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Classical Arabic Philosophy pdf

book-icon-openmaktabaBook Title: Classical Arabic Philosophy
author-icon-openmaktabaBook Author: Jon McGinnis
number-of-pages-icon-openmaktabaTotal Pages: 462
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  Jon McGinnis, David C. Reisman-Classical Arabic Philosophy_ An Anthology of Sources-Hackett Pub Co Inc (2007).pdf

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xxIntroductionLogic itself was considered a tool for practicing science and philosophy, whichdirected the intellect towards truth and preserved it from formal fallacies of reasoning.The objects of logical reasoning were the predicables, which in their most general divi-sions are genera, species, differences, properties, and accidents. Using these predicablesthe ancient and medieval logician and scientist would construct definitions as well asthe philosophical and scientific propositions used in the given sciences. Thus, by givingsomething’s genus and difference, the definition of a species resulted. For example, thespecies human” might be defined as an animal (a genus) that is capable of rationalthought (a difference). Properties and accidents could also be predicated of subjects toprovide further scientific statements, such as All humans are capable of laughter (aproperty)” or Some humans are black (an accident). In addition to the general predicables—genus, species, difference, properties, andaccidents—ancient philosophers also spoke of the predicables that corresponded withone of the ten ways of existing identified in Aristotle’s Categories, that is, existing as asubstance quantity, quality, relation, at a place, during a time, in a position,having a possession, and existing as an action or passion. For example, one might sayof Socrates that he is a substance, but one might also say that Socrates is pale or short.The category of substance was considered the most basic or primary category, for theexistence of all the other categories, the so-called accidents,is dependent upon theexistence of substances. That is because everything other than the primary substancescan either be said of or is in a substance, as in Socrates (a substance is snub-nosedan accident),” but substances are not said of and do not exist in anything else—onedoes not say, x IS a Socrates”—at least not in the primary signification of6substance. ristotle’s Categories, however, not only was intended to provide a logical frameworkfor composing premises, but also was intended to provide an ontology depicting theway the world itself is. This ontology is frequently referred to as Aristotle’s SubstanceOntology.” For Aristotle, and those following him, to exist as a substance is the primaryway of existing, whereas any of the other categories merely indicate a qualified existenceof a substance, for example, existing as snub-nosed. Intuitively, the reasons for makingsubstances primary are obvious: while one can happily admit that Socrates, or any othersubstance for that matter, need not exist as snub-nosed (or any other accidental featureone is less inclined to think that snub-nosed-ness exists independently of anysubstance.5 The notion of ousia or substance is that of a self-subsistent being that does not inhere in a subject butis ultimately the subject of the other modes of existence, that is, the so-called accidents. Aristotle accepts that genus and species, such as animal and human, respectively, are substances in a sec-ondary sense, whereas particulars, such as Socrates, are substances in the primary sense. Thus, animal andhuman can be said of Socrates; however, substances in the primary sense are neither said of nor exist in asubstance.

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