The development of geometrical analysis in the 10th century was partly inspired by the reception of the works of Apollonius, which Arab mathematicians translated as early as the preceding century. Al-Quhi contributed to this development by writing several collections of problems dealing with Apollonian themes and solved by the method of analysis; however, it seems that they do not all occupy the same place in his work. The author gives here the edition, translation, and mathematical commentary of a short work, (...) entitled The determination of two straight lines from a point along a known angle, which presents the particularity of providing problems as geometrical lemmas to other studies. Indeed, al-Quhi uses two of these lemmas in more complex constructions which belong to his Treatise on the art of the astrolabe. In this same treatise on the astrolabe, as well as in his Treatise on the perfect compass, this scholar also uses as lemmas several problems solved in another of his works, entitled The generation of points on straight lines according to ratios of which the terms are surfaces. This work is unfortunately lost, and all that remains of it are the traces which subsist in other treatises in which it has been used. This study seems to be necessary if one wishes to understand the organization of the work of al-Quhi, a mathematician of the first rank who was representative of his time. (shrink)
The first book in the Great Medieval Thinkers series to focus on an Islamic philosopher. It offers a brief, accessible introduction to the thought of the philosopher al -Kindi (died roughly 870 AD). His works, though brief, are of great historical importance. Al-Kindi was the first philosopher of the Islamic world. Peter Adamson will survey what is known of al-Kindi's life, examine his thought on a wide range of topics, and consider the relationship of al-Kindi's work to his Greek sources.
Philosophy written in Arabic and in the Islamic world represents one of the great traditions of Western philosophy. Inspired by Greek philosophical works and the indigenous ideas of Islamic theology, Arabic philosophers from the ninth century onwards put forward ideas of great philosophical and historical importance. This collection of essays, by some of the leading scholars in Arabic philosophy, provides an introduction to the field by way of chapters devoted to individual thinkers (such as al-Farabi, Avicenna and Averroes) or groups, (...) especially during the 'classical' period from the ninth to the twelfth centuries. It also includes chapters on areas of philosophical inquiry across the tradition, such as ethics and metaphysics. Finally, it includes chapters on later Islamic thought, and on the connections between Arabic philosophy and Greek, Jewish, and Latin philosophy. The volume also includes a useful bibliography and a chronology of the most important Arabic thinkers. (shrink)
The contemporary viewpoint of many scholars is that politics and religion are two parallel discourses which never meet; or that religion is a personal matter which should not be injected into politics. Their argument for taking this stand is that the two are incongruent and therefore, it is better these are left apart. But religion is associated with morals, truthfulness, honesty and a host of moral virtues all of which are mere playthings in the hands of so-called politicians, the consequence (...) of which may affect the citizens of the country negatively. The view taken here is the relationship between religion and politics has become symmetrically impossible to divorce one from the other. More importantly, the paper brings the democratic contribution of the Prophet Mohammed towards establishing a just and equitable society through his activities and the Medina Constitution, drafted during his time. Attention is given to the democratic administration of the successors of the Prophet with a view to establishing the fact that if Islam is practiced in its truest form, there are democratic values to be found in it. And if such Islamic virtues are made use of, they can not only sustain democracy, but also improve on it. (shrink)
Medieval Muslim scholars unequivocally prohibited the torture of prisoners of war out of a concern for maintaining theoretical constructs about the boundaries of the Muslim and non-Muslim communities. Muslim scholars worried that the torturing prisoners of war would compromise values and ideals predicated on such constructs, and that the demands of citizenship trumped any benefit to the Muslim community that might accrue from torture.
This paper examines the history of glass colouring. It reviews Kitna of Jayybir as a philosopher and chemist. The art of lustre-painting on glass originated in Syria during the Umayyad Caliphate in the eighth century and was soon practised in the neighbouring area. The paper reviews Arabic literature that deals with the colouring of glass until the 13th century, and with pre-Islamic and Latin books of recipes that deal with glass colouring. Recipes for cast coloured glass are very few and (...) scant in non-Arabic literature, and lustre-painting on glass was not mentioned in any treatise outside Arabic, even in the works of Theophilus and Neri. The colouring of glass gemstones by colour diffusion is not mentioned also. The paper compares the recipes of Kitzaward as cobalt oxide in glass colouring. Part two of the paper gives a representative selection of recipes from Kitāb al-Durra for the three methods of glass colouring. (shrink)
In the absence of the Arabic text of al-Khw's Arithmetic (ca. 825), which has not yet been found, the oldest Latin adaptations from the twelfth century are the only evidence documenting the genesis and the first spreading of a decimal arithmetic that uses nine figures and zero, i.e. the Indian reckoning known in the Middle Ages as algorismus. This paper studies these texts, their content, their sources, and identifies their authors and the milieus in which they were written.
We describe the earliest occurrences of the Liar Paradox in the Arabic tradition. e early Mutakallimūn claim the Liar Sentence is both true and false; they also associate the Liar with problems concerning plural subjects, which is somewhat puzzling. Abharī (1200-1265) ascribes an unsatisfiable truth condition to the Liar Sentence—as he puts it, its being true is the conjunction of its being true and false—and so concludes that the sentence is not true. Tūsī (1201-1274) argues that self-referential sentences, like the (...) Liar, are not truth-apt, and defends this claim by appealing to a correspondence theory of truth. Translations of the texts are provided as an appendix. (shrink)
This work examines, through al-Munqidh, the ways and reasons of al-Ghazālī’s association with skepticism. Was he a skeptic on a Humean model, what was his approach to human knowledge, and what is the nature of al-Ghazālī’s critique of rational knowledge?
In this study, we want to show, through the analysis of a Christian author of the 10th. century, how commentaries on the works of Aristotle were continuously made, from the Greek commentators until Averroes. Taking as an example some texts of the Metaphysics, we can see that, even without direct contact with the original Greek version, several translations, both from the Greek and the Syriac, were compared by the author. In those cases, it was not only a translation, but also (...) a work of commentary on the text of Aristotle. KEY WORDS – Aristotle. Metaphysics. Islamic philosophy. Translations into Arabic. Commentaries. (shrink)
This essay deals with a selected part of an epistemological controversy provided by Tūsī in response to the skeptical arguments reported by Rāzī that is related to what might be called "intellectual skepticism," or skepticism regarding the judgments of the intellect, particularly in connection with self-evident principles. It will be shown that Rāzī has cited and exposed a position that seems to be no less than a medieval version of empiricism. Tūsī, in contrast, has presented us with a position that (...) rejects such empiricism. The comparative aim of this essay is to draw attention to some similarities as well as some points of divergence between the kind of skeptical debate we are focusing on here, and some relevant epistemological discussions in the later traditions in the West. ". (shrink)
Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic marks the initial appearance of the multi-volume Handbook of the History of Logic. Additional volumes will be published when ready, rather than in strict chronological order. Soon to appear are The Rise of Modern Logic: From Leibniz to Frege. Also in preparation are Logic From Russell to Gödel, The Emergence of Classical Logic, Logic and the Modalities in the Twentieth Century, and The Many-Valued and Non-Monotonic Turn in Logic. Further volumes will follow, including Mediaeval and (...) Renaissance Logic and Logic: A History of its Central. In designing the Handbook of the History of Logic, the Editors have taken the view that the history of logic holds more than an antiquarian interest, and that a knowledge of logic's rich and sophisticated development is, in various respects, relevant to the research programmes of the present day. Ancient logic is no exception. The present volume attests to the distant origins of some of modern logic's most important features, such as can be found in the claim by the authors of the chapter on Aristotle's early logic that, from its infancy, the theory of the syllogism is an example of an intuitionistic, non-monotonic, relevantly paraconsistent logic. Similarly, in addition to its comparative earliness, what is striking about the best of the Megarian and Stoic traditions is their sophistication and originality. Logic is an indispensably important pivot of the Western intellectual tradition. But, as the chapters on Indian and Arabic logic make clear, logic's parentage extends more widely than any direct line from the Greek city states. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that for centuries logic has been an unfetteredly international enterprise, whose research programmes reach to every corner of the learned world. Like its companion volumes, Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic is the result of a design that gives to its distinguished authors as much space as would be needed to produce highly authoritative chapters, rich in detail and interpretative reach. The aim of the Editors is to have placed before the relevant intellectual communities a research tool of indispensable value. Together with the other volumes, Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic, will be essential reading for everyone with a curiosity about logic's long development, especially researchers, graduate and senior undergraduate students in logic in all its forms, argumentation theory, AI and computer science, cognitive psychology and neuroscience, linguistics, forensics, philosophy and the history of philosophy, and the history of ideas. (shrink)
This paper deals with the relation between Nicholas of Cusa and the Dutch philosopher Heymericus de Campo. Nicholas is celebrated for his rather positive attitude towards Islam. In De pace fidei (1453) he presents the vision of una religio in rituum varietate and in his Cribratio Alkorani (1460/61) Nicholas tries to prove Christian dogmas on the basis of the Koran. This idea he had discussed with his Dutch friend several decades earlier. In his Disputatio de potestate ecclesiastica (1433/34) Heymeric scrutinizes (...) the question, whether the highest authority in the church belongs to the pope or the council, on the basis of the Koran. He presents ten arguments in favour of the council and one in favour of the pope. This shows that Nicholas developed parts of his exceptional thought in conversation with Heymeric and suggests that a closer examination of Heymeric's texts will reveal a new side of the young Cusanus. (shrink)
Sir Anthony Kenny continues his magisterial new history of Western philosophy with a fascinating guide through more than a millennium of thought from 400 AD onwards, charting the story of philosophy from the founders of Christian and Islamic thought through to the Renaissance.The middle ages saw a great flourishing of philosophy, and the intellectual endeavour of the era reaches its climax in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, with the systems of the great schoolmen such as Thomas Aquinas and John Duns (...) Scotus. -/- Specially written for a broad popular readership, but serious and deep enough to offer a genuine understanding of the great philosophers, Kenny's lucid and stimulating history will become the definitive work for anyone interested in the people and ideas that shaped the course of Western thought. (shrink)
This article discusses neoplatonic and aristotelian presence in Ibn Gabirol metaphysics. With this aim, Plotinus and Gabirol’s are confronted in some of the main points, where the resemblance had already been pointed: the First Principle, the intermediary between God and the world and the universal matter. Once the differences between the approaches of these authors regarding such questions have been identified, some contributions which may come from the works of Aristotle will be briefly presented, in order to clarify the origin (...) of Gabirol’s ideas. We believe that Gabirol´s metaphysics must be understood in its historical-philosophical context, characterized by a view of Plato and Aristotle´s doctrines not as conflicting but complementary, as well as in its effort of harmonize them with the abrahamic creationism which, in this case, obeys the Judaic primacy of radical separation between God and the creation. KEY WORDS – Ibn Gabirol. Universal Hylemorfism. Aristotle. Substance. Intelligible Matter. (shrink)
One major idea within the great epic of the Mahabharata is the concept of fate. Daiva, literally 'of the gods', could be said to direct or even manipulate every character and theme throughout the entire epic. The story of Nala and Damayanti offers us an opportunity for insight into Daiva within the epic as a whole. The short story, when placed in the Mahabharata, results in an interesting encapsulation of a love story, numerous metaphors and a tale (...) of initial loss and eventual redemption. Through the investigation of each character's specific dharma, we will see that actions and consequences seemingly blend together, with an arguable disregard for the passage of time. Throughout the story of Nala and Damayanti, we will notice the overarching theme of fate. Human choice and divine authority are questioned as people and gods are unable to escape from what must be. (shrink)
Abstract Ab? Yazid al?Bist?mi (d. 874 AD) was a renowned early s?fi who exerted a tremendous influence upon the doctrinal formulation of the sufism of medieval times. A highly controversial figure, he is venerated by some as a top?ranking saint and s?fi, condemned by others as a notorious heretic, and there are still others who suspend judgement on him. More than 200 years after him al?Ghaz?li (1058?1111 AD) flourished as the greatest s?fi of all times; he examined and evaluated the (...) teachings of his s?fi predecessors including Ab? Yazid. To determine his evaluation of Ab? Yazid and his opinion on the related, well?known concept of man's union with God at the highest peak of spirituality is the main aim of this paper. To achieve this aim al?Ghaz?li's citations from Ab? Yazid's teachings on many basic doctrines of sufism, together with his explicit comments on them, are analysed in the second section of the paper, and he is found to have evaluated these teachings as of a very high grade and to have extolled Ab? Yazid as a s?fi of the highest rank. The third section studies al?Ghaz?li's opinion on the most important aspect of Ab? Yazid's teachings, i.e. his shatah?t or ecstatic utterances apparently expressive of union, fusion and divine indwelling. This began with a consideration of al?Ghaz?li's definition of two kinds of shath and his condemnation of them on the grounds of their harmful consequences. In connection with a study of his condemnation of the shatah?t of Ab? Yazid and al?Hall?j an investigation is made into his opinion on union and fusion. It is found that throughout his s?fi life he condemned them as false concepts. However Ab? Yazid's shatah?t, which apparently mean union, fusion, etc. are interpreted in an orthodox manner, and he is adjudged an elect of the elect, a gnostic who reached the level of reality of realities, a perfect s?fi who attained to God. All the above findings are based on al?Ghaz?li's explicit comments on Ab? Yazid. The fourth section of the paper deals with his implicit, indirect comments which also prove his appreciation of, and indebtedness to, Ab? Yazid in respect of several central concepts of sufism. (shrink)
The kalām cosmological argument for the existence of God proposed by W. L. Craig (in 1970’s) has been subject to much debate on all sorts of issues related to the existence of God and the beginning of the universe. The goal of the paper is to briefly evaluate several complex questions embraced in the argument in order to show the depth and strength of the argument, and to avoid oversimplification, which one can find in some recent publications. The argument as (...) such does not rely on a single thesis or a theory proposed by a single author. The argument has such a support from different fields that its opponents would need to elaborate a theory with much more explanatory power than the most recent cosmological theories. (shrink)
The issue of existence - quiddity difference is one of the important issues that were put forward for the first time in Islamic philosophy without having any background in Greek philosophy. Aristotle's metaphysics which is the main source of the first philosophy contains only synonymous and verbal meaning ofexistence. The issue of existence - quiddity difference has no room in Aristotle's works. This issue was proposed first by Farabi and then was completed by Ibn sina. In Islamic philosophy when it (...) is proved that existence in the mind is neither identical with quiddity nor a part of it but differs with it and is excess of it, that is, when it is proved that existence occurs on quiddity, this question arises that how is their relation in the outside? Whether existence occurs on quiddity or existence and quiddity are identical in the external world? To this question the Islamic philosophers answer that existence and quiddity are identical in the outside and it isimpossible that they differ from each other in the external world. The importance of this issue is that it finally led to the origination of the doctrine of the principality of existence which is known as the culmination of Islamic philosophy. The main goal of this article is study this issue and its impact upon the origination of the doctrine of the principiality of existence. (shrink)
The paper provides some introductory comments and a preliminary translation of Avicenna’s Burhān, IV, 2. I shall first set the stage by outlining the structure of the book (sec. 1). I will then briefly introduce (sec. 2) a number of notions that are dealt with in the first treatise of the Burhān (e.g. definition, description). Burhān, IV, 2 is split into two parts: the first focuses mainly on Aristotle’s An. Post., B, 4, whereas the second covers some of the topics (...) of B, 5 and B, 6. Accordingly, sec. 3 will be devoted to a cursory presentation of Aristotle’s arguments in An. Post., B, 4 along with a more detailed discussion of its Avicennan counterpart, focusing on the indemonstrability of definition; sec. 4, finally, will be a presentation of the second part of the chapter, concerning the relationship between definition and division. An English translation of the entire chapter is appended to the paper and is accompanied by some notes. (shrink)
The fact that Sufi metaphysics were so far taken to be merely writings of Islamic philosophers, like Ibn al-'Arabi, seems to underestimate the philosophical indications of literary texts in the Sufi tradition. When Sufi literary texts are examined for philosophical content, that content is sought within and through the traditional Sufist approach. However, there appears to be a lack of correspondence between the traditional approach on the main conceptions (of God, of the universe, etc.) in Sufism and what literary texts (...) can offer regarding those, when some literary texts are to be examined in a way in which an underlying philosophical system can be extracted from them. In this paper, I present a brief analysis of The Conference of the Birds by Farid ud-Din Attar, one of the most significant works focusing on God and written in Sufi tradition. I suggest an alternative framework for Sufi metaphysics, which overlaps with the metaphysical connotations of The Conference of the Birds, via some Spinozistic ideas on God and on God’s relationship to the rest of the universe. Since The Conference of The Birds represents a metaphysical doctrine that is apart from the traditional approach, I argue that we are not justified in thinking that Sufi metaphysics is only what Islamic philosophers so far offered us. (shrink)