Avicenna’s Naturalized Epistemology and Scientific Method*

  • Jon McGinnis
Part of the Logic, Epistemology, and The Unity of Science book series (LEUS, volume 11)


This study provides a survey of Avicenna’s theoretical or abstract discussions of the methods of science and the psychological processes laying behind them as they appear in his Kitāb al-Burhān. Since that text has not been studied in-depth, the chapter is primarily exegetical, focusing what might be termed Avicenna’s ‘naturalized epistemology’. The study is divided into two sections. The first treats Avicenna’s theory of demonstrative knowledge, and how Avicenna envisions the relation between logic and science, where it is argued that one of the primary functions of Kitāb al-Burhān is to provide heuristic aids to the scientist in his investigation of the world. The second half concerns Avicenna’s empirical attitude in Kitāb al-Burhān towards acquiring the first principles of a science, where such cognitive processes as abstraction, induction and methodic experience are considered.


Causal Relation Causal Explanation Sensory Perception Middle Term Active Intellect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jon McGinnis
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Louis Department of PhilosophyUniversity of MissouriUSA

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