2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
Abu Ali Al-Hussayn Ibn Sinna, whose philosophic endeavors and medical knowledge were an influence on scholars of the Middle Ages, was born in 980 near Bukhara, Persia, and was hailed as a prodigy in his teens. He was instructed in languages, literature, and religionand taught himself logic, philosophy, mathematics, science, and medicine. At 21, he became a government clerk, and his life changed dramatically when his father died about the time that the Turks conquered Persia. Ibn Sinna became an exile who wandered the country until he became court physician to Shams ad-Dawlah. Shams twice appointed him vizier, and these favors aroused jealousy among others who made accusations that put the physician out of favor and in prison. After the death of Shams in 1022, Ibn Sinna travelled to Isfahan, where he completed his two major works, the Book of Healing, which addresses concerns of soul and body, and the Canon of Medicine. A favorite of Ala ad-Dawlah, he wrote the first study of Aristotle in Persian and composed over 200 other works. Ibn Sinna died in 1037 from exhaustion and colic as he accompanied Ala on a campaign.
Ibn Sinna studied the works of neoplatonic philosophers and other Greek philosophers in addition to Aristotle, who was the main influence on his thought. Ibn Sinna believed that philosophy and religion are harmonious and that Islam is the highest mode of human life. He says that only in God doe essence and existence coincide. Other beings are emanations of God's self-knowledge, and the intermediaries between God and man (a merely passive intellect) are active intellects, similar to Plato's ideal mind. Ibn Sinna believed also that the power of reason knows no limits.
His medical works remained standard sources of medical knowledge for many centuries.
Karen Rae Keck
including the header and this copyright remain intact.