Chance and Determinism in Avicenna and Averroes (Islamic by Belo, C.

By Belo, C.

This ebook addresses the problem of determinism in Avicenna and Averroes via an research in their perspectives on probability, topic and divine windfall. It units the talk opposed to the philosophical/historical historical past of Aristotelianism, Neoplatonism and Islamic theology.

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Extra info for Chance and Determinism in Avicenna and Averroes (Islamic Philosophy, Theology, and Science)

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L Yàsìn, p. 119). 13 This means that in theory, walking and eating have equal chances of happening, but as soon as a determining factor such as will comes into play, the indeterminacy of such an event is lifted. However the classification of events according to these different classes is somewhat fluid, for Avicenna states that something can be considered to occur for the most part or be necessary in one respect, and to have equal chances of happening in other respects. For example, a sixth finger is a rare occurrence in a human being, but if there is matter in excess of the usual five fingers, and ‘if the divine power which flows into bodies finds complete readiness (isti'dàd tàmm) in natural matter for a deserved form (ßùra musta˙aqqa), the divine power .

10 avicenna on chance 27 The determining factors are thus the efficient cause, together with a subsidiary cause if need be, and the absence of obstacles. Given the right conditions, the efficient cause will produce its proper effect; nowhere is it suggested that causes may fail or that something can come about without a cause. 11 The example given in this instance is that of the generation of a sixth finger, as a rare occurrence. Returning to the point at issue: what is the link between the frequency of an event and chance?

For these conditions are not for a purpose (bi-qaßd ), but it so happened that matter was in such a disposition (˙àla) that these cases followed matter. 44 . . Whatever comes into being was formed from the elemental principles by chance, and the shape of its composition happened to be in a manner suited to survival . 45 Even if one were to concede that growth and coming to be follow an order then conversely there is an order to corruption which is not inferior to that order, and that is the order of decay from its inception to its end, inverse[ly corresponding] to the order of growth.

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