BSHP's Inaugural Antognazza Lecture: Assent in the Philosophy of the Islamic World - 23 November 2023
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The British Society for the History of Philosophy's Inaugural Antognazza Lecture, Assent in the Philosophy of the Islamic World.
Inspired by Maria Rosa Antognazza's formidable final work of philosophy, Thinking with Assent: Renewing a Traditional Account of Knowledge and Belief, this talk will explore her idea that knowledge and belief are very different kinds of 'assent'. Antognazza argues that, until very recently in the history of philosophy, knowledge was sharply contrasted with belief. For her, the modern-day attempt to understand it as a type of belief is a philosophical wrong turn.
This lecture will approach these same ideas, but in a context not covered in her otherwise historically comprehensive book: the Islamic world. Here we find further confirmation of Antognazza's historical thesis in the form of a widely-accepted theory centred on the concept of “assent” (taṣdīq).This theory began in the Arabic tradition with al-Fārābī and was further developed by Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna), but as we will see, gave rise to problems and objections - albeit without ever questioning the basic idea that it is assent, and not belief, that is the most fundamental notion for logic and epistemology.
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Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
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23 November 2023