The Fields of Avicenna’s WorkJune 27, 2021
Avicenna is an exemplary medieval philosopher in terms of philosophy, thought and understanding of existence. In his philosophy, there is an understanding that evaluates and explains the mental data obtained through the senses based on experience and reason, according to the principles of reason. Adopting Aristotle’s views, he divided philosophy into two parts: (theoretical) wisdom, which includes philosophy based on natural philosophy, mathematics, and metaphysics. The main subject of the branches of philosophy in this field is knowledge. (practical) wisdom is divided into three: political or civil wisdom; economics or household wisdom (al-hikmet ul-manzili-ye); moral wisdom (al-hikmet ul-hulkiye). The topics and fields of study of these three sections, which are mostly based on action, are separate.
Avicenna dealt with religion as an independent field of knowledge, tried to reconcile religion with philosophy, and gathered the philosophy of religion in four basic subjects: Creation; hereafter; prophethood; knowledge of God. Influenced by the new platonist Plotinos, Ibn Sina tried to reconcile Islam with the new platonism. According to him, the basis of Sufism is “love”. Man rises to infinity by getting rid of his limited existence through love. Man can reach Allah, who is his true source, by climbing the steps of fayz and water; returns to its source. The source of everything is “love”, which is in the form of a continuous action in the essence of human existence. Sufism is the expression of “love”, its manifestation according to a certain order.
In this field, Ibn Sina tried to reconcile the views of the philosophers before him with those of the theologians, and he combined Aristotle’s metaphysics with the ideas of theologians and neo-platonists to create a new synthesis. According to Ibn-i Sina, the main subject of metaphysics is God, whose “absolute body” and supreme beings.|The body (existing) is divided into three: Possible existence or existence that emerges and then disappears; possible and necessary being (the universe of universals and laws, being that can exist spontaneously and is necessary by an external cause); the essential being (God). Metaphysics, which is based on Being, is a necessary discipline.
According to Ibn-i Sina, logic is the science of tools. It arises from psychology and takes its rules. Its main subject is to find the decisions of thought, to connect them and to show people the right thinking. Avicenna first examines the concepts and divides them into two; Explicit determination (al-logic biddelale); closed determination (al-manfhum biddelala). The most important part of logic is definition. Avicenna, who believed in the existence of two basic principles in definition (“genus”, “difference”), argued that a precise and complete definition could be made by combining similar genus and self-differences.
Avicenna argued that psychology is a field of knowledge that connects metaphysics and physics and benefits from both sciences, and divided psychology into three main parts: Psychology of mind; experimental psychology; mysticism or mystic psychology.
According to Ibn Sina, whose views on this subject are different from Aristotle and Farabi, there are 5 types of mind; knowing (or possible) intellect (it can know the obvious and the necessary); he-yulâni mind (provides knowing and understanding); holy mind (the highest stage of the mind; not found in every human being); muste-fat intellect (perceives what it has, the “surefs” of the “reasonable” given to it); de facto intellect (he grasps “reasons, acquired data). Avicenna tried to reconcile Plato’s idealism with Aristotle’s empiricism and to present a unifying view of reason on the subject of reason.
Understanding of Information
Knowledge, whose main source is intuition, should be based on general firm principles. Data perceived through intuition turns into knowledge through conclusion (“el-istintaj”). Ibn Sina’s views on knowledge are idealistic; however, he did not ignore the role played by experiment in the emergence of knowledge.
Classification of Sciences
According to Ibn-i Sina, sciences are divided into three in terms of the relationship between matter and form: Natural sciences or lower sciences (el-ilm ul-esfel) are the science of forms that are not separated from matter; metaphysics (mabad ut-tabia), logic or higher sciences (al-ilm.ul-ali) are the sciences of forms separated from matter; mathematics or middle sciences (al-ilm ul-evsat) is the science of forms that can only be separated from matter in the mind of man, sometimes together with matter, sometimes separate.
Avicenna, who influenced most of the Eastern and Western philosophers after him, was also interested in music. Healing and Law, which is the main work of his more than 250 works, has been taught in many universities for many years as the main work of philosophy.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook