Chance and Determinism in Avicenna and Averroës

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BRILL, 2007 - Social Science - 252 pages
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This book examines the question whether medieval Muslim philosophers Avicenna (Arabic Ibn S?n? 980-1037) and Averroes (Arabic Ibn Rushd 1126-1198) are determinists. With a focus on physics and metaphysics it studies their views on chance events in nature, as well as matter, in particular prime matter, and divine providence. In addition it sets their positions against the historical/philosophical background that influenced their response, the Greco-Arabic philosophical tradition - Aristotelian and Neoplatonic - on the one hand, and the tradition of Islamic theology ("kal?m") on the other. In comparing their philosophical systems, it lays emphasis on the way in which Avicenna and Averroes use these traditions to offer an original answer to the problem of determinism.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter One Avicenna on chance
21
Chapter Two Avicenna on matter
55
Chapter Three Avicenna on celestial causation and providence
91
Chapter Four Averroes on chance
121
Chapter Five Averroes on matter and necessity
159
Chapter Six Averroes on celestial causation and providence
187
Conclusion
225
Bibliography
233
General Index
241
Index of Main Passages
251
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About the author (2007)

Catarina Belo, D.Phil. (2004) in Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. She has published on Islamic philosophy, in particular Avicenna and Averroes and their physics and metaphysics.

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