By Goodman LE
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Additional resources for Avicenna
For the Greek philosophers were not pagan in the sense of tolerating ungoverned or unintegrated deities to wander through the cosmos wreaking random havoc. It was clear that monotheists had much to learn from the Greeks. Miskawayh, for example, appropriated Aristotle's virtue ethics and used it to reinterpret the command ethics of scripture and scriptural law. N o t just alFarabi and Ibn Sina but al-Ghazali and Maimonides followed him in this, sketching an ideal of humanity from the virtues that the scriptural commandments seemed to intend.
My review, Philosophy East and West2\ (1971) 220-2, and my chapter "Jewish and Islamic Philosophy of Language," in Kuno Lorenz et al, eds, HanibuchSprachphilosophie(Berlin: De Gruyter, forthcoming). See H. , in Avicenna and the Visionary Recital (London: Routledge, 1960), translated from the French by Willard Trask. See al-Razi's excerpts from Rufus of Ephesus in F. Rosenthal, The Classical Heritage in Islam (London: Routledge, 1975) 198-200. Gohlman, 107, item 62. The title, which is the name of the protagonist, is allegorical and can be rendered "The Living the Son of the Wakeful"; it alludes to the enlightening role of the Active Intellect.
Liven the Aristotelian denial of an infinite causal regress is of a piece with Ibn Sina's rationalism. nisal explanations of any given phenomenon not be infinitely put off or deferred with unsecured promissory notes, anchored in m o o r ings that themselves have no anchor. 2 So there is a necessary being, QED. T h e n u b of the argument is the axiom or truism that the contingent can never be self-sufficient. Even a complex system where each part contributes to sustaining the whole, as in Strato's cosmos or Hume's Hindu image of the world as a spider that simply spins itself out according to its own nature, will not attain self-sufficiency through the complexity of its inner interdependencies.