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By Peter Heath

Islamic allegory is the made from a cohesive literary culture to which few contributed as considerably as Ibn Sina (Avicenna), the eleventh-century Muslim thinker. Peter Heath the following deals a close exam of Avicenna's contribution, paying designated cognizance to Avicenna's psychology and poetics and to the ways that they motivated traces of theological, mystical, and literary suggestion in next Islamic—and Western—intellectual and spiritual history.

Heath starts off via displaying how Avicenna's writings healthy into the context and basic background of Islamic allegory and explores the interplay between allegory, allegoresis, and philosophy in Avicenna's suggestion. He then offers a short advent to Avicenna as an historic determine. From there, he examines the ways that Avicenna's cosmological, mental, and epistemological theories locate parallel, if various, expression within the disparate codecs of philosophical and allegorical narration. incorporated during this ebook is an indication of Avicenna's allegorical perform. This takes the shape of a translation of the Mi'raj Nama (The publication of the Prophet Muhammad's Ascent to Heaven), a quick treatise in Persian in most cases attributed to Avicenna.

The textual content concludes with an research of the literary measurement Avicenna's allegorical thought and perform via analyzing his use of description metaphor. Allegory and Philosophy in Avicenna is an unique and demanding paintings that breaks new floor by means of making use of the ideas of recent literary feedback to the examine of Medieval Islamic philosophy. it will likely be of curiosity to students and scholars of medieval Islamic and Western literature and philosophy.

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Extra resources for Allegory and Philosophy in Avicenna (Ibn Sina): With a Translation of the Book of the Prophet Muhammad's Ascent to Heaven

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This vision has two main parts: the cosmogonic unfolding of the universe from the single source of creation according to a Ncoplatonic emanational scheme, and the return, or reincorporation, of the fulfilled and perfected individual human soul to its intellectual and ontological point of origin. This episteme represents the comprehensive architectonics of Avicenna's vision of the structure and operations of the cosmos. In order to participate fully in it, we will first trace the movement of cosmogonic unfolding that constitutes its first part and then investigate various representations of its second movement, the theme of spiritual return, of which the allegories constitute separate renditions.

19 A precise correlation thus holds between fields of knowledge and categories of "things," the latter being either particular existents or universal essences. " "Things" exist either as a result of our wills and actions or regardless of them. >' The study of the first category, the results of human endeavor and activity, is the realm of practical philosophy, while the scientific study of the world at large is the domain of theoretical philosophy. " The study of external reality, the cosmos as a whole, is the task of theoretical philosophy.

And, indeed, engaging philosophers as ministers was not unheard of in the Islamic context; in the oth/rzth century, both Ibn Bajja and Ibn Tufail served as ministers to rulers of the North African Muwahhidun (Almohad) dynasty. Living in an age that witnessed the resurgence of the use of the Persian language and of Sassanian court customs (many of which were Islamic by this time anyway), this political ideal was no doubt alive in the minds of Avicenna and his contemporaries. " 15 Avicenna's royal employers were, however, induced to appoint him minister more for reasons of pragmatism than due to any deep concern for imitating past monarchs or complying with the finer shades of political theory.

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