Arab, Central Asian and Jewish Philosophy - Philosophy

Arab, Central Asian and Jewish Philosophy

The flourishing of scholasticism in Western Europe in the 13th century. preceded by the progressive development of Arab philosophy, the philosophy of Central Asia and Jewish philosophy. A turning point in the development of the philosophy of these countries was the assimilation of the teachings of Aristotle in accordance with the new historical tasks and achievements of science, especially mathematics, astronomy and medicine. Many original philosophical ideas were developed. In these regions there were many talented, large and versatile thinkers. We will consider the largest of them.

Avicenna - Abu Ali ibn Sina (circa 980-1037), an extremely versatile thinker, philosopher and politician, astronomer and alchemist, doctor, poet and musician was known under this name in Europe. He wrote more than 100 books. A special glory was the "Medical Canon", which for centuries remained one of the leading books on the theory and practice of healing. His main philosophical work was the encyclopedic "Book of Healing", divided into logic, physics, mathematics and metaphysics. Avicenna was called the "prince of philosophers". and "prince of doctors". In his own philosophical views he developed the ideas of Eastern Aristotelianism in the field of metaphysics, epistemology, logic, and partly ontological concepts of Neoplatonism. Avicenna denied the creation of the world in time. He saw things as the timeless emanation of God; the eternal eternal God corresponds to the world as eternal timelessness, and the human soul is something immortal - it is the spiritual form of the body (in the Aristotelian sense). In the treatment of universals, he proceeds from the premise that common ideas exist threefold: to things in the divine mind, to things as the essence of the individual and after the thing in the human mind, which abstracts the common of things. The works of Avicenna were translated in Europe, they have been studied and studied to this day; especially his medical ideas and surprisingly sophisticated practice of healing. Some of the fundamental teachings that glorified major Western European philosophers of the 13th century were borrowed from Avicenna and other Arab-speaking thinkers. This is, for example, the distinction between essence and existence introduced by Avicenna.

Averroes - Arabic philosopher Abu al-Walid ibn Rushd (1126-1198), representative of Eastern Aristotelianism, author and medical works. In the treatise "Refutation of the refutation" he rejected the attacks of theologians on philosophy, defending the rights of reason in knowledge. He made a distinction between rational religion, accessible to a few educated, and figuratively-allegorical religion, accessible to all that was one of the sources of the theory of dual truth. Averroes proceeded from the recognition of the eternity of the world and the originality of the primitive matter. He interpreted the creation of the World by God in the sense that God, "co-operative to the world", turns into reality potential forms of primitive matter. The abstract the world mind (nous), in Aristotle's understanding of it, is viewed as a single impersonal substance common to all people and acting from the outside to the souls of all people. He denied the idea of ​​the immortality of the individual soul. These ideas of Averroes had a great influence on the development of European medieval philosophy.

Ibn Rushd firmly stood on the point of view that the first matter is uncreatable and it can not disappear. Recognizing the existence of God, he believed that

God does not precede the being of matter (they are "co-operative" to him) and that the function of the Deity is to transform the potential, intrinsic first-form forms into real ones. Movement is as eternal as matter. The movement of appearance, change and destruction - is contained as an opportunity in the matter itself.

Jewish philosophy, being close to Arabic, does not dissolve in it and has an independent meaning. She put forward several significant figures that had a great influence on European philosophical thought. One of the greatest Jewish thinkers of the Middle Ages was Maimonides (Moses ben Maymun, 1135-1204). He sought to rationalize Jewish theology on the basis of the teachings of the "king of philosophers" Aristotle, which, in his opinion, will give the only correct guidance for the "stray and hesitant". According to Maimonides, one must believe in what does not contradict reason, but this does not mean that everything can be proved to him. The text of the Holy Scripture can not be interpreted literally, it is necessary spiritualized the explanation of the "letter of the law". According to Maimonides, philosophy leads to intellectual, moral and bodily perfection. He was a supporter of the idea of ​​the creation of the world by God and criticized Aristotle for his recognition of the eternity and unconsciousness of the world. Maimonides's doctrine of the independence of knowledge from faith and submission to the knowledge of the literal meaning of biblical expressions seemed to the rabbis an impermissible restriction of biblical authority, "selling the Holy Scriptures to the Greeks." The controversy over and against Maimonides occasionally reached an extreme frenzy. The works of Maimonides gained great popularity in Western Europe and had a significant influence on the development of medieval thought.

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