An Introduction to Classical Islamic Philosophy by Oliver Leaman

By Oliver Leaman

Even though Islamic philosophy represents essentially the most very important philosophical traditions on the earth, it has simply particularly lately started to obtain consciousness within the non-Islamic international. it is a re-creation of a profitable introductory publication, improved and up-to-date to take account of modern scholarship. It makes a speciality of what's considered as Islamic philosophy's golden age, and may entice scholars and to any basic reader drawn to this philosophical culture.

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When one looks at the character of the argument between al-S¯ır¯af¯ı and Matt¯a, and arguments between theologians and philosophers in medieval Islam as a whole, one often finds yet another strain of contention emerging. This is a suspicion that philosophy is an essentially alien way of thinking. Muslim intellectuals were, and indeed still are, sometimes wary about dealing with pre-Islamic and non-Islamic themes which have become incorporated in Islam. For example, some of the customs and rituals of Islam are assumed to have a non-Islamic origin, being reflections of older and pagan traditions, yet accepting that such practices have pagan precedents has seemed to some Muslims impious and unworthy of the considerable religious respect in which those practices are held by the community.

When one looks at the character of the argument between al-S¯ır¯af¯ı and Matt¯a, and arguments between theologians and philosophers in medieval Islam as a whole, one often finds yet another strain of contention emerging. This is a suspicion that philosophy is an essentially alien way of thinking. Muslim intellectuals were, and indeed still are, sometimes wary about dealing with pre-Islamic and non-Islamic themes which have become incorporated in Islam. For example, some of the customs and rituals of Islam are assumed to have a non-Islamic origin, being reflections of older and pagan traditions, yet accepting that such practices have pagan precedents has seemed to some Muslims impious and unworthy of the considerable religious respect in which those practices are held by the community.

As we have seen, they were obliged to study their works in translation and with the accretion of some Neoplatonic texts passing as Aristotelian. In addition, the philosophical curriculum which was passed on to them came from a wide variety of different and conflicting sources, with an approach to the interpretation of Aristotle very different from that which exists today. Some commentators   Especially in his The correct balance, trans. R. McCarthy, Freedom and fulfillment, pp. –. y¯a’ ‘ul¯um al-d¯ın (The renaissance of the sciences of religion), ed.

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