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In order to find positive solutions for third-degree equations, which he did not know how to solve for roots, ‘Umar al-Khayyām proceeds by the intersections of conic sections. The representation of an algebraic equation by a geometrical curve is made possible by the choices of units of measure...
This article proposes a reconstitution of the philosophical tenor of al-Fārābī's lost treatise On Changing Beings (Fī al-Mawǧūdāt al-mutaġayyira). It is shown that this work is not only a response to book VI of John Philoponus' Contra Aristotelem, but that its real issues can only be grasped in...
Al-Fārābī, in the Kitāb al-Ḥurūf, is apparently the first person to maintain that existence, in one of its senses, is a second-order concept [ma‘qūl thānī]. As he interprets Metaphysics Δ7, ‘‘being'' [mawjūd] has two meanings, second-order ‘‘being as truth'' (including existence as well as...
Ancient Peripatetics and Neoplatonists had great difficulty coming up with a consistent, interpretatively reasonable, and empirically adequate Aristotelian theory of complete mixture or complexion. I explain some of the main problems, with special attention to authors with whom Avicenna was...
In Avicenna's expositions of his theory of the temporal origination of the human rational soul, its ḥudūth, one meets difficulties in understanding of what he actually means. Some of the expressions used are left unexplained and one has to extract their meaning from discussions given in a...
Muhsin Sayyid Mahdi, James Richard Jewett Emeritus Professor of Arabic at Harvard University, died on July 9 in Brookline, Massachusetts, after a long series of illnesses.
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