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Active Intellect Essay

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Avicenna presents the idea of what he names the “active intellect” across three of his works: The Cure, Remarks and Admonitions: Physics and Metaphysics, and Psychology. In each text, he makes use of the idea of the active intellect in helping to explain the process by which human intellects come to know intelligibles. He approaches the introduction of the active intellect variably; sometimes he argues for its existence then tells how it fits into his worldview, other times he points out a blank spot in his worldview which must be filled then fills it with the active intellect. Always, though, he notes the nature of the active intellect and its role in his worldview. Additionally, Avicenna argues for the necessity of the active intellect and describes its function.…show more content…
Specifically, the theoretical faculty of the human soul receives these intelligibles from the active intellect (Psychology, p. 33). As we will expound upon in the discussion of the necessity of the active intellect, Avicenna argues that without the influence and action of the active intellect upon the human soul, the human intellect would never be able to come to know intelligibles. The nature of the active intellect is less straightforward than its role of disclosure. Its nature is eternal, contains all intelligibles, is neither corporeal nor divisible, and is intelligent by its very essence. These attributes of the active intellect are argued for in Avicenna’s Psychology on page 69 and in his Physics and Metaphysics on page 105. In the former work, Avicenna focuses on the necessity of the active intellect as well as the necessity of its various attributes listed
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