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An Inventory and Relative Chronology of Avicenna’s Major Philosophical Works. Their Organization and Contents in Relation to the Aristotelian Tradition

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Chapter Summary

The transmission of Avicenna's works is extremely complicated. This is as much due to the peculiar way in which they were composed and distributed as it is to external factors affecting their preservation. This chapter presents a critical inventory of the major philosophical works of Avicenna. For each work treated, the chapter discusses the occasion, date, and details of its composition, and wherever relevant, trace the history of its transmission. This is followed by a description of its contents, which intends to give a clear picture of the relation of the work to its predecessors and successors, including information about passages copied, and, consonant with the aim, to assess its position relative to the canon of Aristotle's writings. Avicenna began his career as an author, at the age of seventeen, with a short treatise on the soul in ten chapters.

Keywords: Aristotle; Aristotle's writings; Avicenna; philosophical works



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