Avicenna on the Primary Propositions

History and Philosophy of Logic 39 (3):201-231 (2018)


Avicenna introduces the primary propositions as the most fundamental principles of knowledge. However, as far as we are aware, Avicenna’s primaries have not yet been independently studied. Nor do Avicenna scholars agree on how to characterize them in the language of contemporary philosophy. It is well-known that the primaries are indemonstrable; nonetheless, it is not clear what the genealogy of the primaries is, how, epistemologically speaking, they can be distinguished from other principles, what their phenomenology is, what the cause of the assent to them is, how to explain the relationship between the ‘innate [nature] of the intellect’ and the primaries and, finally, back to their indemonstrability, in what sense they are ‘indemonstrable’. We will try to fill this gap. As a corollary, we will explain why Gutas’s view [Gutas, Dimitri....

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Seyed N. Mousavian
Loyola University, Chicago

References found in this work

Critique of Pure Reason.Immanuel Kant - 1998 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Avicenna.Jon McGinnis - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
A Priori Knowledge.Philip Kitcher - 1980 - Philosophical Review 89 (1):3-23.

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