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Benevich, Fedor (2020): Individuation and identity in Islamic philosophy after Avicenna: Bahmanyar and Suhrawardi. In: British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Vol. 28, No. 1: pp. 4-28
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Abstract

Scholarship on medieval philosophy has rightfully acknowledged the historical and systematical merit of Avicenna's (d. 1037) thought in all divisions of philosophy. Avicenna however did not provide a systematic theory of individuation: matter, existence, 'individual intentions', and other candidates equally appear in his works as candidates for the principle of individuation. This systematic gap was to be filled in post-Avicennian Islamic philosophy. In this paper, I will focus on two figures: Avicenna's disciple Bahmanyar b. Marzban (d. 1066) and Sihab al-Din al-Suhrawardi (d. 1191), the founder of what has come to be called Islamic Illuminationism. We will see that Bahmanyar, inspired by Avicenna's Marginal Notes, connects individuation with matter, motion, time, and position. Suhrawardi in his turn will present a revolutionary attempt to break with the Aristotelian-Avicennian tradition of explaining individuation through spatiotemporally designated matter. His position, as I will show, comes close to what we nowadays call primitive individuation.