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Arabic Philosophy.

Arab. philosophy originated in Baghdad and is, in part, a synthesis of Hellenic and Oriental philosophies. Hellenic and Oriental writings were tr. into Arab. between 762 and 900 (the Gk. under Nestorian influence). The House of Wisdom, erected 832 under enlightened caliphs, had as its first famous scholar Hunain ibn-Ishaq (Johannitius, ca. 809—ca. 873). This revived learning came to Christians through Muslims in Sicily and Sp. Among outstanding Arab. philosophers were:

Averroës (1126–98); denied freedom of the will and immortality; commentary on Aristotle widely read by Christian scholars despite RC opposition; followed al-Farabi's theory of the soul.

Avicenna (ibn-Sina; 980–1037); famous chiefly as physician; metaphysical writings also widely read in Middle Ages.

al-Farabi (ca. 870–950); tried to support Muhammadan mysticism with Neoplatonism (soul is light emanating from divine intelligence); works include De divisione philosophiae; De ortu scientiarum; also wrote on the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle.

al-Ghazzali* (1058–1111); “the Muslim Aquinas”; greatest theologian of Muhammadanism.

al-Jahiz (d. 896); tried to show import in theology of natural phenomena.

al-Kindi (d. ca. 870); Neoplatonist; neo-Pythagorean; considered science and logic basic to theology.

Arab. philosophy influenced not only Jewish thinkers (Avicebrón*; Maimonides*), but also Christian and contributed to the rise of scholasticism.*

Scripta Hierosolymitana, Vol. IX: Studies in Islamic History and Civilization, ed. U. Heyd (Jerusalem, 1961); D. B. Macdonald, Development of Muslim Theology, Jurisprudence and Constitutional Theory (London, 1903); De Lacy E. O'Leary, Arabic Thought and Its Place in History (London, 1939); Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie [und Theologie] des Mittelalters (Münster, 1891– ).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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