras-chave : Kabbalah.Trono da Glória. Ibn Gabirol. Neoplatonismo. Mística Judaica.Ibn Gabirol was a Jewish Spanish poet and philosopher that lived in the 11th century. His rational philosophy written in Arabic seems to be completely disconnected with his Hebrew religious poetry, considered as mystical. Some scholars believe that there is an insuperable antagonism between mysticism and philosophy. Composed during the formative period of the Kabbalah , the poem Keter Malkhut was repeatedly seen as a mere aesthetic allegory of the metaphysical system developed in his philosophical work Fons Vitae , due to the close relation that its contents hold with some philosophical elements. This paper aims to offer an introductory reflection about Jewish mysticism and, in the light of this, to analyze the first part of the Keter Malkhut in face of the metaphysical structure presented in Fons Vitae . From a discussion about language and symbolism, emerges the idea that both Ibn Gabirol’s religious poetry and his rational philosophy are different products of a single initial intuition, inspired by the millenary Jewish mystical speculation concerning the Throne of Glory ( Merkabah ), but in which we could see certain Neo-platonic elements that will distinguish the new movement of Kabbalah . Keywords : Kabbalah. Throne of Glory. Ibn Gabirol. Neo-Platonism. Jewish Mysticism. (shrink)
This article presents a translation of the prologue of the work “Al-Sifa’” written by Ibn Sina (980-1037.C.) and argues elements on the question of the soul and the intellect. KEY WORDS – Ibn Sina. Avicenna. Arabic Philosophy. Soul. Intellect.
Este artigo apresenta uma tradução da hermenêutica sobre a unicidade de Deus de um capítulo (sura) do Alcorão, de acordo com o pensamento de Avicena (Ibn Sina). É o capítulo denominado capítulo do Monoteísmo, cujo número é 112 no Alcorão. Antes, porém, há uma introdução sobre o que representou o Alcorão nos primórdios do Islã e a sua influência no desenvolvimento da filosofia e da teologia em terras do Islã. Nesse texto, pode ser constatado que, na doutrina islâmica, o primeiro (...) fundamento e o mais rigoroso é a unicidade de Deus. É sobre isso que este artigo discorre. (shrink)
Este artigo apresenta uma comparação conceitual entre a obra De anima, de Aristóteles, e a concepção das faculdades da alma no Kitáb al-Nafs – edição árabe – (Livro da Alma, De anima), de Ibn Sina (Avicena), com o intuito de mostrar similitudes e in#uências de Aristóteles sobre o pensamento de Ibn Sina, nessa temática. Destaca, ainda, como e a época em que o estagirita foi recebido em terras do Islã, indicando o seu primeiro receptor, o &lósofo Al-Kindi, assim como, de (...) modo pormenorizado, uma comparação sobre a de&nição de alma dada pelos dois &lósofos, e as três espécies de alma, com ênfase para o conceito de alma racional. Apresenta, também, a estrutura de cada uma das obras. (shrink)
Ibn Gabirol apresenta, em sua obra Fons Vitae, um modelo metafísico baseado no hilemorfismo universal, ou seja, na presença de matéria e de forma em todos os seres, tanto corpóreos quanto espirituais. Embora considerado um autor neoplatônico, Ibn Gabirol não explicita propriamente uma henologia, mas parte das realidades sensíveis e corpóreas em direção às mais sutis. Este artigo pretende inverter essa apresentação do autor, buscando redesenhar sua metafísica a partir da Essência Primeira até o fim da criação. Para tanto, o (...) ponto específico analisado, ainda que de modo incipiente, é a questão da unidade e seu qualificativo uno/una, tanto na atribuição que ele faz em seu modelo ontológico, quanto nos seus aspectos lógicos. (shrink)
'Abd Allâh Ibn al-Muqaffa' (724-759) is known mainly as the translator of the Kalila wa-Dimna, a collection of tales, that he translated from Pahlavi (Middle Persian) into Arabic. Ibn al-Muqaffa’ was of Iranian ancestry and was proud of the Sassanian legacy. He was self-confident of the rational primacy of the Zoroastrian religion over the Arabic culture that at that time consisted of the Koran and poetry. In the article I point to the rational values found in the comments of Ibn (...) al-Muqaffaÿ as related to the Zoroastrian legacy. (shrink)
This paper aims at elaborating a very special topic relative to the medieval philosophy; particularly, the question of noetic as was dealt with by a philosopher of the Islamic occident. Although the article is but the first part of the whole work, it still reveals the originality and the innovative tendency brought about this philosopher. What is most essential in Ibn Bajja’s noetic is the absence of intellect in power and the presence of intellect in act, in the design of (...) intellects, in addition the substance of the cogitative faculty is the intermediate spiritual forms. It is here where shows up the most important aspect of his originality; the forms which are closer to the nature of the intelligible, by virtue of the division into two parts: 1. By anteriority with regard to who/what resembles the sensible. 2. By posteriority with regard to who/what resembles the species/the kind. (shrink)
In two parts of his work Introduction to Universal History, Ibn Khaldun studies those perceptions of supernatural character which some individuals possess. In respect to these, an essential notion to him is that of “Veil of the senses”. according to him –and to other previous authors of whom he takes this notion– sensitivity, which is usually a basic element in common human perception, is seen as an obstacle to supernatural perceptions, for these are not reached by the usual means of (...) knowledge, but by what he conceives as particular revelations of the angelic world. This paper deals about that notion in the first part of his aforesaid work. (shrink)
El presente artículo empieza con una breve exposición de los datos más significativos sobre la vida y obra del sufí almeriense Ibn al-‘Arīf (d. 536/1141). A continuación se habla de su formación filosófica y sufí. Finalmente, se reúnen y traducen diversos pasajes de Miftāḥ al-sa‘āda que hacen referencia a la filosofía y la mística. Se contrastan a la vez sus opiniones con anteriores sufíes andalusíes como Ibn Masarra e Ibn Jamīs de Évora.
Este artículo presente y analiza el legado de Abū Madyan cuyas bases van a quedar ilustrado perfectamente en el posterior desarrollo del sufismo andalusi-magrebi de origen šāḏilī y la doctrina de ibn ‘Arabī: traduccion española y estudio critico de las evidencias y cotejos textuales, ensenanzas y practicas espirituales y funcionalidad social.
The author makes a study of the problem of love understood as meeting of the two parts of a soul-sphere. It is a Greek myth that has had a long tradition in the Arabic literature on love. The author is centered in Ibn Hazm of Cordoba.
We will intend to evaluate, throughout the two consecutive parts of this study, which is to be considered the status at the very same time hierophanical and cosmological, ontological and anthropological, that dic notion of Beauty invests in te speculative misticism of the anda lusian Muhy¡ al-Din lbn `Arab¡ (1165-1240), known as well as "the gre Este articulo es la ponencia presentada en el Seminario Muhy¡ al-Din ¡bn Arabí -Mawláná faMí al-Din Balji(Mowlavi/ RflmiJ. Das fuentes clásicas para el estudio de (...) la mística especulativa en el Islam, que se celebró en la Facultad de Filosofía de la Universidad Complutense, en colaboración que la Consejerla Cultural de la República Islámica de Irán en Madrid. durante los días 19,20 y 21 de enero de 1999. krks&l&~ú..t&Hitat&k¡Fíksq%L <~),n~n ¡7. ~ 77-rn Sm*t& ñt4~m. thí~.~~h1Cw1tm MaI*f 78 José Miguel Puerta Vílchez atest master" in the realm of isla¡nic spirituality. And this by confronting the theories of islamic aesthetics and philosophy, and both furthermore by clarifying a vocabulary plenty of poliedric signifwances and by presen ting the doctrine of a creative imagination of which its noetical and sacred value will be thus explored. (shrink)
Al-Farabi and His School examines one of the most exciting and dynamic periods in the development of medieval Islam: the period which ran from the late ninth century to the early eleventh century AD. This age is examined through the thought of five of its principal thinkers and named after the first and greatest of these as the "Age of Farabism." Ian Richard Netton demonstrates that the great Islamic philosopher al-Farabi (870-950), called "the Second Master" after Aristotle, produced a recognizable (...) school of thought. This school of thought, which Netton refers to as the "School of al-Farabi," was influenced by the thought of Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus. Yet, it was much more than a mere clone of Greek thought. The originality and independence of thought expressed by such adherents as Yahya b. Adi, Abu Sulayman al-Sijistani, al-Amiri and Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi is described, appreciated, and critically assessed in this volume, with an emphasis given to the fundamentals of epistemology. Al-Farabi and His School is unique in its examination of the intellectual continuity that was maintained in an age of flux, and its particular emphasis on the ethical dimensions of knowledge. (shrink)
This treatise on the nature and levels of the human soul considers the limitations of human senses and our true or theomorphic essence; the various realms or Centers, including Absolute Mind as well as Ordinary Mind and Divine Mind; the nature of firmaments; and the meaning of pleasure and pain.
Shihab al-Din al-Suhrawardi was born around 1154, probably in northwestern Iran. Spurred by a dream in which Aristotle appeared to him, he rejected the Avicennan Peripatetic philosophy of his youth and undertook the task of reviving the philosophical tradition of the "Ancients." Suhruwardi's philosophy grants an epistemological role to immediate and atemporal intuition. It is explicitly anti-Peripatetic and is identified with the pre-Aristotelian sages, particularly Plato. The subject of his hikmat al-Ishraq --now available for the first time in English--is the (...) "science of lights," a science that Suhrawardi first learned through mystical exercises reinforced later by logical proofs and confirmed by what he saw as the parallel experiences of the Ancients. It was completed on 15 September 1186 and at sunset that evening, in the western sky, the sun, the moon, and the five visible planets came together in a magnificent conjunction in the constellation of Libra. The stars soon turned against Suhrawardi, however, who was reluctantly put to death by the son of Saladin, the sultan of Egypt, in 1191. (shrink)
This book examines a series of common metaphors in the works of Derrida and the Sufism of Muhyddin Ibn 'Arabi, considered to be of the most influential figures in Islamic thought. The author addresses the significant absence of attention on the relationship between Islam and Derrida and also provides a deconstructive perspective on Ibn 'Arabi.
Ibn Ṭufayl’s story of the solitary philosopher Ḥayy who, aided only by the power of his natural reason, comes to his own on an uninhabited equatorial island, attractively portrays the neo-Platonic worldview of the Muslim falāsifah . At the same time it forces to the foreground the most trenchant problem in any intellectualist ethics. If the highest virtue consists in the unmixed contemplative life, what good can a thinker do any longer, in any more mundane context? In this article, a (...) reading is proposed that integrates Ḥayy’s cosmological explorations with his relations towards nature and his fellow human beings. (shrink)
"Henry Corbin's works are the best guide to the visionary tradition.... Corbin, like Scholem and Jonas, is remembered as a scholar of genius. He was uniquely equipped not only to recover Iranian Sufism for the West, but also to defend the principal Western traditions of esoteric spirituality."--From the introduction by Harold Bloom Ibn 'Arabi (1165-1240) was one of the great mystics of all time. Through the richness of his personal experience and the constructive power of his intellect, he made a (...) unique contribution to Shi'ite Sufism. In this book, which features a powerful new preface by Harold Bloom, Henry Corbin brings us to the very core of this movement with a penetrating analysis of Ibn 'Arabi's life and doctrines. Corbin begins with a kind of spiritual topography of the twelfth century, emphasizing the differences between exoteric and esoteric forms of Islam. He also relates Islamic mysticism to mystical thought in the West. The remainder of the book is devoted to two complementary essays: on "Sympathy and Theosophy" and "Creative Imagination and Creative Prayer." A section of notes and appendices includes original translations of numerous Su fi treatises. Harold Bloom's preface links Sufi mysticism with Shakespeare's visionary dramas and high tragedies, such as The Tempest and Hamlet . These works, he writes, intermix the empirical world with a transcendent element. Bloom shows us that this Shakespearean cosmos is analogous to Corbin's "Imaginal Realm" of the Sufis, the place of soul or souls. (shrink)
A proper understanding of the Sufi doctrine of the unity of existence is essential for following the later developments of Islamic philosophy. The doctrine of the unity of existence is divided into introversive and extroversive aspects, the former dealing with the unity of the soul of the mystic with God, and the latter with the unity of the cosmos with God. Here this latter aspect of the doctrine is explained through a comparison of the views of Ibn ‘Arabi and Meister (...) Eckhart, both of whom are profoundly influenced by Ibn Sina at precisely the same crucial points, although Meister Eckhart makes explicit reference to Ibn Sina, while Ibn ‘Arabi generally avoids naming him. The theory of the extroversive unity of existence consists of four parts, or rather, it is the product of four steps, each of which is logically based on the previous one: (1) God is the only being or the absolute existence. (2) Everything other than God (i. e., human beings and the cosmos) is nothing or nonexistence. (3) The existence of all things is God’s existence (All are He). (4) The cosmos does not have existence but manifests existence. In other words, it is God’s self-disclosure. (shrink)
: The concepts of intention and intentionality were particularly significant notions within the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic medieval philosophical traditions, and they regained philosophical importance in the twentieth century. The theories of intention and intentionality of the medieval Islamic philosopher and physician Ibn Sina and the phenomenological philosopher and mathematician Edmund Husserl are examined, compared, and contrasted here, showing that Ibn Sina's conception of intention is naturalistic and, in its naturalism, is influenced by the medical professional culture to which Ibn (...) Sina belonged. As well, Husserl's anti-naturalistic conception of intentionality is influenced by his background as a mathematician and by his desire to ground mathematics and the empirical sciences in a truly scientific philosophy. In conclusion, an argument is presented for the superiority of the Husserlian transcendentalist account of intentionality over the Avicennian naturalistic account, on the grounds that the latter falls prey to psychologism and reductionism, the two specters that according to Husserl must haunt all naturalistic accounts of consciousness. (shrink)
Biography of Ibn Rushd ... Averroes, old heathen, If only you had been right, if Intellect Itself were absolute law, sufficient grace. Our lives could be a myth of captivity. Which we might enter: an unpeopled region.
After having reformulated optics, Ibn al-Haytham conceived of an analogous project for astronomy. This has just been revealed by an important book by the mathematician which has never been studied until now. Ibn al-Haytham's reform consists in excluding all cosmology, and in developing a systematic study of a celestial kinematics that has been completely geometrized. In turn, the realization of such a reform demanded innovative research in infinitesimal geometry. In this article, an attempt is made to present this new geometry, (...) as well as the mathematical means invented to elaborate it. (Published Online February 12 2007) Footnotes1 This article is an English translation of a slightly modified version of the Introduction in my most recent book, Les mathématiques infinitésimales du IXe au XIe siècle. Vol. V: Ibn al-Haytham: Astronomie, géométrie sphérique et trigonométrie (London, 2006). I am grateful to J. V. Field for translating this article from French into English, and for making comments that led to improvements in the text. It goes without saying that I alone am responsible for any remaining errors. (shrink)
In recent years, philosophers have shown a rapidly increasing interest in the problem of consciousness and it is arguably the central issue in current interdisciplinary discussions about the mind. Any convincing theory of consciousness has to account for the perplexing aspects of human self-consciousness. This paper deals with Ibn Sina’s view on the human self-consciousness with special reference to his well-known “Flying Man” thought experiment. In a brief comparative discussion, we will consider some of the parallels between Ibn Sina’s account (...) of “consciousness of consciousness” and the contemporary “higher-order” theories of consciousness. An important point of divergence between Ibn Sina’s line of argument and Descartes’ method over the problem of self-consciousness will be examined, as well. Further, Thomas Nagel’s famous view on the subjective character of conscious experience will be mentioned and compared with the implications of Ibn Sina’s dictum that “our self-consciousness is identical to our existence”. (shrink)
Le concept de perspective aérienne a été introduit par Léonard de Vinci (1452-1519). L'article étudie sa dépendance vis-à-vis de l'Optique de Ptolémée et surtout de la tradition optique inaugurée par le Kitâb al-manâzir d'Ibn al-Haytham (m. après 1040). Ce traité, accessible par plusieurs manuscrits latins et italien, qui a fait l'objet de nombreux commentaires médiévaux, offre une théorie générale de la perception visuelle émancipée du seul cas de l'illusion lunaire, dans laquelle les facteurs physiques et psychologiques sont étroitement associés. L'extinction (...) atmosphérique (et non la réfraction, avec laquelle elle est parfois confondue) influence la perception de la taille des objets éloignés. Elle est aussi à l'origine d'une restitution picturale de la profondeur, fondée sur un principe autre que celui de la diminution des grandeurs. (shrink)
There are some texts about moral sentences in the Islamic logical literature especially in the logical books of Ibn Sina that have been interpreted in completely opposite ways. Relying on these texts, some scholars take Ibn Sina to be proposing a non-cognitive theory of ethics and to the contrary some scholars hold that he is a proponent of a sort of moral intuitionism. Reflecting on the alleged textual evidence in Ibn Sina’s books, I propose a middle way in the interpretation (...) that accepts the cognitive status of the moral sentences but at the same time rejects intuitionism. (shrink)
The explanation of the relationship between God and humans, as portrayed in Islam, is often influenced by the images of God and of human beings which theologians, philosophers and mystics have in mind. The early period of Islam disclose a diversity of interpretations of this relationship. Thinkers from the tenth and eleventh century had the privilege of disclosing different facets of the relationship between humans and the divine. God and Humans in Islamic Thought discusses the view of three different scholars (...) of the time: Abd al-Jabbar, Ibn Sina and Al-Ghazali. The relationships discussed in this work are: divine assistance, lu³f, according to 'Abd al-Jabbar; human love and attraction to the divine, 'ishq, according to Ibn Sina, and finally the mystical annihilation of the self in the divine unity, fana', of al-Ghazali. They introduce three approaches of looking at this relationship. In order to perceive these concepts, their perception of God and of the human nature will also be examined here. The starting-point of this research was the desire to set forth a variety of possible relationships which are all in accordance with Islamic belief, but nevertheless demonstrate diversity in understanding the relationship between the human and the divine which in turn suggests the concept of plurality within one religion. Examining these three concepts, which build firm connections between God and humans, reveals the importance of rational inquiry in medieval Islamic thought, not only because it was a source of logical arguments for Islam against its opponents but mainly because it built different bridges leading to God. God and Humans in Islamic Thought attempts to shed light on an important side of medieval rational thought in demonstrating its significance in forming the basis of an understanding of the nature of God, the nature of human beings and the construction of different bridges between them. (shrink)
It is demonstrated here that despite apparent differences and their adherence to two different schools of thought, Suhrawardī's epistemology is essentially Ibn Sīnian, and even his theory of "knowledge by Presence" ('ilm al-hudurī), which is considered to be uniquely his, is at least inspired by Ibn Sīnā. I argue that Ibn Sīnā's peripatetic orientation and Suhrawardī's ishrāqī perspective have both maintained and adhered to the same epistemological framework while the philosophical languages in which their respective epistemologies are discussed are different.
Coinciding with the scientific flourishing of the 5th / 11th century, which was favoured by the cultural policy of the Andalusi kingdoms ( muluk al-tawa'if ), Abu ‘ Umar ibn ‘ Abd al-Barr, Ibn Hazm and Sa‘ id al-Andalusi all dealt with the classification of the sciences in many works that are already known. Ibn Bajja began his career at the end of this period. In his glosses to al-Farabi’s commentary to the Isagoge he wrote a text on this subject (...) that has not yet been analysed. The present paper studies Ibn Bajja's classification in connection with his predecessors and with the scientific and philosophical background of Andalusi culture. In their classifications of the sciences, all these authors express and stress important factors of the evolution of Andalusi science and thought, such as the dialectic between religious and rational sciences and the importance of the scientific method derived from Aristotle's logic. Sa‘ id al-Andalusi and Ibn Bajja ( and, to a lesser extent, Ibn Hazm ) show the profound influence exerted by al-Farabi’s works, particularly the Ihsa' al-‘ ulum. Thus, Ibn Bajja foreshadows the evolution of sciences in the next century and the movement headed by Ibn Rushd, Ibn Tufayl and others, characterized by the search for concordance with the postulates set forth by philosophical disciplines. (Published Online August 10 2006). (shrink)
Averroes defended philosophy by returning to the true Aristotle. For this purpose, Aristotle's book in which he explained the eternity, uniqueness and movement of the universe, occupied a place of special importance. But the Aristotelian philosopher had a hard time holding his own in the face of contradictions within the book and with respect to Aristotle's later works. In his early Compendium, later Paraphrase, and final Long Commentary of De Caelo, Ibn Rushd continued the efforts of the Hellenistic commentators in (...) order to integrate all the elements of his doctrine into a unified system, to harmonize his early cosmology with his later Metaphysics and to uphold his models of homocentric planetary spheres against the mathematical paradigm of Ptolemaic astronomy. By insisting throughout on demonstrative arguments based on rational principles, he asserted the philosophers' claim to irrefutable truth. (shrink)
In order to get rid of the contradictions he had identified in Ptolemy’s Astronomy, Ibn al-Haytham abandons cosmology and develops a purely kinematic description of the movement of the wandering stars. This description culminates with the proof that such a star, during its daily movement, reaches exactly one time a maximum height above the horizon and that any inferior height is reached exactly twice. The proofs of these facts necessitates new mathematical tools and Ibn al-Haytham is led to establish very (...) sophisticated statements concerning the variation of certain ratios of arcs of circles on the sphere. He also introduces the fruitful idea of assimilating a very small spherical triangle to a plane triangle. (shrink)
Ibn S's celestial kinematics represents an important aspect of his cosmology but has up to now received little attention in the secondary literature. After a short overview of some key features of his cosmology, this article attempts to clarify the role played by the separate intellects, the celestial souls, and the celestial bodies in causing celestial motion. It challenges the common view that Ibn S adhered to the theory of ten separate intellects developed by al-Fbnā's cosmological method.
This treatise of medicine by Y ibn Sarn, written in Syriac in the 8th century, translated into Arabic in the 10th century and then into Latin in the 12th century, is a typical example of the transmission of Hippocratic medicine from the Arabic East to the Latin West in the Middle Ages. However, while the complete Latin translation of Gerard of Cremona has reached us, we have only fragments of the Arabic text, dispersed in five manuscripts preserved in four European (...) libraries. (shrink)
The Hippocratic Aphorisms is a well-known treatise which was very popular throughout the ages. This paper studies the Arabic translation of [Hdotu]unayn ibn Ishaq, the renowned Arab translator, of the first book of the Aphorisms as well as the commentary of Ibn al-Nafis, the thirteenth-century Arab doctor, on the same book. This study highlights the difficulties that occasionally confronted the Arab commentator while commenting. The obscurity of a few Hippocratic sentences as well as [Hdotu]unayn's interpretation and alteration in meaning were (...) probable sources for those difficulties. Ibn al-Nafis, however, was unaware of the role played by [Hdotu]unayn in shaping the Arabic text. Ibn al-Nafis reflected a deep trust in the Arabic text to the degree of commenting on every single word. He used both his intellect and his knowledge of other commentaries to solve those problematic phrases. He did not exhibit an interest in philological matters to help explain the text. His commentaries reflect his respect and appreciation for both Hippocrates and Galen, the latter of whom exercised some influence on [Hdotu]unayn and Ibn al-Nafis in their understanding of the work. Nonetheless both [Hdotu]unayn and Ibn al-Nafis showed traces of independence from Galen's influence. (shrink)