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ASG II: Proceedings

The proceedings of the second meeting of the Avicenna Study Group was published on 30 August 2004 under the title Interpreting Avicenna: Science and Philosophy in Medieval Islam as volume 56 in the series “Islamic Philosophy, Theology and Science: Texts and Studies” (Leiden/Boston: Brill). The volume was edited by Jon McGinnis, in close collaboration with David C. Reisman, and consisted of an introduction followed by twelve papers divided intro four categories to a total of 262+xviii pages.

Official Blurb

This volume provides twelve essays on various aspects of Avicenna’s philosophical and scientific contributions, approaching these topics from philological, historical and philosohical methodologies. The work is conceptually divided into four sections: (1) methodology, (2) natural philosophy and the exact sciences, (3) theology and metaphysics and (4) Avicenna’s heritage. The First section provides considerations for distinguishing genuine from pseudo Avicennan works. The second section deals with topics encountered in Avicenna’s physics, psychology, mathematics and medical theories. The third section treats issues ranging from the theological sources for Avicenna’s proof for the existence of God and God’s knowledge of particulars to the place of puzzles in Avicenna’s Metaphysics as well as the relation of form and matter in Avicenna’s thought. The final section considers Avicenna’s historical influence on later thinkers such as al-Ghazali as well as his subsequent influence in Persia.

Table of Contents


David C. Reisman: “The Pseudo-Avicennan Corpus, I: Methodological Considerations” (pp. 3–21)

Avicenna on Natural Philosophy and the Exact Sciences

Catarina Belo: “Ibn Sīnā on Chance in the Physics of aš-Šifāʾ ” (pp. 25–41)
Jon McGinnis: “On the Moment of Substantial Change: A Vexed Question in the History of Ideas” (pp. 42–61)
Robert E. Hall: “Intellect, Soul and Body in Ibn Sīnā: Systematic Synthesis and Development of the Aristotelian, Neoplatonic and Galenic Theories” (pp. 62–86)
Peter Adamson: “Non-Discursive Thought in Avicenna’s Commentary on the Theology of Aristotle” (pp. 87–111)
Irina Luther: “The Conception of the Angle in the Works of Ibn Sīnā and aš-Šīrāzī“ (pp. 112–125)

Avicenna on Theology and the Metaphysics

Ömer Mahir Alper: “Avicenna’s Argument for the Existence of God: Was He Really Influenced by the Mutakallimūn?” (pp. 129–141)
Rahim Acar: “Reconsidering Avicenna’s Position on God’s Knowledge of Particulars” (pp.142–156)
Amos Bertolacci: “The Reception of Book B (Beta) of Aristotle’s Metaphysics in the Ilāhīyāt of Avicenna’s Kitāb aš-Šifāʾ” (pp. 157–174)
Olga Lizzini: “The Relation Between Form and Matter: Some Brief Observations on the ‘Homology Argument’ (Ilāhīyāt, II.4) and the Deduction of Fluxus” (pp. 175–185)

The Heritage of Avicenna

M. Afifi Al-Akiti: “The Three Properties of Prophethood in Certain Works of Avicenna and al-Ġazālī” (pp. 189–212)
Roxanne D. Marcotte: “Resurrection (Maʿād) in the Persian Ḥayāt an-Nufūs of Ismāʿīl Ibn Muḥammad Rīzī: The Avicennan Background” (pp. 213–235)