Non-Innate A Priori Knowledge in Avicenna

Philosophy East and West 70 (3):841-848 (2020)
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Abstract

In his "The Empiricism of Avicenna," Dimitri Gutas interprets Avicenna as an empiricist.1 He analyzes Avicennian 'principles of syllogism' and claims that none of them are a priori. Moreover, regarding awwalīyāt and fiṭrīyāt—which are two groups of such principles—Gutas suggests that "[i]t appears that both kinds of propositions would be analytic, in Kantian terms. As for Locke, they would be what he called 'trifling.'"2 In my first comment in this issue, I disagreed with this view and argued that these two groups of propositions are a priori in the Kantian sense. Assenting to their truth is internal to the intellect and independent of empirical information. I also argued that at least some fiṭrīyāt are synthetic...

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Mohammad Saleh Zarepour
University of Manchester

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