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Scientific Methodologies in Medieval Islam
Journal of the History of Philosophy
  • Jon McGinnis, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Document Type
The present study considers Ibn Sînâ's (Lat. Avicenna) account of induction (istiqra') and experimentation (tajriba). For Ibn Sînâ induction purportedly provided the absolute, necessary and certain first principles of a science. Ibn Sînâ criticized induction, arguing that it can neither guarantee the necessity nor provide the primitiveness required of first principles. In it place, Ibn Sînâ developed a theory of experimentation, which avoids the pitfalls of induction by not providing absolute, but conditional, necessary and certain first principles. The theory of experimentation that emerges though not modern, does have elements that are similar to a modern conception of scientific method.
Publication Date
Citation Information
McGinnis, J. "Scientific Methodologies in Medieval Islam." Journal of the History of Philosophy, vol. 41 no. 3, 2003, pp. 307-327. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/hph.2003.0033