An Introduction to Classical Islamic Philosophy by Oliver Leaman

By Oliver Leaman

Even if Islamic philosophy represents the most very important philosophical traditions on the planet, it has simply particularly lately began to obtain consciousness within the non-Islamic international. this can be a re-creation of a winning introductory booklet, improved and up to date to take account of modern scholarship. It specializes in 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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We shall see later the different explanations which the philosophers give of such religious commandments and customs. The point here is to establish that rational understanding is a much-valued aspect of traditional Islam even where Muslims are suspicious of philosophy. Indeed, it might be argued that the Prophet implies the significance of reason when he abolished prophecy. The Prophet himself announced that he was the last of the prophets, and so there would be no more revelations or voices claiming divine authority.

Like most of the Islamic philosophers, Avicenna seems to adhere to a theory of the next life which can be understood by all people, regardless of their intellectual capacities. Those capable of intellectual thought will understand salvation in terms of rational improvement, and will not need to be motivated by the corporeal language of the afterlife in the Qur’¯an Introduction  to motivate them appropriately. On the other hand, those who are not able to understand the intellectual possibility of a spiritual afterlife are provided in religion with a series of images which is capable of helping them understand that the consequences of their actions in this life have a scope which is not completely limited to this life.

Since their desires are corrupt and essentially linked to the body, they will be permanently unsatisfiable, and so will eternally torment them. It is not clear how this would work, though, since without bodies how could physical pleasures linked with the body remain an issue for the inhabitants of the next world? The argument that the state will be best run by an individual who not only has the relevant theoretical knowledge but also has the ability to make that knowledge comprehensible and acceptable to the widest possible audience became an important principle of Islamic political philosophy in the classical period.

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