The Understanding of Natural Philosophy (Tabiyyun) of Jabir bin Hayyan (Câbir b. Hayyân)June 26, 2021
The natural philosophy of Cabir bin Hayyan is based on the traditional understanding of the small world (human) and the big world (universe) and the idea of the influence of the heavenly powers on the events on earth.
According to him, the mines that he focuses on in his works are formed as a result of the combination of sulfur and mercury in different proportions and under special celestial effects. The differences between the mines arise from the difference in the mercury-sulfur ratio they contain and the celestial effects that make up the formation. The most perfect of the mines that have evolved under the ground for thousands of years with various effects is gold. The chemist must be able to control these celestial influences when converting worthless metals into gold. As a natural consequence of this approach, Jabir, who concluded that minerals have spiritual properties as well as physical and physical properties, based his view on the concept of elixir.
Jabir’s cosmology reaches monism. According to this philosophy, contrary to the thought in the Aristotelian tradition, the most valuable being is neither the soul alone nor the corpse alone, but the being that the soul and the corpse create together. From this, it is understood that human beings are completely superior to spiritual beings, which is in full harmony with the perspective of the Qur’an on human beings.
According to Jabir, there is a desire towards the sensible in the non-sensible, that is, towards becoming a body in the soul. Jabir went further than Plato by mentioning that it is possible to improve nature and even to produce living things that are not found in nature. Arguing that there is an order based on mathematics in the material world, Jabir also mentions that there is a harmony between grammar and physics because both language and nature have emerged with similar laws.
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