•  75
    Avicenna and the Principle of Sufficient Reason
    Review of Metaphysics 67 (4): 743-768. 2014.
    The term “principle of sufficient reason” was coined by Leibniz, and he is often regarded as its paradigmatic proponent. But as Leibniz himself often insisted, he was by no means the first philosopher to appeal to the idea that everything must have a reason. Histories of the principle attribute versions of it to various ancient authors. A few of these studies include—or at least do not exclude—medieval philosophers; one finds the PSR in Abelard, another finds it in Aquinas. And while Leibniz ret…Read more
  •  58
    Long commentary on the de Anima of Aristotle (review)
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (3): 398-399. 2010.
    The Andalusian philosopher Ibn Rushd had two names in the medieval Latin West: 'the Commentator', and 'Averroes'. The first of these underscores his importance as an interpreter of Aristotle . The second was modified at least once by the adjective 'accursed' . 'That accursed Averroes' refers to the person who held that there exists only one human intellect. Averroes defends this view—typically called the unicity doctrine—in his Long Commentary on Aristotle's De Anima.Richard C. Taylor's translat…Read more
  •  51
    Avicenna's Conception of the Efficient Cause
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (2). 2013.
    The concept of efficient causation originates with Aristotle, who states that the types of cause include ‘the primary source of the change or rest’. For Medieval Aristotelians, the scope of efficient causality includes creative acts. The Islamic philosopher Avicenna is an important contributor to this conceptual change. In his Metaphysics, Avicenna defines the efficient cause or agent as that which gives being to something distinct from itself. As previous studies of Avicenna's ‘metaphysical’ co…Read more
  •  125
    Causation and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy
    Review of Metaphysics 65 (1): 177-179. 2011.