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Avicenna$
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Jon McGinnis

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331479

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331479.001.0001

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Metaphysics II

Metaphysics II

Cosmology

Chapter:
(p.178) 7 Metaphysics II
Source:
Avicenna
Author(s):

Jon McGinnis (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331479.003.0007

After a quick survey of the positions prior to Avicenna concerning the age of the universe, the chapter focuses on Avicenna’s unique arguments for the eternity of the world. To this end, it presents his conception of possibility as well as considering how Avicenna envisions the most basic modes of possible existence, namely, substances and accidents, with a particular emphasis on forms and matter. There is then a general discussion of Avicenna’s notion of metaphysical causality. Upon completing the investigation of possible existence, one will be in a position to appreciate Avicenna’s new modal arguments for the world’s eternity and his response to earlier criticisms against that thesis. The chapter, then, concludes with a section on the Necessary Existent’s relation to possible existence as exemplified in Avicenna’s unique twist on the Neoplatonic theory of emanation.

Keywords:   medieval cosmology, possibility, matter, form, causality, eternity, infinity, emanation, Necessary Existent

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