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Most of Avicenna’s works were written in Arabic, which was considered the de facto scientific language in the Middle East although he also wrote some of his works in Persian language. In order to fully understand Avicenna, we have to explore his philosophical ideas and contributions to philosophy. This essay engages in such an undertaking by exploring his ideas on reason and reality, theory of knowledge, theology, metaphysics and existence of god, and his conceptualization of soul. Avicenna was considered a polymath and a physician and more as a philosopher emanating from his major summa the cure, which would have great impact on European scholasticism, especially on Thomas Aquinas. One of his major steps in philosophy is his translation and interpretation of Aristotle 250 years before Thomas Aquinas. This was so because Arabs possessed Aristotle’s works before Thomas Aquinas and, therefore, Avicenna qualifies to be the first Islamic philosopher. Avicenna developed the theory of the knowledge, which became an influential philosophy especially on the philosophers of science such as John Locke. His theory of knowledge is based on the mental faculties of the soul with regard to their epistemological function. According to Avicenna, knowledge begins with abstraction. Therefore, he held that human intellect at birth is tabula rasa- a pure potential phenomenon that is filled and inculcated with ideas through education. According to Morris (148) Avicenna is supposed to have borrowed this idea from Aristotle. Although this idea is largely associated with John Locke, the truth is that Avicenna conceptualized it 500 years before Locke. The idea of tabula rasa mind at birth is the backbone of epistemology in philosophy studies of today. Avicenna posited that sense perception is already mental and that this is as a result of the perceived object. This is because sense perception responds to a particular phenomenon with its already familiarized form and material accidents. Therefore, it is Avicenna’s position that as a mental event, being is a perception of an object but not the object itself and thus, perception occurs in the particular. In Avicenna’s position people analyze responses by classifying the formal features in the formally ‘blank slate’ from material accidents (Morris 149). In order to do this, one must retain the images from sensation and manipulate them by disconnecting parts and reconnecting them logically in their formal and other properties. Moreover, Avicenna made a contribution in Islamic theology. He was a devout Muslim who sought to reconcile rational thinking with Islamic theology. In this case, he used logic and reason to prove scientifically that God’s existence is related to creative nature. He wrote treatises on the Islamic prophets as well as scientific and philosophical interpretation of the Muslim holy book (Janssens 181). He referred Islam prophets as inspired philosophers and proved as to how Quranic cosmology is in line with his philosophical ideation (Janssens 180). However, this idea of compromising with the Islam theology conflicted with orthodox circles and as a result his philosophical works were set on fire in Baghdad. Regardless of this dissent, Avicenna was able to use his theological idea to explain the movement, the change and the development of the state of nature. Second, Avicenna constructed a rational idea of Islam ...Show more
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Tutor name Date Key philosophical ideas and contributions to philosophy by Ibnu Sinna / Avicenna Ibn Sina or Avicenna was the first philosopher in the Hellenistic Islamic tradition history (Aisha 5). Avicenna wrote a comprehensive philosophic works, especially his detailed account of the nature of God and the nature of Being…
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