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Article
Willful Understanding: Avicenna’s Philosophy of Action and Theory of the Will
Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie
  • Jon McGinnis, University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • Anthony Ruffus
Document Type
Article
Disciplines
Abstract

In this study, we look at two interpretive puzzles associated with the thought of Avicenna that are still of intrinsic philosophical interest today. The first concerns to what extent, if at all, Avicenna’s deity can be said to act freely. The second concerns to what extent, if at all, humans within Avicenna’s philosophical system can be said to act freely. It is our contention that only through a careful analysis of Avicenna’s theory of action can one begin to assess his position concerning the status of the will and so provide a satisfactory response to these two interpretative issues. We hope to show that Avicenna can account for divine freedom and that, at least in the case of prophets and sages, humans too are capable of free action.

Publication Date
6-28-2015
DOI
10.1515/agph-2015-0007
Citation Information
Ruffus, A. & McGinnis, J. (2015). Willful Understanding: Avicenna’s Philosophy of Action and Theory of the Will. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, 97(2), pp. 160-195. Retrieved 29 Jun. 2017, from doi:10.1515/agph-2015-0007