Avicenna's Al-Shifā': Oriental Philosophy, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Avicenna's Al-Shifā'

Oriental Philosophy, 1st Edition

By Sari Nusseibeh


388 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-03-29
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This book deals with the philosophy of Ibn Sina - Avicenna as he was known in the Latin West- a Persian Muslim who lived in the eleventh century, considered one of the most important figures in the history of philosophy.

Although much has been written about Avicenna, and especially about his major philosophical work, Al-Shifa, this book presents the rationalist Avicenna in an entirely new light, showing him to have presented a theory where our claims of knowledge about the world are in effect just that, claims, and must therefore be underwritten by our faith in God. His project enlists arguments in psychology as well as in language and logic. In a sense, the ceiling he puts on the reach of reason can be compared with later rationalists in the Western tradition, from Descartes to Kant –though, unlike Descartes, he does not deem it necessary to reconstruct his theory of knowledge via a proof of the existence of God. Indeed, Avicenna’s theory presents the concept of God as being necessarily presupposed by our theory of knowledge, and God as the Necessary Being who is presupposed by an existing world where nothing of itself is what it is by an intrinsic nature, and must therefore be as it is due to an external cause. The detailed and original analysis of Avicenna’s work here is presented as what he considered to be his own, ororiental’ philosophy.

Presenting an innovative interpretation of Avicenna’s thought, this book will appeal to scholars working on classical Islamic philosophy, kalām and the History of Logic.

Table of Contents


1. Language and Truth

2. Statements and the Logical System

3. Object and Construct

4. Quantifiers, Operators and Conditionals

5. Metaphysics


About the Author

Sari Nusseibeh teaches philosophy at al-Quds University in Palestine. His most recent publication is The Story of Reason in Islam, Stanford, 2016. Before that his books centered around living as a Palestinian under occupation.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Islamic Philosophy

The Series is devoted to the publication of scholarly books in all areas of Islamic philosophy. We regard the discipline as part of the general philosophical environment and seek to include books on a wide variety of different approaches to Islamic philosophy.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / Islam / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies