Journal Article

A Post-Ghazālian critic of Avicenna: Ibn Ghaylān al-Balkhī on the Materia Medica of the <i>Canon of Medicine</i>

Ayman Shihadeh

in Journal of Islamic Studies

Published on behalf of Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies

Volume 24, issue 2, pages 135-174
Published in print May 2013 | ISSN: 0955-2340
Published online June 2013 | e-ISSN: 1471-6917 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jis/ett017
A Post-Ghazālian critic of Avicenna: Ibn Ghaylān al-Balkhī on the Materia Medica of the Canon of Medicine

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This article sheds new light on the sixth/twelfth-century anti-Avicennan current, which took its cue primarily from al-Ghazālī’s Incoherence of the Philosophers (Tahāfut al-falāsifa). A key representative of this current, Ibn Ghaylān al-Balkhī (d. ca. 590/1194), veers away from the usual points of conflict in metaphysics and natural philosophy, directing his attention instead to descriptions of the properties of simple drugs in Avicenna's Canon of Medicine and Heart Remedies (al-Adwiya al-qalbiyya) and Ismāʿīl al-Jurjānī's (d. 531/1136) medical encyclopaedia The Khwārazmshāhī Treasure (Dhakhīra-yi Khwārazmshāhī). In a dedicated text, he highlights various inconsistencies in these sources, with a view to demonstrating that Avicenna's works are unreliable and exposing a culture of uncritical imitation among contemporary Avicennists. The article includes an edition and translation of the text.

Journal Article.  13536 words. 

Subjects: History ; Islam ; Regional and Area Studies

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