Peter AdamsonSep 17, 2023
Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna)
A Very Short Introduction
Oxford University Press 2023
Peter Adamson's book Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna): a Very Short Introduction (Oxford UP, 2023) provides an introduction to the most important philosopher of the Islamic world, Ibn Sīnā, often known in English by his Latinized name Avicenna. After introducing the man and his works, with an overview of the historical context in which he lived, the book devotes chapters to the different areas of Ibn Sīnā's thought. Among the topics covered are his innovations in logic, his theory of the human soul and its powers, the relation between his medical writings and his philosophy, and his metaphysics of existence. Particular attention is given to two famous arguments: his flying man thought experiment and the so-called “demonstration of the truthful,” a proof for the existence of God as the Necessary Existent. A distinctive feature of the book is its attention to the relationship between Ibn Sīnā and Islamic rational theology (kalām): in which we see how Ibn Sīnā responded to this tradition in many areas of his thought. A final chapter looks at Ibn Sīnā's legacy in both the Islamic world and in Latin Christendom. Here Adamson focuses on the critical responses to Ibn Sīnā in subsequent generations by such figures as al-Ghazālī, al-Suhrawardī, and Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī.
Peter Adamson is professor of Philosophy at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He received his BA from Williams College and PhD from the University of Notre Dame. From 2000 to 2012 he was a member of the Philosophy Department at King's College London, and he maintains a connection to King's. But his primary position is now as Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy at the LMU in Munich. The author of numerous monographs and articles on ancient and medieval philosophy, especially Neoplatonism and philosophy in the Islamic world, he also hosts the History of Philosophy podcast, which appears as a series of books with Oxford University Press.
Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube channel.