By Averroes, Simon Van Den Bergh
The Incoherence of the Incoherence, Volumes I and II, translated from the Arabic.
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Additional info for Averroes' Tahafut Al-Tahafut (The Incoherence of the Incoherence) Volumes I and II
Ghazali gives one of these arguments in the following form: How can man's identity be attributed to body with all its accidents? For bodies are continually in dissolution and nutrition replaces what is dissolved, so that when we see a child, after separation from its mother's womb, fall ill a few times, become thin and then fat again, and grow up, we may safely say that after forty years no particle remains of what there was when its mother was delivered of it. Indeed, the child began its existence out of parts of the sperm alone, but nothing of the particles of the sperm remains in it; no, all this is dissolved and has changed into something else and then this body has become anolher.
The phenomena of telepathy, for instance the fascination which a snake has on other animals, they explained in this way. Amulets and talismans can receive through psychological influences certain powers which can be realized later. This explanation of occult phenomena, which is found in Avicenna's Psychology, a book translated in the Middle Ages, has been widely accepted (for instance, by Ghazali himself in his Vivification of Theology), and is found in Thomas Aquinas and most of the writers about the occult in the Renaissance, for instance Heinricus Cornelius Agrippa, Paracelsus, and Cardanus.
They have neither beginning nor end but there exists a proportion between the parts, because they are both actual, then the proportion between the wholes is not necessarily the same as the proportion between the 19 parts—although many think so, basing their proof on this prejudice —for there is no proportion between two magnitudes or quantities which are both taken to be infinite. 2 When, therefore, the ancients believed that, for instance, the totality of the movements of the sun and of Saturn had neither beginning nor end, there could be no proportion between them, for this would have implied the finitude 5 of both these totalities, just as this is implied for the parts of both.
Averroes' Tahafut Al-Tahafut (The Incoherence of the Incoherence) Volumes I and II by Averroes, Simon Van Den Bergh