Thesis title: Avicenna’s doctrine of Emanation and the Sphere of the Heavens

Wednesday, April 12, 2023 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Announcing the defense of thesis of Brian Manere for Honors in the Major Philosophy 

Thesis title: Avicenna’s doctrine of Emanation and the Sphere of the Heavens

Avicenna argues that the celestial spheres each have a soul, termed the motive soul, which is emanated by the first celestial intellect––a body of knowledge which knows itself. Despite outlining the powers of the motive soul, Avicenna does not formally investigate the psychology of the spheres nor their volition. Rather, he presents their volition as a mystery and leaves it to posterity to solve. Since his death in 1037, nearly one-thousand years past, none has taken up Avicenna’s challenge and attempted to resolve the mystery. Hence, it is long overdue that a first pass at resolution be made and, if nothing else, attention be drawn to the fact that without resolution, anything and everything written on Avicenna’s philosophy is potentially flawed in the deepest philosophical sense: unsound and invalid. In an attempt to correct this potential flaw, I will argue that this mystery is a direct result of Avicenna having purposefully written a repeated gap into his account of emanation such that there is no clear account of the generation of the material which composes the sphere; after clarifying the account of emanation by demonstrating that the sphere has a direct connection to the emanating intellect, I will make the plausible argument that estimation has an intellectual volition insofar as it as it possesses a shared similarity with the practical intellect such that its volition is of the same species of volition: intellectual rather than psychological.

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Dr. Cyrus Zargar


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defense Thesis UCF Department of Philosophy