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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!
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.
This book collects 15 papers on the greatest philosopher of late antiquity and founder of Neoplatonism, Plotinus (d.270), and the founding figure of philosophy in the Islamic world: al-KindAE (d. ca. 873). A number of the contributions focus on the text that joins the two: the so-called Theology of Aristotle, in fact an Arabic version of Plotinus' Enneads produced in al- KindAE 's translation circle. Across several papers, Adamson argues that this translation is best understood as a reinterpretation of Plotinus designed to appeal to contemporary readers in the culture of the 'AbbAEsid era. Two contributions also analyze the notes on the Theology written by the great Avicenna. Other papers look at aspects of al-KindAE 's own thought, exploring his ideas concerning metaphysics, free will astrology, and optics. The traditions of Plotinus and al-KindAE are also treated, with papers on Plotinus' student Porphyry and his Arabic reception, and on followers of al-KindAE . Adamson argues that we can identify what he calls a 'Kindian tradition' in the 9th-10th centuries. He discusses the philosophical presuppositions of this movement, and the use of al-KindAE 's ideas made by one particular representative of the Kindian tradition, the Persian thinker Miskawayh.
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.
Despite the apparent lack of any cultural and religious connection between Kierkegaard and Iqbal, their philosophical and religious concerns and their methods of dealing with these concerns show certain parallels. This book provides a Kierkegaardian reading of Muhammad Iqbal's idea of becoming a genuine Muslim. It reflects on the parallels between the philosophical approaches of Kierkegaard and Iqbal, and argues that, though there are certain parallels between their approaches, there is a significant difference between their philosophical stances. Kierkegaard was concerned with developing an existential dialectics; Iqbal, however, focused mostly on the identification of the problems of the modern Muslim world. As a result, Iqbal's idea of becoming a genuine Muslim - the practical aspect of his thought and one of the most central issues of his philosophy - seems to be unclear and even contradictory at points. This book therefore uses the parallels between the two philosophers' endeavours and the notions developed by Kierkegaard to provide a strong hermeneutical tool for clarifying where the significance of Iqbal's idea of becoming a Muslim lies. By bringing together two philosophers from different cultural, traditional and religious backgrounds, this book will appeal to students and scholars of Comparative Politics, Contemporary Islamic Philosophy and the Philosophy of Religion.
The volume brings together seventeen studies on Avicenna by Dimitri Gutas, written over the past twenty-five years. They aim to establish Avicenna's historical and philosophical context as a means to determining his philosophical project and the orientations of his thought. They deal with his life and works, his method, his epistemology, and his later reception in the Islamic world, ending with a programmatic essay on the state of the field of Avicennan studies and future agenda. Occasioned by issues raised in Gutas's monograph on Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition (whose second edition has just appeared), they form a substantive complement to it. For this reprint, a number of the essays have been reset and accordingly revised and updated. Provided with exhaustive indexes of names, places, subjects, and technical terms, the volume constitutes a new and major research tool for the study of Avicenna and his heritage.
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.
Providing a comprehensive and widely accessible investigation into Mulla Sadra's works, this book establishes his political philosophy and instigates a dialogue on the relevance of Sadra's philosophy to present day challenges. Investigating Sadra's primary sources, the book reveals that his discourse on politics cannot be interpreted as a discursive springboard for hierocracy and political authority of jurists, nor does the mystical attitude of his philosophy (with its emphasis on the inner aspects of religion) promote an idea of quietism or a fundamental separation of religion and politics. Laying the groundwork for further translations and interpretation, this volume is not just concerned with 'political philosophy' as yet another particular and limited facet of Sadra's overall system. Rather, through unifying mystical, intellectual and political aspects of this singular philosopher, the volume is concerned with properly contextualizing and understanding the guiding intentions and inspirations that unify and underlie all of his creative philosophical endeavour. This pioneering and provocative work of genuine reflection is a new contribution to the wider subject of political philosophy. It will be of interest to researchers of political philosophy, Islamic philosophy, mysticism, theology, history and Iranian studies.