Avicenna on the indemonstrability of definition

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Abstract
The paper provides some introductory comments and a preliminary translation of Avicenna’s Burhān, IV, 2. I shall first set the stage by outlining the structure of the book (sec. 1). I will then briefly introduce (sec. 2) a number of notions that are dealt with in the first treatise of the Burhān (e.g. definition, description). Burhān, IV, 2 is split into two parts: the first focuses mainly on Aristotle’s An. Post., B, 4, whereas the second covers some of the topics of B, 5 and B, 6. Accordingly, sec. 3 will be devoted to a cursory presentation of Aristotle’s arguments in An. Post., B, 4 along with a more detailed discussion of its Avicennan counterpart, focusing on the indemonstrability of definition; sec. 4, finally, will be a presentation of the second part of the chapter, concerning the relationship between definition and division. An English translation of the entire chapter is appended to the paper and is accompanied by some notes.
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Archival date: 2015-11-21
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