This thesis reads Avicenna’s (d. 1037) treatise, The Canon of Medicine, alongside his philosophical and esoteric works to uncover the material conditions of human well-being. For Avicenna, well-being is complex; it is not only a state of being, but also an activity. For Avicenna, in order for a person to flourish, he/she must exercise the uniquely human part of his/her psyche, viz. the rational soul. Framing Avicenna’s perspective: a doctor cannot be considered a good doctor if he/she does not perform the activities of a doctor and a person cannot be considered a good person if he/she does not perform the activities of a person. In order for these potential activities to become actualized they must occur within fields of action that are fitted to humanity’s unique nature. This thesis argues that Avicenna’s Canon is philosophically relevant, offering insights into the most intimate of these fields: the human body.
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