The Heirs of Avicenna: Philosophy in the Islamic East, 12-13th Centuries

Metaphysics and Theology


This is the first in a series of sourcebooks charting the reception of Avicenna (Ibn Sīnā, d.1037) in the Islamic East (from Syria to central Asia) in the 12th-13th centuries CE. Avicenna was the dominant philosophical authority in this period, who provoked generations of thinkers to subtle critique, defense, and development of his ideas. The series will translate and analyze hundreds of passages from works by such figures as al-Ghazālī, al-Suhrawardī, Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī, and many more. This volume focuses especially on issues in metaphysics, dealing with topics like the essence-existence distinction, the problem of universals, free will and determinism, Platonic Forms, good and evil, proofs of God’s existence, and the relationship between philosophy and theology.
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Peter Adamson, Ph.D. (2000), University of Notre Dame, is Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy at the LMU Munich. He has published monographs on the philosophers al-Kindī and al-Rāzī and edited many books, including Interpreting Avicenna: Critical Essays (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Fedor Benevich, Ph.D. (2016), LMU Munich, is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Essentialität und Notwendigkeit: Avicenna und die Aristotelische Tradition (Brill 2018) as well as of multiple articles and chapters on Avicenna, post-Avicennan Islamic philosophy, and kalām.

 1 Method
 2 Historical Overview
 3 Prehistory
 4 Formation
 5 Culmination
 6 Refinement
 7 Others
 8 Online Text Resource

1 The Subject Matter of Metaphysics and Kalam

2 The Essence-Existence Distinction

3 Univocity and Equivocity of Existence

4 Non-Existence and Mental Existence

5 Universals

6 Platonic Forms

7 Individuation

8 Proofs for God’s Existence

9 God’s Essence

10 God’s Knowledge

11 God’s Knowledge of Particulars

12 Free Will, Determinism, and Human Action

13 Good and Evil

Specialists in philosophy of the Islamic world; readers with a cross-cultural interest in medieval philosophy. The sourcebooks can also be used as textbooks for university students; we have already used some of the chapters this way and they work well already at upper level undergraduate level.
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