Seminar

Burak Şaman - “Thinking About the Non-Existent: Aristotle and Avicenna”

Seminar
Burak Şaman - “Thinking About the Non-Existent: Aristotle and Avicenna”

“Thinking About the Non-Existent: Aristotle and Avicenna”

Speaker: Burak Şaman

December 23rd, Thursday

Since Parmenides, who equated existence with thinking and has stated that nothingness does not exist, Classical philosophy has avoided thinking about the non-existent. This tradition, which included the Antiquity and the Middle Ages, has always tried to deal with nothingness as the negation of existence. So how can we think about objects that we deem to not exist? If thinking is always thinking about ‘what is’, can an inquiry into ‘what is not’ offer us a better understanding of what thinking is?

In this talk, we will start by addressing the status of non-existent objects and non-existence for Aristotle and Avicenna, and by way of the question of how the non-existent can be thought about – essentially through a reverse movement – we will attempt to arrive at what thinking is for both of these philosophers. Thus, at a point where the question about metaphysics and our question about thinking would intersect, we will talk about the convergence of the two philosophers from the Greek and Islamic philosophical traditions.

E. Burak Şaman completed his undergraduate degree at Galatasaray University’s Department of Philosophy (2008) and continued his studies at the same university to earn his master’s degree with his dissertation titled “İbn Arabî’de Hikmet Kavramı” (The Concept of Wisdom in İbn Arabî) (2010), and later his doctoral degree with a thesis titled “Ruh ve Beden Ayrımı Açısından İbn Sina ve Descartes’ta Bilginin Kesinliği” (The Certainty of Knowledge in Avicenna and Descartes From the Viewpoint of the Distinction Between Body and Soul) (2015). Şaman, who has been a faculty member at the Department of Philosophy of Istanbul 29 Mayıs University since 2015, continues his scholarly pursuits focusing on the connections between Greek and Islamic philosophy and the history of Western philosophy.

21 January 2022 Friday 00:00

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