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Post-Avicennan physics in the medical commentaries of the Mamluk period


Date of creation
  • 2018   Gregorian
Preferred title

Post-Avicennan physics in the medical commentaries of the Mamluk period   English  

Work type Single work
Non-literary work Historical work
Work manifested Article
Work genre Textual work

Adult, serious


Recent work has shown that Islamicate philosophers engaged meaningfully with Ibn Sīnā’s transformation of Aristotelian physics, particularly his new understanding of motion at an instant and his new category of positional motion. Although Ibn Sīnā considered medicine a derivative science of physics, little work has been done to determine the impact of the new Avicennan physics on medicine. In this paper, I shall examine the discussions on motion contained in the sections on pulse within seven medical commentaries produced between 1200 and 1520 CE. The examination will reveal that Ibn al-Nafīs’s novel, non-Galenic application of the Avicennan category of positional motion to pulse generated an invigorating debate amongst later commentators. Consequently, the paper shows that: a) Ibn al-Nafīs’s transformations of Galenic/Avicennan medical theory were widely discussed in subsequent commentaries; and b) Mamluk-era medical writers continued to engage in philosophical discussions despite Ibn Sīnā’s epistemological arguments against doing so.

Diamond   W 223811

Created at 02-03-2018 by Dalal Adib (IDEO)

Updated at 02-03-2018 by Dalal Adib (IDEO)