Attempts by Avicenna and Ibn al-Nafīs to Expand the Field of the Transference of Demonstration in the Context of the Relationship Between Geometry and Medicine


This paper aims to deal with the disputes on transferring demonstration between the various sciences in the context of the medicine-geometry relationship. According to Aristotle’s metabasis-prohibition, these two sciences should be located in separate compartments due to the characteristics of their subject-matter. However, a thorough analysis of the critical passage in Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics on circular wounds forces a revision of the boundaries of the interactions between sciences, since subsequently Avicenna, on the grounds of this passage, would widen the area of the transference of demonstration. Furthermore, the fact that Avicenna and Ibn al-Nafīs continued to use geometrical demonstrations in their anatomical investigations shows the need to understand kind-crossing prohibition as a reminder to take into account the present scientific infrastructure and logical rules before proceeding onto a scientific investigation instead of accepting it as a mere nominal doctrine. Therefore, whether kind-crossing was possible or not depended on the extent to which the conclusion derived at the end of the scientific investigation, using a different method after taking into account all these reminders, had contributed to the solution of a particular proposition or the achievement of an approximate truth.


the transference of demonstration metabasis-prohibition Avicenna Ibn al-Nafīs per se geometry circular wounds anatomy