Saturday, 13 May 2017

Avicenna (LIE): Personality Type Analysis

Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn al-Ḥasan ibn ʿAlī ibn Sīnā, commonly known as  Avicenna or Ibn Sīnā, was a Persian Islamic philosopher responsible for bringing Aristotle's (LIE) works into the wider consciousness in the Post-Classical era. He originated a version of the Argument from the First Cause for the existence of God. Avicenna was also widely respected in his day for his medical writings and his textbook, The Cannon of Medicine, which remained a standard work until the 17th centuryBorn near Bukhara in modern-day Uzbekistan in 980, Avicenna had memorised the Koran by the age of 10 and by 21 was a well-rounded intellectual, accomplished in all areas of learning including medicine, mathematics, music, astronomy and logic. Avicenna lived in turbulent times, when Turkish forces were fighting for dominance in Central Asia. At the same time, local Iranian dynasties were struggling to gain independence from the central Muslim dynasty, the Abbasid caliphate, which was based in modern-day Baghdad, Iraq. Despite having to move from town to town in Khorasan to work for living as a physician and an administrator - Avicenna managed to further his intellectual pursuits and wrote around 200 treatises as well as several major works, of which the most famous are the Kitab ashifa (Book of Healing) and al-Qanun fi at-tibb (The Canon of Medicine). 

Avicenna's major contributions to the sciences were in medicine and philosophy. Reason, reality and a deep seated skepticism in determining fact from fiction was central to his philosophy. He also stressed the importance of gaining knowledge to be used as a tool to sharpen the mind. Avicenna believed that through reason, it was possible for an individual to progress through various levels of understanding and eventually reach the truth about God; the ultimate object of knowledge. Avicenna held that since God was the originator of existence, he must be pure intellect. Avicenna's approach was slightly different. He developed a scientific procedure in which "general and universal questions came first and eventually led to experimental work." It seems that Avicenna believed that the theoretical and the practical were two separate things, that theory was primarily just speculative and required practice to put it into reality. This gives us a decent case of the Gamma Researcher method to deal with unique ideas by diminishing the quantity of conceivable outcomes we consider, in view of testing of what really works. In this way, we can say at any rate this fits P1 and T2 for Avicenna - as he always scanning for and including himself in pragmatic ventures keeping in mind incredulously to decision components of his rationality that didn't fill a teleological need, instead of discover more things that fit the hypothesis.

As a young adult, Avicenna attempted to integrate elements of Aristotelian and Platonic (IEI) philosophy with his belief in God as the creator. In this area, he departed from Classical thinking and took on the central subject of metaphysics - the existence of God. Drawing on Plato's ideas, he made a distinction between essence and existence. He described essence is the nature of things, while physical manifestation is entirely separate. For example: The essence of a 'horse' or a 'stone' does not imply that a particular horse or stone exists. Existence has to have been created by a necessary essence that is itself not caused. To put it another way, for the material world to have come into being, another factor must have caused it; in turn another factor must have brought this factor into being. Avicenna proposed that an essential cause and its effect cannot be part of an infinite chain. There has to be a First Cause, and this is God. God is the necessary existent, and the world emanated from him. In this way, Avicenna believed that he had proved God's existence. Avicenna went on to show that God, reflecting on his own existence, emanated a First Intellect; the self awareness of this intellect gave rise to a Second Intellect. Successive levels of intelligence emanated from them, creating the universe and the matter that fills it; the tenth and final intellect produced the material world. For Avicenna, the nature of God means that the universe has to exist as it does. Every stage from the First Intellect through all the emanations to the creation of the material world was entirely necessary and not the work of a deity that decided the form of creation. Thus, the creation of God and the universe were all part of the same process. This contradicted the biblical and Koranic theory of Creation as an act of free will on the part of God. Within Avicenna's work, he was somewhat unconcerned with managing minor points of interest identified with their pragmatic work. He ignored the handy matters of association and the subtle elements of executing their thoughts, while driving an exceptionally dynamic way of life that infrequently veered off from his work, leaving insignificant time for unwinding. Moreover, in spite of managing broadly with medicinal practices - he found the physical state of the human body to sicken and inclined to controlling the psyche and soul into falling into evil longings like desire and intemperance. From what data we think about Avicenna, we can say in any event that he was a S4 type that gave little consideration to the physical components of his surroundings and had little commitment to expand on the parts of medicine that had nothing to do with scientific investigation.

For individuals to gain knowledge and grow closer to the truth about the Creator, they had to attempt to grasp the intelligible, using reason and logic. Avicenna followed Aristotle's thought in Prior Analytics, which he identified the capacity for a person to hit upon the middle term of syllogism to develop arguments. (A traditional syllogism has two premises and a conclusion, such as 'All mortal things die. All men are mortal things. All men die.' The middle term is the term that the two premises have in common - in this case, mortal things) For Avicenna, when a person understood such intelligibles, he or she came in touch with the active intellect, the final level of being that originated from God. The capacity for gaining knowledge varied enormously between people; a prophet who knew virtually all of the intelligibles, had the greatest capacity. He found mathematics and metaphysics as hard and thorny subjects. Both are purely theoretical, and usually the natural domain of the LII. He found it easy to make progress in medicine, which is an extremely practical subject, that requires a high level of practical improvisation, to tailor the treatment to the patient. That being said, Avicenna was not interested in thinking about the internal consistency of logical systems. He entirely based his viewpoints and suppositions on factual information, evidence, and ideas external to systems of logical inference. This fits L7 being largely overshadowed by strong and valued P.

For Avicenna, it was the human soul that engaged with the task of gaining knowledge of reality. The human soul was incorporeal - separate from the material world. This was because an intellectual thought, in order to remain a coherent concept, but instead was held by one single intellect. The soul was therefore also immortal, the disintegration of the body after death did not affect it. In Avicenna's final major philosophical work, Kitab al-isharat wa at-tanbihat (Book of Directives and Remarks), he wrote of the path of knowledge from the beginning to the final vision of God. It was written during the last fourteen years of his life in which he lived relatively peacefully in the employ of Ala ad-Dawlah, the ruler of Esfahan, Iran. Within Avicenna's span of over 200+ written works, he digresses on several topics that he learned for his own sake, but subjected these ideas to skeptical evaluation based on their applicability or usefulness to other ideas. Nevertheless, this supports the idea of I8 and taking a keen interest in a very broad range of topics that he compiled into a series of written works.

From what I've recorded above as of now is consistent with P1, T2, S4, L7 and I8. That is, the LIE type of information metabolism.

To learn more about LIE, click here.

If you are confused by our Socionics shorthand, click here.

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