This collection of essays covers the classical heritage and Islamic culture, classical Arabic science and philosophy, and Muslim religious sciences, showing continuation of Greek and Persian thought as well as original Muslim contributions to the sciences, philosophy, religion, and culture of Islam.
The articles in this volume dedicated to Hans Daiber, one of the pioneering scholars in the history of Islamic thought in the Middle Ages, offer new insights into this field from a variety of perspectives: philological, philosophical, and historical.
The monograph aims at a historical and bibliographical survey of the qur??nic and rational world-view of early Islam, of the period of translations from Greek into Syriac and Arabic, and of the impact of Islamic thought on Europe.
This work demonstrates how falsafah (which linguistically refers to a group of commentaries by Muslim scholars associated with their readings of "The Corpus Aristotelicum") in Iran has been always closely linked with religion. It demonstrates that the blending of the new natural theology with Iranian culture created an intellectual climate that made Iran the center of falsafah in the Medieval world. The author begins this book by exploring the analytical arguments and methodologies presented as the subject of the first-philosophy (metaphysics) (...) in the works of Aristotle (in particular "The Nicomachean Ethics" and "Rhetoric"). Then, he tells the tale of the Muslims' progression as they came to own and expand upon Aristotle's arguments and methodologies as a measure of their own sense of spirituality. Last, Sadri surveys the implications of that sense of spirituality as it is amalgamated within the Iranian culture and today's Islamic Republic of Iran. The author's aim is to present a different perspective of falsafah (as it is received by Muslims and assimilated within Iranian culture), while maintaining a sense that captures the texture of everyday life-experiences in today's Islamic Republic of Iran. This work is thus about (contemporary) Iranian falsafah and how it remains faithful to its tradition (as falsafah has actually been integrated and practiced by Iranian scholars for the last eleven centuries). It is a tradition that has taken on the task of understanding and projecting a sense of order upon the multiplicity of forms, ideas, examples, and images that have passed through Iran from East and West; it is a story that has gathered, sheltered, and introduced a style and order of Islamic (Shi'at) falsafah. (shrink)
In the Greek/Indian period, it is noticeable that different radii were used in connection with the chord. This manner continued in the Indian period with the sine, i.e. different sine tables existed. But throughout the Arabic-Islamic period, there was stability in the radius (for the sine). At the time of al-Batt new terms were introduced, not as functions of angles but as lengths, and again different tables for the same term. Here these terms were not bounded to the (...) circle, and the term miqythe radiusfunctions al-Waf’s time, there was an advancement by introducing the new terms as functions of angles, and they were immediately bounded to the circle, and instead of having two circles in the same figure, a kind of unity appeared, and again there was stability in the value of r, and therefore only one table for each function, and thus the new functions started to appear more abstract than practical as the sine did before, and this unity remained fixed in the modern times. (shrink)
A study of problems, all revolving around the subject of intellect in the philosophies of Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes, this book starts by reviewing discussions in Greek and early Arabic philosophy which served as the background for the three Arabic thinkers. Davidson examines the cosmologies and theories of human and active intellect in the three philosophers and covers such subjects as: the emanation of the supernal realm from the First Cause; the emanation of the lower world from the transcendent (...) active intellect; stages of human intellect; illumination of the human intellect by the transcendent active intellect; conjunction of the human intellect with the transcendent active intellect; prophecy; and human immortality. Davidson shows that medieval Jewish philosophers and the Latin Scholastics had differing perceptions of Averroes because they happened to use works belonging to different periods of his philosophic career. (shrink)
The systematic comparison of Avicenna’s Ilāhiyyāt of the Šifā' with Aristotle’s Metaphysics , accomplished for the first time in the present volume, provides a detailed account of Avicenna’s reworking of the epistemological profile and contents of the Metaphysics and a comprehensive investigation of this latter’s transmission in pre-Avicennian Greek and Arabic philosophy.
This article looks at some of the salient analyses of moderation in the ancient Greek and the Islamic traditions and uses them to develop a contemporary view of the matter. Greek ethics played a huge role in shaping the ethical views of the Muslim philosophers and theologians, and thus the article starts with an overview of the revival of contemporary western virtue ethics--in many ways an extension of Platonic-Aristotelian ethics--and then looks at the place of moderation or (...) temperance in Platonic-Aristotelian ethics. This sets the stage for an exposition of the position taken by Ibn Miskawayh and al-Ghazali, which is then used as a backdrop for suggesting a revival of the Quran's virtue ethics. After outlining a basis for its virtue ethics, the Quranic view of wasatiyya or moderation is discussed briefly. (shrink)
Modernity believed that processes of secularization and rationalization are universally applicable. What is taking place in the 21st century, however, suggests that the reverse, a process of de-secularization, is becoming the hallmark of the present age. In the case of Islamic civilization, in which law is shari'a, the challenge to secularization takes the form of a process of shari'atization. This is not the traditional or inherited shari'a, restricted to civil matters and to a penal code, but an invented shari'a, (...) one which also claims to be a constitutional law. Moreover, the constructed shari'atized constitutional law, in conflict with secular constitutionalism and appearing to offer no middle way, has been universalized to engender an international conflict between secularization and de-secularization. Since, for most Muslims, Islam without shari'a is unthinkable, this article examines the potential for religious reform of the shari'a in the direction of cultural change, freedom and democratic constitutionalism. (shrink)
John Stuart Mill's best-known work is On Liberty. In it he declared that Western society was in danger of coming to a standstill. This was an extraordinarily pessimistic claim in view of Britain's global dominance at the time and one that has been insufficiently investigated in the secondary literature. The wanting model was that of China, a once advanced civilization that had apparently ossified. To understand how Mill came to this conclusion requires one to investigate his notion of the stages (...) from barbarism to civilization, and also his belief in imperialism as part of the civilizing process. Here India plays a central role, as both Mill and his father worked for the East India Company. This study, then, investigates the relationship between Mill's liberalism and his justification of imperialism. It takes us into the Utilitarianism of his family background, and such other influences as Romanticism, Scottish political economy and such key French thinkers as Saint- Simon, Guizot, Comte and Tocqueville. Mill, then, provides the focus of a debate on the origins, meaning, and consequences of Western civilization. It encompasses discourses on colonialism and orientalism, on Enlightenment optimism and conservative despair, on the need for leadership and the advance of democracy; in short, on the blessings, curses and dangers of modernization from approximately the time of the American and French revolutions to that of the so-called mid-Victorian calm in which On Liberty was written. Furthermore, current political issues concerning the West and Islamic countries have heightened interest in just the kind of question that this book discusses: that of how the West relates to, and assesses, the rest of the world. (shrink)
This paper examines the way authors of three medieval Islamic biographical dictionaries portrayed the lives, behavior and characteristics of three key figures of Greco-Roman me - dicine, Asclepius, Hippocrates and Galen. Particular attention was given to the vocabulary and phrasing used in the biographies, and associations with other literary genres or fi - gures. An analysis of these biographies demonstrates a significant resemblance between the portrayal of these Greco-Roman physicians and the lives of prophetic figures in Islam, and especially (...) that of the Prophet Muhammad. In addition, these biographies align with features attributed to pious Muslims. This study demonstrates that Muslim biographers constructed these biographies as part of a general tendency to associate medicine with Islam, and the origins of medical knowledge with prophetic wisdom. This study mantains that the connotations and use of this particular terminology allows for a positive view of the science of medicine in these Islamic compositions in which they were included. (shrink)
Ibn KhaldØun’s theory of history has been extensively discussed and interpreted in widely divergent ways by Western scholars. In the context of present debates, it seems most appropriate to read his work as an original and comprehensive version of civilizational analysis (the key concept of ‘umran is crucial to this line of interpretation), and to reconstruct his model in terms of relations between religious, political and economic dimensions of the human condition. A specific relationship between state formation and the broader (...) context of civilizational processes appears as the most central theme. This civilizational approach is then contrasted with the most influential recent Western interpretation, put forward by Ernest Gellner. Gellner translates Ibn KhaldØun’s analysis into functionalist terms and thus tones down its historical and civilizational specificity. The consequences are most obvious when it comes to discussing the unity and diversity of the Islamic world, especially with regard to the Ottoman Empire. (shrink)
This article explores the relation of the Greek notion of essence to the political philosophy of Al-Farabi Al-Ghazali and Ibn Rush’d. It argues that their various conceptions of essence influence their attitudes towards religious tolerance within the regime.
This study provides a detailed description of ways in which Muslim astronomers handled the Greek astronomical legacy, reassessed its cultural and philosophical implications in light of their religiously-inspired world view, and proposed to modify it.