Dialogue 32 (2):219- (1993)

Deborah Black
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
One of the chief innovations in medieval adaptations of Aristotelian psychology was the expansion of Aristotle's notion of imagination orphantasiato include a variety of distinct perceptual powers known collectively as the internal senses. Amongst medieval philosophers in the Arabic world, Avicenna offers one of the most complex and sophisticated accounts of the internal senses. Within his list of internal senses, Avicenna includes a faculty known as “estimation”, to which various functions are assigned in a wide variety of contexts. Although many philosophers in the Arabic world as well as in the Latin West accepted Avicenna's positing of an estimative faculty, Avicenna's best-known critics, al-Ghazâlî and Averroes, found Avicenna's arguments in support of a distinct estimative faculty problematic. For different reasons, both Averroes and Ghazâlî raised the basic question of whether one needed to posit a distinct faculty of estimation to supplement the perceptual abilities of the other internal senses, and whether the notion of an estimative power as defined by Avicenna was internally coherent. Such criticisms suggest that the Avicennian conception of estimation is not entirely unambiguous, and that a correct understanding of Avicenna's motivations for delineating an estimative power requires a careful study of the diverse activities assigned to it throughout Avicenna's philosophical writings.
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DOI 10.1017/s0012217300014414
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References found in this work BETA

An Aristotelian Theory of Consciousness?D. M. Modrak - 1981 - Ancient Philosophy 1 (2):160-170.
Introduction: Ghazali on Ethical Premises.Michael Marmura - 1969 - Philosophical Forum 1 (3):393.

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Citations of this work BETA

Abū Bakr Al-Rāzī on Animals.Peter Adamson - 2012 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 94 (3):249-273.
Abduction and Estimation in Animals.Woosuk Park - 2012 - Foundations of Science 17 (4):321-337.
Ibn Sînâ (Avicenna) and René Descartes on the Faculty of Imagination.Hulya Yaldir - 2009 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 17 (2):247-278.

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