Monday, December 1, 2008

Descartes:Soul as a Form of the Body

beetroot collage by marguerita
Concerning the scholastic theory of the animal soul, " On their view,when the sensitive soul is alone, its nature is corporeal and mortal".
Drawing on Plato,Avicenna taught that in itself the soul is a spiritual, simple,indivisible, and therefore indestructable substance,by nature immortal.

Avicenna (Abu Ali Sina), or Ibn Sina (980-1037). He was a Persian physician and philosopher. He was born near Bukhara then capital of the Samanid dynasty. By the time he was 10 years old he had learned the Koran as well as Arabic grammar and literature. By the age of 16 he had mastered not only natural science and rudimentary metaphysics but also medical theory. He was not satisfied with merely a theoretical understanding of medicine so he began to treat the sick. He knew enough about medicine to treat the ailing Samanid ruler Nuh Ibn Mansur. The successful treatment gained Avicenna access to the rich library of that prince.

Abu Ali Sina was one of the main interpreters of Aristotle and was the author of almost 200 books on science, religion and philosophy. Avicenna's two most important works are: Shifa (The Book of Healing) and Al Qanun fi Tibb (The Canon of Medicine). The first is a philosophical encyclopedia based on Aristotelian tradition and the second is the most famous single book in the history of medicine. His medical system was long the standard in Europe and the Middle East.

Avicenna died in 1037 in Hamadan, Iran.

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