By Peter Heath
Islamic allegory is the fabricated from a cohesive literary culture to which few contributed as considerably as Ibn Sina (Avicenna), the eleventh-century Muslim thinker. Peter Heath the following deals an in depth exam of Avicenna's contribution, paying specific recognition to Avicenna's psychology and poetics and to the ways that they stimulated traces of theological, mystical, and literary idea in next Islamic—and Western—intellectual and non secular history.
Heath starts off through exhibiting how Avicenna's writings healthy into the context and common historical past of Islamic allegory and explores the interplay between allegory, allegoresis, and philosophy in Avicenna's inspiration. He then offers a short creation to Avicenna as an ancient determine. From there, he examines the ways that Avicenna's cosmological, mental, and epistemological theories locate parallel, if diversified, expression within the disparate codecs of philosophical and allegorical narration. integrated during this publication is a demonstration of Avicenna's allegorical perform. This takes the shape of a translation of the Mi'raj Nama (The publication of the Prophet Muhammad's Ascent to Heaven), a quick treatise in Persian quite often attributed to Avicenna.
The textual content concludes with an research of the literary size Avicenna's allegorical conception and perform by way of interpreting his use of description metaphor. Allegory and Philosophy in Avicenna is an unique and significant paintings that breaks new flooring by means of using the ideas of contemporary literary feedback to the research of Medieval Islamic philosophy. it is going to be of curiosity to students and scholars of medieval Islamic and Western literature and philosophy.
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Additional info for Allegory and Philosophy in Avicenna (Ibn Sina): With a Translation of the Book of the Prophet Muhammad's Ascent to Heaven
Brill, 1986) and Humanism in the Renaissance of Islam: The Cultural Revival During the Buyid Age (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1986). For a careful analysis of the contemporaneous uses of the terms failasuf and adib, see Everett K. Rowson, "The Philosopher as Litterateur: al-Tawhidi and His Predecessors," ZeitschriftfUr Geschichteder arabisch-islamishchenWissenschaften 6 (1990) 50-92. 28. It was Goichon who referred to Avicenna as the first Scholastic. Detailed investigations of the extent of Avicenna's influence in the East have yet to be undertaken; for a partial summary see Francis E.
He who finds fault with these two great men will have cut himself off from the company of the wise, placed himself in the category of madmen, and exhibited himself in the ranks of the feebleminded. 29 But if Avicenna's passionate love of philosophy is beyond doubt and his accomplishments in it can only provoke admiration-if not awe, given the many distractions of his life-it still remains to be explained why he found the discipline so bewitching. Gutas has pointed out the philosopher's intellectual independence, and it is true that Avicenna was very much an audodidact who held a very high opinion of his own philosophical instincts and abilities.
13 The generation of Intelligences, Souls, and spheres is therefore the result of a process of cosmic teleology, in which each level of the hierarchy achieves perfection by engendering the next. Humans, in turn, complete this cosmic circle by initiating a process of fulfilling their own teleological potential for perfection. 14 This undertaking has three stages: recognizing one's true purpose in life, learning how to fulfill this purpose, and finally actually fulfilling it. IS The scope of this system is breathtaking, and it is not surprising that Avicenna's attempt to justify it resulted in a plethora of detailed argument and syllogistic demonstration.
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