This important book investigates the emergence and development of a distinct concept of self-awareness in post-classical, pre-modern Islamic philosophy. Jari Kaukua presents the first extended analysis of Avicenna's arguments on self-awareness - including the flying man, the argument from the unity of experience, the argument against reflection models of self-awareness and the argument from personal identity - arguing that all these arguments hinge on a clearly definable concept of self-awareness as pure first-personality. He substantiates his interpretation with an analysis of Suhrawardī's use of Avicenna's concept and Mullā Sadrā's revision of the underlying concept of selfhood. The study explores evidence for a sustained, pre-modern and non-Western discussion of selfhood and self-awareness, challenging the idea that these concepts are distinctly modern, European concerns. The book will be of interest to a range of readers in history of philosophy, history of ideas, Islamic studies and philosophy of mind.
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. Preliminary observations: self-cognition and Avicennian psychology; 2. Avicenna and the phenomenon of self-awareness: the experiential basis of the flying man; 3. Self-awareness as existence: Avicenna on the individuality of an incorporeal substance; 4. In the first person: Avicenna's concept of self-awareness reconstructed; 5. Self-awareness without substance: from Abū al-Barakāt al-Baghdādī to Suhrawardī; 6. Self-awareness, presence, appearance: the ishrāqī context; 7. Mullā Sadrā on self-awareness; 8. The self reconsidered: Sadrian revisions to the Avicennian concept; Conclusion: who is the I?; Appendix: Arabic terminology related to self-awareness; Bibliography; Index.