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.
Willful Understanding: Avicenna’s Philosophy of Action and Theory of the WillArchiv für Geschichte der Philosophie
Citation InformationRuffus, 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