Avicenna – Abu Ali al-husayn ibn Abd Allah ibn Sina

Avicenna – Abu Ali al-husayn ibn Abd Allah ibn Sina

Born: 980 CE approx

Worked: The Canon of Medicine, The Book of Healing, Logic, Metaphysics, Physics, De Caelo, The Life of Ibn Sina, Remarks and Admonitions, Essay on the Secret of Destiny, The Book of Scientific Knowledge.

Died: 1037 CE approx

Abu Ali al-usayn ibn Abd Allah ibn Sina, also known as Ibn Seena and commonly known in English by his Latinised name Avicenna was a Persian Muslim polymath and foremost physician and philosopher of his time. He is regarded as a father of early modern medicine, particularly for his introduction of systematic experimentation and quantification into the study of physiology, his discovery of the contagious nature of infectious diseases, the introduction of quarantine to limit the spread of contagious diseases, the introduction of experimental medicine, evidencebased medicine, clinical trials, randomised controlled trials, efficacy tests, clinical pharmacology, neuropsychiatry, risk factor analysis, and the idea of a syndrome, and the importance of dietetics and the influence of climate and environment on health. He is also considered the father of the fundamental concept of momentum in physics, and regarded as a pioneer of aromatherapy.

Avicenna’s works numbered almost 450 volumes on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived. In particular, 150 volumes of his surviving works concentrate on philosophy and 40 of them concentrate on medicine. His most famous works are The Book of Healing, a vast philosophical and scientific encyclopaedia, and The Canon of Medicine, which was a standard medical text at many Islamic and European universities up until the early 19th century. Ibn Sina developed a medical system that combined his own personal experience with that of Islamic medicine, the medical system of Galen, Aristotelian metaphysics, and ancient Persian, Mesopotamian and Indian medicine.

Avicenna developed his own system of logic known as “Avicennian logic” as an alternative to Aristotelian logic. By the 12th century, Avicennian logic had replaced Aristotelian logic as the dominant system of logic in the Islamic world. After the Latin translations of the 12th century, Avicennian logic also influenced early medieval European logicians such as Albertus Magnus, though Aristotelian logic later became more popular in Europe due to the strong influence of Averroism. Avicenna developed an early theory on hypothetical syllogism, which formed the basis of his early risk factor analysis. He also developed an early theory on propositional calculus, which was an area of logic not covered in the Aristotelian tradition. The first criticisms on Aristotelian logic were also written by Avicenna, who developed an original theory on temporal modal syllogism. He also contributed inventively to the development of inductive logic, being the first to describe the methods of agreement, difference and concomitant variation which are critical to inductive logic and the scientific method.

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