University of Hawai'i Press

This article systematically compares Ibn Sīnā's paradigm of takhyīl, taṣdīq, and idh'ān to Kant's aesthetic ideas and judgment, rational ideas, and reflecting judgment, touching upon some previously investigated historical links (al-ḥiss al-mushtarak versus sensus communis, and ḥads versus ingenium). Its main purpose is to show that although the two thinkers have dissimilar perspectives on logic's relation to art and poetry leading to differences in many parts of their theories, a careful consideration of the particulars destabilizes many of the assumed differences.

I. Introduction

It might not be striking that writers expressing the same idea, or a similar reaction to an idea, would use a similar set of words if they were writing in the same language.

In the examples to follow, I remain unsure as to whether I should be struck by the similarity or not; it was a nice coincidence at first, a mere "interesting observation" rather than a "striking similarity," from which I could begin an article comparing the poetics of Ibn Sīnā with the aesthetics of Kant. The observation was that three different writers, in reacting to a similarity they observed between Ibn Sīnā and other thinkers in domains related to poetics and/or imagination, used the two words "striking" and "similarity," or at least their siblings or first cousins. The first is Deborah Black in a passage I had previously quoted in another article, provoked by the two words: "a careful consideration of Avicenna's syllogistic construal of metaphor clearly shows that these operations [likening, comparison, substitution] merely provide the foundation for a more complex transfer of meaning, one that is strikingly akin to the interaction theory proposed by Max Black.…"1 The second is in an article on imagination in Ibn Sīnā and Kant by Allan Bäck: "In comparing the views of Avicenna and Kant on the imagination, we find a striking congruence of doctrine."2 The third is in Margaret Larkin's book on al-Jurjānī, about whom, although he was much closer historically and culturally to Ibn Sīnā than Kant or Max Black, Larkin comments—as she compares a quote by Ibn Sīnā on poetic premises and syllogisms with another by al-Jurjānī on a premise (muqaddima) being granted without proof: "Indeed, we are struck by the similarity between this quote by Ibn Sīnā and the one by al-Jurjānī."3

My observation led to an excitement that led to a shameless Google search of the three words "Avicenna," "striking," and "similarity." The search yielded striking results. Whether an argument in Ibn Sīnā philosophy is compared to one by a Western thinker (Augustine, Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Locke) or a thinker from within the Arabic-Islamic tradition (Ibn al-Haytham, al-Bāqillānī), the similarity is striking for most scholars. Here are some examples:

The proof is central for Leibniz and his followers who—although the historical filiation is unclear—reveal striking similarities with Avicenna.4

The psychological framework within which Alhacen explains visual perception bears some striking similarities to Avicenna's internal senses model.5 [End Page 1]

The second argument is a response to an object that has a striking similarity to the one used by the Ash'arite al-Baqillani. But while this parallel and similarity do not prove Avicenna's acquaintance with kalam criticisms of natural causation, they are not irrelevant.6

Both Avicenna and Leibniz also profess an outspoken optimism. Their systems have striking similarities, and this in spite of a clear difference in emphasis on the priority of the Intellect over the will.…7

Augustine, again like Descartes, later on, puts his Cogito argument in On the Trinity to a second use to show that the body cannot be part of the essence of self. This time there is a striking similarity with the Flying Man argument of the Islamic philosopher Avicenna in the tenth century. Avicenna would not have known a Latin writer such as Augustine. So did these two great minds think alike independently of each other?8

Furthermore, one cannot fail to note the striking similarities between the flying man and René Descartes' Cogito six centuries later. Knowledge of his influence and this peculiar similarity with one of the most important thinkers of the modern era made the necessity of a systematic account of what the Shifā' hinted at seem all the more urgent.9

The similarity of approach and formulation, for all the differences in the cosmological and ontological system within which Avicenna and Locke were operating (to say nothing of the widely divergent historical and social context), is striking.10

The latter quote is by Dimitri Gutas, who explains that the realization of Locke having a precursor in Avicenna—a realization that challenges some originality claims by Locke scholars—"provides a historically more balanced perspective on the development of Western philosophy, a major component of which is certainly philosophy in the Islamic world."11 This also seems to be the motive behind Peter Adamson's project, History of Philosophy without any gaps.12 One wonders whether or not the existing "gaps" are one reason behind finding certain similarities striking. One also wonders if the efforts of comparative studies in general are indirectly aimed at rewriting the history of various disciplines "without any gaps." In a 1974 lecture on "the concept of comparative philosophy," Henri Corbin notes that the field of "comparative philosophy" is still "in its infancy" despite the appeal of the term, and despite the scope of other comparative disciplines: comparative grammar, literature, and aesthetics.13 Corbin, however, favored a phenomenological approach to one that views the task of comparative philosophy as a re-writing of the history of philosophy.14 Since Corbin's work, much research in the field of comparative philosophy has been undertaken, but similarities are still found striking, even when a Google search of "striking similarity" replaces Avicenna with Averroes, whose links with the West—medieval, Renaissance, and early modern—are perhaps more clearly delineated.

In the fields of aesthetics and poetics, many gaps are definitely existent, and the research accomplished thus far is far from systematic, perhaps because the field itself is very broad and multidisciplinary. There seems to be growing work comparing Asian (Chinese, Indian, Japanese) with Western aesthetics under the term "comparative [End Page 2] aesthetics."15 The term "comparative poetics," which spread through the work of Earl Miner comparing Japanese with Western literatures, has recently become inclusive of Arabic literature and "poetics."16 "Islamic Aesthetics" is also used by some comparatists who are not originally Arabists, which may be the reason behind some serious errors and oversimplification. One 2007 article in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism titled "Islamic Aesthetics: An Alternative Way to Knowledge"17 begins on a striking note:

One important difference between Islamic and Western aesthetics is that, in the former, there has been little if any critical discourse on art and beauty until very recently. Yet, from the eighth to the thirteenth centuries, a vast literature related to the arts, from architecture to poetry and music, existed in Islamic countries.18

The fact that the mere "existence" of Arabic or Islamic poetics is fresh news for one of the pioneering journals of aesthetics is indeed a problem, not to mention what the dismissal of Arabic poetics and aesthetics as mere literature "related" to the arts implies. Later on in his article the author progresses to the extraordinarily simplistic remark: "Basic differences between Islamic and Western cultures are manifested not only in how language is—and is not—used to talk about art, but also in profound differences in their approaches to the world in general."19 This remark makes it hard to take any of what follows seriously, especially since the author seems to know nothing about Arabic literature and poetics, which, in my view, is central to the Arabic-Islamic understanding of beauty, wonder, and pleasure; it does, however, reflect the vast distance between academic disciplines. This is also a matter of "gaps": the gaps between the disciplines within Western academia, and between Western and Arab academia as well, which sometimes makes it confusing for an academic working within the two traditions.

Perhaps the pressing question is: why compare in the first place? Besides the calls for re-writing the history of a certain idea (e.g., Gutas' remark), there are other motives. Earl Miner in Comparative Poetics quotes another comparatist, James Liu: "Thus a comparative study of the theories of literature may lead to a better understanding of all literature."20 Miner's study itself, departing from "Eurocentrism," seems to have the same view in mind, which is similar to the views of the comparatist René Étiembe, who encouraged the combination of two methods that "considered themselves enemies, but that, in reality, must complement each other,"21 adding that "comparative literature would then be irresistibly drawn to comparative poetics."22 Lately, in 2014, Ning Wang in an article on Miner's contribution to the field makes an interesting remark: "[The] present discussion of world literature lacks the construction of world poetics."23 This is indeed an ambitious quest, less called-for in works with a more limited scope, although some of these declare similarly enthusiastic motives for comparison. Allan Bäck observes a "dual use" in comparing Avicenna's and Kant's doctrines of imagination: the use of "placing Kant's doctrines in the context of the Aristotelian tradition and of illuminating the modern significance of the thought of Avicenna."24 Bäck also notes that Kant's thought is more familiar "to [End Page 3] us" than Avicenna's, and so "we can use Kant also to help us understand the claims of Avicenna."25

Alongside some of these motives, studies in Arabic in the field of comparative poetics seem to have additional motives that pertain to the situation of contemporary Arabic aesthetics, poetics, or criticism. This field is split between relying on "past" (Arabic) theories and "modern" (Western) theories of literature. The "need" for comparison stems from this ongoing debate.

In the present article, my argument stems from several of the above-mentioned motives. But more importantly, it aims to show how Ibn Sīnā's and Kant's theories of takhyīl and aesthetic judgment in particular complement one another, as each theory, in my view, has theoretical gaps. Historical links are not impossible to forge, but they are still very ambiguous. The more ambiguity there is, the more gaps, and the more striking and unexpected is any similarity. The next section is therefore an attempt to escape the strike, while the third section outlines the major points of resemblance in Kant's and Ibn Sīnā's theories.

I may, of course, have ambitious motives relevant to the idea of "world poetics," something which, interestingly, Ibn Sīnā was aspiring to accomplish. His and Ibn Rūshd's commentaries on the Poetics are indeed works in comparative poetry and poetics. After his comparative attempt, Ibn Sīnā wrote in the final paragraph of Fann al-shi'r that he aims at a more original discussion in "the absolute science of poetry" ('ilm al-shi'r al-muṭlaq), and also another, more realized and detailed discussion (shadīd al-taḥṣīl wa al-tafṣīl) in the science of poetry according to the (Arabic) contemporary tradition and practice ('ilm al-shi'r bi ḥasb 'ādat hādha al-zamān).26 The present article falls within Ibn Sīnā's first aspiration.

II. Avoiding the Strike

There are, as I will demonstrate in the next section, several "striking similarities" between Kant's theory of aesthetic judgment and Ibn Sīnā's theory of takhyīl, and also some differences that can have complementary functions for each theory. Yet to avoid a continuous use of the adjective "striking" in the next section, a pause to reflect on possible historical links seems necessary.

In the history of philosophy in general, both figures are cornerstones, and in fields that neighbor aesthetics, the same can be assumed: Ibn Sīnā, as 'Ali Ayat Ushān notes in his book on takhyīl, is a shared origin in Eastern and Western philosophy, seeing that the classical theory of psychology (including the doctrines of imagination) could have been passed to Kant through Ibn Sīnā, and from Ibn Sīnā to Ibn 'Arabī and Suhrawardī, as can be inferred from the many works of Henri Corbin and his followers.27 Ushān also mentions the rebuttal of Muḥammad Miftāḥ, who rejects the approach of looking for the concept "creative imagination" "outside" its Kantian context, even if there are similarities in content and expression between Kant and other German Idealists on the one hand and the Sufis on the other. Miftāḥ insists that what belongs to "modernism" is different from what belongs to "pre-modernism," and since all Arabic conceptions of imagination are "pre-modern" in his view, because [End Page 4] "in the center there is God, and not Man," any comparison or historical link is accordingly invalid.28

It is amazing how Miftāḥ's call for contextualization fails to observe the wider existing context. Historical links between Kant and Ibn Sīnā in the fields of imagination, creative imagination, and aesthetics (whether via the Sufi route, the rational Averroist route, or one or several Latin mediums) cannot be falsified. Furthermore, basic knowledge of the Latin Avicenna among other Latinized thinkers is perhaps enough to deconstruct East / West and modern/pre-modern dichotomies.

Kant may not have had direct knowledge of the widely spread Hermannus Alemannus' translation of Ibn Rūshd's middle commentary on Aristotle's poetics, translated in the thirteenth century and thereafter known as Poetria before and during the Renaissance and at times more influential than William of Moerbeke's translation from the Greek; or of Alemannus' citations from Ibn Sīnā's commentary on the Rhetoric; or, more importantly, of Ibn Sīnā's De Anima directly.29 He may, however, have benefited from some ideas on beauty by Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas, both of whom were influenced by (in addition to Ciceronian-Augustinian conceptions of beauty) Ibn Sīnā, especially the idea that Aquinas' concept of beauty consisting in due proportion is based on the De anima idea that sense is a certain ratio, according to John Marenbon.30

Arabic ideas in philosophical poetics and psychology were not unfamiliar by the time that Baumgarten coined the term "aesthetics" as part of philosophy. Tracing these ideas back to Aristotle is always possible, given that basic concepts in aesthetics, for example judgment, imagination, taste, and common sense, are all part of the Aristotelian corpus, heavily influencing philosophical poetics and aesthetics, written in Arabic, Latin, and modern languages. David Summers took up such an attempt in The Judgment of Sense,31 where he notes that Kant's ancestry in the structures and activities of sensus communis in relation to reason, understanding, and pure sense "seems to have been forgotten,"32 although his investigations "formed around a much older armature of ideas, and it was these ideas that late medieval and Renaissance writers had turned to the purpose of describing and explaining what came to be called aesthetic experience."33

In his article on Kant and Averroism,34 Marco Sgarbi states that "it is highly likely that [Kant] had only a smattering of knowledge concerning Averroes's philosophy."35 Sgarbi's inquiry comes from Herder's characterization of Kant's philosophy as a form of "Averroism,"36 revealing that Kant was exposed to Averroism in the doctrines of the origin of the human soul and its immortality but "only indirectly," that is, through the influence of Leibniz, Wolff, and Baumgarten.37 The question is whether what applies to Kant's knowledge of Averroes through Baumgarten's Metaphysica can be applied to the latter's Aesthetics. David Summers tried to discover this particular link. The next section will compare Kant's "aesthetic ideas" with the Arabic takhyīl, keeping in mind that Kant's "aesthetic ideas" were preceded by Baumgarten's "sensual ideas" in his Reflections on Poetry, in which most of the "content" of his new terminology and new science of aesthetics was, according to Summers, "largely made up of the themes and issues" that were prevalent in the Renaissance and the beginnings [End Page 5] of the Enlightenment, especially in Leibniz and Descartes, and can be traced back to the Middle Ages.38

Salim Kemal, on the very first page of his Poetics of Alfarabi and Avicenna, cites Summer's book as a reference to Ibn Rūshd's continued influence on the ideas of art for "as late as the Renaissance."39 Kemal in several instances in his book refers to such influence, but without specification. He mentions that al-Fārābī's discussion of issues such as validity, pleasure, response, and social action "was to engage Ibn Sina and, through him, would influence European aesthetics."40 Kemal cites Summers, but does not explain exactly which ideas made their way to Baumgarten's aesthetics. One review of Kemal's book discusses this problem:

Although Kemal arguably demonstrates the philosophical integrity of Avicenna's poetics, he would have to show how Avicenna's poetics is superior to modern Kantian aesthetics or to the relativism of contemporary postmodernist theory if he wants to pursue his broader aim of justifying the relevance of Avicenna's theory to contemporary poetics.41

Indeed, the relevance itself becomes more confused when Kemal, a prominent Kant scholar, discusses Ibn Sīnā's theory using Kantian terminology such as "community of feeling between subjects"; "aesthetic responses"; "Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushd propose that poetry is subjective yet has other and more validity than an expression of personal preference"; "subjective feelings"; "these writers emphasize the human subject"; and "their concern to validate this subjectivity further distinguishes their reception of Greek texts."42 In between these lines Kemal adds that such medieval ideas "are very modern."43

It seems that Kemal was "struck" by the "similarity" between the ideas of Arab philosophers and how they can be smoothly translated into modern Kantian terminology, to the extent that some of his paraphrases seem to be discussing Kant and not Ibn Sīnā. The hypothesis is intriguing: that Arab philosophers and Kant were speaking of the same ideas using a different language or conceptual system. This claim is also made by Alan Bäck: "Now despite the differences in language Kant seems to hold similar views [to Avicenna's psychology]."44 "Struck" by the similarity, such writers attempt to see what is beyond the different terminology, sometimes by attempting to apply the terminology of one to the other.

In the next section I will be guilty at times of such terminological interchange. Yet while I will try to explain the "striking similarity" between takhyīl and Kant's aesthetic judgment and ideas and between idh'ān (acquiescence) and Kant's reflecting judgment (among other, previously investigated, links such as al-ḥiss al-mushtarak versus sensus communis and ḥads versus ingenium), I am aware that "similar" does not connote "identical." Therefore I will also be discussing differences, especially in the two thinkers' view of logic in relation to art.

A comparative study is, perhaps, a failure in philology, yet a necessary precursor. The next section, the comparisons, can perhaps pave the way for a less anachronistic study to take place; one that would look for the history of each Kantian idea that seems "strikingly similar" to an Avicennean counterpart. [End Page 6]

III. Strikingly Similar Ideas

Takhyīl and Aesthetic Judgment

While Ibn Sīnā's poetics contains no exact linguistic parallels to the Kantian "judgment of taste," there seems to be some similarity in their general conception of such judgment, especially when the "judgment of taste" is compared with Ibn Sīnā's takhyīl; it might be claimed that Ibn Sīnā's takhyīl is more about formal stylistics than aesthetics, but the following discussion will prove otherwise, as it will highlight takhyīl's nature of judgment, its psychological effects, and its production of pleasure.45

Kant places the nature of aesthetic judgments under "reflecting" (reflectirend) rather than "determining" (bestimmend) judgments. He sets the distinction in the introduction to the Third Critique.46 After defining the power in judgment in general as "the faculty for thinking of the particular as contained under the universal,"47 he explains that this judgment is "determining" if "the universal (the rule, the principle, the law) is given" before "the power of judgment subsumes the particular under it," and "reflecting" if "only the particular is given, for which the universal is to be found."48

In the "First Introduction" to the Third Critique Kant further explains how an aesthetic judgment is reflecting rather than determining:

Every determining judgment is logical because its predicate is a given objective concept. A merely reflecting judgment about a given individual object, however, can be aesthetic if (before its comparison with others is seen), the power of judgment, which has no concept ready for the given intuition, holds the imagination (merely in the apprehension of the object) together with the understanding (in the presentation of a concept in general) and perceives a relation of the two faculties of cognition which constitutes the subjective, merely sensitive condition of the objective use of the power of judgment in general (namely the agreement of those two faculties with each other).49

These outlines of aesthetic judgment (not objective, merging imagination with understanding, and not determining, since only the particular is given) have similarities with Ibn Sīnā's paradigm; in his commentary on the Poetics in al-Shifā' (and also in the Music part), he defines poetry as "image-evoking speech" (kalām mukhayyil), and makes it clear that both taṣdīq (assent) and takhyīl (image evocation) are types of acquiescence (idh'ān).50 This is very close to Kant's conception of types of judgments as determining and reflecting, and of the aesthetic judgment as reflecting, especially if we keep in mind that for each syllogistic art Ibn Sīnā assumed a specific type of response differing in the degree of conviction; in the Mūsīqā part of al-Shifā' he states that identifying poetry with takhyīl distinguishes it from rational utterances (aqāwīl 'irfāniyya), that is, those that produce either conceptualization (taṣawwur) or assent (taṣdīq).51 Earlier, in Kitāb al-majmū', he identifies takhyīl with affect (infi'āl), and stresses that its aim is never to produce assent (min ghayri an yakūna al-gharaḍu bi al-maqūli īqā'u i'tiqādin al-batta):52 [End Page 7]

Poetic premises are those premises which, when accepted, are meant to produce imagining (takhyīl), rather than assent (taṣdīq), in the soul; imagining is an affect (infi'āl) of wonder, glorification, disparagement, belittlement, grief, or vigor where the utterance is by no means intended to produce firm belief. These premises do not have to be true or false. Nor do they have to be widely accepted or rejected. Rather, they should be imaginary.53

Ibn Sīnā further stresses that takhyīl is "the speech to which the soul yields (tudh'in), accepting and rejecting matters without pondering, reasoning, or choice; in brief, it responds psychologically rather than ratiocinatively."54 Dahiyat explains that the reason for rendering fikrī as "ratiocinative" rather than "intellectual" is that Ibn Sīnā's aim is to distinguish poetry not from intellectual activity but rather from conviction-producing reasoning, because poetry primarily produces pleasure and wonder.55 He observes that Ibn Sīnā's emphasis on "imaginative assent" as the end of poetry is accompanied by the primary place he gives to "aesthetic experience," which he calls "wonder" (ta'jīb) and pleasure (iltidhādh, lidhdhah), which Dahiyat describes as "aesthetic emotions."56 In his al-Takhyīl wa al-shi'r, Yūsuf al-Idrīsī also comments on Ibn Sīnā's takhyīl (after quoting the same passage from Kitāb al-majmū') as involving an "aesthetic affect" (infi'āl jamālī).57 Both scholars use the term "aesthetic," which implies that the modern understanding of the "aesthetic" can be observed in Ibn Sīnā.

Perhaps Ibn Sīnā does not exactly use a term parallel to aesthetic. However, associating the ends of poetry with a kind of assent that does not involve conviction but rather pleasure through imagination not only makes the term aesthetic implied, but also makes this type of assent very close to Kant's aesthetic reflecting judgment. Deborah Black described idh'ān in Ibn Sīnā as the "genus of assent," translated as "acquiescence" or "yielding."58 What idh'ān produces, Black explains, is simply "the knower's subjective acceptance of a statement as true," rather than the implication that "the proposition corresponds objectively to some real state of affairs."59 This subjective acceptance, in the case of taṣdīq, is produced by "the content of the utterance," while in takhyīl by the "attraction of the words."60 In Ibn Sīnā's words, takhyīl is "a compliance due to the wonder and the pleasure that are caused by the utterance itself," while taṣdīq "is a compliance due to the realization that the thing is what it is said to be."61 Both are types of idh'ān, the form of general subjective acceptance, a notion strikingly similar to Kant's idea that an "objectively universally valid judgement" is "also always subjectively so."62 This is because its objective universality makes it also "valid for everyone who represents an object through this concept."63 The opposite, however, is not true, because "from a subjectively universal validity, i.e., from aesthetic universal validity, which does not rest on any concept, there cannot be any inference at all to logical universal validity."64

Ibn Sīnā's conception of idh'ān is very similar to this characterization, and also his idea that takhyīl is able to produce affect "whether the utterance is true or not."65 For Ibn Sīnā an utterance can be true with or without exciting emotion, and it can also effect emotion without conviction.66 The "depiction of a true thing" for Ibn Sīnā can move the soul, and this is "even more necessary" (awjab).67 He is clearly saying [End Page 8] that truth would necessarily cause a subjective acceptance in the soul, in the form of pleasure, yet a mere pleasurable imaginative assent does not lead to an inference that an utterance is true; in this, his ideas prove similar to Kant's.

The key to both Ibn Sīnā's and Kant's theories is the role of the imagination. The very definition of poetry for the former is the production of images, and for the latter it involves the free play of the cognitive powers (especially imagination), provoked by the representations of the "aesthetic idea," the core of aesthetic experience; I will come back shortly to aesthetic ideas. But the pertinent question for now is this: was Kant lacking the one-word concept "takhyīl" while Ibn Sīnā was lacking "aesthetic"? The similarities are indeed striking. Aesthetic judgments for Kant are closely related to feeling, pleasure, subjectivity, and imagination. Takhyīl is itself a judgment, a yielding, an image-production, and a pleasure (infi'āl). Similarly for Kant, pleasure is related to the power of judgment, as the latter serves as the "determining ground for the feeling of pleasure."68 In other words pleasure for Kant (just as for Ibn Sīnā) is some sort of "assertion about an object."69

This assertion, for Kant, is itself a reflecting judgment, which deals only with a particular where no universal is given, and so does not rest on any a priori principle. Paul Guyer explains that it is not always apparent "how the model of seeking an unknown universal for a given particular is to apply to each case of reflecting judgment, especially the judgment of beauty, which is not supposed to be 'determined' by a concept at all."70 Guyer applies Kant's account of "regulative principles" to reflecting judgments, and infers that this principle in the judgment of beauty lies in Kant's idea of "intersubjective commonality or systematicity in our subjective responses to particular objects."71 So although Kant makes it clear that an aesthetic judgment is a judgment "whose predicate can never be cognition (concept of an object),"72 but since it is a reflecting judgment, we will, according to Guyer, seek to subsume the object under "something universal, namely, the very idea of "subjective universal validity."73 The indication for this subjectivity (or intersubjectivity) is pleasure itself; in Kant's words: "since a merely subjective condition of a judgment does not permit a determinate concept of that judgment's determining ground, this can only be given in the feeling of pleasure."74

The idea of subjective universality in an aesthetic experience where only the particular is given and the judgment is reflecting, is implied in Ibn Sīnā's (and al-Fārābī's before him) theory of the poetic syllogism. Much research has been done in recent years on the Arabic philosophers' dealings with the poetic syllogism from al-Fārābī to Ibn Ṭumlūs.75 The Arabic philosophers followed the Alexandrian tradition of including the Poetics and Rhetoric in the Aristotelian Organon, which made logic not alien to utterances containing takhyīl. Takhyīl in poetry is associated with types of metaphors and similes constructing the figurative language in which "likeness" is a central element. Getting closer to Kant's paradigm entails focusing on the universal or particular character of such likeness. "Imaginative likeness," as Deborah Black explains, can never reach the level of universality "given the radically sensible and individual character of images; images are not yet concepts, and so they will never apply universally to any determinate class of things."76 This impossibility is [End Page 9] apparent in one author-centered (Black's description) example by Ibn Sīnā: "so and so is a moon, for he is handsome"—in which the underlying syllogism is "so and so is handsome; everything handsome is a moon; so and so is a moon" (fulān wasīm, wa kull wasīm qamar, fa fulān qamar).77 The middle term "everything handsome is a moon" cannot claim to be universal. However, there are some "audience-centered" examples given by Ibn Sīnā in which the middle term (the universal sought from the particular in Kant's words) is able to produce a kind of "perfect acquiescence" (Black's words) because of the universal, intersubjective nature of the middle term; it is almost impossible to disagree, say, with the middle term in Ibn Sīnā's example (from Ibn al-Rūmī), "The rose is a mule's anus with dung in its midst":78

[I]t is as if [one] were trying to say: "For everything which is a mule's anus of such a description … is filthy and unclean." For although his utterance of it is a syllogism (that is, if its premises are granted, what is sought is entailed by them), by uttering it he intends [to offer] no evidence of the soundness of conviction about this belief. Rather, all that is intended is for the soul to be disgusted by what is said about it imaginatively.79

Thus, similarly to Kant, the indication for the subjective judgment is the feeling of pleasure or displeasure. The minor premise for Ibn Sīnā is parallel to Kant's "particular," and it is the metaphor itself: "The rose is a mule's anus." The middle term for Ibn Sīnā corresponds to Kant's universal: everything that is a mule's anus with dung in its midst is filthy and unclean. The conclusion is: therefore the rose is filthy and unclean.80 This conclusion can never involve a "determining" judgment in Kant's words, or a taṣdīq to use Ibn Sīnā's, but merely a takhyīl or a judgment of "taste," because it is not based on any concept at all, but merely on a likeness. The similarity is perhaps due to this example of the poetic syllogism being from the audience's point of view, just like Kant's judgment of taste.

The same applies to Ibn Sīnā's beloved Aristotelian example of the role of takhyīl, "honey is vomited bile"—an utterance that can make the listener too disgusted to eat it.81 The absent middle term can cause an intersubjective acceptance, near universal, though not objective: "All vomited bile is disgusting." In 'Uyūn al-ḥikma, Ibn Sīnā mentions this example in relation to poetic syllogisms.82 He explains that poetic syllogisms are made up of imaginative premises, which are able to move the soul even if the mind knows they are untrue, like telling someone that this honey is vomited bile, and since vomited bile is disgusting he won't eat it.83 He adds that the simi larity between this example and poetic utterances is that in poetry we say "this is a lion" and "this is a moon," and the listener, knowing that this is untrue, is still moved, even though the mind knows its untruth.84

While Ibn Sīnā manages to view such "untruths" within a logical paradigm justifying the intersubjective acceptance, Kant, on the other hand, is against finding "rules" for aesthetic judgment, other than the regulative principles of subjective acceptance that contributed, according to Zammito, to Kant's confidence in the systematicity or systematic totality and unity of reason.85 David Summers explains that the tradition of attempting to find rational principles for aesthetic judgment continued [End Page 10] until the immediate precursors of Kant; Leibniz, Wolff, and Baumgarten all continued Descartes' distinction between clear and confused knowldege.86 For Baumgarten for example, the basis of poetry is "sensate presentation," by which he means "representations received through the lower part of the cognitive faculty,"87 which makes the judgment of sense "confused."88 Here the similarity with Ibn Sīnā's takhyīl is undeniable, but the difference remains in the fact that the Latin tradition leading to Kant did not introduce the idea of syllogism to poetry or art.

Aesthetic response, belonging to "confused" knowledge and by the principle of association, was discussed by Kant in his lectures, and although he was critical at first of the rational approach to such "confused" knowledge, he then suggested new principles, a priori principles for feeling.89 What is important here is that these principles and this systematicity do not, for Kant, involve a kind of syllogism. The aesthetic judgment cannot be reached through any kind of "inference" or "proof":

By a principle of taste would be understood a fundamental proposition under the condition of which one could subsume the concept of an object and then by means of an inference conclude that it is beautiful. But that is absolutely impossible. For I must be sensitive of the pleasure immediately in the representation of it, and I cannot be talked into it by means of any proofs. Thus although critics, as Hume says, can reason more plausibly than cooks, they still suffer the same fate as them. They cannot expect a determining ground for their judgment from proofs, but only from the reflection of the subject on his own state (of pleasure or displeasure), rejecting all percepts and rules.90

It may seem at first glance that Kant's use of "inference" and "proof" in the judgment of beauty has nothing to do with Ibn Sīnā's syllogism, except superficially, because Ibn Sīnā did not exactly say the words "aesthetic judgment" or use "beauty" in the context of the poetic syllogism. Beyond the surface, however, similarities can be found if Ibn Sīnā's first premise and middle term of the poetic syllogism are compared with Kant's "particular" and "universal" in aesthetic judgment. These are essentially different, but not that different. The particular for Kant is the object we judge as beautiful, while the universal is the rule by which we judged it as beautiful, the rule of intersubjective validity. The particular (juz'ī) in Ibn Sīnā's audience-centered examples, the minor premise, is the metaphor we are "eventually" moved by. The middle term (which is not given, just as Kant's universal is not given) is necessary to seek in order to reach the conclusion and feel pleasure (or displeasure), just as much as the supposition of a universal validity is important for Kant in order to feel pleasure; Ibn Sīnā's middle term can never attain the degree of objective universality, and remains subjective, just as the universal in aesthetic judgments for Kant is subjective. Judgments of taste for Kant are "singular": the object is only held up to the subject's feelings of pleasure or displeasure, not through concepts, and therefore it qualifies not as an objectively valid judgment, but as a universally valid one.91 Ibn Sīnā clearly agrees: the syllogism itself is not intended as conviction or belief but as moving the soul or soul(s) of people universally (yet subjectively) disgusted by honey when it is likened to "vomited bile." [End Page 11]

Another instance where disagreement on this point can be assumed is when Kant clearly says that "roses in general are beautiful" is not a judgment of taste, but an "aesthetically grounded logical judgment."92 This does not mean he disagrees with Sīnā, for whom this statement can simply be the middle term in the poetic syllogism—a "logical judgment" that is merely part of a structure leading to the feeling of pleasure; if, for example, a woman is compared to a rose, the premise "roses are beautiful" is needed to understand that she is beautiful and to feel pleasure. The difference, however, is that while Kant views logical rules as impossible to exist within the aesthetic judgment, Ibn Sīnā does not see an aesthetic/logical dichotomy.

The reason for this difference is clear: Kant does not follow the medieval tradition of Alexandrian poetics wherein poetry is considered part of the logical arts; in the very preface to the Critique of Pure Reason, he actually condemns the use of logic for purposes other than its proper domain.93 He states in the second preface to the First Critique that since Aristotle logic has been unable to advance a step forward, although some moderns sought to enlarge its domain "by interpolating psychological chapters about our different cognitive powers (about imagination, wit),"94 which among other attempts "proceeds only from their ignorance of the peculiar nature of this science."95 In the Third Critique he also denies that aesthetic judgment would interest a logician as much as a transcendental philosopher.96 This is the opposite of Ibn Sīnā, who thought that takhyīl is indeed the realm of the logician, following the context theory: "the logician considers [poetry] only in so far as it is imaginative speech [min ḥaythu huwa mukhayyil]."97

If Kant's a priori principles for the judgment of taste are not logical or objective, and Ibn Sīnā's premises of the poetic syllogism are not objective and cannot produce demonstrative truth, this is because of the same reason: the nature of the poetic utterance (Ibn Sīnā) or the work of art (Kant), where the core element is, for both thinkers, the representation of the imagination. This representation is called takhyīl for Ibn Sīnā, and an aesthetic idea for Kant.

Takhyīl and Aesthetic Ideas

Wolfhart Heinrichs defines Takhyīl in Arabic philosophical poetics as "the creation, on the part of the poet, of an image in the mind of the listener."98 Ibn Sīnā considers such imaginings (takhyīlāt) to be neither limited nor fixed (lā tuḥṣar wa lā tuḥadd): "that which is limited is recognizable or immediate, but what is proper to poetry is that which is invented and created."99

Kant defines aesthetic ideas thus: "[By] an aesthetic idea, however, I mean that representation of the imagination that occasions much thinking though without it being possible for any determinate thought, i.e. concept, to be adequate to it, which, consequently, no language fully attains or can make intelligible."100

As a counterpart to an idea of reason, aesthetic ideas are products of the "talent" of the imagination.101 This distinction is valid for Ibn Sīnā as it is for Kant; in the former's poetics, the counterpart of takhyīl is taṣdīq (assent, conviction), while the counterpart of Kant's aesthetic idea is a rational idea. Just as with Ibn Sīnā's takhyīl, in Kant's conception of an aesthetic idea, [End Page 12]

The poet ventures to make sensible rational ideas of invisible beings, the kingdom of the blessed, the kingdom of hell, eternity, creation, etc. as well as to make that of which there are examples in experience, e.g. death, envy, and all sorts of vices, as well as love, fame, etc., sensible beyond the limits of experience, with a completeness that goes beyond anything of which there is an example in nature, by means of an imagination that emulates the precedent of reason in attaining to a maximum; and it is really the art of poetry in which the faculty of aesthetic ideas can reveal itself in its full measure.102

Poetry is, then, for Kant, the highest expression of an aesthetic idea, even though he includes all art in this conception. Similarly, Ibn Sīnā, though his focus is on poetic takhyīl, does not consider figurative language as the only means of producing it. Rather, an utterance can cause image-evocation through other elements related to the temporal duration and quantity of the utterance: the sound of it, the sense, and elements hesitating between sound and sense.103 The link between the two seemingly different ideas in terminology, takhyīl and aesthetic ideas, is perhaps clearer if we look at how Baumgarten's "sensual ideas" were determined by "affects," and because he viewed meter in poetry as able to produce sensual ideas that are not "static," as they are in painting, he considered poetry to be superior.104

For Kant, if an aesthetic idea or the representation of the imagination is able to stimulate "so much thinking that it can never be grasped in a determinate concept, hence which aesthetically enlarges the concept itself in an unbounded way, then in this case the imagination is creative, and sets the faculty of intellectual ideas (reason) into motion."105 This statement challenges the general idea that Kant's theory supports the notion of the "empty cognitive stock" usually attributed to Kant incorrectly, according to Christopher Janaway.106 Clearly, the aesthetic experience is as cognitive for Kant as it is for Ibn Sīnā, for whom takhyīl underlies a syllogistic structure, and thus, to use Kantian terminology, it can "set reason into motion" through imaginings that are "neither limited nor fixed." Invention and creation are proper to poetry, according to Ibn Sīnā, and this explains its ability to enlarge a concept "in an unbounded way," according to Kant.

Kant spoke of a "free play," "unification," and "harmony" of the cognitive faculties in aesthetic experience and judgment.107 This may not seem to exist within Ibn Sīnā's theory in view of the syllogistic structure that controls the transfer of meaning and pleasure, although his statement that imaginings are not limited or fixed implies the idea of free play. However, the Kantian ideas of cognitive free play, unification, and harmony are prevalent in Ibn Sīnā's psychology, especially in the function of the compositive imagination (al-mutakhayyilah) as one of the internal senses outlined in the Book of the Soul (Kitāb al-nafs).108 The compositive imagination, which composes and divides stored images, allows for combining the images received from the sensible world "into new ones in an act of 'free play' and creativity."109 Another parallel with aesthetic ideas being able to enlarge concepts and set reason into motion is Ibn Sīnā's conception of the cogitative faculty (al-mufakkira), which is the compositive imagination after being controlled by reason in humans.110 The difference is that while Ibn Sīnā does not involve these functions in aesthetic response, Kant does. Yet from the point of view of the artist, there are clearer similarities. [End Page 13]

Previously Investigated Links: Ḥads versus Ingenium and al-ḥiss al-mushtarak versus Sensus Communis

The similarity between aesthetic ideas and takhyīl is further revealed when Kant's and Ibn Sīnā's ideas about the producer of these representations is introduced into the discussion.

Kant's view of the "genius" of the artist and his unusual imagination seems somewhat similar to Ibn Sīnā's conception of prophetic imagination; in The Judgment of Sense David Summers attempted to sketch a history of artistic natural talent, or ingenium (Italian ingegno) in the Latin middle ages and the Renaissance.111 Summers traces the idea of ingenium back to Aristotle's "faculty of quickly discovering middle terms,"112 which takes shape in Ibn Sīnā as ḥads, a characteristic of prophecy responsible for reaching the middle term directly without training.113 It should be noted, however, that Aristotle's ankhinoia is not exactly the same as Ibn Sīnā's ḥads. According to Han Baltussen, Aristotle's ankhinoia "may be trying to convey … the immediate and non-linguistic aspect of thought."114 Ibn Sīnā's ḥads, however, is trying to convey the immediate aspect of thought particular to prophecy.

For Ibn Sīnā, prophets possess a "sacred faculty" (al-quwwa al-qudsiyya) that allows the prophet to receive forms from the active intellect in no time.115 Dag Nikolaus Hasse explains that this is one of the three kinds of prophecy in Ibn Sīnā: the first being connected with the imaginative faculty, the second with the motive faculties, and the third (responsible for ḥads) with the intellect.116 Hasse's Avicenna's De Anima in the Latin West discusses the influence of these three kinds of prophecy on Roger Bacon, Albert the Great, and Aquinas. Studying its possible influence on Kant is perhaps harder, so for now I can only note some similarity between Kant's artist, whose genius allows him to produce aesthetic ideas, and Ibn Sīnā's second kind of prophecy, where the prophet has powerful imaginative faculties allowing him to have visions and to connect with a supernatural realm. Hasse explains that this kind of prophecy relies on a strong ability to combine and separate images because of its connection with the compositive and cogitative faculties (mutakhayyila, mufakkira) or imagining (takhayyul).117

Ibn Sīnā does not assume the same extraordinary capacities for poets, however creative and inventive their imaginings may be. Rather, he places their visions in the forms of dreams and daydreams (ru'yā) next to liars and evil, drunken, sick, and unhappy people.118 Clearly, this is to disconnect poets from the supernatural realm, not to attack their capacities to evoke images in poetry. Perhaps Kant's "genius," a natural "endowment" that does not connect to a supernatural realm, lies somewhere between Ibn Sīnā's poetic and prophetic powers.

Kant's artistic "genius" is responsible for the production of aesthetic ideas: "Genius is the inborn predisposition of the mind (ingenium) through which nature gives the rule to art."119 It is a "talent for art, not for science," and art is ascribed to this talent, not to "learning and schooling."120 Genius is "the exemplary originality of the natural endowment of a subject for the free use of his cognitive faculties."121 Alongside the possible philological link between Kant's ingenium and prophetic ḥads, the free use of imagination brings Kant's genius close to Ibn Sīnā's prophet. Yet [End Page 14] genius, as a general mere ability to produce aesthetic ideas, does not make Kant's artist very different from Ibn Sīnā's poet.

The possible historical link between Kant's artistic genius and Ibn Sīnā's prophecy is one area that should be further investigated historically and contextually beyond the similarity that I suggest. Another idea that may have traveled between the two thinkers taking a different meaning is Kant's common sense (sensus communis). This term is also the Latin translation of Ibn Sīnā's al-ḥiss al-mushtarak, one of the internal senses, a "receptive faculty of forms by the external senses,"122 allowing us to perceive, for example, color and taste at once.123 This "common sense" took on a different life according to Summers, who devotes a whole chapter to the history of "common sense" from Aristotle leading up to Kant.124 Ibn Sīnā's "common sense" faculty is followed by khayāl (lit. imagination), which merely stores the forms, but cannot judge. Common sense, however, can.125 According to Summers, common sense, having been in its original meaning immediate to sensation and allied to imagination, between pure sense on the one hand and understanding and reason on the other, allowed Kant to "map the region of the aesthetic."126

The idea traveled from psychology to aesthetics, leading Kant to consider "taste" in art as a kind of sensus communis, which he understands as "the idea of a communal sense, i.e., a faculty of judging that in its reflection takes account (a priori) of everyone else's way of representing in thought."127 Summers explains that "the question of aesthetic judgment fell precisely in the region of the sensus communis," and Kant's "notion of taste fully articulates the adaptation of the language of inner sense to the problem of aesthetic judgment that had begun in the Renaissance."128

Thus the historical investigation of Ibn Sīnā's influence on ideas in modern aesthetics such as common sense and genius has already begun. The links between takhyīl and Kant's aesthetic judgment and ideas have not been touched upon yet. This study has attempted to compare these ideas and outline the meeting and parting points between the two theories; it has shown that Ibn Sīnā's takhyīl is very similar to Kant's aesthetic judgment and ideas, and they perhaps only differ in their stance on the syllogism and its possible application to art and poetry. Some of Kant's ideas, especially his "reflecting judgment" and "subjective universality" as a regulative principle for the judgment of taste, destabilize this assumed difference, revealing many "striking similarities" with Ibn Sīnā's paradigm of takhyīl, taṣdīq, and idh'ān, or, in Kantian terminology, aesthetic ideas (and judgment), rational ideas, and reflecting judgment.

Balqis al-Karaki

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Faculty of Arts, University of Jordan


1. Deborah L. Black, Logic and Aristotle's Rhetoric and Poetics in Medieval Arabic Philosophy (Leiden: Brill, 1990), p. 243; italics mine.

2. Allan Bäck, "Imagination in Avicenna and Kant," Tópicos 29 (2005): 101–130, at p. 101; italics mine. [End Page 15]

3. Margaret Larkin, The Theology of Meaning: 'Abd al-Qāhir al-Jurjānī's Theory of Discourse (New Haven, CT: American Oriental Society, 1995), p. 194; italics mine. Wolfhart Heinrichs, unstruck, holds that even if al-Jurjānī was aware of the logical term takhyīl, "he may have taken it and filled it with new semantic content to suit his own purposes" (Wolfhart Heinrichs, "Takhyīl: Make-Believe and Image Creation in Arabic Literary Theory," Introduction to Geert Jan van Gelder and Marlé Hammond, eds., Takhyīl: The Imaginary in Classical Arabic Poetics [Oxford: Gibb Memorial Trust, 2008], pp. 1–14, at p. 12).

4. Herbert A. Davidson, "Avicenna's Proof for the Existence of God as a Necessarily Existent Being," in Parviz Morewedge, ed., Islamic Philosophical Theology (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1979), pp. 167–187, at p. 181 n. 128; italics mine.

5. A. Mark Smith, From Sight to Light: The Passage from Ancient to Modern Optics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), p. 194; italics mine.

6. Michael Marmura, "The Metaphysics of Efficient Causality in Avicenna," in Michael Marmura, ed., Islamic Theology and Philosophy: Studies in Honor of George F. Hourani (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1984), pp. 172–187, at p. 187; italics mine.

7. Jules Janssens, "What about Providence in the Best of All Possible Worlds? Avicenna and Leibniz," in Pieter d'Hoine and Gerd van Riel, eds., Fate, Providence and Moral Responsibility in Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Thought: Studies in Honour of Carlos Steel (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2014), pp. 441–454, at p. 454; italics mine.

8. Richard Sorbaji, Self: Ancient and Modern Insights about Individuality, Life, and Death (Chicago: University of Chicago Press; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 9; italics mine.

9. Jari Kaukua, Avicenna on Subjectivity: A Philosophical Study (Ph.D. diss., University of Jyväskylä [Finland], 2007), p. 12; italics mine.

10. Dimitri Gutas, "The Empiricism of Avicenna," Oriens 40, no. 2 (2012): 391–436, at pp. 423–424; italics mine.

11. Ibid., p. 424.

13. Henry Corbin, The Concept of Comparative Philosophy, trans. Peter Russel (Ipswich: Golgonooza Press, 1982), p. 3.

14. Ibid., pp. 4–5.

15. See, e.g., Mazhar Hussein and Robert Wilkinson, eds., The Pursuit of Comparative Aesthetics: An Interface between East and West (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006); Eliot Deutsch, Studies in Comparative Aesthetics (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1975); and Archie J. Bahm, "Comparative Aesthetics," Journal [End Page 16] of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 24, no. 1 (1965): 109–119 (special issue on "Oriental Aesthetics"). One article in the latter publication called for "more internationalism in aesthetics, especially as between scholars of the West and the Far East" (Thomas Munroe, "Oriental Traditions in Aesthetics," pp. 3–6, at p. 3).

16. While Alif: A Journal of Comparative Poetics in no way ignores Arabic poetics (it is published by the AUC after all), the series Nouvelle poétique comparatiste (New comparative poetics) does not include one comparative study on Arabic poetics in any of its thirty-three volumes. The field is still evolving, and perhaps it is far too demanding to request that it be comprehensive in including all societies and cultures.

17. Jale Nejdet Erzen, "Islamic Aesthetics: An Alternative Way to Knowledge," Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65, no. 1 (2007): 69–75.

18. Ibid., p. 69.

19. Ibid.

20. In Earl Miner, Comparative Poetics: An Intercultural Essay on the Theories of Literature (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990), p. 6.

21. Ibid., pp. 32–33.

22. Ibid.

23. Ning Wang, "Earl Miner: Comparative Poetics and the Construction of World Poetics," Neohelicon: Acta comparationis litterarum universarum 41, no. 2 (2014): 415–425, at p. 415.

24. Bäck, "Imagination," p. 102.

25. Ibid.

26. Ibn Sīnā, "Fann al-shi'r (from Kitāb al-Shifā')," in 'Abd al-Raḥmān Badawī, ed., Arisṭūṭālīs: Fann al-shi'r ma' al-tarjama al-'arabiyya al-qadīma wa shurūḥ al-Fārābī wa Ibn Sīnā wa Ibn Rūshd (Beirut: Dār al-thaqāfa, 1973), pp. 159–198, at p. 198. I mostly used the translation of Ismail M. Dahiyat in Avicenna's Commentary on the Poetics of Aristotle: A Critical Study with an Annotated Translation of the Text (Leiden: Brill, 1974), p. 121, except for "'ilm al-shi'r almuṭlaq," which he translates as "poetic discipline in general."

27. 'Ali Ayat Ushān, al-Takhyīl al-shi'rī fī al-falsafa al-islāmiyya: al-Fārābī, Ibn Sīnā, Ibn Rūshd (Rabat: Manshūrāt ittiḥād kuttāb al-maghrib, 2004), pp. 77–78.

28. See ibid., p. 77, footnote (*), and Muḥammad Mifāḥ, Mishkāt al-mafāhīm: alnaqd al-'arabī wa al-muthāqafa (Beirut and Casablanca: al-Markiz al-thaqāfī al-'arabī, 2000), p. 22.

29. See Charles Brunett, "Arabic into Latin: The Reception of Arabic Philosophy into Western Europe," in Peter Adamson and Richard C. Taylor, eds., The [End Page 17] Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 370–404, and Karla Mallette, European Modernity and the Arab Mediterranean: Toward a New Philology and a Counter-Orientalism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000), pp. 63–64. For a detailed debate on Hermann's Poetics see B. L. Ullman, "Hermann the German's Translation of Aristotle's Poetics," Estudis Romànics 8 (1961): 43–48; William Boggess, "Aristotle's 'Poetics' in the Fourteenth Century," Studies in Philology 67, no. 3 (1970): 278–294; William Boggess, "Hermannus Alemannus's Rhetorical Translations," Viator 2 (1972): 227–250; H. A. Kelly, "Aristotle-Averroes-Alemannus on Tragedy: The Influence of the 'Poetics' in the Latin Middle Ages," Viator 10 (1979): 161–210; and Gaia Celli, "Some Observations about Hermannus Alemannus' Citations of Avicenna's Book of Rhetoric," Oriens 40 (2012): 477–513.

30. See John Marenbon, "Aesthetics," in Henrik Lagerlund, ed., Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy: Philosophy between 500 and 1500 (Dordrecht: Springer, 2011).

31. David Summers, The Judgment of Sense: Renaissance Naturalism and the Rise of Aesthetics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).

32. Ibid., p. 108.

33. Ibid.

34. Marco Sgarbi, "Immanuel Kant, Universal Understanding, and the Meaning of Averroism in the German Enlightenment," in Anna Akasoy and Guido Giglioni, eds., Renaissance Averroism and Its Aftermath: Arabic Philosophy in Early Modern Europe (Dordrecht: Springer, 2013), pp. 225–269.

35. Ibid., p. 255.

36. Ibid., pp. 255–256.

37. Ibid., p. 263.

38. See ibid., p. 194, for Baumgarten, and pp. 182–197 (chapter on notions of art as "confused knowledge").

39. Salim Kemal, The Poetics of Alfarabi and Avicenna (Leiden: Brill, 1991), p. 1.

40. Ibid., p. 138.

41. "Salim Kemal, The Poetics of Alfarabi and Avicenna," reviewed by Peter Heath in International Journal of Middle East Studies 25, no. 2 (1993): 338–340, at p. 340.

42. Kemal, The Poetics of Alfarabi and Avicenna, p. 3.

43. Ibid.

44. Bäck, "Imagination," p. 126. [End Page 18]

45. I am indebted to the anonymous reviewer of PEW for encouraging me to raise this point.

46. Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment, ed. Paul Guyer, trans. Paul Guyer and Eric Matthews (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). All citations are from this edition, hereafter cited as CPJ.

47. CPJ, Kant's "Introduction," IV, 5 : 179 (p. 66).

48. Ibid., pp. 66–67.

49. CPJ, "First Introduction," VIII, 20 : 223–224 (p. 26); boldface in original.

50. Fann al-shi'r, pp. 161–162.

51. In Sharḥ al-mūsīqā (min kitābay al-shifā' wa al-najat), ed. Ghaṭṭāṣ 'Abd al-Malik Khashaba (Cairo: al-Majlis al-a'lā li al-thaqāfa, 2004), p. 211.

52. Ibn Sīnā, Kitāb al-majmū' aw al-ḥikma al-'arūḍiyya, ed. Muḥsin Ṣāliḥ (Beirut: Dār al-Hādī, 2007), p. 105.

53. Translation by Geert Jan van Gelder and Marlé Hammond in Takhyīl: The Imaginary in Classical Arabic Poetics, p. 26.

54. Dahiyat's translation in Avicenna's Commentary, pp. 61–62. Arabic counterparts added from Fann al-shi'r, p. 161.

55. Dahiyat, Avicenna's Commentary, p. 62 n. 1.

56. Ibid., p. 35.

57. Yūsuf al-Idrīsī, al-Takhyīl wa al-shi'r: ḥafriyyat fī al-falsafa al-islāmiyya (Beirut: Difaf Publishing; [Algiers]: Editions El-Ekhtilef; and Rabat: Dār al-amān, 2012), p. 165.

58. Black, Logic, p. 76.

59. Ibid., p. 184.

60. Ibid., p. 76.

61. Dahiyat's translation in Avicenna's Commentary, p. 63. Original in Fann alshi'r, p. 162.

62. CPJ, 8, 5 : 215 (p. 100); italics mine.

63. Ibid.

64. Ibid.

65. Dahiyat's translation, in Avicenna's Commentary, p. 62. Text in Fann al-shi'r, p. 161.

66. Fann al-shi'r, pp. 161–162.

67. Ibid., p. 162.

68. CPJ, "First Introduction," III, 20 : 208 (p. 12). [End Page 19]

69. Salim Kemal, Kant's Aesthetic Theory: An Introduction, 2nd ed. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997), p. 30.

70. Paul Guyer, "Introduction" to Paul Guyer, ed., Kant's Critique of the Power of Judgment: Critical Essays (Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), pp. vii–xxi, at p. xiii.

71. Paul Guyer, "Kant's Principles of Reflecting Judgment," in Kant's Critique of the Power of Judgment: Critical Essays, pp. 1–66, at p. 19.

72. CPJ, FI, VIII, 20 : 224 (p. 26).

73. Guyer, "Kant's Principles," p. 31; italics mine.

74. CPJ, FI, VIII, 20 : 225 (p. 27).

75. For a recent review see Gregor Schoeler, "The 'Poetic Syllogism' Revisited," Oriens 41, nos. 1–2 (2013): 1–26.

76. See Black, Logic, pp. 213–214.

77. Ibn Sīnā, Al-Shifā', al-Manṭiq, 4 al-Qiyās, reviewed and introduced by Ibrahīm Madkūr, ed. Sa'īd Zāyid (Cairo, 1966), p. 57. See also Black, Logic, p. 212.

78. "Inna al-warda ṣirmu baghlin qā'imun fī waṣtihi rawth" (Ibn Sīnā, al-Qiyās, p. 57, and Black, Logic, p. 230).

79. Ibn Sīnā, al-Qiyās, pp. 57–58; translation in Black, Logic, p. 230.

80. Paraphrase in Black, Logic, p. 230.

81. "Kaman sami'a qawla al-qā'ili 'an al-'asal innahu mirra maqī'a ishma'azza 'an tanāwulih" (Ibn Sīnā, al-Qiyās, p. 5).

82. Ibn Sīnā, 'Uyūn al-ḥikma, ed. 'Abd al-Raḥmān Badawī, 2nd ed. (Beirut: Dār al-qalam; Kuwait: Wikālat al-maṭbū'āt, 1980), pp. 13–14.

83. Ibid.

84. Ibid.

85. John H. Zammito, The Genesis of Kant's Critique of Judgment (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1991), pp. 5–6.

86. See Summers, Judgment of Sense, pp. 182–197.

87. Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, Reflections on Poetry, trans. Karl Aschen-brenner and William B. Holther (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1954), p. 38.

88. Summers, Judgment of Sense, pp. 196–197.

89. Kemal, Kant's Aesthetic Theory, pp. 14–22, at pp. 21–22.

90. CPJ, 34, 5 : 285–286 (p. 166); italics mine.

91. CPJ, 8, 5 : 215 (p. 100). [End Page 20]

92. Ibid.

93. Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, trans. and ed. Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), "Preface to the Second Edition," B viii (p. 106).

94. Ibid.

95. Ibid.

96. CPJ, 8, 5 : 213 (p. 99).

97. Dahiyat, in Avicenna's Commentary, p. 61; Arabic in Fann al-shi'r, p. 161.

98. Heinrichs, Takhyīl, p. 2.

99. Dahiyat, in Avicenna's Commentary, p. 62; Fann al-shi'r, pp. 162–163.

100. CPJ, 49, 5 : 314 (p. 192); boldface in original.

101. Ibid.

102. CPJ, 49, 5 : 314.

103. Dahiyat, in Avicenna's Commentary, p. 62; Fann al-shi'r, p. 163.

104. Summers, Judgment of Sense, p. 195.

105. CPJ, 49, 5 : 315 (p. 193).

106. Christopher Janaway, "Kant's Aesthetic and the 'Empty Cognitive Stock,'" in Paul Gruyer, ed., Kant's Critique of the Power of Judgment, pp. 67–86, at p. 67.

107. On how these notions are related to "aesthetic ideas" see Samantha Metherne, "The Inclusive Interpretation of Kant's Aesthetic Ideas," British Journal of Aesthetics 53, no. 1 (2013): 21–39.

108. Ibn Sīnā, al-Shifā', al-Nafs, ed. F. Rahman as Avicenna's De Anima: Being the Psychological Part of Kitāb al-Shifā' (London: Oxford University Press, 1959), at 4.2. Translation into "compositive" is Deborak Black's; see Black, "Imagination and Estimation: Arabic Paradigms and Western Transformation," Topoi 19 (2000): 59–75. See also Dimitri Gutas, "Imagination and Transcendental Knowledge in Avicenna," in James Montgomery, ed., Arabic Theology, Arabic Philosophy: From the Many to the One: Essays in Celebration of Richard M. Frank (Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2006), pp. 333–352.

109. Black, Logic, pp. 197, 202.

110. Ibn Sīnā, al-Nafs, 5.1 and 4.2, and Black, "Imagination," p. 60.

111. Note that Summers does not mention the Arabic ḥads. See Summers, Judgment of Sense, pp. 99–100, and Ibn Sīnā, al-Nafs, 5.6 (p. 249), where the editor cites "ingenium" as the Latin translation.

112. Summers, Judgment of Sense, p. 99. [End Page 21]

113. Ibn Sīnā, al-Nafs, 5.6 (p. 249).

114. Hans Baltussen, "Did Aristotle Have a Concept of 'Intuition'? Some Thoughts on Translating 'Nous'," in Elizabeth Close, Michael Tsianikas, and George Couvalis, eds., Greek Research in Australia: Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial International Conference of Greek Studies, Flinders University June 2005 (Adelaide: Flinders University Department of Languages, 2007), pp. 53–62, at p. 60; I thank the anonymous reviewer of PEW for suggesting that I highlight this difference.

115. Ibn Sīnā, al-Nafs, 5.6 (pp. 249–250). See Dag Nikolaus Hasse, Avicenna's De Anima in the Latin West (London: Warburg Institute; Turin: Nino Aragno Editore, 2000), pp. 154–174, specifically p. 155.

116. See Hasse, Avicenna's De Anima, p. 154, and Ibn Sīnā, al-Nafs, 4.5 and 5.6. See also Fazlur Rahman, Prophecy in Islam: Philosophy and Orthodoxy (London: Allen and Unwin, 1958).

117. Hasse, Avicenna's De Anima, pp. 157–158.

118. Ibn Sīnā, al-Nafs, 4.2 (p. 180).

119. CPJ, 46, 5 : 307 (p. 186); boldface in original.

120. CPJ, 49, 5 : 316 (p. 195).

121. Ibid.; boldface in original.

122. See Black, Logic, p. 202, and Ibn Sīnā, al-Nafs, 4.1.

123. Ibn Sīnā, al-Nafs, 4.1.

124. Summers, Judgment of Sense, pp. 71–109.

125. Ibn Sīnā, al-Nafs, 4.1.

126. Ibid., p. 108.

127. CPJ, 40, 5 : 293 (p. 173); boldface in original.

128. Summers, Judgment of Sense, p. 107. [End Page 22]

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