Cover of Journal of Islamic Philosophy
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1. Journal of Islamic Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
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2. Journal of Islamic Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Aaron Spevack A Note from the Editor in Chief
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3. Journal of Islamic Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Safaruk Z. Chowdhury Editorial
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4. Journal of Islamic Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Nabil Yasien Mohamed Al-Ghazālī’s Methodological Skepticism and Foundationalism
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In this article, I examine al-Ghazālī’s methodological skepticism and its role in establishing foundational knowledge.Despite the considerable scholarly attention given to The Deliverance from Error (al-Munqidh min al-ḍalāl), the foundationalism present in it has received relatively limited investigation. Al-Ghazālī established the foundations of knowledge by taking his methodological skepticism to its logical conclusions. His engagement with the sources of knowledge, namely, taqlīd, sense perception, and self-evident truths form the cornerstone of his skepticism. To understand how al-Ghazālī finds deliverance from his skeptical impasse, and ultimately establish foundational knowledge, the concepts of “divine light” and fiṭra will be dis­cussed. Unlike Greek skepticism, al-Ghazālī’s skepticism was not a denial of the possibility of knowledge about the nature of reality, nor was it a denial of Muslim doctrine, but a methodological approach to establish the foundations of knowledge.
5. Journal of Islamic Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Francesco Omar Zamboni Like Mending a Torn Fabric: Anthropology and Eschatology in Ibn al-Malāḥimī
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This paper investigates the doctrine of man’s essence and resurrection defended by the late Muʿtazilī Rukn al-Dīn b. al-Malāḥimī al-Khwārazmī (d. 536/1141). His anthropology combines substance reductionism and function organicism. Even though man is not a unitary substance additional to the sum of his atomic parts, the specific arrangement of parts we call “man” exhibits functions that are indivisible and irreducible (they are not sums of functions predicable of the indi­vidual parts). When it comes to resurrection, Ibn al-Malāḥimī abandons the recreation model, the standard view of the Muʿtazilīs, in favor of the reassembly model, which he claims to be adherent to the manifest meaning of the Qur’ān as well as capable of answering an objection concerning continuity of identity (there is no way to discriminate between the resur­rected individual and an equivalent copy). For Ibn al-Malāḥimī, the identity of the resurrected becomes unproblematic once we accept that the material parts of the body persist from the moment of death to that of resurrection: when exactly reassembled, such parts unequivocally identify the individual.
6. Journal of Islamic Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Daniel Watling Ḥayy’s Two Nativities: Cosmology and Ismāʿīlī taʾwīl in Ibn Ṭufayl’s Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān
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The twelfth-century narrative Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān by Ibn Ṭufayl recounts the life of Ḥayy, a feral man who teaches himself philosophy while living on a desert island. Ibn Ṭufayl gives two explanations of how Ḥayy came to the island. In one version, Ḥayy generates spontaneously on the island; in another, he washes up on the island as an infant. This paper attempts to resolve these contradictory narratives by appealing to a previously unexplored source text for Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān, Sarāʾir al-nutaqāʾ by Jaʿfar b. Manṣūr al-Yaman. Sarāʾir is an esoteric Ismāʿīlī text in which the author uses stories about Adam and other prophets to elaborate a Neoplatonist-inspired theology. Jaʿfar distinguishes between Adam as a symbol of the atemporal origination (ibdāʿ) of all natural forms, and the corporeal Adam of Ismāʿīlī history. Due to narrative and conceptual similarities between Jaʿfar’s and Ibn Ṭufayl’s treatment of their protagonists, I argue that the two versions of Ḥayy’s nativity allegorize the duality of Neoplatonic cosmology. Spontaneous generation dramatizes the atemporal creation of the human form, whereas the infant Ḥayy’s landing on the island reinforces the philosophical belief in the eternity of species. Both Jaʿfar and Ibn Ṭufayl appeal to the Neoplatonic doctrine of emanation to reconcile the eternity of the physical world with belief in God’s creative agency. The resemblance of Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān to Sarāʾir prompts broader reconsidera­tion of Ismāʿīlī influence on non-Ismāʿīlī intellectual culture.