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Ibn Sina's Remarks and Admonitions: Physics and MetaphysicsAn Analysis and Annotated Translation$
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Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166164

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166164.001.0001

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Fourth Class (P. 7)

Fourth Class (P. 7)

On Existence and Its Causes

(p.119) Fourth Class (P. 7)
Ibn Sina's Remarks and Admonitions: Physics and Metaphysics

Shams Inati

Columbia University Press

In this Class, Ibn Sina discusses existence and its causes. Ibn Sina argues that there is an uncaused being that causes the existence of all other things. He first asserts that existence in an absolute sense, the sense beyond the existence of this or that thing, is predicable of the caused and the uncaused existence, as well as the universals, quiddities, or primary realities of things that are intelligible and beyond the sensible. He then differentiates between quiddities and existence and between their causes, taking triangularity as an example of quiddities and considering its surface and lines as if they are its material cause (what makes a thing in potentiality) and formal cause (what makes a thing in actuality). He also elaborates the nature and function of the efficient and final causes, their relationship to other causes (whether or not embodying form and matter), and to each other.

Keywords:   causes, Ibn Sina, existence, uncaused being, quiddities, triangularity, material cause, formal cause

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