In addition to being a confidante of the Seljuq Sultan and his court in Isfahan, he now became closely connected to the caliphal court in Baghdad. He was undoubtedly the most influential intellectual of his time, when in he suddenly gave up his posts in Baghdad and left the city. He realized that the high ethical standards of a virtuous religious life are not compatible with being in the service of sultans, viziers, and caliphs. He continued to teach, however, at small schools singl. Falsafa was a movement where Christians, Muslims, and even pagan authors participated.

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In addition to being a confidante of the Seljuq Sultan and his court in Isfahan, he now became closely connected to the caliphal court in Baghdad.

He was undoubtedly the most influential intellectual of his time, when in he suddenly gave up his posts in Baghdad and left the city. He realized that the high ethical standards of a virtuous religious life are not compatible with being in the service of sultans, viziers, and caliphs.

He continued to teach, however, at small schools singl. Falsafa was a movement where Christians, Muslims, and even pagan authors participated. After the 12th century it would also include Jewish authors. Prophets and the revealed religions they bring articulate the same insights that philosophers express in their teachings, yet the prophets use the method of symbolization to make this wisdom more approachable for the ordinary people.

This account is apologetic and aims to reject the claim of some of his critics that he had learned falsafa before his own religious education was complete. Two of those works have come down to us.

The fragment unfortunately bears no title. Previously it has been assumed that the Doctrines of the Philosophers was written as a preparatory study to his major work, the Incoherence.

This can no longer be upheld. The Incoherence and the Doctrines use different terminologies and the latter presents its material in ways that does not support the criticism in the Incoherence Janssens , 43— The Doctrines of the Philosophers may have been a text that was initially unconnected to the Incoherence or that was generated after the composition of the latter.

Only its introduction and its brief explicit create a connection to the refutation in the Incoherence. These parts were almost certainly written or added after the publication of the Incoherence Janssens , 45; Griffel , 9— The Doctrines of the Philosophers was translated into Latin in the third quarter of the 12th century and into Hebrew first in and at least another two times within the next fifty years.

These translations enjoyed much more success than the Arabic original. It was translated by Dominicus Gundisalivi Gundissalinus, d. The oldest of these manuscripts was produced at the beginning of the 13th century at Maragheh, an important center of scholarship in NW Iran and is available in facsimile Pourjavady , 2— The translator of the first Hebrew version of , the Jewish Averroist Isaac Albalag, attached his own introduction and extensive notes to the text Vajda This and the other two Hebrew translations attracted a great number of commentators, including Moses Narboni d.

Some Jewish scholars, like the 14th century Katalan Hasdai Crescas, saw in this Avicennan text a welcome alternative to the equally widespread teachings of Averroes Harvey and Harvey By pretending to refute philosophy in his Incoherence he could justify the writing of the Doctrines. His response to falsafa was far more complex and allowed him to adopt many of its teachings.

The initial argument of the Incoherence focuses on apodeixis and the demonstrative character of the arguments refuted therein. Their information made it into the books of the ancient philosophers who falsely claimed that they gained these insights by reason alone. The 17th discussion on causality will be analyzed below.

A small group of positions is considered wrong as well as religiously problematic. These were deeply influenced by cosmological notions in late antique Gnostic and Neoplatonic literature Walker , de Smet Sunni theologians argue among each other, he says, because they are largely unfamiliar with the technique of demonstration. The interpretation of passages in revelation, however, whose outward meaning is not disproved by a valid demonstration, is not allowed Griffel , —35; , — Ibn Taymiyya flatly denied the possibility of a conflict between reason and revelation and maintained that the perception of such a disagreement results from subjecting revelation to premises that revelation itself does not accept Heer , — This work was translated twice into Latin in and , the later one on the basis of an earlier Hebrew translation of the text Steinschneider , — The two Latin translations both have the title Destructio destructionum the later one is edited in Averroes The Italian Agostino Nifo c.

The voluminous Revival is a comprehensive guide to ethical behavior in the everyday life of Muslims. It is divided into four sections, each containing ten books. Compared with the eternity of the next life, this life is almost insignificant, yet it seals our fate in the world to come. Not our good beliefs or intentions count; only our good and virtuous actions will determine our life in the world to come.

In the Revival he teaches ethics that are based on the development of character traits singl. Behind this kind of ethics stands the Aristotelian notion of entelechy: humans have a natural potential to develop rationality and through it acquire virtuous character.

Education, literature, religion, and politics should help realizing this potential. The human soul has to undergo constant training and needs to be disciplined similar to a young horse that needs to be broken in, schooled, and treated well.

In his Revival he merges these two ethical traditions to a successful and influential fusion. Based on partly mis-translated texts by Aristotle Hansberger , Avicenna developed a psychology that assumes the existence of several distinct faculties of the soul.

These faculties are stronger or weaker in individual humans. Prophecy is the combination of three faculties which the prophet has in an extraordinarily strong measure. These faculties firstly allow the prophet to acquire theoretical knowledge instantly without learning, secondly represent this knowledge through symbols and parables as well as divine future events, and thirdly to bring about effects outside of his body such as rain or earthquakes.

The existence of the three faculties in human souls that make up prophecy serves for him as an explanation of the higher insights that mystics such as Sufi masters have in comparison to other people. Sufi masters stand in between these two. With regard to the ethical value of our actions we have a tendency to confuse moral value with benefit. We generally tend to assume that whatever benefits our collective interest is morally good, while whatever harms us collectively is bad. These judgments, however, are ultimately fallacious and cannot be the basis of jurisprudence fiqh.

The kind of connection between human actions and reward or punishment in the afterlife can only be learned from revelation Hourani , Marmura — Muslim jurisprudence is the science that extracts general rules from revelation. God creates and determines everything, including the actions of humans. For all practical purposes it befits humans to assume that God controls everything through chains of causes Marmura , — We witness in nature causal processes that add up to longer causal chains.

God is the starting point of all causal chains and He creates and controls all elements therein. While humans are under the impression that they have a free will, their actions are in reality compelled by causes that exist within them as well as outside Griffel , — God creates the universe as a huge apparatus and employs it in order to pursue a certain goal qasd. Here he describes three stages of its creation.

The builder of the water-clock first has to make a plan of it, secondly execute this plan and build the clock, and thirdly he has to make the clock going by supplying it with a constant source of energy, namely the flow of water.

That energy needs to be carefully measured, because only the right amount of energy will produce the desired result. Nature is a process in which all elements harmoniously dovetail with one another. These causes have been made easy for him, who has been predestined in eternity to earn redemption, so that through their chaining-together the causes will lead him to paradise.

All these are teachings that are very close to those of Avicenna Frank , 24— In reality they are compelled to choose what they deem is the best action khayr among the present alternatives. In Avicenna the First Being, which is God, makes all other beings and events necessary. All material things are composed of atoms that have no qualities or attributes but simply make up the shape of the body. Only the atoms of spatially extended bodies can be substances.

None of the accidents, however, can subsist from one moment waqt to the next. This leads to a cosmology where in each moment God assigns the accidents to bodies in which they inhere.

When one moment ends, God creates new accidents. None of the created accidents in the second moment has any causal relation to the ones in the earlier moment. If a body continues to have a certain attribute from one moment to the next, then God creates two identical accidents inhering in that body in each of the two subsequent moments.

Movement and development generate when God decides to change the arrangement of the moment before. A ball is moved, for instance, when in the second moment of two the atoms of the ball happen to be created in a certain distance from the first. The distance determines the speed of the movement. This also applies to the atoms of the air if there happen to be some wind. A purely occasionalist model finds it difficult to explain how God can make humans responsible for their own actions if they do not cause them.

Avicenna stresses that no causal series, in any of the four types of causes, can regress indefinitely. Every series of causes and effects must have at least three components: a first element, a middle element, and a last element. It causes the last element of that chain—the ultimate effect—through one or many intermediaries singl. Tracing back all efficient causes in the universe will lead to a first efficient cause, which is itself uncaused.

The 17th discussion is not triggered by any opposition to causality. If their possibility is acknowledged, a Muslim philosopher who accepts the authority of revelation must also admit that the prophets performed these miracles and that the narrative in revelation is truthful. This four-fold division of the 17th discussion is crucial for its understanding.

For a detailed discussion of the four parts in the 17th discussion the reader must be referred to chapter 6 in Griffel — On first sight, it seems that only an occasionalist explanation of physical processes would fulfill these four conditions, and this is how this statement has mostly been understood.

One should keep in mind, however, that this formula leaves open, how God creates events. Even an Avicennan philosopher holds that God creates the cause concomitant to its effect, and does so by means of secondary causality. While such connections cannot be proven through observation or through any other means , they may or may not exist.

The proximate efficient cause may be just the last element in a long chain of efficient causes that extends via the heavenly realm. God may create this effect directly or by way of secondary causality.

Still he does not accept the teachings of Avicenna, which are discussed in the Second Position. Avicenna combines secondary causality with the view that causal processes proceed with necessity and in accord with the natures of things, and not by way of deliberation and choice on the side of the efficient cause. The ultimate efficient cause in a cosmology of secondary causality is, of course, God.


Incoherence of the Philosophers: S. Kamali

He is viewed as the key member of the influential Asharite school of early Muslim philosophy and the most important refuter of the Mutazilites. However, he chose a slightly-different position in comparison with the Asharites. His beliefs and thoughts differ in some aspects from the orthodox Asharite school. A total of about 70 works can be attributed to Al-Ghazali.


144 - Miracle Worker: al-Ghazālī against the Philosophers

Refutation of their belief in the eternity of the world Details of the theory of the eternity of the world : THE philosophers disagree among themselves as to the eternity of the world. But the majority of the philosophers — ancient as well as modern-agree upon its eternity, holding that it always coexisted with God exalted be He as His effect which was concurrent with Him in time -concurrent as an effect is with the cause, e. Plato is said to have maintained that the world began in time. He said that he did not know whether the world is eternal or originated. Often he would argue that the nature of the world could not be discovered — not because of any deficiency on his part, but because of the inherent difficulty of the problem which baffles all minds. But such instances are few and far between. The consensus of opinion among the philosophers is that as a rule it is inconceivable that something which has a beginning in time should proceed from the eternal without there being any intermediary.



Background[ edit ] In July , at the invitation of Nizam al-Mulk, Al-Ghazali became professor of law at the Nizamiyya of Baghdad , one of the most prestigious colleges at that time. Al-Ghazali stated that he did not find other branches of philosophy including physics, logic, astronomy or mathematics problematic, his only dispute was with metaphysics in which he claimed that the philosophers did not use the same tools, namely logic, which they used for other sciences. But in three other chapters, he accuses them of being utterly irreligious. Among the charges that he leveled against the philosophers is their inability to prove the existence of God and inability to prove the impossibility of the existence of two gods. Showing their equivocation of the following two statements: God is the creator of the world vs. The inability of philosophers to prove the existence of the Creator.




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