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Maynooth Philosophical Papers

Volume 8, 2016

Denise Ryan
Pages 61-72

Avicenna (980-1037) on the Internal Senses, Emanation and Human Intellect

The focus of this paper is on Avicenna’s treatment of the nature and possibility of human knowledge, paying particular attention to his theory of imagination and his theory of the intellect. Despite his dualistic approach to the nature of the human being, Avicenna can be interpreted as positing a link, albeit a weak link, between the body and mind. Avicenna develops the Aristotelian conception of imagination by positing five internal senses. An examination of each of the five senses will be helpful in understanding Avicenna’s theory of imagination more clearly and his views on the relationship between body and soul.

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