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IBN-I SINA (980-1037)      


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He was an Islamic philosopher who commented Aristotelian philosophy according to Islam and tried to spread it. Ibn-i Sina contributed to development of methods with etiquette and reason.

Ibn-i Sina was born in Hormisen which is in the premises of Buhara. He died in 21 June 1037 in Hemedan. His real name was Ebu'l-Ali el-Huseyin bin Abdullah Ibn Sina. His father immigrated from Belh to Buhara and settled there. His father, Abdullah, had connection with the palace during the time of one of the Samanogullari leaders II. Nuh and had high ranked jobs. Ibn-i Sina was learning logic, mathematics and astronomy, first from his father and then from the leading scholars of the period -Natili and Ismail Zahid. For a while he was interested in medicine. Especially, he was researching the cause of diseases and how they were spreading and how can they be treated. Due to his success in this field, he was assigned as II. Nuh’s personal doctor and after he cured him, Ibn-i Sina became one of the most important medicine scholars of the period.

Ibn-i Sina was commenting and criticizing views of Islamic and Greek philosophers. The issues that he was dealing with were usually related to the thoughts of Aristotle and Farabi. These issues were classification of knowledge, logic, universe (physics), science of soul, metaphysics, ethics, theology and sciences.

According to Ibn-i Sina, existence is related to design. All things that are thought about, exist and all those that exist are the types that can be thought of and designed (they are logical). Therefore, thinking and existing are identical. There is no emptiness of the quality that atomic view proposes. And the space is an inner part of a place that an object covers. All the objects that exist have a defined unchanging place that protects their borders and properties.

Logic cannot take humans to truth; it can only protect humans from being mistaken. Thinking ability used logic as a tool to understand the reality. To provide healthy thinking, logic can set principles and rules. And by using the facts present at the moments and the previous knowledge, it provides opportunity to find the unknown. When dealing with logic, definition should be taken as basis. When definitions are joined together, evidence and deduction are obtained. In Ibn-i Sina’s logic, definition has the most important place.

In Ibn-i Sina’s philosophy, the concept of soul has an important role, as it is in the system of thoughts developed by Aristotle. Ibn-i Sina was looking at the issue of living things based on observation and science of soul. He thought that being alive is a composition. Organisms come to existence with a composition of natural organs and supernatural powers. And this process occurs over certain stages. The first living thing that came into existence was a plant. Plants have powers of breeding with a seed, feeding and growing. In the second stage, animals came into existence. Animals have capabilities of movement and perception. From the capability of motion, desire and rage are born. Perception is of two types: internal and external. Human being is a top creation that was formed via natural evolution and therefore is different from all other beings. The internal and external perception is done by the front space of the brain. Observations obtained by senses go to the brain through here. Ibn-i Sina has proposed a new thought on the topic of mind. According to him, mind is of 5 kinds. Material mind is common in all people and is used to understand and learn things. Working mind is a dynamic property that differentiates between things and that is not static. Acting mind is used to comprehend the learned material and is superior to the second type of mind. Gained mind knows the objects given to it and those that can think. In terms of stage, this mind is at the stage of maturity. At this stage the topics that can be comprehended by the mind are present in the mind itself too. Sacred mind is the highest level of the mind. This mind comprehends the essence of all the beings, their source and the power that they consist of, without a need for an external source.

Ibn-i Sina’s metaphysics is usually a composition of Aristotle’s and New-Platonist and Qur’an. The topic is the being who is the first of all firsts and who is the source of all the creations and all existence - God. Due to the completeness of God, it can be seen in things, events and actions. Being exists and cannot disappear.

The theology that Ibn-i Sina accepted has four main topics: universe, hereafter, prophecy, God.

Ibn-i Sina has affected Eastern and Western philosophers. His works were translated into Latin in 12th century and he became famous. Theologist Albertus Magnus used Ibn-i Sina’s works on the subjects of soul and mind.


His Main Works


El-Kanun fi't-Tib, 1593, ("Law of Medicine")
Kitabu'l-Necat, 1593, ("Book of Salvation")
Risale fi-Ilmu'l-Ahlak, 1880, ("A Booklet About Ethics")
Isarat ve'l-Tembihat, 1892, ("Signs and Warnings")
Kitabu's-Sifa, 1927, ("Book of Health").