Ash'ari's Theological Determinisma and the Senses of 'Can'

Hamdard Islamicus 15 (1):39-57 (1992)
In this paper I argue that al Ash'ari was a Theological Determinist whose position on free will and human responsibility was marred by his failure to distinguish between two senses of the word 'can' (yastati'u ). I also compare al Ash'ari's position with that of the Mu'tazilite thinker al Qadi 'Abd al Jabbar. I conclude that their positions may not have been so much opposed to each other as merely different. This, I suggest, should invite us to re evaluate the nature and extent of the disagreement between the Ash'arites and the Mu'tazilites on the free will question.
Keywords Ashaari, Mu'tazilism, Islamic Theology  Kalam
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