Abstract

abstract:

This paper refutes the claim that Avicenna's theory of science is empiricist in the robust, Lockean sense. I argue that his denial of innatism notwithstanding, the theory of formal identity, together with the metaphysical idea that the ontological structure of the sublunary world is grounded in the active intellect, commits Avicenna to a peculiar kind of rationalism in which the ultimate source of knowledge is an intellect, albeit one extraneous to the human mind. I then introduce two hitherto insufficiently discussed texts to challenge this conclusion. In the end, I claim that although this new material may provide some evidence for a robust empiricism in Avicenna, its consequences remained uncharted by him, and that some of his theological adversaries put forth a more radical kind of empiricism.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 215-240
Launched on MUSE
2020-04-03
Open Access
No
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