The central debate of natural theology among medieval Muslims and Jews concerned whether or not the world was eternal. Opinions divided sharply on this issue because the outcome bore directly on God's relationship with the world: eternity implies a deity bereft of will, while a world with a beginning leads to the contrasting picture of a deity possessed of will. In this exhaustive study of medieval Islamic and Jewish arguments for eternity, creation, and the existence of God, Herbert Davidson (...) provides a systematic classification of the proofs, analyzes and explains them, and traces their sources in Greek philosophy. Throughout the study, Davidson tries to take into account every argument of a philosophical character, disregarding only those arguments that rest entirely on religious faith or which fall below a minimal level of plausibility. (shrink)
This book is an introduction to debates in philosophy within the medieval Islamic world. It discusses a number of themes which were controversial within the philosophical community of that period: the creation of the world out of nothing, immortality, resurrection, the nature of ethics, and the relationship between natural and religious law. The author provides an account of the arguments of Farabi, Avicenna, Ghazali, Averroes and Maimonides on these and related topics. His argument takes into account the significance of (...) the conflict between faith and reason, religion and philosophy. The book sets out to show how interesting these philosophical debates are, and criticizes the view that these arguments are of no more than historical interest. (shrink)
Islamic philosophy is a unique and fascinating form of thought, and particular interest lies in its classical (Greek-influenced) period, when many of the ideas of Greek philosophy were used to explore the issues and theoretical problems which arise in trying to understand the Qur'an and Islamic practice. In this revised and expanded edition of his classic introductory work, Oliver Leaman examines the distinctive features of Classical Islamic philosophy and offers detailed accounts of major individual thinkers. In contrast (...) to many previous studies that have treated this subject as only of historical interest, he offers analysis of the key arguments within Islamic philosophy so that the reader can engage with them and assess their strengths and weaknesses. His book will interest a wide range of readers in philosophy, religious studies and Islamic studies. (shrink)
This book introduces the work of an important medieval Islamic philosopher who is little known outside the Persian world. Afdal al-Din Kashani was a contemporary of a number of important Muslim thinkers, including Averroes and Ibn al-Arabi. Kashani did not write for advanced students of philosophy but rather for beginners. In the main body of his work, he offers especially clear and insightful expositions of various philosophical positions, making him an invaluable resource for those who would like to learn (...) the basic principles and arguments of this philosophical tradition but do not have a strong background in philosophy. Here, Chittick uses Kashani and his work to introduce the basic issues and arguments of Islamic philosophy to modern readers. (shrink)
The first comprehensive survey of Islamic philosophy from the seventh century to the present, this classic discusses Islamic thought and its effect on the cultural aspects of Muslim life. Fakhry shows how Islamic philosophy has followed from the earliest times a distinctive line of development, which gives it the unity and continuity that are the marks of the great intellectual movements of history.
Islamic Philosophy has often been treated as mainly of historical interest, belonging to the history of ideas rather than to philosophy. This is volume challenges this belief. The Routledge History of Philosophy is made up entirely of essays by a distinguished list of writers. They provide detailed discussions of the most important thinkers and the key concepts in Islamic philosophy, from earliest times to the present day. Fifty authors from over sixteen countries have contributed to this volume. Each (...) Together the authors represent a wide variety of views. It includes analysis of Arabic, Persian, Indian, Jewish, Turkish and South East Asian Philosophy, together with extensive discussion of relevant areas of Greek and Western philosophy. An important but so far little understood philosophical tradition is clearly and thoroughly explored in this volume. Islamic philosophy is viewed as a continuing and lively philosophical activity, one which is just as capable of asking relevant questions today as it was in the past. (shrink)
The first section of this book surveys the development of Islamic philosophy though an examination of the definitions for substance, cause and matter. These important philosophical terms were defined by each new generation of philosophers. The definitions show an awareness of Greek philosophy, but also take metaphysical thought into an Islamic matrix. In the second section the author translates Ibn Sina's Kitab al-hudud and puts the tenth-century philosopher in his proper geopolitical sphere. Questions of Ibn Sina' connection with (...) the East as well as medieval scholastic philosophy are considered. Teaching Islamic philosophy outside of the Arabic-speaking world has been handicapped by a lack of primary texts in translation and studies of basic concepts. This book makes the foundation of this field more accessible to students and a general readership. By translating this little-known but pivotal text into readable English, Kennedy-Day has opened a door for a wider range of readers. (shrink)
In this work, Muhsin Mahdi--widely regarded as the preeminent scholar of Islamic political thought--distills more than four decades of research to offer an authoritative analysis of the work of Alfarabi, the founder of Islamic political philosophy. Mahdi, who also brought to light writings of Alfarabi that had long been presumed lost or were not even known, presents this great thinker as his contemporaries would have seen him: as a philosopher who sought to lay the foundations for a new (...) understanding of revealed religion and its relation to the tradition of political philosophy. Beginning with a survey of Islamic philosophy and a discussion of its historical background, Mahdi considers the interrelated spheres of philosophy, political thought, theology, and jurisprudence of the time. He then turns to Alfarabi's concept of "the virtuous city," and concludes with an in-depth analysis of the trilogy, Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. This philosophical engagement with the writings of and about Alfarabi will be essential reading for anyone interested in medieval political philosophy. (shrink)
This book is a collection of Shahid Murtada Mutahhari’s essential papers on philosophy, theology, ‘irfan (Islamic mysticism), usul al-fiqh (principles of jurisprudence) and morality. The six parts together serve as both a comprehensive survey of the fundamentals of different branches of Islamic studies and a general guide to understanding the basic teachings of Islam.
Islam, one of the worlds great faiths, was born as a result of the revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad (c. 570-632) in Arabia. A proper understanding of the Islamic present depends on an accurate knowledge of the way in which Islamic thought developed from medieval times onwards. For instance, Islam evolved a sophisticated theology and set of philosophical systems of its own, which owed something to the impact of Greek thought, but became uniquely Islamic (...) because of the vital presence within that faith of the Quran. Furthermore, Islam soon came into contact with Greek philosophy and science, and a translation movement into Arabic began. The roles of Kason and Revelation, and the primacy that was to be given to one or the other, came to the fore. Problems which had also vexed Christianity such as anthropomorphism, free will and predestination provided intellectual stimulation for Islamic thinkers, while the mystical impulse, articulated in Islamic Sufism, imbued the writings of several of the theologians and philosophers considered in these volumes. Taken together, all of these issues constitute a golden period of Islamic debate and intellectual inquiry, and the articles collected in this fascinating set reflect that Islamic dynamic. (shrink)
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.
By proposing the Microcosm and Macrocosm analogy for dialogue between Islamic Philosophy and Occidental Phenomenology, the authors of this volume are reviving the perennial positioning of the human condition in the play of forces within and without the human being. This theme has run from Plato through the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Modernity, and has been ignored by contemporaries. It now acquires a new pertinence and striking significance due to the scientific discoveries into the "infinitely small" in life, on (...) the one hand, and the prodigious technological discoveries of the "infinitely great" on the other. Both open up undreamt-of prospects for the continuing conquest of cosmic forces. The human person – thrown into turmoil by the new approaches to life and needing to acquire new habits of mind, having lost security of all beliefs – desperately seeks a new clarification of the Human Condition within the unity of everything-there-is, of cosmic forces, and of his destiny. The dialogue between Islamic Philosophy and phenomenology of life can show the way. Papers by: Gholam-Reza A'awani, Mehdi Aminrazavi, Roza Davari Ardakani, Mohammad Azadpur, Gary Backhaus, Marina Banchetti-Robino, William Chittick, Seyed Mostafa Muhaghghegh Damad, Golamhossein Ebrahimi Dinani, Nader El-Bizri, Kathleen Haney, Salahaddin Khalilov, Sayyid Mohammad Khamenei, Mahmoud Khatami, Mieczyslaw Pawel Migon, Nikolay Milkov, Sachiko Murata, Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, Daniela Verducci. (shrink)
In this paper I make a case for a genuine and legitimate role for philosophy in modern Islamic culture. However, I argue that in order to make any progress towards reinstating such philosophical activity, we need to look deep into the nature and essence of modern philosophy. In this paper I aim to do this precisely by challenging modern philosophy’s self conception as an absolute critique (i.e. a critique of everything/anything). I argue that such a conception is not only (...) misconceived, it is also ideological in character. Looking back to its origins, I develop a genealogy of modern philosophy’s self-understanding in order to deconstruct it and disassociate it from other possible alternative conceptions of philosophy. I argue that we should reject the notion of philosophy as absolute critique, as it is ideologically motivated and oppressive. Instead, I argue for a more modest conception of philosophy as a subject which provides tools for developing human powers of reflection. (shrink)
After the problems of epistemology, the most fundamental problem of Islamic philosophy is that of causality. Causality has been studied from various perspectives. This paper endeavors first to analyze the issues of causality in Islamic philosophy and then to critique them. A sketch is provided of the history of the development of theories of causality in Islamic philosophy, with particular attention to how religious considerations came to determine the shape of the philosophical theories that were accepted. It (...) is suggested that outstanding philosophical and theological problems that have plagued the tradition of Islamic philosophy require a new approach to the issue of causality. (shrink)
In recent decades, the trope that classical Muslim thinkers anticipated or influenced modern European thought has provided an easy endorsement of their contemporary relevance. This article studies how Arab editors and intellectuals, from 1882 to 1947, understood the twelfth-century Andalusian philosopher Ibn Ṭufayl, and Arabo-Islamic philosophy generally. This modern generation of Arab scholars also attached significance to classical Arabic texts as precursors to modern European thought. They invited readers to retrospectively identify with Ibn Ṭufayl and his treatise, Ḥayy ibn (...) Yaqẓān. Comparisons of Ibn Ṭufayl to European thinkers, and re-presentations of Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān as the precedent or genesis of European thought, facilitated these editors’ global imaginaries, anti-colonial projects and political fantasies. This article tracks these projects and fantasies through the afterlife of Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān from early printings and generalist surveys to later editions and studies, as Ibn Ṭufayl’s significance became sutured into his imagined importance for Europe, and for going beyond Europe. (shrink)
The Umayyad period. The beginnings of sectarianism ; The Khārijites ; The Shīʻtes ; The Murjiʼites and other moderates -- The first wave of Hellenism 750-950. The historical background ; The translators and the first philosophers ; The expansion of Shīʻism ; The Muʻtazilites ; The consolidation of Sunnism ; Al-Ashʻarī -- The second wave of Hellenism 950-1258. The historical background ;The flowering of philosophy ; The vicissitudes of Shīʻism ; The progress of Sunnite theology ; Al-Ghazālī ; Sunnite theology (...) from 1100 to 1250 ; Theology and philosophy in the Islamic west -- The period of darkness. The historical background ; The sclerosis of philosophical theology ; The vitality of the Ḥanbalites ; The transformation of Shīʻism -- The new dawn. The prospect for theology. (shrink)