The Phenomenological Quest between Avicenna and Heidegger

By Nader El-Bizri

Subjects: Philosophy Of Mind
Imprint: Distribution Partners
Paperback : 9781586840051, 329 pages, January 2000

Examines Avicenna’s phenomenological considerations of the question of being.


The Phenomenological Quest between Avicenna and Heidegger investigates Avicenna's (Ibn Sina's; 980–1037) ontological, epistemological, mystic, and linguistic accounts of being while at the same time accounting for Martin Heidegger's critique of the history of metaphysics. This investigation constitutes one of the first elaborate examinations of Avicenna's phenomenological considerations of the question of being. The consideration of Avicenna's philosophical works has been mainly conducted through primary Arabic medieval texts that have not yet been translated into English, French, or German, nor sufficiently addressed by Western scholarship.

Martin Heidegger claims that the history of metaphysics is the history of the oblivion of being while holding that his "fundamental ontology" presents a "genuine phenomenological account that attempts to overcome metaphysics. " However, Avicenna's philosophical works do testify to the emergence of a phenomenological philosophical tradition that took the question of being to be the most central question of philosophical investigations. This Avicennian philosophical heritage grounded subsequent developments that attested to the rise of a new strain in ontology that overcomes substance and subject based ontology while being characterized by salient phenomenological dimensions. To sum up, Avicenna's philosophical accounts of being present phenomenological dimensions in ontology that offer alternative phenomenological methods of investigation in ontology that would contribute to the renewal of philosophy in general, and ontology and metaphysics in particular.