Avicenna, his life and works by Soheil Muhsin Afnan

By Soheil Muhsin Afnan

This publication is an try to current to the overall reader the existence and works of Avicenna, or Ibn Sina, who's past doubt the main provocative determine within the background of inspiration within the East. it's not a defence of him and his procedure, nor a critique of his philosophy. in the course of his lifetime he used to be intentionally scornful of defenders and critics alike; he couldn't imagine best of them now thousand years have passed by. along with his place amply justified, and after that prolonged interval while his identify held on the lips of physicians and philosophers from the borders of China to the cloisters of mediaeval Paris and Oxford, it sort of feels top to enable him converse for himself. it's been emphasised that the issues he used to be faced with resulted from the conflicting disciplines of 2 separate cultures introduced head to head. he's consequently of greater than historic curiosity. His angle could be of steering to these within the East who're assembly the problem of Western civilization; and to these within the West who've but to discover a foundation on which to harmonize clinical with non secular values.

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His conquests gave him confimaster becoming dence, and he began openly to defy the Caliph. At the head of an in the year 873 army he marched towards Baghdad with the intention of deposing him and installing another Caliph in his place. But his camp was 1 a 3 4 Browne: A Literary History of Persia, Vol. i, p. 346. Cf. Tabari: The Reign ofal-Mu'tasim, trans. Marin, pp. 85-107. Cf. Zain al-Akhbar, edit. Nazim. Cf. Barthold: Zur Geschichte der SafariJen, Noldeke Festschrift. 40 PERSIA IN THE TENTH CENTURY flooded with the waters of the Tigris; a considerable part of his helplessly; and he had to retreat to Gundishapur, where he died, unrepentant, in 879.

1 Greek learning in its Arabic version constituted one of the mainsprings of Berum's thought. In his writings he quotes frequently from Plato's Phaedo, Timaeus and Laws; from Proclus' commentary on the Timaeus; from Aristotle's Physics and Metaphysics; from Alexander of Aphrodisias, Porphyry, Ammonius, Galen, Hippocrates, Aratos, Eudoxos and even Homer. But, as has been shown, 2 there is no question of his having read these in the original, or translated any of them into Arabic. On the question of languages suitable for translation, he is characteristically objective.

Philosophy and philosophy, a part of religiori;~ahd religion is true, but it is in no way a part of philosophy. . One is concerned primarily with inspiration . and the other with the search for truth. One says "I was . . ordained, and taught, and told, and do not say anything from my own self"; and the other says"! " One says "the light of intelligence is what I seek guidance from"; and the other says "I have the light of the Creator of creatures, by its illumination I walk. . " '3 These statements appear in an account of a discussion between Tawhidi and his master over a collection of some fifty-two semireligion; and to philosophy he .

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