View Full Version : Ibn Sina - Avicenna

08-18-2012, 03:01 PM

Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived. In particular, 150 of his surviving treatises concentrate on philosophy and 40 of them concentrate on medicine.

His most famous works are The Book of Healing, a vast philosophical and scientific encyclopaedia, and The Canon of Medicine, which was a standard medical text at many medieval universities. The Canon of Medicine was used as a text-book in the universities of Montpellier and Leuvenas late as 1650. Ibn Sīnā's Canon of Medicine provides a complete system of medicine according to the principles of Galen (and Hippocrates).

His corpus also includes writing on philosophy, astronomy, alchemy, geology, psychology, Islamic theology, logic, mathematics, physics, as well as poetry. He is regarded as the most famous and influential polymath of the Islamic Golden Age.

Avicenna created an extensive corpus of works during what is commonly known as Islam's Golden Age, in which the translations of Greco-Roman, Persian, and Indian texts were studied extensively. Greco-Roman (Mid- and Neo-Platonic, and Aristotelian) texts by the Kindi school were commented, redacted and developed substantially by Islamic intellectuals, who also built upon Persian and Indian mathematical systems, astronomy, algebra, trigonometry and medicine. The Samanid dynasty in the eastern part of Persia, Greater Khorasan and Central Asia as well as the Buyid dynasty in the western part of Persia and Iraq provided a thriving atmosphere for scholarly and cultural development. Under the Samanids, Bukhara rivaled Baghdad as a cultural capital of the Islamic world.

The study of the Quran and the Hadith thrived in such a scholarly atmosphere. Philosophy, Fiqh and theology (kalaam) were further developed, most noticeably by Avicenna and his opponents. Al-Razi and Al-Farabi had provided methodology and knowledge in medicine and philosophy. Avicenna had access to the great libraries of Balkh, Khwarezm, Gorgan, Rey, Isfahan and Hamadan. Various texts (such as the 'Ahd with Bahmanyar) show that he debated philosophical points with the greatest scholars of the time. Aruzi Samarqandi describes how before Avicenna left Khwarezm he had met Abu Rayhan Biruni (a famous scientist and astronomer), Abu Nasr Iraqi (a renowned mathematician), Abu Sahl Masihi (a respected philosopher) and Abu al-Khayr Khammar (a great physician).

According to his autobiography, Avicenna had memorised the entire Qur'an by the age of 10. He learned Indian arithmetic from an Indian greengrocer, and he began to learn more from a wandering scholar who gained a livelihood by curing the sick and teaching the young. He also studied Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) under the Hanafi scholar Ismail al-Zahid.

As a teenager, he was greatly troubled by the Metaphysics of Aristotle, which he could not understand until he read al-Farabi's commentary on the work.For the next year and a half, he studied philosophy, in which he encountered greater obstacles. In such moments of baffled inquiry, he would leave his books, perform the requisite ablutions (wudu), then go to the mosque, and continue in prayer (salah) till light broke on his difficulties. Deep into the night, he would continue his studies, and even in his dreams problems would pursue him and work out their solution. Forty times, it is said, he read through the Metaphysics of Aristotle, till the words were imprinted on his memory; but their meaning was hopelessly obscure, until one day they found illumination, from the little commentary by Farabi, which he bought at a bookstall for the small sum of three dirhams. So great was his joy at the discovery, made with the help of a work from which he had expected only mystery, that he hastened to return thanks to God, and bestowed alms upon the poor.

He turned to medicine at 16, and not only learned medical theory, but also by gratuitous attendance of the sick had, according to his own account, discovered new methods of treatment. The teenager achieved full status as a qualified physician at age 18, and found that "Medicine is no hard and thorny science, like mathematics and metaphysics, so I soon made great progress; I became an excellent doctor and began to treat patients, using approved remedies." The youthful physician's fame spread quickly, and he treated many patients without asking for payment.

Contributions Works of Avicenna:
- Metaphysics
- Natural philosophy
- Theology
- Medicine and pharmacology
- Psychology
- Philosophy of science
- Physics
- Astronomy and astrology
- Chemistry
- Poetry
- The Book of Healing
- The Canon of Medicine

Tyr-Ziu Saxnot
08-18-2012, 03:24 PM

Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > A > Avicenna

Arabian physician and philosopher, born at Kharmaithen, in the province of Bokhara, 980; died at Hamadan, in Northern Persia, 1037. Avicenna was actually Persian, not Arabian

From the autobiographical sketch which has come down to us we learn that he was a very precocious youth; at the age of ten he knew the Koran by heart; before he was sixteen he had mastered what was to be learned of physics, mathematics, logic, and metaphysics; at the age of sixteen he began the study and practice of medicine; and before he had completed his twenty-first year he wrote his famous "Canon" of medical science, which for several centuries, after his time, remained the principal authority in medical schools both in Europe and in Asia. He served successively several Persian potentates as physician and adviser, travelling with them from place to place, and despite the habits of conviviality for which he was well known, devoted much time to literary labours, as is testified by the hundred volumes which he wrote. Our authority for the foregoing facts is the "Life of Avicenna,", based on his autobiography, written by his disciple Jorjani (Sorsanus), and published in the early Latin editions of his works.

Besides the medical "Canon," he wrote voluminous commentaries on Arisotle's works and two great encyclopedias entitled "Al Schefa", or "Al Chifa" (i.e. healing) and "Al Nadja" (i.e. deliverance). The "Canon" and portions of the encyclopedias were translated into Latin as early as the twelfth century, by Gerard of Cremona, Dominicus Gundissalinus, and John Avendeath; they were published at Venice, 1493-95. The complete Arabic texts are said to be are said to be in the manuscript in the Bodleian Library. An Arabic text of the "Canon" and the "Nadja" was published in Rome, 1593.

Avicenna's philosophy, like that of his predecessors among the Arabians, is Aristoteleanism mingled with neo-Platonism, an exposition of Aristotle's teaching in the light of the Commentaries of Thomistius, Simplicius, and other neo-Platonists.

His Logic is divided into nine parts, of which the first is an introduction after the manner of Porphyry's "Isagoge"; then follow the six parts corresponding to the six treatises composing the "Organon"; the eighth and ninth parts consists respectively of treatises on rhetoric and poetry. Avicenna devoted special attention to definition, the logic of representation, as he styles it, and also to the classification of sciences. Philosophy, he says, which is the general name for scientific knowledge, includes speculative and practical philosophy. Speculative philosophy is divided into the inferior science (physics), and middle science (mathematics), and the superior science (metaphysics including theology). Practical philosophy is divided into ethics (which considers man as an individual); economics (which considers man as a member of domestic society); and politics (which considers man as a member of civil society). These divisions are important on account of their influence on the arrangement of sciences in the schools where the philosophy of Avicenna preceded the introduction of Aristotle's works.

No doubt a great mind. The world has seen many in its history. Likely many more that live and died unknown to us as well. -Tyr

08-18-2012, 11:03 PM
Avicenna was actually Persian, not Arabian

Who said otherwise.

Avicenna, was a Persian polymath...

Abso, what does Ibn mean? As in Ibn Khaldun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Khaldun). Is it just a name or is it some sort of title?

08-18-2012, 11:57 PM
IBN - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBN)

<cite>en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBN</cite>Cached (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:8YfIYWkLbGIJ:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBN+ibn&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us) - Similar (http://www.debatepolicy.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1T4ACAW_enUS324US325&q=related:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBN+ibn&tbo=1&sa=X&ei=82MwUMuWKISUqwHZt4HwDA&ved=0CCIQHzAE)
You +1'd this publicly. Undo (http://www.debatepolicy.com/#)
IBN or ibn may refer to: In general. ibn, patronymic ("son of") in Arabic personal names (e.g. Ibn Battuta); IBN code page (Code page 865), a Nordic language ...

08-19-2012, 10:26 AM
Who said otherwise.

Abso, what does Ibn mean? As in Ibn Khaldun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Khaldun). Is it just a name or is it some sort of title?

Ibn = "Son of" as said by Dilloduck ;)

08-19-2012, 10:38 AM
As in Gimli, son of Gloin. Or Aragorn son of Arathorn.