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TitleReception AristotlesMetaphysics
TagsMetaphysics Aristotle Translations Neoplatonism Substance Theory
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Table of Contents
                            CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
ABBREVIATIONS
PART ONE THE ARABIC RECEPTION OF THE METAPHYSICS BEFORE AVICENNA
	INTRODUCTION
	CHAPTER ONE THE ARABIC TRANSLATIONS OF THE METAPHYSICS: A NEW ASSESSMENT ON ACCOUNT OF THE EVIDENCE PROVIDED BY AVICENNA
	CHAPTER TWO BEYOND AL-KINDĪ AND AL-FĀRĀBĪ: AVICENNA'S POSITION IN THE HISTORY OF THE ARAB RECEPTION OF THE METAPHYSICS
	CHAPTER THREE BETWEEN AMMONIUS AND AVICENNA: AL-FĀRĀBĪ'S TREATISE ON THE GOALS OF ARISTOTLE'S METAPHYSICS
PART TWO THE SCIENTIFIC PROFILE OF THE METAPHYSICS ACCORDING TO AVICENNA
	INTRODUCTION
	CHAPTER FOUR AVICENNA’S CONCEPTION OF THE THEME OF THE METAPHYSICS: “EXISTENT QUA EXISTENT” AS THE SUBJECT-MATTER, THE FIRST CAUSES AND GOD AS THE GOAL OF METAPHYSICS
	CHAPTER FIVE AVICENNA’S REWORKING OF THE STRUCTURE OF THE METAPHYSICS: METAPHYSICS AS THE DISCIPLINE DEALING WITH THE SPECIES, THE PROPERTIES AND THE PRINCIPLES OF “EXISTENT”
	CHAPTER SIX AVICENNA’S ELABORATION OF THE METHOD OF THE METAPHYSICS: METAPHYSICS AS A DEMONSTRATIVE, ANALYTICAL, NON-DIALECTICAL SCIENCE
	CHAPTER SEVEN AVICENNA’S CONCEPTION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE METAPHYSICS AND THE OTHER PARTS OF THE ARISTOTELIAN CORPUS: METAPHYSICS AS THE FOUNDING DISCIPLINE
PART THREE THE CONTENT OF THE METAPHYSICS ACCORDING TO AVICENNA
	NTRODUCTION
	CHAPTER EIGHT THE QUOTATIONS OF THE METAPHYSICS IN THE ILÀHIYYÀT
	CHAPTER NINE THE MAIN SOURCE OF AVICENNA’S CONCEPTION OF METAPHYSICS AS A SCIENCE: BOOK G AND ITS QUOTATIONS
	CHAPTER TEN AVICENNA’S ATTITUDE TOWARDS DIALECTIC: BOOK B AND ITS QUOTATIONS
	CHAPTER ELEVEN THE OTHER SOURCES OF THE ILÀHIYYÀT
	CONCLUSION
APPENDICES
	APPENDIX A TOWARDS A CRITICAL EDITION OF THE ILĀHIYYĀT: LIST OF CORRECTIONS OF THE CAIRO PRINTED TEXT
	APPENDIX B INDEX OF AUTHORS AND WORKS QUOTED IN THE ILĀHIYYĀT
	APPENDIX C OVERVIEW OF THE MAIN WORKS BY AVICENNA ON METAPHYSICS IN CHRONOLOGCAL ORDER
	APPENDIX D NAMES OF ARISTOTLE’S METAPHYSICS AND OF METAPHYSICS AS A DISCIPLINE IN AVICENNA’S WORKS
	APPENDIX E THE STYLE OF THE KĪTĀB AL-ŠIFĀ"
	APPENDIX F THE TERMINOLOGY FOR "PROPERTY" IN THE ILĀHIYYĀT
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX OF NAMES AND PLACES
INDEX OF ARISTOTLE’S WORKSWITH PASSAGES CITED
INDEX OF AVICENNA’S WORKSWITH PASSAGES CITED
INDEX OF MANUSCRIPTS
INDEX OF TEXTS, OUTLINES, TABLES
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

THE RECEPTION OF ARISTOTLE’S METAPHYSICS IN
AVICENNA’S KIT$B AL-S[IF$"

Page 347

328 chapter eight

Table 5

Avicenna, Ilàhiyyàt IX, 2, Aristotle, Metaphysics L, 7 Us†àΔ’s Arabic translation
p. 392, 4–6 of the Metaphysics

[1] (p. 392, 4) It is also
evident to you from all
this what the First
Teacher . . .

(p. 392, 5–6) . . . meant, (1073a7–8) For it [i.e. (p. 1625, 13–14) For it
when he said that [the the substance that is moves for an infinite time,
heaven] is in movement eternal, unmovable and but nothing finite has an
by means of an infinite separate] produces infinite power (quwwa là
power (quwwa ©ayr movement through mutanàhiya).
mutanàhiya), infinite time, but nothing

finite has infinite power.

[2] (p. 392, 6) which (1072b3) Thus it (p. 1599, 2) It moves
moves (tu˙arriku) as the produces motion by ( yu˙arriku) like the object
object of love (al-ma'“ùq) being loved . . . of love (al-ma'“ùq).
does.

Three things are noteworthy. First, Avicenna quotes one after the

other in sections [1] and [2] two loci of L, 7 that in the original text
are disconnected. Second, he reverses their order, since the passage

quoted in section [2] actually follows in the Metaphysics, rather than

preceding, the one quoted in section [3]. Third, he elaborates on

the content of the text quoted in section [1]: Aristotle’s point is that

the Unmoved Mover is not finite in magnitude, since (i) It moves
eternally, (ii) what moves eternally has an infinite power, and (iii)
what has an infinite power is not finite. Avicenna somehow isolates
step (ii) of Aristotle’s argument, namely that the Unmoved Mover

moves by means of an infinite power.
For these reasons, i.e. the conflation of two distinct passages of

the Metaphysics (rather than the thorough analysis of a single peri-

cope), their transposed (rather than consecutive) reproduction, and

the exclusive focus on what is regarded as the main point of one of

them (rather than its integral reproduction), the style of this quotation

is sensibly different from that of the quotation reported in Table 4.

4 Explicit indeterminate quotations

Quotations of type 2 occur in treatises I–VIII of the Ilàhiyyàt and
refer to four distinct books of the Metaphysics (a, D, Z, I), with par-
ticular regard to book D. Occasionally they concern also other works

Page 348

the quotations of the METAPHYSICS in the ILÀHIYYÀT 329

by Aristotle (like Categories and De Interpretatione). In several cases, they

show a peculiar attitude on Avicenna’s part, who criticizes Aristotle,

but, at the same time, by the very nature of the quotation, hides

his criticisms. The first aspect, i.e. the disagreement with Aristotle,
shows that, even in avowedly Aristotelian works like the ”ifà", Avicenna
does not blindly follow his model, but always maintains a critical

approach. The second aspect, namely Avicenna’s reticence in criti-

cizing Aristotle, is a sign of his adherence to Aristotle’s school and

the Peripatetic tradition. He probably means just this conciliatory

attitude when in the Prologue of the ”ifà", he states that this work
is “more accommodating to [his] Peripatetic colleagues” than the

Ma“riqiyyùn,28 or when in the Introduction to this latter work he
maintains that in the ”ifà" “the veils of feigned neglect” conceal his
dissent towards the Peripatetics.29

Outline 3
1) The second circular definition of “necessary” (al-∂arùrì) attributed

to the “Ancients” (al-awwalùna, p. 35, 4 [p. 40, 56]) in I, 5, p. 35,
12 [p. 40, 67], resembles Metaph. D, 5, 1015a33–35. In the same
context, the first circular definition of “necessary” (p. 35, 10–11
[p. 40, 65–66]) and the circular definitions of “possible” (al-mumkin,
p. 35, 8–10 [p. 40, 62–65]) and “impossible” (al-mu˙àl, p. 35, 14–16
[p. 41, 70–73]) are comparable to De Int. 13, 22a24–31 (see below,
Table 6).

2) The circular definitions (“what is said”, mà yuqàlu, I, 5, p. 35, 17
[p. 41, 74]) of “impossible” (al-mumtana' ), “necessary” (al-wà<ib) and
“possible” (al-mumkin) in I, 5, pp. 35, 17–36, 2 [p. 41, 73–77]) mir-
ror De Int. 13, 22a24–31.

3) II, 2, p. 63, 11–12 [p. 72, 44–46]: Avicenna puts some limitations
on the description according to which body “is said” ( yuqàlu, p. 63,
11 [p. 72, 44]) to be “that which is divisible in every dimension”
(D, 6, 1016b27–28; cp. De Caelo A, 1, 268a6–8).

4) III, 3, p. 105, 11–12 [p. 116, 55–56]: Avicenna finds surprising
that “someone/some” (man, p. 105, 11 [p. 116, 55]) define num-
ber as “multiplicity composed by unities or things that are one”
(cp. I, 6, 1057a3–4).30

28 See Mad¢al, p. 10, 14, English translation in Gutas [1988], p. 52.
29 The passage of the Introduction to the Ma“riqiyyùn in which Avicenna states

“[i]f ever we spoke out openly our disagreement with them [i.e. the Peripatetics],
then it concerned matters which it was impossible to tolerate; the greater parts [of
these matters], however, we concealed with the veils of feigned neglect” (Engl. transl.
in Gutas [1988], p. 47) regards in primis the ”ifà".

30 That Avicenna is referring to Aristotle is indicated by his subsequent criticism
of this opinion (p. 105, 12–14 [p. 116, 56–61]), in which he rejects Aristotle’s view
of multiplicity “as the genus of number” in the same passage of I, 6 (1057a2–3).

Page 693

674 index of texts, outlines, tables

Chapter 5, Table 5: Synopsis of the
structure of OntologyC/Theology in
the Ilàhiyyàt and in al-Fàràbì’s
Mabàdi" 206

Chapter 6, Table 1: Syllogism proving
that God is not the subject-matter of
metaphysics (Ilàhiyyàt I, 1, pp. 5,
18–6, 2) 226

Chapter 6, Table 2: Reductio ad absur-
dum proving that God’s existence is
searched in metaphysics (Ilàhiyyàt I,
1, p. 6, 2–13) 227

Chapter 6, Table 3: Syllogism proving
that God is not the subject-matter of
metaphysics (Ilàhiyyàt I, 1, p. 6,
15–16) 228

Chapter 6, Table 4: Syllogism proving
that only metaphysics investigates
God’s existence (Ilàhiyyàt I, 1, pp. 6,
18–7, 2) 228

Chapter 6, Table 5: Reductio ad absurdum
proving that the ultimate causes are
not the subject-matter of metaphysics
(Ilàhiyyàt I, 1, pp. 7, 10–9, 10)
228–229

Chapter 6, Table 6: Syllogism proving
that form and matter are linked as
cause and effect (Ilàhiyyàt II, 4, pp.
80, 5–83, 3) 229

Chapter 6, Table 7: Opinions (not
reported or endorsed by Aristotle)
discussed by Avicenna in the
Ilàhiyyàt 237–239

Chapter 6, Table 8: Objections taken
into account by Avicenna in the
Ilàhiyyàt 241–244

Chapter 6, Table 9: Quotation of
Metaph. a, 3, 995a14–17 in al-
Kindì’s Falsafa Ùlà 254–255

Chapter 8, Table 1: Passages of the
Metaphysics quoted in the Ilàhiyyàt
according to a translation differen
from Us†àΔ’s 310–311

Chapter 8, Table 2: Quotation of
Metaph. a, 2, 994a11–16 in the
Ilàhiyyàt 313–315

Chapter 8, Table 3: Different types of
quotations of the Metaphysics in the
Ilàhiyyàt 317

Chapter 8, Table 4: Explicit determinate
quotation of Metaph. a, 2, 994a11–19
in the Ilàhiyyàt 322–325

Chapter 8, Table 5: Explicit determinate
quotation of Metaph. L, 7, 1073a7–8,
1072b3 in the Ilàhiyyàt 328

Chapter 8, Table 6: Explicit
indeterminate quotation of Metaph.
D, 5, 1015a33–35 in the Ilàhiyyàt
332

Chapter 8, Table 7: Explicit
indeterminate quotation of Metaph.
D, 2, 1013b17–21 in the Ilàhiyyàt
333–334

Chapter 8, Table 8: Chapters of
Metaph. D quoted in the Ilàhiyyàt
339–340

Chapter 8, Table 9: Passages of
Metaph. D, 6 quoted in the Ilàhiyyàt
342

Chapter 8, Table 10: Quotation of
Metaph. D, 15 in the Ilàhiyyàt
342–347

Chapter 8, Table 11: Quotations of
Metaph. Y in the Ilàhiyyàt 356

Chapter 8, Table 12: Quotation of
Metaph. Y, 8, 1050b6–8 in the
Ilàhiyyàt 357

Chapter 8, Tables 13–14: Overall con-
spectus of the quotations of the
Metaphysics in the Ilàhiyyàt 364–371

Chapter 9, Table A: Quotations of
Metaph. G in the Ilàhiyyàt 380–381

Chapter 9, Table 1: Quotation of
Metaph. G, 1, 1003a20–21 in the
Ilàhiyyàt 379

Chapter 9, Table 2: Quotation of
Metaph. G, 2, 1004b17–26 in the
Ilàhiyyàt 378–379

Chapter 9, Table 3: Quotation of
Metaph. G, 2, 1003a33–b19 in the
Ilàhiyyàt 387–388

Chapter 9, Table 4: Quotation of Metaph.
G, 3–5 in the Ilàhiyyàt 391

Chapter 9, Table 5: Quotation of
Metaph. G, 1, 1003a21–22, G, 2,
1003b22–1004a20 in the Ilàhiyyàt
378

Chapter 10, Table A: Quotations of
Metaph. B in the Ilàhiyyàt 409

Chapter 10, Table B: Solutions of the
aporias of Metaphysics B in the
Ilàhiyyàt and in Aristotle 409

Chapter 10, Table 1.1: Sketch of the
quotation of the second aporia of
Metaph. B in the Ilàhiyyàt 411–412

Chapter 10, Table 1.2: Quotation of
Metaph. B, 997a2–11 (second aporia)
in the Ilàhiyyàt 415–416

Chapter 10, Table 2.1: Sketch of the
quotation of the sixth and seventh

Page 694

aporias of Metaph. B in the Ilàhiyyàt
418

Chapter 10, Table 2.2: Quotation of
Metaph. D, 3, 1014b9–12, B, 3,
998b9–11, b19–21, 999a4–5 (sixth
and seventh aporias) and Cat. 5,
2b5–6, 7–8 in the Ilàhiyyàt 420

Chapter 10, Table 3.1: Sketch of the

quotation of the �rst aporia of
Metaph. B in the Ilàhiyyàt 423–425

Chapter 10, Table 3.2: Quotation of
Metaph. B, 2, 996a20–b5, b10–13
(�rst aporia) in the Ilàhiyyàt
427–429

Chapter 10, Table 4: Quotation of
Metaph. B, 4, 1001a9–19 (eleventh
aporia) in the Ilàhiyyàt 431–434

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