The knowledge of various aspects of man is the main concern of Ibn Sina’s philosophy. In his philosophical system, man is a created existent whose immaterial soul and material body, both, come into existence by the Active Intellect. From the very beginning, the soul is immaterial by essence and parallel to separate intellects. However, it is material in terms of acts and depends on bodily means. The soul-body relationship is unique: The soul is the administrator of the body and the main agent of all human acts. The body, as the unique instrument of the soul’s acts, enjoys worldly life and is the mediator of the actualization of faculties and their capabilities. Man has no life prior to his worldly life and is not pre-eternal; however, its immaterial soul is eternal and, unlike the body, which is destroyed after death, is not annihilated and is immortal.
Three of Ibn Sina’s allegorical-gnostic works center around anthropology: in the treatises of al-Tayr, Hayy ibn Yaqzan, and Salaman wa Absal, he explains human life and the factors leading to or hindering his perfection in the language of stories, secrets, and symbols. Moreover, following an approach which is less philosophical and more gnostic and didactic, he tries to reveal the way of perfection and happiness to its seekers.
The present paper intends to explore the appearance of philosophical anthropology of Ibn Sina in the anthropology embedded in his three-fold allegorical-gnostic treatises. In this way, it seeks to discover the differences and similarities between these two approaches to man from the viewpoint of this dexterous Peripatetic philosopher.