The Notion of Good and Evil in the Ethics of 'Abd Al-Jabbar: A Philosophical Study, with a Translation of "the Determination of Justice and Injustice" Sections 1-12' [Book Review]

Dissertation, Temple University (1984)

This dissertation is a philosophical investigation into the notion of good and evil suggested by Abd al-Jabbar b. Ahmad al-Hamadhani . The dissertation consists of two parts; one part is an annotated translation of the first twelve sections of Abd al-Jabbar's Al-Tadil wa-al-Tajwir , the first part of the sixth volume of his Al-Mughni fi Abwab al-Tawhid wa-al-Adl. The other part of the dissertation is a reconstruction of Abd al-Jabbar's ethical theory as I gathered its elements from the translated sections as well as from his other works. ;The latter part consists of five chapters. The first chapter deals with Abd al-Jabbar's cultural background, life, works and historical importance. In this chapter a short account of the main develop- ments of theology , jurisprudence , and philosophy is given. ;Chapter two deals with Abd al-Jabbar's theory of knowledge and its relation to his ethics. The main concern of this chapter is to see the position of his ethical statements in the hierarchy of his theory of knowledge and how he justifies them. ;Chapter three analyzes the definitions and classifications suggested by Abd al-Jabbar for his basic ethical categories. His basic ethical categories include the indifferent, the evil ih), the permissible , the recommended , and the obligatory . In my judgment, his main ethical categories are richer in basic ethical terms than most traditional ethical theories advocated by modern moral philosophers. ;Chapter four deals with acts that are evil and the grounds that make them so. Also, part of chapter four is directed to give Abd al-Jabbar's arguments against the unacceptable grounds of evil suggested by his opponents, the ethical voluntarists. In addition, the chapter discusses the notion of blame and its constitutive conditions. ;Chapter five discusses obligation and supererogation. Among the different grounds of obligation suggested by Abd al-Jabbar, I am interested in explicating his notion of right , the most interesting of all his grounds. Also, I discuss why Abd al-Jabbar rejects the utilitarian grounds suggested by the partisans of the most advantageous
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