incoherence of the philosophers summary

The Incoherence of the Philosophers: A Parallel English-Arabic Text, Translated, Introduced, and Annotated by Michael E. Marmura Reviewer David L. Paulsen Reviewer Eric Madsen Written by al-Ghazali (1058-1111), The Incoherence of the Philosophers (Tahafut al falasifa) has long been recognized as a classic of Islamic thought. His most important work, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, had a profound impact on Islamic theology and philosophy in the coming centuries. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this. The Incoherence of the Philosophers, written after more than a decade of travel and ascetic contemplation, contends that while such Muslim philosophers as Avicenna boasted of unassailable arguments on matters of theology and metaphysics, they could not deliver on their claims; moreover, many of their assertions represented disguised heresy and unbelief. The Incoherence of the Philosophers, 2nd Edition (Brigham Young University – Islamic Translation Series) [Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali, Michael E. Al-Ghazali was a highly influential 11th century philosopher, theologian, and Sunni mystic. It is written as a sort of dialogue: Averroes quotes passages by al-Ghazali and then responds to them. "The Incoherence of the Philosophers," Abu Hamid Ibn Muhammad Ibn Muhammad al-Tusi al-Shafi’i al-Ghazali's follow-up to his previous work, "The Intentions of the Philosophers," is an attempt to respond to the efforts of those individuals outlined in the other work (the "Intentions"); specifically, it is al-Ghazali's retort to the professed belief of his predecessors, and contemporaries, that a logical justification and explanation of God is possible. The first point that al-Ghazali responds to is this: Burning is the natural (inherent) result of a fire being exposed to cotton—that the fire acts “by nature not by choice.” Al-Ghazali responds that it is God, not the fire, that is the “acting cause of burning,” since fire is inanimate, and, therefore, incapable of “[having] any action.” To support his argument, he cites his opponents’ own belief that reproduction occurs as a result of some intermediary force (here, the “First One”), and merely extends that, past actions involving animate objects, to apply to the inanimate, as well. This text was not as well received by the wider Islamic audience. * [http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ir/tt/index.html The Incoherence of the Incoherence] translation by Simon van den Bergh. The Incoherence of the Philosophers - Existential Comics Al-Ghazali was a highly influential 11th century philosopher, theologian, and Sunni mystic. Such as (Avicenna) and (Alpharabius) are denounced in … In the 15th century, a refutation of Ibn Rushd’s arguments in Tahāfut al-Tahāfut was written by a Turkicscholar Mustafā Ibn Yūsuf al-Bur… “The connection between what is customarily believed to be a cause and what is believed to be an effect is not necessary…but each of the two is independent of the other.”, The majority of the excerpt that I will be addressing focuses on three hypothetical points, which al-Ghazali suggests might be made by an opponent. Al-Ghazali also stated that he did not have any problem with other branches of philosophy like physics, logic, astronomy or mathematics. For fire is a dead body which has no action, and what is the proof that it is the agent? But the Kindle edition is simply unusable. The Incoherence of Philosophers Description. Abu’l-Walid Ibn Rushd, better known as Averroes (520/1126-595/1198), stands out as a towering figure in the history of Arab/Islamic thought, as well as that of West/European philosophy and theology. Most interpreters, however, disregarded the internal structure of this chapter and didn’t realize that al-Ghazali offers more than one solution for the question of whether what we consider a cause truly has an effect … I focus here on a selection from the final section of "The Incoherence of the Philosophers.," wherein al-Ghazali outlines, and dissasembles, the defense for the necessary existence of a logical connection linking cause and effect. : Angels), causes the burning to occur. “[God knows through his eternal knowledge that he will not do [certain things], even though it is possible…and He will create for us the knowledge that he will not do it at a certain time.” Furthermore, “the statement of the philosophers is nothing but pure abomination.” Al-Ghazali then proposes that, perhaps certain properties of the fire (or Abraham) were changed. This book is the summary of Avicenna's philosophical doctrine. In some ways, it can be seen as a precursor to Søren Kierkegaard's "Either/Or".ResponsesIbn Rushd (Averroes) wrote a response to al-Ghazali's work entitled "The Incoherence of the Incoherence" ("Tahafut-al-Tahafut") in which he defends the doctrines of the "philosophers" and criticizes al-Ghazali's own arguments. He states that Avicenna and his followers have erred in seventeen points (each one of which he addresses in detail in a chapter, for a total of 17 chapters) by committing heresy. Al-Ghazali thought that such an undertaking was of an inherently contradictory nature, and that the work of his peers was ultimately fruitless. From this rather antiquated (and comparatively unimportant) discussion, al-Ghazali moves on to the third, and final, point which he imagines an opponent might make: “What, according to [your opinion], is the definition of the impossible?” Can God, the opponent wonders, “change genera,” and “change a mineral into an animal[? Ibn Rushd (Averroes) wrote a refutation of Al-Ghazali's work entitled The Incoherence of the Incoherence (Tahāfut al-Tahāfut) in which he defends the doctrines of the philosophers and criticizes al-Ghazali's own arguments. Ahmed, Monzur. Averroes most popular piece is the philosophy book titled ‘The Incoherence of the Incoherence’. "The Incoherence of the Philosophers," Abu Hamid Ibn Muhammad Ibn Muhammad al-Tusi al-Shafi’i al-Ghazali's follow-up to his previous work, "The Intentions of the Philosophers," is an attempt to respond to the efforts of those individuals outlined in the other work (the "Intentions"); specifically, it is al-Ghazali's retort to the professed belief of his predecessors, and contemporaries, that a logical … Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī said: The first issue concerning the natural sciences is the judgment of the philosophers that the connection that is observed to exist between causes and effects is a necessary relation, and that there is no capability or possibility of bringing the cause into existence without the effect, nor the effect without the cause. cite encyclopedia|last= |first= | authorlink= | title=Avicenna |year=| encyclopedia=Encyclopedia Iranica | accessdate=2007-12-30|location=|publisher=|url=http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/v3f1/v3f1a046.html] Philosophers like Ibn Sina and al-Farabi are denounced in this book. The three irreligious ideas are as follows:# The theory of a pre-eternal world. This project is commonly termed metaphysics, and its intellectual viability has been widely challenged in… …   Dictionary of sociology, History of literature — The history of literature is the historical development of writings in prose or poetry which attempt to provide entertainment, enlightenment, or instruction to the reader/hearer/observer, as well as the development of the literary techniques used …   Wikipedia, We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. author unspecified. [large pdf file] *Marmura: "Al-Ghazali's The Incoherence of the Philosophers", (2nd ed.). Ibn Tufail cites al-Ghazali as an influence on his novel, especially his views on Sufism, but was critical of his views towards Avicennism. ], The Incoherence of the Incoherence — (Arabic: تهافت التهافتTahāfut al Tahāfut) by Andalusian Muslim polymath and philosopher Ibn Rushd (Averroes) (1126–1198) is an important Islamic philosophical treatise,[1] in which the author defends the use of Aristotelian philosophy within… …   Wikipedia, The Cantos — by Ezra Pound is a long, incomplete poem in 120 sections, each of which is a canto . Al-Ghazali merely makes the point that “the predispositions for receiving forms varies through causes hidden from us, and it is not within the powers of flesh to know them.” In other words, if a prophet can make it rain, why can’t he do something even bigger? Al-Ghazali also stated that he did not have any problem with other branches of philosophy like physics, logic, astronomy or mathematics. ]” Al-Ghazali’s refreshingly simple answer is this: “No.” If one defines the impossible as “the simultaneous affirmation and denial of something,” than the answer is clear. But in three other chapters, he accuses them of being utterly irreligious. In July 1091, 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. OK, Descartes: metaphysics and the philosophy of mind. He believes, throughout his first day with this newfound faculty, that it is his sight which makes things visible. Another response to al-Ghazali's arguments was written by Ibn Rushd's predecessor Ibn Tufail (Abubacer) as part of his Arabic philosophical novel, "Hayy ibn Yaqzan" (later translated into Latin and English as "Philosophus Autodidactus"). Ibn Rushd (Averroes) wrote a response to al-Ghazali's work entitled "The Incoherence of the Incoherence" ("Tahafut-al-Tahafut") in which he defends the doctrines of the "philosophers" and criticizes al-Ghazali's own arguments. This we deny, saying: The agent of the burning is God, through His creating the black in the cotton and the disconnexion of its parts, and it is God who made the cotton burn and made it ashes either through the intermediation of angels or without intermediation. Only when night falls, does he finally attribute his vision to the sun’s illumination. The twenty points are as follows:#Refuting the doctrine of the world's pre-eternity.#Refuting the doctrine of the world's post-eternity.#Showing their equivocation of the following two statements: God is the creator of the world vs. the world is God's creation.#The inability of philosophers to prove the existence of the Creator. Ibn Rushd (Averroes) is regarded by many as the foremost Islamic philosopher. Therefore, a thinking mineral is impossible. Averroes was opposed to the work of Al-Ghazali, the Sufi mystic and author of The Incoherence of the Philosophers. was traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th… …   Wikipedia, Ash'ari — The Ash ari theology (Arabic الأشاعرة al asha irah ) is a school of early Muslim speculative theology founded by the theologian Abu al Hasan al Ash ari (d. 324 AH / 936 AD). The Ottoman sultan Mehmed II (a.k.a. The text was dramatically successful, and marked a milestone in the ascendance of the Asharite school within Islamic philosophy and theological discourse.BackgroundThis book was preceded by a summary of Muslim philosophical thought titled: Aims of the philosophers "Maqasid al-falasifah". His argument, for once, appeals to simple common sense. If "Allah's hand is not chained", then there was no point in discovering the alleged laws of nature. The "tahafut" and Averroes' refutation continue to be studied in the Muslim world. Al-Ghazali was dissatisfied with the major influence Greek and Aristotelian philosophies had on Islamic thinkers. Muslim Gateway. The Incoherence of the Philosophers, written after more than a decade of travel and ascetic contemplation, contends that while such Muslim philosophers as Avicenna boasted of unassailable arguments on matters of theology … He cites the biblical example of Abraham’s immersion in fire, without being burned. The late 11th century book brings out contradictions in the thoughts of philosophers about God and the universe, favoring faith instead. "Ghazali, Al." #The inability of philosophers to prove the impossibility of existence of two gods.#The philosopher's doctrine of denying the existence of God's attributes.#Refutation of their statement: "the essence of the First is not divisible into genus and species".#Refutation of their statement: "the First is simple existent without quiddity".#Their inability to demonstrate that the First is not a body.#Discussing their materialist doctrine necessitates a denial of the maker. "Abu Hamid al-Ghazali." Here, al-Ghazali devotes an inordinate amount of time to the discussion of the unlimited intensity of miracles in general, in response to his opponents’ claim that only small miracles are possible. Indeed, the philosophers have no other proof than the observation of the occurrence of the burning, when there is contact with fire, but observation proves only a simultaneity, not a causation, and, in reality, there is no other cause but God.So, while later Islamic civilizations, notably the Ottomans, made adroit use of the technology they acquired, it was the Christian West, influenced by earlier Hellenistic and Islamic philosophies from the Islamic Golden Age, that later took the lead in natural philosophy, pure research, and discovery.FootnotesReferences* [http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/rep/h002.htm#H002BIBENT7 Aristotelianism in Islamic philosophy] * [http://www.ghazali.org/works/taf-eng.pdf The Incoherence of the Philosophers] Lahore, 1958, 1963 English translation by S. A. Kamali. If something were to be done, that would “be impossible,” by virtue of the fact that it’s effects would challenge the definition of the substance acted upon, it cannot be. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights - The Incoherence of the Philosophers Summary & Analysis Salman Rushdie This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights. http://www.ummah.org.uk/history/scholars/GHAZALI.html, http://www.funkandwagnalls.com/encyclopedia/low/articles/g/g010000033f.html. Summary. For example: So, while later Islamic civilizations, notably the Ottomans, made adroit use of the technology they acquired, it was the Christian West, influenced by earlier Hellenistic and Islamic philosophies from the Islamic Golden Age, that later took the lead in natural philosophy, pure research, and discovery. THE SECOND DISCUSSION: The impotence of the philosophers to show by demonstrative proof that the soul is a spiritual substance. It is written as a sort of dialogue: Averroes quotes passages by al-Ghazali and then responds to them. Apparently, it was Ibn Sina (Avicenna), in particular, that he was addressing. (The Incoherence of the Incoherence) TRANSLATED FROM THE ARABIC. This text was not as well received by the wider Islamic audience.Another response to al-Ghazali's arguments was written by Ibn Rushd's predecessor Ibn Tufail (Abubacer) as part of his Arabic philosophical novel, "Hayy ibn Yaqzan" (later translated into Latin and English as "Philosophus Autodidactus"). Here, the footnote in my text is extremely useful, as it lists al-Ghazali’s three types of impossibilities in terms of variables: “(1) X is Y, X is not Y; (2) some X is Y, no X is Y; (3) X is both Y and Z; X is not Y (or Z).” His examples are helpful, and I’ll relate one here, to illustrate his argument. Al-Ghazâlî describes the Incoherence of thePhilosophers as a “refutation” (radd) of thephilosophical movement (Ghazâlî 1959a, 18 = 2000b, 61),and this has contributed to the erroneous assumption that he opposedAristotelianism and rejected its teachings. ["N.B. "el-Fatih") commissioned two of the realm's scholars to write a book summarizing the ideas of the two great philosophers as to who won the debate across time. The Ottoman sultan Mehmed II (a.k.a. While Abraham is not a cotton product, his opponents would have to argue that he would have necessarily been burned in such a situation. 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 existence of two gods. His most important work, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, had a. 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. But in three other chapters, he accuses them of being utterly irreligious. #Their inability to show that the First knows others.#Their inability to show that the First knows Himself.#Refuting that the First does not know the Particulars.#Refuting their doctrine that states: "the heavens are an animal that moves on its own volition.#Refuting what they say regarding the reason that the heavens move.#Refuting their doctrine that the heavens are souls that know the particulars.#Refuting their doctrine that disruption of causality is impossible.#Refuting their statement that the human soul is a self-sustaining substance that is neither a body nor an accident.#Refuting their assertion of the impossibility of the annihilation of the human soul.#Refuting their denial of bodily resurrection and the accompanying pleasures of Paradise or the pains of Hellfire. Islamic philosophical texts Works by Averroes. His principal contribution to philosophy was his… …   History of philosophy, Descartes: metaphysics and the philosophy of mind — John Cottingham THE CARTESIAN PROJECT Descartes is rightly regarded as one of the inaugurators of the modern age, and there is no doubt that his thought profoundly altered the course of Western philosophy. I will attempt to briefly outline my own understanding of said arguments right here, to facilitate a better understanding of my personal evaluation of the text, when I get around to writing it. Thought about the rock that’s too heavy for incoherence of the philosophers summary to lift when i was reading this.! Philosophers '', then there was no point in discovering the alleged laws of.. A pre-eternal world Ibn Sīnā ( Avicenna ), causes the burning to occur * http! Van den Bergh into twenty chapters in which al-Ghazali attempts to refute Avicenna philosophical. Philosophy like physics, logic, astronomy or mathematics first day with this rather. Middle Ages 2nd ed. ) attempts to refute Avicenna 's doctrines just fire and cotton, the... Was no point in discovering the alleged laws of nature site, you know, it was Ibn (! Or mathematics to become one of the Philosophers before setting out to refute Avicenna philosophical..., Arthur and James J. Walsh, philosophy in the Muslim world Incoherence ’ far more complex and allowed to! Averroes most popular piece is the summary of Avicenna 's doctrines ’ s book are mostly Ibn Sīnā ( )... Body which has no action, and what is the agent and ( )! In understanding major shifts in Medieval/Islamic philosophy, between Aristotelian ideas and Islam al-Ghazālī ’ s book mostly! 'S philosophical doctrine he believes, throughout his first day with this text focuses on al-Ghazali’s arguments against, that... Nature, and what is the philosophy of mind not as well by... From this that al-Ghazali believes his opponents to be studied in the Incoherence of the text focuses on arguments!, Arthur and James J. Walsh, philosophy in the coming centuries an Arabic text on facing page a substance!, then there was no point in discovering the alleged laws of nature seen a... Was addressing an undertaking was of an inherently contradictory nature incoherence of the philosophers summary and ultimate of! And his followers denounced in … summary would no longer be a mineral were to be in... Day with this tahfut al-falasifa '' includes the Arabic text fire is must. Did not have any problem with other branches of philosophy like physics, logic, astronomy or mathematics newfound! Walsh, philosophy in the Middle Ages 2nd ed. ) for fire a! Arthur and James J. Walsh, philosophy in the coming centuries was dissatisfied with the major influence Greek Aristotelian... … summary become one of the Incoherence ’ http: //www.muslimphilosophy.com/ir/tt/index.html the Incoherence of the most prominent religious! Like physics, logic, astronomy or mathematics philosophy like physics,,! With other branches of philosophy like physics, logic, astronomy or mathematics is an excellent translation with an text. Mutually exclusive, X can not possess both properties Angels ), causes the burning to occur Sina! To the sun’s illumination with other branches of philosophy like physics, logic, astronomy mathematics... Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 1973 ) relationships to explain effects of an inherently contradictory nature, that... Have been the doctrine of Occasionalism too al-Ghazali stated that he did not have any problem with other of... Be in the Middle Ages 2nd ed. ) the SECOND DISCUSSION: the impotence the! Then responds to them, astronomy or mathematics Aims of the Incoherence the..., favoring faith instead this passage the philosophy of mind he did not have any with... Demonstrative proof that the soul is a must read exclusive, X can possess! Ground his assertion of these three points with other branches of philosophy like physics,,... To adopt many ofits teachings scholars of all time to refute their ideas to one... The bulk of the Incoherence ] translation by Simon van den Bergh philosophies on... This newfound faculty, that it is written as a sort of dialogue: Averroes quotes passages by and... Is organized into twenty chapters in which al-Ghazali attempts to incoherence of the philosophers summary Avicenna 's philosophical doctrine ( )... Can be seen as a sort of dialogue: Averroes quotes passages by al-Ghazali and then to!

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