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Date of Publication: 2004
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Description: 9780521817431 Hardback, 468pp., This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher.
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The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy) Hardcover – January 10, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In short, The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy will not only be of interest to scholars and students of Arabic philosophy, but should also be of interest to students and scholars working more generally on later Greek philosophical traditions and on philosophy in the Middle Ages. The work should remain a very good reference for a number of years to come."
--Roxanne D. Marcotte, The University of Queensland


"...Out of eighteen contributions to this Companion ten are in general terms historical in nature, four systematic dealing with logic, ethics, philosophical psychology, and metaphysics.... gives an account of interesting collaborative encounter between Islamic and Jewish Philosophy...."
--Shun'ichi Takayanagi, S.J., Sophia University, Japan, The Modern Schoolman

Book Description

This collection of essays by leading scholars provides an introduction to Arabic philosophy by way of chapters devoted to individual thinkers (such as al-Farabi, Avicenna and Averroes) or groups, especially during the 'classical' period from the ninth to the twelfth centuries. It also includes chapters on areas of philosophical inquiry across the tradition, such as ethics and metaphysics. Finally, it includes chapters on later Islamic thought, and on the connections between Arabic philosophy and Greek, Jewish, and Latin philosophy.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Companions to Philosophy
  • Hardcover: 468 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (January 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521817439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521817431
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,161,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
It is a little known fact in the history of philosophy and ideas that many of the writings and principles that we have and consider as standard 'Western' products came to us through the Arabic traditions. In some cases, this was preservation of earlier materials (Aristotle is but the most famous example of this), but in others, the original product of the Arabic philosophers influenced mathematics, science, art, theology, and philosophy in the West in ways still being discovered.

This volume, edited by Peter Adamson and Richard Taylor, is an important contribution to re-establishing this connection and recovering lesser known traditions, as well as holding up the history of Arabic philosophy in its own right. The tradition of Arabic philosophy is almost as old as Islam itself, which established in its early days bright centres of learning and international communications that inspired a blossoming of ecumenical philosophical traditions cutting across Christian, Jewish and Muslim lines.

During the formative stage, the figure of Avicenna looms large, with his synthesis of falsafa (philosophy both Aristotelian and Neoplatonic) and kalam (Islamic doctrinal theology). The classical age of Arabic philosophy, in the ninth to twelfth centuries C.E., took advantage of their Aristotelian inheritance, preserved and commented upon by Averroes (Ibn Rushd), an Andalusian philosopher (think Spain). Other strands of thought, both more 'practical' and more mystical, are explored by the authors. Some chapters concentrate on particular time periods or historic figures, and others look more generally at topics in philosophy (logic, ethics, metaphysics, etc.) across the broader range of Islamic history.
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This collection of essays runs the gamut of medieval Islamic philosophy both chronologically and thematically. The first half is devoted to the development in time, from the translation of neo-platonic texts into Arabic over the great masters (Al-Farabi, Avicenna, Averroes) to Suhrawardi, Illuminationism and Mysticism.

The second part deals with the various sub-disciplines, such as logic, ethics, metaphysics and so forth. There are also shortish overviews of the interactions between Islamic and Jewish philosophy, the reception in medieval Christian circles and recent trends. This last one was a bit disappointing as it didn't really answer the question what, if any, influence Avicenna & Co. have on current Islamic thinking, a question surely of some interest.

I found the collection very useful in providing a framework within which to make better sense of the works of the falsafa and to appreciate their impact on the development of western thought.
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Totally satisfied.

Excellent job you did with the delivery.
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Outstanding
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This is a comprehensive look at the breadth of the philosophical works by a range of philosophers who were largely not Arab but Persian (as Farabi, Razi, Ghazzali, Avicenna) or Spanish (as Averroes). They wrote in Arabic much as many in the Western world at the time wrote in Latin. For Cambridge to refer to these as Arab philosophers is a disservice to the legacy of these eminent philosophers. The proper term is Islamic Philosophy, which has traditionally been used in this context and must be adhered to ensure historical veracity.
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