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Averroes: biography of the father of current medicine

Averroes: biography of the father of current medicine

January 29, 2023

Abu Walid Muhammad ibn Rusd, better known as Averroes In the Western world, he was a Hispano-Arab philosopher, thinker, doctor and jurist who is considered one of the most important philosophers for both the Muslim world and Europe, since he translated hundreds of works of Aristotle and never ceased his studies and reflections.

Next we will give a brief review of the biography of Averroes, with the main events of his life and work.

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Small biography of Averroes

Born in Cordoba when it was under Islamic rule (1126 - 1198), Averroes came from a family of legal scholars, whose specialty was consulting. His father, Abu Al Qasim Ahmad, was a Kadi from Córdoba during the time of Al-Andalus, a period in which Muslims dominated Hispania during the Middle Ages for around 800 years.


The thought of Averroes as a philosopher

Following the family tradition, Averroes finished his studies in law, specialized and deepened in the interpretation of laws , its reasons for being and its objectives. From a very young age, he excelled in his approach to jurisprudence. His fame reached her with his two great works: Starting point of the supreme jurist Y The arrival of the average jurist.

This Muslim philosopher was called known as "the commenter", "the consultant" by the West, and is that its main achievements result from three works called The Commentaries of Aristotle, divided in three parts with the Major Commentary, the Medium Commentary and the Minor Commentary, being in this order from more to less in terms of analytical extension.


Science and religion, in convergence

Contrary to what can be imagined about how religion can influence the empirical field, Averroes He wanted to bring together theology with philosophy . To begin with, instead of confronting the three monotheistic religions, he rather recognized the importance of all three.

For Averroes the sacred books of the Torah, the Bible and the Koran have the same background and purpose, which is to give a logical explanation to the existence of life. On the other hand, knowing the controversy that exists when interpreting the writings, he came to assert that only philosophers and thinkers should be authorized to decode the Qur'an.

Likewise, the Hispano-Arab philosopher related both types of knowledge, pointing out that they were indispensable to one another in order to understand the meaning of life. Justify the divine existence (God supreme) to give order, coherence and stability to the world of psychology ; that world of the human mind that is that of the senses and the imagination, therefore not objective, according to Averroes.


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Work and transcendence

Despite all its influences at the philosophical-juridical level, the most outstanding work and award-winning Averroes has to do with medicine. And as a doctor, the author wrote Kulliyat, scientific book that spoke of the generalities of medicine. Many criticized his contribution to science, but the Koran itself advocates "looking for science from the cradle to the grave."

The profession of doctor at that time was one of the most recognized achievements for a sage . He had to pass a test of high intellectual difficulty under the knowledge of Hippocrates, as well as his oath. In addition, what praises the figure of Averroes as a doctor, is that to exercise as such, not only required knowledge and technical skills. It had to demonstrate morality, ethics and a sense of justice.

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"Al-Kulliyat", genesis of modern medicine

The book Al-Kulliyat, generalities about Medicine, written in seven surprising volumes, was written based on the idea that, as Averroes would say: "the visible can make us glimpse the invisible". In this way, Ibn Rusd surprised his contemporaries again, avoiding preconceptions and intuitions in his scientific studies.

For Averroes, Medicine was an art , and the doctor the brush to carry out. A specialty that was aimed at the conservation of health and the cure of their diseases. Based on three fundamental pillars (principles, elements and their causes), the doctrine of Al-Kulliyat is presented as follows:

Volume 1. Anatomy

Knowledge of the parts of the human body, describing the parts that can be perceived.

Volume 2. Physiology

It deals with the organic and mechanical functioning of the human body of each one of the components that form it. It describes what is known today as the "state of health"

Volume 3. Pathologies

Description and explanation of the causes of diseases.

Volume 4. Semiotics

Study and analysis of symptoms and syndromes

Volume 5. Therapeutics

The healing technique, providing dietary recipes and natural drugs.

Volume 6. Hygiene

Recommendations and guide of hygienic techniques for the maintenance of health.

Volume 7. Medication

Comprehensive description of the different medications and solutions for all types of diseases.


Ibn Sina- The Father of Modern Medicine (January 2023).


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