Reason Unbound: On Spiritual Practice in Islamic Peripatetic Philosophy

New York, USA: SUNY Press (2012)
Authors
Mohammad Azadpur
San Francisco State University
Abstract
This intriguing work offers a new perspective on Islamic Peripatetic philosophy, critiquing modern receptions of such thought and highlighting the contribution it can make to contemporary Western philosophy. Mohammad Azadpur focuses on the thought of Alfarabi and Avicenna, who, like ancient Greek philosophers and some of their successors, viewed philosophy as a series of spiritual exercises. However, Muslim Peripatetics differed from their Greek counterparts in assigning importance to prophecy. The Islamic philosophical account of the cultivation of the soul to the point of prophecy unfolds new vistas of intellectual and imaginative experience and accords the philosopher an exceptional dignity and freedom. With reference to both Islamic and Western philosophers, Azadpur discusses how Islamic Peripatetic thought can provide an antidote to some of modernity’s philosophical problems. A discussion of the development of later Islamic Peripatetic thought is also included.
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