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Assistant Professor - Section History of Philosophy - Medieval Philosophy, Arabic and Latin -

 Normally I am at the VU two times a week including Thursday.

 Appointments : via email  



My area of research is metaphysics, particularly emanation, the definition of the First Principle, the doctrine of causality, and the epistemology of Arabic Neoplatonism.  I published the first Italian translation of Avicenna's Metaphysics (Bompiani 2002, 2nd ed. 2006) as well as various essays on theological and philosophical thought in the mediaeval Arabic world (Alfarabi, Yahyā ibn ‘Adī, Avicenna, al-Ghazali).  For Angeli (Neri Pozza 2009), edited by G. Agamben and E. Coccia, I wrote together with Samuela Pagani, the section on Islamic angelology, my main focus being philosophical angelology.  My book on Avicenna’s concept of emanation has been published in 2011 (Fluxus, Bari). My introductory book about Avicenna’s philosophy has been published in 2012. I am currently working on various papers and on a study of the question of the unity of God in Yahyā ibn ‘Adī.


Recent Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Philosophy in Islam
  • Introducion to Ancient and Patristic Philosophy
  • Avicenna’s Metaphysics
  • The relationship between philosophy and the religious law in Averroes
  • Creation and Emanation
  • Dynamis, quwwa, potentia (with Wouter Goris)
  • Thomas Aquinas' De ente et essentia and its Arabic sources
  • Aristotle's Metaphysics: Book Zeta ("Tekstcollege")
  • Boethius: De consolatione philosophiae ("Tekstcollege")
  • Aristotle's De anima (Over de Ziel: "Tekstcollege")
  • The Mind-Body problem: a historical survey
  • Introduction to the History of Arabic Philosophy
  • Introduction to the History of Medieval Philosophy
  • History of Philsophy (for PPE students)


Academic History

I studied in Rome:  philosophy at the Università di Roma "La Sapienza", and Arabic and Islamic studies at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies.  I took my degree in the history of mediaeval philosophy, under Alfonso Maierù, with a thesis on the doctrine of separate substances in Avicenna.  In 1994 the Florentine Fondazione E. Franceschini awarded this work the prize for the best degree thesis in mediaeval philosophy.  I continued to explore mediaeval Arabic philosophical thought, and Avicenna in particular, in Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve) at the Centre de Philosophie Arabe of the U.C.L. (Catholic University of Louvain) with Yahya Michot (1993-94); in Naples, at the Istituto per gli Studi Storici (Institute for Historical Studies), headed by Gennaro Sasso (1994-95); and at Oxford (once again with Michot, in 1999 and 2000).  For various periods between 1990 and 2001 I studied in Tunis and in Damascus (at the former Institut Français d'Études Arabes).  After further research, which culminated in my receiving a doctorate with a thesis on the theory of emanation in Avicenna, (at the University of Rome "La Sapienza", from 1995-96 to 1999-2000), I worked on a post-doctoral project at the same university (2000-02) and taught (2003-07) Arabic language and Islamic studies at the University of Bari and the University of Urbino.  In 2007 I received the title of Maître de Conférences in Philosophy. From 2007-09 I was a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the Ruhr-Universität in Bochum, where I worked with Gerhard Endress.

  • French Institute of Arabic Studies of Damascus, Syria, 1990
  • M.A. – University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ (Philosophy), 1992
  • M.A. (Licence complémentaire en Philosophie - Catholic University of Louvain, 1994
  • Fellow at Institute of Historical Studies (Istituto per gli Studi Storici), Naples, 1994-1995
  • M.A. – Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Rome (Arabic and Islamic Studies), 1996
  • Ph.D. - University of Rome “La Sapienza” (Philosophy), 2000
  • Editor - “Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana ‘Giovanni Treccani’” (Institute for the Italian Encyclopaedia ‘Giovanni Treccani’), 2000-2002
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow - University of Rome “La Sapienza”, 2001-2003
  • Research Fellow -  University of Bari,  2003-2005
  • Temporary Lecturer (Islamic Studies) - University of Urbino-Pesaro, 2006-2008
  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellow - University of Bochum (Ruhr-Universität, Bochum), 2007- 2009

Ancillary activities

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Ancillary activities are updated daily

Personal information

Université de Genève - 


  • History of Philosophy
  • Arabic Philosophy
  • Medieval Philosophy
  • History of Metaphysics
  • Arabic Language
  • Islamic Studies

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Avicenna Arts & Humanities
Metaphysics Arts & Humanities
Healing Arts & Humanities
Ibn Sina Arts & Humanities
Philosophy Arts & Humanities
Latin Language Arts & Humanities
Redaction Arts & Humanities
Thomas Aquinas Arts & Humanities

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Research Output 1995 2019

Avicenna on Truth. Some remarks»

Lizzini, O. L., 2018, (Submitted) Luis Xavier López Farjeat / Katja Krause (eds.), A volume in Honour of Richard Taylor [submitted to the editors].

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Avicenne (?): Epître sur les prophéties

Lizzini, O. L. (ed.) & Brenet, J-B. (ed.), 2018, Paris: Vrin. 200 p. (Translatio)

Research output: Book / ReportBook editingAcademic

Ibn Suwār (Ibn al-Khammār)

Lizzini, O. L., 2018, Encyclopaedia of Islam: Three. Fleet, K., Kramer, G., Matringe, D., Nawas, J. & Rowson, E. (eds.). 3rd ed. Leiden: Brill, p. 88-92

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Le Langage de Dieu: autour de la 'Révélation' et de la prophétie chez Avicenne

Lizzini, O. L., 2018, Avicenne(?): Epître sur les prophéties. Paris: Vrin, p. 7-82 76 p. (Translatio)

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Le théologico-politique à la lumière de la philosophie. Prophète, khalīfa et espèce humaine selon Avicenne

Lizzini, O. L., 2018, (Submitted) Actes du Colloque international “Le Théologico-politique au Moyen-Age”, Institut Catholique de Paris, Février 2017. 20 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Activities 1992 2018

Respondent to “What is the Arabic for zôon politikon? Ethics and politics in Ibn Ṭufayl” by C. La Martire

Lizzini, O. L. (Participant)
19 Mar 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventConferenceAcademic

Puissance et acte chez Avicenne: lecture des textes

Lizzini, O. L. (Speaker)
6 Jun 2018

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Truth in Avicenna. Some remarks

Lizzini, O. L. (Speaker)
3 May 2018

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Avicenna on Truth ( Research Group on History of Philosophy, Universiteit Utrecht).

Lizzini, O. L. (Participant)
18 Apr 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventConferenceAcademic


Avicenna International Prize of the French Academy of Medicine

O.L. Lizzini (Recipient), 30 May 2018

Prize: Prize / AwardAcademic

medical research
Central Asia

Premio miglior Tesi di laurea - Fondazione E. Franceschini

O.L. Lizzini (Recipient), 1 Jul 1994

Prize: Prize / AwardAcademic

Medieval Latin