By Goodman LE

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Dunya, 749-51, tr. Goichon, 467-8; the translation here is my own. lsharat, tr. Goichon, 132. METAPHYSICS 1 CONTINGENCY AND NECESSITY Al-Ghazali's teacher Abu '1-Ma'ali al-Juwayni (1028-85) was called Imam al-Haramayn for his four years of teaching at Mecca and Medina while self-exiled because of the early Seljuq leader Tughrul Ik-g's suspicions of even Ash'arite theological reasoning. He was l:ivored for his orthodoxy by Nizam al-Mulk and preferred to a theological post in the Nizamiyya of Nishapur, where al-Ghazali later taught.

To answer Aristotle's objections to the self-subsistence of the Forms, the Neoplatonists placed them within Nous, the Aristotelian principle of intelligence, pure actuality, now identified with Platonic Being, and hence with the eternal Forms. Since the Ideas are now identical with the mind that knows them, they are no longer isolated but alive, in and as divine Intelligence. The same expedient makes clear how that Intelligence, in knowing itself, can know and govern the world. For the forms are the patterns of the world, the ideals all things pursue through their actions.

For, he argues, even if a thing is eternal or infinite it may owe its existence to something else, being necessary not in itself but through another. In true monotheist fashion, Ibn Sina sees no grounds for stopping the chain of causes at the celestial beings, for example. They too are contingent and not necessary. They are not gods. There is no self-contradiction in denying the existence of the entire world, affirming that it need not exist, even though it always has existed. T h u s its existence is dependent on God.

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Avicenna by Goodman LE
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