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Module descriptions

7AAN2055 Philosophy in the Islamic World

THIS MODULE IS NOT RUNNING IN 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 OR 2016-17

Credits: 20
Module tutor: Professor Peter Adamson
Time: Tuesdays, 14:00–16:00
Room: Strand Building, S-3.20
* Download the 2011-12 syllabus (pdf, 134KB)
From the 7th century onward, while Europe was undergoing the medieval period, the Islamic world was an advanced civilization which spread from modern-day Spain to central Asia. Some of the great figures of the history of philosophy were Muslims – like Avicenna and Averroes – or lived in the Islamic world, like the great Jewish philosopher Maimonides. This module covers the highpoints of philosophy in the Islamic world, beginning with the reception of Greek thought into Arabic and exploring how Greek ideas were woven into the intellectual framework of revealed religion. Figures covered include al-Kindi, al-Razi, al-Farabi, Avicenna, and Averroes; some attention is also paid to the non-Aristotelian reaction to Avicenna by al-Ghazali and others, and to the indigenous Islamic theological tradition of kalam. Philosophical ideas to be dealt with include proofs of God’s existence; the problem of divine attributes; the relation of philosophy to revelation; freedom; the nature of the intellect; and the eternity of the world. The module does not presuppose knowledge of Arabic or Greek philosophy, though the latter would be useful.

  • Formative assessment: 1 x 2,000–3,000-word essay, due by end of semester or as otherwise instructed
  • Summative assessment: 1 x 4,000-word essay, due Monday 30 April 2012

Note: the initial lecture hour, 14:00–15:00, will be shared with students taking 6AANB019 Philosophy in the Islamic World, but they will be subject to different requirements

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