Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Note on Transliteration and Dates

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p. ix

In this book I generally follow the transliteration system of the International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES) for Arabic and Persian words. I use the circumflex rather than the macron to represent long vowels, however, and I make two minor modifications in the transcription of the Arabic definite article ...

List of Abbreviations

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p. xi

Preface

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pp. xiii-xv

Part I Introduction

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p. 1

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1. Avicenna and Islamic Allegory

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pp. 3-18

Islamic allegory represents a vast body of literature. It encompasses diverse genres—romance, "visionary recital," exegesis, debate (munâẓara), and fable. And its encoded "messages" stem from such varied disciplines as philosophy, mysticism, theology, political theory, and social and political satire. Despite this diversity in form and content, ...

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2. Avicenna: Courtier, Physician, Philosopher

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pp. 19-32

Avicenna lived in a world rich in opportunity. After enjoying a brief era of strong central authority and cultural florescence in the first part of the 3rd/9th century, the 'Abb

Part II Allegory and Philosophy

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p. 33

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3. The Structure and Representation of the Cosmos

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pp. 35-52

Avicenna possessed an extraordinarily systematic vision of the structure of the cosmos—and of how it should be studied. Appreciating this fact is crucial if we are to understand his intellectual accomplishments; but it must also be kept in perspective. His passion for cohesiveness and completion led to the preoccupation with detail ...

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4. Avicenna's Theory of the Soul

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pp. 53-79

Psychology, the study of the soul, held a particular fascination for Avicenna. That the subject clearly lies near the heart of his concern for philosophy is indicated by the fact that he devoted numerous major and minor tracts to the subject and returned repeatedly to its elaboration throughout his life.1 ...

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5. Avicenna's Theory of Knowledge

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pp. 80-106

Avicenna's epistemology is based on his conception of what one can know (i.e., the sensible and intelligible realms surveyed in Chapter Three) and how one can know (i.e., the range of perceptual faculties discussed in Chapter Four). In this chapter we will investigate the dynamic psychological processes by which humans ...

Part III The Mi'r

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p. 107

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6. Translation of the Mi'r

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pp. 109-144

The Mi'r

Part IV Interpretation and Allegory

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p. 145

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7. The Interpretation and Function of Allegory

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pp. 147-169

Avicenna's theory of allegory is straightforward, easily summarized, and, obviously, highly pertinent to an understanding of the rhetorical dimension of his allegories and philosophical writings. As with any theory of literary creation or interpretation, however, Avicenna's hermeneutics must be taken with a grain of salt. ...

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8. Allegory and Allegoresis

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pp. 170-190

Until now we have examined Avicenna's allegories mainly in terms of their relationship to his philosophical writings, muthos in conjunction with logos. But his formulation of allegory itself deserves attention since it constitutes only one of the many possible expressions that the genre encompasses, whether in terms of ...

Appendices

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pp. 191-214

Bibliography

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pp. 215-236

Index

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pp. 237-246