PředmětyPředměty(verze: 901)
Předmět, akademický rok 2021/2022
The Flying Man: Avicenna on the soul - AFSV00309
Anglický název: The Flying Man: Avicenna on the soul
Zajišťuje: Ústav filosofie a religionistiky (21-UFAR)
Fakulta: Filozofická fakulta
Platnost: od 2019
Semestr: letní
Body: 0
E-Kredity: 4
Způsob provedení zkoušky: letní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: letní s.:2/0 Zk [hodiny/týden]
Počet míst: neurčen / neurčen (neurčen)
Minimální obsazenost: 20
Virtuální mobilita / počet míst: ne
Stav předmětu: nevyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Další informace: https://dl1.cuni.cz/course/view.php?id=6848
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
Garant: Mgr. Robert Roreitner
Anna Tropia, Ph.D.
Třída: Exchange - 08.1 Philosophy
Rozvrh   Nástěnka   
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Anna Tropia, Ph.D. (12.02.2019)
Across Avicenna´s psychological writings we encounter references to a curious thought experiment: we are invited to imagine that we are created all at once, perfectly developed in both body and mind, floating in a thin air and in darkness in such a way that we don´t sense-perceive anything at all, not even our own body; nonetheless, Avicenna insists we will be aware of ourselves (or our essence). This thought experiment seems to have a twofold function: (i) it makes us alert to a phenomenon which is always with us without our realizing this constant presence; (ii) it allows us to make inferences about our soul´s metaphysical status.

The aim of this seminar will be to explore both the phenomenological characteristics of the Avicennian self-awareness and its alleged metaphysical consequences. This topic, while being of a cardinal importance for Avicenna´s psychology, is nowhere explored systematically. We will go through selected parts of Avicenna´s psychological works (Healing: On the Soul I.1, I.5, II.2, V.2, V.7; Salvation: On the Soul 3, 7, 8, 10; Pointers and Reminders II.3.1-4) led by the question of how the self-awareness to which the Flying Man experiment (encountered on three different occasions) alerts us fits into his theory. We will also have a look at relevant passage in Avicenna´s late Notes and Discussions adding many interesting observations about self-awareness. And we will constantly be asking about the influence of Avicenna´s argument on Latin Medieval (and Early Modern) philosophy.

We will work with English translations. Knowledge of French, Latin or Arabic is very welcome, but it is not a condition.
Literatura - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Anna Tropia, Ph.D. (13.02.2019)


Primary sources and translations



In Arabic: F. Rahman, Avicenna's De Anima being the psychological part of Kitâb al-Shifâ', London 1959 (moodle)

In Latin: S. Van Riet (ed.), Avicenna Latinus. Liber de anima seu sextus de naturalibus. Édition critique de la traduction latine médiévale. Leuven, 1972 (at the UFAR library)

In English: J. McGinnis-D. Reisman, Classic Arabic Philosophy. An Anthology of Sources, Indianapolis, 2007 – excerpts (at the UFAR library, moodle); L. Goodman, “On the soul”, Philosophical Forum 1 (1969), 555-562 – full translation of chapter I.1 (moodle)

In French: J. Bakoš, Psychologie d'Ibn Síná (Avicenne) d'aprés son ceuvre Aš-Šifâ', Praha 1956 (at the UFAR library).



In Arabic: Kitāb al-Najāt, ed. M. Fakhry, Beirut 1985 (moodle).

In English: F. Rahman, Avicenna´s Psychology. An English Translation of Kitāb al-Najāt, Book II, Chapter 6, with historico-philosophical notes and textual improvements on the Cairo edition, Oxford 1952 (moodle).


Pointers and Reminder

In Arabic: al-Ishārāt wa-al-Tanbīhāt, ed. S. Dunya, Cairo 1992 (moodle).

In English: Remarks and Admonitions: Physics and Metaphysics, trans. Sh. Inati, New York 2014 (moodle); parts also translated by Kaukua 2015.



Secondary literature (selection)


D. Gutas, Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition. Boston, 2014 (UFAR library)

D. N. Hasse, “Avicenna on Abstraction”, in R. Wisnovsky (ed.), Aspects of Avidenna. Princeton, 2001 (moodle)

P. Adamson, F. Benevich, “The Thought Experimental Method: Avicenna’s Flying Man Argument”, Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2018, 147-164.

T. Alpina, “The Soul Of, the Soul In Itself, and the Flying Man Experiment”, Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 28 (2018), 187-224.

M. Rashed, “Chose, item, et distinction: L’ « homme volant » d´Avicenne avec et contre Abū Hāšim al-Ǧubbā’ī”, Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 28 (2018), 167-185.

B. Black, “Estimation (Wahm) in Avicenna: The Logical and Psychological Dimensions”, Dialogue XXXII (1993), 219-58.

D. Black, “Avicenna on Self-Awareness and Knowing that One Knows”, in S. Rahman, T. Street, and H. Tahiri (eds.), The Unity of Science in the Arabic Tradition: Science, Logic, Epistemology and their Interactions, 2008, 63–87.

D. Black, “Avicenna on Individuation, Self-Awareness, and God’s Knowledge of Particulars”, in: R. Taylor and I. Omar (eds.), The Judeo-Christian- Islamic Heritage: Philosophical and Theological Perspectives, Milwaukee 2012, 255–281.

A. Hasnawi, “La conscience de soi chez Avicenne et Descartes”, in: R. Rashed et J. Biard (eds), Descartes et le Moyen Âge, Paris, 1997, 283–291.

J. McGinnis, Avicenna, Oxford 2010.

J. Kaukua, Self-Awareness in Islamic Philosophy. Avicenna and Beyond, Cambridge 2015  (moodle).

S. Pines, “La conception de la conscience de soi chez Avicenne et chez Abu’l-Barakat al-Baghdadi”, Archives d'histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Age, Vol. 21 (1954), 21-98.

Th.-A. Druart, “The human soul´s individuation and its survival after the body´s death: Avicenna on the causal relation between body and soul”, Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 10 (2000), 259-273.

Th.-A. Druart, “The Soul and Body Problem: Avicenna and Descartes”, in Th.-A. Druart (ed.), Arabic Philosophy and the West: Continuity and Interaction. Washington, DC 1988, 27–48.

R. Sorabji, Self. Ancient and Modern Insights about Individuality, Life, and Death, Chicago 2006.

M. Sebti, Avicenne. L´âme humaine, Paris 2000.

M. E. Marmura, “Avicenna’s ‘Flying Man’ in Context”, in The Monist, 69, 3, (1986), pp. 383-395 (moodle)

D. N. Hasse, Avicenna’s De anima in the Latin West. London, 2000.

H. Davidson, Alfarabi, Avicenna and Averroes on Intellect. NY-Oxford, 1992 (UFAR library)

R. Teske, “William of Auvergne’s debt to Avicenna”, in J. Janssens and D. De Smet, Avicenna and his heritage. Leuven, 2002 (moodle)

J. Toivanen, “Fate of the Flying Man: Medieval Reception of Avicenna’s Thought Experiment”, Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy, 3, (2015), pp. 64-98 (moodle)

Požadavky ke zkoušce - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Robert Roreitner (07.02.2019)

In order to pass the examination, the students are expected, besides regular active participation, either to write a paper on a topic related to the seminar (max. 3k words), or to prepare a presentation for one of the sessions. 

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