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Islamic & Arabic philosophy

See below for a selection of the latest books from Islamic & Arabic philosophy category. Presented with a red border are the Islamic & Arabic philosophy books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Islamic & Arabic philosophy books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

On Life, Death, and Languages An Arabic Critical Edition and English Translation of Epistles 29-31

On Life, Death, and Languages An Arabic Critical Edition and English Translation of Epistles 29-31

The Ikhwan al- safa' (Brethren of Purity), the anonymous adepts of a tenth-century esoteric fraternity based in Basra and Baghdad, hold an eminent position in the history of science and philosophy in Islam due to the wide reception and assimilation of their monumental encyclopaedia, the Rasa'il Ikhwan al- safa' (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity). This compendium contains fifty-two epistles offering synoptic accounts of the classical sciences and philosophies of the age; divided into four classificatory parts, it treats themes in mathematics, logic, natural philosophy, psychology, metaphysics, and theology, in addition to didactic fables. The three epistles in this volume are among the most accessible and appealing of the Brethren of Purity's treatises. In their down-to-earth yet elegant style, they present age-old teachings on three fundamental issues: the nature of death, the truth about pleasure and pain, and the multiplicity of human languages and their origins, beginning with a discussion of natural and mechanical sounds and proceeding to human speech. Here we find outstanding examples of adab in the Arabic literary tradition, refined and genial philosophical discourses that reveal a high degree of sophistication and considerable literary flair.

Contemporary Perspectives on Revelation and Qu'Ranic Hermeneutics An Analysis of Four Scholars

Contemporary Perspectives on Revelation and Qu'Ranic Hermeneutics An Analysis of Four Scholars

Author: Ali Akbar Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/12/2019

A number of innovative hermeneutical approaches emerged in Muslim exegetical discourse in the second half of the 20th century. Among these developments is a trend of systematic reform theology that emphasises a humanistic approach, whereby revelation is understood to be dependent not only upon its initiator, God, but also upon its recipient, Prophet Muhammad, who takes an active role in the process. Ali Akbar examines the works of four noted scholars of Islam: Fazlur Rahman (Pakistan), Abdolkarim Soroush (Iran), Muhammad Mujtahed Shabestari (Iran) and Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd (Egypt). His study shows that the consequences of taking a humanistic approach to understanding revelation are not confined to the realm of speculation about God-human relations, but also to interpreting Qur'anic socio-political precepts. And the four scholars emerge as a distinctive group of Muslim thinkers who open up a new horizon in contemporary Islamic discourse.

Struggling with the Philosopher A Refutation of Avicenna's Metaphysics

Struggling with the Philosopher A Refutation of Avicenna's Metaphysics

Author: Muhammad al-Shahrastani Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/11/2019

Muhammad b. Abd al-Karim al-Shahrastani was one of the most learned and enigmatic scholars of medieval Islam. In his work, 'Kitab al-Musara'a' ('Struggling with the Philosopher'), which is published here in English translation (together with its original Arabic text) for the first time, al-Shahrastani gives a detailed critique of the metaphysics of the great Persian philosopher Avicenna. The greater part of his 'intellectual wrestling match' ('musara'a') is devoted to refuting Avicenna's interpretation of the 'Necessary Being' which, he argues, compromises the absolute transcendence of God. For al-Shahrastani, God is beyond human comprehension and above all opposites such as existence and non-existence, unity and multiplicity, good and evil, or truth and falsehood. This work is a strong indication of the rich diversity and eclecticism that characterised intellectual discourse in medieval Islam. 'Struggling with the Philosopher' is an important document of Islamic intellectual history. As such, it is essential reading and a reference text for students of Islamic studies and scholars interested in the medieval Islamic world.

The Powerless Church and Other Selected Writings, 1955-1985

The Powerless Church and Other Selected Writings, 1955-1985

Author: Ivan Illich, Giorgio Agamben Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/11/2019

Dalmatian-Austrian philosopher, Roman Catholic priest, and radical cultural critic Ivan Illich is best known for polemical writings such as Deschooling Society and Tools for Conviviality, which decried Western institutions of the 1970s. This collection brings together Illich's shorter writings from his early publications through the rise of his remarkable intellectual career, making available works that had fallen into undue obscurity. A fervent critic of Western Catholicism, Illich also addressed contemporary practices in fields from education and medicine to labor and socioeconomic development. At the heart of his work is his opposition to the imperialistic nature of state- and Church-sponsored missionary activities. His deep understanding of Church history, particularly the institutions of the thirteenth century, lent a historian's perspective to his critique of the Church and other twentieth-century institutions. The Powerless Church and Other Selected Writings, 1955-1985 comprises some of Illich's most salient and influential short works as well as a foreword by philosopher Giorgio Agamben. Featuring writings that had previously appeared in now-defunct publications, this volume is an indispensable resource for readers of Illich's longer works and for scholars of philosophy, religion, and cultural critique.

Intellectual Traditions in Islam

Intellectual Traditions in Islam

Author: Farhad Daftary Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2019

Leading scholars have collaborated here to undertake a broad study of an issue which has perplexed observers of the Islamic world. Hugh Kennedy begins with a survey on intellectual life in the first centuries of Islam while Oliver Leaman compares the concepts of scientific and philosophical enquiry in Muslim history; Muhsin Mahdi sets out the traditions for rationalism within Islam and the late Norman Calder's chapter demonstrates the limits of Islamic orthodoxy when faced with the impulse to enquire; Farhad Daftary provides an overview of intellectual life among the Ismailis and Alice Hunsberger focuses on Nasir Khusraw, the great Fatimid thinker and intellectual; Annemarie Schimmel writes on reason and mystical experience, the late John Cooper's study provides his observations on the religious intellectual milieu of Safavid Persia and Abdulaziz Sachedina examines the crisis of male epistemology in Islamic jurisprudence. Finally Mohammed Arkoun surveys the ways in which present-day Islam, grounded in its intellectual tradition, is relating its history and culture to the demands of modernity and globalisation.

The Measure of Greatness Philosophers on Magnanimity

The Measure of Greatness Philosophers on Magnanimity

Author: Sophia (University of Birmingham) Vasalou Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/10/2019

Magnanimity is a virtue that has led many lives. Foregrounded early on by Plato as a philosophical virtue par excellence, it became one of the crown jewels in Aristotle's account of human excellence and was accorded equally salient place by other ancient thinkers. It is one of the most distinctive elements of the ancient tradition to filter into the medieval Islamic and Christian worlds. It sparked important intellectual engagements and went on to carve deep tracks through several of the later philosophies to inherit from this tradition. Under changing names and reworked forms, it would continue to breathe in the thought of Descartes and Hume, Kant, and Nietzsche. Its many lives have been joined by important continuities, yet they have also been fragmented by discontinuities - discontinuities reflecting larger shifts in ethical perspectives and competing answers to questions about the nature of the good life, the moral nature of human beings, and their relationship to the social and natural world they inhabit. They have also been punctuated by moments of intense controversy in which the vision of human greatness has itself been called into doubt. The aim of this volume is to provide an insight into the complex trajectory of a virtue whose glitter has at times been as dazzling as it has been divisive. By exploring the many lives it has lived, we will be in a better position to evaluate whether this is a virtue we still want to make central to our own ethical lives, and why.

Vico's Theory of the Causes of Historical Change: ISF Monograph 1

Vico's Theory of the Causes of Historical Change: ISF Monograph 1

Author: Pompa Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/10/2019

The Philosopher Responds An Intellectual Correspondence from the Tenth Century, Volume Two

The Philosopher Responds An Intellectual Correspondence from the Tenth Century, Volume Two

Author: Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi, Abu 'Ali Miskawayh Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/10/2019

Questions and answers from two great philosophers Why is laughter contagious? Why do mountains exist? Why do we long for the past, even if it is scarred by suffering? Spanning a vast array of subjects that range from the philosophical to the theological, from the philological to the scientific, The Philosopher Responds is the record of a set of questions put by the litterateur Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi to the philosopher and historian Abu 'Ali Miskawayh. Both figures were foremost contributors to the remarkable flowering of cultural and intellectual life that took place in the Islamic world during the reign of the Buyid dynasty in the fourth/tenth century. The correspondence between al-Tawhidi and Miskawayh holds a mirror to many of the debates and preoccupations of the time and reflects the spirit of rationalistic inquiry that animated their era. It also provides insight into the intellectual outlooks of two thinkers who were divided as much by their distinctive temperaments as by the very different trajectories of their professional careers. Alternately whimsical and tragic, wondering and brooding, trivial and profound, al-Tawhidi's questions provoke an interaction as interesting in its spiritedness as in its content. This new edition of The Philosopher Responds is accompanied by the first full-length English translation of this important text, bringing this interaction to life for the English reader.

The Philosopher Responds An Intellectual Correspondence from the Tenth Century, Volume One

The Philosopher Responds An Intellectual Correspondence from the Tenth Century, Volume One

Author: Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi, Abu 'Ali Miskawayh Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/10/2019

Questions and answers from two great philosophers Why is laughter contagious? Why do mountains exist? Why do we long for the past, even if it is scarred by suffering? Spanning a vast array of subjects that range from the philosophical to the theological, from the philological to the scientific, The Philosopher Responds is the record of a set of questions put by the litterateur Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi to the philosopher and historian Abu 'Ali Miskawayh. Both figures were foremost contributors to the remarkable flowering of cultural and intellectual life that took place in the Islamic world during the reign of the Buyid dynasty in the fourth/tenth century. The correspondence between al-Tawhidi and Miskawayh holds a mirror to many of the debates and preoccupations of the time and reflects the spirit of rationalistic inquiry that animated their era. It also provides insight into the intellectual outlooks of two thinkers who were divided as much by their distinctive temperaments as by the very different trajectories of their professional careers. Alternately whimsical and tragic, wondering and brooding, trivial and profound, al-Tawhidi's questions provoke an interaction as interesting in its spiritedness as in its content. This new edition of The Philosopher Responds is accompanied by the first full-length English translation of this important text, bringing this interaction to life for the English reader.

The Sufis: Index Edition

The Sufis: Index Edition

Author: Idries Shah Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/10/2019

Alfarabi's Book of Dialectic (Kitab al-Jadal) On the Starting Point of Islamic Philosophy

Alfarabi's Book of Dialectic (Kitab al-Jadal) On the Starting Point of Islamic Philosophy

Author: David M. (Boston College, Massachusetts) DiPasquale Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/10/2019

Widely regarded as the founder of the Islamic philosophical tradition, and as the single greatest philosophical authority after Aristotle by his successors in the medieval Islamic, Jewish, and Christian communities, Alfarabi was a leading figure in the fields of Aristotelian logic and Platonic political science. The first complete English translation of his commentary on Aristotle's Topics, Alfarabi's Book of Dialectic, or Kitab al-Jadal, is presented here in a deeply researched edition based on the most complete Arabic manuscript sources. David M. DiPasquale argues that Alfarabi's understanding of the Socratic art of dialectic is the key prism through which to grasp his recovery of an authentic tradition of Greek science on the verge of extinction. He also suggests that the Book of Dialectic is unique to the extent to which it unites Alfarabi's logical and political writings, opening up novel ways of interpreting Alfarabi's influence.

Virtues of Greatness in the Arabic Tradition

Virtues of Greatness in the Arabic Tradition

There are few ideals of character as distinctive and divisive as the ancient virtue of 'greatness of soul'. A larger-than-life virtue embodying nothing less than a vision of human greatness, it has often been seen as a relic of the Homeric world and its honour-loving heroes. In philosophy, it found its most celebrated expression in Aristotle's ethics, and it has lived on in the minds of philosophers and theologians in different forms ever since. Yet among the many lives this virtue has led in intellectual history, one remains conspicuously unwritten. This is the life it led in the Arabic tradition. A virtue of Greek warriors and their democratic epigones - what happened when this splendid virtue made landfall in the Islamic world? This world, too, had its native heroes, who bequeathed their conception of extraordinary virtue to posterity. Heroic virtue is above all expressed in a boundless aspiration to what is greatest. Could we admire such virtue enough to want it as our own? What can we learn from the Arabic tradition of the virtues? In answering these questions, Sophia Vasalou elucidates a larger family of virtues that are united by their preoccupation with all things great: the 'virtues of greatness'. An important constituent of the character ideals expounded within the Islamic world, this type of virtue tells us as much about the content of these ideals as about their kaleidoscopic genealogies.