The volume brings together seventeen studies on Avicenna by Dimitri Gutas, written over the past twenty-five years. They aim to establish Avicenna’s historical and philosophical context as a means to determining his philosophical project and the orientations of his thought. They deal with his life and works, his method, his epistemology, and his later reception in the Islamic world, ending with a programmatic essay on the state of the field of Avicennan studies and future agenda. Occasioned by issues raised in Gutas’s monograph on Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition (whose second edition has just appeared), they form a substantive complement to it. For this reprint, a number of the essays have been reset and accordingly revised and updated. Provided with exhaustive indexes of names, places, subjects, and technical terms, the volume constitutes a new and major research tool for the study of Avicenna and his heritage.
Dimitri Gutas is Professor of Arabic and Graeco-Arabic at Yale University, USA where he studies and teaches classical Arabic and the pre-modern intellectual tradition in Islamic civilization. In addition to his lexicographical interests in Graeco-Arabic studies, he has devoted a large part of his scholarly career to the edition and study of Greek philosophical texts translated into Arabic and their influence in the Islamic world. In this field he has published Greek Wisdom Literature in Arabic Translation. A Study of the Graeco-Arabic Gnomologia (New Haven 1975), Greek Philosophers in the Arabic Tradition (Aldershot, Hampshire 2000), and has been involved from the beginning as co-editor in Project Theophrastus. Within Arabic philosophy, he has concentrated in particular on its greatest exponent, Ibn Sina (known as Avicenna in the medieval Latin world), on whom he wrote the fundamental Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition and Introduction to Reading Avicenna's Philosophical Works.