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The Resolution of the Major Points of Conflict with the Aristotelian Tradition

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Chapter Summary

The Aristotelian tradition which Avicenna received and its teachings which he inherited were not homogeneous, nor were its various parts mutually compatible. The problems that presented themselves to him were endemic to the transmitted material and they ranged widely in origin: some were already to be found in the texts of Aristotle himself, the "loose ends" and "breaches" Avicenna refers to in the Introduction to The Easterners. Others were created by generations of commentators, both Greek and Arabic, in their "efforts to understand what [Aristotle] accomplished best and in Partisan Adherence to some defective theories he originated" [idem], and still others had their origin in the vicissitudes of the transmission of this tradition, both from Greek into Arabic and subsequently within Arabic intellectual history. The latter category includes distortions and misrepresentations of this tradition that are due not only to textual corruption or terminological debates but also to Neoplatonic pseudepigraphs.

Keywords: Arabic; Aristotelian tradition; Avicenna; Greek; neoplatonic pseudepigraphs; terminological debates; textual corruption



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