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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides concluding remarks for this book. Avicenna and Averroes are determinists with the qualification that Avicenna is more blatant and unequivocal in his defence of determinism. Aristotle himself puts forth the view that chance is not an essential cause, and that whatever happens by chance has an essential cause. The Neoplatonic model of emanation is consistent with a deterministic outlook, and certainly Avicenna's version of emanation as necessarily proceeding from God is informed by his deterministic proclivities. It must be inferred from certain principles that are already to be found in Aristotle, such as the principle that nothing comes from nothing, and so is not as obvious as Avicenna's explicit and systematically argued position. Determinism, as it is to be found in both philosophers, renders any ethical theory problematic, not to mention religious law and injunctions, and contributes to certain fatalism in Muslim thought and society.

Keywords: Aristotle; Averroes; Avicenna; chance; determinism; emanation



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