The Problem of Evil: Ibn Sīnā's Theodicy

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Global Academic Publishing, 2000 - Philosophy - 227 pages
Who of us has not at one point wondered why it is that a God with absolute goodness, knowledge, and power would cause or allow evil in the world? This issue, which is traditionally known as the problem of evil and which is most puzzling to the human mind, received significant attention from Ibn Sīnā. In the present work, Shams C. Inati argues that Ibn Sīnā provides seven main theses to justify Gods causing or allowing the presence of evil in the world, and that the problem of evil disappears from his philosophy only by virtue of the thesis which relies on God’s omnipotence as he defines it (i.e., capacity to fulfill all possibilities).

Following a historical background, which traces the thought of those who had an impact on Ibn Sīnā’s response to this issue, including Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus, the work analyzes in detail and critically examines Ibn Sīnā’s view. The book is an original piece of work and the first comprehensive study of Ibn Sīnā’s Theodicy, which helped shape later Islamic and Christian treatments of the subject and left significant marks on the thought of major medieval philosophers, including Ibn Rushd, Aquinas, and Suarez.
 

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Contents

Main Types of Solutions to the Problem
7
Chapter
15
Plotinus
48
Chapter Three
65
Accidental Evil
86
Chapter Four
103
The Way to Knowledge
110
The Bliss of the Knowledgeable Soul
121
Chapter Five
127
The Solution for the Problem of Destiny
162
Summary and Conclusions
169
Notes
175
List of Abbreviations
193
Index
207
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Shams C. Inati is Professor of Islamic Studies at Villanova University.

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