This study is the first part of an attempt to settle a vigorous debate among historians of medieval philosophy by harnessing the resources of analytic philosophy. The debate is about whether Avicenna's epistemology is rationalist or empirical. To settle the debate, I first articulate in this article the three core theses of rationalism and one core thesis of empiricism. Then, I probe Avicenna's epistemology in his major works according to the first core thesis of rationalism (the intuition thesis). In the end, I find Avicenna committed to this thesis in at least one substantive way, namely, in his claim to intuit the intelligible forms or essences. This suffices to count Avicenna as rationalist. In a subsequent article, I shall probe Avicenna's epistemology according to the other two core theses of rationalism, presenting further evidence that he was a rationalist, not an empiricist.

You do not currently have access to this content.