IBN SĪNĀ’S APPROACH TO EQUALITY AND UNITY

Abstract : Aristotle did not develop the quantification of the predicate, but, as shown in a recent paper by Hasnawi, Ibn Sīnā did. In fact, assuming the Aristotelian subject-predicate structure, Ibn Sīnā qualifies those propositions that carry a quantified predicate as deviating ḥ (mu arrafah propositions. A consequence of Ibn Sīnā's approach is that the second quantification is absorbed by the predicate term. The clear differentiation between a quantified subject, that settles the domain of quantification, and a predicative part, that builds a proposition over this domain, corresponds structurally to the distinction, made in constructive type theory, between the type of sets and the type of propositions. Neither did Aristotle combine his logical analysis of quantification with his ontological theory of relations or equality. But Ibn Sīnā makes use of syllogisms that require a logic of equality, and considered cases where quantification combines via equality with singular terms. Moreover these reflections provide the basis for his theory of numbers that is based on the interplay between the One and the Many. If we combine Ibn Sīnā's metaphysical theory of equality with his work on the quantification of the predicate, a logic of equality comes out naturally. Indeed, the interaction between quantification of the predicate and equality can be applied to Ibn Sīnā's own examples of syllogisms involving these notions. By using the formal instruments provided Martin-Löf's constructive type theory, the present paper establishes links between Ibn Sīnā's metaphysics and his logical work: links that have been discussed in relation to other topics by Thom and Street. Ibn Sīnā did not develop a logic of identity, but he did develop the conceptual means to do so.
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S Rahman, Johan-Georg Granström, Z Salloum. IBN SĪNĀ’S APPROACH TO EQUALITY AND UNITY. Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2014, ⟨10.1017/S0957423914000046⟩. ⟨halshs-01216178⟩

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