Avicenna: Mathematics and Philosophy

  • Roshdi RashedEmail author
Part of the Logic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science book series (LEUS, volume 43)


Like his Greek and Arab predecessors, Avicenna’s research in mathematics concerned the development of methods of exposition, proof procedures and analytical tools. But Avicenna belonged to a new era of mathematics, and the question that this paper seeks to examine is how Avicenna applied this new mathematical knowledge in his philosophy. A treatment of the subject of Avicenna and mathematics cannot, then, confine itself to generalities, important as these are, but must start from the degree of knowledge he had of the various branches and the use he actually made of them. I shall restrict myself here to a number of examples which seem to me to possess evidential value and which all reveal a new conception of the connections between philosophy and mathematics. It will turn out that what Avicenna in fact did was to develop an analytical philosophy of mathematical concepts.


  1. Abū al-Barakāt al-Baghdādī. (1358). Kitāb al-Mu‘tabar, Hyderabad.Google Scholar
  2. Al-Nizāmī al-‘Arūdī al-Samarqandī. (1949). Jihār Maqāla, translated into Arabic by ‘A. ‘Azām and Y. al-Khashshāb, Cairo.Google Scholar
  3. Badawī, ‘A. (1978). Aristū ‘inda al-’Arab, Kuwait.Google Scholar
  4. Ibn Ghaylān. (1998). Ḥudūth al-‘ālam, ed. M. Mohaghegh, Teheran.Google Scholar
  5. Ibn Sīnā. (1956). al-Shifā’, al-Mantiq, 5. al-Burhān, ed. A. ‘Afifi, Cairo.Google Scholar
  6. Ibn Sīnā. (1960). Al-Shifā’. al-Ilāhiyyāt (1) (The Metaphysics). Text established and edited by G. C. Anawati and S. Zayed, revised and furnished with an introduction by I. Madkour, Cairo.Google Scholar
  7. Ibn Sīnā. (1938). Al-Najāt, ed. M. Kurdī.Google Scholar
  8. Ibn Sīnā. (1959). Al-Shifā’, Al-Mantiq – 1. al-Madkhal, al-Maqūlāt, ed. G. C. Anawati, M. Khudayrī and F. al-Ahwānī, Cairo.Google Scholar
  9. Rashed, M. (2002). ‘Kalām e filosofia naturale’. In: Storia della scienza, vol. III. La civiltà islamica, Enciclopedia Italiana, Rome.Google Scholar
  10. Rashed, R. (2013). ‘Abū Nasr ibn ‘Irāq: ‘indamā kāna al-Amīr āliman (When the Prince was a scientist)’, al-Tafahom, 40.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNRS SPHERE, Université Paris 7ParisFrance

Personalised recommendations