89 Facts About Avicenna

1.

Avicenna was a Muslim Peripatetic philosopher influenced by Greek Aristotelian philosophy.

FactSnippet No. 559,570
2.

Besides philosophy and medicine, Avicenna's corpus includes writings on astronomy, alchemy, geography and geology, psychology, Islamic theology, logic, mathematics, physics, and works of poetry.

FactSnippet No. 559,571
3.

However, Avicenna was not the son but the great-great-grandson of a man named Sina.

FactSnippet No. 559,572
4.

Avicenna created an extensive corpus of works during what is commonly known as the Islamic Golden Age, in which the translations of Byzantine Greco-Roman, Persian and Indian texts were studied extensively.

FactSnippet No. 559,573
5.

Various texts show that Avicenna debated philosophical points with the greatest scholars of the time.

FactSnippet No. 559,574
6.

Avicenna was born in c in the village of Afshana in Transoxiana to a family of Persian stock.

FactSnippet No. 559,575
7.

Avicenna's father Abd Allah was a native of the city of Balkh in Tukharistan.

FactSnippet No. 559,576
8.

Avicenna was instead an adherent of the Sunni Hanafi school, which was followed by the Samanids.

FactSnippet No. 559,577
9.

Avicenna was first schooled in the Quran and literature, and by the age of 10, he had memorized the entire Quran.

FactSnippet No. 559,578
10.

Avicenna was later sent by his father to an Indian greengrocer, who taught him arithmetic.

FactSnippet No. 559,579
11.

Some time later, Avicenna's father invited the physician and philosopher Abu Abdallah al-Natili to their house to educate Avicenna.

FactSnippet No. 559,580
12.

Avicenna later moved to Gurganj, the capital of Khwarazm, which he reports that he did due to "necessity".

FactSnippet No. 559,581
13.

Avicenna later moved due to "necessity" once more, this time to the west.

FactSnippet No. 559,582
14.

Avicenna was planning to visit the ruler of the city of Gurgan, the Ziyarid Qabus, a cultivated patron of writing, whose court attracted many distinguished poets and scholars.

FactSnippet No. 559,583
15.

However, when Avicenna eventually arrived, he discovered that the ruler had been dead since the winter of 1013.

FactSnippet No. 559,584
16.

Avicenna then left Gurgan for Dihistan, but returned after becoming ill.

FactSnippet No. 559,585
17.

Avicenna stayed briefly in Gurgan, reportedly serving Qabus' son and successor Manuchihr and resided in the house of a patron.

FactSnippet No. 559,586
18.

In c, Avicenna went to the city of Ray, where he entered into the service of the Buyid amir Majd al-Dawla () and his mother Sayyida Shirin, the de facto ruler of the realm.

FactSnippet No. 559,587
19.

In 1015, during Avicenna's stay in Hamadan, he participated in a public debate, as was custom for newly arrived scholars in western Iran at that time.

FactSnippet No. 559,588
20.

The person whom Avicenna debated against was Abu'l-Qasim al-Kirmani, a member of the school of philosophers of Baghdad.

FactSnippet No. 559,589
21.

The debate became heated, resulting in Avicenna accusing Abu'l-Qasim of lack of basic knowledge in logic, while Abu'l-Qasim accused Avicenna of impoliteness.

FactSnippet No. 559,590
22.

Abu'l-Qasim later retaliated by writing a letter to an unknown person, in which he made accusations so serious, that Avicenna wrote to a deputy of Majd al-Dawla, named Abu Sa'd, to investigate the matter.

FactSnippet No. 559,591
23.

Not long afterwards, Avicenna shifted his allegiance to the rising Buyid amir Shams al-Dawla, which Adamson suggests was due to Abu'l-Qasim working under Sayyida Shirin.

FactSnippet No. 559,592
24.

Avicenna had been called upon by Shams al-Dawla to treat him, but after the latters campaign in the same year against his former ally, the Annazid ruler Abu Shawk, he forced Avicenna to become his vizier.

FactSnippet No. 559,593
25.

Avicenna was asked by Shams al-Dawla's son and successor Sama' al-Dawla to stay as vizier, but instead went into hiding with his patron Abu Ghalib al-Attar, to wait for better opportunities to emerge.

FactSnippet No. 559,594
26.

Avicenna was imprisoned for four months, until Ala al-Dawla captured Hamadan, thus putting an end to Sama al-Dawla's reign.

FactSnippet No. 559,595
27.

Avicenna was released, and went to Isfahan, where he was well received by Ala al-Dawla.

FactSnippet No. 559,596
28.

Avicenna dedicated two Persian works to him, a philosophical treatise named Danish-nama-yi Ala'i, and a medical treatise about the pulse.

FactSnippet No. 559,597
29.

In 1037, while Avicenna was accompanying Ala al-Dawla to a battle near Isfahan, he was hit by a severe colic, which he had been constantly suffering from throughout his life.

FactSnippet No. 559,598
30.

Avicenna died shortly afterwards in Hamadan, where he was buried.

FactSnippet No. 559,599
31.

Avicenna wrote extensively on early Islamic philosophy, especially the subjects logic, ethics and metaphysics, including treatises named Logic and Metaphysics.

FactSnippet No. 559,600
32.

Avicenna argued that the fact of existence cannot be inferred from or accounted for by the essence of existing things, and that form and matter by themselves cannot interact and originate the movement of the universe or the progressive actualization of existing things.

FactSnippet No. 559,601
33.

Avicenna argued that the impossible being is that which cannot exist, while the contingent in itself has the potentiality to be or not to be without entailing a contradiction.

FactSnippet No. 559,602
34.

Avicenna adds that the 'Necessary-Existent-due-to-Itself' has no genus, nor a definition (hadd), nor a counterpart (nadd), nor an opposite (did), and is detached (bari) from matter (madda), quality (kayf), quantity (kam), place (ayn), situation (wad) and time (waqt).

FactSnippet No. 559,603
35.

Avicenna made an argument for the existence of God which would be known as the "Proof of the Truthful".

FactSnippet No. 559,604
36.

Avicenna argued that there must be a "necessary existent", an entity that cannot not exist and through a series of arguments, he identified it with the Islamic conception of God.

FactSnippet No. 559,605
37.

Avicenna was a devout Muslim and sought to reconcile rational philosophy with Islamic theology.

FactSnippet No. 559,606
38.

Avicenna's aim was to prove the existence of God and Avicenna's creation of the world scientifically and through reason and logic.

FactSnippet No. 559,607
39.

Avicenna wrote a number of short treatises dealing with Islamic theology.

FactSnippet No. 559,608
40.

Avicenna did not state this more clearly because of the political implications of such a theory, if prophecy could be questioned, and because most of the time he was writing shorter works which concentrated on explaining his theories on philosophy and theology clearly, without digressing to consider epistemological matters which could only be properly considered by other philosophers.

FactSnippet No. 559,609
41.

Avicenna memorized the Quran by the age of ten, and as an adult, he wrote five treatises commenting on suras from the Quran.

FactSnippet No. 559,610
42.

Avicenna argued that the Islamic prophets should be considered higher than philosophers.

FactSnippet No. 559,611
43.

Avicenna is generally understood to have been aligned with the Sunni Hanafi school of thought.

FactSnippet No. 559,612
44.

Avicenna studied Hanafi law, many of his notable teachers were Hanafi jurists, and he served under the Hanafi court of Ali ibn Mamun.

FactSnippet No. 559,613
45.

Avicenna said at an early age that he remained "unconvinced" by Ismaili missionary attempts to convert him.

FactSnippet No. 559,614
46.

Avicenna believed his "Floating Man" thought experiment demonstrated that the soul is a substance, and claimed humans cannot doubt their own consciousness, even in a situation that prevents all sensory data input.

FactSnippet No. 559,615
47.

Avicenna argued that, in this scenario, one would still have self-consciousness.

FactSnippet No. 559,616
48.

Avicenna referred to the living human intelligence, particularly the active intellect, which he believed to be the hypostasis by which God communicates truth to the human mind and imparts order and intelligibility to nature.

FactSnippet No. 559,617
49.

However, Avicenna posited the brain as the place where reason interacts with sensation.

FactSnippet No. 559,618
50.

Avicenna thus concluded that the idea of the self is not logically dependent on any physical thing, and that the soul should not be seen in relative terms, but as a primary given, a substance.

FactSnippet No. 559,619
51.

Avicenna authored a five-volume medical encyclopedia: The Canon of Medicine.

FactSnippet No. 559,620
52.

Avicenna considered whether events like rare diseases or disorders have natural causes.

FactSnippet No. 559,621
53.

Avicenna used the example of polydactyly to explain his perception that causal reasons exist for all medical events.

FactSnippet No. 559,622
54.

Avicenna wrote on Earth sciences such as geology in The Book of Healing.

FactSnippet No. 559,623
55.

Avicenna discussed Aristotle's Posterior Analytics and significantly diverged from it on several points.

FactSnippet No. 559,624
56.

Avicenna then added two further methods for arriving at the first principles: the ancient Aristotelian method of induction, and the method of examination and experimentation (tajriba).

FactSnippet No. 559,625
57.

Avicenna criticized Aristotelian induction, arguing that "it does not lead to the absolute, universal, and certain premises that it purports to provide.

FactSnippet No. 559,626
58.

Avicenna's work was further developed by Najm al-Din al-Qazwini al-Katibi and became the dominant system of Islamic logic until modern times.

FactSnippet No. 559,627
59.

Avicenna endorsed the law of non-contradiction proposed by Aristotle, that a fact could not be both true and false at the same time and in the same sense of the terminology used.

FactSnippet No. 559,628
60.

Avicenna stated, "Anyone who denies the law of non-contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned.

FactSnippet No. 559,629
61.

Avicenna viewed inclination as a permanent force whose effect is dissipated by external forces such as air resistance.

FactSnippet No. 559,630
62.

Theory of motion presented by Avicenna was probably influenced by the 6th-century Alexandrian scholar John Philoponus.

FactSnippet No. 559,631
63.

Avicenna's is a less sophisticated variant of the theory of impetus developed by Buridan in the 14th century.

FactSnippet No. 559,632
64.

In optics, Avicenna was among those who argued that light had a speed, observing that "if the perception of light is due to the emission of some sort of particles by a luminous source, the speed of light must be finite.

FactSnippet No. 559,633
65.

Avicenna says in his book of heaven and earth, that heat is generated from motion in external things.

FactSnippet No. 559,634
66.

Notably, Avicenna develops what is called the Flying Man argument in the Psychology of The Cure I 1.

FactSnippet No. 559,635
67.

Avicenna's psychology requires that connection between the body and soul be strong enough to ensure the soul's individuation, but weak enough to allow for its immortality.

FactSnippet No. 559,636
68.

Avicenna wrote an attack on astrology titled Resala fi ebtal ahkam al-nojum, in which he cited passages from the Quran to dispute the power of astrology to foretell the future.

FactSnippet No. 559,637
69.

Avicenna believed that each planet had some influence on the earth, but argued against astrologers being able to determine the exact effects.

FactSnippet No. 559,638
70.

Avicenna criticized Aristotle's view of the stars receiving their light from the Sun, stating that the stars are self-luminous, and believed that the planets are self-luminous.

FactSnippet No. 559,639
71.

Avicenna claimed to have observed Venus as a spot on the Sun.

FactSnippet No. 559,640
72.

Avicenna used his transit observation to help establish that Venus was, at least sometimes, below the Sun in Ptolemaic cosmology, i e the sphere of Venus comes before the sphere of the Sun when moving out from the Earth in the prevailing geocentric model.

FactSnippet No. 559,641
73.

For example, Avicenna considers the motion of the solar apogee, which Ptolemy had taken to be fixed.

FactSnippet No. 559,642
74.

Unlike al-Razi, Avicenna explicitly disputed the theory of the transmutation of substances commonly believed by alchemists:.

FactSnippet No. 559,643
75.

The third work is agreed to be Avicenna's writing, adapted from the Kitab al-Shifa (Book of the Remedy).

FactSnippet No. 559,644
76.

Avicenna classified minerals into stones, fusible substances, sulfurs and salts, building on the ideas of Aristotle and Jabir.

FactSnippet No. 559,645
77.

The epistola de Re recta is somewhat less sceptical of alchemy; Anawati argues that it is by Avicenna, but written earlier in his career when he had not yet firmly decided that transmutation was impossible.

FactSnippet No. 559,646
78.

Avicenna has been recognized by both East and West as one of the great figures in intellectual history.

FactSnippet No. 559,647
79.

Avicenna was one of the Islamic world's leading writers in the field of medicine.

FactSnippet No. 559,648
80.

Avicenna is remembered in the Western history of medicine as a major historical figure who made important contributions to medicine and the European Renaissance.

FactSnippet No. 559,649
81.

Aristotle's dominant intellectual influence among medieval European scholars meant that Avicenna's linking of Galen's medical writings with Aristotle's philosophical writings in the Canon of Medicine significantly increased Avicenna's importance in medieval Europe in comparison to other Islamic writers on medicine.

FactSnippet No. 559,650
82.

Avicenna's influence following translation of the Canon was such that from the early fourteenth to the mid-sixteenth centuries he was ranked with Hippocrates and Galen as one of the acknowledged authorities,.

FactSnippet No. 559,651
83.

Avicenna Prize, established in 2003, is awarded every two years by UNESCO and rewards individuals and groups for their achievements in the field of ethics in science.

FactSnippet No. 559,652
84.

Avicenna has had a lasting influence on the development of medicine and health sciences.

FactSnippet No. 559,653
85.

Treatises of Avicenna influenced later Muslim thinkers in many areas including theology, philology, mathematics, astronomy, physics and music.

FactSnippet No. 559,654
86.

Avicenna's works numbered almost 450 volumes on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived.

FactSnippet No. 559,655
87.

Avicenna wrote at least one treatise on alchemy, but several others have been falsely attributed to him.

FactSnippet No. 559,656
88.

Avicenna created new scientific vocabulary that had not previously existed in Persian.

FactSnippet No. 559,657
89.

Persian poetry from Avicenna is recorded in various manuscripts and later anthologies such as Nozhat al-Majales.

FactSnippet No. 559,658