Avicenna On the Science of the Soul


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Avicenna writes this short synopsis on the soul as a gift for a Prince. Written around the year 1000 CE, Avicenna describes the soul as an immaterial substance that is known through its powers. According to him, it is the human rational soul that survives the body after death and is eternal. The “Prince of Physicians,” Avicenna (Ibn Sina) was born in 980 C.E. in Afshana, near Bukhara. By the age of ten he had learned the entire Quran as well as grammar and then began the study of logic and mathematics. Once these subjects were mastered, he studied physics, metaphysics and medicine. As for medicine, Avicenna composed the famous Qanun, or Canon, which is perhaps the most influential single work in the history of medicine. Its Latin translation was the only medical textbook used in Europe for 700 years and it is still taught in the East today.


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