Cloth $89.95 ISBN: 9780842527477 Published May 2010

The Physics of The Healing

A Parallel English-Arabic Text in Two Volumes

Avicenna

Avicenna

Distributed for Brigham Young University

Translated, annotated, and with an Introduction by Jon McGinnis

1,168 pages | 2 volumes | 6 x 9 | © 2009
Cloth $89.95 ISBN: 9780842527477 Published May 2010

Avicenna’s Physics is the very first volume that he wrote when he began his monumental encyclopedia of science and philosophy, The Healing. Avicenna’s reasons for beginning with Physics are numerous: it offers up the principles needed to understand such special natural sciences as psychology; it sets up many of the problems that take center stage in his Metaphysics; and it provides concrete examples of many of the abstract analytical tools that he would develop later in Logic.

While Avicenna’s Physics roughly follows the thought of Aristotle’s Physics, with its emphasis on natural causes, the nature of motion, and the conditions necessary for motion, the work is hardly derivative. It represents arguably the most brilliant mind of late antiquity grappling with and rethinking the entire tradition of natural philosophy inherited from the Greeks as well as the physical thought of Muslim speculative theologians. As such, Physics is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding Avicenna’s complete philosophical system, the history of science, or the history of ideas.

Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies

“The Islamic Translation Series . . . has established itself as one of the most valuable resources available to scholars of Islamic theology and Arab philosophy.”

Contents

Volume 1

 

Foreword to the Series

Foreword to the Volume

Acknowledgments

Translator’s Introduction

A Note on the Source Texts

Sigla and Conventions

 

First Book

On the Causes and Principles of Natural Things

 

Preface 

Chapter One

Explaining the means by which to arrive at the science of natural things from their first principles

 

Chapter Two

Enumerating the principles of natural things by assertion and supposition

 

Chapter Three

How these principles are common

 

Chapter Four

Examination of what Parmenides and Melissus said regarding the principles of being

 

Chapter Five

On defining nature

 

Chapter Six

On nature’s relation to matter, form, and motion

 

Chapter Seven

Of certain terms derived from nature and an explanation of their status

 

Chapter Eight

On how the science of physics conducts investigation and what, if anything, it shares in common with the other sciences

 

Chapter Nine

On defining the causes that are of the greatest interest to the natural philosopher in his investigation

 

Chapter Ten

On defining each of the four kinds of causes

 

Chapter Eleven

On the interrelations of causes

 

Chapter Twelve

On the divisions of causal states

 

Chapter Thirteen

Discussion of luck and chance: The difference between them and an explanation of their true state

 

Chapter Fourteen

Some of the arguments of those who were in error concerning chance and luck and the refutation of their views

 

Chapter Fifteen

How causes enter into investigating and seeking the why-question and the answer to it

 

 

Second Book

On Motion and That Which Follows It

 

Chapter One

On motion

 

Chapter Two

The relation of motion to the categories

 

Chapter Three

Concerning the list of those categories alone in which motion occurs

 

Chapter Four

Establishing the opposition of motion and rest

 

Chapter Five

Beginning the account of place and reviewing the arguments of those who deny and those who affirm it

 

Chapter Six

The various schools of thought about place and a review of their arguments

 

Chapter Seven

Refuting the view of those who say that place is matter or form or any indiscriminate contacting surface or an interval

 

Chapter Eight

The inconsistency of those who defend the void

 

Chapter Nine

The essence of place and its confirmation and the refutation of the arguments of those who deny and are in error about it

 

Chapter Ten

Beginning the discussion about time, the disagreement of people concerning it, and the refutation of those erring about it

 

Chapter Eleven

Identifying and affirming the essence of time

 

Chapter Twelve

Explaining the instant

 

Chapter Thirteen

The solution to the skeptical puzzle raised about time and the completion of the discussion of things temporal, such as being in time and not in time, everlasting, eternity, [and the expressions] suddenly, right away, just before, just after, and ancient

 

Volume 2

 

Third Book

Concerning What Belongs to Natural Things Owing to Their Quantity

 

Chapter One

The manner of investigation peculiar to this book

 

Chapter Two

On succession, contiguity, following immediately, interpenetration, cohesion, continuity, intermediate, limit, being together, and being separate

 

Chapter Three

The state of bodies with respect to their division and a report of the various arguments on which the detractors rely

 

Chapter Four

Establishing the true opinion and refuting the false

 

Chapter Five

Solution to the puzzle of those who prattle on about the atom

 

Chapter Six

On the interrelation of distance, motions, and times with respect to this topic, and an explanation that no first part belongs to them

 

Chapter Seven

The beginning of the discussion about the finitude and infinitude of bodies and people’s opinions concerning that

 

Chapter Eight

On the impossibility that either a body or magnitude or number in an ordered series is infinite, and that it is impossible that there be some infinite body that is moved either in its entirety or partiality

 

Chapter Nine

An explanation of the way that the infinite does and does not enter into existence, and a refutation of the arguments of those who defend the existence of an actual infinite

 

Chapter Ten

That bodies are finite with respect to influencing and being influenced

 

Chapter Eleven

That nothing precedes motion and time save the being of the Creator (may He be exalted) and that neither of the two has a first [moment] of its being

 

Chapter Twelve

Following upon the claim that there is a point of smallness at which natural bodies are divested of their forms and that, in fact, each one of them has a certain limiting point less than which its form is not preserved; likewise, following up on the claim that no motion is the lease, slowest, or shortest

 

Chapter Thirteen

On the directions of bodies

 

Chapter Fourteen

The natural direction of rectilinear motion

 

Fourth Book

On the Accidents of These Natural Things and Their Interrelations, as Well as the Things That Are Necessary Concomitants of Their Interrelations

 

Chapter One

Of the subjects contained in this book

 

Chapter Two

On the numerical unity of motion

 

Chapter Three

On the motion that is one in genus and species

 

Chapter Four

Resolving the doubts raised against motion’s being one

 

Chapter Five

On motions that are and are not in concert

 

Chapter Six

On the contrariety of motions and their opposites

 

Chapter Seven

Of the oppositions of motion and rest

 

Chapter Eight

An explanation of whether one motion can really be continuous with another or whether that is impossible for them, such that there must be a state of rest between them

 

Chapter Nine

On the motion that is naturally prior and a catalogue of the specific differences of motions

 

Chapter Ten

The way in which space and other things are natural to the body

 

Chapter Eleven

On establishing that every body has as single natural space, and [on] the way space belongs to the body’s collective kind and to its individual instances as well as to simple and composite [bodies]

 

Chapter Twelve

Establishing that every natural body has a principle of motion with respect to either place or position

 

Chapter Thirteen

Accidental motion

 

Chapter Fourteen

On forced motion and the mobile’s spontaneous motion

 

Chapter Fifteen

The states of motive causes and the interrelations between the motive and mobile causes

 

 

Glossary of Arabic-English Terms

Subject Index

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