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Table of contents :
Cover
Half Title
Series
Title
Copyright
Dedication
Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Avicenna and the Sellarsian account of experience
1 Sellars on the empirical grounds of knowledge
2 Sellars on the pseudo-intentionality of the senses
3 Perennial philosophy: against scientism and reason-nature dualism
4 Avicenna on knowing the unknown: Meno’s paradox and the sensory foundations of knowledge
5 The mind’s involvement in sense perception: Avicenna on sensory intentionality and the unity of being
Conclusion: On Avicenna and the so-called common medieval view
Index
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Analytic Philosophy and Avicenna

This work engages in a constructive, yet subtle, dialogue with the nuanced accounts of sensory intentionality and empirical knowledge offered by the Islamic philosopher Avicenna. This discourse has two main objectives: (1) providing an interpretation of Avicenna’s epistemology that avoids reading him as a precursor to British empiricists or as a full-fledged emanatist and (2) bringing light to the importance of Avicenna’s account of experience to relevant contemporary Anglo-American discussions in epistemology and metaphysics. These two objectives are interconnected. Anglo-American philosophy provides the framework for a novel reading of Avicenna on knowledge and reality, and the latter, in turn, contributes to adjusting some aspects of the former. Advancing the Avicennian perspective on contemporary analytic discourse, this volume is a key resource for researchers and students interested in comparative and analytic epistemology and metaphysics as well as Islamic philosophy. Mohammad Azadpur is Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University. His work brings Islamic philosophers into dialogue with modern European and Anglo-American philosophers. His first book, Reason Unbound (2011), explored the primacy of ethics in the activity of philosophy.

Routledge Studies in Islamic Philosophy Series Editor: Oliver Leaman University of Kentucky

The Routledge Studies in Islamic Philosophy Series is devoted to the publication of scholarly books in all areas of Islamic philosophy. We regard the discipline as part of the general philosophical environment and seek to include books on a wide variety of different approaches to Islamic philosophy. Avicenna’s Al-Shifa Oriental Philosophy Sari Nusseibeh Becoming a Genuine Muslim Kierkegaard and Muhammad Iqbal Sevcan Ozturk Al-Ghazali and the Divine Massimo Campanini The Philosophy of Religion in Post-Revolutionary Iran On an Epistemological Turn in Modern Islamic Reform Discourse Heydar Shadi Analytic Philosophy and Avicenna Knowing the Unknown Mohammad Azadpur For more information about this series, please visit: www.routledge.com/middleeaststudies/ series/RSINIP

Analytic Philosophy and Avicenna Knowing the Unknown Mohammad Azadpur

First published 2020 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2020 Mohammad Azadpur The right of Mohammad Azadpur to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested ISBN: 978-0-367-43422-9 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-003-00306-9 (ebk) Typeset in Times New Roman by Apex CoVantage, LLC

Dedicated with gratitude to my parents, Alemeh and Hossein

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Avicenna and the Sellarsian account of experience

1 Sellars on the empirical grounds of knowledge

viii 1 9

2 Sellars on the pseudo-intentionality of the senses

23

3 Perennial philosophy: against scientism and reason-nature dualism

36

4 Avicenna on knowing the unknown: Meno’s paradox and the sensory foundations of knowledge

52

5 The mind’s involvement in sense perception: Avicenna on sensory intentionality and the unity of being

82



Conclusion: On Avicenna and the so-called common medieval view

110

Index

117

Acknowledgments

Many of my teachers, colleagues, students, friends and family members – too numerous to mention all of them – helped in the composition and refinement of this work. In my work on Wilfrid Sellars and Sellarsians, I benefitted from the generous guidance of Jim Conant, John McDowell, Robert Brandom and John Haugeland in my formative studies. My early work culminated in a PhD dissertation at the University of Virginia, where I apprenticed to Cora Diamond and Richard Rorty, among others. In my subsequent 15 years at San Francisco State University, I continued to refine my understanding of the relevant texts and arguments. I imported Sellars and Sellarsians into my seminars as much as possible and learned greatly from my students, especially Todd Gullion, Elena Granik, Sam Badger, Paymun Zargar, Austin Hunter, Charlotte Ciobanu, Ali Tasdighi Far, Kirk LaBriola and Lynn Mari. These budding scholars were also active in enhancing my engagement with Avicenna. In my investigation of Avicenna and Islamic philosophy, I was supported and instructed by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Gholamreza Avani, Gholamhussein Dinani, Mohammad Javad Esmaili, Sajjad Rizvi, Sarah Pessin and the many participants in the Milwaukee/Denver annual Abrahamic Traditions of Philosophy conference (2010–2015). I should also mention and express gratitude for the invaluable comments of Maja Sidzinska, Oliver Leaman and the anonymous reader of the manuscript. Of course, it goes without saying that I am solely responsible for any remaining imperfections. A timely sabbatical from San Francisco State University in the Fall of 2018 allowed me to execute the finishing touches on this project. I am also grateful for the support of Dean Andrew Harris and my other colleagues at San Francisco State, especially Jerry Needleman, Justin Tiwald, David Landy and the late Anita Silvers. And last but not least, I benefitted greatly from the companionship and encouragement of my family members, especially my caring wife, Avissa, and my fabulous daughter, Kimia. Without their consolations, this work would not be possible.

Introduction Avicenna and the Sellarsian account of experience

The lingua franca of philosophy Great thinkers as historically diverse as Plato, Aristotle, Kant and Hegel have engaged questions concerning the content of empirical beliefs and how they are justified. With the advent of analytic philosophy, the same historically puzzling questions concerning intentionality and knowledge were approached from new perspectives. This book, while taking into consideration the innovative insights of contemporary analytic philosophy, engages in a constructive, yet subtle, dialogue with Abū ‘Alī Ḥusayn ibn Sīnā’s (hereafter Avicenna, d. 1037)1 to illuminate the affinities between his refined accounts of empirical knowledge and sensory intentionality, and those espoused by major twentieth century analytic philosophers such as Wilfrid Sellars and his successors, especially John McDowell. While analytic philosophers are notorious for their ahistorical approach to philosophy, Sellars and McDowell place great value on engaging the history of philosophy. For example, Sellars states boldly that “[t]he history of philosophy is the lingua franca which makes communication between philosophers, at least of different points of view, possible. Philosophy without the history of philosophy, if not empty or blind, is at least dumb.”2 I agree that engaging the history of philosophy enhances the caliber of philosophical reflection by facilitating the overcoming of narrow-mindedness, parochialism and prejudice. Accordingly, I extend the Sellarsian analysis to the work of Avicenna, arguably the leading figure in the Islamic philosophical tradition. The result is a novel interpretation of Avicenna that differs from the ways most of his contemporary commentators read him. In the mainstream scholarship, Avicenna is interpreted as either an emanatist, for whom knowledge is a matter of inspiration by a divine intellect, or as a proto-Lockean empiricist. Armed with Sellarsian arguments, I propose that Avicenna’s texts contain a more nuanced position than either emanatism or classical empiricism. Furthermore, Avicenna’s philosophy provides considerations that help in addressing some of the problematic aspects of the Sellarsian position.

Between emanatism and mythological empiricism Modern scholars of Avicenna take conflicting stances toward his account of the significance of sensory experience for empirical knowledge. Herbert Davidson, for example, emphasizes the continuity between cosmology and epistemology in Avicenna’s philosophy. He argues that the separate and superior Active Intellect is a tertium between the human mind and world,

2  Introduction

informing both the world and the intellect. Human sensory experience, on this emanatist view, is mere preparation for the mind’s reception of the intelligible forms, and knowledge is only a dispensation of the Active Intellect.3 Fazlur Rahman also affirms the continuity between cosmology and epistemology and insists that Avicenna’s account of the abstraction and cogitation of the sensory forms is only “a faҫon de parler” for emanation of intelligibles from the Active Intellect.4 Other more contemporary scholars embracing the ­emanatist reading of Avicenna include Deborah Black and Richard Taylor.5 Dimitri Gutas, on the other end of the exegetical spectrum, defends an empiricist reading of Avicenna and maintains that, for Avicenna, knowledge is accomplished within the limits of human intellect without aid from an external source. On this reading, Gutas emphasizes what the emanatists call “preparatory processes,” involving the perceptive faculties of the animal soul. For Gutas, these processes are not preparatory in the emanatist sense but in the abstractive sense and result in knowledge. He writes, “[w]hat has to be kept in mind is that for Avicenna the concept of the emanation of the intelligibles from the active intellect has its place in his cosmology and it serves to solve essentially an ontological problem, not an epistemological one, which is the location of the intelligibles.”6 Gutas thinks that Avicenna’s references to the involvement of the Active Intellect in the process of knowing serve to allow for an ontological solution to the problem of intellectual memory. For if the forms were stored in the human intellect, then the human mind would constantly think them, and that is impossible. I also defend an empiricist reading of Avicenna, but my reading diverges from Gutas’s, who interprets Avicenna as a proto-Lockean empiricist.7 My position shares Gutas’s recoil from an emanatism that interprets our consideration of sensory experience as not knowledge but a mere preparation for it. I, however, submit that for Avicenna emanatism and empiricism are not entirely incompatible. To put it more precisely, emanation is already involved in sensory experience vis-à-vis the illuminations of the external Active Intellect which informs our sensory experience and provides a depository for acquired intelligible forms. My point that intellectual emanation is involved in sensory experience is not just exegetical; rather, a rigorous account of such involvement, I propose, is also philosophically attractive. To that end, I urge that we learn from Sellars and his successors and allow for non-mythological, non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact. Sellars regards sensory experience as the seamless product of the cooperation of sensory receptivity and rational activity. His arguments and the contributions of his successors constitute a cutting-edge discourse in contemporary philosophy, and I draw on them to inform a more sophisticated interpretation of Avicenna’s epistemology. More specifically, in this book I shall show that an appeal to Sellarsianism brings to focus the significance of the epistemological concerns illustrated in Plato’s famous Meno’s paradox and that the resolution of the paradox is enhanced by the work of Aristotle and then Avicenna. Avicenna’s contributions to that discussion (which have been for the most part inconspicuous in the contemporary readings of his work) are essential for gaining a better understanding of his epistemology and the related aspects of his metaphysics. They also help us recognize some of the limitations of the Sellarsian project.

Introduction  3

Avicenna from a Sellarsian point of view In Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, Sellars debunks the epistemological category of the “Myth of the Given,” a classification that includes various versions of the empiricist thesis that all knowledge is grounded in a form of non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact. This non-inferential knowledge, according to the Myth, grounds other claims to knowledge but itself is not justified. Sellars denies that the non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact is unjustified, because knowledge would then be grounded in something that has no rational credentials (i.e., is self-authenticating). Instead, he derives the rational authority of non-inferential factual knowledge from our initiation into the linguistic space of reasons, enabling us to apply concepts appropriately. In the section on demonstrative proof (al-Burhān) of his encyclopedic masterpiece, the Book of Healing (Kitāb al-shifā’), Avicenna refuses to base empirical knowledge on induction from contingent empirical representations. Rather, for him, like Sellars, knowledge benefits from a necessity not available in the probabilistic inductive inference from sensory data. But Avicenna argues that sensory experience is already infused with necessary rational concepts. Therefore, non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact is indeed established by the answerability of our knowledge claims to (mind-involving) sensory experience. This would be acceptable to Sellars, but despite the evidence in support of such a form of empiricism in his work, Sellars believes that our sensory experiences deliver an imperfect image of the world while the natural sciences represent the world with increasing accuracy. Sellars thus puts the completed scientistic world-picture at the end of scientific inquiry; meanwhile all we have are incomplete representations that make progress in their accurate imaging of the real stuff of the world. This is not so for Avicenna, for whom sensory experience is not thus destitute. Peter King, in “Medieval Intentionality and Pseudo-intentionality,” defends the medieval view that sensory experience has access to the world by suggesting that Sellars’s position is handicapped by a mind-body dualism.8 King maintains that medieval philosophers rejected such dualisms; hence they thought that sense is as intentional a cognitive faculty as intellect.9 King does not develop his diagnosis of the Sellarsian dualism much further than a brief reference to the latter’s account of sense impressions. In this work, however, I explore the precise nature of Sellars’s dualism. I submit that Sellars, despite his valiant efforts to resist the unwarranted encroachment of natural sciences on epistemology, succumbs to the metaphysical view that natural science is the measure of all things (i.e., a version of scientia mensura).10 As a result, he rejects the so-called perennial philosophy, “which is the ‘ideal type’ around which philosophies in what might be called, in a suitably broad sense, the Platonic tradition cluster.”11 The basic principle of perennialism, according to Sellars, is the commitment to the reality of the manifest image “to which science brings a needle-point of detail and an elaborate technique of map-reading.”12 Sellars, however, argues that even though “the manifest framework of everyday life is adequate for the everyday purposes of life [including knowing],13 it is ultimately inadequate and should not be accepted as an account of what there is, all things considered.”14 This dualism regarding the manifest image and the scientific image obstructs from Sellars’s view the possibility that sensory experience can have genuine access to the world.

4  Introduction

I conclude that Avicenna’s position, when read with Sellars’s epistemological insights, has the advantage of immunity from the scientistic distortion that affects Sellars’s metaphysics. The successes of the natural sciences transfix Sellars and some of his fellow analytic philosophers, but Avicenna’s view aligns with the therapeutic view advanced by McDowell. The latter would allow us to free ourselves from the attractions of scientism and its forms of naturalism. The therapeutic view is not an attack on the natural sciences, as they are the gems of our intellectual disciplines. The problem is rather the unwarranted philosophical encroachment of natural science enthusiasts on epistemology and metaphysics. Avicenna’s text equips us with an antidote to resist the toxic philosophical conclusions of those enchanted by scientific inquiry. It does this by demonstrating that the perennialist commitment to the existence of ordinary objects is capable of getting the world right without needing to import metaphysical relief from the natural sciences.

The plan of the work In the first chapter, I examine Sellars’s famous attack on the Myth of the Given as it concerns the foundations of knowledge as well as Sellars’s own efforts to account for those infrastructures. For Sellars, as we have already seen, the epistemological Given encompasses various empiricist views according to which knowledge is grounded in non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact.15 The non-inferential knowledge, according to the Myth, grounds other empirical claims to knowledge but itself is not justified by other knowledge. Sellars denies, however, that the non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact is unjustified, because that would ground knowledge of the world in something that has no rational credentials and enters our reasoning from the outside. He argues that the appeal to the unjustified justifier is on par with what G. E. Moore called “the naturalistic fallacy” in ethics,16 insisting that “in characterizing an episode or a state as that of knowing, we are not giving an empirical description of that episode or state; we are placing it in the logical space of reasons, of justifying and being able to justify what one says.”17 The self-authenticating justifier is problematic precisely because it acquires its status by means of an empirical description, not a justification. By contrast, Sellars derives the rational authority of non-inferential factual knowledge from our initiation into the linguistic space of reasons, enabling us to apply relevant concepts appropriately. According to him, the proper application of a concept in a non-inferential claim to perceptual knowledge presupposes the ability to apply a whole battery of other concepts18 – including ones pertaining to other perceptible characteristics, more general (inclusive) concepts and incompatible concepts. Sellars, then, turns to Immanuel Kant to distinguish conceptualized experience from the pre-conceptual sensory encounter with the world. The latter sensing is apparently unconscious and “guides” the former. The conceptual sensory experience grounds our empirical beliefs non-inferentially, while the pre-conceptual experience explains the conceptualized experience (but does not ground it). I shall explicate and criticize this alleged Kantian distinction and its importance for Sellars’s epistemology and metaphysics in Chapter 1.

Introduction  5

In his influential Psychology from An Empirical Standpoint, Franz Brentano maintains that every mental phenomenon is characterized by intentionality, that is, by the inclusion of an object within itself.19 In “Being and Being Known,” Sellars argues that the senses have only a “pseudo-intentionality, which is easily mistaken for the genuine intentionality of the cognitive order.”20 In Chapter 2, I analyze Sellars’s account of the pseudo-intentionality of sense impressions and their relation to the cognitive order. Sellars advocates a so-called psychological nominalism,21 the thesis that the intentionality of mental states (i.e., the aboutness of thoughts) is derived from the meaningfulness of overt linguistic utterances. This thesis implies a naturalistic account of the emergence of the intentionality of mental states from the proprieties that are features of overt linguistic utterances. In addition, it presupposes a natural conformism, which is “not mere imitativeness (monkey see, monkey do), but also censoriousness, that is, a tendency to see that one’s neighbors do, and to suppress variation.”22 Such conformism produces patterns of propriety (normativity), which legitimate the proper use of linguistic expressions. Sellars then distinguishes the intentionality of mental representations from their capacity to get things right, that is, to picture the world. We picture the world more accurately as we advance in the natural sciences. For Sellars, as I have mentioned earlier, our sensory experience delivers an imperfect image of the world while the natural sciences represent the world with increasing accuracy. This conforms to Sellars’s aforementioned division in sensory experience, according to which scientific progress shapes our non-conceptual sense impressions, which in turn guide our conceptualized perceptions. Conceptualized perceptions, however, project a perfect image of the world only at the end of scientific inquiry; meanwhile all we have are incomplete pictures that progressively increase in their accurate imaging of the real furniture of the world. In Chapter 3, I return to Sellars’s scientism and defend a version of the view that he characterizes as philosophia perennis, according to which the manifest image is real and the scientific research helps to refine our understanding of what is already manifest. I show how some of the main strands of contemporary analytic metaphysics, including Sellars’s own view, are led astray by their authors’ enthusiasm for the successes of the natural sciences. I submit that a perennialist position, in line with McDowell’s reform of Sellars’s metaphysical excesses, empowers us to resist the philosophically distorting impacts of the triumphs of scientific inquiry. McDowell restricts the clarity brought about by modern scientific revolution to the realm of law and not to the world manifested through our conceptual resources. Of course, we cannot deny that research in natural sciences provides resources for a more nuanced understanding of the manifest world and enhances our interactions with it. There are also dangers in the application of scientific research to technological manipulations and exploitations of our world. In the remaining chapters, I formulate and defend a perennialist reading of Avicenna. In Chapter 4, I argue that in his Book of Healing (Kitāb al-shifā’), especially its Book of Demonstration (Kitāb al-burhān) in tandem with its De Anima (Kitāb al-nafs), Avicenna makes the same point as Sellars about the implicit naturalistic fallacy in the appeals to the Myth of the Given. In Avicenna’s version, empirical knowledge is not grounded in the merely contingent deliverances of animal sensory powers. Rather, he maintains, like Sellars, that knowledge

6  Introduction

benefits from a logical necessity of which animal “cognitive” powers are bereft.23 Avicenna also argues that the non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact is established by the answerability of our knowledge claims to non-propositional but conceptual sensory experience.24 For this point, he draws on Aristotle’s modification of the Platonic reply to Meno’s dilemma. Knowing the unknown cannot happen miraculously; it presupposes a sensory fore-knowledge. In Chapter 4, I develop this aspect of Avicenna’s epistemology and show how his view is formed in alliance with the insights of his predecessors, Aristotle and Abū Naṣr Muḥammad al-Fārābī (hereafter Alfarabi). For Avicenna, as for Sellars, the non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact is established by the answerability of our knowledge claims to sensory experience. Sellars, however, argues that sensory experience is non-relationally intentional because it derives its aboutness from the proprieties of the space of reasons. Avicenna is not in complete agreement, and – together with his commitment to the intellect’s involvement in sensory perception – he assigns a relational intentionality to the senses. Working out this contrast requires engaging in a deeper discussion of the intentionality (i.e., the object-directedness) of mental phenomena. In Chapter 5, I begin with Brentano’s thesis, from his habilitationsschrift titled Psychology of Aristotle, that Avicenna loses Aristotle’s insight that the soul does not think without an image, or to put it as Brentano does: for Avicenna, “the sensory ceases to be the source of intellectual cognition.”25 Relating Brentano’s historical and psychological theses to each other, we can interpret Avicenna to hold the view that the sensory lacks the intentionality of cognitive faculties, and this is especially mysterious in light of Avicenna’s commitment to the grounding of our knowledge in the senses, as emphasized in Chapter 4. In Chapter 5, however, I challenge the readings of Avicenna that interpret him as denying cognitive intentionality to the senses. Of course, Avicenna and Sellars reject a reductionist account of the mental and endorse the sui generis status assigned to the space of reasons (for Sellars) and intellectual cognition (for Avicenna). However, I show that Sellars, in ascribing a non-relational intentionality to the sensory, limits metaphysics by the scientistic thesis that the scientific framework is more “subtle and sophisticated” than that of common-sense experience. For Avicenna, on the other hand, the world is descriptively accessible from within the space of reasons. And this counteracts the Sellarsian commitment to the indispensability of the metaphysical conjectures inspired by modern natural sciences. Relying on the Metaphysics and the De Anima of The Healing, I contend that in contrast to Sellars’s characterization of it, the Avicennian space of reasons (i.e., the intentional cognitive order) reaches all the way out to sensory contact. To put it more precisely, the categorial unity making up the space of reasons is drawn upon involuntarily in our sensory experience of the world.26 This interpretation respects a greater number of nuances of Avicenna’s philosophy of mind and his complex view of experience. I also support the position advanced by this line of interpretation through McDowell’s refinements to Sellars’s metaphysics. I conclude that Avicenna, in turn, contributes to McDowell’s refined stance by developing an account of the categorial unity of the space of reasons through engaging and modifying Aristotle’s substance ontology. This is a central dimension of the discussion in Chapter 5.

Introduction  7

In the concluding chapter, I shall consider a critique of Avicenna’s position from within the perennialist view that I  insist he shares with McDowell. A  contemporary perennialist may contend that Avicenna’s appeal to separately existing intelligences betrays his commitment to medieval religious assumptions. I reject this criticism and advance further arguments for the thesis that the appeal to Avicennian philosophy helps in crafting a response to some of the concerns within the contemporary versions of perennialism.

Notes 1 Throughout the book, I follow the transliteration guidelines of the International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES). 2 Sellars, Science and Metaphysics: Variations on Kantian Themes (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968), 1. It should also be noted that a phase of McDowell’s pre-Sellarsian philosophical activity did center on ancient philosophy. Furthermore, in his later work, McDowell’s main historical interlocutors are Kant and Hegel. This is manifest throughout his writings, especially in his pivotal book, Mind and World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994). 3 Davidson, Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes on Intellect (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 93–94. Tommaso Alpina maintains that Davidson inherits this view from Étienne Gilson (“Intellectual Knowledge, Active Intellect and Intellectual Memory in Avicenna’s Kitāb al-Nafs and Its Aristotelian Background,” Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale 25 (2014): 136–37). I agree, but in Reason Unbound (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2011), §4.2, I argue that such a reading has been in circulation at least as early as Thomas Aquinas. 4 Rahman, Prophecy in Islam: Philosophy and Orthodoxy (London: Allen & Unwin, 1958), 15. 5 Black, “Avicenna on the Ontological and Epistemic Status of Fictional Beings,” Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale 8 (1997): 445. Taylor, “Al-Fārābī and Avicenna: Two Recent Contributions,” MESA Bulletin 39 (2005): 182. 6 Gutas, “The Empiricism of Avicenna,” Oriens 40 (2012): 411. 7 Ibid., 392, 423–24. 8 King, “Medieval Intentionality and Pseudo-Intentionality,” Questio 10 (2010): 33. 9 Ibid. 10 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, ed. Robert Brandom (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), 83. 11 Sellars, “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man,” in Science, Perception, and Reality (Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963), 8. 12 Ibid. 13 Ibid., 27–28. 14 Ibid. 15 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, 15. 16 Ibid., 19. 17 Ibid., 76. 18 Ibid., 44. 19 Brentano, Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, ed. and trans. L. McAlister (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1995), 88–89. 20 Sellars, “Being and Being Known,” in Science, Perception, and Reality (Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963), 46. 21 “[A]ll awareness . . . is a linguistic affair,” Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, 63.

8  Introduction

2 2 Haugeland, “Intentionality All-Stars,” Philosophical Perspectives 4 (1990): 404. 23 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, ed. Fazlur Rahman (London: Oxford University Press, 1959), §§1.5 and 5.5. 24 Avicenna, Al-Shifā’: Al-Burhān (The Healing: Demonstration), ed. A. Afifi and I. Madkour (Cairo: Organisation generale egyptienne, 1956), §1.6. 25 Brentano, “Nous Poietikos: A Survey of Earlier Interpretations,” in Essays on Aristotle’s De Anima, ed. Martha Nussbaum and Amelia Rorty (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), 316. 26 Avicenna, The Metaphysics of the Healing (Kitāb al-shifā’: Al-Ilāhīyāt), trans. Michael Marmura (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2005), §§1.5–6, 5.1–2.

Bibliography Alpina, Tommaso. “Intellectual Knowledge, Active Intellect and Intellectual Memory in Avicenna’s Kitāb al-Nafs and Its Aristotelian Background.” Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale 25 (2014): 131–83. Avicenna (Abū ‘Alī Hussain ibn Sīnā). Avicenna’s Psychology. Translated by Fazlur Rahman. London: Oxford University Press, 1952. Avicenna. Al-Shifā’: Al-Burhān (The Healing: Demonstration). Edited by A. Afifi and I. Madkour. Cairo: Organisation generale egyptienne, 1956. Avicenna. Avicenna’s De Anima. Edited by Fazlur Rahman. London: Oxford University Press, 1959. Avicenna. The Metaphysics of the Healing (Kitāb al-shifā’: al-Ilāhīyāt). Translated by Michael Marmura. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2005. Azadpur, Mohammad. Reason Unbound: Spiritual Practice in Islamic Peripatetic Philosophy. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2011. Black, Deborah. “Estimation (Wahm) in Avicenna: The Logical and the Psychological Dimensions.” Dialogue 32 (1993): 219–58. Black, Deborah. “Avicenna on the Ontological and Epistemic Status of Fictional Beings.” Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale 8 (1997): 425–53. Brentano, Franz. “Nous Poietikos: A Survey of Earlier Interpretations.” In Essays on Aristotle’s De Anima, edited by Martha Nussbaum and Amelia Rorty, 313–42. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992. Brentano, Franz. Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint. Edited and translated by L. McAlister. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1995. Davidson, Herbert. Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes, on Intellect. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. Gutas, Dimitri. “The Empiricism of Avicenna.” Oriens 40 (2012): 391–436. Haugeland, John. “Intentionality All-Stars.” Philosophical Perspectives 4 (1990): 383–427. King, Peter. “Medieval Intentionality and Pseudo-Intentionality.” Questio 10 (2010): 25–44. McDowell, John. Mind and World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994. Rahman, Fazlur. Prophecy in Islam: Philosophy and Orthodoxy. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1958. Sellars, Wilfrid. “Being and Being Known.” In Science, Perception, and Reality, 41–59. Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963. Sellars, Wilfrid. “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man.” In Science, Perception and Reality, 1–40. Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963. Sellars, Wilfrid. Science and Metaphysics: Variations on Kantian Themes. London: Routledge  & Kegan Paul, 1968. Sellars, Wilfrid. Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind. Edited by Robert Brandom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997. Taylor, Richard. “Al-Fārābī and Avicenna: Two Recent Contributions.” MESA Bulletin 39 (2005): 180–82.

1 Sellars on the empirical grounds of knowledge

In this chapter, I examine Wilfrid Sellars’s famous attack on the Myth of the Given as a predicament of empirical knowledge and his effort to resolve that difficulty.1 In his philosophically ground-breaking work, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, Sellars maintains that “many things have been said to be ‘given’: sense contents, material objects, universals, propositions, real connections, first principles, even givenness itself.”2 These various appeals to the Given, according to Sellars, share the “framework of givenness.”3 Leaving the “framework” unattended, he turns to the epistemological category of the Given. For Sellars, “the point of the epistemological category of the Given”4 is the explication of “the idea that empirical knowledge rests on a ‘foundation’ of noninferential knowledge of matter of fact.”5 Later, when developing a particular form of the Myth of the Given, Sellars clarifies what he means by “foundation.” A foundation is a structure of particular matter of fact such that (a) each fact can not only be noninferentially known to be the case, but presupposes no other knowledge either of particular matter of fact, or of general truths; and (b) such that the noninferential knowledge of facts belonging to this structure constitutes the ultimate court of appeals for all factual claims – particular and general – about the world.6 From this passage we can see that for Sellars, a non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact is a foundation if and only if (1) it is not justified by any other factual knowledge; and (2) it justifies all other factual knowledge about the world. To put it more precisely, the epistemological Given is the thesis that empirical knowledge is justified by non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact, which is not itself justified by other knowledge. As I show later, Sellars does not mean to deny that there is non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact, and that this knowledge justifies all other claims to factual knowledge. He accommodates these grounding features of the Given in his own position. He only denies (1), that is, the thesis that the non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact is itself unjustified by other knowledge (i.e., it is “self-authenticating”).7 He rejects this thesis because its endorsement would ground knowledge on something that has no rational credentials and enters our reasoning from the outside. Sellars insists that “in characterizing an episode or a state as that of knowing, we are not giving an empirical description of that episode or state; we are placing it in the logical space of reasons, of justifying and being able to justify what one says.”8 For him, the logical space of reasons is the space that is opened up by episodes or states that involve justifying and being

10  Sellars on the empirical grounds of knowledge

able to justify what one says. Sellars contrasts placing an episode or a state in the space of reasons with giving an empirical description of such an episode or state. An empirical description situates that episode or state in a space in which the interconnections among things occupying that space (i.e., particulars) are not justificatory; such interconnections can be causal relations, spatio-temporal relations, etc. The epistemological Given, that is, the unjustified – or rather self-justifying – justifier is problematic precisely because it acquires its status by means of an empirical description, rather than a justification. Sellars, instead, derives the rational authority of non-inferential factual knowledge from initiation into the public and linguistic space of reasons, enabling us to apply relevant concepts appropriately. According to Sellars, the proper application of a concept in a non-inferential claim to perceptual knowledge presupposes the ability to apply a whole battery of other concepts9 – including the ones pertaining to other perceptible characteristics, more general (inclusive) concepts, and incompatible concepts. I shall clarify Sellars’s account of this sort of holism later in this chapter. In the last part of this chapter, I begin the discussion of Sellars’s arguments for the peculiar role of sense impressions, by setting forth his interpretation of Kant’s account of the role of mental faculties in the production of knowledge. Sellars argues that his rejection of the empiricist Given is consistent with the claim that sense impressions, as non-epistemic mental states, are causally necessary for epistemic states. In his view, once the Given is given up, a causal link is all that is left of the intuition that non-inferential perceptual judgments are justified by the experience of the world (i.e., the world’s impact on us). Sellars also argues that his approach to sense impressions is indebted to Kant’s transcendental views on the role of sensibility in knowledge. Sellars, however, insists that whereas Kant left sensibility’s contribution an empty abstraction, he (Sellars) allows for a theoretical/analogical account of sense impressions. Sellars justifies his modification of Kant’s views concerning sensibility by maintaining that the task of philosophy is to generate total insight, and that his account of sense impressions contributes to the formation of this insight by integrating the physical and the cognitive. This Sellarsian position is problematic and I shall subject it to close scrutiny in Chapters 2 and 3. My final aim is to show that Avicenna’s version of empiricism contains Sellars’s commendable epistemological insights without needing his vexed depiction of sense impressions.

The Given in classical sense-datum empiricism Sellars begins Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind by considering the Given in sensedatum empiricism. According to Sellars, sense-datum empiricists claim either that (1) episodes of sensing are episodes of knowing (that is, such episodes belong in the space of reasons) or (2) sensings belong to the space of empirical descriptions.10 To put it differently, the sensedatum empiricists consider sense content as being sensed either as an epistemic fact or as a non-epistemic fact.11 Epistemic facts concern the space of reasons; they are facts invoked in knowledge claims. A non-epistemic fact, on the other hand, is that which is described by empirical descriptions. Such a fact concerns particulars and their relevant relations (e.g., causal relations, spatio-temporal juxtapositions, etc.). What Sellars finds objectionable in the

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sense-datum empiricists’ appeal to the Given is that either (1) non-epistemic sensings of sense contents are illegitimately viewed as foundational epistemic facts, or (2) foundational epistemic sensings of sense contents are illegitimately taken as justified by non-epistemic considerations. That is, either the non-epistemic facts constituting the Given are made over into something epistemic, in which case they could not be given, or they are made to play a role that they cannot play as a matter of logic: the role of justifying epistemic facts. I begin by setting up Sellars’s illustration of the second of these strategies. According to Sellars, a certain strand of classical sense-datum empiricism, the strand running “from [G. E.] Moore’s ‘Refutation of Idealism’ until about 1938,”12 takes sensings of sense-data as foundational epistemic facts and maintains that these sensings are analyzable – “without remainder” – into non-epistemic facts about knowers.13 Therefore, these “Moorean” empiricists believe that non-epistemic facts about knowers entail epistemic facts about them.14 To view the givenness of sense-data in this way is on par, according to Sellars, with the socalled naturalistic fallacy, identified by Moore.15 Sellars appropriates Moore’s naturalistic fallacy in order to criticize Moorean empiricist epistemology. His point is that epistemic facts about knowers are facts of judging or justifying, and such facts are distinguished from nonepistemic facts about them, facts concerning the knowers as particulars related to other particulars in relevant ways. Sellars maintains that epistemic facts cannot be reducible (“analyzable without remainder”) to non-epistemic facts, and any such effort is tantamount to overlooking a fundamental categorical difference. As we have seen, Sellars points out that “in characterizing an episode or a state as that of knowing, we are not giving an empirical description of that episode or state; we are placing it in the logical space of reasons, of justifying and being able to justify what one says.”16 Claims to know, as items in the epistemic space, cannot be licensed from outside of that space, without justificatory connection to other items in the space of reasons, but must be legitimated from within. In other words, the knower is entitled to a claim to knowledge only when her commitment to the relevant content is appropriate, given the normative constraints of the logical space of reasons (i.e., the space of justification opened up by epistemic episodes). Ignoring the distinction between non-epistemic facts and epistemic ones is, according to Sellars, one of the main flaws in the epistemological category of the Given. We have seen how Moorean empiricism appeals to the Myth of the Given by illegitimately assuming that epistemic claims are justified by non-epistemic considerations. Sellars, in the spirit of Bertrand Russell,17 identifies a way of using “know” which helps to isolate yet another version of the Given in classical sense-datum empiricism. In this version, non-epistemic facts are illegitimately viewed as epistemic and endowed with the privileged status as foundational for non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact. More specifically, the “Russellian” sense-datum theorist brings the Given into the space of epistemic facts, without rendering it a knowledge of propositions. Instead, he focuses on a use of “know” in which “know” is followed by a noun or descriptive phrase which refers to a particular, thus Do you know John? Do you know the President?

12  Sellars on the empirical grounds of knowledge

Because these questions are equivalent to “Are you acquainted with John?” and “Are you acquainted with the President?” the phrase “knowledge by acquaintance” recommends itself as a useful metaphor for this stipulated sense of know and, like other useful metaphors, has congealed into a technical term.18 This classical sense-datum theorist exploits the notion of knowledge by acquaintance as a way of understanding the epistemological status of the sensings of sense-data. We have, according to this theorist, knowledge by acquaintance of a sense-datum and such knowledge does not presuppose any other acquaintance or other sorts of knowledge. In lieu of the Moorean strategy of analyzing epistemic sense-data into non-epistemic facts, the Russellian theorist maintains that sensings of sense-data are constituted by acts, which like Russell’s knowing by acquaintance, are “both irreducible and knowings.”19 The Russellian empiricist assumes mistakenly that non-epistemic sensations, involving the subject’s causal interaction with sense-data, are epistemic facts. To put it more precisely, the Russellian appeal to knowledge by acquaintance mistakenly assimilates knowledge of particulars to knowledge of propositions. Only the latter is an epistemic fact. Therefore, classical sense-datum theorists, as interpreted by Sellars, either embrace Russell and consider the givenness (sensing) of sense contents as “the basic or primitive concept of the sense-datum framework,”20 or they side with Moore and analyze this givenness in non-epistemic terms.21 Sellars anticipates a line of objection from sense-datum empiricists, according to which sensings of sense-data are assimilated not to knowings but to thoughts. “There is, of course, a temptation to assimilate ‘having a sensation of a red triangle’ to ‘thinking of a celestial city’ and to attribute to the former the epistemic character, the ‘intentionality’ of the latter.”22 Before developing this objection, it is worth noting that for Sellars, episodes or states of thinking are also epistemic episodes or states; they take place in the logical space of reasons. He maintains that sense-datum empiricists may be inclined to argue that sensations belong in the class of thoughts, not all members of which are knowings. Having assimilated sensations to thoughts, they go on to claim that “it doesn’t make sense to speak of unveridical sensations.”23 Then they conclude that “a sensation of a red triangle is the very paradigm of empirical knowledge.”24 Sellars replies that if sense-datum empiricists insist that some type of experience cannot be unveridical, then it cannot be veridical either.25 Therefore, he argues, “it doesn’t make sense to speak of unveridical sensations.”26 Sense-datum empiricists, according to Sellars, overlook this fact, because they want to give a mythological status to sensations. Sellars thinks that, aside from their mythological errors, classical sense-datum empiricists are correct in striving to preserve the intuition that our perceptual judgments are justified by our sensory experiences. In order to advance this intuition, Sellars argues that there are noninferentially acquired perceptual judgments that represent the court of appeal for other claims to knowledge. The way in which they are non-inferential does not involve the absence of epistemic relations. Rather, our ability to issue grounding perceptual judgments is an acquired talent and the concepts employed therein depend on other concepts used in making claims. For instance, Sellars holds that asserting the proposition “x, over there, looks green to me” requires not only the concept of looking green but also the concept of being green:

Sellars on the empirical grounds of knowledge  13

The point I wish to stress at this time, however, is that the concept of looking green, the ability to recognize that something looks green, presupposes the concept of being green, and that the latter concept involves the ability to tell what color objects have by looking at them – which, in turn, involves knowing in what circumstances to place an object if one wishes to ascertain its color by looking at it.27 In other words, the credible endorsement of “x, over there, looks green to me,” which applies the concept of looking green, presupposes the concept of being green. Therefore, to assert “x, over there, looks green to me,” requires the utterer to know what it is for something to be green. Furthermore, the conceptual dependence of looking green on being green is a justificatory dependence in that the employment of the concept of looking green is justified by our possession of the concept of being green, that is, by our knowing the appropriate conditions for determining that something is green by looking at it. It is important to understand that, in Sellars’s account, the ability to issue non-inferential perceptual judgments is not a mere manifestation of the causal transactions between the claimant and the world, nor does Sellars deny that such transactions figure at all in the formation of these judgments. First, we must note that the forming of non-inferential perceptual judgments presupposes that we are situated in the space of reasons. To have standing in the space of reasons is not only to have the ability to manipulate judgments inferentially, but also to possess the ability to form appropriate uninferred perceptual judgments in standard conditions.28 Such an ability depends on more than one’s causal contact with the world because it involves the normative recognition that such a response can be trusted and ought to be fully endorsed.29 In other words, the claimant should have the capacity to redeem the commitment undertaken by the claim by justifying it if challenged. We saw that in the case of claims using the concept of looking green the justification was in the appropriate conditions given by the concept of being green. But that is not enough: Not only must the conditions be of a sort that is appropriate for determining the color of an object by looking, the subject must know that conditions of this sort are appropriate. And while this does not imply that one must have concepts before one has them, it does imply that one can have the concept of green only by having a whole battery of concepts of which it is one element.30 So, judging “x, over there, looks green to me,” presupposes not only the possession of the concept of being green but also a whole battery of other concepts. In more specific terms, the concept of looking green presupposes the concept of being green which itself presupposes the concepts of being red, being blue and a whole host of other incompatible concepts whose possession enables us to justify the application of being green (justifying the judgment that something is green). Moreover, for Sellars, the requirements of the logical space of reasons are the irreducibly normative dimensions of the use of non-inferential claims about the world. To reduce the normative requirements to causal ones would be to invoke the Myth of the Given. With this account of non-inferential perceptual judgments and their place in the logical space of reasons, Sellars professes to have undermined the classical sense-datum empiricist thesis

14  Sellars on the empirical grounds of knowledge

that sense-data in conjunction with non-epistemic considerations (i.e., sensory experience) can legitimize foundational perceptual judgments.

A tension between readings of Sellars on non-inferential empirical judgments There is a tension between interpretations of Sellars’s account of non-inferential perceptual judgments. To bring it out, we should consider Sellars’s assertion that classical sense-datum theories are in the grip of the following trilemma: A X senses red sense content s entails that x non-inferentially knows that s is red. B The ability to sense sense contents is unacquired. C The ability to know facts of the form x is ϕ is acquired.31 According to Sellars, A and B are incompatible with C; B and C are incompatible with A; and A and C are incompatible with B.32 To resolve the trilemma, one of the horns, as it were, has to be rejected. Robert Brandom thinks that Sellars denies A, but I shall argue that it is B that Sellars denies. For Brandom, Sellars’s denial of A is the denial of the Myth of the Given,33 and it means that a subject’s sensing red sense content, for example, is not sufficient for them to non-inferentially believe that x is red.34 So this is why Brandom’s Sellars argues the opposite, that is, “looks red” presupposes “is red,” and that argument is based on the idea that declarative sentences such as “this is red” have both a fact-stating use and a reporting use. Reporting not only describes an experience, but it also endorses that experience. For instance, if I report “this is red,” I am taking this description to be a true description. For Brandom, the concept report is the key to Sellars’s analysis of “is F” because it is constituted by both a causal and an epistemic dimension, that is, it allows both the object and the subject to shape the experiences a perceiver has without bifurcating them into separate stages. Thus, a perceiver must be able to do two things to make a report. She must first have a reliable differential responsive disposition, that is, she must “behave in a certain way when in certain environmental conditions.”35 This disposition is shared between human beings and animals (and artifacts). For instance, some parrots, like their human counterparts, can be trained to say “that is red,” when they visually sense something red. But if having a differential responsive disposition is enough to make a report, then a properly functioning thermometer would also count as having knowledge of temperature. The other requirement, according to Brandom (and his Sellars), is the ability to grasp and apply concepts. If a perceiver cannot grasp the concept “red,” then it is not possible for her to apply the concept in the report that “x is red.” But what exactly does the ability to grasp and apply concepts consist in? To put it differently, what is the difference between a human being who makes the report “that is red” and a parrot that also makes the same noises in the same circumstances? According to Brandom’s Sellars, the difference is that the human’s response occupies a position in the space of reasons. To occupy a position in the space of reasons, one must know the inferential role played by a report, that is, one must know what conclusions one is entitled to draw from a certain report, what would serve as a reason for it, and

Sellars on the empirical grounds of knowledge  15

what would serve as a reason against it.36 For instance, consider the report “that is red.” Human beings, for the most part, know that “that is colored” follows from “that is red,” that having the reliable disposition to say that “that is red” in standard conditions is a reason to believe that “that is red,” and that the report “that is green” is incompatible with “that is red.” The important point is that the two dimensions of reporting allow us to accommodate both the scientific and the epistemic portrayals of observational knowledge without falling into the aforementioned trilemma. The scientific account is satisfied because the reliable differential disposition to respond to red things in standard conditions by saying “that is red” does not require the grasp of concepts, and both humans and brutes are capable of having these dispositions. On the other hand, the epistemic account is satisfied because holding a position in the space of reasons requires knowing the inferential role played by a non-inferential belief. What’s more, this account avoids the trilemma because it denies A, that is, a subject sensing red sense contents is not sufficient for a subject to non-inferentially believe that x is red. My interpretation of Sellars is different. I contend that because Brandom considers Sellars a precursor to his inferentialism, he overlooks the divergent nuances of Sellars’s text. On my reading, Sellars denies B (i.e., the thesis that the ability to sense sense contents is unacquired). The ability to sense sense contents, according to Sellars, is acquired by initiation into the space of reasons. A (i.e., X senses red sense content s entails that x non-inferentially knows that s is red ) is acceptable to Sellars because the conceptual resources of the space of reasons are drawn into operation when we sense.37 As a result, the claim that “this is green” is “evoked or wrung from the perceiver by the object perceived.”38 Sellars writes, [t]hus, when I say “X looks green to me now” I am reporting the fact that my experience is, so to speak, intrinsically, as an experience, indistinguishable from a veridical one of seeing that x is green. Included in the report is the ascription to my experience of the claim ‘x is green’; and the fact that I make this report rather than the simple report “X is green” indicates that certain considerations have operated to raise, so to speak in a higher court, the question ‘to endorse or not to endorse.’39 In other words, I see that X is green and when I have doubts (e.g., X is too far or a source of sensory illusion is present), I can adjust by saying “X looks green to me” or “it looks as though there is a green X over there.” This allows Sellars to ground perceptual judgments in the sensing of sense contents without invoking the (Brandomian) inferentialist denial of concepts to the sensings.40 In the next section, I spell out the details of Sellars’s account of conceptual empirical content. There are two complications: (1) Sellars, in some of his later writings (e.g., Science and Metaphysics), accounts for experiential content as having a noun phrase (this-such) structure rather than a sentence structure. This is a better view and I discuss it in the next section. (2) In both his early and late writings, Sellars distinguishes conceptualized sense perception from the nonconceptual deliverances of sense. I elucidate this distinction in Chapter 2, and in Chapter 3, I shall argue against it and trace it to Sellars’s problematic scientism. It is important to keep in mind that Sellars’s non-conceptual sensory deliverances are not providing a (Brandomian)

16  Sellars on the empirical grounds of knowledge

reliabilist justification of non-inferential sensory beliefs. For Sellars, as I shall show, the conceptual sensory episodes are non-relationally intentional. Therefore, non-conceptual sensory episodes facilitate the non-cognitive isomorphism between mental representations and the external world.

Kant on conceptual empirical content In Science and Metaphysics: Variations on Kantian Themes, Sellars distinguishes Kant from the traditional empiricists (e.g., Locke, Hume and Berkeley) who endorse the idea that the general concepts, which we apply to the objects of experience, are derived from the senses. More specifically, the traditional empiricist idea is that before we can have the representation this is a cube we must have a representation of the form this-cube. The this-cube “expresses the representing of something as a cube in a way that is prior to cube as a general or universal representation; that is, in a way which is prior to predication or judgment.”41 Traditional empiricists believe that the senses give us a particular item, not as mere this, but as a this-such, i.e., as a determinate repeatable.42 The abstractive power of our intelligence, then, extracts the idea from its particular givenness in the this-such nexus and forms a judgment with it. This judgment is, according to empiricists, posterior to the occurrence of representations in the this-such nexus. Kant’s view of the interaction between sensibility and understanding is similar to the empiricist account. For Kant, intuitions, as yielded by the faculty of sensibility, are representations of individuals, not as mere thises, but as this-suches.43 Understanding, as the faculty of judgment, involves a modification of the intuitions, such that judgments are produced. So, as Sellars writes, Kant and the Aristotelian abstractionists (or empiricists, in the broad sense of the term) have in common the idea that we move from representations of the form this-cube which is a representation of a this-such nexus, specifically of this as a cube, though it is not a judgment and does not involve ‘cube’ in a predicative position, to representations in which the same nexus and the same content occur in explicitly propositional form This is a cube.44 This shared view may suggest that Kant’s account of sensibility is like that of the traditional empiricists, in that determinate repeatables (e.g., “cubeness”) are available because of an innate ability. The traditional empiricist view is problematic in that it appeals to mythological assurances regarding the epistemic status of the this-such nexus, assurances that require innate and

Sellars on the empirical grounds of knowledge  17

unacquired abilities to have epistemic status. Sellars, as we have seen, has argued that the empirical knowledge claims, like “this is a cube,” are non-inferential, but nevertheless require the utterer to operate from within the space of reasons. For the traditional empiricists, by contrast, the justification for “this is a cube” is given miraculously in the sensibility’s receptivity. Sellars distinguishes Kant’s view from the empiricists in such a way that Kant is protected from the allegation that he advances a form of traditional empiricism. For Kant, as Sellars points out, [o]ur knowledge springs from two fundamental sources of mind; the first is the capacity of receiving representations (receptivity for impressions), the second is the power of knowing an object through these representations (spontaneity [in the production] of concepts). Intuitions and concepts constitute, therefore, the elements of all our knowledge.45 Kant’s commitment to the co-operation between sensibility and understanding in the production of knowledge is meant to avoid the appeal to sheer receptivity of sensibility in traditional empiricist portrayals of knowledge, to avoid the view that sensibility alone yields the foundations of empirical knowledge. To clarify Kant’s anti-“empiricist” strategy, Sellars points to an interesting ambiguity in Kant’s use of “intuition.” One sense of “intuitions” concerns the status of intuitions as representations of a this-such nexus. These representations have the form illustrated by “this-cube.” Against the empiricists, Kant holds that these intuitions are not the results of sheer receptivity but involve, in Sellars’s words, “an interesting meeting ground of receptivity with spontaneity.”46 The involvement of the synthetic activity of understanding in the production of intuitions of this sort is different from that of “subsuming representations under general concepts.”47 This subsequent synthesis concerns understanding as it classifies and relates (expresses as judgments) items supplied by the receptivity to the this-such nexus. Conceptually prior to the judgmental synthesis of understanding, there is the synthesis of productive imagination, which involves understanding functioning in a special way. Kant describes this synthesis as “a blind but indispensable function of the soul,”48 because it involves the production of conscious experience.49 The latter synthetic activity produces the representations in a conceptual this-such nexus. This activity of understanding presupposes a matter on which to work, and this matter is sensation.50 Sensations, according to Sellars, are intuitions in the second sense of the term, not as representations of items in a conceptualized this-such nexus delivered to judgmental synthesis, but as the outcome of sheer receptivity to things themselves. In other words, the unorganized outcome of sensibility’s sheer receptivity is the “matter,”51 which is synthesized into representations in a this-such nexus by the special function of understanding, that is, the productive imagination.52 By pointing out this alleged ambiguity in the term “intuition” in Kantian philosophy, Sellars emphasizes the co-operation of understanding and sensibility. Kant’s account of this cooperation overcomes the problematic forms of empiricism. For Kant, the this-such nexus cannot be the result of mere receptivity, as in the portrayal offered by traditional empiricists. The experience of particulars that these empiricists regard as the source of all concepts is itself produced by an exercise of the faculty of concepts. Its conceptual structure depends on

18  Sellars on the empirical grounds of knowledge

the way in which our understanding carves up the raw material of pure receptivity in order to generate our experience of the world. Kant’s view regarding the co-operation of understanding and sensibility in the production of the this-such nexus delivers him from the problematic stance of the empiricists. Sellars goes on to insist that Kantian intuitions, as yielded by sheer receptivity, are causally necessary for and explain minimal conceptual representations (noninferential perceptual judgments). These intuitions do not justify minimal conceptual representations. The causal explanation accounts for why non-inferential perceptual judgments are made in response to the world, without appealing to the impact of the world as a justification. In other (Sellarsian) words, the deliverances of sensibility are theoretical posits that causally explain the occurrence of non-inferential, minimal conceptual representations.53 This is in sharp contrast with the position of empiricists who believed that sense impressions (sensings of this-suches) act as the ultimate court of appeal for all conceptual representations. Despite his appreciation of Kant’s efforts to battle the empiricist Given, Sellars distinguishes his view from that of Kant and accuses him of reducing “the concepts of receptivity and sensibility to empty abstractions.”54 Mainly, Sellars questions Kant’s mere postulation of sensibility’s sheer receptivity (which supplies the matter for the productive synthesis of imagination). For Sellars, Kant’s refusal to describe sheer receptivity represents an unacceptable limitation of philosophy. It is an abdication of philosophy’s mission and task. Sellars considers the aim of philosophy to include “an understanding of how the framework of physical science is to be integrated with the framework of common sense.”55 For him, philosophy, like natural science, postulates hypothetical entities,56 since its aim is to procure total insight: Clarity is not to be confused with insight. It is the latter which is the true final cause of philosophy and the insight which philosophy seeks and which always eludes its grasp is total insight. If the maxim hypotheses non fingo had captured classical and medieval philosophy there would have been abundance of clarity but no science, and in particular, no theoretical science as we know it today.57 Sense impressions as results of sheer receptivity are some of philosophy’s hypothetical entities postulated to integrate the physical sciences and common sense (the domain of things as they appear to us). As non-conceptual states that guide the production of conceptual representations, sense impressions are particularly suited to the integration desired by Sellars. They perform this integration by being the elements of a scientific explanation of the production of the world of appearances (the objects of common sense). Sellars is disappointed when Kant does not posit sense impressions resulting from sheer receptivity as elements in a more full-blooded explanation of non-inferential claims in the space of reasons.58 He complains that Kant did not distinguish clearly between “forms” of non-conceptual sense impressions and those of conceptual representations since “forms of sensibility proper become, as the argument of the Critique proceeds, forms of conceptual representations.”59 Therefore, despite his admirable rejection of the empiricist Given and his moves to explain minimal conceptual representation, Sellars’s Kant did not go far enough and reduced “the concepts of receptivity and sensibility to empty abstractions.”60

Sellars on the empirical grounds of knowledge  19

As is apparent thus far, it is in the details of his account of sense impressions that Sellars finds himself in conflict with Kant. He agrees with Kant that the empiricist portrayals of sensibility, which appeal to the Given are bankrupt. He also ascribes approvingly to Kant the postulation of sense impressions as sensory receptivity’s contributions to the productive synthesis of imagination. However, Sellars finds fault in Kant’s confusion of forms of sensibility and forms of conceptual representations. He sees his own view as advancing beyond that of Kant, since he (Sellars) allows for a theoretical treatment of sense impressions where Kant, he contends, left them as “empty abstractions.” Sellars’s ambivalent reading of Kant emanates from his tenuous balance of a tension in his position that that has divided his legacy. Richard Rorty, who is credited with distinguishing left-wing Sellarsianism from the right-wing variety, placed his own reading of Sellars and those of Robert Brandom and John McDowell in the camp of left-wing Sellarsianism.61 For them, Sellars’s Kantian rejection of the Myth of the Given and his account of the normative space of reasons are his core insights. Right-wing Sellarsians (e.g., Ruth Millikan, Paul Churchland, Daniel Dennett and others) “endorse the ultimate eliminability or reducibility of the normative to scientifically natural.”62 For right-wing Sellarsians then his scientism as manifested in his criticism of Kant’s failure to ground the common-sense framework in the scientific one is his central insight. I shall defend a version of left-wing Sellarsianism. In the next chapter, I examine the alleged philosophical requirement63 that underlies Sellars’s insistence on the second sense of intuition as sheer receptivity. I argue that that move is inspired by his commitment to scientia mensura, the right-wing thesis that “science is the measure of all things, of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not.”64 According to Sellars, we must await the end of scientific inquiry for our cognitive states to be in proper causal relation to the world. Meanwhile, all we have are inadequate conceptual schemes that fail to picture reality adequately. Therefore, Sellars’s scientism assumes a problematic dualism (i.e., the scheme-content dualism) in his conception of the mind-world relation. In Chapter 3, I show that this dualism is incoherent and Sellars’s scientism is not necessary to make sense of the metaphysical underpinnings of sensory justification. In Chapter 4, I set out the Avicennian account of knowledge in light of the Sellarsian attack on the Myth of the Given, as developed in this chapter. Sellars also invokes Aristotle’s “proper sensibles” as the precursor to his portrayal of non-conceptual sense impressions.65 In Chapters 4 and 5, as well as in the conclusion, I show that the Aristotelian account and its ramifications do not share in Sellars’s scientistic commitment and can help to immunize us against the philosophical fantasy he excites.

Notes 1 This chapter is a substantial modification in form and content of material I originally wrote for Chapter 1 of my dissertation, “Experience Conceptualized: Between the Myth of the Given and Coherentism” (PhD diss., University of Virginia, 1999). 2 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, ed. Robert Brandom (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), 14. Hubert Dreyfus maintains that Sellars coins “Myth of the Given” in response to C. I. Lewis’s Kantian obsession with the “Given” element in experience in his Mind and World Order. “Back in 1950, while a physics major at Harvard, I wandered into C. I. Lewis’s

20  Sellars on the empirical grounds of knowledge

epistemology course. There, Lewis was confidently expounding the need for an indubitable Given to ground knowledge, and he was explaining where that ground was to be found. I was so impressed that I immediately switched majors from ungrounded physics to grounded philosophy. For a decade after that, I hung around Harvard writing my dissertation on ostensible objects – the last vestige of the indubitable Given. During that time, no one at Harvard seemed to have noticed that Wilfrid Sellars had denounced the Myth of the Given, and that he and his colleagues were hard at work, not on a rock solid foundation for knowledge, but on articulating the conceptual structure of our grasp of reality,” in “Overcoming the Myth of the Mental: How Philosophers Can Profit from the Phenomenology of Everyday Expertise,” Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 79, 2 (2005): 47. 3 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, 14. My italics. 4 Ibid., 15. 5 Ibid. 6 Ibid., 68–69. 7 Ibid., 73, 77. 8 Ibid., 76. 9 Ibid., 44. 10 Ibid., 16. 11 Ibid. 12 Ibid., 19. 13 Ibid. 14 Brandom’s diagram on the foundational status of sensings of sense contents is helpful: 1st Stage: Physical Object → Sensing of Sense Contents 2nd Stage: Sensing of Sense Contents → Non-inferential Beliefs 3rd Stage: Non-inferential Beliefs → Inferential Beliefs

See Brandom’s Study Guide, ibid., 126. 15 Ibid., 19. G. E. Moore, in Principia Ethica, attacks naturalistic accounts of “good,” which identify some naturalistic property or state P as the meaning of “good.” Moore’s argument concentrates on the following question: Is P really good? Moore claims that the question is intelligible, and therefore P could not be the meaning of “good” (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1988), 5–21. 16 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, 76. 17 See Russell’s “On Denoting,” in Logic and Knowledge: Essays 1901–1950, ed. R. C. Marsh (London: Allen & Unwin, 1956), 41–42. 18 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, 18. 19 Ibid., 19. 20 Ibid., 18–19. 21 Ibid. 22 Ibid., 23. 23 Ibid., 24. 24 Ibid., 25. 25 Ibid., 24–25. 26 Ibid. 27 Ibid., 43. 28 Ibid., 44, 75. 29 Ibid., 40. 30 Ibid., 44. 31 Ibid., 21.

Sellars on the empirical grounds of knowledge  21

3 2 Ibid. 33 Ibid., 130. 34 Ibid., 136–41. 35 Ibid., 140. 36 Brandom, Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, & Discursive Commitment (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994), 89. 37 As it will become clear in the next chapter, I agree with McDowell’s account of sensory experience. For McDowell’s reading of Sellars in this way, see his “Why Is Sellars’s Essay Called ‘Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind’?” in Having the World in View (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009). 38 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, 40. 39 Ibid., 41. 40 In his work, Brandom accounts for the representational dimension of observation reports through the interplay between the reporter and an interlocutor. Brandom accounts for getting things right in our non-inferential perceptual judgments by invoking the endorsement of the interlocutor/scorekeeper and their undertaking of the commitment ascribed to the reporter. See, for example, his discussion in “Knowledge and the Social Articulation of the Space of Reasons,” Philosophy & Phenomenological Research 55, 4 (1995): 903. Brandom’s social practice view, however, overlooks a sensible way of explicating non-inferential perceptual judgments as justified by the experience of the world. In my view, Brandom is not faithful to the phenomenology of the expert’s coping with her perceptual situation, as it (i.e., the coping) involves getting things right through textured responses to varying circumstances in the world (via our experience of them). 41 Sellars, Science and Metaphysics: Variations on Kantian Themes (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968), 7. 42 In Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, Sellars states that the traditional empiricist theories of Locke, Hume and Berkeley also incorporate a version of the Myth of the Given. The latter theories, in contrast to sense-datum empiricism, consider the Given to be the results of the exercise of our unacquired (innate) ability to be aware of determinate sense repeatables (62). The sensation of white, for example, is an instance of our innate ability to be aware of the determinate sense repeatables. According to Sellars, all three traditional empiricists share the presupposition about our unacquired innate abilities, which is a form of appeal to the Given. They differ from the sensedatum invocation of the Given in that the latter take epistemic facts to be given, whereas traditional empiricists take non-epistemic facts as the Givens of empirical knowledge. Moreover, Sellars goes on to make it clear that despite the traditional empiricists’ shared commitment to the givenness of sensations as non-epistemic facts, these empiricists differ in how they explain our awareness of determinable repeatables, the genera (abstract ideas) pertaining to specific sense qualities or the determinate sense repeatables, ibid., 60–61. 43 Sellars, Science and Metaphysics, 5. 44 Ibid. 45 Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Norman Kemp Smith (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1965), A50=B74. 46 Sellars, Science and Metaphysics, 4. 47 Ibid. 48 Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, A78=B103. 49 Sellars, Science and Metaphysics, 4, 11. 50 Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, A20=B34. 51 Ibid., A86=B108. 52 Sellars, Science and Metaphysics, 7.

22  Sellars on the empirical grounds of knowledge

5 3 Ibid., 17. 54 Ibid., 30. 55 Ibid., 17. 56 Ibid., 12. 57 Ibid. 58 Ibid., 9. 59 Ibid., 30. 60 Ibid. 61 O’Shea, “Introduction: Origin and Legacy of a Synoptic Vision,” in Sellars and His Legacy, ed. James R. O’Shea (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 2. 62 Ibid. 63 Sellars, Science and Metaphysics, 7. 64 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, 83. 65 Sellars, Science and Metaphysics, 7.

Bibliography Azadpur, Mohammad. “Experience Conceptualized: Between the Myth of the Given and Coherentism.” PhD diss., University of Virginia, 1999. Brandom, Robert. Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, & Discursive Commitment. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994. Brandom, Robert. “Knowledge and the Social Articulation of the Space of Reasons.” Philosophy & Phenomenological Research 55, 4 (1995): 895–908. Dreyfus, Hubert L. “Overcoming the Myth of the Mental: How Philosophers Can Profit from the Phenomenology of Everyday Expertise.” Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 79, 2 (2005): 47–65. Kant, Immanuel. Kants gesammelte Schriften. Berlin: Kӧniglich Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1908–13. Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by Norman Kemp Smith. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1965. McDowell, John. “Why Is Sellars’s Essay Called ‘Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind’?” In Having the World in View, 221–38. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009. Moore, G. E. Principia Ethica. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1988. O’Shea, James R. “Introduction: Origin and Legacy of a Synoptic Vision.” In Sellars and His Legacy, edited by James R. O’Shea, 1–18. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Russell, Bertrand. “On Denoting.” In Logic and Knowledge: Essays 1901–1950, edited by R. C. Marsh, 41–56. London: Allen & Unwin, 1956. Sellars, Wilfrid. “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man.” In Science, Perception and Reality, 1–40. Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963. Sellars, Wilfrid. Science and Metaphysics: Variations on Kantian Themes. London: Routledge  & Kegan Paul, 1968. Sellars, Wilfrid. Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind. Edited by Robert Brandom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.

2 Sellars on the pseudo-intentionality of the senses

As we saw in Chapter 1, Wilfrid Sellars subscribes to the empiricist view that non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact is established by the answerability of our knowledge claims to a conceptualized sensory experience. Despite the evidence for such a form of empiricism in Sellars’s works, I show in this chapter that he ascribes only a non-relational intentionality to sensory experience. The aboutness of sensory experience is then determined by the normativity of the space of reasons. To be sure, Sellars agrees that the relation between sensations and the external world is isomorphic, but that isomorphism, he thinks, is non-cognitive and therefore non-intentional. For Sellars, the non-intentional isomorphism between mental representations, including sensory perceptions, and the world is imperfect, but it gains in accuracy as the natural sciences progress.1 I shall conclude this chapter by laying the groundwork for a critique of Sellars’s scientism by defending a relational account of the intentionality of mental states, which preserves Sellars’s sound empiricist insight. This will set the stage for the later study of Avicenna who upholds the empiricism articulated by Sellars while professing a relational approach to intentionality. In the next chapter, I return to Sellars’s scientism and criticize it directly so as to facilitate the recognition of a more valuable alternative in Avicenna’s position.

Intentionality and Sellarsian naturalism Franz Brentano, in his influential Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, declares that every mental phenomenon is characterized by intentionality, that is, by the inclusion of an object within itself.2 He writes: Every mental phenomenon is characterized by what the Scholastics of the Middle Ages called the intentional (or mental) inexistence of an object, and what we might call, though not wholly unambiguously, reference to a content, direction toward an object (which is not to be understood here as meaning a thing), or immanent objectivity. Every mental phenomenon includes something as object within itself, although they do not all do so in the same way. In presentation something is presented, in judgment something is affirmed or denied, in love loved, in hate hated, in desire desired, and so on. This intentional in-existence is characteristic exclusively of mental phenomena. No physical phenomenon exhibits anything like it. We could, therefore, define mental phenomena by saying that they are those phenomena which contain an object intentionally within themselves.3

24  Sellars on pseudo-intentionality of the senses

From this formulation, subsequent philosophy has extracted three main characteristics of the intentionality of mental phenomena:4 1 Mental phenomena are about or directed toward objects. To put it in the terminology of more recent scholarship, “to have intentionality is to have (semantic) content.”5 The aboutness of mental phenomena is determined by their content (the linguistic that-clause – the other linguistic pole of which is the propositional attitude). For example, the content of my belief that the author of al-Ishārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt is a genius is “the author of al-Ishārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt is a genius.” The content determines the object; it is not the same as the object. If two mental states have the same content, they are about the same object, that is, the same state of affairs. But if they have the same object, they do not necessarily have the same content (i.e., “the author of al-Ishārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt is a genius” and “Avicenna is a genius”). 2 Objects of mental phenomena are characterized by intentional in-existence. In other words, that which the mental phenomenon is about need not exist extra-mentally (i.e., it may have a purely mental existence). For example, the intentional status of my belief that Avicenna was born in Afshāna is not affected if Avicenna had never lived and Afshāna was never built. 3 Intentionality is the distinctive mark of the mental, that is, only mental phenomena have intrinsic intentionality. Now a sign, a sentence or a picture may also be about an object, but their intentionality apparently is derivative and inherited from the original intentionality of thoughts. In this chapter, I begin by considering the third characteristic more carefully. Some strands of contemporary philosophy challenge the traditional interpretation of the third characteristic, that is, they challenge the view that mental phenomena have intentionality intrinsically and other phenomena (e.g., a sentence) have it derivatively. They seek to demystify the intentionality of the mental by deriving it from linguistic intentionality. But in order to avoid the problematic claim that a physical linguistic phenomenon can, in virtue of its own physical structure, mean exactly one thing, they adopt a form of holism. In other words, the intentionality of an individual linguistic occurrence depends on the larger pattern into which it fits, and this pattern is ultimately that of the logical space of reasons (and distinguished from the logical space of natural sciences).6 Sellars embraces a version of this view and calls it psychological nominalism.7 Under the rubric of psychological nominalism, Sellars offers a naturalist account of the emergence of the intentionality of mental states from the semantic articulation of proprieties that are features of overt linguistic utterances. This view presupposes a natural conformism, which is “not mere imitativeness (monkey see, monkey do), but also censoriousness – that is, a tendency to see that one’s neighbors do likewise, and to suppress variation.”8 Such conformism produces patterns of propriety (normativity), which legitimate the proper use of linguistic expressions. The intentionality of mental states is, in turn, inherited from the normativity of overt linguistic utterances via the introduction of semantic discourse. In the light of the resources of semantic discourse, the proprieties of overt utterances can be articulated through

Sellars on pseudo-intentionality of the senses  25

talk about meaning and truth.9 Then overt discourse is enriched by positing inner episodes in a suitable causal nexus with intelligent overt behavior,10 with the inner episodes modeled on overt speech behavior.11 In “Being and Being Known,” Sellars celebrates a form of abstractionism he finds in Thomas Aquinas as a precursor to his own view that the intentionality of mental states is inherited from that of overt linguistic utterances.12 Sellars, however, criticizes Aquinas for advancing a problematic account of the relation between the intellectual order and the real order. He argues that to extirpate themselves from this problematic view, Thomists must abandon the idea that sensations have relational intentionality.13 To be sure, Sellars also embraces an isomorphism between sensations and the external world, but that isomorphism, he thinks, is non-cognitive.14 In fact, as I shall show, for Sellars, all mental representations have non-relational intentionality which is determined by the normativity of the space of signification (i.e., the space of reasons).15 Furthermore, all mental representations are isomorphic with the world in a noncognitive fashion. In order to avoid the seductions of contemporary analytic metaphysics, we must distinguish Sellars’s naturalism from the problematic forms of analytic naturalism. First, for him, the normativity of the space of reasons is not reducible to causal regularity. Normative behavior is guided by regularity, rather than manifesting that regularity, as in the case of specimens manifesting causal regularity.16 Moreover, normative behavior that deviates from the guiding regularity is wrong and is censured by the community. The irregular specimen in a causal irregularity, on the other hand, is not wrong; either the manifested regularity is defective or it has exceptions.17 Sellars’s naturalism about norms is also different from a kind of naturalism that envisions the organism as processing explicit rules, because conformism to norms often proceeds through tacit imitation and censoriousness.18 Finally, normative behavior is different from acting conventionally, as acting conventionally is legislated in accord with the natural strategy of maximizing mutual benefits. As John Haugeland explains, “the persistence of norms cannot be explained in terms of agents’ interest maximization or rational choice. Indeed norms need not be, or even seem to be, in any way beneficial either to the individuals or the group.”19 They are simply what we do.

Sellarsian nominalism and methodological behaviorism A more precise formulation of Sellars’s psychological nominalism, as discussed above, is that it involves (1) the claim that talk about thoughts can be accounted for in terms of talk about linguistic behavior, and (2) the thesis that talk about intentionality of thoughts can be explicated by semantic discourse about the verbal component of overt behavior. In order to better understand the theses making up psychological nominalism, it is useful to discuss Sellars’s behaviorism and his efforts to distinguish it from other, problematic forms of behaviorism.20 Behaviorism, in general, involves the thesis that theoretical psychological concepts should be introduced in terms of a basic vocabulary pertaining to overt, public behavior.21 Sellars accepts this thesis, since he considers thoughts to be theoretical in that they are posited to explain the intelligent behavior of others.22 Nevertheless, Sellars is careful to distinguish his brand of

26  Sellars on pseudo-intentionality of the senses

behaviorism from analytical behaviorism. Analytical behaviorism is the view that theoretical psychological concepts are analyzable in terms of other concepts pertaining to overt behavior.23 Sellars insists that his behaviorism is not “a thesis about the analysis of existing psychological concepts, but one which concerns the construction of new concepts.”24 Analytical behaviorism, however, can be reformulated as the thesis that theoretical psychological concepts ought to be constructed (introduced in terms of explicit definitions) “from a basic vocabulary pertaining to overt behavior.”25 Sellars objects that analytical behaviorism, as it concerns the construction of psychological concepts, is too restrictive,26 since not even physics, the paradigm of rigorous natural sciences, restricts its concepts to those explicitly definable in terms of observable ones. Instead, Sellars advocates a methodological behaviorism, which is the view that “[t]he behavioristic requirement that all concepts should be introduced in terms of a basic vocabulary pertaining to overt behavior is compatible with the idea that some behavioristic concepts are to be introduced as theoretical concepts.”27 The contrast between Sellars’s methodological behaviorism and analytical behaviorism becomes more comprehensible once we contrast his view with the analytical behaviorism of the positivists. Positivists, according to Sellars, maintain that we can only know the objects of observation directly.28 For them, the language of observation is the language in which data are formulated and the results of experiments expressed. A theoretical language, however, is postulated to systematize our observations and facilitate prediction and control. Therefore, theoretical entities (i.e., objects of theoretical discourse) are only virtual, that is, they are mere instruments to enhance the expression and systematization of observations. This view applies to theoretical psychological entities (e.g., thoughts) as well; they are also instruments for expressing and systematizing observable behavior. I shall discuss thoughts in the next section. Sellars replies to the positivists that their account of the instrumental role of theories and their objects implies a “misunderstanding  .  .  . of the ostensive element in the learning and use of a language – the Myth of the Given.”29 For Sellars, the view that theories are heuristic devices (1) implies that observations are presuppositionless epistemic facts and (2) overlooks the fact that they are themselves products of learned concepts with which to formulate observations. Sellars argues that once this appeal to the Given is discarded, we end up with scientific realism, the view that there is only a methodological, not an ontological, distinction between theoretical and observable objects.30 For him, the only difference between theoretical and observable objects is that the former are merely inferentially accessible, whereas observable objects are non-inferentially reportable as well. We may also learn to report theoretical entities non-inferentially, as we have done in the case of microscopic observations of DNA or the telescopic observations of Pluto. To report a theoretical entity non-inferentially, Sellars argues, does not involve an ontological change in the object, from a postulated object to an observed one. Rather, there is a change in the reporter, as they acquire new concepts, which enable them to justify the report of theoretical entities, and then develop reliable causal links to the world to make relevant utterances in proper environmental situations. According to Sellars, theoretical language amounts to the sophistication of ordinary empirical discourse, and comes about as

Sellars on pseudo-intentionality of the senses  27

human beings interact with each other and the world in a more complex manner31 (culminating in the-end-of-inquiry-science).

Sellarsian nominalism and the intentionality of thoughts Sellars’s psychological nominalism, as I mentioned earlier, involves (1) the claim that talk about thoughts can be accounted for in terms of overt verbal behavior, and (2) the thesis that talk about intentionality of thoughts can be explicated by semantic discourse about the verbal components of overt behavior. In this section, I focus on the linguistic behavior of assertion and discuss Sellars’s explication of thoughts and their intentionality in terms of assertions and their semantics. Assertoric behavior is essential to Sellars’s account of thoughts, because assertions, like their counterparts in the discourse about thoughts claim the truth of propositional content. Sellars defines truth as the propriety of assertion: “for a proposition to be true is for it to be assertible . . . correctly assertible, that is, in accordance with the relevant semantic rules and on the basis of such additional, though unspecified, information as these rules may require.”32 True statements, on Sellars’s account, permit the performance of proper assertions. This is captured in conditionals such as “if that snow is white is true then snow is white” which, for Sellars, indicate that “the assertion of the right-hand side of the implication statement is a performance of the kind authorized by the true statement on the left.”33 This is to be contrasted with the meta-language accounts of truth involving Tarskian T-biconditionals. I shall turn to ­T-biconditionals below, where I challenge Sellars’s account of truth. For now, it suffices to recognize that Sellars’s account of truth as correct assertibility is dependent on proprieties in the context of the relevant performance. Furthermore, for Sellars, semantic discourse about assertoric behavior is prior to and accommodates the relevant nuances of discourse about thoughts. The “priority” here is in reference to Sellars’s psychological nominalism, according to which the enrichment of overt (Rylean) language by the resources of semantic discourse precedes the addition of theoretical discourse about thoughts.34 In discourse about thoughts, the counterpart to assertion is judgment (and belief ); therefore, true statements license the formation of proper assertions as well as true judgments. As to why we report thoughts as independent entities, Sellars argues that we postulate thoughts and then we learn to report them, just as we postulate other theoretical entities and then learn to report them. The account of the emergence of thoughts from overt verbal utterances is then a corollary of Sellars’s scientific realism. Consistent with his scientific realism, Sellars holds that there is only a methodological difference between the language pertaining to overt verbal behavior and theoretical psychological discourse. Thoughts were, at first, theoretical entities postulated to explain the intelligent behavior of others.35 But, while behaving is prior to thinking in the order of explaining the development of talk about thoughts, we have learned to ascribe thoughts to ourselves and have developed causal links for reporting theoretical entities called thoughts.36 Once these abilities are developed, it is no surprise that thought often precedes verbal behavior in the order of explaining our behavior (i.e., we often think before we say something). Sellars makes similar claims about another class of mental

28  Sellars on pseudo-intentionality of the senses

entities – sense impressions – and I shall evaluate them in the next part of this chapter. For now, we should keep in mind that talk about thoughts, according to Sellars, can be reckoned in terms of talk about overt verbal behavior, and that this behaviorism involves the rejection of the Given and the preservation of the view that scientific activity enhances and propels our ordinary empirical discourse.37 I shall develop and criticize Sellars’s thesis regarding the relation between scientific and common-sense discourses in the next chapter.

Sellars on picturing and sense impression discourse About the so-called isomorphism between the cognitive order and the real order, Sellars invokes picturing, which he distinguishes from signifying or representing: “Picturing is a relation between items both of which belong to the real order, signification is a relation between items both of which belong to the order of signification.”38 The real order is what I have also called the space of natural sciences, the order of causal regularities, in contrast to the normatively structured space of reasons. For Sellars, picturing occurs between elements in the real order and can improve through scientific intervention. Sense impressions are one such picturing of items in the real order, and as such they make up, according to Sellars, the descriptive component of our minimal conceptual representations. In Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, Sellars motivates his introduction of sense impression discourse by inviting us to consider “the common descriptive components” of the episodes of seeing and existential or qualitative looking. The sentences below exemplify such episodes: 1 I see a red apple over there. 2 That apple over there looks green to me. 3 It looks as though there is a green apple over there. I referred to these sentences in Chapter  1 in the context of the argument for the thesis that episodes of looking depend on those of seeing. For Sellars, as we saw, we do not begin in a Cartesian inner space with appearances (with episodes of looking), but rather we are always already among things as made available through our initiation into a language and its conceptual repertoire. But sense impressions, as common descriptive content, imply a discourse other than “the language of qualitative and existential lookings.”39 This “other” discourse “is one which, though it rests on a framework of discourse about public objects in Space and Time, has an autonomous logical structure, and contains an explanation of, not just a code for, such facts as that there looks to me to be a red and triangular physical object over there.”40 The natural scientific discourse about objects in space and time explains what appears to us by positing sense impressions as theoretical entities, which we then learn to report. Sellars insists, as we have seen, that it is a philosophical fallacy, indeed an example of succumbing to the Myth of the Given, to construe “as data the [theoretical] particulars and arrays of particulars which . . . [one] has come to observe, and believes them to be antecedent objects of knowledge which have somehow been in the [everyday] framework [of qualitative and existential lookings] from the beginning.”41

Sellars on pseudo-intentionality of the senses  29

Sellars’s invitation to go beyond our experience of ordinary objects and introduce a so-called “common descriptive content” is puzzling. His appeal to this content is fueled, at least in part,42 by a metaphysical skepticism about whether our assertions and thoughts get at the things themselves. In “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man,” he concedes that this is not an epistemic skepticism but involves a move beyond the scope of our knowledge to ontology.43 He writes, [a]lthough the framework of perceptible objects, the manifest framework of everyday life, is adequate for the everyday purposes of life, it is ultimately inadequate and should not be accepted as an account of what there is all things considered. Once we see this, we see that the argument from ‘knowledge’ cuts no ice, for the reasoning: We know that there are chairs, pink ice cubes, etc. (physical objects). Chairs, pink ice cubes are coloured, are perceptible objects with perceptible qualities. Therefore, perceptible physical objects with perceptible qualities exist. operates within the framework of the manifest image and cannot support it. It fails to provide a point of view outside the manifest image from which the latter can be evaluated.44 This is a rich passage and can be of some help in navigating the depths of Sellars’s scientism. Sellars, as we have seen, maintains that our sensory experience provides the non-inferential ground for our empirical knowledge. However, to say that the ordinary objects and their attributes exist is problematic. Sellars worries that the manifest framework of everyday life is incapable of supporting a point of view in which it can be evaluated. For Sellars, the sense impression or the common descriptive content provides the kind of anchoring to the world required to save non-inferential perceptual judgments. He argues that sense impressions, properly understood, are states that are neither purely physical nor conceptual.45 They are theoretical entities,46 posited to explain the occurrence of non-inferential, minimal conceptual representations.47 This explanation is a sense impression inference, which infers to sense impressions as the explanation of the relevant minimal conceptual representations.48 For instance, we can use sense impression discourse to account for the fact that normal perceivers have a conceptual representation of a red and rectangular object when affected repeatedly by such objects in normal circumstances, or by an object having systematically related characteristics in abnormal circumstances.49 Sense impressions, as theoretical posits, are non-conceptual states, that is, they are non-epistemic states of the mind which “guide ‘from without’ ”50 the relevant minimal epistemic states. Sense impressions “must have characteristics which, without being colors, are sufficiently analogous to color to enable these states to play this guiding role.”51 They guide by means of analogical concepts of attributes and relations, which are “the forms of receptivity proper” and must be distinguished from “the ‘forms’ of that which is represented by the intuitive conceptual representations.”52 Sellars clarifies his position on the relation between scientific discourse and the language of everyday life by maintaining that there is “a sense in which the scientific picture of the world replaces the common-sense picture; a sense in which the scientific account of ‘what there is’

30  Sellars on pseudo-intentionality of the senses

supersedes the descriptive ontology of everyday life.”53 In order to accomplish this scientistic ambition, Sellars integrates sense impression discourse into the “subtle and sophisticated framework of physical theory.”54 Sense impression discourse is especially suitable for such integration, since it concerns the causal interactions among particulars to explain minimal conceptual representations. From Sellars’s scientistic thesis (that the scientific framework is more “subtle and sophisticated” than that of common sense) along with his scientific realism (which denies any privileged status to objects of common-sense experience and affirms the existence of theoretical objects), it follows that “the physical objects, the perception of which they [sense impressions] causally (but not epistemically) mediate, are unreal.”55 In other words, the world of scientific theory at the culmination of inquiry is the real world, and common-sense experience is only an imperfect image of that world.

A critique of Sellars’s non-intentional isomorphism (picturing) I submit that Sellars’s reconciliation of the divide between the ordinary everyday world and the physical nature results in an unwarranted divorce between the intentional content and the real object. In committing himself to such dualism, Sellars overlooks an evaluative notion of truth as getting things right which is available from within the space of reasons. In this approach to truth, the notion of getting things right is not the Sellarsian notion of the conformity of an assertion to performative norms, that is, to proprieties that are features of overt linguistic utterances. Given his pragmatism about truth, Sellars is also anxious about a metaphysical skepticism regarding how our assertions and thoughts can be about things at all. So he enhances truth as conformity to concrete norms of performance that we learn in using them by peppering pragmatism about truth with a theory of picturing. The price for this complex move is a loss of direct rational accountability to the world. On the alternative view which I support, getting things right concerns responsiveness to the reasonevoking impact of the world on the mind, an impact which justifies our beliefs. On this view, we are just as involved in the constitution of the right-hand side of the Tarskian formula (e.g., “the snow is white” is true if and only if the snow is white) as in the left. This notion of getting things right is unproblematic (at least on the level of common sense), because we often take it for granted that our perceptual beliefs are justified by our experiences.56 The relevance of the above rendition of the Tarskian disquotational theory of truth becomes clearer when we recognize that from the “relational” intentional point of view, disquotation relates the inquirer’s judgments or beliefs about the world to the inquirer’s experience of the world. Experience is the involuntary exercise of the very conceptual capacities whose voluntary use results in judgments or beliefs. In experience, the world wrings an exercise of conceptual capacities from us. This view rejects the Sellarsian pragmatist principle that semantical thinking is determined by a normativity from outside the semantical or conceptual order. In other words, the proprieties of linguistic practices are “formulable in non-semantical terms, that underlie and constitute the semanticity of linguistic expressions.”57 In the view I favor, by learning a language we acquire the necessary network of concepts and their relevant linguistic capacities. We are, as a result, initiated into the holistic space of reasons, the space of justifying

Sellars on pseudo-intentionality of the senses  31

and being able to justify what one says. Once in the space of reasons, the world drags into operation our acquired conceptual powers, and the outcome of this involuntary conceptualization is sensory experience. This view of experience helps us make sense of the notion of semantic ascent that is available from inside the semantic point of view. Our conceptual representations, as the results of the voluntary exercise of conceptual abilities, are true, that is, they ought to be believed, if and only if they accord with sensory experience, which is the result of the involuntary employment of conceptual powers dragged into operation by the world. This notion of a conceptualized experience of the world should not seem mysterious, as it does not invite a turn to superstition. Rather, it returns us to the world of familiar objects and their interrelations made intelligible by our commerce with them. If we stop the development of this form of empiricism here, we end in the position John McDowell articulates in his earlier modifications of Sellars’s view in Mind and World. The problem with McDowell’s position in Mind and World is that it insists that experience has the same (propositional) content as my beliefs about it.58 But how can I  have the propositional realization of a concept (the elm tree) in my experience and not have the relevant proposition for my belief about it? For example, in my ignorance about the different kinds of trees, I judge that I see a tree in front of me. Studying the taxonomy of trees, I come to distinguish various species of trees, and I can now identify the tree as an elm tree. The content of the experience has presumably remained the same, but my judgment has changed. It is hard to entertain this view if one remains committed to the assumption that the content of experience, like the content of my discursive beliefs about the experience, is propositional. In response, we could say that we have access to all the relevant concepts in principle, as the initiation into a language makes the whole of the space of reasons available to the world’s impact, but this access is not yet differentiated and refined. In other words, the content of experience does not have the discursive articulation possessed by the content of refined thoughts about experience. The former benefits from the unarticulated conceptual unity of the space of reasons, but as we develop our thoughts about the world, we learn to make explicit some of the fine-grained concepts in experience. In “Avoiding the Myth of the Given,” McDowell also comes around to addressing the problem of the nature of empirical content by rejecting the Mind and World theses that experience has propositional content and that empirical content includes everything the subject can know non-inferentially.59 In the revised position, McDowell distinguishes between intuitional experiential content and the discursive content of assertions and judgments. Discursive content is articulated (and propositional), and intuitional content is not.60 Nevertheless, McDowell alleges that both are conceptual;61 so he preserves Sellars’s later distinction between sensory content and propositional content. As we have seen, from the publication of Science and Metaphysics onward,62 Sellars interprets sensory content as a noun phrase, rather than construing it as a sentence as he did previously.63 On the revised view, the extra-judgmental rational constraint on perceptual judgments is the conceptual this-such nexus. The sensory this-such provides this external rational constraint on perceptual judgments, since it is made up of conceptualizations that are non-propositional and external to the discursive activity of judging. Perceptual judgments are true (i.e., they are non-inferential grounds of empirical knowledge), if they accord

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with the relevant aspects of the this-such nexus. The use of “noun phrase” does not mean “we are ready in advance with words for every aspect of the content of our experience, nor that we could equip ourselves with words for every aspect of the content of our experience.”64 Rather, the terminology suggests that “no aspect is unnameable.”65 Being initiated into a language equips us with the conceptual capacities that enable us to have a conceptual experience, aspects of which we can articulate. To put it more precisely, in experience, the unity of our conceptual capacities is drawn into operation. This allows for an overall access to the world, an access the aspects of which can become more precise and better articulated through further discursive training and comprehension of the unity’s fine-grained conceptual structure. In his later work, “Avoiding the Myth of the Given,” McDowell refers to the unity of the conceptual structure as “categorial unity” and leaves its subtleties unexplored. A central feature of Chapter 5 involves tracing the notion of categorial unity to Aristotle’s metaphysics and shedding light on Avicenna’s contributions to the exploration and revision of that account. Sellars, however, goes against McDowell, and also posits non-conceptual sensory deliverances that picture the real order. A main motivation for this move, as we have seen, is his scientism, the view that the aim of philosophy must include “an understanding of how the framework of physical science is to be integrated with the framework of common sense.”66 Sense impressions as results of sheer receptivity are some of philosophy’s theoretical entities postulated to integrate physical sciences and common sense (the domain of things as they appear to us). As non-conceptual states that guide67 the production of conceptual representations, sense impressions are particularly suited to the integration desired by Sellars. They serve this integration by being the elements of a scientific explanation of the production of the world of appearances (the objects of common sense). The tension between Sellars and McDowell regarding the intentionality of the senses points to my next chapter in which I critique Sellars for relinquishing the autonomy of the space of reasons and embracing a form of scientism. Scientism, as we have seen, is the view that science is the human activity that gets at what is real, and every time science moves forward we must recalibrate our understanding of the nature of reality. My contention is that McDowell’s view is immune to scientism, and I shall conclude by extracting some lessons from his philosophy for our infatuation with the scientific enterprise. This is not, I stress, an attack on the intellectual legitimacy of the scientific enterprise; it is rather a critique of the encroachment of natural sciences on a domain that is beyond their legitimate employment.

Notes 1 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, ed. Robert Brandom (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), 83. 2 Brentano, Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, ed. and trans. L. McAlister (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1995), 88. 3 Ibid., 89. 4 I have isolated these with the help of three sources: (1) the article by Pierre Jacob, titled “Intentionality,” in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward N. Zalta. Fall 2008. URL: http:// plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/intentionality; (2) Deborah Black, “Intentionality in

Sellars on pseudo-intentionality of the senses  33

Medieval Arabic Philosophy,” Quaestio 10 (2010): 65–81; and (3) John Haugeland, “Intentionality All-Stars,” Philosophical Perspectives 4 (1990): 383–427. 5 Haugeland, “Intentionality All-Stars,” 384. 6 Ibid., 386. 7 “[A]ll awareness . . . is a linguistic affair,” in Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, 63. 8 Haugeland, “Intentionality All-Stars,” 404. 9 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, 92. 10 Ibid., 98–102. 11 Ibid., 103. 12 Sellars, “Being and Being Known,” in Science, Perception, and Reality (Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview. 1963), 49–50, 57–58. 13 Ibid., 45–46. 14 Ibid., 56–57. In “Sellars’s Thomism.” McDowell is critical of Sellars’s account of the intentionality of the deliverances of sense. He maintains that the senses do belong in the intentional order and Sellars’s reading of Aquinas is in the grip of a problematic view that separates the intentional mind and the non-intentional nature and places sensory impressions in the latter (Having the World in View (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009), 239–255). I shall develop this view in my criticism of Sellars on sensory intentionality. 15 Ibid., 58. 16 Haugeland, “Intentionality All-Stars,” 406. 17 Ibid. 18 Ibid. 19 Ibid., 407. 20 The remainder of this chapter is a substantial modification (in form and content) of material. I originally wrote for the Chapters 1 and 3 of my dissertation, “Experience Conceptualized: Between the Myth of the Given and Coherentism” (PhD diss., University of Virginia, 1999). 21 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, 100. 22 Sellars ascribes such positing to our “fictional” Rylean ancestor, Jones (ibid., 102). 23 Ibid., 99. 24 Ibid. 25 Ibid., 100. 26 Ibid. 27 Ibid. 28 Ibid., 83. 29 Ibid., 84. 30 Ibid. 31 Ibid., 81–82. 32 Sellars, Science and Metaphysics (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968), 101. 33 Ibid. 34 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, 90–98 (especially 92 and 98). 35 Ibid., 102. 36 Ibid., 107. 37 Ibid., 81. 38 Sellars, “Being and Being Known,” 56. 39 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, 116. 40 Ibid. 41 Ibid., 116–17.

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42 See also my discussion of the concern with total insight in Chapter 1, in the section titled “Kant on conceptual empirical content.” 43 McDowell, in the first of his Woodbridge Lectures: “Sellars on Perceptual Experience,” emphasizes the metaphysical nature of Sellars’s appeal to the common descriptive content by classifying it as a form of transcendental philosophy, which is done “at a standpoint external to that of the conceptual goings-on whose objective purport is to be vindicated – a standpoint at which one could contemplate the relation between those conceptual goings-on and their subject matter from sideways on,” Having the World in View (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009), 17. McDowell thinks that this is not the only take on transcendental philosophy that is possible, ibid., 18. For an alternative transcendentalism that is favorable to McDowell’s own view, see Chapter 5, section titled “Avicenna’s transendentalism: on essence and existence.” 44 Sellars, “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man,” in Science, Perception, and Reality (Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963), 27–28. 45 Sellars, Science and Metaphysics, 17. 46 Ibid., 9. 47 Ibid., 17. 48 Ibid. 49 Ibid. 50 Ibid., 16. 51 Ibid., 18. 52 Ibid., 29. 53 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, 82. Sellars’s scientism is also characterized by his famous slogan: “science is the measure of all things, of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not,” ibid., 83. 54 Sellars, “Phenomenalism,” in Science, Perception, and Reality (Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963), 97. 55 Ibid. 56 I shall discuss the objection from sensory illusions later in Chapter 5, in the section titled “Conceptual sensory content.” 57 McDowell, “Intentionality as a Relation,” in Having the World in View (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009), 61. 58 “In experience one takes in, for instance sees, that things are thus and so. That is the sort of thing one can also, for instance, judge.” McDowell, Mind and World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994), 9. 59 McDowell, “Avoiding the Myth of the Given,” in Having the World in View (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009), 258–9. 60 Ibid., 262. 61 Ibid. 62 See also Sellars’s earlier “Some Remarks on Perceptual Consciousness,” in Crosscurrents in Phenomenology, ed. R. Bruzina and Bruce Wilshire (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1978), 169–85. 63 McDowell acknowledges this in “A Sellarsian Blind Spot,” in Sellars and His Legacy, ed. James R. O’Shea (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 101. 64 McDowell, “What Myth?” Inquiry 50 (2007): 348. 65 Ibid. 66 Sellars, Science and Metaphysics, 17.

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67 According to McDowell, Sellars replaces that idea with transcendental conditions (“Sellars on Perceptual Consciousness,” in Having the World in View (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009), 16). McDowell also hints that Sellars’s non-conceptual sense impressions account for the richness of grain in sensory consciousness.

Bibliography Azadpur, Mohammad. “Experience Conceptualized: Between the Myth of the Given and Coherentism.” PhD diss., University of Virginia, 1999. Black, Deborah. “Intentionality in Medieval Arabic Philosophy.” Quaestio 10 (2010): 65–81. Brentano, Franz. “Nous Poietikos: A Survey of Earlier Interpretations.” In Essays on Aristotle’s De Anima, edited by Martha Nussbaum and Amelia Rorty, 313–42. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992. Brentano, Franz. Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint. Edited and translated by L. McAlister. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1995. Haugeland, John. “Intentionality All-Stars.” Philosophical Perspectives 4 (1990): 383–427. Jacob, Pierre. “Intentionality.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta. Fall 2008. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/intentionality McDowell, John. Mind and World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994. McDowell, John. “What Myth?” Inquiry 50 (2007): 338–50. McDowell, John. “Avoiding the Myth of the Given.” In Having the World in View, 256–72. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009. McDowell, John. “Intentionality as a Relation.” In Having the World in View, 44–65. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009. McDowell, John. “Sellars on Perceptual Experience.” In Having the World in View, 3–22. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009. McDowell, John. “Sellars’s Thomism.” In Having the World in View, 239–55. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009. McDowell, John. “A Sellarsian Blind Spot.” In Sellars and His Legacy, edited by James R. O’Shea, 100–16. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Sellars, Wilfrid. “Being and Being Known.” In Science, Perception, and Reality, 41–59. Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963. Sellars, Wilfrid. “Phenomenalism.” In Science, Perception, and Reality, 60–105. Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963. Sellars, Wilfrid. “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man.” In Science, Perception and Reality, 1–40. Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963. Sellars, Wilfrid. Science and Metaphysics: Variations on Kantian Themes. London: Routledge  & Kegan Paul, 1968. Sellars, Wilfrid. “Some Remarks on Perceptual Consciousness.” In Crosscurrents in Phenomenology, edited by R. Bruzina and Bruce Wilshire, 169–85. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1978. Sellars, Wilfrid. Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind. Edited by Robert Brandom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.

3 Perennial philosophy Against scientism and reason-nature dualism

In this chapter, I  criticize Wilfrid Sellars’s scientistic metaphysics.1 I  submit that John McDowell’s account of the sensory grounds of knowledge and his commitment to sense perception’s relational intentionality display his allegiance to perennialism, the view that the world of ordinary common-sense objects is real.2 Sellars, as we have seen, is dissatisfied with perennialist understandings of the achievements of natural sciences in terms of the framework of common sense. In place of perennialism, he advocates scientia mensura. In Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, Sellars, as we have seen, clarifies his position on the relation between scientific discourse and the language of common sense by maintaining that there is “a sense in which the scientific picture of the world replaces the common-sense picture; a sense in which the scientific account of ‘what there is’ supersedes the descriptive ontology of everyday life.”3 In order to pursue his scientistic ambition, Sellars integrates sense impression discourse into the “subtle and sophisticated framework of physical theory.”4 Sense impression discourse is suitable for such integration, since it concerns causal interactions among particulars (to explain minimal conceptual representations). In the framework of physical theory, the particulars are taken to be the theoretical particles of physical science. From Sellars’s scientistic thesis (that the scientific framework is more “subtle and sophisticated” than that of common sense) along with his scientific realism (which, as we have seen, denies any privileged status to objects of common-sense experience and affirms the existence of theoretical objects), it follows that “the physical objects, the perception of which [sense impressions] causally (but not epistemically) mediate, are unreal.”5 Therefore, the world posited by scientific theory is the real world, and common-sense experience is only an imperfect image of that world. Sellars puts the completed scientistic picture at the end of scientific inquiry; meanwhile all we have are incomplete pictures that do not quite succeed in representing the real furniture of the world. In Science and Metaphysics, Sellars further develops his scientism in response to Kant’s distinction between appearances and things-in-themselves. He writes, “[i]f . . . we replace the concept of Divine Truth with a Peircian conception of truth as the ‘ideal outcome of scientific inquiry’, the gulf between appearances and things-in-themselves, though a genuine one, can in principle be bridged.”6 The context of Sellars’s claim is Kant’s discussion of the distinction between things-in-themselves, things as apprehended by the divine intellectual intuition, and appearances – objects of our sensory intuition. In order to sustain this distinction, Kant insists that experience is inescapably affected by the “human” forms of sensibility, space and

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time. The human forms of sensibility are essential to the distinction between things as we experience them and things-in-themselves. Kant does not defend this supposition persuasively, and Sellars does well in staying away from this aspect of Kant’s “subjective” idealism.7 Sellars in fact replaces Kant’s Divine Truth with the Peircian conception of truth (as the “ideal outcome of scientific inquiry”) in order to preserve the Kantian distinction. In light of Sellars’s scientistic modification, appearances are things as available through our inadequate conceptual schemes, and t­hings-in-themselves, on the other hand, are available through the Peircian “ideal outcome of scientific inquiry.” Sellars’s scientism clearly stands in opposition to perennialism. Perennialism subordinates the categories maintained by the natural sciences to those of common sense. Perennialists privilege the manifest image “to which science brings a needle-point of detail and an elaborate technique of map-reading.”8 Sellars, however, does not think that perennialism succeeds in subordinating the scientific image to the manifest image and, at its best, keeps manifest causality separate from the processes disclosed by the natural sciences. In other words, Sellars’s ideal perennialism embraces a dualism,9 which Sellars hopes to remedy with his unifying scientism. I argued in the second chapter that perennialism – visà-vis McDowell’s relevant view  – is not necessarily vulnerable to this dualism, because it does not need the natural science perspective to evaluate the manifest image. It can do so through the semantic resources of the common-sense framework. I begin this chapter by using Richard Rorty’s identification of some of the varieties of scientism in contemporary analytic philosophy, including Sellars’s. I then show that despite his commitment to debunking dualisms, Sellars’s scientism succumbs to a scheme-content dualism. I expand my discussion of the problematic views beyond the discussion of various forms of scientism, and also engage Rorty’s own vexed commitment to a reason-nature dualism. I then look to McDowell to show that perennialism is immune to the problems afflicting scientism and reason-nature dualism and that it need not subordinate nor distance itself from the framework of natural science.

On scientism as extensionalism In some of his writings, Rorty challenges what he identifies as Sellars’s scientism. In “Representation, Social Practise, and Truth,” for example, Rorty defines scientism as “the assumption that every time science lurches forward philosophy must redescribe the face of the whole universe. Scienticists think that every discovery of micro-structure casts doubt on the ‘reality’ of the manifest macro-structure and the intervening middle structures.”10 According to Rorty, scienticists hold that philosophy serves the natural sciences, and that scientific reality replaces that of common sense. Therefore, with every advance in science, the scienticist philosopher must re-work his view of the nature of things. Rorty marshals a host of arguments against scientism, especially as espoused by Sellars and W. V. O. Quine, and I review the more central ones in his arsenal. In this section, however, I focus on his characterization of scientism as a preference for the extensional discourse of natural sciences.

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Rorty states scientism’s problematic preference for the peculiar discourse of natural sciences in the following manner: Quine is led into these difficulties, I think, by an attempt to preserve the view which he, like Sellars, inherits from Carnap and ultimately from Wittgenstein’s Tractatus: the view that the world can be “completely described” in an extensional language. It is intensionality rather than intentionality which is the real bugbear, for only the non-truth functional character of intentional discourse makes its presumed subject more disreputable than, say, irreducibly biochemical talk of mitochondria. Reducibility to talk of particles is only a cover for reducibility to truth-functional discourse. The particles do not matter, but logical form does.11 According to Rorty, the scientism of Quine and Sellars is grounded in their attempts to preserve an all-powerful extensional language that, without employing fuzzy intensionalist vocabulary (e.g., “meanings,” “beliefs,” etc.) gets at the things themselves. In extensional discourse (as exemplified by predicate calculus) the truth of a form of words is determined by the reference of its component terms or by the truth of its sentential subclauses (which are, in turn, determined by the reference of their component terms). Intensional language, on the other hand, focuses on meanings as well as the references of component terms. Meanings concern the way the speaker uses a form of words, that is, what it means to him. So, “John believes that the sky is blue” is intensional, because its truth is not determined by the truth of its sentential subclause and the references of the component terms in that subclause. Rather, it is dependent on the propriety of the attribution to John of the attitude of belief towards the content of the sentential subclause, “the sky is blue.” To put it differently, whereas the focus in intensional discourse is the propriety of the attribution of an attitude (e.g., belief ) in relation to a sentential content (that things are thus and so), extensional discourse focuses on the representational adequacy of the sentential content: The accuracy of the description of particulars, their properties and their relations as depicted by appropriate terms and the truth-preserving combinations of those terms. Rorty argues that the scientism advanced by Sellars and Quine, involving “[r]educibility to talk of particles,” is a cover. The true motivation is the idea of an all-powerful extensional discourse, and, as we will see, Rorty does not reject this omnipotent explanatory language. What he finds problematic is the scientistic preference for extensional discourse over intensional discourse. Rorty approves of Sellars’s view of moves in the space of reasons as performances, and he recognizes the intensional framework of this view.12 Sellars, as discussed in Chapter 2, proposes that truth is not “a relation between linguistic and extra-linguistic items.”13 It is rather correct assertion, which is captured by conditionals such as, “if that snow is white is true then snow is white.” For Sellars, “the assertion of the right-hand side of the implication statement is a performance of the kind authorized by the truth statement on the left.”14 Sellars’s performative view of truth is intensional, because it focuses on the propriety of the use of the sentence rather than its representational adequacy. For Rorty, the objectionable feature of Sellars’s position comes into view in Sellars’s depiction of how the space of reasons comes to have greater representational adequacy. The

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objection does not involve accusing Sellars of reneging on his intensional account of assertion and truth. Rather, Rorty’s objection concerns Sellars’s portrayal of the production of minimal conceptual representations from sensibility’s sheer receptivity. Sellars, as we have seen, was concerned about the (metaphysical) intuition that our non-inferential perceptual judgments are answerable to the way things are. His intensional account of truth did not leave room for that intuition, because it provided sensory content with only a quasi-intentionality and defended a causal account of the picturing in minimal conceptual representations, i.e., the items in the this-such nexus. To put it differently, for Sellars, the this-such nexus is produced through our causal contact with the world.15 According to Sellars, as the scientific account of the world, which includes the causal portrayal of sensory experience, advances, so does the representational quality of our judgments which have sensory experience as their matter. Therefore, the representative quality of our judgments about the world is a function of the current scientific account of the world.16 The concepts making up the structure of the space of reasons, in turn, adjust to the changing contents in order to facilitate the performance of relevant speech acts. The conceptual apparatus that corresponds to the representations that accord with the latest scientific account is then the most adequate. This notion of adequacy relies on “the concept of a domain of objects which are pictured in one way (less adequate) by one linguistic system, and in another way (more adequate) by another.”17 This domain of objects is the one pictured by what, on the scientistic view, would be the ideal linguistic system. So, Sellars’s intensional account of the space of reasons is subordinated to an extensional, scientistic account of the representational quality of the perceptual judgments. Rorty writes, “I suspect that Davidson would say that Sellars is still held captive by a representationalist picture. In this picture, Neanderthal or Aristotelian sentences have meaning – that is, are translatable by us – by virtue of their referring, albeit unperspicuously, to what really exists – viz., the objects referred to in the ideal, Peircian, conceptual system.”18 Sellars’s scientism, then, involves a preference for extensional discourse, which is enabled by the idea that the conceptual framework making up the current space of reasons is more or less adequate depending on the representational accuracy of perceptual judgment. Rorty (as is evident from the previous passage which identifies extensionalism as the problematic feature of scientism) also detects a version of scientism in W. V. O. Quine’s writings. An examination of the similarities and of the differences between Sellars’s scientism and that of Quine’s is helpful in appreciating the point of Rorty’s polemic. In order to articulate what he finds problematic in Quine’s view, Rorty focuses on the following passage from Word and Object: Each elimination of obscure constructions or notions that we manage to achieve, by paraphrase into more lucid elements, is a clarification of the conceptual scheme of science. The same motives that impel scientists to seek ever simpler and clearer theories adequate to the subject matter of their special sciences are motives for simplification and clarification of the broader framework shared by all the sciences. . . . The quest of a simplest, clearest overall pattern of canonical notation is not to be distinguished from a quest of ultimate categories, a limning of the most general traits of reality. Nor let it be retorted that such

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constructions are conventional affairs not dictated by reality; for may not the same be said of a physical theory? True, such is the nature of reality that one physical theory will get us around better than another; but similarly for canonical notations.19 Rorty argues that Quine places the emphasis on the physical sciences because of the transparency of the concepts employed by them. Human sciences are, by implication, placed on the lower rungs of the ladder, because they employ unclear and therefore “irredeemable”20 concepts. Science lurches forward, Quine seems to assert, when the concepts of the physical sciences are taken to be standard, and when such concepts are propagated and enforced on all the sciences. In order to establish the Quinian contrast between the two types of sciences as the ground of his scientism, it is helpful to follow Rorty in relating this contrast to Quine’s distinction between reference and meaning and his preference for the former.21 According to Quine, “[r]eference, extension, has been the firm thing; meaning, intension, the infirm.”22 For Rorty, this preference presupposes that somehow the intensional discourse of human sciences is indeterminate in a way in which the extensional discourse of physical sciences is not.23 Quine repeats his preference for extensional discourse in the following passage from Word and Object: “If we are limning the true and ultimate structure of reality, the canonical scheme for us is the austere scheme that knows no quotation but direct quotation and no propositional attitudes but only the physical constitutions and behavior of organisms.”24 Quine’s overt preference for extensional discourse reflects his scientism, the view that an all-encompassing extensional scientific framework is the ideal of all inquiry, and that every effort to restate intensional discourse in extensional terms should be promoted. Quine and Sellars are scienticists in that they both wish to modify the intensional language of common sense by the extensional language of science. For Sellars, this extensionalism does not do away with intensionality. He is, nevertheless, a scienticist in maintaining that concepts making up the space of justification can picture the domain of real objects more adequately as scientific progress improves the quality of the descriptive content available in that space. Quine, however, aims to eliminate intensionality altogether. Rorty reprimands Quine for his strong version of extensionalism: “The author of ‘Two Dogmas of Empiricism’ should have said that concepts and meanings are harmless if posited to give explanations of our behavior, and become harmful only when treated as the source of a special kind of truth and of a special sort of authority for certain assertions.”25 So, for Rorty, Quine’s extensionalism undermines the integrity of the intensional space of reasons, whereas Sellars wants to hold onto the intensionality of this space while subordinating it to the extensional enterprise of the sciences and its contributions to the representative quality of empirical content.

Against scientism In order to clarify Rorty’s rejection of the scientism advanced by Sellars and Quine, we must understand the extent of his reliance on Donald Davidson’s attack on the third of empiricism’s dogmas. Here, I  lay out the Davidsonian presuppositions so as to make explicit Rorty’s advancement of the topic beyond that of his scientistic predecessors. In

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“On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme,” Davidson articulates the third dogma of empiricism as involving a duality on one side of which is conceptual scheme, and on the other side empirical content.26 The idea, when put in more familiar terms, is that the space of reasons has an outer boundary, outside which lies the world or reality: the point of introducing the boundary is to show that the world is not conceived even in terms of the best scheme we have thus far. Experience comes into the picture when we try to construct an epistemology to suit the general picture of a scheme confronting the world: We conceive of empirical content as the result of the impingement on the space of reasons by what lies outside its boundaries. Davidson characterizes empirical content as “an uninterpreted reality, outside all schemes and science.”27 Sellars and Quine believe that the extensional language of physical sciences will succeed in interpreting the “uninterpreted reality”; hence their scientism. Meanwhile, we have revisable schemes involving intensional concepts that only approximate to the world. Davidson’s attack on the third dogma of empiricism employs the strategy of a reductio ad absurdum. Davidson aims to show that the idea of a conceptual scheme that only approximates to the world is absurd, contradicts itself, no matter what. Below is my paraphrase of the argument in “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme”: 1 Assume that scheme-world dualism is a true thesis. 2 Therefore, there is either one scheme or more than one scheme. 1’ Assume there is more than one scheme.28 2’ Having a language is associated with having a conceptual scheme (p. 185). 3’ If there are different conceptual schemes, then there are languages between which no translation is possible (p. 185). 4’ There are languages between which no translation is possible: 1’ and 3’. 5’ “[N]othing . . . could count as evidence that some form of activity could not be interpreted in our language that was not at the same time evidence that that form of activity was not speech behavior” (p. 185). 6’ Therefore, “translatability into a familiar tongue [is] a criterion of languagehood” (p. 186). – Contradiction: 4’ and 6’. 3 Therefore, it is not the case that there is more than one conceptual scheme. 1” Assume that there is one conceptual scheme. 2” The point of introducing a scheme-world duality is that the world is not conceived in terms of the best scheme we have come up with. 3” Therefore, there is more than one conceptual scheme. – Contradiction: 1” and 3”. 4 It is not the case that there is one conceptual scheme. – Contradiction: 2, 3 and 4. 5 Therefore, it is not the case that scheme-world dualism is a true thesis.

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The central move in this argument is the rejection of multiple conceptual schemes. Davidson argues that the failure of translation would not indicate multiple conceptual schemes. Rather, it would indicate that we are not dealing with language behavior at all. For the failure of translation to imply multiple conceptual schemes, it must first imply that there is massive disagreement between the interpreter and the speaker. Davidson rules out this option, because it implies that we can determine the relation of the beliefs of the speakers to our own without translation (translation fails). But this goes against the ordinary process of translation. He writes, “[i]f all we know is what sentences a speaker holds true, and we cannot assume that his language is our own, then we cannot take even a first step towards interpretation without knowing or assuming a great deal about the speaker’s beliefs.”29 To begin translation, the interpreter must assume “general agreement on beliefs”30 and assign truth-conditions (Tarskian T-sentences) to the speaker’s sentences: “We get a first approximation to a finished theory by assigning to sentences of a speaker conditions of truth that actually obtain (in our own opinion) just when the speaker holds those sentences true.”31 Otherwise, the interpreter cannot begin translation. Given this assumption about translation, to argue that the failure of translation is due to massive disagreement is to say that there is a way of determining the speaker’s beliefs as being in disagreement with our beliefs (they are false by our lights) independently of translation, as a justification of our inability to translate. But that is not possible, since independently of translation we should only ascribe mostly true beliefs to the speaker. Davidson’s rejection of scheme-world dualism undermines Sellars’s (and Quine’s) view that there is a reality independent of our conceptual schemes, a reality which is or will be transparent to physical sciences. This is a more precise articulation of what Peter King has in mind when he accuses Sellars of endorsing mind-body dualism of the Cartesian variety.32 King’s point is accurate only if seen ontologically rather than epistemologically. Sellars, as we have seen in Chapters 1 and 2, is not radically skeptical of our claims to know. Rather he questions whether the ordinary objects of knowledge exist. Davidson, in contrast, professes that we have always had the real world in view, and it would be incoherent to argue that there is scheme-content dualism. I agree with Davidson’s conclusion, and, in the next section, I shall defend the (Avicennian) thesis that we have always had the world in view, but I argue that this world is not the disenchanted world of science; it is rather the world of ordinary common-sense experience. This thesis, as it will become obvious later, is markedly different from the one held by Rorty and Davidson. For them, the world is already in view only non-conceptually. Rorty and Davidson overlook the position that I favor, according to which our minds are already operative in the construction of sensory experience. This possibility preserves the intuition that some of our empirical beliefs are justified by the way we experience the world, an intuition motivating Sellars’s and Quine’s positing of a reality independent of our conceptual schemes. Since the experience of the world is already conceptualized, the view that I am advocating avoids the problem of scheme-content dualism. However, before discussing my view (which is shared by Avicenna), a consideration of the position prescribed by Rorty and Davidson, in the wake of scheme-world dualism, helps to identify the virtues of the view I prefer. Rorty’s Davidsonism amounts to more than his embrace of Davidson’s rejection of the third dogma of empiricism; Rorty also openly appropriates Davidson’s anomalous monism in order to present an alternative to scientism. But before discussing Rorty’s appropriation of

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anomalous monism to replace scientism, an account of Davidson’s argument for this thesis can help in seeing Rorty’s point even more clearly. In his famous essay “Mental Events,” Davidson advances an antinomy concerning the discrepancy between law-like explanations of physical sciences and accounts that are intentional, dealing with mental states like beliefs. This is a rendition of Davidson’s argument: 1 At least some mental states (beliefs, desires, etc.) enter into causal relations.33 2 “Where there is causality, there must be a law.” Laws, in this premise, are strict generalizations that subsume events related as cause and effect. Davidson calls this the “Principle of the Nomological Character of Causality.”34 3 Therefore, “at least some mental events can be predicted and explained on the basis of laws.”35 4 In contrast to physical events, “there are no strict deterministic laws on the basis of which mental events can be predicted and explained.” This principle is called the “Anomalism of the Mental.”36 – Contradiction: 3 and 4. Davidson argues that the above paradox or antinomy is merely apparent and that it can be resolved. He argues for monism regarding events: all events are explainable by nomological/ natural scientific explanations. He finds this monism in complete harmony with the claim that mental phenomena admit of non-nomological explanations. This harmony is facilitated by distinguishing particular or token mental events from mental events as classes or types: “Mental events as a class cannot be explained by physical science; particular mental events can when we know particular identities.”37 So token mental events can admit of physical/nomological explanations, only if each is identified with a token physical event. This, however, does not imply that other mental events of the same type will be identical to the physical events of the same type.38 Davidson maintains that “the explanations of mental events in which we are typically interested relate them to other mental events and conditions. . . . Such accounts of intentional behavior operate in a conceptual framework removed from the direct reach of physical law by describing both cause and effect, reason and action, as aspects of a portrait of a human agent.”39 In other words, token mental events also admit of intentional accounts involving normative considerations, such as what one ought to believe or think, given a context of action, rather than what one’s mental state is, given antecedent causes and laws governing the transaction between those causes and the mind. Davidson’s anomalous monism, therefore, is not a type-identity theory; it is rather a token-identity theory. Rorty endorses the Davidsonian token-identical alliance between nomological and intentional explanations of mental events but argues – as we have seen – that the more fundamental contrast is between intensional and extensional discourses rather than the one between intentional and nomological accounts: It is intensionality rather than intentionality which is the real bugbear, for only the non-truth functional character of intentional discourse makes its presumed subject more disreputable than, say, irreducibly biochemical talk of mitochondria.40

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Rorty’s emphasis on intensional and extensional modes of discourse rather than intentional and nomological accounts is designed to focus the Davidsonian argument on scientism. Instead of opting for a conception of an extensional scientific discourse that either (1) promises to adjust the intensional space of reasons so that it adequately pictures the world (as in Sellars’s scientism) or (2) promotes the elimination of intensional discourse altogether (e.g., Quine’s scientism), Rorty, inspired by Davidson’s approach to intentional and nomological accounts, aims to maintain both forms of discourse and to resist comparing them: “We can do so by granting that the world can be completely described in a truth functional language, while simultaneously granting that pieces of it can also be described in an intensional one, and simply refraining from invidious comparisons between these modes of description.”41 Intentional events can be part of the “complete” truthfunctional description, when they are approached from the field linguist’s perspective, outside the context of their performance. This is compatible, according to Rorty, with portrayals of these mental events framed in an intensional vocabulary. In “Pragmatism, Davidson, and Truth,” Rorty attempts to reconcile extensional and intensional approaches to mental events by urging us to hold apart two views of beliefs: “[T]hey will be seen from the outside as the field linguist sees them (as causal interactions with the environment) or from the inside as the pre-epistemological native sees them (as rules for action).”42 The outside view is descriptive and involves the disquotational use of truth.43 Therefore, the outside view is available through an extensional discourse, which approaches beliefs in nomological-causal relation to their environment. The inside view, on the other hand, is intensional: It is the “point of view of the earnest seeker after truth.”44 From the inside perspective, beliefs are governed by intensional proprieties of performance. Rorty warns that we must “abjure the possibility of a third way of seeing them [beliefs] – one which somehow combines the outside view and the inside view, the descriptive and the normative attitudes.”45 Rorty “abjures” the tertium, because it leads to scientism, that is, the privileging of the extensional at the expense of the intensional. But Rorty does not reject Quine’s and Sellars’s focus on the all-encompassing Tractarian discourse; he simply denies that such a discourse adjusts (Sellars) or eliminates (Quine) the intensional discourse regarding mental events. In place of scientism, Rorty advocates the thesis that the preference for an extensionalist account of the world is not incompatible with the intensionalist accounts of some parts of the world. Rorty writes, Davidson and Sellars agree that what shows us that life is not just a dream, that our beliefs are in touch with reality, is the causal, non-intentional, non-representational, links between us and the rest of the universe. But Sellars thinks that it takes a long time (all the way to the end of inquiry) for these causal links to whip us into properly correspondent shape, and that in the meantime we may be talking about what does not exist. In contrast, Davidson thinks that they have already whipped us into the relevant shape as soon they make us language users.46 Rorty agrees with Sellars and Davidson in endorsing causal links between token mental events and the physical world, links that are explainable in extensionalist terms. This endorsement, of course, does not jeopardize the intensionalist discourse about mind-involving events. In sum,

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Rorty, in agreement with Davidson, rejects Sellars’s scientistic utopianism, which is the view that we have to wait until “the end of inquiry” for the mind-world nomological-causal links to whip us into a proper relation to the world. For Rorty and Davidson, these links whip us “into the relevant shape as soon they make us language users.”47 In Davidson’s words, “[i]n giving up the dualism of scheme and world, we do not give up the world, but re-establish unmediated touch with the familiar objects whose antics make our sentences true or false.”48 The causal links between familiar objects and our minds have already put us in proper relation to the world, by enabling us to make appropriate linguistic utterances; we need not await the proper relation to the world at the end of inquiry, the relation mediated by the transparency of extensionalist discourse. Extensional and intensional discourses, according to Rorty (and Davidson), involve different approaches to what we believe, from the outside and from the inside, respectively. Nevertheless, most of what we believe is true anyway.49

Debunking reason-nature dualism In this section, I shall bring to completion my efforts to demonstrate the shortcomings of the account of the mind-world relation inaugurated by Sellars and developed by Rorty. My critique focuses on Rorty’s proposal to keep justification, as a normative relation, apart from nomological/extensional considerations. This proposal is in part a response to the Myth of the Given, which takes raw (i.e., non-conceptual) deliverances of sensibility (produced by the causal interaction between the world and sensory surfaces) as the foundations of empirical knowledge. Rorty, like Sellars, rejects the epistemological Given by denying the justificatory role of the nomologically accessible causal impacts of the world on our sensibility. Whereas Sellars, via his scientism, seeks to unify justification and nomological/physical descriptions, Rorty disengages the two. I ascribe to McDowell a version of what Sellars has called perennial philosophy, which involves the focal thesis that “the manifest image is real.”50 However, I do not believe that this commitment entails a disengagement between justification and description, as advocated by Rorty.51 In Mind and World, McDowell refers to the Rortian separation as “the dualism of nature and reason”52 and attacks it in the spirit of a fellow pragmatist. To put it more precisely, McDowell accepts Rorty’s definition of pragmatism as the debunking of dualisms but insists that Rorty’s own dualism is not immune to the razing effect of pragmatism. McDowell’s “pragmatic” critique of Rorty provides a bridge to the perennialism I advocate. McDowell’s attack on Rorty’s dualism of nature and reason is most evident in his reflections on Rorty’s two notions of truth: the disquotational and the normative. As we have seen previously, Rorty takes his bearings from Davidson and recognizes two types of explanation, intensional and extensional, of mental events such as beliefs. The first explains a belief as formed by and subject to the normative constraints of justification. The second accounts for a belief as produced by the objects and situations interacting causally with the believer. Therefore, in the intensional framework, truth is what we ought to believe; it is normative. In the extensional framework, on other hand, truth is a matter of the correctness of a belief as a causal response to the environment. According to Rorty, the disquotational theory of truth

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expresses the causal view of truth, since its theorems or T-sentences (which have the form: “p” is true if and only if p) are discovered by considering the causal impacts of the world on the believer. The disquotational account of truth, according to Rorty, is that of Davidson’s field linguist.53 Davidson’s field linguist, in an effort to understand the natives, embraces a generalized form of the disquotational theory, which “links beliefs with objects and circumstances in the believer’s environment, in a structure whose constitutive relations are causal.”54 Rorty maintains that the extensional discourse, or the outside point of view, coexists with the inside point of view, the normative “view of the earnest seeker after truth,”55 “in which beliefs are linked with what is taken to give them their rational credentials, that is, located in the space of reasons.”56 Rorty’s attempt to balance these viewpoints and their respective accounts of truth has two motivations. On the one hand, Rorty is deeply committed to rejecting the epistemological Given. On the other hand, Rorty wants to avoid scientism: the preference for a scientific framework as the ideal of inquiry. McDowell argues that Rorty’s endorsement of the dualism of the space of reasons (the space of items linked by rational or justificatory relations) and the space of nature (the domain of items governed by nomological/physical laws) is not in keeping with Rorty’s pragmatism. According to McDowell, Rorty begins “Pragmatism, Davidson, and Truth” with an admiring description of pragmatism, into which he wants to enroll Davidson, as “a movement which has specialized in debunking dualisms and in dissolving traditional problems created by those dualisms.” . . . But Rorty’s own thinking is organized around the dualism of reason and nature, and that means he can be at best partly successful in being a pragmatist in his own sense.57 I agree with McDowell that the dualism of reason and nature should also be debunked, and I think McDowell has a good argument against such dualism. In response to Rorty’s insistence on the separation of reason and nature and the accounts of truth corresponding to each, McDowell writes, Rorty’s remarks about disquotation give the field linguist, the occupant of the external point of view, responsibility for the question whether beliefs achieve truth in the sense of disquotability. The question whether a belief achieves disquotability is supposed to be descriptive as opposed to normative.58 McDowell’s point is that Rorty’s divide between reason and nature results in a divorce between disquotation and the internal point of view. According to McDowell, there is an “unproblematic notion of getting things right,”59 which is available from the inside point of view. This “unproblematic notion” is connected to disquotation: “It is because ‘La neige est blanche’ is true in French if and only if snow is white that, since snow is indeed white, I shall be getting things right if I express a belief in French by saying ‘La neige est blanche.’ ”60 In this reading of disquotation, the notion of getting things right is not a field linguist’s determination of the meaning of a native’s utterances by observing and describing the causal interactions between the native and their natural environment. Rather, this notion concerns a responsiveness to the

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rational impact of the world or nature on the mind, an impact that justifies our beliefs. The insider’s notion of getting things right is unproblematic (at least on the level of our commonsense intuitions), because we often take it for granted that our perceptual beliefs are justified by our sensory experience of the world. Rorty’s attempt to distinguish disquotation from the internal point of view results in a distortion of the normativity governing what he calls the internal point of view. He writes that the “intentional states arise in organisms that have been programmed to respond with linguistic utterances to, among other things, the impact of environment upon their sense organs.”61 On his view, normative regularity governing our beliefs is just a less strict form of lawfulness that governs natural processes. He then goes on to compare intentional lawfulness to that of the phenomena studied by biologists, as he worries whether there is really a big difference between attempts to find a strict law lurking beneath “swans are, ceteris paribus, monogamous” and attempts to find one lurking beneath “People who believe that S entails P, and that S, also believe, ceteris paribus, that P.” Is there any more possibility of, for example, finding chemical predicates co-extensive with those designating relevant features of swans and of monogamy?62 Rorty rejects the attempt to reduce the stochastic lawfulness of, say, biological events to more strict laws, and thinks that intentional states are governed by a similar kind of lawfulness. This perspective, of course, misunderstands the normative lawfulness of intentional states and confuses it with the type of lawful regularity that governs natural processes from the natural scientific point of view. In the same essay, Rorty alleges that McDowell is beholden to the “normative descriptive distinction,”63 where “descriptive” characterizes disquotation, and “normative,” the inside point of view. But that is not so. McDowell’s view about the relevance of disquotation to the inside point of view becomes clearer when we recognize that, from the internal point of view, disquotation relates the inquirer’s judgments or beliefs about the world to the inquirer’s experience of the world. Sensory experience is the involuntary exercise of the very conceptual capacities whose voluntary use results in judgments or beliefs.64 Experience occurs when the world wrings an exercise of conceptual capacities from us. This view of sensory experience helps us make sense of the notion of disquotation that is available from the inside point of view. Our conceptual representations, as the results of the active exercise of conceptual abilities, are true, that is, they ought to be believed, if and only if they accord with sensory experience, i.e., the result of the involuntary employment of conceptual powers dragged into operation by the world. McDowell further develops this point, as we have seen previously, by rejecting the suggestion – which is part of the notion of disquotation – that sensory experience has propositional content. Instead, he argues that it has intuitional content which draws on our conceptual abilities and grounds the propositional contents of the active exercise of those abilities. Avicenna, as I shall show in the next chapter, subscribes to a version of Sellarsian empiricism, according to which the non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact is established by

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the answerability of our knowledge claims to sensory experience. For Avicenna, sensory experience draws on primary [transcendental] concepts and lets beings show themselves and provides the ground for our knowledge. For this view, Avicenna draws on Aristotle’s account of “proper sensibles,” which are also invoked by Sellars as the precursor to his portrayal of non-conceptual sense impressions.65 In Chapter 5, I clarify the Aristotelian account and its ramifications for Avicenna, and I then show that the Avicennian view proffers an account of the isomorphism that obtains between sensory experience and the world without an appeal to non-conceptual sense impressions. At the same time, Avicenna expands and revises the Aristotelian account of conceptual unity in order to include post-predicamental, that is transcendental, concepts. In the concluding chapter, I shall defend Avicenna’s perennialism against the criticism that it commits itself to an extravagant metaphysics.

Notes 1 Originally, I engaged the material in this chapter in Chapters 2 and 3 of my doctoral dissertation, “Experience Conceptualized: Between the Myth of the Given and Coherentism” (PhD diss., University of Virginia, 1999). The text of the dissertation has been modified substantially in form and content. 2 Sellars, “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man,” in Science, Perception, and Reality (Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963), 8, 19. 3 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, ed. Robert Brandom (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), 82. 4 Sellars, “Phenomenalism,” in Science, Perception, and Reality (Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963), 97. 5 Ibid. 6 Sellars, Science and Metaphysics (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968), 50. 7 For a discussion of problematic aspects of Kant’s subjective idealism, refer to Chapter 5, the section titled “Conceptual sensory content.” 8 Sellars, “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man,” 8. 9 Ibid., 18. 10 Rorty, “Representation, Social Practise, and Truth,” in Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 160. 11 Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979), 204. 12 Ibid., 151–52. 13 Sellars, Science and Metaphysics, 82. 14 Ibid., 101. 15 Ibid., 16. 16 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, 82. 17 Sellars, Science and Metaphysics, 140. 18 Rorty, “Representation, Social Practise, and Truth,” 154. 19 Quine, Word and Object (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1960), 161. 20 Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, 200. 21 Ibid., 198. 22 Quine, “Ontological Relativity,” in Ontological Relativity & Other Essays (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969), 35. 23 Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, 198.

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2 4 Quine, Word and Object, 221. 25 Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, 194. Rorty has in mind Quine’s attack on the first dogma of empiricism, which amounts to an attack on the analytical given. The attack on the first dogma concerns a “fundamental cleavage” between the analytic (statements true because of meaning alone) and the synthetic (statements whose truth is dependent both on meaning and on the world), “Two Dogmas of Empiricism,” in From a Logical Point of View (New York: Harper & Row, 1961), 20. Quine rejects this dogma by (1) locating “analytic” in a circle of mutually interdefinable terms including also “synonymy” and “necessarily” (something whose presence in the language would make interchangeability salva veritate in all contexts a sufficient condition for synonymy), (2) trying, to no avail, to come up with an acceptable account of one of those terms, and (3) concluding from this failure that there is no fundamental cleavage between analytic and synthetic statements. This conclusion is important because it denies a privileged epistemological status to analytic statements: They belong with synthetic statements in the space of reasons. It is not unimportant to point out that despite its significance for the attack on the Given, Quine’s conclusion is ambiguous: On the one hand, it can be understood as a stronger thesis that we have no understanding of an idea of analyticity. This rendition of the conclusion is challenged by Putnam in “The Analytic and the Synthetic.” According to Putnam, the emphasis, in the rejection of the fundamental cleavage between analytic and synthetic, should be on “fundamental.” Putnam argues that it is not really Quine’s point (even though he talks at times as if it is) to reject the circle of terms in premise 2, but rather to deny that they have a significance that is fundamental in the way presupposed by the appeal to analytic truths as given. Such an appeal would construe analytic truths as acquired independently of other claims to knowledge, and necessary for justifying them. Putnam maintains that of course there are analytic truths (e.g., “All bachelors are unmarried,” “All vixens are female foxes”), but that the possibility of singling them out as analytic is uninteresting, “The Analytic and the Synthetic,” in Mind, Language, & Reality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975), 36. An excursion into the niceties of Putnam’s argument is beyond the scope of this discussion. It is adequate to realize that Putnam’s rendition makes Quine’s conclusion less strong and therefore more plausible, but maybe less Quinian. 26 Davidson, “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme,” in Inquiries into Truth & Interpretation (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), 189. 27 Ibid., 198. 28 I should mention that the reductio of the thesis that there is only one conceptual scheme is not stated explicitly by Davidson. I have constructed it from Davidson’s claim that “if we cannot intelligibly say that schemes are different, neither can we intelligibly say that they are one,” ibid. 29 Ibid., 196. 30 Ibid. 31 Ibid. 32 King, “Medieval Intentionality and Pseudo-Intentionality,” Questio 10 (2010): 33. 33 Davidson, “Mental Events,” in Essays on Actions and Events (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), 208. 34 Ibid. 35 Ibid., 209. 36 Ibid., 208. 37 Ibid., 225. 38 Simon Evnine, in Donald Davidson, offers the following useful example and clarification: Davidson “holds that each individual, token mental event is also a physical event. But to say of some particular mental event, such as my present belief that I am thirsty, that it is a physical event, a certain state of my brain, carries no implications about whether other mental events of the same

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type, i.e., other people’s beliefs that they are thirsty, or my belief on a different occasion, will be identical to physical events of the same type. Your present belief that you are thirsty may be an entirely different kind of physical event from the physical event to which my belief that I am thirsty is identical” (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1991), 61. 39 Davidson, “Mental Events,” 225. 40 Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, 204. 41 Ibid., 204–5. 42 Rorty, “Pragmatism, Davidson, and Truth,” in Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 139. 43 Ibid., 141. 44 Ibid. 45 Ibid., 139. Rorty’s account is aligned with James O’Shea’s clarification of Sellars’s view as a naturalism with a normative turn. O’Shea maintains that the space of reasons is logically irreducible but causally reducible to the physical processes; see, for example, his Wilfrid Sellars: Naturalism with a Normative Turn (Cambridge: Polity, 2007), 177. As we have seen, Rorty admits this but criticizes Sellars’s scientism and the claim that the ideal extensional scientific discourse adjusts the representational quality of the space of reasons. O’Shea’s reading of Sellars is also sensitive to his scientism; see Chapter 6, “Truth, Picturing and Ultimate Ontology,” of Naturalism with a Normative Turn (especially 162). 46 Rorty, “Pragmatism, Davidson, and Truth,” 159. 47 Ibid. Contrast Rorty’s anti-representationalism with Brandom’s attempt to salvage representational truth through the social interplay between the reporter and an interlocutor; see Chapter 8 of Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, & Discursive Commitment (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994), especially 495–96. Brandom accounts for getting things right in our noninferential perceptual judgments by invoking the endorsement of the interlocutor/scorekeeper and her undertaking of the commitment ascribed to the reporter. See Making It Explicit, 594–600. See also “A Social Route from Reasoning to Representing,” in Articulating Reasons: An Introduction to Inferentialism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000), 157–83. For Rorty’s skeptical reply to Brandom’s resuscitation of representationalism within a social pragmatic framework, see “Robert Brandom on Social Practices and Representations,” in Truth and Progress (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 130–34. 48 Davidson, “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme,” 198. 49 Rorty, “Representation, Social Practise, and Truth,” 160. 50 Sellars, “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man,” 8–19. 51 Sellars faults perennialism for not being able to reconcile the ordinary (person-centered) and the scientific notions of causality (ibid., 18–19). Rorty’s position exemplifies this apparent inability and the reach of the resulting dualism. 52 McDowell, Mind and World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994), 153. 53 Rorty, “Pragmatism, Davidson, and Truth,” 137. 54 McDowell, Mind and World, 147. See also Rorty, “Pragmatism, Davidson, and Truth,” 141. 55 McDowell, Mind and World, 147. 56 Ibid. 57 Ibid., 154. 58 Ibid., 150. 59 Ibid. 60 Ibid. 61 Rorty, “McDowell, Davidson and Spontaneity,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58, 2 (1998): 389.

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6 2 Ibid., 392. 63 Ibid., 394. 64 McDowell, Mind and World, 9. 65 Sellars, Science and Metaphysics, 7.

Bibliography Azadpur, Mohammad. “Experience Conceptualized: Between the Myth of the Given and Coherentism.” PhD diss., University of Virginia, 1999. Brandom, Robert. Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, & Discursive Commitment. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994. Brandom, Robert. Articulating Reasons: An Introduction to Inferentialism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000. Davidson, Donald. “Mental Events.” In Essays on Actions and Events, 207–27. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980. Davidson, Donald. “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme.” In Inquiries into Truth & Interpretation, 183–98. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984. Evnine, Simon. Donald Davidson. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1991. King, Peter. “Medieval Intentionality and Pseudo-Intentionality.” Questio 10 (2010): 25–44. McDowell, John. Mind and World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994. O’Shea, James. Wilfrid Sellars: Naturalism with a Normative Turn. Cambridge: Polity, 2007. Putnam, Hilary. “The Analytic and the Synthetic.” In Mind, Language, & Reality, 33–69. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975. Quine, W. V. O. Word and Object. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1960. Quine, W. V. O. “Two Dogmas of Empiricism.” In From a Logical Point of View, 20–46. New York: Harper & Row, 1961. Quine, W. V. O. “Ontological Relativity.” In Ontological Relativity & Other Essays, 2–68. New York: Columbia University Press, 1969. Rorty, Richard. Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979. Rorty, Richard. “Pragmatism, Davidson, and Truth.” In Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth, 126–50. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1991. Rorty, Richard. “Representation, Social Practise, and Truth.” In Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth, 151–61. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. Rorty, Richard. “McDowell, Davidson and Spontaneity.” Philosophy & Phenomenological Research 58, 2 (1998): 389–94. Rorty, Richard. “Robert Brandom on Social Practices and Representations.” In Truth and Progress, 122–37. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Sellars, Wilfrid. “Phenomenalism.” In Science, Perception, and Reality, 60–105. Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963. Sellars, Wilfrid. “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man.” In Science, Perception and Reality, 1–40. Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963. Sellars, Wilfrid. Science and Metaphysics: Variations on Kantian Themes. London: Routledge  & Kegan Paul, 1968. Sellars, Wilfrid. Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind. Edited by Robert Brandom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.

4 Avicenna on knowing the unknown Meno’s paradox and the sensory foundations of knowledge

In this chapter, I propose and defend the thesis that Avicenna’s account of empirical knowledge, as set forth in the logical parts of his Book of the Healing (Kitāb al-shifā’), especially in the sixth chapter of Book I of the Demonstration (Kitāb al-burhān), makes the same point as Wilfrid Sellars does about the implicit “naturalistic fallacy” in the appeals to the Myth of the Given. In that chapter [I.6], titled “On the Manner of Apprehending (iṣābah) the Unknown (al-majhūlāt) from the Known (al-ma‘lūmāt),”1 Avicenna argues that non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact is established by the answerability of our knowledge claims to sensory experience. For this point, he draws on Aristotle’s modification of the Platonic reply to Meno’s paradox. In other words, knowing the unknown, as problematized by the discovery dimension of Meno’s paradox, cannot happen miraculously; it presupposes a sensory fore-knowledge. I shall develop this aspect of Avicenna’s epistemology and defend it against various standard readings, especially the reading that takes him to be a precursor to a Lockean empiricism and to be in the throes of the Myth of the Given.

Meno’s paradox and the Myth of the Given Avicenna’s epistemology is centered around Plato’s response to Meno’s paradox, a response which is a central feature of Plato’s attack on what Sellars calls the epistemological version of the Myth of the Given. My aim is to show that Avicenna shares in Plato’s disdain for foundationalism of the Myth-of-the-Given variety. In both Avicenna’s and Plato’s works, this disdain is not self-evident and must be unraveled from their respective texts. In this section, I begin this unraveling and elucidate the relevance of the engagements with Meno’s paradox for the Sellarsian project of rescuing epistemology from the clutches of the Myth of the Given. In Book I, Chapter 6 of Demonstration, Avicenna restates Meno’s paradox and then illustrates it with an example: It was mentioned that Meno, who addressed Socrates regarding the nullification of teaching and learning, said to him, “The seeker of some kind of knowledge will either be seeking knowledge of what he already knows, in which case his quest will be inconsequential, or else he would be seeking knowledge of what he does not know – [in this case,] how would he know it, once he attains it? This is akin to one who seeks a runaway slave he does not know. If he finds him he would not recognize him.”2

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Avicenna knows of Plato’s Meno through discussions of it in Aristotle’s Prior Analytics, Posterior Analytics and Peripatetic paraphrases and commentaries. The example at the end of the passage is not present in the Platonic dialogue, nor is it to be found in Aristotle’s references to the dialogue. It originates in Themistius’ paraphrase of the Posterior Analytics.3 So Themistius’s work is perhaps Avicenna’s main source of the discussion in the Meno. In what follows, I shall set up the paradox in the context of Plato’s Meno, so as to emphasize the Platonic concern with what we have broached as the epistemological Given. Meno’s paradox emerges during an inquiry about virtue. Meno, Socrates’s arrogant interlocutor, asks him about the teachability of virtue, and Socrates immediately alerts him to the complexity of that question and its presupposition that the meaning of virtue is available to both of them. Meno, who is an especially thickheaded partner, confidently derides Socrates’s response, overlooking his ironic implications. Socrates, in turn, refutes several of Meno’s attempts to define virtue. Meno, frustrated in his confrontation with Socrates, bursts into a rhetorical tirade, accusing him of intentionally perplexing him and undermining his confidence in the knowledge he has of virtue.4 He then confronts Socrates with a paradox that has henceforth borne his name throughout the history of philosophy. The paradox is restated by Socrates in the form of a dilemma, which I paraphrase below: 1 If I know something, then I do not need to inquire into it; and if I do not know something then I cannot inquire into it. 2 Either I know something or I do not know it. 3 Therefore, I do not need to, nor can I inquire into anything. In other words, inquiry is either unnecessary or impossible.5 Socrates’s response to this dilemma is peculiar. He could have easily escaped between the horns of the dilemma and stated that Meno appeals to a false dichotomy. He could have said that we do know a bit about something, and we might want to know more about it. For example, we know a bit about physical things, and then we study physics to expand and refine our knowledge. Dominic Scott, in his commentary Plato’s Meno, labels this reading of the dilemma as the paradox of inquiry and argues persuasively that Socrates’s response to the dilemma (not its restatement) addresses a different problem, which he labels the paradox of discovery.6 Socrates’s reply to Meno is ostensibly different from the above solution and its underlying strategy of addressing the paradox of inquiry; he declares, [a]s the soul is immortal, has been born often and has seen all things here and in the underworld, there is nothing which it has not learned; so it is in no way surprising that it can recollect the things it knew before, both about virtue and other things. As the whole of nature is akin, and the soul has learned everything, nothing prevents a man, after recalling one thing only – a process men call learning – discovering everything else for himself, if he is brave and does not tire of the search, for searching and learning are, as a whole, recollection.7

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This mysterious response, which is prefaced by an invocation of divine poets and religious authorities whose task it is to account for divine inspiration, aims to rhetorically influence Meno, who thinks that what it is to know something is to recall the words of inspired teachers.8 Scott, however, is correct to emphasize that Socrates’s response also highlights a different philosophical problem – the paradox of discovery – based on the second horn of the dilemma. This paradox is closer to the way Meno formulates the problem originally: “[h]ow are you to search for virtue, if you do not know what it is?”9 Socrates replies that learning is recollecting our fore-knowledge. More precisely, to have knowledge of the unknown presupposes fore-knowledge; otherwise we are grounding knowledge in something that is not knowledge. Socrates’s response, as I have already suggested, contains an early formulation of Sellars’s rejection of the Myth of the Given. The epistemological Given, as we have seen, aims to raise the edifice of knowledge on self-authenticating claims to knowledge, which are miraculously endowed with a rational standing and ground our other claims to knowledge. Sellars rejects the Myth of the Given, accusing its perpetrators of committing the naturalistic fallacy: reducing epistemic facts about knowers to non-epistemic facts. Instead, he argues that “in characterizing an episode or state as that of knowing, we are not giving an empirical description of that episode or state; we are placing it in the logical space of reasons, of justifying and being able to justify what one says.”10 Empirical descriptions, according to Sellars, express non-epistemic facts, and therefore any characterization of knowing must respect its place in the autonomous, logical space of reasons by rejecting a non-epistemic grounding. Therefore, Socrates’s response to Meno’s paradox is a rejection of the epistemological Given in that it spurns the possibility of accounting for knowledge based on considerations that are not cases of knowing, such as descriptions of our contingent empirical transactions with particulars. According to Scott, [i]t is very likely that the problem owes its ancestry to the philosopher Xenophanes, whose own words are strikingly similar to those of Meno 80d7–8: “No man knows, or ever will know, the truth about the gods and about everything I speak of; for even if one chanced to say the complete truth, yet oneself know it not, but seeming rules over all.” The problem might also be seen as an epistemological application of the Parmenidean claim that ‘what is’ cannot derive from ‘what is not’: knowledge can only come from pre-existent knowledge.11 As Scott makes clear in this passage, the concern shared by Plato’s predecessors is that if something is unknown, it cannot acquire the status of knowledge from what is not knowledge, that is, descriptions of mere contingent causal transactions with the particulars. Plato’s Socrates responds that we must already have prior knowledge and if we do not have knowledge now it is because we have forgotten our fore-knowledge. This is, I submit, a version of the Sellarsian attack on the Given. In “Platonic Recollection,” Scott rejects what he terms the “Kantian” interpretation of our so-called fore-knowledge: “Plato sees pre-philosophical opinions not as something to be discarded, but ‘built upon,’ as parts of an overall picture that has to be filled in.”12 The Kantian reading is then one that brings Plato closer to Sellars. Scott, however, resists that interpretation

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and insists that the recollection of the beholding of forms is only significant for a specifically enhanced philosophical cognition. This disenfranchisement of the pre-philosophical, ordinary cognition is also echoed in Gail Fine’s The Possibility of Inquiry: Meno’s Paradox from Socrates to Sextus, where she goes so far as to limit the role of Platonic recollection to philosophical cognition only. Fine argues that the slave experiment demonstrates that Socrates, in his treatment of Meno’s paradox, is not concerned about discovery, in the sense emphasized by Scott. The paradox of discovery, according to Fine, centers around the worry that “[i]f we start with mere true beliefs, we ‘will always be trapped within a circle of belief’. We can escape this circle only if we already have knowledge: ‘discovery or learning is a process of realising that one thing matches something that one already knows.’ ”13 Fine implies that Socrates and Plato, in the examination of Meno’s paradox, are not concerned about the foundations of knowledge at all. Rather, they are taken up with ordinary inquiry. She insists that [i]f we restrict our attention to us as we are in this life, Socrates would be unmoved by the circle-of-beliefs objection; that is he doesn’t think we need to have knowledge, in this life, in order to escape the circle of beliefs. Rather he thinks that, even though we lack knowledge in this life, we can successfully inquire, and realize that when we’ve found what we were looking for but didn’t antecedently know, because we have and tend to rely on relevant true beliefs.14 On Fine’s reading, the experiment Socrates conducts with Meno’s slave15 only shows that prephilosophical cognition allows for arriving at something we did not know through the circleof-beliefs we have and rely on. Fine reads recollection as having significance when we move from beliefs to knowledge by engaging in Socratic refutation (elenchus) over a sufficiently extensive period of time. This transition to knowledge, according to Fine’s Socrates, “can only be explained, or is best explained, by positing prenatal knowledge.”16 Michael Ferejohn, in “Knowledge, Recollection, and the Forms in Republic VII,” argues persuasively in support of the so-called Kantian reading of Plato that some of our pre-philosophical opinions are cases of knowledge and must be built upon philosophically. I endorse this reading and would like to amend it so as to give it more textual credibility. Although Ferejohn’s concern is with the Republic’s Allegory of the Cave, his reading extends to the examination of “recollection” in the Meno. Ferejohn focuses on Plato’s description, in Republic 516c–d, of a contest among the prisoners with the aim of recognizing “[the] patterns and interrelations that hold among the shadows they experience.”17 Winning is not just a matter of making a lucky guess. Rather in “Socrates’ account the winner is described as having certain superior cognitive abilities.”18 Of course, whatever abilities these contestants have is no match for the returning prisoner, who – following a brief period of confusion – is “able to discern the shadows ‘immeasurably better’ (muriō beltion) than the others.”19 Nevertheless, Socrates holds that some prisoners are able to know better. Ferejohn wonders “whether the truth of such opinions that are true and the epistemic superiority of some of them over others is in some way due to the fact their possessors had once known the Forms.”20 Rejecting a Humean reading that decodes empirical patterns and regularities from within experience and without access to the Forms, Ferejohn endorses an alternative

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(Kantian) reading which accommodates the access to Forms in pre-philosophical experience. On this view, sense experience “is inherently chaotic and disordered, and simply presents no detectable patterns or regularities . . . [but] if one possesses further information about which sensible objects are representations of which Forms, then it does become possible to make good sense of it. The source of this further information is ultimately the pre-natal acquaintance with Forms.”21 Ferejohn’s main reason for opting for the latter reading is that the Humean reading of experience “as a self-contained informational system”22 undermines the reason for positing the Forms in the first place. Fine, however, as we have seen, gives a two-tier view of inquiry that allows for true opinion at the level of ordinary cognition in a Humean way, while implicating pre-natal knowledge at the level of philosophical cognition. To support Ferejohn’s perspective in relation to Fine’s general reading of Plato on recollection, we need a Platonic passage that shows how sense experience can be known ordinarily by reference to a “cipher-book,”23 our fore-knowledge of the Forms. This passage is available in the Phaedo, and it implicates sense perception (aisthēsis) in Meno’s paradox of discovery: Socrates: We must then possess knowledge of the Equal before that time when we first saw the equal objects and realized that all these objects strive to be like the Equal but are deficient in this. Simmias:  That is so. Socrates: Then surely we also agree that this conception of ours derives from seeing or touching or some other sense-perception, and cannot come into our mind in any other way, for all these senses, I say, are the same.24 Here, Socrates relies on the fore-knowledge of the Form “Equal,” in order to recognize objects in ordinary pre-philosophical experience as equal. What is also interesting is that Socrates argues that our fore-knowledge is activated by means of sensory experience. This passage provides the Platonic evidence needed to strengthen the thesis about the relevance of the Platonic recollection of the Forms for ordinary knowledge and brings Plato into the context of the Sellarsian remedy for the epistemological Given. Of course, the activation of fore-knowledge does not occur by means of the knowledge delivered by the senses. Sensory experience only activates the recollection of knowledge. This is further evidenced by Plato’s arguments in the Theaetetus rejecting the thesis that sense perception has any epistemic status.25 Avicenna’s account of Meno’s paradox in Kitāb al-burhān 1.6, also interprets the paradox as one of discovery. This is reflected in the chapter’s title: “On the Manner of Apprehending (iṣābah) the Unknown (al-majhūlāt) from the Known (al-ma‘lūmāt).” I shall develop Avicenna’s response a bit later. Here, it is important to recognize that the existent text of the Meno is silent about the contrast Avicenna draws between Socrates’s and Plato’s responses. Socrates, according to Avicenna, offers a counter-example to the apparent impossibility of knowing the unknown through the exchange with Meno’s slave. To put it more succinctly, Socrates’s thought experiment involving Meno’s slave shows that it is possible to discover new things through inquiry. For Avicenna, this is not adequate for the resolution of the paradox. He credits Plato with elevating the paradox to its epistemological form through the thesis that, lest we commit

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ourselves to the Given, discovering is recollection of the knowledge of the Forms. Despite the influence of reports and interpretations of historical intermediaries such as Themistius,26 Avicenna’s distinction between Socrates’s and Plato’s responses is due to the nuances of reading Meno’s dilemma as a paradox of discovery. Avicenna accepts Socrates’s modal thesis that we can know the unknown, but ultimately rejects Plato’s recollection thesis, while embracing Plato’s rejection of the epistemological Given. I further discuss this rejection below in the context of Aristotle’s response to the paradox and Avicenna’s appropriation and clarification of that response. My view is that Avicenna’s Aristotelian response is a version of the Sellarsian alternative to the Myth of the Given, which involves an account of sensory perception as already conceptualized.

Aristotle’s solution to Meno’s paradox In the beginning of the Posterior Analytics, Aristotle declares that “all intellectual teaching and learning come about from already existing knowledge (gnōsis).”27 This is also evidence for Aristotle’s commitment to a version of the aforementioned Greek view28 that knowings are not to be characterized by descriptions of our contingent empirical transactions with particulars. To put it in Sellarsian locution, knowings are episodes or states in the space of reasons, and our knowledge of matter of fact is answerable to the involuntary actualization of our concepts in experience. Aristotle calls such fore-knowledge gnōsis, which is, of course, not the same as the Platonic epistēmē. “Sometimes the verb is used interchangeably with epistasthai; but it ranges considerably more widely,” writes Fine. She explains: “Indeed, Aristotle uses it in cases that he does not count as knowledge. For example, he says that aisthēsis, even of the sort had by animals, is a type of gnōsis. But he emphasizes that this gnōsis doesn’t amount to epistēmē.”29 My thesis is that Aristotle’s response to Meno’s paradox involves a commitment to pre-existent knowledge, which is, in fact, human aisthēsis, i.e., sense perception. Avicenna specifies that this knowledge is not propositional, so it is not epistēmē, but as an instance of knowledge, it is conceptual nevertheless. In spelling out Avicenna’s contribution, I draw on Sellars’s characterization of sense perception as making available conceptualized intuitions (the this-such nexus). Aristotle’s handling of the paradox of discovery in Meno’s dilemma takes place in Posterior Analytics 2.19, but already in 1.1, Aristotle begins by engaging Meno’s dilemma as a paradox of inquiry. Having stated that “all intellectual teaching and learning come about from already existing knowledge (gnōsis),”30 Aristotle distinguishes two kinds of pre-existent knowledge: It is necessary to be already aware of things in two ways: of some things it is necessary to believe already that they are (hoti esti), of some one must grasp what the thing said is (ti to legomenon esti), and of others both – e.g. of the fact that everything is either affirmed or denied truly, one must believe that it is; of the triangle, that it signifies this.31 The first kind of pre-existent knowledge is of that something is and the second is of what it is. Aristotle illustrates the distinction by means of the example of a triangle. One may know, for instance, that a triangle’s inner angles equal two right angles, but not know that the figure inside the semicircle is a triangle and vice versa. The point of the distinction between that-it-is and what-it-is is that one may know or not know something and still

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inquire. This is also the point demonstrated by Socrates’s slave experiment: we can begin with merely universal (katholou) knowledge (e.g., the triangle’s inner angles are the same as two right angles) and through inquiry reach knowledge simpliciter (haplos), without qualification (e.g., this triangle’s inner angles are the same as two right angles). In other words, knowledge without qualification amounts to the ability to apply the knowledge of what a triangle is to a particular case. At other times, we begin with particular triangles (i.e., that these are triangles) and try to infer knowledge of what a triangle is from them. Aristotle concludes that without the distinction between that something is and what it is, “the puzzle in the Meno will result; for you will learn either nothing or what you know.”32 This is a sophisticated treatment of the inquiry aspect of the puzzle; it does not address discovery: the question of how we can acquire new knowledge (i.e., know the unknown). In Posterior Analytics, 2.19, Aristotle turns to the paradox of discovery in Meno’s dilemma. In “Meno’s Paradox and De Re Knowledge in Aristotle’s Theory of Demonstration,” Ferejohn proposes that this notoriously difficult chapter “might well be viewed as a sort of appendix to the treatise in as much as it principally concerns not demonstration itself, but the epistemic material (pre-existent knowledge) necessary to get that program off the ground.”33 This fits my understanding of 2.19, because the interrogation of demonstration, and its combination of induction and deduction, is a matter of inquiry and not of discovery. But how can we rely on the seamless transition between a consideration of particulars in induction and the universality of deduction, unless there is knowledge already available at the level of induction?34 This is what Ferejohn means by the epistemic material necessary to get the demonstrative program started. How is demonstration grounded? Aristotle maintains that the archai, the principles of demonstration, are not demonstrated but are rather “derived ultimately from multiple ‘perceptions’ (aisthēsis) of the sensible particulars of the relevant kinds.”35 Aristotle begins Posterior Analytics 2.19 with the question concerning the grounds of knowledge, the archai: How do we know them? He rejects the possibility that we get to know that of which we previously are ignorant. He asks: “[I]f we get them without having them earlier, how might we become familiar with them and learn them from no pre-existing knowledge?”36 This echoes the concerns of Plato and of his predecessors, and should also remind us of Sellars’s rejection of the myth of epistemic foundations that acquire their authority non-epistemically. Aristotle also considers the Platonic possibility that the grounding states of knowledge are pre-natal: We possess them prior to birth, but “they escape notice.” He immediately rejects this possibility as unreasonable: “Well, if we have them, it is absurd; for it results that we have pieces of knowledge more precise than demonstration and yet this escapes notice.”37 In other words, in this problematic picture, the grounds of knowledge (archai) as pre-natal epistemic states must be self-evident as they are indemonstrable and more perfect than demonstrated knowledge (because their status as knowledge is not conferred on them demonstrably). How could we have these states and not notice them? This is an attack on Plato’s recollection thesis. As knowledge states are logically interconnected, a logical analysis of the implications and assumptions of any bit of knowledge would unravel the privileged status of such grounding states. How could we be ignorant of a state of this sort so that only something such as a Socratic refutation would awaken us from our epistemic stupor? Of

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course, a Platonist may reply that only philosophers have access to knowledge,38 but my Aristotle would counter that if knowledge was only available to those who were essentially fit for it, then philosophy would lose its relevance to the human condition. Aristotle, as we have seen already, allows for pre-existent knowledge but modifies the Platonic account so that the knowledge is not more accurate than knowledge as a developed state (hexis). He writes, “[w]e must possess a capacity of some sort, but not such as to be higher in accuracy than those developed states.”39 In other words, there must be a capacity for knowledge, which as capacity, is lower in accuracy than actualized knowledge states. For Aristotle, the states lower-in-accuracy-than-developed-knowledge are cases of sense perception (aisthēsis).40 But to defend against the Platonic rejection of sense perceptions as instances of knowledge, Aristotle says that these states already involve the mind (nous).41 Ferejohn is correct to point out that Aristotle’s “metaphysics allows him to analyze perception, as Plato cannot, as a confrontation not just with an individual substance, but also with the universals that substance instantiates, since they are for him actually present at the site of perception.”42 The universals are present at the site of perception because the intellect (nous) is drawn upon by the physical sensory interaction. It is not that there is a pure sensation and then intellectual activity is added on, rather they must be simultaneous. If the former were true, Aristotle would have traded Plato’s recollection for a version of the epistemological Given, which Plato had already problematized. A more charitable and (and therefore more proper) way of reading Aristotle is to say that he adjusts perception so as to be immune to the charge of givenness. For this, the concepts whose application is the proper function of judging and reasoning, must also be involved in perception. Paolo Biondi, in “Aristotle’s Analysis of Perception,” supports this reading when he writes, human perception is always of the universal as it is found in the particular because the unity of the individual substance guarantees the unity of the act perception, which is a joint activity of the senses and the intellect. Consequently, Aristotle’s analysis into three perceptible objects [i.e., per se – (1) proper and (2) common – and (3) accidental sensibles] is merely the result of his analytical method used to study the act of perception.43 I submit that the unity of the individual substance is the Aristotelian categorial unity, the unity of the conceptual space. This unity is drawn upon in the act of sense perception, when we perceive things having attributes. I shall discuss this matter in detail in Chapter 5, when I consider Aristotle’s account of categorial unity and Avicenna’s contributions to it. For now, I should emphasize that this reading of Aristotle’s account of sense perception is not universally accepted. For example, Fine claims that “in Aristotle’s view, our initial perceptions are nonconceptual. But when we have experience, we have concepts of some sort.”44 Fine interprets what Aristotle calls the “capacity for knowledge” in sense perception to mean that sense perception is non-conceptual. Her Aristotle introduces conceptualization at the level of experience (empeiria). Aristotle does maintain that in experience “the universal [is] stabilized in its entirety within the soul.”45 But, as we have seen, this does not mean that sense perceptions are non-conceptual; indeed, they are mind-involving and conceptual. Rather, experience,

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which comes on the heels of memory – the systematization of persistent sense perceptions, is able to recognize the universal and arrive at knowledge (epistēmē). Fine, it seems, does not want to bestow epistemic status on what Aristotle calls potential knowledge. I, on the other hand, am in agreement with Ferejohn and Biondi, and read Aristotle’s sense perception as the pre-existent knowledge that he mentions in the beginning of Posterior Analytics.46 Sense perception, of course, is not a case of epistēmē, which is perhaps available for the first time through what he calls experience. Aristotle dubs pre-existent knowledge cognition (gnōsis), and insists that it is conceptual; that is, that it involves the activity of the intellect and is the site of an instantiated universal.

On Avicenna’s Aristotelianism about knowledge We have already seen that Avicenna is aware of Meno’s paradox, its dual dimensions of inquiry and discovery, as well as of Plato’s and Aristotle’s responses to the dimension of discovery. The main textual evidence of Avicenna’s awareness comes from Demonstration 1.6 of the Book of Healing, where Avicenna writes, if what is being sought after is known for us in every respect, we would not seek it; and if unknown for us in every respect we would not seek it. It is known to us in two respects and unknown in one. It is known to us as actual in terms of conceptualization (taṣawwur bi-l-fi‘l) and potential in terms of assent (taṣdīq bi-l-quwwa). On the contrary, it is unknown to us insofar as it is specified with actuality, even though it is known insofar as it is not specified in addition with actuality (makhṣūṣ bi-l-fi‘l).47 Here, Avicenna dismisses the obvious extremes of knowing and not knowing in all respects and turns to cases where we inquire; there are three: (1) We know about something conceptually, (2) we know it potentially in terms of assent and (3) we do not know it as specified with actuality. Considering this passage as a formulation of the paradox of inquiry, we can see that by “actually conceptualized,” Avicenna aims to invoke Aristotle’s universal knowledge (katholou). “Being specified with actuality” is Aristotle’s knowledge simpliciter (haplos), which is also called actualized assent (taṣdīq). “Knowledge potential in terms of assent” is a recognition of something as a particular case of a universal (e.g., this is a triangle) without understanding what that entails in regard to the particular case (e.g., not understanding that this triangle’s inner angles are the same as two right angles). Understanding the connection between the universal knowledge (what-it-is) and the particular knowledge (that-it-is) is actualized assent or “being specified with actuality.” Recall that Aristotle, in his concern with the paradox of discovery in Posterior Analytics 2.19, argues that what is prior to knowledge (epistēmē) is fore-knowledge or immediate cognition (gnōsis), which is an outcome of the cooperation between sense perceptions (aisthēsis) and intellect (nous). In Avicenna’s locution in the Demonstration 1.6 of the Book of Healing, gnōsis is rendered as ma‘rifa (immediate cognition) and epistēmē is translated

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as ‘ilm (scientific knowledge). Avicenna relates sense perception (al-ḥiss) to immediate cognition thus: If then through the senses we attain immediate cognition (ma‘rifa) that he [Zayd] exists and that he is human, without this being sought after (maṭlūban) through a [demonstrative] syllogism or [this being] taught, and if this is connected with [universal] knowledge (‘ilm), which is realized for us, also without a [demonstrative] syllogism, in [the] manner by which the connection that in itself brings about a third knowledge (‘ilm), we would then know that Zayd is an animal. . . . Of the two, immediate cognition comes about through sensation, [universal] knowledge through the intellect.48 So Zayd is known to us through sense perception, but only potentially in terms of assent because what is sensed is prior to a judgment or assent about it. We don’t know about him as specified in actuality (makhṣūṣ bi-l-fi‘l ), as that knowledge is the conclusion of a syllogistic demonstration (e.g., Zayd is an animal), with a universal premise (all humans are animals).49 Furthermore, sense perception yields non-inferential knowledge: Avicenna says, “[i]f through sensation we observe (shāhadnā) some particulars without our seeking them, they would immediately fall within [the category] of being actual, within the category of first knowledge (‘ilm al-awwal).”50 First knowledge includes the premises of first syllogisms: “self-evident premises or else acquired by induction (istiqrā’), experience (tajriba), or sensory perception without a syllogism.”51 The latter are cases of non-syllogistic (i.e., non-inferential) knowledge. Self-evident premises are the primary intelligibles, the so-called easily acquired truths.52 Primary intelligibles are “the premises to which assent is given without any act of acquisition and without the one assenting to them being aware that he could ever be free of assenting to them at any time, like our belief that the whole is greater than the part and that things equal to one thing are equal to one another.”53 Primary intelligibles provide models of truth for the thinking that distinguishes and relates the sensory forms and intentions. Knowledge as assent, for Avicenna, is based fundamentally on sense perception, because experience and induction, as cases of “first” assent, are also based on sense perception (which is not an assent). By reading Avicenna along with Aristotle, it seems that sense perception should involve the participation of the intellect. I contend below that Avicenna is indeed “Aristotelian” in his depiction of sense perception and defend my argument against readings of ma‘rifa as non-conceptual. I also submit that Avicenna further develops the Aristotelian account in Posterior Analytics 2.19 by attributing a pre-propositional structure to sensory intelligibility. I discuss the latter thesis later in this chapter, in the section titled “Avicenna on the epistemic status of sensory conceptualization,” and shall develop its details in the next chapter. A more exact account of the epistemically fundamental sensory intelligibility is indicated in Avicenna’s Metaphysics 1.5 in The Healing. There, he distinguishes between primary and secondary conceptualization (taṣawwur), on par with primary and secondary assent (taṣdīq).

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Just as secondary assents are acquired with the guidance of the self-evident primary axioms (bestowed immediately by the Active Intellect), so are the secondary (al-thānīya) concepts based on the primary ones (al-awā’il).54 I shall consider primary assent later in this chapter, in the section titled “Avicenna on the epistemic status of sensory conceptualization.” As to primary concepts, in “Avicenna on Primary Concepts in the Metaphysics of al-Shifā’,” Michael Marmura points out that Avicenna posits four such primary concepts, “the existent,” “the thing,” “unity” and “the necessary.”55 He also refers to passages in the De Anima 5.5 of al-Shifā’, where Avicenna maintains that primary concepts “would have to be direct emanations from the Active Intellect.”56 More importantly for the purpose of this argument, the primary concepts are “impressed on the soul”57 at the level of sensory perception. In De Anima 5.5, Avicenna states that “when the intellecting faculty reviews the particulars that are in the imagination, and the Active intellect sheds light onto us upon them, the things abstracted from matter and its associations are altered and impressed upon the rational soul.”58 Marmura also invokes Avicenna’s On the Proof of Prophecies, where Avicenna mentions the “intelligibles acquired through the mediation of organs and materials, such as the external sense.”59 From the above historical and textual evidence, it would be reasonable to conclude that primary conceptualization (taṣawwur) takes place at the sensory level and the primary concepts are primary, in the Aristotelian sense, in that they establish the unity in the various senses of “being.” The categorial unity in Aristotle’s account, as we will see in Chapter 5, is established by reference to substances, which are apprehended by the involvement of intellect in incidental sense perception. For Avicenna, “substance” is itself understood via the more primary notions of existence and essence. I shall engage the Avicennian modification of Aristotle’s characterization of the categorial unity in the next chapter. Here, we should recognize that the unity of the logical space of concepts is drawn on in sense perception, and human discursive activity carves out the concepts and expresses them in inferentially related judgments. These judgments are ultimately answerable to the conceptualizations involved in sensory perception. In the subsequent sections, I shall provide more evidence to strengthen the connection between primary conceptualization and sense perception.

Avicenna on sense perception, the internal senses and abstraction In this section, I aim to clarify the details of Avicenna’s account of the processing of sensory output by the faculties of inner sense so that the involvement of the Active Intellect is more apparent. In De Anima 1.5, Avicenna maintains that the deliverances provided by the animal’s external sensory powers (al-ḥawās al ẓāhira) are brought together by the internal faculty (al-ḥiss al-bāṭinī) of common sense (al-ḥiss al-mushtarak, banṭāsyā). The retention of the deliverances of common sense by the faculty of imagination (al-muṣawwira or al-khayāl) enables access to the form (al-ṣūra) of the sensed object without need for the presence of the object.60 This is accomplished because common sense synthesizes the various forms in relation to the externally existing thing and the contribution of the Active Intellect leads to

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conceptualization (taṣawwur), which allows the individual thing to be for the perceiver, that is, the thing acquires a mental existence. This individual essence appears at the level of the faculty of imagination and its being there is ephemeral. Avicenna compares the imagination to water since both receive impressions but do not retain them for too long.61 Avicenna’s account of the internal senses expands on Aristotle’s depiction of imagination ( phantasia) as the faculty that mediates between sensation and thinking.62 This expansion is also influenced by Alfarabi’s fourfold classification of internal senses.63 The internal senses, according to Avicenna, include the aforementioned common sense and retentive imagination, as well as compositive imagination (al-mutakhayila), estimation (al-wahm) and memory (al-ḥafiẓa al-dhākira). The faculty of compositive imagination synthesizes and analyzes the sensory forms that reside fleetingly in the retentive imagination and memory.64 Estimation is the inner sense faculty that perceives “intentions (ma‘ānī) which are not in their essence material (laysat hiya fī dhawāt-ihā bi-māddatin).”65 The perceptions of estimation are stored in memory (al-ḥafiẓa al-dhākira). What is of special interest here is the contrast between animal estimation and that of the human being. Avicenna describes animal perception of ma‘nā, i.e., the intention, in the following manner: The intention (ma‘nā) is something that the soul perceives from the sensible without the external senses first perceiving it, for example, the sheep’s perceiving the intention of enmity in the wolf or the intention of having to fear it and flee from it, without the external senses perceiving it at all. So, what perceives something about the wolf first is the external senses, and then the internal senses. [What the external senses perceive] should here be restricted to the term “form,” whereas what the internal faculties – not the senses – perceive should here be restricted to the term “intention.”66 Intentions are features of objects “related to appetition and affection, such as pleasantness, painfulness, friendship and hostility.”67 These features attach to material forms but they can exist apart from matter. For example, the wolf is hostile, but hostility is a separable feature of the thing perceived, as possessing sharp teeth (also owned by the friendly dog), for instance, is not. It is important to emphasize that animal estimation, as a faculty of inner sense, is not merely subjective. Rather, it is perceptive and brings to view features of the situation that matter to the animal. As in the previous example, perceiving hostility is not inert; rather it is accompanied with emotion, fear in this case, and moves the sheep through the desire to flee for self-preservation. In his later work, Avicenna emphasizes the complexity of the operation of animal estimation: “There are hunting dogs that capture prey while they are hungry but save it for their master and sometimes carry it to him. Again, animals that nurse prefer their babies to themselves and sometimes take a risk for protecting their babies greater than the risk they take for protecting themselves.”68 This shows that animals not only perceive intentions, but they are also able to rule out pleasures of immediate gratification for the sake of long-term benefits. So the hunting dog can postpone gratification and wait to bring the prey to its master for the sake

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of a pleasurable reward or the avoidance of painful punishment. Likewise, the nursing animal is invested in a long-term benefit, the survival of its offspring. Deborah Black and Jari Kaukua seize upon Avicenna’s discussion of animal estimation and its perception of intentions and contend that he argues for a non-conceptual sensory content which human beings share with other animals. Black writes that Avicenna explains this estimative phenomenon as involving a complex process in which the estimative sense, with the aid of memory, sensation and the formative sense (al-muṣawwirah), reunites the forms and intentions perceived from a given object into the perception of a concrete whole. As a result, the estimative faculty is able to “perceive the entirety of these things together,” and to judge the object as an individual whole.69 Here, Black seems to credit the estimative faculty for the incidental perception of substances. In his dissertation, titled Avicenna on Subjectivity: A Philosophical Study, Kaukua approves of Black’s interpretation of estimation. He writes, [w]hatever the case in our interpretive puzzle, i.e. whether the intentions are non-sensible only in the sense of not having been actually apprehended by the external senses, as Black argues, or whether they are non-sensible through and through, an entirely different species of cognitive objects than all kinds of sense data, as I have argued, both my view and that of Black’s are certainly in agreement in arguing that there is a definite and important role for estimation in incidental perception.70 I agree that estimation has a role in human and animal incidental perception, but it does not have the central role in human perception. In the reading of Aristotle I offered in the section titled “Aristotle’s solution to Meno’s paradox” (and shall expand in Chapter 5), we saw that for human beings, the intellect discharges the role of apprehending incidental perceptibles. For Avicenna, like Aristotle, what is distinctive about the human awareness of intentions is the involvement of our intelligence: The property most specific to the human is to conceptualize the universal intentions (ma‘ānī) belonging to the intellect that are abstracted completely of all matter – as we have reported and explained – and to arrive at knowledge of things that are unknown from things that are known by assent and conceptualization.71 Intellect, for Avicenna, grasps the universal by abstracting intention as the intelligible essence from its material contingencies. This intention is not the one apprehended by animals; rather it is the intention that is available to human beings because of the intellect’s involvement in our sensory experience. Abstraction, in light of this approach to sensory experience, should not be understood as suggesting that the particulars cause the formation of the universal intelligibles. As Black notes, Avicenna’s writings are full of explicit disclaimers, which reject any truly causal role for images to play in the acquisition of concepts by the rational soul. Rather, Avicenna uses the

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term “abstraction” (tajrīd ) to describe, not the process by which intelligibles are acquired, but rather, the mode of the quiddity’s mental existence in cognitive faculties. Abstraction, then, means nothing more than immateriality in its various degrees, that is, the various degrees to which the quiddity exists in the senses and the intellect in detachment from the material, individuating properties that pertain to concrete singulars.72 But in this persistently anti-reductionist account of human rationality, trafficking with immaterial and universal intelligibles ought not to be understood in an emanatist fashion, dissociating us from the world and our sensory experience of it. The universals are available, albeit potentially, in sense perception. In the next section, I shall strengthen my argument for the thesis that the intellect permeates our sensory experience of the world, which stands against exegeses of Avicenna’s empiricism that align it with Lockean empiricism. For those readers who find Avicenna’s empiricism to align with Locke’s, abstraction (tajrīd ) is the mythological acquisition of the universals (involved in our knowledge claims), which functions by entertaining merely contingent sensory data. Of course, I contend that what we entertain is already laced with universals (vis-à-vis the Active Intellect’s emanation of primary concepts). Abstraction is the carving out of the universals already contained in sensory experience. Because of the intellect’s involvement in sensory experience, human estimation differs from animal estimation because it apprehends moral intentions. Moral intentions are distinguished from their resembling animal intentions in that they (i.e., moral intentions) are universal and abstracted from all matter.73 As such, they are not constrained by concerns in our natural environment. In other words, they do not motivate us, as they do animals, by the emotions and desires that accompany optimizing biological benefits. For example, the moral intention “good” is not conditioned by biological needs and their associated emotions and feelings, but categorical, in that it draws its significance and produces its motivational impact on us from its place in the intellectual space. A central factor relevant to the distinction between animal and human experience is the human initiation into a linguistic tradition for access to the intellectual features of experience.74 Avicenna and his Peripatetic predecessors recognize that such an initiation opens our eyes to the layout of the space of reasons, and enables our responsiveness to ethical requirements alongside other rational demands. I shall discuss initiation into a language tradition in the next chapter and the conclusion.

Replies to objections and other clarifications In this section, I deepen my analysis of Avicennian sense perception by considering and responding to some of the more prominent scholars of Avicenna who offer alternative readings of the relevant central texts in my argument. I begin with Joep Lameer’s reading of conceptualization (taṣawwur) and assent (taṣdīq) as terms for the resolution of the inquiry dimension of Meno’s paradox. Inspired by Lameer’s critique that if primary taṣawwur was involved in sensory perception, its epistemic status would be compromised, I spell out that status as pre-propositional and conceptual. I then move to Peter Adamson’s reading of immediate cognition (ma‘rifa) as non-conceptual. Finally, I consider Dimitri Gutas’s Lockean interpretation of Avicenna and his challenge to Marmura’s reading of primary conceptualization in Avicenna’s Metaphysics and De Anima. I support Marmura.

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Lameer on the meanings of taṣawwur in Alfarabi and Avicenna Drawing on Avicenna’s Book of Healing, Harry Wolfson advances a reading very similar to the one I have given above: Avicenna refers to primary taṣawwur (in sense perception) as first knowledge (al-‘ilm al-awwal).75 Wolfson points to the connection between sense perception and taṣawwur, by identifying the Stoic phantasia logikē with Aristotle’s noēsis,76 which he then explicitly articulates as the meaning of taṣawwur.77 He also traces assent (taṣdīq) to Aristotle’s judgment (logos apophantikos).78 Looking at the earliest Arabic source of the distinction between taṣawwur and taṣdīq in the works of Alfarabi,79 Lameer rejects Wolfson’s tracing the latter distinction to Aristotle’s contrast between intellection (noēsis) and judgment (logos apophantikos). He reasons that if the distinction was based on this Aristotelian contrast, then “taṣawwur in its relation to taṣdīq . . . [would mean] ‘thought’ and taṣdīq ‘statement-making sentence’. It is therefore important to note that there is not a single passage in the surviving works of Fārābī in which this is the case.”80 In place of Wolfson’s genealogy, Lameer develops Miriam Galston’s theory that these terms are rooted in Aristotle’s solution to the inquiry dimension of Meno’s paradox.81 On this view, as I  also mentioned above in regard to Avicenna’s discussion of the paradox of inquiry,82 taṣawwur and taṣdīq “are the two kinds of pre-existing knowledge that are at the basis of all teaching and intellectual learning: our grasping of what a name signifies and the belief that something is, or is the case.”83 Black, in her “Al-Fārābī on Meno’s Paradox,” also points to the importance of the inquiry dimension of Meno’s paradox for Alfarabi. She claims that in his Posterior Analytics, Alfarabi engages Meno’s paradox as a concern for the possibility of instruction (ta‘līm), and that is where he points to the resolution of the paradox by introducing the distinction between conceptualization and assent.84 Black and Lameer are then in agreement about the primary significance of taṣawwur and taṣdīq “as technical terms in the context of acquisition and transmission of human knowledge.”85 In Conception and Belief in Ṣadr al-Dīn Shīrāzī, Lameer also points to Avicenna’s distinction between taṣawwur as conceptualization in contrast to assent and taṣawwur as conceptualization accompanied by assent.86 The former is on par with Alfarabi and Avicenna’s account of the two kinds of pre-existing knowledge, while the latter takes conceptualization to be a pre-condition (or a constituent) of assent.87 This Avicennian use of taṣawwur analyzes assent (taṣdīq) and challenges the interpretative skills of his successors.88 In “Al-Fārābī on Meno’s Paradox,” Black brings the discovery dimension of Meno’s paradox to view. She maintains that Alfarabi recognizes that Plato’s theory of recollection arms “Meno’s adversary [i.e., Socrates] against the claim that knowledge comes about only ‘by chance.’ ”89 This is, of course, a version of the rejection of the epistemological Given. But, as Black correctly points out, Alfarabi also rejects “any recourse to innate ideas.”90 As Aristotle says, the pre-natal theory, or what Black calls the innatist view, results in the absurdity that “we have pieces of knowledge more precise than demonstration and yet this escapes notice.”91 In place of recollection, Alfarabi appeals to the “Aristotelian thesis of the empirical origin of all knowledge.”92 Black affirms Alfarabi’s commitment to the Aristotelian solution “that in place of actually innate knowledge, human beings are born with an innate intellectual capacity for acquiring knowledge, while being endowed at the same time with sense organs to serve as instruments aiding

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the intellect in its operation.”93 According to Black, Alfarabi goes on to defend the strongly empirical stance that everything “that is in the intellect thus depends in a radical way upon the prior activity of the sense. Alfarabi . . . [declares] that the intellect ‘has no proper activity without sensation.’ ”94 Using Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics 2.19 and Avicenna’s Book of Healing, I have connected the Aristotelian empiricism recounted by Black to the account of primary conceptualization (taṣawwur) involving the categories. Black also recognizes the importance of primary conceptualization in Alfarabi’s solution to Meno’s paradox, but she does not relate it to his empiricism. Instead she argues that primary or “antecedent” conceptualization involves the Aristotelian doctrine of predicables from the Isagoge.95 This is what I have referred to previously as Aristotle’s doctrine of categorial unity, which I shall explore more extensively in the next chapter. In addition, I shall delineate Avicenna’s modification to it. Black, however, does not discuss the involvement of categorial unity in sense perception. Lameer, in his Conception and Belief in Ṣadr al-Dīn Shīrāzī, also points to a sense of taṣawwur that aligns with Black’s reading of Alfarabi’s primary or antecedent conceptualization.96 He writes of “a second kind of ‘conception’ [i.e., taṣawwur]  .  .  ., which is a vague and confused ‘grasping’ of existence, differing in ‘intensity’ in accordance with the measure in which a subject partakes of the common nature of Being as encompassing the Aristotelian categories.”97 I  submit that this “vague” sense of “conception” is precisely what is involved in Avicenna’s account of the primary conceptualization at the sensory level where the unity of the conceptual space is impressed (tartasīm) on the soul via the primary concepts.98 In the next chapter, I shall discuss Avicenna’s account of the unity of being (via primary concepts), together with his depiction of the sensory involvement of the post-predicamental unity of being. In the following section, I emphasize that the epistemic status of sense perception is brought out in the non-propositional, yet intellectual, conceptualization in which the unity of the conceptual space is implicated. This, in turn, grounds all of our knowledge. Avicenna on the epistemic status of sensory conceptualization Wolfson, like Lameer, does not engage the “vague” sense of conceptualization or the relevant Avicennian texts for the connection between taṣawwur and the Aristotelian intellection (noēsis) at the level of sense perception. Instead, he looks to the Stoic phantasia to relate taṣawwur to the operation of the senses. Lameer protests that in Islamic philosophy, “taṣawwur represents a form of knowledge, [but] the Stoic phantasia in isolation does not represent knowledge at all. Phantasia is a ‘presentation’ or ‘impression’ by which the soul is affected. A  presentation can be the object of assent (sunkatathesis), but this does not itself represent knowledge either.”99 I do not mean to challenge Lameer’s reading of Stoic epistemology, because already in Posterior Analytics 2.19, Aristotle  – in response to the discovery dimension of Meno’s paradox – maintains that the intellect is operative in sense perception. As a result, Aristotelian experiential presentations or impressions, as conceptualized by the intellect and prior to the act of judgment, have an epistemic status (i.e., they are cases of our fore-knowledge). They are, however, pre-judgmental.

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In “The Terms Taṣawwur and Taṣdīq in Arabic Philosophy and Their Greek, Latin and Hebrew Equivalents,” Wolfson further qualifies the epistemic status of pre-judgmental sensory taṣawwur; he maintains that taṣawwur, as “knowledge,” is not propositional. To emphasize this point, Wolfson draws from Averroes’s claim that taṣawwur is neither true nor false.100 Therefore, the content of sense perception’s taṣawwur is not propositional (and thus not representational); rather the objects of knowledge show themselves by benefitting from our conceptual resources. In the last two chapters, we examined Sellars’s distinction between the conceptualized deliverances of sense and our judgments about them. Drawing on Kant, Sellars insisted that the sensory deliverances have conceptual content in the form of a this-such nexus. He then argued that perceptual judgments are grounded by the rational constraint of the this-such nexus – the sensory perception – as already infused by concepts. More precisely, according to Sellars (and his Kant), there is an extra-judgmental, rational constraint on perceptual judgments. It is the conceptual this-such nexus in sensory experience that provides this external rational constraint on perceptual judgments, since it is made up of conceptual representations that are external to the activity of judging. Perceptual judgments are true (i.e., they are noninferential grounds of empirical knowledge), if they accord with the relevant content of the this-such nexus. In his later work, “Avoiding the Myth of the Given,” John McDowell comes around to this  Sellarsian view when he rejects his own earlier theses that sensory experience has ­propositional content, and that empirical content includes everything the subject can know non-inferentially.101 In his revised position, McDowell distinguishes between intuitional experiential content and the discursive content of assertions and judgments. Discursive content is articulated (and propositional), and intuitional content is not.102 Nevertheless, McDowell claims that both are conceptual,103 but the intuitional content is a this-such nexus in which the conceptual unity of the space of reasons is drawn upon in sensory experience.104 I have argued previously that Avicenna agrees with McDowell and Sellars that sensory perception is conceptual. I shall develop the argument that it is pre-propositional in the next chapter. For Avicenna, as I have argued we should read him, empirical thinking carves out and articulates conceptual unity as operative already in the pre-propositional sensory content (potential intelligible). Therefore, empirical knowledge is answerable to the pre-existing knowledge that already operates in our sensory experience as a this-such nexus. The propositional content of our empirical judgments is a discursive articulation of the intelligibles (as emanated by the Active Intellect) in sensory perception: So the intellect turns to these material accidents and extracts them, as though it were peeling away those material accidents and setting them to one side until it arrives at the core account (ma‘nā) common [to all individuals perceived by the senses] without difference, and thereby acquiring knowledge about it and conceptualizing it. From the first moment that the intellect inspects the confused mix in the imagination (al-khayāl), it finds accidental and essential things, and, of the accidental, those that are consequential and those that are not.105

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The intellect forms judgments, the content of which represents an articulation of the sensory conceptualization (in the production of which it is also implicated), and arrives at the unknown through the known. Avicenna gives a medical example to illustrate the acquisition of empirical knowledge: “Experience” (tajriba) is e.g., our judgment (ḥukmuna) that scammony purges the gall bladder. Since this (fact) recurs many times, it ceases to belong to what occurs by chance (bi-l-ittifāq). Hence, the judgment (ḥukm) of the mind (dhihn) that scammony is a purgative of bile has to be conceded: to be purgative of bile is an accident that is concomitant (lāzim) to scammony.106 Regular observation of scammony purging bile is merely an induction (istiqrā’),107 but when it involves a syllogism,108 that is when we have a middle term establishing the necessity between the minor and the major, then we have a judgment of experience.109 The syllogism is a discursive articulation of the logical unity of concepts already engaged in the sensory perception. Avicenna, of course, maintains that such judgment must be framed appropriately, as some external impediments may interfere with the proper functioning of scammony (e.g., cold climate).110 Having engaged in the discursive articulation of pre-existent sensory knowledge, the knower can go on to explore the assumptions and the implications of empirical judgments and thus acquire further knowledge of the unknown through the known. In the process of knowing, human reasoning, as we saw previously, is yet again assisted by another of the Active Intellect’s emanations: the primary intelligibles. More precisely, Avicenna not only advocates the Active Intellect’s involvement in primary taṣawwur by supplying the primary concepts, he also maintains that the Active Intellect contributes to our taṣdīq (judgment) and to the manipulation of judgments through reasoning, by inspiring us immediately with primary intelligibles, involving no acquisition.111 Through the primary intelligibles, the Active Intellect bids the soul to think through sensory perception, in order to activate the intellect and arrive at the knowledge of the world. Primary intelligibles provide models of truth for the thinking that distinguishes and relates the sensory forms and intentions. Adamson on ma‘rifa Adamson, in “On Knowledge of Particulars,” positions himself against the thesis that, for Avicenna, the intellect is involved in sensory perception. He writes, [o]n the one hand, there is “knowledge” or ‘ilm, which is restricted to universal and necessary, demonstrative knowledge. On the other hand there is what I have translated as “awareness”; ma‘rifa. . . . [W]e only have ma‘rifa that Zayd exists and is a human, whereas we have ‘ilm that all humans are animals. Avicenna explicitly says that “ma‘rifa is what is from sensation, while ‘ilm is what is from intellect.”112 The last part of the passage is the Avicennian text we discussed previously. Adamson appropriates it to posit a distinction between knowledge (‘ilm), which is produced by the intellect, and

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awareness (ma‘rifa) as yielded by the senses. This move is a version of the epistemological Given, as it implies that there are self-authenticating sensory episodes that ground our knowledge of the world, but they themselves are not grounded in any other knowledge. Adamson’s commitment to the Given is confirmed when he insists that cases of ma‘rifa contribute to our knowledge. More specifically, Adamson claims that awareness (ma‘rifa) establishes at least the existence of the object: “We do not use our intellect to grasp Zayd’s existence: this comes only through sensation.”113 This is a peculiar claim, given the focal status “existent” enjoys in Avicenna’s account of the transcendental unity of the conceptual space.114 Moreover, while Avicenna does think that knowledge (‘ilm) is intellectual, he also includes in this category noninferential judgments: “[S]elf-evident premises or else acquired by induction, experiment, or sensory perception.”115 What characterizes ‘ilm, as we have seen, is its propositional content. Ma‘rifa, on the other hand, as sensory cognition, has conceptual content (i.e., it is brought about by primary conceptualization), but this content is not propositional. What Avicenna means by ‘ilm, acquired through sensory perception, is a judgment with propositional content that is answerable to sense perception’s content (which is conceptual, but not propositional). Adamson goes on to invoke a later passage in Avicenna’s Demonstration in support of his mythological reading: Sensation is not a demonstration, nor is sensation qua sensation a principle of demonstration (mabda’ li-l-burhān). For demonstrations and their principles are universals, not particularized in time, individual, or place. Sensation supplies a judgment about a particular, at a time and place proper to it. Therefore . . . nothing from [sensation] is universal knowledge (‘ilm bi-kulli).116 I agree that sensation is not a judgment and therefore non-demonstrative. But when Avicenna says “sensation qua sensation” is not a principle of demonstration, I take him to mean that sensation as separated from the intellect’s involvement in sense perception is not the non-inferential ground of demonstrative judgments. Sensation qua sensation is the imagining of sensory receptivity’s pure deliverance by abstracting the contribution of intellect from it. Furthermore, a judgment based on sense perception’s this-such nexus is admittedly noninferential, that is, non-demonstrative.117 Gutas on Avicenna’s empiricism Reading Avicenna’s solution to the Meno’s dilemma as involving the grounding of knowledge in sense perception has an empiricist ring to it. Gutas, as is evident from the title of his essay “The Empiricism of Avicenna,” confirms Avicenna’s endorsement of a form of empiricism and declares him a precursor to Locke.118 It is precisely the second conjunct of this interpretation that I take issue with. Locke, as we saw in the first chapter, adheres to a version of the epistemological Given. Sellars explains that Lockean “traditional” empiricism, in contrast to sense-datum empiricism, considers the Given to be the result of the exercise of our unacquired (innate) ability to be aware of determinate sense repeatables.119 This view is a form of the

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appeal to the Given and differs from the sense-datum invocation of the Given, in that the latter takes epistemic facts to be given; whereas Locke treats non-epistemic facts as the Givens of empirical knowledge. The Lockean Given is also evident in Gutas’s characterization of Avicenna’s account of sense perception. In “The Empiricism of Avicenna,” he contends that the primary concepts are not, as I have insisted, the contribution of the Active Intellect and accompany sensory input. He insists, “[i]t is important to realize these primary notions do not come from the active intellect, nor do they appear as a result of search and demand on the part of the child. They simply appear, once certain preliminary concepts have been formed on the basis of sense perception, spontaneously through the natural operation of the human mind – the fiṭra, etc.”120 So for Gutas, primary concepts involved in sense perception are the results of the natural operations of the human mind, and the “natural” mind forms them in response to rudimentary sensory input. This conjures, of course, the Lockean version of the Given, where empirical knowledge is grounded in an innate ability (the fiṭra, as it were) to be aware of determinate sense repeatables. I submit that Avicenna’s empiricism ought to be understood as a refinement of Aristotle’s view, rather than a pre-cursor to the mythological empiricism of Locke. Aristotle, in his engagement with the paradox of discovery in Meno’s dilemma, argues that intellectualized sense perception is the pre-existent knowledge. He does that to avoid the mythological view that knowledge emerges from our non-epistemic transactions with the world. He also avoids the Platonic recollection thesis that fore-knowledge is pre-natally formed and forgotten until recollected in the attention to a particular case in sense perception.121 Avicenna sides with Aristotle122 and, as we have seen, maintains that pre-existent knowledge consists of the participation of the unity of the conceptual space in the deliverances of sense, resulting in the non-propositional this-such nexus. Avicenna, as I have indicated earlier, explicitly connects primary conceptualization to sensory experience. I drew on Marmura’s essay “Avicenna on Primary Concepts in the Metaphysics of His al-Shifā’,” where he relates the opening statement of Metaphysics 1.5 to De Anima 5.5. In the opening statement, Avicenna talks about the impression of primary concepts on the soul. Marmura claims that “[t]he sense in which these concepts are ‘impressed’ (tartasim) in the soul is not explained. If their analogy with the logical self-evident truths is pressed, these in the final analysis would have to be direct emanations from the Active Intellect.”123 In a footnote, as we have seen, he draws support from De Anima 5.5 wherein Avicenna maintains, “when the intellecting faculty reviews the particulars that are in the imagination (al-khayāl), and the Active intellect sheds light onto us upon them, the things abstracted from matter and its associations are altered and impressed upon (tartasīm) the rational soul.”124 Marmura also invokes a similar passage from Avicenna’s On the Proof of Prophecies.125 It is important to note that Gutas rejects the evidence in On the Proof of Prophecies, because the text’s authenticity is in dispute.126 He also rejects Marmura’s reading of the De Anima passage, inasmuch as he contends that it is about abstraction (tajrīd) and not about “the appearance of the primary intelligibles in the dispositional intellect.”127 Of course, Marmura’s point (which I endorse) is not about the appearance of primary intelligibles, but about the Active Intellect’s impression of primary concepts on the sensory input. But is the De Anima 5.5 text about abstraction only?

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In “Avicenna on Abstraction,” Dag Hasse rejects the traditional emanatist reading128 of the De Anima passage: “In the traditional reading of the translated passage, the human intellect’s attention towards the imaginable forms only disposes the soul for receiving an emanation of the intelligibles from above. This emphasizes the limitation of the soul’s power of abstraction, which however is not Avicenna’s point. There is no ‘only’ in the text.”129 Hasse’s aim is to resist emanatism and allow abstraction of a form to be grounded in the particulars, perceived by the senses and stored in the imagination (al-khayāl): “Avicenna unambiguously states that intelligible forms ultimately derive from the particulars in imagination and resemble them.”130 Hasse goes on to write, [w]hat are the respective roles of the human and the active intellect in the process [of abstraction]? Note the terminology employed to describe the active intellect: its light “shines upon” the particulars in imagination: something abstracted “flows from” it ( fāḍa) upon the soul; the forms occur to the soul “through the mediation of ” its illumination: its light “makes contact with” the imaginable forms; abstraction of these forms appear in the soul “due to the light of the active intellect”. The human intellect, in turn, “considers” the particulars stored in imagination; “looking at” (ṭāla‘a) the particulars disposes the soul for an abstraction; thoughts and considerations are “movements” which dispose the soul for the reception of the emanation.131 Hasse is careful to stay close to the metaphor of light in the Avicennian text. Here, he maintains that the sensory forms occur to the soul through the illumination of the Active Intellect, and there is further illumination by the Active Intellect in thinking. Hasse also argues that Avicenna preserves this position throughout his philosophical career.132 Abstraction (tajrīd), he maintains, is the reception of emanation from the Active Intellect’s illuminating the occurrence of forms in the imagination. This reception then makes universals available for judgment (analysis and synthesis) and for thinking, i.e., induction, experience and demonstration. My reading is slightly yet significantly different: Abstraction carves out the conceptual unity in Active Intellect’s illuminating the occurrence of forms in the imagination, and makes the universals available for judgment (analysis and synthesis) and thinking, i.e., induction, experience and demonstration. In De Anima 5.5, Avicenna relates the involvement of the Active Intellect in abstracting sensory forms to its involvement in their occurrence in the imagination, which supports my reading: In fact, just as the effect resulting from the sensible forms by means of the light is not itself those forms, but rather something related to them that is engendered by means of the light in the recipient facing the light, so likewise when the rational should review those forms in the imagination (ṣuwar al-khayālīya) and the light of the Active Intellect comes into a type of conjunction with them, then they are prepared.133 Sensory forms, as they are stored in imagination, and those forms and intentions being analyzed and synthesized by the rational soul  – which are in the faculties of imagination and

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memory – are illuminated by the Active Intellect. The human intellect (i.e., the rational soul) reviewing those forms is also illuminated by the Active Intellect. Despite employing valuable textual support, Hasse’s interpretation does not succeed completely in resisting a position akin to Gutas’s. Hasse writes, [o]ne also notes that there is only one active power in the process, the human intellect: it turns towards the imaginable forms and acts upon them – which is the sense of taṣarrufāt fī “occupations with.” These occupations give to the intellect a particular disposition to acquire a specific form; they particularize or “customize” (mukhaṣṣiṣa) the intellect for its reception. In other words, by looking through the many data furnished by the senses, the intellect assumes a focus that allows for the discernment of a specific intelligible form. Clearly, the protagonist in abstraction remains the human intellect.134 I don’t dispute the status of the human intellect as a protagonist. But Hasse reads like Gutas when he proposes that the human intellect “is occupied with” the pure and unmediated-by-theActive-Intellect sensory deliverances and is thus disposed to receive forms from the Active Intellect.135 On my reading of the same passages, there is no “occupation with” the “pure” data of the senses. I submit that, for Avicenna, the human intellect is occupied with the sensory deliverances that are already processed by the Active Intellect. Furthermore, on Hasse’s view, the universal intelligible forms reside in the Active Intellect (as also advocated by Gutas),136 whereas on the view I am advocating, the Active Intellect informs the sensory experience with universals as well. In the next chapter, I shall look to Avicenna’s Metaphysics and his De Anima to work through the metaphysics of the cooperation between the Active Intellect and the senses in producing the sensory ground of knowledge. I am interested more specifically in the examination of the intentionality (i.e., object directedness) of sense perception and the nature of the intellect’s involvement in sensory experience. In this process, I consider Avicenna’s rejection of the “Porphyrian” identity of the human knower and the known, and elucidate his alternative view in light of his contributions to the Aristotelian account of the unity of being. Avicenna also proposes changes to Aristotelian substance ontology by adopting a transcendental approach to the unity of being vis-à-vis the distinction between existence and essence.

Notes 1 The title is taken from Michael Marmura’s translation in “Avicenna on Meno’s Paradox: On ‘Apprehending’ Unknown Things Through Known Things,” Mediaeval Studies 71 (2009): 47. Marmura translates iṣābah contextually as apprehending, when it literally means “hitting the mark when shooting,” ibid., 47, n. 2. 2 Avicenna, Al-Shifā’: Al-Burhān (The Healing: Demonstration), ed. A. Afifi and I. Madkour (Cairo: Organisation generale egyptienne, 1956), 74. Translation in Marmura, “Avicenna on Meno’s Paradox,” 55. 3 Black, “Al-Fārābī on Meno’s Paradox,” in In the Age of Al-Fārābī: Arabic Philosophy in the Fourth/Tenth Century, ed. Peter Adamson (London: Warburg Institute, 2008), 21, n. 23. See also

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Rosenthal’s “On the Knowledge of Plato’s Philosophy in the Islamic World,” Islamic Culture 14 (1940): especially p. 393. For a more recent discussion of Platonic dialogues available in Arabic, see D’Ancona’s “Greek Sources in Arabic and Islamic Philosophy,” in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward N. Zalta. Winter 2017 edition. URL: https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/ win2017/entries/arabic-islamic-greek/ 4 Plato, “Meno,” in Five Dialogues, trans. G. M. A. Grube (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1981), 80a–c. 5 Ibid., 80d–e. 6 Scott, Plato’s Meno (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 83–84. 7 Plato, “Meno,” 81c–d. 8 Ibid., 81b. For Meno’s attentiveness regarding the sayings of inspired teachers, see also 71c–d, 73c, 76b–c, 77b, 95d. Socrates’s argument about there being no teachers of virtue (89e to the end of the dialogue) addresses this concern about what Meno believes. 9 Ibid., 80d. 10 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, ed. Robert Brandom (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), 76. 11 Scott, Plato’s Meno, 84. 12 Scott, “Platonic Recollection,” in Plato I: Metaphysics and Epistemology, ed. Gail Fine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 97. 13 Fine, The Possibility of Inquiry: Meno’s Paradox from Socrates to Sextus (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 170. 14 Ibid., 171. 15 Plato, “Meno,” 82b–85c. 16 Fine, The Possibility of Inquiry, 171. 17 Ferejohn, “Knowledge, Recollection, and the Forms in Republic VII,” in Blackwell Guides to Plato’s Republic, ed. G. Santos (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006), 225. 18 Ibid. 19 Ibid., 220. 20 Ibid., 225. 21 Ibid., 226. 22 Ibid., 227. 23 Ibid., 226. 24 Plato, “Phaedo,” in Five Dialogues, trans. G. M. A. Grube (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1981), 74e9–75a8. 25 Plato, Theaetetus, trans. John McDowell (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973), 184b–86e. See also Plato’s relegation of sensory experience to a non-epistemic role in the divided line of the Republic, trans. G. M. A. Grube (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1992), 509d–11e. 26 See n. 3 above. 27 Aristotle, “Posterior Analytics,” in The Complete Works of Aristotle, ed. and trans. Jonathan Barnes (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991), 71a1–2, see also 99b28–30. 28 Scott, Plato’s Meno, 84. 29 Fine, The Possibility of Inquiry, 189. 30 Aristotle, “Posterior Analytics,” 71a1–2. 31 Ibid., 71a12–15. 32 Ibid., 71a29–30. 33 Ferejohn, “Meno’s Paradox and De Re Knowledge in Aristotle’s Theory of Demonstration,” History of Philosophy Quarterly 5, 2 (1988): 101. 34 Aristotle, “Posterior Analytics,” 100a15–b5.

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35 Ferejohn, “Meno’s Paradox and De Re Knowledge in Aristotle’s Theory of Demonstration,” 104. See also Aristotle, “Posterior Analytics,” 100a15 ff. 36 Aristotle, “Posterior Analytics,” 99b27–28. 37 Ibid., 99b26–27. 38 Scott makes the following observation about Socrates’s slave thought experiment: “At the end of the session, the boy has found the solution to the geometrical problem. Socrates insists that he only has true belief, but claims that he will end up with knowledge if the process of questioning is continued (85c9–d1). Projecting into the future, he imagines the boy to have achieved this knowledge and argues as follows (85d3–10): (a) So without anyone having taught him, but only by being asked questions, he will recover for himself the knowledge within him? (b) And recovering knowledge for oneself that is in oneself – is this not recollection? (c) So the knowledge, which he has now, he either acquired at some point or else always possessed. The ensuing argument (85d12–86a10) attempts to decide between these two possibilities. . . . Ultimately, Socrates concludes that any act of learning must be explained by the existence of conscious knowledge in a previous life,” Scott, Plato’s Meno, 84–85. 39 Aristotle, “Posterior Analytics,” 99b32–35. 40 Ibid., 100a4–10. 41 Ibid., 100b10–15. 42 Ferejohn, “Meno’s Paradox and De Re Knowledge in Aristotle’s Theory of Demonstration,” 105. 43 Biondi, “Aristotle’s Analysis of Perception,” Laval théologique et philosophique 66, 1 (2010): 15. See also Biondi’s Aristotle: Posterior Analytics II.19 (Québec City, Canada: Les Presses de l’Université Laval, 2004), 232–33. Biondi draws on Apostle’s and Kosman’s works to affirm the involvement of nous in perception. This passage from Kosman is illuminating: “In one sense, nous is the human capacity to think; in another it is the archai of that developed cognitive perceptual capacity we have to recognize things for what they are and to construct logically connected bodies of rational discourse that explain and make intelligible the world about us, the archai, in other words, of epistēmē,” “What Does the Maker Mind Make?” in Essays on Aristotle’s De Anima, ed. Martha Nussbaum and Amelie Rorty (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), 356. Part of my contribution is to give an account of the this-such structure of the archai. 44 Fine, The Possibility of Inquiry, 218. 45 Aristotle, “Posterior Analytics,” 99b35–100a10. 46 A surprising ally in this reading of Aristotle is Martin Heidegger, who distinguishes mind’s involvement in judgment (logos) from its involvement in sensory perception (aisthēsis). In Being and Time, he writes: “Aristotle never defends the thesis that the primordial ‘locus’ of truth is in the judgment. He says rather that the logos is that way of Being in which Dasein can either uncover or cover up. This double possibility is what is distinctive in the Being-true of the logos: the logos is that way of comporting oneself which can also cover things up. And because Aristotle never upheld the thesis we have mentioned, he was also never in a situation to ‘broaden’ the conception of truth in the logos to include pure noein. The truth of aisthēsis and of the seeing of ‘ideas’ is the primordial kind of uncovering. And only because noēsis primarily uncovers, can the logos as dianoein also have uncovering as its function,” “Sein und Zeit,” in Martin Heidegger: Gesammtausgabe 2 (Frankfurt-am-Mein: Vittorio Klostermann, 1977), 226; trans. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson as Being and Time (New York: Harper & Row, 1962), 268–69. I shall return to this passage and the ambiguity of “truth” in my discussion of Avicenna’s relevant views in Chapter 5, n. 59. 47 Avicenna, al-Shifā’: Al-Burhān, 75; trans. in Marmura, “Avicenna on Meno’s Paradox,” 58. I have modified Marmura’s translation slightly to remain more faithful to the Arabic text.

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48 Avicenna, al-Shifā’: Al-Burhān, 73; trans. in Marmura, “Avicenna on Meno’s Paradox,” 52. I have modified the translation slightly. 49 Avicenna goes on to use the example of the runaway slave. That example substitutes knowledge by testimony for sense perception. Both are non-inferential. For a history, see Black, “Al-Fārābī on Meno’s Paradox,” 21, n. 23. 50 Avicenna, al-Shifā: Al-Burhān, 75; trans. in Marmura, “Avicenna on Meno’s Paradox,” 58. I have modified Marmura’s translation slightly. 51 Avicenna, al-Shifā: Al-Burhān, 73; trans. in Marmura, “Avicenna on Meno’s Paradox,” 52. 52 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, ed. Fazlur Rahman (London: Oxford University Press, 1959), 49. Translated in Classical Arabic Philosophy: An Anthology of Sources, ed. and trans. Jon McGinnis and David Reisman (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 2007), 184. 53 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 49; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 184. 54 Avicenna, The Metaphysics of the Healing (Kitāb al-shifā’: Al-Ilāhīyāt), trans. Michael Marmura (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2005), 22–23. 55 Michael Marmura, “Avicenna on Primary Concepts in the Metaphysics of al-Shifā’,” in Probings in Islamic Philosophy (Binghamton, NY: Global Academic Publishing, 2005), 149ff. 56 Ibid., 151. 57 Avicenna, The Metaphysics of the Healing, 22. 58 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 235; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 199. I have modified the translation slightly. 59 Avicenna, “Fī ithbāt al-nubuwwāt,” in Philosophical Texts and Studies, ed. Michael Marmura, vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār Al-Nahār, 1968), 44. Translated by Marmura as “On the Proof of Prophecies,” in Medieval Political Philosophy: A Sourcebook, ed. Ralph Lerner and Muhsin Mahdi (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1961), 114. Dimitri Gutas questions the authenticity of this text in the second edition of his Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 485–89. See also his “The Empiricism of Avicenna,” Oriens 40 (2012): 413, n. 53. 60 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 44–45; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 182. 61 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 44; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 182. 62 For a discussion of this issue, see Black’s “Estimation (Wahm) in Avicenna,” Dialogue 32 (1993): 245, n. 2. 63 In “The Internal Senses in Latin, Arabic, and Hebrew Philosophical Texts,” Harvard Theological Review 28 (1935), Wolfson enumerates the following four: (1) al-mutakhayyila, (2) al-wahm, (3) al-dhākira and (4) al-mufakira (94, n. 26). 64 For a discussion of the distinction between compositive and retentive imagination, see Black’s “Imagination and Estimation: Arabic Paradigms and Western Transformations,” Topoi 19 (2000): 60. 65 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 60. 66 Ibid., 43; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 181. I have modified Marmura’s translation slightly. 67 Black, “Estimation (Wahm) in Avicenna,” 220. 68 Avicenna, Al-Ishārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt: Al-Taṣawwuf, ed. S. Dunyā (Cairo: Dār al-ma‘ārif, 1968), 9. Translated in Ibn Sīnā and Mysticism: Remarks and Admonitions Part Four, trans. Shams Inati (New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1996), 70. 69 Black, “Estimation (Wahm) in Avicenna,” 226. 70 Kaukua, Avicenna on Subjectivity: A Philosophical Study (Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä, 2007), 55. 71 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 206; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 186. The translation is modified slightly to remain more faithful to the Arabic text. 72 Black, “Mental Existence in Thomas Aquinas and Avicenna,” Mediaeval Studies 56 (1999): 16. 73 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 206; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 186.

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74 For this discussion, I draw on McDowell’s interpretation of the Nicomachean Ethics (especially books 1–2) in Mind and World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994), 80–86. 75 Wolfson, “The Terms Taṣawwur and Taṣdīq in Arabic Philosophy and Their Greek, Latin and Hebrew Equivalents,” The Moslem World 33 (1943): 115. 76 Ibid., 124. 77 Ibid., 121. 78 Ibid., 123. 79 Lameer, Conception and Belief in Ṣadr al-Dīn Shīrāzī (Tehran: Iranian Institute of Philosophy, 2006), 15. It is also worth noting that Black believes Alfarabi is the author of the distinction, “Al-Fārābī on Meno’s Paradox,” 25, n. 32. Lameer, however, is in agreement with Wolfson (“The Terms Taṣawwur and Taṣdīq in Arabic Philosophy and Their Greek, Latin and Hebrew Equivalents,” 123) in insisting that there was an earlier author who first introduced the concise terminology for the formal distinction, Conception and Belief in Ṣadr al-Dīn Shīrāzī, 24. Wolfson thinks this mysterious author was Greek, whereas, for Lameer, “whoever did introduce these terms must have had a more than cursory understanding of the philosophy of Aristotle and of the Arabic tradition developing around his works,” ibid. 80 Ibid., 15. 81 Ibid., 17. Lameer’s reference is to Miriam Galston’s unpublished 1973 PhD thesis, “Opinion and Knowledge in Farabi’s Understanding of Aristotle’s Philosophy.” 82 See the section titled “Avicenna on sense perception, the internal senses and abstraction” in this chapter. 83 Ibid., 18. This is a restatement of Lameer’s thesis on Alfarabi’s taṣawwur and taṣdīq in the earlier Al-Fārābī and Aristotelian Syllogistics: Greek Theory and Islamic Practice (Leiden: Brill, 1994), 266–68. 84 Black, “Al-Fārābī on Meno’s Paradox,” 23. 85 Lameer, Conception and Belief in Ṣadr al-Dīn Shīrāzī, 24. 86 Ibid., 52, 58. 87 According to Lameer, Shīrāzī and his source Ibn Kammūna ascribed the “pre-condition” account to Alfarabi and Avicenna. The “constituent” reading, he argues, belongs to the later philosophers, like Ṭūsī, ibid., 64–67. 88 Ibid., 64. 89 Black, “Al-Fārābī on Meno’s Paradox,” 18. 90 Ibid. 91 Aristotle, “Posterior Analytics,” II, 19, 99b25–30. 92 Black, “Al-Fārābī on Meno’s Paradox,” 18. 93 Ibid., 19. 94 Ibid., 22. 95 Ibid., 33. 96 Lameer’s source is Alfarabi’s Kitāb al-burhān, 84.10–11, 45.2–3. He also draws on Kitāb mabādī ārā’ ahl al-madīna al-fāḍila, 94.6–10 (ed. Walzer); Fuṣūl muntaza‘a, 52.13–54.1  =  Fuṣūl al-madanī, 127.10–12. See Conception and Belief in Ṣadr al-Dīn Shīrāzī, 31. 97 Ibid., 32. 98 Lameer contends that Alfarabi’s “vague” conception is a staple of the subsequent Persian philosophical tradition, ibid., 92. 99 Lameer, Conception and Belief in Ṣadr al-Dīn Shīrāzī, 8. 100 Wolfson, “The Terms Taṣawwur and Taṣdīq in Arabic Philosophy and Their Greek, Latin and Hebrew Equivalents,” 121. 101 McDowell, Having the World in View (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009), 258–59.

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102 Ibid., 262. 103 Ibid., 262–64. 104 Ibid., 265. 105 Avicenna, Al-Shifā’: Al-Burhān, 222; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 154. I have modified the translation slightly. 106 Avicenna, Al-Shifā’: Al-Burhān, 95. Translated in Jules Janssens, “ ‘Experience’ (tajriba) in Classical Arabic Philosophy (Al-Fārābī – ­Avicenna),” Questio 4 (2004): 55. 107 See McGinnis’s “Scientific Methodologies in Medieval Islam,” Journal of the History of Philosophy 41, 3 (2003): 309. McGinnis is correct that we should not confuse Avicenna’s account of induction with those of modern philosophers, especially since, as I  have argued above, for Avicenna (and for Aristotle), sensory experience already involves the operation of the intellect. 108 McGinnis’s “Scientific Methodologies in Medieval Islam,” 321. This is Janssens’s characterization of the syllogism: Scammony is a force of purgation related to a bilious humour. Each force of purgation related to a bilious humour (if actual) evacuates bile. Scammony (if actual) evacuates bile [“ ‘Experience’ (tajriba) in Classical Arabic Philosophy (Al-Fārābī – Avicenna),” 56]. 109 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 161; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 155. See also McGinnis on Avicenna’s critique of Aristotelian induction, “Scientific Methodologies in Medieval Islam,” 315. 110 Janssens, “ ‘Experience’ (tajriba) in Classical Arabic Philosophy (Al-Fārābī – Avicenna),” 58. 111 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 49; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 184. In The Metaphysics of the Healing, 22–23, Avicenna draws a parallel between primary intelligibles and primary concepts. That primary intelligibles are also imparted immediately by the Active Intellect is confirmed in Avicenna’s The Provenance and Destination, where he states that “the first thing originated in the material intellect (al-‘aql al-hayūlānī) by the active intellect (al-‘aql al-fa‘āl) is the dispositional intellect (al-‘aql bi-l-malaka). And that is the forms of the first intelligibles some of which occur [in the intellect] by no experience, no syllogism, and no induction at all, like ‘the whole is greater than the part,’ and some of which occur [in the intellect] by experience, like ‘every [chunk of] earth is heavy.’ ” Al-Mabda’ wa-l-ma‘ād, ed. Abdullāh Nūrānī (Tehran: The Institute of Islamic Studies, 1984), 99. Translated by Mousavian and Ardeshir, “Avicenna on the Primary Propositions,” History and Philosophy of Logic 39, 3 (2018): 221. I have adjusted the Arabic transliterations. 112 Adamson, “On Knowledge of Particulars,” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (2005): 267. 113 Ibid., 267. This view is also defended in Gutas, Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition, 376. 114 In sense perception, the intellect’s transcendental unity is drawn upon; hence the significance of Adamson’s own observation that sensation grasps existence. I elucidate Avicenna’s account in Chapter 5. 115 Avicenna, Al-Shifā’: Al-Burhān, 73; trans. in Marmura, “Avicenna on Meno’s Paradox,” 52. 116 Avicenna, Al-Shifā’: Al-Burhān, 249; trans. in Adamson, “On Knowledge of Particulars,” 267. 117 Avicenna, Al-Shifā’: Al-Burhān, 73; trans. in Marmura, “Avicenna on Meno’s Paradox,” 52. 118 Gutas, “The Empiricism of Avicenna,” 392, 423–24. 119 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, 62. 120 Gutas, “The Empiricism of Avicenna,” 413. 121 Aristotle, “Posterior Analytics,” II, 19, 99b33–34. See also Metaphysics, 1087a33–b3 and De Anima 2.5.

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122 Adamson, “Knowledge of Particulars,” 273. Adamson considers this “the greatest weakness in Avicenna’s theory of knowledge,” ibid., 271. Of course, he is not privy to the demythologized account of empirical knowledge, which I have advanced in this work. 123 Marmura, “Avicenna on Primary Concepts in the Metaphysics of al-Shifā’,” 151. 124 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 235; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 199. I have modified the translation slightly. 125 Avicenna, “Fī ithbāt al-nubuwwāt,” 44; trans. in Medieval Political Philosophy, 114. 126 Gutas, Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition, 485–89. See also his “The Empiricism of Avicenna,” 413, n. 53. 127 Ibid. 128 The target is Herbert Davidson. See the section “Between emanatism and mythological empiricism” in the introductory chapter. 129 Hasse, “Avicenna on Abstraction,” in Aspects of Avicenna, ed. Robert Wisnovsky (Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener, 2001), 57. 130 Ibid. 131 Ibid., 56. 132 For the earlier position in the Compendium, see ibid., 52. For the later view in the Ishārāt, see ibid., 63. 133 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 235; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 200. I have modified the translation slightly. 134 Hasse, “Avicenna on Abstraction,” 63. 135 See also Hasse, Avicenna’s De Anima in the Latin West (Turin: The Warburg Institute, 2000), 186. 136 Gutas, “The Empiricism of Avicenna,” 411. See also Hasse, “Avicenna’s Epistemological Optimism,” in Interpreting Avicenna, ed. Peter Adamson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 119. In “Avicenna’s Epistemological Optimism,” Hasse writes: “In sum, the form (or more precisely, the material form, since the immaterial form is grasped directly without abstraction) has to be grasped by way of abstraction, but it nevertheless comes from the active intellect, as soon as the abstraction process is completed and the perfect disposition for receiving the form is reached. This is possible since the essences of material forms exist both as universals in the active intellect and as particulars in the sublunar world. But abstraction is only needed for the first acquisition of a form. After that, the rational soul can make the form be present in the mind whenever it wishes: ‘The first learning is like the cure of an eye’, as Avicenna puts it,” in Interpreting Avicenna, ed. Peter Adamson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 117.

Bibliography Adamson, Peter. “On Knowledge of Particulars.” In Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (2005): 257–78. Aristotle. The Complete Works of Aristotle. Edited by Jonathan Barnes and translated by W. D. Ross. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984. Avicenna (Abū ‘Alī Hussain ibn Sīnā). Al-Shifā’: Al-Burhān (The Healing: Demonstration). Edited by A. Afifi and I. Madkour. Cairo: Organisation generale egyptienne, 1956. Avicenna. Avicenna’s De Anima. Edited by Fazlur Rahman. London: Oxford University Press, 1959. Avicenna. “On the Proof of Prophecies.” In Medieval Political Philosophy: A Sourcebook, edited by Ralph Lerner and Muhsin Mahdi, 112–21. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1961. Avicenna. Al-Ishārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt: Al-Taṣawwuf. Edited by S. Dunyā. Cairo: Dār al-ma‘ārif, 1968. Avicenna. “Fī ithbāt al-nubuwwāt.” In Philosophical Texts and Studies, edited by Michael Marmura, vol. 2, 41–61. Beirut: Dār Al-Nahār, 1968.

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Avicenna. Al-Mabda’ wa-l-ma‘ād. Edited by Abdullāh Nūrānī. Tehran: The Institute of Islamic Studies, 1984. Avicenna. Ibn Sīnā and Mysticism: Remarks and Admonitions Part Four. Translated by Shams Inati. New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1996. Avicenna. The Metaphysics of the Healing (Kitāb al-shifā’: Al-Ilāhīyāt). Translated by Michael Marmura. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2005. Biondi, Paolo C. Aristotle: Posterior Analytics II.19. Québec City, Canada: Les Presses de l’Université Laval, 2004. Biondi, Paolo C. “Aristotle’s Analysis of Perception.” Laval théologique et philosophique 66, 1 (2010): 13–32. Black, Deborah. “Estimation (Wahm) in Avicenna: The Logical and the Psychological Dimensions.” Dialogue 32 (1993): 219–58. Black, Deborah. “Imagination and Estimation: Arabic Paradigms and Western Transformations.” Topoi 19 (2000): 59–75. Black, Deborah. “Mental Existence in Thomas Aquinas and Avicenna.” Mediaeval Studies 56 (1999): 45–79. Black, Deborah. “Al-Fārābī on Meno’s Paradox.” In In the Age of Al-Fārābī: Arabic Philosophy in the Fourth/Tenth Century, edited by Peter Adamson, 15–34. London: Warburg Institute, 2008. D’Ancona, Cristina. “Greek Sources in Arabic and Islamic Philosophy.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta. Winter 2017 edition. URL: https://plato.stanford.edu/ archives/win2017/entries/arabic-islamic-greek/ Davidson, Herbert. Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes, on Intellect. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. Ferejohn, Michael. “Meno’s Paradox and De Re Knowledge in Aristotle’s Theory of Demonstration.” History of Philosophy Quarterly 5, 2 (1988): 99–117. Ferejohn, Michael. “Knowledge, Recollection, and the Forms in Republic VII.” In Blackwell Guides to Plato’s Republic, edited by G. Santos, 214–33. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. Fine, Gail. The Possibility of Inquiry: Meno’s Paradox from Socrates to Sextus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Gutas, Dimitri. “The Empiricism of Avicenna.” Oriens 40 (2012): 391–436. Gutas, Dimitri. Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition. 2nd edition. Leiden: Brill, 2014. Hasse, Dag Nikolaus. Avicenna’s De Anima in the Latin West. Turin: The Warburg Institute, 2000. Hasse, Dag Nikolaus. “Avicenna on Abstraction.” In Aspects of Avicenna, edited by Robert Wisnovsky, 39–72. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener, 2001. Hasse, Dag Nikolaus. “Avicenna’s Epistemological Optimism.” In Interpreting Avicenna, edited by Peter Adamson, 109–19. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time. Translated by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson. New York: Harper & Row, 1962. Heidegger, Martin. “Sein und Zeit.” In Martin Heidegger: Gesammtausgabe, vol. 2. Frankfurt-amMein: Vittorio Klostermann, 1977. Janssens, Jules. “ ‘Experience’ (tajriba) in Classical Arabic Philosophy (Al-Fārābī – Avicenna).” Questio 4 (2004): 45–62. Kaukua, Jari. Avicenna on Subjectivity: A Philosophical Study. Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä, 2007. Kosman, L. A. “What Does the Maker Mind Make?” In Essays on Aristotle’s De Anima, edited by Martha Nussbaum and Amelie Rorty, 343–58. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992. Lameer, Joep. Al-Fārābī and Aristotelian Syllogistics: Greek Theory and Islamic Practice. Leiden: Brill, 1994.

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Lameer, Joep. Conception and Belief in Ṣadr al-Dīn Shīrāzī. Tehran: Iranian Institute of Philosophy, 2006. Marmura, Michael E. “Avicenna on Primary Concepts in the Metaphysics of al-Shifā’.” In Probing in Islamic Philosophy, 149–69. Binghamton, NY: Global Academic Publishing, 2005. Marmura, Michael E. “Avicenna on Meno’s Paradox: On Apprehending Unknown Things Through Known Things.” Mediaeval Studies 71 (2009): 47–62. McDowell, John. Mind and World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994. McGinnis, Jon. “Scientific Methodologies in Medieval Islam.” Journal of the History of Philosophy 41, 3 (2003): 307–27. McGinnis, Jon and David C. Reisman, eds. Classical Arabic Philosophy: An Anthology of Sources. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 2007. Mousavian, Seyed N. and Mohammad Ardeshir. “Avicenna on the Primary Propositions.” History and Philosophy of Logic 39, 3 (2018): 201–31. Plato. Theaetetus. Translated by John McDowell. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973. Plato. Five Dialogues. Translated by G. M. A. Grube. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1981. Plato. Republic. Translated by G. M. A. Grube. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1992. Rorty, Richard. “Pragmatism, Davidson, and Truth.” In Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1991. Rosenthal, Franz. “On the Knowledge of Plato’s Philosophy in the Islamic World.” Islamic Culture 14 (1940): 387–422. Scott, Dominic. “Platonic Recollection.” In Plato I: Metaphysics and Epistemology, edited by Gail Fine, 93–124. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Scott, Dominic. Plato’s Meno. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Sellars, Wilfrid. Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind. Edited by Robert Brandom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997. Wolfson, Harry A. “The Internal Senses in Latin, Arabic, and Hebrew Philosophical Texts.” Harvard Theological Review 28 (1935): 69–133. Wolfson, Harry A. “The Terms Taṣawwur and Taṣdīq in Arabic Philosophy and Their Greek, Latin and Hebrew Equivalents.” The Moslem World 33 (1943): 114–28.

5 The mind’s involvement in sense perception Avicenna on sensory intentionality and the unity of being

Introduction Avicenna, as we have seen, shares Wilfrid Sellars’s epistemological insight that the noninferential knowledge of matter of fact is established by the answerability of our knowledge claims to sensory experience. But despite his endorsement of this form of empiricism, Sellars ascribes only a non-relational intentionality to sensory experience. This is not so for Avicenna, for whom experience has isomorphic intentionality. In this chapter, I articulate his account of sensory intentionality and of other relevant aspects of his metaphysics. In his habilitationsschrift, titled the Psychology of Aristotle, Franz Brentano, whose legacy includes the revival of the scholastic discussions of intentionality, claims that Avicenna loses Aristotle’s insight that the soul does not think without an image. Or, to put it as Brentano does: For Avicenna, “the sensory ceases to be the source of intellectual cognition.”1 In the aforementioned Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, Brentano declares that every mental phenomenon is characterized by intentionality, that is, by the inclusion of an object within itself.2 Relating Brentano’s historical and psychological theses to each other, one may be tempted to interpret Avicenna as endorsing the idea that the senses are isolated from the cognitive order (i.e., the order of mental phenomena). In this chapter, however, I challenge readings of Avicenna that deprive sense perception of a genuine cognitive intentionality. I develop my reading by relying on the salient portions of the encyclopedic Book of Healing (Kitāb al-shifā’) and defend an Avicennian account of sensory content, as shaped by a transcendental unity of primary concepts. My exegesis relies extensively on the thesis that for Avicenna the unity of the Sellarsian logical space is achieved in a separate intellect as a necessary existent. This interpretation, in turn, contributes to a McDowellian critique of Sellars who, in ascribing only a non-relational intentionality to the sensory, jettisons common-sense experience and glamorizes the “reality” unveiled by the more “subtle and sophisticated” scientific discourse. The final adjudication of the metaphysical conflict between Sellars and Avicenna, that is, between scientism and perennialism, takes place in the concluding chapter.

Avicenna on sensory intentionality In this section, I draw on Deborah Black’s as well as other relevant scholars’ works to examine how Avicenna’s view addresses the problem of the intentionality of the senses. First, I show that Avicenna is not averse to Sellars’s psychological nominalism. Yet the empiricism of the

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Sellarsian and Avicennian variety poses a challenge to nominalism: How can sensory content be isomorphic with the world and belong to the linguistic and cognitive order at the same time? Sellars, as we saw in Chapter 2, forestalls the challenge by ascribing a pseudo-intentionality to the senses and accounts for the isomorphism as non-cognitive picturing. Avicenna, I maintain, ­sustains an isomorphic intentionality between sensory content and the world, and some of his readers, therefore, interpret him as espousing a non-intellectual, non-conceptual sensory intentionality. I shall escape between the horns of a Sellarsian pseudo-intentionality and the non-conceptuality of the senses in the next section. Black, in “Intentionality in Medieval Arabic Philosophy,” insists on the centrality of the medieval Arabic philosophical texts to the development of the technical notion of intentionality. She writes, “[i]t has long been a truism of the history of philosophy that intentionality is an invention of the medieval period. . . . Within this standard narrative, the central place of Arabic philosophy has always been acknowledged, at least to the extent of noting that the Latin term intentio purports to be a translation of the Arabic term ma‘nā.”3 A central text in Black’s account of Avicenna on intentionality is a passage from On Interpretation (al-‘Ibārah) of the Book of Healing, where Avicenna writes, [w]hat is emitted vocally (bi-al-ṣawt) signifies what is in the soul, and these are what are called ‘impressions’ (āthāran), whereas what is in the soul signifies things (al-umūr), and these are what are called ‘meanings’ (ma‘ānin), that is, the things intended by the soul (maqāṣida linafs). In the same way, the impressions too, by analogy to the expressions (bi-al-qiyās ilā al-alfāẓ), are meanings.4 Here Avicenna forges an alliance between linguistic and intellectual meaning (ma‘ānī).5 Linguistic utterances mean that which is signified by what is in the soul (i.e., thoughts). Therefore, linguistic utterances and thoughts share meanings. According to Sellarsian nominalism, thinking bears on its object in the same way a linguistic assertion bears on it; their objectivity is determined by the normative constraints of the space of reasons. And of course, according to Sellars, we acquire standing in the space of reasons by being initiated into a language. Avicenna – through his predecessor, Alfarabi, whose work mentored him into Peripatetic philosophy – is aware of the significance of initiation into a language for opening our eyes to the layout of the space of reasons. In Part Two of the Book of Letters, Alfarabi provides an extensive discussion of the origin of language from human needs and transactions culminating in the eventual emergence of demonstrative philosophy: a form of philosophy that traffics in reality and knowledge.6 Avicenna does not dispute these views of his predecessor, and insists on demonstrative philosophy’s exalted focus on logical meanings as opposed to linguistic expressions (which fall under the purview of grammarians).7 As we have seen, in “Being and Being Known,” Sellars affirms the nominalism of the medieval philosophical tradition as exemplified by Thomas Aquinas. However, Sellars thinks that Aquinas goes astray in upholding an intentional isomorphism between thoughts and reality.8 As we have seen in Chapter 2, Sellars thinks that thoughts and linguistic utterances are objective

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owing to the normative conceptual structure of language (which gets drawn upon in our sensory experience). Furthermore, he insists that the objects given in sensory experience have only a pseudo-intentionality; their objectivity is determined normatively and not because they relate to the real order. The latter is available, for Sellars, only through a mode of description that captures thoughts and sensory experiences as items in the real order picturing other such items.9 So, for Sellars, in claiming an intentional isomorphism between thoughts and reality as well as between sense experience and reality, Aquinas conflates the real order and the order of signification. The Sellarsian objection to Aquinas does not affect Avicenna immediately, if we follow Brentano and the proponents of Avicenna as an emanatist (when they interpret Avicenna’s account of the abstraction and cogitation of the sensory forms as only “a faҫon de parler” for emanation of intelligibles from the Active Intellect).10 In fact, the emanatist view correlates with Avicenna’s Aristotelian epistemology, and may suggest that Avicenna was a precursor to Sellars himself. For those scholars who interpret Avicenna’s epistemology in line with Lockean empiricism, however, a view of intentionality that involves non-conceptual content is more common. These scholars pay close attention to the isomorphism between thought and reality that Avicenna posited, and argue that meanings are abstracted from a non-conceptual transaction between our senses and the world. This view is the metaphysical corollary to the epistemological Given, which relies on self-authenticating data given to the mind from outside it to ground our claims to knowledge. The emanatists, on the other hand, do not subscribe to the epistemological Given, but still endorse non-conceptualism about sensory content. For the emanatists, the alleged isomorphism in sensory perception is not cognitively significant. It is at best preparatory for genuine cognition. Black, for instance, is an emanatist11 and she insists that “Avicenna’s account of sense perception is thoroughly materialist, and he offers an elaborate set of arguments to prove that representation of material accidents requires the use of a physical organ that is in some way able to convey the spatial relations amongst the parts and properties of the perceived bodies.”12 I agree with Black’s second conjunct – that material accidents are conveyed by a physical organ, but not with the first. Claiming that sense perception is “thoroughly materialist” and therefore lacks the involvement of the intellect further implies that those accidents have no cognitive significance other than a preparatory function. The empiricist view that meaning is abstracted from extra-intellectual sensory deliverances is advocated by a number of scholars writing on the intentionality found in Avicenna’s philosophy. Luis Xavier López-Farjeat, for example, in order to align Avicenna with the view that animals benefit from a form of cognition, advocates a reading of Avicenna that embraces a non-conceptual (and mythological) cognition. In “Avicenna on Non-conceptual Content and Self-Awareness in Non-human Animals,” he ascribes three assumptions to Avicenna: (a) [Avicenna] claims that perception implies a relation with the outer world, and that this relation is not limited to the experience of the external senses. Rather, it includes the grasping of meanings without the need of a conceptual apparatus. (b) Those meanings are what Avicenna refers to as maʿānī, which are not material properties of objects but properties which must be perceived conjointly with material objects.

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(c) Non-human animals have some directional driven experience of the world, since through the active interaction of their internal faculties they are able to generate a representation of the world and act accordingly.13 In (a) and (b), López-Farjeat is careful to accommodate the complexity of Avicenna’s account of sense perception by including perception by outer sense of sensible forms (ṣuwar) as well as the inner sensory perception of intentions (maʿānī) “which are not material properties of objects but properties which must be perceived conjointly with material objects.”14 Nevertheless, by aligning human and non-intellectual animals, he, like Black, excludes the intellect’s involvement in sense perception, and, in contrast to Black, advances an account of cognitively significant yet non-conceptual sensory content. To be more precise, López-Farjeat suggests that conceptual content is derived from non-conceptual content and that is, as I indicated earlier, a metaphysical corollary to the epistemological Given. In his discussion of Avicenna’s deliverances of inner sense, López-Farjeat approvingly invokes Jari Kaukua’s ascription of a “quasi or proto-conceptual perception”15 to Avicenna. Proto-conceptual perception also signals a non-conceptual outer sensory perception, which is presumably further removed from the conceptual than the quasi-conceptual intentions of inner sense, the maʿānī. In another article, “The Problem of Intentionality in Avicenna,” Kaukua, in alignment with López-Farjeat, argues that human and non-human animals have a non-intellectual and therefore non-conceptual cognitive content that stems from sense perception. Kaukua points out correctly that intentional reference revolves around the possibility of having erring, or untrue, perceptions, thoughts or beliefs about the world. . . . The point of central importance is, however, that this possibility is characteristic of all intentional states and not just those that de facto turn out erroneous: it is characteristic of the very intentionality of all such states that their mere existence and purported referentiality does not guarantee the success of the referential relation between them and the world.16 Armed with this account of the central features of intentional states as involving semantic content, Kaukua maintains that Avicenna’s psychology allows for intentional content that is non-intellectual and therefore non-conceptual: [W]e can conceive of them [intentional states] in a manner that does not entail the capacity to use language or to entertain universal concepts. The problem of intentionality can be formulated in general terms, including both human and non-human minds, if we allow that perceptual states are intentionally related to the world, and that a similar room for success and lack thereof is allowed for them as for the characteristically human states of thinking and believing that something is the case.17 My objection is that for Avicenna the intellect is already involved in the production of perceptual states, which are, in turn, the ground of propositional and discursive content.

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Conceptual sensory content As I  explained in Chapter  1, Sellars advances the thesis that sensory experience is a conceptually structured this-such nexus. Of course, he does not ascribe genuine intentionality to sense perceptions. For him, while sensory content is already mind-involving, it derives its objectivity from the normative constraints of the space of reasons. So intentional sensory content is not objective in virtue of its isomorphism with the world; its intentionality is only a pseudo-intentionality. Is Sellars’s view the only alternative to a view that countenances a non-conceptual intentional content? John McDowell provides another alternative by rejecting non-conceptualism about sensory content as well as rejecting the Sellarsian depiction of sensory pseudo-intentionality. In one of his later essays, “Avoiding the Myth of the Given,” McDowell adjusts his Mind and World account of the nature of sensory content by abandoning his earlier theses that (1) experience has propositional content and (2) sensory content includes everything the subject can know non-­inferentially.18 McDowell goes on to distinguish between intuitional (sensory) content and the discursive content of assertions and judgments. Discursive content is articulated (and propositional), and intuitional content has the Sellarsian this-such structure.19 Nevertheless, McDowell claims that both are conceptual,20 so he preserves a version of his earlier, relevant thesis that the conceptual is brought into play in sensory receptivity and “not exercised on some prior deliverance of receptivity.”21 The intuitional content is conceptualized when our sensory transactions with the world draw our conceptual powers into operation involuntarily. To paraphrase Sellars’s remark in his Empiricism and Philosophy of Mind, the world wrings an application of concepts from the perceiver.22 On the view that intuitional content has a this-such structure, truth or falsity as a feature of propositional content is denied to sensory content, but this does not mean – pace Kaukua and others, who emphasize the semantic content requirement of intentional states – that sensory states are non-conceptual. Sensory content, as expressible in a noun clause, is conceptual in that our concepts are drawn on in our sensory perceptions. This, however, does not mean that we cannot be mistaken in those perceptions, as we are, for example, when we see the sun to be the size of a quarter or perceive the partially submerged stick as bent. We can get around such sensory illusions when we examine the situation more closely. They do not imply a radical failure in the reliability of sensory experience overall and do not imply the plausibility of a systematic skepticism about the knowledge of the external world.23 McDowell uses Kantian terminology to characterize the conceptuality of intuitional content as involving a “categorial unity”24 – the same unity involved in judgments – with the exception that intuitional (i.e., sensory) content is not propositional, as is the case in judgments.25 For Kant, categorial unity is the unity of the apperceptive I, that is, the unity of the “I think” that accompanies all my representations. Kant writes, “[t]he transcendental unity of apperception is that unity through which all the manifold given in an intuition is united in a concept of the object. It is therefore entitled objective.”26 McDowell interprets thus: “That intuitions are of objects . . . is to be understood in terms of their possessing the kind of unity that results when, in judging, one brings cognitions to the unity of apperception.”27 To put it more precisely, the thing that is red, the this-red, as perceived through the senses, is of an object, that is, it has intentionality, because

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it involves the unarticulated unity of categories in the “I think.” In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant takes pride that his metaphysics resolves the ancient problem of the unity of categories, which is required for a scientific approach to the study of being.28 He then faults Aristotle for articulating this unity rhapsodically by overlooking the importance of the faculty of judgment (i.e., the faculty of thought)29 and the central role of the “I think” in affecting that unity.30 As McDowell puts it, “glimpses of objective reality [are] interdependent with the subject’s being able to ascribe experiences to herself; hence, with the subject’s being self-conscious.”31 On McDowell’s view, Kant’s transformation of the Aristotelian account of the unity of conceptual space has at least two problematic features. First, Kant dissociates the “I think” from the empirical, substantial self. The apperceptive “I think” is the self that persists through time and “has nothing to do with the substantial identity of a subject who persists as a real presence in the world she perceives.”32 As a result, self-awareness is made into a formal, philosophical device and is deprived of its phenomenological qualities, which are relegated dismissively to the empirical ego. Second, Kant denies that our “knowledge” gets the real world right, and limits it to the apparent world.33 In Mind and World, for example, McDowell argues that Kant spoils his meritorious account of experience by framing it in terms of mind’s receptivity to the radically mind-independent supersensible. McDowell writes: “if we take Kant’s conception of experience out of the frame he puts it in, a story about a transcendental affection of receptivity by a supersensible reality, it becomes just what we need. . . . But the frame spoils the insight.”34 McDowell finds this frame problematic because “the radical mind-independence of the supersensible comes to seem exemplary of what any genuine mind-independence would be.”35 This exemplariness obscures mind’s relation to the world in Kant’s account of experience. In his more recent writings, McDowell has regretted saddling Kant with the transcendental framework discussed in Mind and World.36 McDowell, however, does insist that Kant’s account of space and time, as “human” forms of sensibility, limits the scope of conceptualization and excludes a robust objectivity.37 Therefore, Kant, who had a glimpse into the interdependence of self-consciousness and the consciousness of objective reality, fails to sustain the glimpse and lapses into a subjective idealism. In the remainder of this chapter, I put forward Avicenna’s complex account of categorial unity, and I  contend that it manages to maintain the interdependence of self-consciousness and the consciousness of objects. I begin by reviewing Aristotle’s doctrine of the unity of the categories and their involvement in sensory perception. Avicenna inherits this doctrine and adjusts it so that it accommodates the transcendental senses of “being.” The adjusted view then aligns with the aforementioned Avicennian account of primary conceptualization in sense perception discussed in Chapter 4. I also show that Avicenna’s transcendental account of the unity of being involves self-awareness in a way that modifies a so-called Porphyrian thesis about the identity of the human intellect and the intelligibles. I argue that Avicenna’s modification to the Porphyrian thesis is in line with the Kantian insight about the interdependence of self-awareness and the awareness of the world, while avoiding the Kantian divorce between self-awareness and the subject as it is in the world. For Avicenna, the Active Intellect, in contrast to the human mind, is the selfawareness in which the various senses of “being” are unified. The human mind, however, is the self-aware first actuality of the body and as such it has a real presence in the world. The Active

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Intellect infuses the world and the human mind with the intelligible form. It follows that, in contrast to Kant, Avicenna does not interiorize conceptual space. Moreover, through actualizing the capacity for knowledge, the human mind, according to Avicenna, is also capable of conjoining with the Active Intellect. Therefore, again in contrast to Kant, the ordinary human intelligence is not disconnected from the interdependence of apperception and objective awareness.

Aristotle on categorial unity and its involvement in sense perception In Metaphysics 4.2, Aristotle declares that “being” (to on) is “said in many ways.”38 As a result, the science of being teeters on the verge of annihilation. Is “being” like the word “table” in that it is merely equivocal and its various expressions merely homonymous? A dining table, for instance, has nothing to do with a tide table, in which data is arranged systematically in columns and rows. Therefore, there is no science of tables, as it were, because tables do not constitute a single kind with a single definition. Does “being” suffer the same fate as “table”? Aristotle rejects this comparison and insists that the various ways “being” is said are “all with reference to one and to some one nature (pros hen kai mian tina physin), and not equivocally (ouch homonymos).”39 For Aristotle, the word “healthy” is a more apt analogy for “being.” As Mark Cohen summarizes, “[t]here is a range of things that can be called ‘healthy’: people, diets, exercise, complexions, etc. Not all of these are healthy in the same sense. Exercise is healthy in the sense of being productive of health; a clear complexion is healthy in the sense of being symptomatic of health; a person is healthy in the sense of having good health.”40 Even though there is no single definition of “healthy” that applies uniformly to all cases, all the ways “healthy” is said refer to one central usage of “healthy,” that is, a healthy organism. Other cases obtain their meaning in relation to this central usage. In regard to the unity of the meaning of “being,” Aristotle says, [f]or some things are called “being” (onta) because they are substances, some because they are affections of substance, some because they are a way to substance, or corruptions, privations, qualities, or [things] productive or generative of substance or of [things] relating to substance (ton pros ten ousian legomenon), or negations of certain of these [things] or of substance. . . . And so, just as there is one science of all healthy things, so it is true of everything else.41 The beings that are the primary senses of “being,” according to Aristotle, are substances; the beings meant by the other senses are the qualities, quantities, etc., that are possessed by substances. A horse is a being, and so is white. But a horse is a being in the primary sense – it is a substance – whereas the color white (a quality) is a being only because it attaches to some substances. Amie Thomasson specifies a further qualification concerning the primacy of substance: There are two sorts of substance: a primary substance is, e.g., an individual man or horse; the species (and genera) of these individuals (e.g., man, animal) are secondary substances. While the ten categories are all equally highest kinds, primary substances nonetheless have a

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certain sort of priority, since “all the other things are either said of the primary substances as subjects or in them as subjects. So if the primary substances did not exist it would be impossible for any of the other things to exist” (Categories 2b4).42 Therefore, categorial unity is to be found in relation (i.e., with reference) to (pros hen) primary substances as the primary referents of “being.” Aristotle’s account of the unity of the many ways “being” is said has been the subject of much debate since the time of his earliest successors.43 What I find especially interesting is the importance of this unity for Aristotle’s depiction of sensory perception (aisthēsis). As I have suggested in the section titled “Aristotle’s solution to Meno’s paradox” in Chapter 4, Aristotle is committed to the view that the mind (nous) is engaged in sensory perception in that the deliverances of sense are simultaneously subject to the mind’s categorial unity. In De Anima 2.6, Aristotle enumerates three objects of sense perception, “two kinds of which are, in our language, directly perceptible (kath’ hauto), while the remaining one is only incidentally perceptible (kata sumbebēkos).”44 The directly (i.e., per se) perceptible are of two sorts: proper objects (ta idia) and common objects (ta koina).45 The proper per se sensibles include qualities detected by individual senses such as colors, sounds, smells, flavors and tactile qualities. Aristotle enumerates six common sensibles overall: movement and rest, size and shape, and multiplicity and unity.46 The common sensibles are perceived by more than one of the senses.47 In addition to per se sensibles, we incidentally or accidentally perceive primary substances, that is, the things that appear to us. Aristotle clarifies by giving an example: “We speak of an incidental object of sense where, e.g., the white object which we see is the son of Diares; here because ‘being the son of Diares’ is incidental to the directly visible white patch, we speak of the Son of Diares as being (incidentally) perceived or seen by us.”48 The individual man, “the son of Diares” in the above passage, is a primary substance that is perceived accidentally. This description of sensory perception of the primary substances as being accidental or incidental is somewhat vexing because primary substances are the primary referents of “being” and other referents of “being” are predicated of substances. Paolo Biondi distinguishes between perceptual and ontological priority and argues persuasively that the use of “accidental” in reference to the perception of substances concerns the perceptual order. He concludes: “From this standpoint, the proper sensible objects are prior because they are the properly sensible objects relative to external senses.”49 As to how primary substances are perceived, Biondi proposes that the perceptive faculty here is the mind (nous). This proposal squares with my thesis, because as I have maintained previously, the mind as the conceptual faculty is already involved in perception. The mind’s involvement supplies the unity of the conceptual space, that is, categorial unity, which is brought about by the primacy of substances in Aristotelian ontology. Of course, the perceptual priority of per se sensibles, as suggested by Biondi, may imply that the accidental perception of primary substance(s) supervenes on an antecedently perceived proper sensible. Biondi correctly resists that implication by arguing that sense and the intellect act jointly and not sequentially.50 Moreover, Biondi also invokes Posterior Analytics 2.19, where Aristotle claims

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that sense perception (aisthēsis) is a capacity that develops into a state of possessing the universal. Biondi infers correctly that nous is a developed state of aisthēsis, and by that he means that human knowing is an actualization of the potentially intelligible in sensory perception.51

Avicenna’s transcendentalism: on essence and existence In Metaphysics 1.5 of the Book of Healing, Avicenna’s discusses the meaning of “being” and its peculiar unity in a way that is reminiscent of Aristotle’s Metaphysics 4.2. He writes, [w]e now say: Although the existent (al-mawjūd), as you have known, is not a genus and is not predicated equally of what is beneath it, yet it has a meaning agreed on with respect to priority and posteriority. The first thing to which it belongs is the quiddity (al-mahīya), which is substance (al-jawhar), and then to what comes after it. Since it [has] one meaning, in the manner to which we have alluded, accidental matters adhere to it that are proper to it, as we have shown earlier. For this reason, it is taken care of by one science in the same way that anything pertaining to health has one science.52 Here, Avicenna echoes Aristotle’s concern about the scientific status of metaphysics and the objection that “being” is not a term denoting a genus and may therefore be an equivocal term. He, like Aristotle, rejects the equivocity argument, and supports the scientific unity of metaphysics, by saying that being is primarily predicated of quiddity (i.e., of substance). So the primary meaning of “being” belongs to substance, which is prior to other categories. However, Avicenna goes on to develop an account of the unity of being beyond the substance ontologies of his Peripatetic predecessors.53 In Metaphysics 1.5.9, Avicenna distinguishes being as true (wujūd ithbātī ) from being proper to a thing (wujūd khāṣṣ). The latter is being in the predicamental or categorial sense (as discussed earlier in relation to Aristotle) and the former is transcendental. Alfarabi makes a similar distinction in his Book of Letters (Kitāb al-ḥurūf ), where he maintains that being as true belongs to the mind only and has no real composition with the essence of a thing as set out by the categories.54 Alfarabi’s position is an effort to accommodate Aristotle’s discussion (in Metaphysics 5.7) of the senses of being beyond the ten categories. These transcendental senses of being include truth, falsehood, actuality and potentiality.55 Alfarabi brings the transcendental senses together under being as true and considers them as second order predicates, second intentions, attributed to the first order predicates.56 When one says that “thunder exists,” for example, one is reporting the second order content that the predicate “thunder” is instantiated. In other words, “thunder exists” is true if and only if thunder exists. By disquoting the left side sentence on the right side of the biconditional, we imply that the sentence is true if and only if there is a case of thunder in the world. The sentence “thunder exists” is answerable to the external instantiation of the first order predicate “thunder.” Avicenna’s distinction between the transcendental sense of being as true and being as proper to a thing is a qualified affirmation of Alfarabi’s view. The difference is that for Avicenna being as true (wujūd ithbātī) is “composed with essence in re.”57 Avicenna contends that first

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order predicates signify quiddities, which are neutral with respect to mental and external (in re) existence. In Metaphysics 1.5.11, Avicenna maintains that everything (kul shay’) has an essence (quiddity, what-it-is, ḥaqīqa), and the essence of the thing – the aforementioned neutral quiddity – as it exists external to the perceiver ( fī-l-a‘yān) and as it is in the soul ( fī-l-nafs) are the same.58 For example, the essence of thunder that exists in the physical world, and the essence of thunder that is thought are the same, namely thunderness; yet the mental thunder is different from the real thunder: The latter exists in the concrete world and the former is in the mind. So, for Avicenna, being as true (i.e., existence) is distinct from being as proper to a thing (i.e., essence). In addition, existence is added to neutral quiddity to constitute an existing thing. Thus, “thunder is existent,” as the content of judgments, is true if and only if “thunder” is instantiated in the human mind or external to the perceiver. But truth, for Avicenna, is more than a second order predicate; it is also an instantiation of quiddity (as expressed in predicates). The instantiation of quiddity is in the mind when the predicate is actualized in sensory experience.59 The instantiation is external to the perceiver when thunder exists in the world. ­Moreover, as I shall show in the next section, Avicenna contends that our sensory experience is isomorphic with the world because the mind, or more precisely, the intellect, is involved in both instantiations.

The place of the intellect in Avicenna’s account of the unity of being Avicenna’s nuanced distinction between existence and essence is complicated by his commitment to the mind-dependence of essence. In Metaphysics 5.1, Avicenna writes, [c]onsidering animal in itself would be permissible even though it exists with another, because [it] itself with another is [still] itself. Its essence, then, belongs to itself, and its being with another is either an accidental matter that occurs to it or some necessary concomitant to its nature – as [is the case with] animality and humanity. Considered in this way, it is prior in existence to the animal, which is either particular by [reason of] its accidents or universal, existing [in the concrete] or [in the mind].60 So now the essence exists (1) in itself, (2) in the mind, and (3) in the external world. In his “Avicenna’s Chapter on Universals in the Isagoge of His Shifā’,” Michael Marmura points out that “[i]n places, . . . [Avicenna] insists that this essence (quiddity, reality) is neither mental nor extramental. In other places – for example, in his criticism and rejection of a Platonic theory of independently existing Forms – he refers to it as existing only in the mind.”61 In regard to his rejection of Plato’s view, Avicenna follows Aristotle who maintained that Forms do not exist independently of substances, but that they can be separated from them only in thought.62 Reading Avicenna’s relevant views, Fazlur Rahman explains that it is not essences themselves that have extra-mental existence, but individuals that are in a unique relationship with such essences.63 Furthermore, the essence or the quiddity that gets actualized in the mind of the human perceiver is what also exists in that perceiver’s separate intellect (wāhib al-ṣuwar; Latin: Dator formarum). Therefore, quiddity also has a “mental” existence

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in divine separate intellects,64 and because of the divine separate intellects’ emanation of intelligible form into properly disposed matter, quiddity exists in the world (external to the perceiver). I follow Black in interpreting this claim thus: “[T]o the extent that nature’s proper being has any truly existential force for Avicenna himself, it is to be identified with divine existence, that is, with the pre-existence of the nature, in the providential knowledge of the separate intellects.”65 Underlying Black’s reading is Avicenna’s account of the emanation of being from the Necessary Existent to the intelligences, to their relevant souls and heavens, down to the tenth intelligence, the Active Intellect, and the sublunar world. Avicenna maintains this hierarchy of being when he explains that “existent” extends more widely than “essence.” In Metaphysics 8.4.3, for example, he argues that God “has no quiddity other than His individual existence (annīya).”66 Therefore, God is the being whose existence is His essence. Avicenna also refers to God as the Necessary Existent (wājib al-wujūd) because every individually existing quiddity receives its necessity (wujūb), that is, the certainty of its existence, through another. In and through itself, every thing is a possible existent (mumkin al-wujūd). In short, a thing (i.e., a possible existent) is only a being (mawjūd: i.e., that which is realized) as a necessary existent (wājib al-wujūd) through another. God alone exists necessarily through itself (wājib al-wujūd bi dhatihī),67 and this is why God is not a quiddity and does not have an essence, except in a qualified sense (i.e., His essence is His existence). Therefore, God’s necessary existence indicates that the extension of “existent” exceeds that of “essence.” Furthermore, for Avicenna, the possible existents are divided into those that receive from the Necessary Existent a necessary connection between their essence and existence and those that are perishable and inseparable from bodies in which the essence is in accidental (‘arḍī) “togetherness” with existence.68 According to Alexander Treiger, Avicenna’s analysis of being shifts “from the predicamental level (defining how ‘existent’ applies to the ten Aristotelian categories, substance and the nine accidents) to the transcendental level (defining how ‘existent’ applies, across the transcendental divide, to the creator and the created world).”69 Treiger identifies the Avicennian unity of being as a modulated univocity (isma mushakika).70 He then distinguishes predicamental modulation, which gives primacy to the existence of substance (as prior to accidents), from the transcendental modulation of being as “modulation in the degree of deservingness.”71 Existent necessarily through itself is the primary instance of “existent” and the meaning of “being” because He deserves that more than other beings.72 In the hierarchy of beings, the possible existents with a necessary connection between their essence and existence (e.g., separate intellects) come after the Necessary Existent, and the former are followed by the existents that are perishable.73 Among the possible existents with a necessary connection between their essence and existence is the Active Intellect, the celestial being which emanates intelligibles into the sublunar world, as well as the human intellects. Hasse argues against the identification of the celestial intelligence, which emanates intelligible forms (wāhib al-ṣuwar) into properly disposed sublunary matter, with the Active Intellect (al-‘aql al-fa‘āl), the inspirer of human intellects:

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It is important to note, however, that Avicenna himself never seems to explicitly identify the giver of forms and the active intellect. Certainly he does not use the term to describe the active intellect’s activity of sending out intelligible, universal forms (also called ṣuwar), the objects of human intellection. The term dator formarum thus belongs to Avicenna’s theory of creation, but not to his epistemology.74 I agree with Jules Janssens that even though Avicenna does not explicitly identify the Giver of forms with the Active Intellect, the identity relation, pace Hasse, is implied.75 Tommaso Alpina affirms this reading and adds, correctly, that this identity relation is also central to Avicenna’s realism, the continuity between the Active Intellect’s illumination of sensory experience and the infusion of forms in the world outside of the mind. He writes, “the Active Intellect’s shining light guarantees that the human intellect has correctly abstracted from matter the very forms that the Dator formarum has previously infused in it.”76 Hasse’s skepticism about the identity relation of the Giver of forms and the Active Intellect focuses on the thesis that the Active Intellect is a depository of intelligible forms, as human intellect – for Avicenna  – does not have intellectual memory.77 The containment of intelligible forms is indeed a central function of the Active Intellect, but its identification with the Giver of forms paves the way for the thesis I have ascribed to Avicenna, according to which intelligible forms are available in our sensory experience which is, in turn, isomorphic with the world (vis-à-vis the Active Intellect). The latter part of the thesis, however, becomes obscured in the way Hasse seeks to avoid the identity relation of the Active Intellect and the Giver of forms based on an exegetical technicality. To sum up, Avicenna refines the received Aristotelian account of the predicamental unity of being by incorporating an account of the transcendentals under the rubric of being as true (wujūd ithbātī). Here, truth is primordially the instantiation of the quiddity in the mind, which is isomorphic with its instantiation in the world, via an actualized mind in which the knower and the known are the same. To see this point more clearly, we must recognize that Avicenna approves and expands upon Aristotle’s view that sensory perception draws on the mind’s paradigmatic categorial unity in primary substance (e.g., “this pale son of Diares”). In the opening passage of Metaphysics 1.5, Avicenna talks about the impression of transcendental concepts on the soul: “We say: The ideas of ‘the existent,’ ‘the thing,’ and ‘the necessary’ are impressed (tartasīm) in the soul in a primary way.”78 In “Avicenna on Primary Concepts in the Metaphysics of his al-Shifā’,” Marmura maintains that “[t]he sense in which these concepts are ‘impressed’ (tartasim) in the soul is not explained. If their analogy with the logical self-evident truths is pressed, these in the final analysis would have to be direct emanations from the Active Intellect.”79 To explain the impression of primary concepts on the soul, we can draw on Avicenna’s De Anima 5.5 of the Book of Healing, where he relates the involvement of the Active Intellect in abstracting sensory forms to its involvement in their occurrence in the retentive imagination: In fact, just as the effect resulting from the sensible forms by means of the light is not itself those forms, but rather something related to them that is engendered by means of the light

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in the recipient facing the light, so likewise when the rational should reviews those forms in the imagination (ṣuwar al-khayāliya) and the light of the Active Intellect comes into a type of conjunction with them, then they are prepared so that from the light of the Active Intellect they come to be within [the rational soul] the abstract version of those forms [free] from [material] taints.80 Here, the light of the Active Intellect illuminating the imagination symbolizes the primary concepts, which are unified in the Active Intellect as a necessary existent. As Amos Bertolacci observed, this intellectual unity explains that for Avicenna there is a hierarchy among the transcendentals (i.e., primary concepts) with “existent” as the highest and “thing,” “necessary” and “unity” subordinated to it.81 The precedence of “existent” highlights the primacy of Necessary Existent as a being whose existence precedes essence and from whom other beings emanate. The other transcendental concepts are also involved in the account Avicenna offers of the Necessary Existent and the celestial beings (e.g., the Active Intellect) who emanate from the Necessary Existent. Transcendental concepts, as predicated of the Active Intellect, unify the first order predications in the celestial intellect in turn. The logical unity constituting the Active Intellect is drawn upon in the imagination so that the object of perception appears as a this-such (e.g., this-thunder), necessarily interconnected with others in the perceptual nexus of the this-suches. In Chapter 4, I argued that for Avicenna, the sensory this-such nexus, while conceptual, is not propositional. The propositional content is formed through abstraction as a carving out of the concepts from their sensory instantiation. The pre-propositional instantiation of concepts is the more primordial sense of truth as uncovering which underwrites Avicenna’s account of existence. It should be clear that Avicenna’s modified Aristotelianism accommodates the Kantian insight that the unity of being is attained in relation to an apperceptive subject.82 For Kant, as we have discussed, the unity of apperception enhances the Aristotelian “rhapsodic” predicamental unity of being.83 In this enhancement, the thinking subject unifies the categorial system because the “I think” accompanies all of one’s representations. This thinking subject is distinguished from empirical self-consciousness84 in an important sense: For the “I think,” self-consciousness is interdependent with the consciousness of objects.85 For Avicenna, the identity of the knower and the known in the Active Intellect provides the Peripatetic counterpart to the Kantian transcendental apperception. Moreover, as apparent from our discussion so far, Avicenna does not identify the human intellect with the Active Intellect. This dimension of Avicenna’s account of apperception comes into view in his break from the Porphyrian view regarding the identity of the knower and the known in the human intellect. Avicenna argues that the rational human soul is not one with the thing it perceives, rather it is the essence of the externally existing thing that comes to exist in the soul; the thing shows itself to us.86 For this, Avicenna echoes another Aristotelian image of the soul when he writes, “[t]o be sure, the forms do settle in the soul, ‘adorning’ and ‘ornamenting’ it, with the soul becoming like a place for them by means of material intellect.”87

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Avicenna on the identity of the knower and the known Avicenna’s account of the human mind and its relation to the Active Intellect avoids what he decries as the “Porphyrian absurdity.” In the De Anima 5.6 of The Healing, he describes the absurdity thus: The statement that the essence of the soul becomes the intelligible is, in my view, wholly absurd. I cannot understand their statement that one thing becomes another thing, and I do not know how this can be. For if it is by casting off one form and outing on another, so that it is one thing together with the first form and another thing together with the other form, then the first thing has not really become the second thing, but rather the first thing has been destroyed, and there remains only its subject (mawḍū‘) or a part of it.88 Although Avicenna attributes this view to Porphyry, the author of the Isagoge, there is some dispute as to whether the real target of his attack should be considered to be Porphyry or rather the Porphyrian Baghdadi Peripatetics.89 The targeted view, cognitive identification, is an elaboration of Aristotle’s famous passage from his De Anima 3.8, where he says, “[the] human soul is in a certain sense all entities.”90 The dispute is not about the identity of the intellect and its object, the intelligible; that identity is “commonplace in Aristotelian philosophy as it comes down to Avicenna.”91 Avicenna, rather, disputes the blurring of the distinction between the human soul and the Active Intellect. For the Active Intellect, knowledge is self-knowledge, whereas the human soul requires sense perception to know. In his De Anima 3.5, Aristotle maintains that “in fact mind, as we have described it, is what it is by virtue of becoming all things, while there is another which is what it is by virtue of making all things: this is the sort of positive state like light; for in a sense light makes potential colours into actual colours.”92 The Active Intellect or the productive mind (nous poiētikos) is explained in contrast with the mind as passive (pathētikos), that is, the conforming mind.93 In Metaphysics 9.6, Aristotle characterizes intellecting (noein) as an activity (energeia); it is an act that has its end in itself.94 This thinking is not thinking through a problem, the kind of intelligence that is a movement (kinēsis); it has its end, its purpose (i.e., the solution), outside of itself and when it reaches it, it comes to a termination.95 Intellecting, as an “activity,” has the end, that is, its purpose – having intellected the intelligible – in itself, and it can go on indefinitely.96 Active Intellect is essentially activity (energeia).97 Therefore, it is separate, productive of its object and self-conscious in its activity. The ordinary human intellect – the conforming mind – is kinetic: Its object is external to it, but through sense perception it acquires it and becomes, in a certain sense, its object.98 As the passive mind realizes its capacity to know, its movement approaches activity, it becomes self-conscious and achieves proximity to the separate Active Intellect. In a way, the Active Intellect shines like light on the passive mind and its objects, inspiring the passive mind into activity. I would like to emphasize that for Avicenna, neither the Active Intellect nor any other celestial intellects is God, the Necessary Existent. Only the Necessary Existent is creative of its object. Celestial intellects, including the Active

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Intellect, are in essence contingent in that they receive their necessity from the Necessary Existent. They depend on the creative emanation from God.99 I have already explored in some detail the way sense perception draws on the intellect and initiates the process of knowing. Avicenna’s point against the Porphyrian interpretation of Aristotle is that the human intellect is passive and receptive to the impact of the world, so it does not consist of pure activity and its knowledge is not, at the same time, self-knowledge. As such, the acquisition of knowledge (as self-knowledge) is not a necessary feature of human intellection. Therefore, as potential intellects, we may not actualize that potentiality and know fully (i.e., have knowledge as self-knowledge). But we can know, so there must exist a separate intellect,100 which is essentially actual and assists the actualization of the human potential intellect.101

Avicenna on the human soul In order to explicate the relation between human knowers and the Active Intellect, I would like to shed some light on Avicenna’s account of the human soul and its self-awareness and knowledge.102 Avicenna adopts with some qualification the familiar Aristotelian depiction of the soul as the form of the body. In Chapter 1 of the De Anima of The Healing, Avicenna defines the soul as “the primary entelechy (kamāl awwal) of a natural body organized so as to carry out the function of life.”103 He defines “entelechy” as that by which a living being becomes an actual and functioning living being.104 The soul is a primary entelechy, as distinguished from a secondary entelechy, because it is “what makes things actually members of their species.”105 So a soul is what makes living things alive. This is in contrast to a secondary entelechy, which is “some activity or disposition attendant on members of the species.”106 Thus secondary entelechies are exhibited by some members of a species, but their exhibition is not necessary for membership in that species. In the case of human beings, Avicenna mentions discrimination, vision, perception and motion as examples of secondary entelechies.107 This is in keeping with Aristotle, who also defines the soul as “the entelecheia of the body.”108 For Aristotle, as he is commonly understood, the soul as the form of the body could not exist separately from the body as such. At least part of the soul would corrupt with the body.109 Avicenna also maintains that a part of the soul does not corrupt with the body, because for him the soul, properly understood, is a substance that exists independently of the body. The aspects of the soul that perish with the body are the animal soul (al-nafs al-haywānīya) and the vegetative soul (al-nafs al-nabātīya), which humans share with other ensouled beings in their environment. The vegetative soul includes the nutritive power, the power of procreation and the power of movement.110 The animal soul has the powers of motions and perception, each of which has two divisions. Perception is both inner and outer and the motor faculty incites motion (through appetites and irascibility) and produces motion.111 Animal powers have a voluntary dimension absent in their vegetative counterparts, but that voluntariness can be truly free of contingent environmental factors only in the rational or the speaking soul (al-nafs al-nāţiqa) – the proper sense of “soul” – and such voluntariness is what distinguishes

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human beings from animals.112 The rational soul is divided into the practical and theoretical intellects, and both are characterized by universality and separation from matter.113 Having introduced this two-pronged account of the soul (i.e., the rational soul versus the animal/vegetative souls), Avicenna puts forward the famous Flying Man argument for the existence of the rational soul: Each of us must suppose himself to have been created all at once, fully developed and perfectly formed but veiled to the sight of external objects, floating in the atmosphere or in space, not buffeted by the air in which he floats (which might allow perception) and with all his organs disjoined from one another, no contact or continuity among them. Then he should consider whether he could still affirm the existence of his self (wujūda dhātihi). No doubt he could – but without adding to it any of his limbs or internal organs, not his brain, or his heart, or guts – or anything external. . . . And if in such a state it were possible for him to imagine such a thing as a hand or other organ, he would not imagine it as a part of himself or a condition of his existence.114 For Avicenna, the rational soul is the separately existing subject of self-awareness. This is different from the Peripatetic view supplied by some historians of Greek philosophy. Michael Frede, for example, maintains that “[b]oth Aristotle and the scholastic Aristotelians believe that the soul is that in virtue of which a living body is alive.”115 I disagree with this narrow construal of Aristotle’s view of the soul and contend that Aristotle has a more complicated view as evidenced, for example, by his claim that the body is an instrument used by the soul.116 So in addition to characterizing the soul as “the first actuality of a natural body with the potentiality of having life,”117 Aristotle analogizes the soul’s relation to the body to the sailor’s relation to the ship.118 He then worries that the soul as first actuality cannot be the “sailor” sense of the soul: “[W]ith regard to intellect, that is, the theoretical faculty, it is not yet clear, but it seems to be a kind different from the soul, and only this is possibly separate, just in the way that the eternal is separate from the destructible.”119 Intellect is then (possibly) a separate entity from the soul as the first actuality of a body, and, because of its separation from the body, it is incorruptible and immortal. The intellect’s activity is thinking, but, as Lloyd Gerson argues, this thinking “is not, according to Aristotle, the presence of intelligible form in the intellect; it is the awareness of the presence of intelligible form in the intellect by that which is identical with that in which the intelligible form is present.”120 The soul qua actuality of a body thinks in the sense of having the intelligible form, i.e., being informed, but as it is in a physical composite, the informed part cannot be the part that is aware of the presence of the form. Therefore, for the aware soul and the informed soul to be one, the real “subject” of thinking has to be separate from the body, incorruptible and thus immortal. There is of course a tension between the two senses of “soul” in Aristotle’s work,121 and his successors had to deal with it. In order to stabilize the apparent tension in the Aristotelian account of the soul, some of Aristotle’s successors, such as Alexander of Aphrodisias, purged the Neoplatonic element and advanced the thesis that the soul is inseparable from the body (discarding the sense of

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“soul” as immortal intellect).122 Robert Wisnovsky refers to Alexander as a participant in the “lesser” sumphōnia, the project of “reconciling Aristotle with Aristotle.”123 Wisnovsky contrasts the lesser sumphōnia with the greater sumphōnia, the Neoplatonic reconciliation of Plato with Aristotle.124 The Neoplatonists posited the unity of the soul in its separation from the body. Wisnovsky argues that Avicenna’s position is heir to and the culmination of the Ammonian synthesis of the lesser and the greater sumphōnia.125 Avicenna accounts for the lesser sumphōnia by maintaining that the soul comes into being with the body, it is its first entelechy, but he then allows for the greater sumphōnia by maintaining that the soul becomes separate from the body as it becomes the intellect that is aware of the presence of the intelligible form in itself. The latter is the separate-and-therefore-immortal intellect; alternatively, it is the human intellect that has conjoined with the Active Intellect. Wisnovsky writes; each human rational soul [al-nafs al-nāṭiqa] can attain the immortality which the Active Intellect possesses and which serves as the final cause qua to hou of the activities of the theoretical intellect and its lower faculties. Once the theoretical intellect has attained that immortality, it becomes identical in species, rather than numerically identical with the Active Intellect, thus allowing the theoretical intellect to retain its individuality.126 Theoretical intellect is that faculty of the soul which is both varieties of final cause, qua to hou and qua to hōi; “it both is an end and has an end.”127 Therefore, theoretical intellect represents the perfection of the living body and aims for a further perfection in conjunction with the Active Intellect. Moreover, as conjoined with the Active Intellect, it is aware of itself as containing the intelligible form, and therefore knows the form and itself. According to Avicenna, the human subject knows his intellectual soul without much preparation. In his account of the Flying Man, Avicenna maintains that the existence of the intellectual soul can be indicated to “someone who has the power of noticing (mulāh̩az̩ a) the truth himself, without the need of having to educate him, constantly prod him, and divert him from what causes sophistical errors.”128 In “Avicenna’s ‘Flying Man’ in Context,” Marmura suggests that the Flying Man thought experiment involves a process of alerting (al-tanbīh) so that the experimenter is made aware of the awareness of its own existence.129 But as the Flying Man argument brackets all bodily faculties contributing to human cognition, the alerting does not presuppose any knowledge.130 For Aristotle, as we saw earlier, intellectual thinking (noēsis) is an activity in which the knower, the self-aware subject, and the known, the informed subject, are the same.131 To be more precise, Aristotle characterizes noetic thinking as an activity (energeia), that is, an act that has its end in itself.132 This thinking, insofar as human beings are concerned, depicts, for Avicenna, the state of the acquired intellect – the intellect that is conjoined with the Active Intellect.133 The unrefined self-aware rational soul is noetic and is an energeia only as an awareness of the existence of its intrinsic essence (wujūda dhātihi).134 As self-aware, the human intellect resembles the Active Intellect, because its object of awareness is identical to the subject (of awareness).

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Therefore, intellect is the spark of celestial intelligence in human beings, but as it thinks through the deliverances of the senses, it is involved in a mere movement (kinēsis); it has its end, i.e., the intelligible form, outside of itself and when it reaches it, it comes to an end, that is, to a termination.135 Self-awareness is presupposed for the movements of the soul.136 The acquisition of knowledge requires that one convert the soul’s movements (other than its self-awareness) to activities. In doing so, one begins the cultivation of the acquired intellect, which occurs when human knowing has become an activity by being at the same time a self-knowing. Avicenna, as we have seen, agrees with the Aristotelian view that sense perception involves the illumination of the Active Intellect and provides the impetus that moves the human rational soul towards knowledge as self-knowledge. In his De Anima 5.5, he writes, [j]ust as the Sun is actually visible in itself and through its light it makes actually visible what is not actually visible, so likewise is the state of this intellect vis-à-vis our souls; for when the intellecting faculty reviews the particulars that are in the imagination (al-khayāl), and the Active Intellect sheds light onto us upon them (which we discussed), the particulars are abstracted from matter and its associations and are impressed upon the rational soul, not in the sense that [the particulars] themselves are transferred from the imagination to our intellect, nor [is “being impressed”] in the sense that the intention (ma‘nā) immersed in the [material] associations (which in itself and with regard to its very being is separate (mujarrada) [from matter]) makes something like itself. Quite the contrary, [being impressed] is in the sense that reviewing [the things abstracted from matter and its associations] prepares the soul in order that the thing separate from matter [coming] from the Active Intellect [i.e., the intellectual forms] flows down upon them.137 As I explained in Chapter 4, for Avicenna, the conceptualization (taṣawwur) in sensory experience occurs through the mediation of the Active Intellect, and the analysis and synthesis of the abstracted features leading to assent (taṣdīq) are also illuminated by the Active Intellect. Abstraction (tajrīd) carves out the conceptualized sensory input (in the Active Intellect’s illumination of the occurrence of forms in the imagination), separates out the accidental from the essential, and makes the concepts available for judgment and knowledge through induction, experience and demonstration. Through scientific practice, the rational soul achieves excellence by conjoining with the Active Intellect in which there is an identity relation between the intellect and the intelligible form. In conjunction, the intellect has immediate access to the intelligible form and therefore knows itself and its object immediately. On this view, the common-sense conceptual framework is not replaced by a different framework, which is in better keeping with scientific progress. Rather, science brings to view the richness of detail implicitly available in common-sense experience. In the concluding chapter, I further explore the significance of Avicenna’s philosophy by examining the objection that it mystifies common-sense perennialism by appealing to jargon belonging to an outmoded (i.e., medieval) era.

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Notes 1 Brentano, “Nous Poietikos: A Survey of Earlier Interpretations,” in Essays on Aristotle’s De Anima, ed. Martha Nussbaum and Amelie Rorty (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), 316. 2 Brentano, Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, ed. and trans. L. McAlister (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1995), 88. 3 Black, “Intentionality in Medieval Arabic Philosophy,” Quaestio 10 (2010): 65–67. Black writes that the main source of the claim that “intention” is a mistranslation of ma‘nā is Kwame Gyekye who maintained that “[e]tymologically, ‘conceptus’, rather than ‘intentio,’ would be a better translation for ma‘nā, which means meaning or concept; but it was ‘intentio’ that was used,” in Kwame Gyekye, “The Terms ‘Prima Intentio’ and ‘Secunda Intentio’ in Arabic Logic,” Speculum 46, 1 (1971): 36. This article is valuable for showing how the translation of ma‘na as intentio sometimes led to confusion in texts where intentio was in fact a translation of the Arabic term qasd – “intention” in the sense of “purpose.” More recently, in his translation of al-‘Ibārah, Allan Bäck makes a similar observation: “The Avicenna Latinus tends to conflate ‘senses’ and ‘intentions’. For Avicenna the first are mental states in the soul, quiddities in the mind abstracted via sense perceptions from quiddities in re; the latter are those senses taken not as those mental items but as pointing to things not in the mind,” in Al-‘Ibārah: Avicenna’s Commentary on Aristotle’s De Interpretatione Part One and Part Two (Munich: Philosophia Verlag, 2013), 27, n. 50. Black, however, claims that “strictly speaking this is true inasmuch as ma‘nā literally means ‘meaning’ or ‘thought’ – as expressed in phrases such as ‘by x I  mean y’. But as an interpretation of the fundamental idea behind the generic and technical use of ma‘nā in Arabic, intentio is an entirely legitimate Latin rendition of the term,” Black, “Intentionality in Medieval Arabic Philosophy,” 68. I am in qualified agreement with Black’s assessment of the legitimacy of intentio as the rendition of ma‘nā, because in my interpretation of Avicenna, the intellect is involved even in re and in pointing to things not in the mind. My agreement is qualified because Black espouses an emanatist view that deprives sensory perception of intellectual content. See my criticism of Black and emanatism in “Avicenna on sense perception, the internal senses and abstraction” of Chapter 4 and also later in this section. In this passage, I use “meaning” for Bäck’s “sense,” but where there is a use of another word for ma‘nā, I shall insert the Arabic term in parenthesis in order to avoid confusion. 4 Ibid., 68. The passage is from Avicenna, Al-Shifā’: Al-‘Ibārah (Interpretation), ed. M. El-Khodeiri and I. Madkour (Cairo: Dār al-kātib al-‘Arabī, 1970), 2–3. I have adjusted the translation, drawing on Bäck’s more careful translation in Al-‘Ibārah: Avicenna’s Commentary on Aristotle’s De Interpretatione Part One and Part Two, 27. Bäck also provides a more comprehensive account of meaning in this work and indicates that Avicenna mentions a non-empirical source of meanings. Bäck writes: “That is, either these attributes are in the perceptions but not obviously, or they do not come from the perceptions at all but are composed by the intellect upon them. Given that universals are supposed to be abstracted from singular perceptions for Aristotle, it seems that only the first option should hold, that these should be present in the perceptions but hidden and inchoately. However, Avicenna has the doctrine that an activated intellect can have as well a pure intuition of quiddities in themselves. . . . Hence the second option,” ibid., 25–26, n. 45. I discuss Avicenna’s account of the “activated intellect’s pure intuition” in “Avicenna on the human soul” in Chapter 5 and in the concluding chapter. In the same section of Chapter 5, I also offer my account of the relation between Aristotle and Avicenna on the “activated intellect” (i.e., the acquired intellect). Of course, I maintain that the intellect is involved in the production of perceptual meaning as well. 5 Indeed, this alliance concerns a synthesis of Arabic grammarian views of meaning and those held by Baghdadi Peripatetics. See Adamson and Key, “Philosophy of Language in the Medieval

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Arabic Tradition,” in Linguistic Content: New Essays on the History of Philosophy of Language, ed. Margaret Cameron and Robert J. Stainton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 74–99. This essay draws from Mahdi’s earlier “Language and Logic in Classical Islam,” in Logic in Classical Islamic Culture, ed. G. E. von Grunbaum (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1970), 51–83. 6 Alfarabi, Kitāb al-ḥurūf, ed. Muḥsin Mahdī (Beirut: Dār al-Mashriq, 1970), 131–62. The contrasting forms of philosophy are dialectical and sophistical. 7 Avicenna, Al-Shifā’: Al-‘Ibārah (Interpretation), 5. 8 Sellars, “Being and Being Known,” in Science, Perception, and Reality (Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963), 45–46. 9 Ibid., 56. 10 Rahman, Prophecy in Islam: Philosophy and Orthodoxy (London: Allen & Unwin, 1958), 15. See also Herbert Davidson, Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes on Intellect (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 93–94. Tommaso Alpina maintains that Davidson inherits this view from Gilson (“Intellectual Knowledge, Active Intellect and Intellectual Memory in Avicenna’s Kitāb al-Nafs and Its Aristotelian Background,” Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale 25 (2014): 136–37). I agree, but in Reason Unbound (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2011), §4.2, I contend that such a reading has been in circulation at least since the writings of Thomas Aquinas. Other more contemporary scholars embracing the emanatist reading of Avicenna include Black, “Avicenna on the Ontological and Epistemic Status of Fictional Beings,” Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale 8 (1997): 445; see also Taylor, “Al-Fārābī and Avicenna: Two Recent Contributions,” MESA Bulletin 39 (2005): 182. 11 For an expression of her emanatism, see Black’s “Avicenna on the Ontological and Epistemic Status of Fictional Beings,” 445. 12 Black, “Intentionality in Medieval Arabic Philosophy,” 76. 13 López-Farjeat, “Avicenna on Non-Conceptual Content and Self-Awareness in Non-Human Animals,” in Subjectivity and Selfhood in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy, ed. J. Kaukua and T. Ekenberg (Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, 2016), 66. 14 Ibid. 15 Ibid. The reference is to Kaukua, “Avicenna on the Soul’s Activity in Perception,” in Active Perception in the History of Philosophy: From Plato to Modern Philosophy, ed. J. F. Silva and M. Yrjönsuuri (Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, 2014), 109–10. 16 Kaukua, “The Problem of Intentionality in Avicenna,” Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale 25 (2014): 217–18. 17 Ibid., 219. 18 McDowell, “Avoiding the Myth of the Given,” in Having the World in View (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009), 258–59. 19 Ibid., 260, 262–63. 20 Ibid., 262. 21 McDowell, Mind and World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994), 10. 22 Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, ed. Robert Brandom (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), 40. Of course, in this work, Sellars thinks of this application as propositional in structure. Later, as we have seen, he revises this problematic view and characterizes it as having a this-such structure. See McDowell’s “A Sellarsian Blind Spot,” in Sellars and His Legacy, ed. James R. O’Shea (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 101. 23 For a deeper engagement of this issue, see the section “Sellars on picturing and sense impression discourse” in Chapter 2.

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24 McDowell, “Avoiding the Myth of the Given,” 265; See also “Conceptual Capacities in Perception,” in Having the World in View (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009), 127; “Apperceptive I and the Empirical Self,” in Having the World in View (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009), 148–49. 25 McDowell, “Avoiding the Myth of the Given,” 258, 262–63. 26 Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Norman Kemp Smith (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1965), B139. 27 McDowell, “Apperceptive I and the Empirical Self,” 148. 28 Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, B110–11. 29 Ibid., A81–B107. 30 Ibid., A106–10, B131–36. 31 McDowell, Mind and World, 99. 32 Ibid., 99. 33 Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, Bxxiii–xxiv. 34 McDowell, Mind and World, 95–96. 35 Ibid., 96. 36 McDowell, “Hegel and the Myth of the Given,” in Das Interesse des Denkens Hegel aus heutiger Sicht, ed. Wolfgang Welsch and Klaus Vieweg (München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2007), 77–78. 37 Ibid., 82ff. 38 Aristotle, “Metaphysics,” in The Complete Works of Aristotle, trans. W. D. Ross and ed. Jonathan Barnes (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984), 1003a33–b19. 39 Ibid., 1003a33–35. 40 Cohen, “Aristotle’s Metaphysics,” in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward N. Zalta. Winter 2016 edition. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-metaphysics/ 41 Aristotle, “Metaphysics,” 1003a35–b18. 42 Thomasson, “Categories,” in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward N. Zalta. Winter 2016 edition. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/categories/ 43 For a brief history of the discussion up to Avicenna’s writing, see Treiger’s “Avicenna’s Notion of Transcendental Modulation of Existence (Taškīk al-Wuğūd, Analogia Entis) and Its Greek and Arabic Sources,” in Islamic Philosophy, Science, Culture and Religion, ed. F. Opwis and D. Reisman (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 327–63. For a discussion of the later period of Islamic philosophy, see Menn, “Fārābī in the Reception of Avicenna’s Metaphysics: Averroes Against Avicenna on Being and Unity,” in The Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Reception of Avicenna’s Metaphysics, ed. D. N. Hasse and A. Bertolacci (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2012), 51–96; see also Rizvi, Mulla Sadra and Metaphysics: The Modulation of Being (London: Routledge, 2009). For a discussion of these topics in the contemporary Anglo-American tradition, see Owen, “Logic and Metaphysics in Some Earlier Works of Aristotle,” in Aristotle and Plato in Mid-Fourth Century, ed. I. Düring and G. E. L. Owen (Göteborg, Sweden: Almqvist and Wiksell, 1960); and Cohen, “Aristotle’s Metaphysics.” 44 Aristotle, “De Anima,” in The Complete Works of Aristotle, ed. Jonathan Barnes and trans. W. D. Ross (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984), 418a6–9. 45 Ibid., 418a9–10. 46 Ibid., 418a17–18. For unity, see De Anima 3.1, 425a15–16. 47 Ibid., 418a18–19. 48 Ibid., 418a20–23. 49 Biondi, “Aristotle’s Analysis of Perception,” Laval théologique et philosophique 66, 1 (2010): 21. 50 Ibid., 29. 51 Ibid., 28.

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52 Avicenna, The Metaphysics of the Healing (Kitāb al-shifā’: Al-Ilāhiyyāt), trans. Michael Marmura (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2005), 27. 53 Menn argues that Avicenna’s view is developed from al-Kindi’s views on existence (wujūd), “Fārābī in the Reception of Avicenna’s Metaphysics,” 69–70. 54 Ibid., 71. 55 Menn, “Al-Fārābi’s Kitāb al-Ḥurūf and His Analyses of the Senses of Being,” Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 18 (2008): 76–84, see especially 77–78. 56 Ibid., 81–82. 57 Menn, “Fārābī in the Reception of Avicenna’s Metaphysics,” 70–71. 58 Avicenna, The Metaphysics of the Healing, 24. 59 This view of truth is related to Aristotle’s account of truth as uncovering (alētheia). In Being and Time, Heidegger distinguishes this sense of truth from the truth and falsity of the contents of judgments and relates the former to sense perception (aisthēsis). He writes: “Aristotle never defends the thesis that the primordial ‘locus’ of truth is in the judgment. He says rather that the logos is that way of Being in which Dasein can either uncover or cover up. This double possibility is what is distinctive in the Being-true of the logos: the logos is that way of comporting oneself which can also cover things up. And because Aristotle never upheld the thesis we have mentioned, he was also never in a situation to ‘broaden’ the conception of truth in the logos to include pure noein. The truth of aisthēsis and of the seeing of ‘ideas’ is the primordial kind of uncovering. And only because noēsis primarily uncovers, can the logos as dianoein also have uncovering as its function,” in “Sein und Zeit,” in Martin H ­ eidegger: Gesammtausgabe, vol. 2 (Frankfurt-am-Mein, Vittorio Klostermann, 1977), 226; translated by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson as Being and Time (New York: Harper & Row, 1962), 268–269. Earlier in Being and Time, Heidegger had already explicitly distinguished the logocentric truth and falsity from the more primordial truth (of aisthēsis) as uncovering: “[B]ecause the logos is a letting-something-be-seen, it can therefore be true or false. But here everything depends on our steering clear of any conception of truth which is construed in the sense of ‘agreement’. This idea is by no means the primary one in the concept of alētheia. The ‘Being-true’ of the logos as alētheuein means that in legein as apophanesthai the entities of which one is talking must be taken out of their hiddenness; one must let them be seen as something unhidden (alētheis). . . . Similarly, ‘Being false’ (pseudesthai) amount to deceiving in the sense of covering up  .  .  . putting something in front of something (in such a way as to let it be seen) and thereby passing it off as something which it is not,” BT57=SZ33. 60 Avicenna, The Metaphysics of the Healing, 153. Already, on page 24, Avicenna stated the complication: “This is because if you said, ‘the reality of such a thing exists either in the concrete, in the soul, or absolutely, being common to both,’ this would have a meaning, realized and understood.” 61 Marmura, “Avicenna’s Chapter on Universals in the Isagoge of His Shifā’,” in Probings in Islamic Philosophy (Binghamton, NY: Global Academic Publishing, 2005), 38. 62 Aristotle, “De Anima,” 427–29. 63 Rahman, “Essence and Existence in Avicenna,” Mediaeval and Renaissance Studies 4 (1958): 10. 64 See Avicenna, The Metaphysics of the Healing, 156. 65 Black, “Mental Existence in Thomas Aquinas and Avicenna,” Mediaeval Studies 61 (1999): 64. 66 Avicenna, The Metaphysics of the Healing, 274. See Marmura’s extensive note on the relation between annīya and existence, ibid., 383, n. 1. 67 Ibid., 32. 68 Ibid., 330. See also Seyyed Hossein Nasr’s An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1993), 199.

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69 Treiger, “Avicenna’s Notion of Transcendental Modulation of Existence (Taškīk al-Wuğūd, Analogia Entis) and Its Greek and Arabic Sources,” 327–28. 70 Ibid., 353–63. 71 Ibid., 357. 72 Ibid., 357. Avicenna’s transcendental modulation gets appropriated by Suarez’s notion of metaphysica specialis. In Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, the hierarchy of being is broached (and modified given his narrow construal of knowledge) in his discussion of the cosmopolitan concept of philosophy where categorial unity is subordinated to the highest good, which is the idea of God (A839–40=B867–68). 73 For an excellent discussion of Avicenna’s cosmology, see Nasr’s An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines, 177–274. 74 Hasse, Avicenna’s De Anima in the Latin West (Turin: The Warburg Institute, 2000), 188. 75 Janssens, “The Notions of Wāhib al-ṣuwar (Giver of Forms) and Wāhib al-‘aql (Bestower of Intelligence) in Ibn Sīnā,” in Intellect et imagination dans la Philosophie Médiévale, ed. M. C. Pacheco and J. F. Meirinhos (Turnhout: Brepols, 2006), 558. 76 Alpina, “Intellectual Knowledge, Active Intellect and Intellectual Memory in Avicenna’s Kitāb alNafs and Its Aristotelian Background,” 170. 77 Hasse, Avicenna’s De Anima in the Latin West, 186–89. 78 Avicenna, The Metaphysics of the Healing, 22. 79 Marmura, “Avicenna on Primary Concepts in the Metaphysics of al-Shifā’,” in Probings in Islamic Philosophy (Binghamton, NY: Global Academic Publishing, 2005), 151. 80 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, ed. Fazlur Rahman (London: Oxford University Press, 1959), 235. Translated in Classical Arabic Philosophy: An Anthology of Sources, ed. and trans. Jon McGinnis and David Reisman (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 2007), 200. 81 Bertolacci, “ ‘Necessary’ as Primary Concept in Avicenna’s Metaphysics,” in Conoscenza e contingenza, ed. S. Perfetti (Pisa: Edizioni ETS, 2008), 39. 82 Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, A106–10, B131–36. 83 Ibid., A81=B106–7. 84 Ibid., A107. 85 Ibid., B160–61. 86 This is what I take Avicenna to mean in the end of the end of the passage quoted earlier: “[F]rom the light of the Active Intellect they come to be within [the rational soul] the abstract version of those forms [free] from [material] taints” (Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 235; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 200). 87 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 240; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 203. This is based on Aristotle’s De Anima, 3.4 429a27–28. 88 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 239. Translated in Adamson’s “Porphyrius Arabus on Nature and Art. Appendix 1: Avicenna, Yaḥyā ibn ‘Adī, and Porphyry’s Theory of Intellect,” in Studies in Porphyry, ed. G. Karamanulis and A. Sheppard (London: Institute of Classical Studies, 2007), 156. 89 Ibid., 159–60. See also Finnegan, “Avicenna’s Refutation of Porphyrius,” in Avicenna Commemoration Volume, ed. V. Courtois (Calcutta: Iran Society, 1956), 196. For a contemporary reading of Aristotle as holding such a view, see Black, “Mental Existence in Thomas Aquinas and Avicenna,” 58–59. 90 Aristotle, “De Anima,” 431b21; see also 3.5, 430a15. 91 Adamson, “Porphyrius Arabus on Nature and Art. Appendix 1: Avicenna, Yaḥyā ibn ‘Adī, and Porphyry’s Theory of Intellect,” 157. See Aristotle’s De Anima, 3.4, 430a3–5; 3.7, 431b17; 3.8, 431b21–432a1. 92 Ibid., 430a14–17.

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93 Ibid., 430a25. 94 Aristotle, Metaphysics, 1048b18–30. 95 Ibid. 96 Ibid., 1048b23–25. 97 Aristotle, “De Anima,” 430a17–19. 98 Ibid., 430a15–16. 99 Nasr, An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines, 199. 100 The transcendence thesis has its roots in Aristotle’s De Anima, 3.5, in which he explicitly asserts the separate existence of the Active Intellect. For Aristotle, the Active Intellect is always in a state of full actualization, i.e., it is thought thinking itself. The human intellect, on the other hand, may achieve that actualization, presumably by coming to contain the intelligibles through philosophical development. Aristotle states that “potential knowledge is temporally prior in an individual , but in general it is not even temporally prior. But does not understand at one time and not at another,” Aristotle, “On the Soul,” in Aristotle: Selections, ed. and trans. Gail Fine and T. H. Irwin (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1995), 430a20–23. In other words, in the individual knower, the state of actualization comes after potentiality, but overall, it is the Active Intellect that is prior for “without this nothing understands,” ibid., 430a25–26. 101 Avicenna, “Fī ithbāt al-nubuwwāt,” in Philosophical Texts and Studies, ed. Michael Marmura, vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār al-Nahār, 1968), 46. Translation in “On the Proof of Prophecies,” in Medieval Political Philosophy: A Sourcebook, ed. Ralph Lerner and Muhsin Mahdi (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1961), 114. See also Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 50; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 185. 102 The discussion of the soul in this section is based on my engagement with this topic in Reason Unbound (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2011), §6.1. Of course, the material has been modified extensively in form and content. 103 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 12. Translated in “On the Soul” by Goodman, Philosophical Forum 1 (1969): 559. 104 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 8; trans. in “On the Soul,” 557. 105 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 11; trans. in “On the Soul,” 559. 106 Ibid. 107 Ibid. 108 Aristotle, “De Anima,” 414a26. 109 Ibid., 413a4–6. 110 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 40; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 180. 111 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 41; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 180. 112 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 40; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 179. 113 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 207; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 186. 114 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 16; trans. in “On the Soul,” 561–62. In “Avicenna’s ‘Flying Man’ in Context,” Marmura identifies three different occurrences of the Flying Man argument in Avicenna’s work: two in the De Anima and one in Ishārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt (Monist 69 [July 1986]: 383–95). The version I am discussing is the lengthiest one. 115 Frede, “On Aristotle’s Conception of the Soul,” in Essays on Aristotle’s De Anima, ed. Martha Nussbaum and Amelie Okseberg Rorty (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), 94. See also Heinaman, “Aristotle and the Mind-Body Problem,” Phronesis 35 (1990): 92–99. 116 Aristotle, “De Anima,” 415b18ff. 117 Ibid., 412a27–b1. 118 Ibid., 413a9.

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119 Ibid. 120 Gerson, “The Unity of Intellect in Aristotle’s ‘De Anima,’ ” Phronesis 49 (2004): 356. 121 For a contemporary effort to resolve this tension in Aristotle’s texts, see Gerson’s “The Unity of Intellect in Aristotle’s ‘De Anima.’ ” For a careful discussion of intellect and intellection in Aristotle, refer to Biondi’s “Nous as Human Intuition” and “The Causality of the Act of Noēsis,” in his Aristotle: Posterior Analytics II.19 (Québec City, Canada: Les Presses de l’Universite Laval, 2004). 122 Rahman, Avicenna’s Psychology, trans. Fazlur Rahman (London: Oxford University Press, 1952), 5. 123 Wisnovsky, Avicenna’s Metaphysics in Context (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003), 126. 124 Ibid. 125 Ibid., 15–16. 126 Ibid., 136. By final cause qua to hou, Wisnovsky is drawing upon Aristotle’s distinction “between the type of final cause which is ‘that in view of which’ (to hou) and the type of final cause which is ‘that for the benefit of which (to hōi),” ibid., 133. 127 Ibid., 135. 128 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 16. I am using Marmura’s translation in “Avicenna’s ‘Flying Man’ in Context,” 386. 129 Marmura, “Avicenna’s ‘Flying Man’ in Context,” 386–93. Black affirms such a reading in her “Estimation (Wahm) in Avicenna: The Logical and Psychological Dimensions,” Dialogue 32 (1993): 238. 130 Kaukua, Self-Awareness in Islamic Philosophy: Avicenna and Beyond (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 36. 131 Aristotle, “De Anima,” 430a10–25. 132 Aristotle, Metaphysics, 1048b18–30. 133 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 50; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 185. 134 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 16; trans. in “On the Soul,” 561. A version of this point is made by Hasse in the following: “The inference drawn is not: the Flying Man affirms his own existence, therefore the soul exists independently from the body. But: the Flying Man affirms the existence of his essence but not of his body, therefore the soul – being his essence – exists independently from his body. The clue is that the Flying Man detects a core entity which we identify as the soul,” Avicenna’s De Anima in the Latin West, 86. 135 Aristotle, Metaphysics, 1048b18–30. 136 See also Alwishah’s defense of this point in “Avicenna on Animal Self-Awareness, Cognition and Identity,” Arabic Science and Philosophy 26 (2016): 90. 137 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 234–35; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 199–200. I have modified the translation slightly.

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Alpina, Tommaso. “Intellectual Knowledge, Active Intellect and Intellectual Memory in Avicenna’s Kitāb al-Nafs and Its Aristotelian Background.” Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale 25 (2014): 131–83. Alwishah, Ahmed. “Avicenna on Animal Self-Awareness, Cognition and Identity.” Arabic Science and Philosophy 26 (2016): 73–96. Aristotle. The Complete Works of Aristotle. Edited by Jonathan Barnes and translated by W. D. Ross. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984. Aristotle. On the Soul, in Aristotle: Selections. Edited and translated by Gail Fine and T. H. Irwin. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1995. Avicenna (Abū ‘Alī Hussain ibn Sīnā). Avicenna’s De Anima. Edited by Fazlur Rahman. London: Oxford University Press, 1959. Avicenna. “On the Proof of Prophecies.” In Medieval Political Philosophy: A Sourcebook, edited by Ralph Lerner and Muhsin Mahdi, 112–21. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1961. Avicenna. “Fī ithbāt al-nubuwwāt.” In Philosophical Texts and Studies, edited by Michael Marmura, vol. 2, 41–61. Beirut: Dār Al-Nahār, 1968. Avicenna. “On the Soul.” Translated by Lenn E. Goodman. Philosophical Forum 1 (1969): 555–62. Avicenna. Al-Shifā’: Al-‘Ibārah (Interpretation). Edited by M. El-Khodeiri and I. Madkour. Cairo: Dār al-kātib al-‘Arabī, 1970. Avicenna. The Metaphysics of the Healing (Kitāb al-shifā’: Al-Ilāhīyāt). Translated by Michael Marmura. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2005. Avicenna. Al-‘Ibārah: Avicenna’s Commentary on Aristotle’s De Interpretatione Part One and Part Two. Translated by Allan Bäck. Munich: Philosophia Verlag, 2013. Azadpur, Mohammad. Reason Unbound: Spiritual Practice in Islamic Peripatetic Philosophy. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2011. Bertolacci, Amos. “ ‘Necessary’ as Primary Concept in Avicenna’s Metaphysics.” In Conoscenza e contingenza, edited by S. Perfetti, 31–50. Pisa: Edizioni ETS, 2008. Biondi, Paolo C. Aristotle: Posterior Analytics II.19. Québec City, Canada: Les Presses de l’Université Laval, 2004. Biondi, Paolo C. “Aristotle’s Analysis of Perception.” Laval théologique et philosophique 66, 1 (2010): 13–32. Black, Deborah. “Estimation (Wahm) in Avicenna: The Logical and the Psychological Dimensions.” Dialogue 32 (1993): 219–58. Black, Deborah. “Avicenna on the Ontological and Epistemic Status of Fictional Beings.” Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale 8 (1997): 425–53. Black, Deborah. “Mental Existence in Thomas Aquinas and Avicenna.” Mediaeval Studies 61 (1999): 45–79. Black, Deborah. “Intentionality in Medieval Arabic Philosophy.” Quaestio 10 (2010): 65–81. Brentano, Franz. “Nous Poietikos: A Survey of Earlier Interpretations.” In Essays on Aristotle’s De Anima, edited by Martha Nussbaum and Amelia Rorty, 313–42. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992. Brentano, Franz. Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint. Edited and translated by L. McAlister. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1995. Cohen, S. Mark. “Aristotle’s Metaphysics.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta. Winter 2016 edition. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-metaphysics/ Davidson, Herbert. Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes, on Intellect. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. Finnegan, J. “Avicenna’s Refutation of Porphyrius.” In Avicenna Commemoration Volume, edited by V. Courtois, 187–203. Calcutta: Iran Society, 1956.

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Frede, Michael. “On Aristotle’s Conception of the Soul.” In Essays on Aristotle’s De Anima, edited by Martha Nussbaum and Amelie Okseberg Rorty, 93–109. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992. Gerson, Lloyd. “The Unity of Intellect in Aristotle’s De Anima.” Phronesis 49 (2004): 348–73. Gyekye, Kwame. “The Terms ‘Prima Intentio’ and ‘Secunda Intentio’ in Arabic Logic.” Speculum 46, 1 (1971): 32–38. Hasse, Dag Nikolaus. Avicenna’s De Anima in the Latin West. Turin: The Warburg Institute, 2000. Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time. Translated by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson. New York: Harper & Row, 1962. Heidegger, Martin. “Sein und Zeit.” In Martin Heidegger: Gesammtausgabe, vol. 2. Frankfurt-amMein: Vittorio Klostermann, 1977. Heinaman, R. “Aristotle and the Mind-Body Problem.” Phronesis 35 (1990): 92–99. Janssens, Jules. “The Notions of Wāhib al-ṣuwar (Giver of Forms) and Wāhib al-‘aql (Bestower of Intelligence) in Ibn Sīnā.” In Intellect et imagination dans la Philosophie Médiévale, edited by M. C. Pacheco and J. F. Meirinhos, 551–62. Turnhout: Brepols, 2006. Kant, Immanuel. Kants gesammelte Schriften. Berlin: Kӧniglich Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1908–13. Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by Norman Kemp Smith. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1965. Kaukua, Jari. “Avicenna on the Soul’s Activity in Perception.” In Active Perception in the History of Philosophy: From Plato to Modern Philosophy, edited by J. F. Silva and M. Yrjönsuuri, 99–116. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, 2014. Kaukua, Jari. “The Problem of Intentionality in Avicenna.” Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale 25 (2014): 215–42. Kaukua, Jari. Self-Awareness in Islamic Philosophy: Avicenna and Beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. López-Farjeat, Luis Xavier. “Avicenna on Non-conceptual Content and Self- Awareness in NonHuman Animals.” In Subjectivity and Selfhood in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy, edited by J. Kaukua and T. Ekenberg, 61–73. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, 2016. Mahdi, Muhsin. “Language and Logic in Classical Islam.” In Logic in Classical Islamic Culture, edited by G. E. von Grunbaum, 51–83. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1970. Marmura, Michael E. “Avicenna’s ‘Flying Man’ in Context.” Monist 69 (1986): 383–95. Marmura, Michael E. “Avicenna’s Chapter on Universals in the Isagoge of His Shifā’.” In Probing in Islamic Philosophy, 33–59. Binghamton, NY: Global Academic Publishing, 2005. Marmura, Michael E. “Avicenna on Primary Concepts in the Metaphysics of al-Shifā’.” In Probing in Islamic Philosophy, 149–69. Binghamton, NY: Global Academic Publishing, 2005. McDowell, John. Mind and World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994. McDowell, John. “Hegel and the Myth of the Given.” In Das Interesse des Denkens Hegel aus heutiger Sicht, edited by Wolfgang Welsch and Klaus Vieweg, 75–88. München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2007. McDowell, John. “Apperceptive I and the Empirical Self: Toward a Heterodox Reading of ‘Lordship and Bondage’ in Hegel’s Phenomenology.” In Having the World in View, 166–84. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009. McDowell, John. “Avoiding the Myth of the Given.” In Having the World in View, 256–72. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009. McDowell, John. “Conceptual Capacities in Perception.” In Having the World in View, 127–44. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009. McDowell, John. “A Sellarsian Blind Spot.” In Sellars and His Legacy, edited by James R. O’Shea, 100–16. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

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McGinnis, Jon and David C. Reisman, eds. Classical Arabic Philosophy: An Anthology of Sources. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 2007. Menn, Stephen. “Al-Fārābi’s Kitāb al-Ḥurūf and His Analyses of the Senses of Being.” Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 18 (2008): 59–97. Menn, Stephen. “Fārābī in the Reception of Avicenna’s Metaphysics: Averroes Against Avicenna on Being and Unity.” In The Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Reception of Avicenna’s Metaphysics, edited by D. N. Hasse and A. Bertolacci, 51–96. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2012. Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1993. Owen, G. E. L. “Logic and Metaphysics in Some Earlier Works of Aristotle.” In Aristotle and Plato in Mid-Fourth Century, edited by I. Düring and G. E. L. Owen, 163–90. Göteborg, Sweden: Almqvist and Wiksell, 1960. Rahman, Fazlur. “Essence and Existence in Avicenna.” Mediaeval and Renaissance Studies 4 (1958): 1–16. Rahman, Fazlur. Prophecy in Islam: Philosophy and Orthodoxy. London: George Allen  & Unwin, 1958. Rizvi, Sajjad. Mulla Sadra and Metaphysics: The Modulation of Being. London: Routledge, 2009. Sellars, Wilfrid. “Being and Being Known.” In Science, Perception, and Reality, 41–59. Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963. Sellars, Wilfrid. Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind. Edited by Robert Brandom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997. Taylor, Richard. “Al-Fārābī and Avicenna: Two Recent Contributions.” MESA Bulletin 39 (2005): 180–82. Thomasson, Amie. “Categories.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta. Winter 2016 edition. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/categories/ Treiger, Alexander. “Avicenna’s Notion of Transcendental Modulation of Existence (Taškīk al-Wuğūd, Analogia Entis) and Its Greek and Arabic Sources.” In Islamic Philosophy, Science, Culture and Religion, edited by F. Opwis and D. Reisman, 327–63. Leiden: Brill, 2012. Wisnovsky, Robert. Avicenna’s Metaphysics in Context. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003.

Conclusion On Avicenna and the so-called common medieval view

Avicenna’s position, as outlined in Chapters 4 and 5, shows that he espouses a modified Sellarsianism in line with the position advanced by John McDowell. McDowell supports Wilfrid Sellars’s attack on the epistemological version of the Myth of the Given – the view that sensory deliverances provide self-authenticating foundations of knowledge. Moreover, they both allow for non-­inferential knowledge of matter of fact as the ultimate court of appeal for empirical knowledge. This knowledge is non-inferential but not unjustified, as it is answerable to the actualizations of the space of reasons in sensory experience. In line with this Sellarsian approach, I  argued in Chapter  4 that Avicenna’s account of sensory experience enjoys the status of “pre-existent knowledge.” This interpretation is not a common reading of Avicenna, because most commentators reject the ascription of conceptual content to sensory perception. In developing an Avicennian view of sensory content that benefits from a conceptualized status, I amassed textual and historical evidence to present Avicenna as an ally to Sellars’s view and rejected the readings that construed Avicenna as an emanatist or a proto-Lockean adherent of the epistemological Given. I began Chapter 5 by distinguishing Avicenna’s account of the intentionality of sense perception from that of Sellars. Sellars, as we saw, attributes a nonrelational quasi-intentionality to sensory perception, whereas for Avicenna sensory perception is relationally intentional. Here, Avicenna’s view better aligns with McDowell’s relational approach to the intentionality of sensory experience. I developed Avicenna’s account of intentionality further by drawing on the Peripatetic connection between objectivity and the categorial unity of being. I then explored Avicenna’s shift to a transcendental unity of being, achieved in the subject as a necessary existent. The highest necessary existent is God and the Active Intellect is the intermediate one involved in our conceptualization. Avicenna objected to the Porphyrians who insisted that the human soul is identical with the thing it perceives. In Avicenna’s view, that is a characterization of the Active Intellect. Human intellect is a self-aware subject for whom the essence of the thing perceived comes to exist in the soul thanks to the emanations of the Active Intellect. Furthermore, for Avicenna, the contrast between the human mind and a separate Active Intellect, which informs the world and the human mind, allows for isomorphism between the experienced world and the external world. The discussion of Avicenna’s metaphysics sheds some light on aspects of the approach he shares with McDowell. For example, we noted that Avicenna’s account of being as truth deepens the significance of McDowell’s appeal to Tarskian truth sentences in regard to our noninferential grounds of empirical knowledge. The conceptualization on the right-hand side of

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the biconditional is that of sensory perception, and it is the site of the primordial sense of truth as uncovering; that is what Avicenna articulates as the instantiation of quiddities. Avicenna’s account of the transcendental unity of being also enriches the notion of categorial unity in McDowell’s account of the conceptuality of sensory experience. However, the hierarchical account of transcendental modulation of being and its related cosmology might puzzle the reader who agrees with much of McDowell’s view. In this chapter, I highlight that puzzle and deploy Avicenna’s work against a McDowellian objection so as to strengthen the alliance I find in their approaches to knowledge and reality. In Mind and World, McDowell insists that the notion of a conceptualized sensory experience should not seem mysterious, as it does not invite a return to a “common mediaeval” view, that is, the view that “what we now see as the subject matter of natural science was conceived as filled with meaning, as if all of nature was a book of lessons for us.”1 McDowell insists that in order to avoid such medievalism, we must make room for the intelligibility sought by the natural sciences without identifying nature with the realm of natural scientific law.2 That intelligibility is made possible when phenomena are seen as governed by natural law, strict or not. So McDowell advocates a “partially enchanted” nature that makes rational demands on us once our eyes are opened to reasons at large.3 His point is that initiation into the space of reasons, which begins with learning a language, brings into operation the conceptual resources of that space in an involuntary fashion in our sensory experience. This involuntary conceptualization puts us in touch with nature. Earlier, I characterized this thesis as a perennialism, the view that the world manifested by the conceptual resources of the space of reasons is real. The intelligibility of the natural sciences, however, completely disenchants the available natural phenomena for the sake of control and prediction. This can be acceptable as long as the involvement of our conceptual capacities in sensory experience is not subverted. McDowell draws on Karl Marx and his account of alienation to bring into focus the risks of subversion. Various subversions would amount to cases of alienation, where human life in the world would be “reduced to the condition of merely animal life, the meeting of merely biological needs.”4 A form of such subversion, I submit, is scientism. In our enthusiasm for the progress of natural sciences, we moderns are in a hurry to drain the human world of meaning and reconfigure phenomena so that we can understand them as parts of the “mind”less reality disclosed by natural laws. Perennialism aims to protect the human reality from such encroachments. In Reason Unbound, I defend the thesis that early Islamic Peripatetics, especially Avicenna, require ethical cultivation in tandem with the acquisition of theoretical knowledge.5 I  also broach this issue in the section titled “Avicenna on the human soul” in Chapter 5, in my discussion of Avicenna’s account of cultivating the self-aware human intellect in order to achieve conjunction with the Active Intellect. My point is related to the one McDowell makes concerning the overcoming of human alienation by delivering the knower from the grip of animal tendencies. The Avicennian version of this point is especially evident in the following passage from Metaphysics 10.5 of Avicenna’s Book of Healing: Since the Motivating Powers are three – the appetitive (al-shahwānīya), the irascible (al-ghaḍabīya), and the practical (al-tadbīrīya) – the virtues (al-faḍā’il, sing., al-faḍl)

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consist of three things: (a) moderation (al-tawassuṭ) in . . . appetites . . . (b) moderation in all the irascible passions . . . (c) moderation in practical matters. At the head of these virtues stand temperance (‘iffa), courage (shajā‘a), and practical wisdom (ḥikma); their sum is justice (‘adāla), which, however, is extraneous to theoretical virtue (faḍīla al-naẓarīya). But whoever combines theoretical wisdom (ḥikma al-naẓarīya) with justice, is indeed the happy man (sa‘ad).6 Ethical cultivation and the acquisition of justice are extraneous to and presupposed for the “happy” philosopher’s knowledge that is gained through theoretical virtue.7 The justice of the  soul is precisely what is required to deliver us from our animality so that we can attend to the actualization of our conceptual capacities in sensory perception and get to know the world. So, Avicenna’s philosophy, as a form of perennialism, has resources for resisting the alienation that results from the suppression of the intelligibility that is peculiar to rational beings. At the end of the same passage, Avicenna writes about the cultivation of prophetic qualities: [W]hoever, in addition to this [justice and theoretical wisdom], wins the prophetic qualities (al-khawāṣ al-nabawīya), becomes almost a human god. Worship of him, after the worship of God, exalted be He, becomes almost allowed. He is indeed the world’s earthly king and God’s deputy (khalīfat Allāh) in it.8 In the language of De Anima 1.5 of the Book of Healing, the achievement of the acquired intellect (al-‘aql al-mustafād), which Avicenna also calls the holy intellect (al-‘aql al-qudsī),9 represents the central prophetic quality. The acquired intellect – as we have seen in Chapter 5 – has all the intelligibles at its immediate disposal, on account of its conjunction with the Active Intellect.10 But the Active Intellect has already bestowed access to the intelligibles by supplying the primary concepts for conceptualization (taṣawwur) in sensory experience. Avicenna draws from Neoplatonism and spiritualizes the acquired intellect’s conjunction with the Active Intellect. The so-called Theology of Aristotle – which is actually a paraphrase of Plotinus’ last three Enneads – contributed immensely to the development of an Islamic spiritual dimension in Peripatetic philosophical psychology. In a particularly influential portion of the Theology – Enneads IV, 8, 1 – Plotinus describes the philosopher’s solitary journey, which culminates in his union with the divine and then terminates by his return to the limited human domain. In the History of Islamic Philosophy, Henry Corbin writes that in this Ennead “the mystical philosophers [for Corbin, Avicenna falls in this category] found both the exemplar of the Prophet’s celestial assumption (mi‘rāj) . . . and the exemplar of the vision which crowns the efforts of the divine Sage, the Stranger, the Solitary.”11 Given McDowell’s reservations about the common medieval view, such speculations threaten to over-enchant the world by articulating the possibility of knowledge and its realization through the interventions of a separate and spiritual intellect. I reject the ascription of the common medieval “excess” to Avicenna because the characterizations of the Active Intellect as separate and spiritual have a distinct philosophical import for him. As we saw in Chapter 5, Avicenna rejects the Porphyrian interpretation of Aristotle and insists that the human intellect is passive and receptive to the impact of the world so its knowledge is

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not self-knowledge. Furthermore, Avicenna contends that the human intellection that results in knowledge as self-knowledge is a contingent feature of human beings as potential intellects. Therefore, as potential intellects, we may not actualize that potentiality and may not know. Moreover, Avicenna  – as we have seen in the section titled “Avicenna’s transcendentalism: on essence and existence” in Chapter  5  – argues that the Active Intellect must be separate, because the actualization of human intellect is something that is attainable. More precisely, there must exist a separate intellect that is necessarily in the state of actuality so as to assist us in the actualization of our (human) potential intellect.12 McDowell also clearly identifies the individual’s mind as passive in relation to the world, but he does hold the sui generis and spontaneous space of reasons to be involved in the passive (i.e., involuntary) operation of the conceptual capacities at the site of sensory experience. McDowell’s naturalized Platonism, however, refrains from invoking a separate Active Intellect. Therefore, he is threatened by the horns of a dilemma: either he internalizes the Active Intellect and ascribes passivity and activity to the same mind simultaneously, risking the consistency of his account. Or he posits an external Active Intellect and risks over-enchantment. McDowell balks at the simultaneous ascription of passivity and activity to the same mind and invokes language as “a repository of tradition, a store of historically accumulated wisdom about what is a reason for what.”13 Invoking language this way alleviates, somewhat, the pressure of the argument for the necessity of a separate actualized intellect. McDowell develops this appeal to language further when he writes, “[i]n being initiated into a language, a human being is introduced into something that already embodies putatively rational linkages between concepts, putatively constitutive of the layout of the space of reasons, before she comes on the scene.”14 Language as the storehouse of tradition serves as an actualized space of reasons and allows for the initiation of linguistic beings into it, and it enables the involvement of concepts at the level of sensory experience. McDowell also talks about a fusion of [linguistic] horizons when engaging the dialogue between different linguistic traditions.15 But his efforts to articulate the primacy of linguistic traditions and the fusion that may result from our exposure to other such traditions still do not account for how linguistic traditions and their fusions come to house the space of reasons, as it were. Avicenna – as evident through Alfarabi’s discussion of the origin of language and the ensuing emergence of demonstration and knowledge16 – is aware of the importance of one’s initiation into a linguistic tradition in order to attain a mature standing in the space of reasons. For Alfarabi, moreover, demonstrative logic makes explicit the structures common to all languages, serving the same function as McDowell’s fusion of linguistic horizons.17 Avicenna embraces his predecessor’s account of the relation between natural languages and logic,18 but the question remains as to how to explain the sui generis status of the logical space without reducing it to natural phenomena (and subject to nomological laws). In addition, if they are to replace Avicenna’s Active Intellect, how can linguistic traditions or their fusion be self-conscious? The Avicennian account of the Active Intellect, whose knowledge is self-knowledge, is well-suited to address these concerns. Finally, given the identity relation between the Giver of forms and the Active Intellect, Avicenna is able to strengthen the isomorphism between what we experience and the way things are.

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A skeptic can dig her heels in and insist that Avicenna’s use of religious locution contaminates the purity of philosophical deliberations on knowledge and reality. However, McDowell’s own characterization of Plato justifies the use of religious and spiritual locution in inspiring the initiate to pursue knowledge with a zeal and commitment not available to a merely philosophical attitude. In “Virtue and Reason,” McDowell draws on Iris Murdoch’s reading of Plato (on the remoteness of the Good) to argue not for an ethical anti-realism, but for the difficulty of recognizing the ethical features of the world. He takes the remoteness as a metaphor: The remoteness of the Form of the Good is a metaphorical version of the thesis that value is not in the world, utterly distinct from the dreary literal version that has obsessed recent moral philosophy. The point of the metaphor is the colossal difficulty of attaining a capacity to cope clear-sightedly with the ethical reality that is part of our world. Unlike other philosophical responses to uncodifiability, this one may actually work towards moral improvement; negatively, by inducing humility, and positively, by an inspiring effect akin to that of a religious conversion.19 One can ascribe the same features – (1) humility in the face of the difficulty in attaining perfect knowledge (ethical and otherwise), and (2) the inspiring effect of a religious conversion – to Avicenna’s characterization of the Active Intellect and the philosopher’s conjunction with it. This appeal to religious/spiritual discourse does incite humility in recognizing the difficulty of perfecting knowledge through conjunction with the Active Intellect. Moreover, in a way that is analogous to a function of religious faith, it inspires the seeker to remain committed to realizing her capacity for knowledge. In conclusion, although it is obvious that Avicenna does not participate anachronistically in the modern scientific project, his epistemology and metaphysics are not thus compromised. We are tempted by the idea that such compromise occurs only if we espouse a version of scientism, or if in recoiling from scientistic views, we go too far and fall prey to a form of reason-nature dualism. More­over, evoking a separate Active Intellect and “spiritualizing” it are not symptoms of a mystified “medieval view.” Rather, they convey some of the subtleties of the metaphysical and ethical dimensions of Avicenna’s account of the quest for knowledge. These intricacies provide us with further perennialist resources to resist, with McDowell, the excessive philosophical obsessions of modernity with the successes of natural sciences.

Notes 1 McDowell, Mind and World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994), 71. 2 Ibid. Sellars, in a rush to identify nature with the realm of law, distinguishes the manifest image from the original image, where the manifest image is “the modification of an [original] image in which all objects are capable of the full range of personal activity, the modification consisting of a gradual pruning of the implications of saying with respect to what we would call an inanimate object, that it did something,” Sellars, “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man,” in Science, Perception, and Reality (Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963), 12. The pruning discards “the implications with

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respect to plans, purposes, and policies” (ibid., 14). McDowell agrees that the original image should be pruned, but he disagrees with Sellars’s insistence that the scientific image will get at the real. 3 McDowell, Mind and World, 84–85. 4 Ibid., 118. In “Avicenna on sense perception, internal sense and abstraction” in Chapter 4, I discussed the Avicennian version of this argument in regard to the contrast between human and animal sense perception. 5 Azadpur, Reason Unbound: On Spiritual Practice in Islamic Peripatetic Philosophy (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2011), 53–63. 6 Avicenna, The Metaphysics of the Healing (Kitāb al-shifā’: Al-Ilāhīyāt), trans. Michael Marmura (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2005), 378. 7 In The Metaphysics of the Healing, Book 9, Chapter 7, Avicenna distinguishes theoretically and morally perfect souls from the theoretically perfect and morally imperfect souls. In the afterlife the latter requires a period of purification, while the former conjoins immediately with the Active Intellect. 8 Ibid. 9 Avicenna, Kitāb al-najāt, ed. Mājid Fakhry (Beirut: Dār al-’ifāq al-jadīda, 1982), 205–7. Translation available in Fazlur Rahman’s Avicenna’s Psychology (London: Oxford University Press, 1952), 35–38. 10 Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, ed. Fazlur Rahman (London: Oxford University Press, 1959), 50. Translated in Classical Arabic Philosophy: An Anthology of Sources, trans and ed. Jon McGinnis and David Reisman (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 2007), 185. 11 Corbin’s Histoire de la philosophie islamique (Paris: Gallimard, 1964), 43. Translated as History of Islamic Philosophy, trans. Liadain Sherrard (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1993), 18. 12 Avicenna, “Fī ithbāt al-nubuwwāt,” in Philosophical Texts and Studies, ed. Michael Marmura, vol. 2 (Beirut: Dār al-Nahār, 1968), 46. Translated in “On the Proof of Prophecies,” in Medieval Political Philosophy: A Sourcebook, ed. Ralph Lerner and Muhsin Mahdi (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1961), 114. See also Avicenna, Avicenna’s De Anima, 50; trans. in Classical Arabic Philosophy, 185. As we have seen in Chapter 5, Avicenna distinguishes the Active Intellect from the Necessary Existent (creator). The Necessary Existent is central to Avicenna’s account of the hierarchy of beings, but its mention is not central to the line of reasoning pursued here. 13 McDowell, Mind and World, 126. 14 Ibid., 125. 15 Ibid., 184–85. 16 Alfarabi, Kitāb al-ḥurūf, ed. Muḥsin Mahdī (Beirut: Dār al-Mashriq, 1970), 131–62. 17 See the discussion of Alfarabi’s account of the relation between logic and grammar in Adamson and Key, “Philosophy of Language in the Medieval Arabic Tradition,” in Linguistic Content: New Essays on the History of Philosophy of Language, ed. Margaret Cameron and Robert J. Stainton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 82–86. 18 For Avicenna’s relevant views, see Al-Shifā’: Al-‘Ibārah (Interpretation), ed. M. El-Khodeiri and I. Madkour (Cairo: Dār al-kātib al-‘Arabī, 1970), 5. Translated by Bäck in Al-‘Ibārah: Avicenna’s Commentary on Aristotle’s De Interpretatione Part One and Part Two (Munich: Philosophia Verlag, 2013), 30. 19 McDowell, “Virtue and Reason,” in Mind, Value, and Reality (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), 73. McDowell confesses that he is inspired by Murdoch’s reading of Plato in “The Sovereignty of Good Over Other Concepts,” in Sovereignty of Good (New York: Routledge, 1970), 75–101.

116  Conclusion

Bibliography Adamson, Peter and Alexander Key. “Philosophy of Language in the Medieval Arabic Tradition.” In Linguistic Content: New Essays on the History of Philosophy of Language, edited by Margaret Cameron and Robert J. Stainton, 74–99. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Alfarabi (Abū Naṣr Fārābī). Kitāb al-ḥurūf. Edited by Muḥsin Mahdī. Beirut: Dār al-Mashriq, 1970. Avicenna (Abū ‘Alī Hussain ibn Sīnā). Avicenna’s Psychology. Translated by Fazlur Rahman. London: Oxford University Press, 1952. Avicenna. Avicenna’s De Anima. Edited by Fazlur Rahman. London: Oxford University Press, 1959. Avicenna. “On the Proof of Prophecies.” In Medieval Political Philosophy: A Sourcebook, edited by Ralph Lerner and Muhsin Mahdi, 112–21. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1961. Avicenna. “Fī ithbāt al-nubuwwāt.” In Philosophical Texts and Studies, edited by Michael Marmura, vol. 2, 41–61. Beirut: Dār Al-Nahār, 1968. Avicenna. Al-Shifā’: Al-‘Ibārah (Interpretation). Edited by M. El-Khodeiri and I. Madkour. Cairo: Dār al-kātib al-‘Arabī, 1970. Avicenna. Kitāb al-najāt. Edited by Mājid Fakhry. Beirut: Dār al-’ifāq al-jadīda, 1982. Avicenna. The Metaphysics of the Healing (Kitāb al-shifā’: Al-Ilāhīyāt). Translated by Michael Marmura. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2005. Avicenna. Al-‘Ibārah: Avicenna’s Commentary on Aristotle’s De Interpretatione Part One and Part Two. Translated by Allan Bäck. Munich: Philosophia Verlag, 2013. Azadpur, Mohammad. Reason Unbound: Spiritual Practice in Islamic Peripatetic Philosophy. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2011. Corbin, Henry. Histoire de la philosophie islamique. Paris: Gallimard, 1964. Corbin, Henry. History of Islamic Philosophy. Translated by Liadain Sherrard. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1993. McDowell, John. Mind and World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994. McDowell, John. “Virtue and Reason.” In Mind, Value, and Reality, 50–73. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998. McGinnis, Jon and David C. Reisman, eds. Classical Arabic Philosophy: An Anthology of Sources. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 2007. Murdoch, Iris. “The Sovereignty of Good Over Other Concepts.” In Sovereignty of Good, 75–101. New York: Routledge, 1970. Sellars, Wilfrid. “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man.” In Science, Perception and Reality, 1–40. Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1963.

Index

abstraction (tajrīd) 2, 10, 62, 64, 65, 71 – 3, 77, 79, 84, 94, 99, 100 Active Intellect (al-‘aql al-fa‘āl) 1, 2, 62, 87 – 8, 92 – 5, 98 – 9, 105, 110 – 15; emanation of intelligibles from 2, 62, 69, 71 – 2, 79, 84, 92 – 5, 99, 104, 112; involvement in sensory experience 2, 62, 68 – 9, 71 – 3, 78, 93 – 4; see also celestial intelligence; forms, the Giver of; intellect activity (energeia) 95 – 9; see also soul, movements of Adamson, Peter 69 – 70, 79 Alfarabi (Abū Naṣr Muḥammad al-Fārābī) 6, 66 – 7, 77, 83, 90, 113; see also Meno’s paradox, Alfarabi on; sense perception, Alfarabi on; truth, Alfarabi on alienation 111 – 12 appearances: as episodes of looking 28; as objects of our sensory intuition vs. things-in-themselves 36; world of 18, 32, 37 apperception: transcendental 86, 88, 94; see also Kant, Immanuel; knowledge, of self; selfawareness; self-consciousness Aquinas, Thomas 7, 25, 33, 83 – 4, 101 Aristotle 1, 2, 6, 71, 82; on judgment (logos apophantikos) 66 – 7, 75, 103; metaphysics of 6, 32, 63, 87 – 91; on proper sensibles 19, 48; on soul 95 – 8, 105 – 6; see also imagination, Aristotle on; Meno’s paradox, Aristotle’s response to; sense perception, Aristotle on; truth, Aristotle on assent (taṣdīq) 60 – 2, 64 – 7, 99; see also judgment assertion(s) 14, 27, 29 – 31, 38 – 40, 68, 83; content of 31, 68, 86 Avicenna (Abū ‘Alī Ḥusayn ibn Sīnā) 1 – 7, 19, 23 – 4, 32, 42, 47 – 8, 52 – 73, 76, 78 – 9, 82 – 5, 87 – 8, 90 – 100, 103 – 4, 110 – 15; see also empiricism, Avicenna’s; experience; imagination, Avicenna on compositive; imagination, Avicenna on retentive;

Meno’s paradox, Avicenna on; sense perception, Avicenna on; truth, Avicenna on awareness 7, 21, 33, 87, 97 – 8; see also cognition, immediate; self-awareness Azadpur, Mohammad 7, 101, 105, 111 behaviorism 25; analytical 25 – 6; methodological 26, 28 being: proper to a thing (wujūd khāṣṣ) 90; as true/ truth (wujūd ithbātī) 90 – 1, 93; unity of 62, 67, 73, 82, 87 – 94, 110 – 11; see also substance(s); unity Biondi, Paolo 59 – 60, 75, 80, 89 – 90, 106 Black, Deborah 2, 64, 66 – 7, 77, 83 – 5, 92, 100, 104, 106 Brandom, Robert 14 – 15, 19 – 21, 50 Brentano, Franz 5 – 6, 23, 82, 84 celestial intelligence 92, 94 – 5, 99; see also Active Intellect cognition 70, 84, 86, 98; immediate (gnōsis; ma‘rifa) 60 – 1, 65, 69 – 70; intellectual 6, 82; philosophical 55 – 6 cognitive order (intellectual order, order of signification) 5, 6, 25, 28, 82 – 3, 84; see also real order; space of reasons common medieval view 110, 112 common sense 6, 18 – 19, 28 – 30, 32, 36 – 7, 40, 42, 62 – 3, 82, 99 concept(s): primary (al-awā’il) 62, 65, 67, 69, 71, 79, 82, 93 – 4, 112; psychological 25 – 6; secondary (al-thānīya) 61 – 2; transcendental 48, 93 – 4 conceptual capacities (abilities) 30, 31, 32, 47, 102, 108, 111 – 13 conceptualization (taṣawwur) 31, 59 – 66, 87, 110 – 11; primary 61 – 2, 65, 67, 69 – 71, 87, 99, 112 conceptual scheme(s) 19, 37, 39, 41 – 2, 49 conceptual unity 31, 32, 48, 68, 72 content: common descriptive 28 – 9, 34; conceptual 15, 31, 68, 70, 84 – 6, 110; experiential (sensory) 9 – 12, 14 – 16, 20, 31 – 2, 34, 39 – 41, 68, 70, 82 – 6, 110; intuitional 31, 47, 68, 86; non-conceptual 64,

118  Index 84, 85 – 6; propositional (discursive) 1, 16, 23 – 4, 27, 30 – 1, 38 – 40, 47, 68 – 70, 85 – 6, 91, 94; see also intentionality Davidson, Donald 39 – 50 Davidson, Herbert 1, 7, 79, 101 discourse: extensional 37 – 41, 43 – 6, 50; intensional 38, 40 – 1, 43 – 5; semantic 24 – 5, 27; see also language dualism: mind-body 3, 42; reason-nature 45 – 6, 50, 114; scheme-content 19, 22, 36 – 7, 41 – 2, 45 emanatism 1 – 2, 72, 100 – 1 empiricism: Avicenna’s 1 – 2, 10, 60 – 5, 70 – 3; classical sense-datum 10 – 12; Lockean (traditional) 16 – 17, 52, 65, 70 – 1, 84; McDowell’s 21, 31 – 2, 34, 68, 86, 110 – 11; Moorean 11; Russellian 11 – 12; Sellarsian 14 – 19; see also content, experiential; intentionality, of the senses; knowledge, empirical epistemic state(s) 10, 29, 58 epistemological Given, the 4, 9, 10, 45, 46, 53, 54, 56, 57, 59, 66, 70, 84, 85, 110; see also Myth of the Given essence 62 – 4, 73, 79, 95, 98, 104, 110; vs. existence 90 – 2, 94; see also quiddity estimation (al-wahm): animal 63 – 5; human 64 – 5 event(s): mental 43 – 5, 49; physical 43 – 4, 47, 49 – 50 existence (wujūd) 62 – 3, 73, 95 – 6, 103, 106; vs. essence 90 – 2, 94 existent (mawjūd) 62, 70, 90 – 6, 110, 115; see also Necessary Existent experience: common-sense 6, 29 – 30, 36, 42, 82, 99; conceptual sensory 23, 30 – 2, 42, 47 – 8, 57, 59, 71, 86 – 7, 111; non-conceptual sensory 5, 15 – 16, 18 – 19, 32, 35, 42, 45, 48, 59, 61, 64 – 5, 83 – 6; see also content, experiential; sense perception explanation 18, 28 – 9, 45; scientific (nomological) 18, 32, 43, 45 extensionalism 37 – 46, 50 facts: epistemic 10 – 12, 21, 26, 54, 71; non-epistemic 10 – 12, 21, 54, 71 Ferejohn, Michael 55 – 60 Fine, Gail 55 – 60 Flying Man argument 97 – 8, 105 – 6 fore-knowledge 6, 52, 54, 54, 56, 57, 60, 67, 71; see also cognition, immediate; knowledge, pre-existent; knowledge, pre-natal

forms: the Giver of (wāhib al-ṣuwar, Dator formarum) 93, 104, 108, 110; intelligible 2, 72, 73, 79, 88, 92 – 3, 97 – 9; Platonic 55, 56, 114; sensory 2, 36 – 7, 61 – 4, 69, 72, 84 – 5, 93 – 4; see also Active Intellect God 92, 95 – 6, 104, 110 – 12; see also Necessary Existent Gutas, Dimitri 2, 65, 70 – 3, 76, 78 Hasse, Dag Nikolaus 72 – 3, 79, 92 – 3, 106 Heidegger, Martin 75, 103 image: manifest (common-sense) 3, 5, 29 – 30, 36 – 7, 45, 114; scientific 3, 29, 36 – 7, 115 imagination: Aristotle on (phantasia) 63; Avicenna on compositive (mutakhayila) 63, 76; Avicenna on retentive (al-khayāl) 62 – 3, 68, 71 – 2, 76, 93 – 4, 99; Kant on 17 – 19 inner sense 62 – 3, 85 intellect (mind, nous, al-aql): acquired 99, 98 – 100, 111 – 13; celestial 92, 94 – 5, 99; human potential (including material) 73, 79, 87 – 8, 92 – 6, 105, 110 – 12; practical 64 – 5, 97; theoretical 97 – 8; see also Active Intellect; celestial intelligence intellection (noēsis) 66 – 7, 75, 93, 96, 103, 106, 113 intelligible(s) 2, 62, 64 – 5, 68, 72 – 3, 84, 87 – 99, 105, 112; primary 61, 69, 71, 78 intensionalism 38 – 45 intention (ma‘nā) 63 – 5, 99 – 100; see also forms, sensory; meaning intentionality: cognitive (genuine) 5 – 6, 59, 82, 86; [intentional] in-existence 23 – 4; of mental states 5 – 6, 23 – 5, 42, 47, 59, 85 – 6; non-relational 6, 16, 23, 25, 82, 110; relational 6, 23, 25, 36, 110; of the senses 1, 3, 5 – 6, 16, 23 – 5, 36, 73, 82 – 6; of thoughts 5, 24 – 8, 83 – 4; see also content; pseudointentionality; sense perception intuition(s) 10, 12, 39, 42, 47; Kantian 16 – 19, 36, 57, 86; see also content, intuitional Janssens, Jules 78, 93 judgment (logos apophantikos; ḥukm) 16 – 17, 23, 27, 31, 62, 66, 67, 69 – 72, 75, 86 – 7, 91, 99, 103; perceptual (empirical; non-inferential) 10 – 18, 21, 29 – 31, 39, 47, 50, 61 – 2, 68 – 70, 75, 103; see also Aristotle, on judgment; assent Kant, Immanuel 1, 4, 7, 10, 16 – 19, 36 – 7, 48, 54 – 6, 68, 86 – 8, 94; see also imagination, Kant on; intuition(s), Kantian; understanding, Kantian faculty of Kaukua, Jari 66, 85 – 6

Index 119 King, Peter 3, 42 knowledge: by acquaintance 12; as assent 60 – 1; empirical 10 – 23, 29, 31, 45, 52, 68 – 9, 79, 110; first (‘ilm al-awwal) 61; grounds of 3 – 22, 31, 36, 54 – 73, 110; non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact (non-inferential factual knowledge) 2 – 12, 16 – 17, 23, 47, 52, 61, 76, 82, 110; pre-existent 54, 57 – 60, 66 – 9, 71, 110; pre-natal 55 – 6, 58, 71; principles of demonstration (archai) 58, 70, 75; of self 95 – 9, 113; simpliciter 58, 60; universal 60 – 1, 69 – 70; see also cognition, immediate; foreknowledge known (al-ma‘lūmāt), the 52, 56, 60 – 1, 70; see also unknown, the Lameer, Joep 65 – 7 language: initiation into 28, 30 – 2, 65, 83, 111, 113; origin of 83, 113; see also discourse López-Farjeat, Luis Xavier 84 – 5 Marmura, Michael 62, 65, 71, 73, 75 – 6, 91, 93, 98, 103, 105 – 6 McDowell, John 1, 4 – 8, 19, 21, 31 – 7, 45 – 7, 50 – 1, 68, 77, 82, 86 – 7, 101, 110 – 15; see also empiricism, McDowell’s; naturalized Platonism; truth, McDowell on meaning (ma ‘nā) 83 – 4, 100; see also intention Menn, Stephen 102 – 3 Meno’s paradox (dilemma): Alfarabi on 66 – 7; Aristotle’s response to 57 – 60, 64, 66, 71; Avicenna on 52, 57, 60 – 2, 70 – 1; Plato on 53 – 7 Moore, G. E. 4, 11 – 12, 20; see also empiricism, Moorean; naturalistic fallacy Myth of the Given 3 – 5, 9 – 21, 26, 28, 31 – 2, 45 – 6, 49, 52 – 9, 66, 68, 70 – 1, 84 – 6, 110; see also epistemological Given, the; naturalistic fallacy naturalism 4 – 5, 20, 24 – 7 naturalistic fallacy 4 – 5, 11, 53 – 4; see also Myth of the Given naturalized Platonism 113; see also McDowell, John Necessary Existent (wājib al-wujūd) 82, 84 – 6, 110, 115 Neoplatonism 97 – 8, 112 nominalism, psychological 5, 24 – 8, 82 norms 25, 30 paradox of discovery 53 – 60, 71 paradox of inquiry 53, 57, 60, 66; see also Meno’s paradox perennialism 3 – 5, 7, 36 – 7, 45, 48, 50, 82, 99, 111 – 12, 114; see also Meno’s paradox

Peripatetic [philosophy; philosophers] 53, 65, 83, 90, 94 – 5, 97, 100, 110 – 12 Plato 1 – 3, 6, 52 – 60, 66, 71, 74, 91, 99, 114 – 15; Humean reading of 55 – 6; Kantian reading of 54 – 6; see also forms; Meno’s paradox, Plato on; recollection, Plato on Porphyry 95; Porphyrian thesis 73, 87, 94 – 6, 110, 112 proper sensibles 19, 48, 89 pseudo-intentionality (of the senses) 5, 23 – 32, 83 – 4, 86 quiddity (al-māhīya) 65, 90 – 3, 100, 111; see also essence Quine, W. V. O. 37 – 42, 44, 49; see also scientism, Quine’s Rahman, Fazlur 2, 91 real order 25, 28, 32, 84; see also cognitive order recollection, Plato on 55 – 9, 66, 71; see also Meno’s paradox, Plato on Rorty, Richard 19, 37 – 47, 49, 50; see also dualism, reason-nature Russell, Bertrand 11 – 12; see also empiricism, Russellian scientific realism 26 – 7, 30, 36 scientism (scientia mensura) 3 – 4, 32, 37, 42 – 6, 111, 114; Quine’s 37 – 40, 44; Sellars’s 5, 15, 19, 23, 29, 32, 34, 36 – 40, 44 – 5, 50, 82 Scott, Dominic 53 – 5, 75 self-awareness 87, 96 – 9, 110 – 11; see also knowledge, of self; self-consciousness self-consciousness 87, 94 – 5, 113; see also knowledge, of self; self-awareness Sellars, Wilfrid 1 – 7, 9 – 21, 23 – 35, 36 – 50, 52, 54, 56 – 7, 68, 70, 82 – 4, 86, 101, 110, 114 – 15; see also empiricism, Sellarsian; scientism, Sellars’s sense impression(s) 3, 5, 10, 18 – 19, 28 – 30, 32, 35 – 6, 48, 101 sense perception (aisthēsis; al-ḥiss) 15, 36, 56 – 73, 76, 79, 82 – 100, 103, 110; Alfarabi on 66 – 7; Aristotle on 59 – 60, 66 – 7, 75, 89 – 90, 103; Avicenna on 60 – 73, 83 – 5, 91 – 4, 99; Plato on 56; see also cognition, immediate; content, experiential; experience; intentionality, of the senses; knowledge, empirical; knowledge, non-inferential knowledge of matter of fact Socrates 52 – 8, 66, 74 – 5 soul: animal (al-nafs al-haywānīya) 2, 96 – 7; human rational (al-nafs al-nāṭiqa) 62, 64, 71 – 3, 79, 94 – 9, 104 – 6, 110; as immortal 53, 98;

120  Index justice of 112; movements of 72, 99; as primary entelechy (kamāl awwal) 96 – 7; as separately existing subject of self-awareness 97 – 9; theoretically and morally perfect 123; theoretically perfect and morally imperfect 123; vegetative (al-nafs al-nabātīya) 96 – 7; see also estimation, animal; estimation, human; intellect, human potential space of reasons: initiation into 15, 83, 111, 113; intensional 38, 40, 44; linguistic (logical) 3 – 4, 9 – 13, 24, 54, 62, 113; normative 13, 19, 25, 28; public 10, 25, 28; vs. the (logical) space of nature (natural sciences) 24, 28, 46; as space of signification 25, 28, 84; sui generis (status of) 6, 113; unity of 6, 31, 68 subjective idealism 37, 48, 87 substance(s) 59, 62, 64, 88 – 92; ontology 6, 73; primary 88 – 9, 93; secondary 88 Themistius 53, 57 this-such nexus 15 – 18, 31 – 2, 39, 57, 68, 70, 71, 75, 86, 94, 101

token-identity theory 43 token mental events 43 – 4, 49 transcendentalism 34, 90 – 1 truth: Alfarabi on 90; Aristotle on 75, 103; Avicenna on 91 – 4, 111; causal view of 46; as correct assertibility 27, 30, 38, 45; disquotational theory of 30, 44, 45, 46, 111; McDowell on 46 – 7, 110; Peircian 36 – 7; Tarskian 27, 42, 110; see also being, as true/truth type-identity theory 43 understanding, Kantian faculty of 16 – 18 unity: categorial 6, 32, 47, 59, 62, 67, 86 – 9, 93 – 4, 104, 110 – 11; of conceptual space 31 – 3, 48, 59, 67 – 72, 87, 89, 111; modulated 92, 111; postpredicamental 48, 67; transcendental 48, 70, 79, 82, 86, 93, 110 – 11; see also being, unity of unknown (al-majhūlāt), the 6, 52, 54, 56 – 8, 60, 64, 69; see also known, the Wisnovsky, Robert 98, 106 Wolfson, Harry 66 – 8, 76 – 7