An Investigation of the Ascription of Logical Treatise Al-muhja to Avicenna



The logical treatise Al-muhja has been attributed to Avicenna in some bibliographies of logical treatises. Since a proper understanding of the development of Avicennian Logic rests on the identification and consideration of the entire corpus of his logical works, the task of the present study is to investigate the validity of ascription of this treatise to Avicenna. In carrying out an analysis of each treatise attributed to its author, viz., the investigation of manuscripts, supporting historical documents, structural analysis, and content-scrutiny, one may derive scholarly benefit. Supporting historical documents and manuscripts of Al-muhja that might indicate whether or not it belongs to Avicenna are unconvincing. In light of the analysis of its structure, this work does not belong to the styles of any established mode of logical studies and what’s more, even after considering the developments of Avicennian Logic –that the Grand Master composed treatises belonging to the category of ‘nine-fold division of logic’ and pioneered the category of ‘bipartite division of logic’ – this work seems to be out of place. In the case of contents-scrutiny, taking into consideration those ‘words’ that are non-existent in his other logical treatises, logical errors, and instances of variances that this work has with the other known works of Avicenna, all ascertain the hypothesis of the non-attribution of Al-muhja to Avicenna.