Al-ġazālī's philosophers on the divine unity

Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 20 (2):281-306 (2010)
The medieval Islamic philosophers held a certain conception of the divine unity that assumes the necessary existent to be both one and simple. The oneness of the necessary existent meant that it is the only necessary existent and its simplicity meant that it admits no composition whatsoever az presents, with elaboration, an exposition of the philosophers' conception of the divine unity, several arguments for its two components (i.e., oneness and simplicity), and his critique of these arguments. In this paper I focus on six of the arguments attributed to the philosophers. Following the textual evidence, I reconstruct these arguments and offer two possible interpretations of them. The first interpretation, which I call the many-argument interpretation, sees one of the arguments as employing the simplicity of the necessary existent to establish its oneness and the other five arguments as invoking oneness to establish simplicity. The second interpretation, which I call the one-argument interpretation, doesn't offer a new reading for the first argument but sees the other five arguments as defending the simplicity of the necessary existent based on its basic concept. I argue for the superiority of the one-argument interpretation
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DOI 10.1017/S0957423910000044
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