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The Heritage of Ibn Sīnā’s Concept of the Self (2021)

Kaukua, J. (2021). The Heritage of Ibn Sīnā’s Concept of the Self. In P. Kitcher (Ed.), The Self : A History (pp. 55-72). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190087265.003.0003

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsKaukua, Jari

Parent publicationThe Self : A History

Parent publication editorsKitcher, Patricia



Publication year2021

Pages range55-72

Number of pages in the book424

PublisherOxford University Press

Place of PublicationNew York

Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/77958


If the historical importance of a philosopher is measured by her influence, Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbdallāh ibn Sīnā, the Latin Avicenna (d. 1037 CE), should merit an uncontested entry in even the narrowest of canons. The development of Islamic philosophy and theology in the so-called post-classical period, that is, from the twelfth century CE down to the dawn of the postcolonial era, is unthinkable without him. By the same token, the Latin translations of a portion of his works were pivotal for the scholastic renaissance of Aristotelian philosophy in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and many Avicennian ideas, such as his modal metaphysics and its theological implications or his theory of the so called internal senses, resounded deep into the modern era, long after his texts had ceased to be immediate sources of inspiration for the mainstream of philosophy.
But even apart from historical importance, I would like to claim that Ibn Sīnā deserves a position in the brief canon of philosophy simply for the depth and precision of his insight. An illustrative example of this is his perspicuous description and solid analysis of psychological phenomena, and especially those related to the human, or rational, soul. This was the field in which he made some of the bravest departures from the Aristotelian tradition he built on, and in many ways it can be seen as the culmination of his study of nature. One of the most impressive results of this work is his conception of self-awareness.

KeywordsphilosophersArabic philosophyphilosophy of mindself-awareness

Free keywordsAvicenna (Ibn Sīnā)

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2021

JUFO rating3

Last updated on 2024-22-04 at 19:09