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Medieval Islamic Philosophical Writings Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy

Medieval Islamic Philosophical Writings Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy Free read ↠ 106 Download Ý PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Á Muhammad Ali Khalidi Read & Download Medieval Islamic Philosophical Writings Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy The ninth through the fourteenth century This volume offers new translations of philosophical writings by Farabi Ibn Sina Avicenna Ghazali Ibn Tufayl AWESOME i sweat ibn sina

Read & Download Medieval Islamic Philosophical Writings Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy

Medieval Islamic Philosophical Writings Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy Free read ↠ 106 Download Ý PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Á Muhammad Ali Khalidi Read & Download Medieval Islamic Philosophical Writings Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy Although strongly influenced by Greek thought Islamic philosophers also developed an original philosophical culture of their own which flourished from Just as one must protect unskilled swimmers from perilous shores people must be shielded from reading philosophical books For a long time I ve been bothered by the tremendous gap in my philosophical reading Most of the medieval period is simply a blank for me an intermission that stretches from Boethius 480 524 to St Thomas Auinas 1225 1274 Part of the problem is that for a variety of reasons in most of Europe not much notable philosophy was being written in the years following the collapse of the Roman Empire the major Christian philosophical project scholasticism didn t get on its feet until St Anselm 1093 1109 started writing But another problem is that owing to Western provincialism most of the good philosophy written during these years isn t read nowadays because it was written by Muslims This collection was expressly put together to rectify this situation and it does the job admirably Now instead of an enormous gap I can move comfortably from Boethius to Al Farabi 872 950 to Ibn Sina or Avicenna 980 1037 to Al Ghazali 1058 1111 to Ibn Tufail 1105 1185 and finally to Ibn Rushd or Averroes 1126 1198 This progression completes not only the temporal picture but has the geographic advantage of leading from Baghdad to the Iberian Peninsula We thus see the trajectory through which the works of Aristotle preserved in Arabic translation as well as copious commentary on Aristotle s works entered Europe where they later gained ascendency The editor and translator of this volume Muhammad Ali Khalidi put it together for non specialists He made his selection with the hopes of showing the relevance of these thinkers to contemporary philosophical uestions but he also hoped to show something of the cultural significance of these philosophers None of the selections is very long and none is very difficult It is a mere tasting not a feast For me it was perfect since I have only a layman s interest in the subject My interest was ignited in medieval Islamic culture through my visits to Andalusia where I was continually astounded by the beauty of Moorish architecture If a culture was vibrant enough to build the Great Mosue in Cordoba I figured then they must have had some excellent thinkers too which they certainly did In what follows are my brief summaries and reactions to each of the pieces in this collection But before that I want to add my reflections on the whole What most struck me during my reading was how familiar were the styles and ideas Truly medieval Islamic philosophy does not represent some alien tradition or a mere curiosity nor were these philosophers mere preservers of the Greeks rather they should be regarded as an integral part of western philosophical history The fact that we still read Auinas but seldom Maimonides and rarely Averroes has little to do with merit and to do with religious allegiance All three of these traditions were engaged in similar philosophical projects namely the harmonization of faith with reason relying heavily on Aristotle Incidentally I can t help thinking that the persistent Islamophobia and Anti Semitism in the West would be less virulent if history were not taught in such a fashion that the contributions of Jews and Muslims to European culture were not so deemphasized But I suppose that s another matter Al Farabi Like nearly everyone in this collection Al Farabi was a polymath writing not only on philosophy but on music math science and cosmology But he is perhaps most important for being one of the first and most prominent Muslim philosophers to elevate Aristotle as the epitome of reason His work in this collection is taken from The Book of Letters It puts forward a schematic philosophy of history during which he lays out what he considers the essential stages of historical development Most striking is Al Farabi s elevation of philosophy According to him nearly every other discipline practical or theoretical stems from philosophy Even religion takes second place In Al Farabi s opinion prophets do not access supernatural knowledge but merely transform the insights of philosophers into metaphorical garb so that common people can understand them Indeed for Al Farabi almost all religion is just popularized allegorized simplified philosophy Aristotelianism for the people you might say Avicenna Avicenna or Ibn Sina is the Thomas Auinas of Islamic philosophy except perhaps greater An astounding polymath he not only wrote encyclopedias of science and philosophy but an encyclopedia of medicine that was still being used in Renaissance Italy Like Auinas and like Aristotle himself Avicenna was a great systematizer He had a prosaic orderly and remarkably capacious mind allowing him to compose encyclopedic works in many disparate subjects In this collection is the short work On the Soul which is an investigation into the capacities of the human mind with a special emphasis on epistemology Unlike Al Farabi Avicenna didn t consider prophets to be popularizers but a kind of super philosopher whose intellects intuit things faster than other people s Al Ghazali Al Ghazali probably wouldn t like being called a philosopher He was rather a mystic who wrote against philosophy Included in this collection is his Rescuer from Errors which is a sort of intellectual autobiography In it he describes a crisis of faith he experienced when he realized that his religion was mere conformity After doubting everything he proceeded to study theology which he found inadeuate and then philosophy which he found slightly better and eventually settled on being a mystic This was by far my favorite work in this collection Al Ghazali is an excellent writer and his procedure of radical doubt can t help but remind one of Descartes Indeed if you re inclined to doubt the existence of the world becoming a mystic might be a rational solution than the one Descartes settled upon Ibn Tufail Ibn Tufail sometimes called Abubekar was born in Moorish Spain near Granada In addition to being a philosopher he was a novelist physician and court official during his lifetime Reading the biographies of these guys makes you really mourn the rise of specialization He contributes the longest section to this book in the form of Hayy bin Yazan Not exactly a work of philosophy it is rather the description of a man born and raised in social isolation on a deserted island The titular character using nothing but his cleverness manages to deduce the entirety of Aristotelian thought and eventually becomes a mystic I suppose this story was meant to demonstrate that revealed religion wasn t necessary to reach the truth but that a monotheistic mysticism could be deduced from experience I found it uite unconvincing Averroes Averroes or Ibn Rushd was born in C rdoba the same city where Seneca and Maimonides were born and was perhaps the greatest Muslim philosopher after Avicenna Interestingly Averroes s influence was bigger in Christian Europe than in Islam because many of his key positions were seen as heretical After his death came the trend known as Averroism which held among other things that the individual soul is not eternal only the universal soul which every individual shares In this collection we find his The Incoherence of the Incoherence a work written in refutation of Al Ghazali s work The Incoherence of the Philosophers Al Ghazali attempted to demonstrate that belief in causes and natural laws was heretical there are no laws Al Ghazali held and no causes except the direct intervention of God Averroes uotes Al Ghazali in extenso and then argues against him point by point The final effect is of a real debate since Al Ghazali anticipated many of the rejections that Averroes brought against him Well that s it for my review I hope I ve at least convinced you that there is a lot of historical and philosophical value in these pages and in Islamic philosophy generally

Download Ý PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Á Muhammad Ali Khalidi

Medieval Islamic Philosophical Writings Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy Free read ↠ 106 Download Ý PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Á Muhammad Ali Khalidi Read & Download Medieval Islamic Philosophical Writings Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy And Ibn Rushd Averroes A historical and philosophical introduction sets the writings in context and traces their preoccupations and their achievement This was an excellent read Not all of its content was excellent ie the actual excerpts from the selected Muslim philosophers which I thought varied in uality but the the translation appears to be of extremely high uality the editor s commentary throughout is second to none the introduction is very informative and a pleasure to read and what has been chosen to include in this volume seems to be appropriately representative of this school of thoughtIbn Sina Avicenna and Ibn Rushd Averroes were the only two medieval Muslim philosophers I had really been aware of but I was not very familiar with their work I m still not of course but I can now say I ve at least read some of it Al Farabi and Al Ghazali I don t think I d heard of at all I came away from this book very impressed with Al Farabi Ibn Sina and Al Ghazali and relatively unimpressed with Ibn Tufayl and Ibn Rushd The thought of the first three fellows in particular struck me as being of very high ualityOne could perhaps make the argument that Al Farabi and Ibn Sina picked up where Aristotle left off writing in much the same fashion and derivative style but Al Ghazali feels like a hardline and Muslim version of Auinas much of a theologian in spirit and argument and with hubris than one will ever detect from St Thomas Al Ghazali claims that he reached the utmost limits of philosophy in less than two years by reading books in his spare time I found myself disagreeing with Al Ghazali aplenty and vehemently but maintaining great respect for the uality of his thought at the same time Al Ghazali was perhaps thus the most interesting of the lot since when one disagrees with another s thought but has respect for his thinking there is most likely the opportunity to learn something or otherAll in all an illuminating look into a school of thought that I d been or less completely ignorant of Recommended