Traditional art music in the Ottoman Empire was essentially shaped by phenomena of transculturality. It can be assumed that dynamic cultural transfer processes took place between the cultural groups involved, including Armenians, Greeks, Jews, and Arabs, in addition to Turks, and that these processes are visible today through circumstantial evidence.
Each cultural group has an individual-specific music-theoretical, as well as music-historical background, so that the cultural intersection of Ottoman art music is considered from different perspectives. Using Greek sources from the 18th and 19th centuries as examples, this contribution is devoted to the phenomenon of cultural translation that accompanies the transfer processes. The central question is whether and in what form the detailed information given on the pitch system can contribute to a better understanding of Ottoman music theory in the nineteenth century, and how it can be made useful for the critical edition of music practical sources from the period.
This paper argues that both Aristotle’s theory of the so-called focal homonymy of “being” and Avicenna’s corresponding theory of the ambiguity of “existence” (tashkīk al-wujūd) are meant to address the same dilemma of categorial ontology, but by recourse to different solutions. Avicenna retains Aristotle’s concerns but rejects his solution of focal homonymy, offering a new theory which more satisfactorily addresses each horn of the dilemma. This reading departs from prior scholarship, which, taking Avicenna to have adopted the focal theory basically intact from his Late Antique predecessors, instead tends to privilege the theory’s (peripheral) theological applications.
The Avicennian distinction between quiddity and existence opens the way to several derivative issues concerning the quiddity of existence (what existence is) and the ontological status of existence (whether and how existence is). This paper presents a fine-grained account of the positions and arguments developed by post-Avicennian authors on these matters, showing how the debates on states (aḥwāl) and grounding (taʿlīl) feed into the picture. The discussions on the quiddity of existence revolve around the features of its knowability and its connection to a ground (ʿilla), or lack thereof. As for the ontological status of existence, the standard idea of a clash between realism (existence is an extramental existent) and conceptualism (existence is a purely mental existent) calls for further refinement. First, realism itself encompasses two distinct positions when it comes to the relation between the second-order existence of existence and existence itself (sameness, additionality). Second, the tradition presents other doctrines not easily classifiable within the realism-conceptualism framework (the existential non-assertability of existence, the non-existence of existence).
The debates on KulliyyātI.1.ii of Ibn Sīnā’s Qānūn (“on the subjects of medicine”) were initiated by Faḫr al-Dīn al-Rāzī and continued by Afḍal al-Dīn al-Ḫūnaǧī, Naǧm al-Dīn al-Naḫǧawānī, Yaʿqūb ibn Ġanāʾim al-Sāmirī, Rafīʿ al-Dīn al-Ǧīlī, Ibn al-Nafīs, and Ibn al-Quff al-Masīḥī. In his own commentary, entitled al-Tuḥfa al-saʿdiyya, Quṭb al-Dīn al-Šīrāzī preserved and scrutinized his predecessors’ commentaries, in order to offer what he believed to be more conclusive interpretations of Ibn Sīnā. Focusing on the introductory part of KulliyyātI.1.ii, we show that the commentators were divided not only on philosophical issues, but also on the very text that should be attributed to Ibn Sīnā.