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)
I scrutinize the ideas and works of the Turkish religious leader and author Adnan Oktar/Harun Yahya. I argue for a new definition of Yahya as the representative of what I call theoscientography, proposing to study his work according to such a model rather than in the light of his “Islamic creationism”.
The “lost” Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī treatises recently discovered in the Tehran codex Marwī 19 include a record of a philosophical debate instigated by the Ḥamdānid prince Sayf-al-Dawla. More precisely, Marwī 19 contains Yaḥyā’s adjudication of a dispute between an unnamed Opponent and Yaḥyā’s younger relative Ibrāhīm ibn ʿAdī (who also served as al-Fārābī’s assistant), along with Ibrāhīm's response to Yaḥyā’s adjudication, and Yaḥyā’s final word. At issue was a problem of Aristotelian exegesis: should “body” be understood as falling under the (...) category of substance or under the category of quantity? The unnamed Opponent argues that body is a species of substance; Ibrāhīm argues that technically speaking, body is a species of quantity, and hence an accident; and Yaḥyā judges that body is a species of substance, though for very different reasons than the Opponent gives. For the first time, the Arabic text of this exchange is edited and translated into English. Also provided is an Introduction that sets the debate in historical context, and discusses in particular the possible influence of John Philoponus. The debate is interesting and important not only because of the philosophical ramifications of the issues under discussion, but because it constitutes evidence of dialectical practice among Arabic-speaking philosophers from the middle of the 10th century. (shrink)
L'A. confronta due commenti su quello che nel mondo arabo viene considerato il primo libro della Metaphysica di Aristotele: alpha Elatton. Dopo averne delineato i contenuti e la penetrazione nel mondo arabo grazie alle traduzioni di Ustat e Ishaq ibn Hunayn, l'A. esamina due importanti commenti a quest'opera: Yahyá Ibn 'Adi, un commentatore cristiano della scuola di Baghdad e Averroè . I due autori leggono il testo in modo molto diverso: questo suggerisce una grande differenza tra Averroè e la scuola (...) di Baghdad, sebbene il filosofo andaluso abbia ammirato e seguito il lavoro di al-Farabi. In particolare è naturale il rifiuto da parte di Averroè di introdurre un'inchiesta puramente teologica nella trattazione, punto accettato invece da Ibn 'Adi, secondo il proposito di Averroè di rimarcare il fondamento fisico della metafisica, come è possibile comprendere soprattutto grazie alla lettura del Trattato. (shrink)
A central question in the history of metaphysics concerns the ontological status of such notions as 'redness,' 'humanity,' or 'animality,' which one calls 'universals.' Since one uses these notions to describe objects in the real world, it may seem intuitive that they exist in extramental reality: one says that universals are 'real'. Famously, though, several problems arise from this view. A central problem known both to medieval and contemporary scholars goes as follows: I look at a red rose and recognize (...) that there is 'redness' in it. Then, I look at a red apple and recognize that there is 'redness' in it, too. Does this mean that one and the same 'redness' appears in both the rose and the... (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to prove how what is apparently a mistake made by Plutarch, wheter deliberate or not, in his reference to the arson attack of Caesar´s soldiers in Alexandria as the end of the famous Library, show us the common sense of the term “bibliotheke” from that time up to now. Coming to this conclusion has required a detailed analysis of the Library of Alexandria since its birth applying Aristotelian doctrine to its configuration not only as (...) an organized space for books but also as an imaginary reading room from which the helenistic world of relations is established. In a second approach, we focus the attention on the change occurred in this collection with the introduction of alphabetical order and, then, with the philological activity of Callimachus. As a result of his Pinakes, the platonic concept of daimon, “guide”, became the first characteristic o a philologist or librarian. Using the information ordered in the Pinakes anybody could be a librarian and find a library anywhere. The old megále bibliotheke of Alexandría remains only with the idea of the conservation of original papyrus. This is de reason of the enigmatic sentence of Plutarch announcing the end of this situation caused by the action of the fire. (shrink)