Avicenna On the Four Elements from the Canon of Medicine Volume 1

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9781567449907: Avicenna On the Four Elements from the Canon of Medicine Volume 1
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Avicenna in his Law of Natural Healing (Canon of Medicine), Lecture 2, describes the importance of the four elements as simple substances that are the primary constituents of the human body. It also contains O. Cameron Gruner s extensive endnotes.

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Abu 'Ali al-Husayn ibn Sina is better known in Europe by the Latinized name Avicenna. He is probably the most significant philosopher in the Islamic tradition and arguably the most influential philosopher of the pre-modern era. Born in Afshana near Bukhara in Central Asia in about 980, he is best known as a polymath, as a physician whose major work the Canon (al-Qanun fi'l-Tibb) continued to be taught as a medical textbook in Europe and in the Islamic world until the early modern period, and as a philosopher whose major summa the Cure (al-Shifa') had a decisive impact upon European scholasticism and especially upon Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274). Primarily a metaphysical philosopher of being who was concerned with understanding the self s existence in this world in relation to its contingency, Ibn Sina s philosophy is an attempt to construct a coherent and comprehensive system that accords with the religious exigencies of Muslim culture. As such, he may be considered to be the first major Islamic philosopher. The philosophical space that he articulates for God as the Necessary Existence lays the foundation for his theories of the soul, intellect and cosmos. Furthermore, he articulated a development in the philosophical enterprise in classical Islam away from the apologetic concerns for establishing the relationship between religion and philosophy towards an attempt to make philosophical sense of key religious doctrines and even analyse and interpret the Qur an. Recent studies have attempted to locate him within the Aristotelian and Neoplatonic traditions. His relationship with the latter is ambivalent: although accepting some keys aspects such as an emanationist cosmology, he rejected Neoplatonic epistemology and the theory of the pre-existent soul. However, his metaphysics owes much to the Amonnian synthesis of the later commentators on Aristotle and discussions in legal theory and kalam on meaning, signification and being. Apart from philosophy, Avicenna s other contributions lie in the fields of medicine, the natural sciences, musical theory, and mathematics. In the Islamic sciences ('ulum), he wrote a series of short commentaries on selected Qur anic verses and chapters that reveal a trained philosopher s hermeneutical method and attempt to come to terms with revelation. He also wrote some literary allegories about whose philosophical value recent scholarship is vehemently at odds. His influence in medieval Europe spread through the translations of his works first undertaken in Spain. In the Islamic world, his impact was immediate and led to what Michot has called la pandémie avicennienne. When al-Ghazali  led the theological attack upon the heresies of the philosophers, he singled out Avicenna, and a generation later when the Shahrastani gave an account of the doctrines of the philosophers of Islam, he relied upon the work of Avicenna, whose metaphysics he later attempted to refute in his Struggling against the Philosophers (Musari'at al-falasifa). Avicennan metaphysics became the foundation for discussions of Islamic philosophy and philosophical theology. In the early modern period in Iran, his metaphysical positions began to be displayed by a creative modification that they underwent due to the thinkers of the school of Isfahan, in particular Mulla Sadra (d. 1641).
-- Rizvi, Sajjad H. "Avicenna (Ibn Sina)" Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (January 2006)

Review:

One of the most famous exponents of Muslim universalism and an eminent figure in Islamic learning was Ibn Sina, known in the West as Avicenna (981-1037). For a thousand years he has retained his original renown as one of the greatest thinkers and medical scholars in history. His most important medical works are the Qanun (Canon of Medicine) [or Law of Natural Healing] and a treatise on Cardiac drugs. The Qanun fi-l-Tibb is an immense encyclopedia of medicine. It contains some of the most illuminating thoughts pertaining to distinction of mediastinitis from pleurisy; contagious nature of phthisis; distribution of diseases by water and soil, careful description of skin troubles; of sexual diseases and perversions; of nervous ailments. --George Sarton, Introduction to the History of Science.

Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn Abd Allah ibn Sina, known to many by his westernized name, Avicenna, wrote the Canon of Medicine [Law of Natural Healing] around 1000 CE, squarely in what Lyons defines as the Golden Age of Islamic culture, between the 8th and 13th centuries. A comprehensive encyclopedia in five volumes, the Canon is widely regarded as the most important book on medicine ever written. The medical historian, Dr. William Osler, described it as a medical bible for longer than any other work in his Evolution of Modern Medicine. Drawing on the tradition of Muslim universalism, Ibn Sina incorporated sources from Greek, Roman, Arabic, Indian, and Chinese medicine, his work encompassing an almost complete scope of medical knowledge at the time. For this and other reasons, the Canon maintained its importance as an educational manual for an unprecedented period, appearing on medical school course syllabi well into the 17th century. --Ibn Sina s Canon of Medicine, A Medical Bible.

Ibn Sina was particularly noted for his contributions to the fields of medicine . . . . . His two most important works are The Book of Healing and Al Qanun, known as the Canon of Medicine in the West. . . . The [Canon of Medicine or Law of Natural Healing] (circa 1030 A.D.) is the one of the most famous books in the history of medicine. In it [Avicenna] surveyed the entire medical knowledge available from ancient Christian Latin and Muslim sources, and the book is enriched by the author's original contributions. The Canon became the standard of medical science and was on par with works of Hippocrates (460 377 B.C.) and Galen (129 199 A.D.) in all important libraries of Eu- ropean universities. Ibn Sina begins his Canon with the following words: It is my heart s desire, to start off with speaking about the general and common principles of both parts of medicine, i.e., theory and practice. The first translation into Latin was written in the 12th century by Gerhard von Cremona (1135 1187), and the first Hebrew version appeared around 1491. In the Arabic language the Canon of Medicine appeared in 1593 and is thought to be the second book ever printed in Arabic. The Canon gained widespread popularity only after the introduction of typography in the 15th and 16th cen- turies, but its impact throughout Europe remained steady until the end of the 18th century. . . . --Asita S. Sarrafzadeh, M.D. Ibn Sina.

Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn Abd Allah ibn Sina, known to many by his westernized name, Avicenna, wrote the Canon of Medicine [Law of Natural Healing] around 1000 CE, squarely in what Lyons defines as the Golden Age of Islamic culture, between the 8th and 13th centuries. A comprehensive encyclopedia in five volumes, the Canon is widely regarded as the most important book on medicine ever written. The medical historian, Dr. William Osler, described it as a medical bible for longer than any other work in his Evolution of Modern Medicine. Drawing on the tradition of Muslim universalism, Ibn Sina incorporated sources from Greek, Roman, Arabic, Indian, and Chin --Asita S. Sarrafzadeh, M.D. Ibn Sina.

Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn Abd Allah ibn Sina, known to many by his westernized name, Avicenna, wrote the Canon of Medicine [Law of Natural Healing] around 1000 CE, squarely in what Lyons defines as the Golden Age of Islamic culture, between the 8th and 13th centuries. A comprehensive encyclopedia in five volumes, the Canon is widely regarded as the most important book on medicine ever written. The medical historian, Dr. William Osler, described it as a medical bible for longer than any other work in his Evolution of Modern Medicine. Drawing on the tradition of Muslim universalism, Ibn Sina incorporated sources from Greek, Roman, Arabic, Indian, and Chinese medicine, his work encompassing an almost complete scope of medical knowledge at the time. For this and other reasons, the Canon maintained its importance as an educational manual for an unprecedented period, appearing on medical school course syllabi well into the 17th century. --Ibn Sina s Canon of Medicine, A Medical Bible.

Ibn Sina was particularly noted for his contributions to the fields of medicine . . . . . His two most important works are The Book of Healing and Al Qanun, known as the Canon of Medicine in the West. . . . The [Canon of Medicine or Law of Natural Healing] (circa 1030 A.D.) is the one of the most famous books in the history of medicine. In it [Avicenna] surveyed the entire medical knowledge available from ancient Christian Latin and Muslim sources, and the book is enriched by the author's original contributions. The Canon became the standard of medical science and was on par with works of Hippocrates (460 377 B.C.) and Galen (129 199 A.D.) in all important libraries of Eu- ropean universities. Ibn Sina begins his Canon with the following words: It is my heart s desire, to start off with speaking about the general and common principles of both parts of medicine, i.e., theory and practice. The first translation into Latin was written in the 12th century by Gerhard von Cremona (1135 1187), and the first Hebrew version appeared around 1491. In the Arabic language the Canon of Medicine appeared in 1593 and is thought to be the second book ever printed in Arabic. The Canon gained widespread popularity only after the introduction of typography in the 15th and 16th cen- turies, but its impact throughout Europe remained steady until the end of the 18th century. . . . --Asita S. Sarrafzadeh, M.D. Ibn Sina.

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