In this paper I shall discuss the relationship between the two known Arabic translations of Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics and Avicenna’s Kitāb al-Burhān. I shall argue that Avicenna relies on both (1) Abū Bishr Mattā’s translation and (2) the anonymous translation used by Averroes in the Long Commentary as well as in the Middle Commentary (and also indirectly preserved by Gerard of Cremona’s Latin translation of Aristotle’s work). Although, generally speaking, the problem is relevant to the history of the transmission of (...) the Posterior Analytics from Greek through Syriac into Arabic, I do not intend to give a systematic presentation of the historical setting in which Aristotle’s work became readily available to the Arabo-Islamic culture. My aim here is rather to isolate and discuss some pieces of evidence concerning the texts that seem to have been available to Avicenna. In addition to that, I shall also provide evidence concerning the relationship with the Greek commentary tradition (in particular Philoponus and Themistius) that is likely to have influenced Avicenna in his discussion of Aristotle’s theory of demonstration and scientific knowledge. (shrink)
The reception history of Aristotle's Prior Analytics in the Islamic world began even before its ninth-century translation into Arabic. Three generations earlier, Arabic authors already absorbed echoes of the varied and extensive logical teaching tradition of Greek- and Syriac-speaking religious communities in the new Islamic state. Once translated into Arabic, the Prior Analytics inspired a rich tradition of logical studies, culminating in the creation of an independent Islamic logical tradition by Ibn Sina (d. 1037), Ibn Rušd (d. 1098) and others. (...) This article traces the translation and commentary tradition of the Prior Analytics in Syriac and Arabic in the sixth to ninth centuries and sketches its appropriation, revision and, ultimately, transformation by Islamic philosophers between the ninth and eleventh centuries. (shrink)
Medieval Arabic algebra is a good example of an artificial language.Yet despite its abstract, formal structure, its utility was restricted to problem solving. Geometry was the branch of mathematics used for expressing theories. While algebra was an art concerned with finding specific unknown numbers, geometry dealtwith generalmagnitudes.Algebra did possess the generosity needed to raise it to a more theoretical level—in the ninth century Abū Kāmil reinterpreted the algebraic unknown “thing” to prove a general result. But mathematicians had no motive to (...) rework their theories in algebraic form. Because it offered no advantage over geometry, algebra remained a practical art in both the Islamic world and in Europe until the scientific uphevals of the 17th–18th centuries. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 40 - 64 This paper focuses on the four preserved commentaries to a Pythagorean poem known as the _Golden Verses_. It deals with two Greek texts—Iamblichus’ _Protrepticus_ and Hierocles’ _Commentary to the Golden Verses_—as well as two commentaries preserved in Arabic, attributed to Iamblichus and Proclus. The article analyses how each of these commentators understood the relationship between man and god in the context of the eschatological vision presented in the poem. It also (...) demonstrates how differences in the interpretation of particular verses and ideas within the poem were dependent on an author’s philosophical views and cultural background. (shrink)
Albertus Magnus favours the Aristotelian definition of the soul as the first actuality or perfection of a natural body having life potentially. But he interprets Aristotle's vocabulary in a way that it becomes compatible with the separability of the soul from the body. The term “perfectio” is understood as referring to the soul's activity only, not to its essence. The term “forma” is avoided as inadequate for defining the soul's essence. The soul is understood as a substance which exists independently (...) of its actions and its body. The article shows that Albertus' terminological decisions continue a tradition reaching from the Greek commentators, and John Philoponos in particular, to Avicenna. Albertus' position on another important issue is also influenced by Arabic sources. His defense of the unity of the soul's vegetative, animal and rational parts rests on arguments from Avicenna and Averroes. It is shown that Averroes' position on the problem is not clearcut: he advocates the unity thesis, but also teaches the plurality of the generic and individual forms in man. This double stance is visible in the Latin reception of Averroes' works, and also in Albertus, who presents Averroes both as supporter and opponent of the plurality thesis. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore general features of the “architecture” (relations of white space, diagram, and text on the page) of medieval manuscripts and early printed editions of Euclidean geometry. My focus is primarily on diagrams in the Arabic transmission, although I use some examples from both Byzantine Greek and medieval Latin manuscripts as a foil to throw light on distinctive features of the Arabic transmission. My investigations suggest that the “architecture” often takes shape against the backdrop of an educational (...) landscape. The constraints of the economic marketplace and cultural aesthetic ideals also appear to play a role in determining the “architecture” of both manuscripts and early printed editions. (shrink)
Legal translation between English and Arabic is under researched. However, the growing need for it, due to immigration and asylum seeking, among other reasons, necessitates the importance of more research. The asymmetry between English and Arabic poses many difficulties for legal translators, be they linguistic-based, culture-specific or system-based. The aim of this research is to discuss ways of translating lexical items between English and Arabic. In this current discussion I will present, exemplify and analyse the common difficult areas of translating (...) English/Arabic legal texts and suggest ways of dealing with them. These areas involve culture-specific and system-based terms, archaic terms, specialised terms and doublets and triplets. With this aim in mind, the paper answers the following research questions: 1.What are the common difficulties of translating legal texts between English and Arabic? 2.What are the common lexical difficulties between English and Arabic legal texts? 3.What are the procedures of translating lexical legal terms between English and Arabic? The paper concludes that translating the above-mentioned lexical terms requires expertise, professional training, robust knowledge of the linguistic and legal systems of languages, as well as up-to-date electronic dictionaries and well-defined parallel corpora. (shrink)
Galenunayn ibn Isq (d. c. 873) is of crucial importance because it preserves large sections now lost in Greek, and because it helped to establish an Arabic clinical literature. The present contribution investigate the translation of this seminal work into Syriac and Arabic. It provides a first survey of the manuscript tradition, and explores how physicians in the medieval Muslim world drew on it both to teach medicine to students, and to develop a framework for their own clinical research.
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)
In the absence of the Arabic text of al-Khw's Arithmetic, which has not yet been found, the oldest Latin adaptations from the twelfth century are the only evidence documenting the genesis and the first spreading of a decimal arithmetic that uses nine figures and zero, i.e. the Indian reckoning known in the Middle Ages as algorismus. This paper studies these texts, their content, their sources, and identifies their authors and the milieus in which they were written.
Scholars working in the field of Graeco-Arabic Neoplatonism often discuss the role Porphyry, the editor of Plotinus, must be credited with in the formation of the Arabic Plotinian corpus. A note in this corpus apparently suggests that Porphyry provided a commentary to the so-called Theology of Aristotle, i.e., parts of some treatises of Enneads IV-VI. Consequently, Porphyry has been considered as responsible for the doctrinal shifts which affect the Arabic Plotinian paraphrase with respect to the original text. This article aims (...) at submitting this hypothesis to trial on a specific doctrinal point where Porphyry parts company with Plotinus: the relationship between the Demiurgic Intellect and World Soul. The ancient doxographical sources testify that Porphyry, in his conviction to be in agreement with Plotinus, in fact parted company with him in so far as he merged the World Soul into the Demiurgic Intellect, while Plotinus always kept them apart. There are in the Enneads some baffling passages where the role of Intellect as the Demiurge of the sensible world is not clearly distinguishable from the role of World Soul. Notwithstanding that, these passages in the Arabic paraphrase do not bear any trace of the characteristically Porphyrian merging of World Soul into Intellect. The Arabic paraphrase of Plotinus text and its Arabic tradition. (shrink)
For many centuries Jews in Arabic-speaking lands have transcribed books written by non-Jews into the Hebrew alphabet; the language remains Arabic, but the writing is Hebrew. This was done mainly for the benefit of those who knew the Arabic language but not the script. The majority of these transcriptions are scientific or philosophical texts. Transcriptions are of value to scholars for two reasons. Some entire texts, or more complete or accurate versions of texts, are preserved only in transcription. In addition, (...) the choice of texts transcribed is very instructive concerning the cultural and intellectual interests of Jews. A century ago the great bibliographer Moritz Steinschneider published a description of the transcriptions known to him. We have undertaken to prepare a full catalogue. In this article we offer a preliminary relisting of those manuscripts that we have examined recently. (shrink)
First century Chinese, fifth century Indian, and Arabic documents from the 9th century onwards, contain similar tabular procedures to extract square and cube roots on place-value numeration systems. Moreover, an 11th century Chinese astronomer, Jia Xian, as well as al-Samaw'al, a 12th century Arab mathematician, extracted roots of higher order with the so-called Ruffini-Horner procedure. This article attempts to define a textual method to organize this corpus, by distinguishing relevant criteria for identifying similarities and differences from a historical as well (...) as conceptual point of view. The first part analyses three different states of the descriptions of algorithms in China between the 1st and the 11th centuries, all of which exhibit a definite historical stability. The rewriting which allows one to proceed progressively from one state to the next shows a uniformity in the components of the algorithm, which culminates in procedures of the type Ruffini-Horner. Textual criteria demonstrate a greater affinity of certain algorithms, such as those described by Kr ibn Labbrizmshyār and al-Samaw'al on the other. (shrink)
This paper examines the history of glass colouring. It reviews Kitna of Jayybir as a philosopher and chemist. The art of lustre-painting on glass originated in Syria during the Umayyad Caliphate in the eighth century and was soon practised in the neighbouring area. The paper reviews Arabic literature that deals with the colouring of glass until the 13th century, and with pre-Islamic and Latin books of recipes that deal with glass colouring. Recipes for cast coloured glass are very few and (...) scant in non-Arabic literature, and lustre-painting on glass was not mentioned in any treatise outside Arabic, even in the works of Theophilus and Neri. The colouring of glass gemstones by colour diffusion is not mentioned also. The paper compares the recipes of Kitzaward as cobalt oxide in glass colouring. Part two of the paper gives a representative selection of recipes from Kitāb al-Durra for the three methods of glass colouring. (shrink)
The Liber de compositione alchemiae or the The Book of the Composition of Alchemy is believed to have been the first book on alchemy that was translated from Arabic into Latin. The translator was the Englishman Robert of Chester who was one of the earliest translators to flock to Spain to learn Arabic and to translate some of the Arabic works. He completed his translation on 11 February, 1144.
My aim here is to present an editio princeps of a newly discovered Arabic translation of a very important passage from Plato's Republic found in the work entitled Kitāb fī Masā'il al-umūr al-ilāhiyya , penned by the somewhat obscure Neoplatonist Abū Hāmid al-Isfizārī . While an edition of al-Isfizārī's work has been published by Daniel Gimaret, the manuscript he used lacked the literal translation of the Republic passage. The one other known exemplar of the work, MS Zāhiriyya 4871, dated slightly (...) later than the first, appears to be closer to the author's original unedited version; it contains the Republic passage. I am currently preparing a new edition of the work on the basis of the Zāhiriyya manuscript, but it seemed worthwhile to bring the Republic passage to immediate attention. I do not attempt here a thorough evaluation of al-Isfizārī's philosophy as presented in the Masā'il ; this can be done successfully only upon completion of the edition. However, to place the work in its proper context, I do provide a brief overview of the transmission of Plato's Republic in Arabic; a discussion of new information on al-Isfizārī's Nachlass , and a description of the two exemplars of his Masā'il . The edited text of the passage from the Republic is accompanied by a provisional translation. (shrink)
Euclid discusses the ex aequali relationship twice in the Elements. The first is in Book V, during his discussion of arithmetical relations between mathematical magnitudes in general. The second is in Books VIIIX, he was not much troubled by the differences between his treatment of ex aequali ratios in these two contexts. Later generations of mathematicians, however, found these differences less acceptable and tried to minimize them in various ways. This paper summarizes Euclid's use of the ex aequali relation in (...) developing his mathematics. The paper then outlines the fate of the post-Theonine Greek attempts to the Euclidean discussion when the Elements entered the Arabic/Islamic intellectual tradition. The study concludes with the attempts by Ibn al-Hayam and Ibn al-Sarī to improve the parallelism between the discussions of ex aequali ratios in Book V and Book VII. (shrink)
It has long been considered that Arabic algebra scarcely left any traces in mathematical literature of Hebrew expression. Thanks to the unpublished sources we have discovered, and to an attentive examination of already-known texts, one can no longer subscribe to such a judgement. The evidence we examine in this first article sheds light on the circulation, in erudite Jewish circles, of Arabic algebraic knowledge in Spain, Italy, Provence, and Sicily, between the 12th and the 14th centuries. The Epistle on number (...) by the Castillian astronomer Isaac ben Salomon al-A[hudot]dab was written in Sicily at the end of the 14th century, and based on the Talkhi[sudot] a'mal al-[hudot]isab of Ibn al-Banna' (1256-1321). That part of the Epistle that is devoted to algebra follows the tradition of al-Karaji. It offers, for the first time in Hebrew, a rational presentation of arithmetical operations extended to algebraic expressions. (shrink)
The first and more important section of this article lists all the known treatises in Arabic on Fine Technology – water-clocks, automata, pumps, trick vessels, fountains, etc. The ideas, techniques and components in these treatises are of great importance in the history of machine technology. For each treatise information is given on the provenance of MSS, editions in Arabic and translations, paraphrases or commentaries in modern European languages. In addition to treatises by Arabic writers, similar information is also given on (...) Greek mechanical treatises if these have survived only in Arabic versions. (shrink)
Ibn al-Fa's Kitmin, the Book of the Delight of the Believer preserves, in the first part, in at least three of its 100 philosophical and theological problems, passages from the hitherto lost Arabic version of Philoponus' De Aeternitate mundi contra Proclum. All quotations are taken from the refutation of the first proof, one of them from the beginning which is also lost in Greek. For this latter passage a parallel is found in al-Isfiz who draws on the same Philoponus source (...) in his Kit Masil al-umhiyya (Book on Metaphysical Questions). A comparison of the other passages to the extant Greek text suggests that al-Ank's overall accurate use of sources can be gained from his quotations of the extant Arabic versions of the De Anima-paraphrase, Nemesius' De Natura hominis and b. Rabban al-'s Firdaws al-ḥikma (Paradise of Wisdom). (shrink)
The article deals with the Arabic sources of Chr. Clavius in Rome and the six different ways they were used by him in mathematics and astronomy. It inquires especially into his attitude towards al-Farghani, Thabit ibn Qurra, al-Bi[tdotu]ruji, Ibn Rushd, Mu[hdotu]ammad al-Baghdadi, Pseudo-Ibn al-Haytham, Jabir ibn Afla[hdotu], and Pseudo-al-[Tuotu]usi.
The influence of Greek sources on the Arab philosophers is both obvious and important. What is less clear is how the quality of the translations from which the philosophers worked affected their understanding of the points that the Greek writers were making. This article investigates one small but self-contained topic from within the field of translation literature, covering the translations of poetic quotations in the Rhetoric of Aristotle in its Arabic translation, together with an analysis of the types of mistakes (...) to be found there. In itself this is of no more than curiosity value, but an application of the lessons to be learnt here to a linguistic study of Arabic philosophical commentaries, and, by extension, to philosophical theory, will be of clear importance. (shrink)
The present article is devoted to two issues. The first is the identification of lead and tin in medieval Arabic alchemy. The second is the investigation of whether Arabic alchemists differentiate between these problematic substances or not. These two issues are investigated in the light of a comparison which is made between the facts that are stated about the two problematic substances in the original Arabic alchemical works and those stated in modern chemical literature. It is proved that Arabic alchemists (...) made a sharp distinction between lead and tin. Also, it becomes clear that these two metals were used in a satisfactory purity in the era of medieval Arabic alchemy. As a consequence of the present study, some conclusions are drawn about the existence of some categories of ‘derivatives’ of fusible bodies in Arabic alchemy which are degenerate to modern categories of oxides, carbonates, etc. (shrink)
In an influential article, A. I. Sabra identified an intellectual trend from twelfth and thirteenth-century Andalusia which he described as the ‘‘Andalusian revolt against Ptolemaic astronomy.” Philosophers such as Ibn Rushd , Ibn Tufayl , and Maimonides objected to Ptolemy’s theories on philosophic grounds, not because of shortcomings in the theories' predictive accuracy. Sabra showed how al-Bitrūjī's Kitāb al-Hay'a attempted to account for observed planetary motions in a way that met the philosophic standards of those philosophers and others. In Nūr (...) al-‘ālam , the subject of this article, Joseph ibn Joseph ibn Nahmias endeavoured to improve upon al-Bitrūjī’s models. Levi Ben Gerson's Hebrew writings on astronomy criticized al-Bitrūjī, but Ibn Nahmias did not mention them. Nūr al-‘ālam deserves attention, too, because it is the first Arabic text on theoretical astronomy by a Jewish author to come to light. In the body of this article, I will describe and analyze Ibn Nahmias’ theory, from Nūr al-‘ālam , for the motion of the sun. (shrink)
In the missionary activities that Halle theologians developed in the first half of the 18th century Grotius’ De veritate plays an interesting role that deserves exploration. To that purpose, the history and nature of the publication of missionary tracts in Halle will be surveyed, the role therein of Johann Heinrich Callenberg and his Institutum Judaicum at Muhammedicum described and the distribution and reception of the texts among the Muslims and Jews that were the target of the Halle missions all over (...) the world summarized and analysed. It is suggested that Grotius’ De veritate, which was an atypical piece of apology in the Halle pietist setting, stands out among the other literature for its efficacy in the missionary process, due to its non-dogmatic character. (shrink)
For many centuries Jews in Arabic-speaking lands have transcribed books written by non-Jews into the Hebrew alphabet; the language remains Arabic, but the writing is Hebrew. This was done mainly for the benefit of those who knew the Arabic language but not the script. The majority of these transcriptions are scientific or philosophical texts. Transcriptions are of value to scholars for two reasons. Some entire texts, or more complete or accurate versions of texts, are preserved only in transcription. In addition, (...) the choice of texts transcribed is very instructive concerning the cultural and intellectual interests of Jews. A century ago the great bibliographer Moritz Steinschneider published a description of the transcriptions known to him. We have undertaken to prepare a full catalogue. In this article we offer a preliminary relisting of those manuscripts that we have examined recently. Pendant plusieurs siècles, des juifs des pays arabophones transcrivaient en caractères hébraïques des ouvrages rédigés par des savants non juifs: la langue restait l'arabe, mais l'écriture était hébraïque. Ces transcriptions étaient faites à l'intention des juifs qui connaissaient la langue arabe mais pas son écriture. La plupart des textes ainsi transcrits sont scientifiques ou philosophiques. Ils présentent un intérêt pour la recherche pour deux raisons. Il y a des textes qui ne sont préservés qu'en transcription, et d'autres dont les manuscrits en caractères hébraïques renferment des versions plus complètes ou plus exactes que les manuscrits connus en caractères arabes. De plus, le choix des textes ayant été transcrits en caractères hébraïques est très instructif quant aux intérêts culturels et intellectuels des juifs. Il y a un siècle, le grand bibliographe Moritz Steinschneider avait publié une liste descriptive des manuscrits renfermant des transcriptions qui lui étaient connus. Nous-même avons entrepris d'en rédiger un catalogue complet. Dans le présent article nous proposons une liste préliminaire des manuscrits que nous avons examinés récemment. (shrink)
Abstract. Over the last century and a half, discussions of Darwin in Arabic have involved a complex intertwining of sources of authority. This paper reads one of the earliest Muslim responses to modern evolution against those in more recent times to show how questions of epistemology and exegesis have been critically revisited. This involved, on the one hand, the resuscitation of long-standing debates over claims regarding the nature of evidence, certainty, and doubt, and on the other, arguments about the use (...) (and limits) of reason in relation to scripture. Categories of knowledge and belief, alongside methods of scriptural hermeneutics, were repositioned in the process, transforming the meaning and discursive reach of the former as much as the latter. Indeed, this paper argues that the long-run engagement with Darwin in Arabic led to the mutual transformation of both “science” and “religion,” whether as objects of knowledge (and belief) or as general discursive formations. (shrink)
To analyze the task of mental arithmetic with external representations in different number systems we model algorithms for addition and multiplication with Arabic and Roman numerals. This demonstrates that Roman numerals are not only informationally equivalent to Arabic ones but also computationally similar—a claim that is widely disputed. An analysis of our models' elementary processing steps reveals intricate tradeoffs between problem representation, algorithm, and interactive resources. Our simulations allow for a more nuanced view of the received wisdom on Roman numerals. (...) While symbolic computation with Roman numerals requires fewer internal resources than with Arabic ones, the large number of needed symbols inflates the number of external processing steps. (shrink)
Many theories about human number representation stress the importance of a central semantic representation that includes the magnitude information of small integer numbers, and that is conceived as an abstract, compressed number line. However, thus far there has been little or no direct evidence that units and teens are represented on the same number line. In two masked priming experiments, we show that single-digit and two-digit Arabic numerals are equally well primed by an Arabic numeral with the same number of (...) digits as by an equally distant Arabic numeral with a different number of digits (e.g. the priming effect of 7 on the target 9 is the same as the priming effect of 11 on the target 9). The finding was obtained both with a number naming task and with a parity judgement task. This is in line with the hypothesis that units and teens are part of a continuous number line. (shrink)
We describe the earliest occurrences of the Liar Paradox in the Arabic tradition. e early Mutakallimūn claim the Liar Sentence is both true and false; they also associate the Liar with problems concerning plural subjects, which is somewhat puzzling. Abharī (1200-1265) ascribes an unsatisfiable truth condition to the Liar Sentence—as he puts it, its being true is the conjunction of its being true and false—and so concludes that the sentence is not true. Tūsī (1201-1274) argues that self-referential sentences, like the (...) Liar, are not truth-apt, and defends this claim by appealing to a correspondence theory of truth. Translations of the texts are provided as an appendix. (shrink)
Representations of the heavens in various levels of detail can be found in a number of branches of Arabic literature. One particular genre, the hay'a texts, has as its purpose a full though non-mathematical discussion of the arrangement of the celestial orbs; hay'a writers are particularly sensitive to the philosophical requirements which all systems must meet. The pivotal work in this genre, On the Configuration, was written by Ibn al-Haytham. Later writers continued to produce works in the spirit of On (...) the Configuration. In the east, al-Tusi and his followers developed new models; in the west, a group of thinkers tried to rediscover the models which, so they thought, were the ones endorsed by Aristotle himself. (shrink)
It has long been a truism of the history of philosophy that intentionality is an invention of the medieval period, and within this standard narrative, the central place of Arabic philosophy has always been acknowledged. Yet there are many misconceptions surrounding the theories of intentionality advanced by the two main Arabic thinkers whose works were available to the West, Avicenna and Averroes. In the first part of this paper I offer an overview of the general accounts of intentionality and intentional (...) being found in the linguistic, psychological, and metaphysical writings of Avicenna and Averroes, and I trace the terminology of “intentions” to a neglected passage from Avicenna’s logic. In the second part of the paper I examine the way that Avicenna and Averroes apply their general theories of intentionality to the realm of sense perception. I offer an explanation of why Avicenna might have chosen to denominate the objects of the internal sense faculty of estimation as “intentions”, and I explore the implications of Averroes’s decision to attribute intentionality to the external senses and the media of perception. (shrink)
Relational inferences are a well-known problem for Aristotelian logic. This book charts the development of thinking about this problem by logicians writing in Arabic from the ninth to the nineteenth century. It shows that that the development of Arabic logic did not - as is often supposed - come to an end in the fourteenth century.
Arabic contributions to medicine, mathematics, astronomy, and other fields have been extensively studied, yet Arabic logic has never been systematically investigated. In this book, Nicholas Rescher sheds new light on the major philosophical contribution of Arab logicians. He provides a historical account of the evolution of Arabic logic, from its inception in the early ninth century through the sixteenth century, when these tenets gained wide acceptance. The book also includes a bio-bibliography of 170 Arabic logicians, and a discussion of the (...) place of each within the overall scheme of developments. (shrink)
The article comments on the epistemological foundations of medieval Arabic science and philosophy, as presented in five earlier communications, and attempts to draw some guidelines for the study of its social history. At the very beginning the notion of "Islam" is discounted as a meaningful explanatory category for historical investigation. A first part then looks at the applied sciences and notes three major characteristics of their epistemological approach: they were functionalist and based on experience and observation. The second part looks (...) at the theoretical sciences and notes that their epistemology was based on geo. (shrink)
Some of the most salient differences among Arabic vernaculars have to do with syllable structure. This study focuses on the syllabiﬁcation patterns of three dialect groups, (1) VC-dialects, (2) C-dialects, and (3) CV-dialects,1 and argues that they differ in the licencing of SEMISYLLA- BLES, moras unafﬁliated with syllables and adjoined to higher prosodic constituents. The analysis provides some evidence for a constraint-based version of Lexical Phonology, which treats word phonology and sentence phonology as distinct constraint systems which interact in serial (...) fashion. (shrink)
The "Text" and the "Commentary" mentioned in the title of this essay are, respectively, the Kitāb al-Manāzir, or Optics, of al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham, composed in the first half of the fifth/eleventh century, and the Tanqīh al-Manāzir li-dhawī l-absār wa l-basā'ir, written by Abū l-Hasan Kamāl al-Dīn al-Fārisī in the second half of the seventh/thirteenth century. It is known that, so far, only the first five of the seven maqālāt /Books that make up the Arabic text of IH's Optics have been (...) published, and that the Tanqīh was published in two volumes. I shall be concerned with certain episodes in the lives of these two works, my aim being to shed light on their transmission within the Islamic Arabic and Persian worlds. (shrink)
The reception of the rational sciences, scientific practice, discourse and methodology into Arabic Islamic society proceeded in several stages of exchange with the transmitters of Iranian, Christian-Aramaic and Byzantine-Greek learning. Translation and the acquisition of knowledge from the Hellenistic heritage went hand in hand with a continuous refinement of the methods of linguistic transposition and the creation of a standardized technical language in Arabic: terminology, rhetoric, and the genres of instruction. Demonstration more geometrico, first introduced by the paradigmatic sciences-mathematics, astronomy, (...) mechanics-and adopted by philosophers embracing the cosmology of Neoplatonism, was complemented and superseded by the methods of syllogistic demonstration. Faced with the establishment of philosophy as a demonstrative science, which claimed absolute and universal knowledge, even the hermeneuti. (shrink)
Overlaps in form and meaning between morphologically related words have led to ambiguities in interpreting priming effects in studies of lexical organization. In Semitic languages like Arabic, however, linguistic analysis proposes that one of the three component morphemes of a surface word is the CV-Skeleton, an abstract prosodic unit coding the phonological shape of the surface word and its primary syntactic function, which has no surface phonetic content (McCarthy, J. J. (1981). A prosodic theory of non-concatenative morphology, Linguistic Inquiry, 12 (...) 373-418). The other two morphemes are proposed to be the vocalic melody, which conveys additional syntactic information, and the root, which defines meaning. In three experiments using masked, cross-modal, and auditory-auditory priming we examined the role of the vocalic melody and the CV-Skeleton as potential morphemic units in the processing and representation of Arabic words. Prime/target pairs sharing the vocalic melody but not the CV-Skeleton consistently failed to prime. In contrast, word pairs sharing only the CV-Skeleton primed reliably throughout, with the amount of priming being as large as that observed between word pattern pairs sharing both vocalic melody and CV-Skeleton. Priming between morphologically related words can be observed when there is no overlap either in meaning or in surface phonetic form. (shrink)
One of the main philosophical works by Alexander of Aphrodisias, De principiis, is lost in its original Greek text, but it is preserved in three extant Medieval Semitic versions, one in Syriac and two in Arabic, which were written in the Near East between 500 and 950 AD. These versions are not totally identical and, as we have shown in 2012, they are in a rather complex textual relationship. As we will show in this article, a tentative reconstruction of the (...) lost text should be based upon an attentive and point‑to‑point comparative analysis of some aspect of all three versions. We have tentatively called the abore way “critical translation”. (shrink)
We in the West largely take Enlightened attitudes, in Kant's sense of ‘Enlightened’, particularly concerning religion, for granted. But within Arabic culture such attitudes are far from common, as Mona Abousenna points out.