1st Edition

Analytic Philosophy and Avicenna Knowing the Unknown

By Mohammad Azadpur Copyright 2020
    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    This work engages in a constructive, yet subtle, dialogue with the nuanced accounts of sensory intentionality and empirical knowledge offered by the Islamic philosopher Avicenna.

    This discourse has two main objectives: (1) providing an interpretation of Avicenna’s epistemology that avoids reading him as a precursor to British empiricists or as a full-fledged emanatist and (2) bringing light to the importance of Avicenna’s account of experience to relevant contemporary Anglo-American discussions in epistemology and metaphysics. These two objectives are interconnected. Anglo-American philosophy provides the framework for a novel reading of Avicenna on knowledge and reality, and the latter, in turn, contributes to adjusting some aspects of the former.

    Advancing the Avicennian perspective on contemporary analytic discourse, this volume is a key resource for researchers and students interested in comparative and analytic epistemology and metaphysics as well as Islamic philosophy.

    Introduction: Avicenna and the Sellarsian Account of Experience

    1. Sellars on the Empirical Grounds of Knowledge

    2. Sellars on the Pseudo-intentionality of the Senses

    3. Perennial Philosophy: Against Scientism and Reason-nature Dualism

    4. Avicenna’s Empiricism: Meno’s Dilemma and the Sensory Grounds of Knowledge

    5. The Mind’s Involvement in Sense Perception: Avicenna on Sensory Intentionality and the Unity of Being

    Conclusion: On Avicenna and the so-called Common Medieval View


    Mohammad Azadpur is Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University. His work brings Islamic philosophers into dialogue with modern European and Anglo-American philosophers. His first book, Reason Unbound (2011), explored the primacy of ethics in the activity of philosophy.