Islamic Philosophy

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In Islam the development of philosophical thought, properly speaking, succeeded earlier schools of dialectical theology (kalām ) that began to arise in the eighth century (second century AH in the Islamic calendar) through the action of foreign ideasparticularly Greco-Christianon certain fundamental moral issues raised within the Islamic community. These moral issues clustered particularly around the problems of the freedom of the human will, God's omnipotence and justice, and God's relationship to the world. Although these early schools do not properly belong within the scope of this article, since they are theological rather than philosophical, a very brief characterization of the main groups and their tenets will serve to elucidate the content of the philosophical movement itself. Broadly speaking, there were two theological schools. The so-called rationalist, or Muʿtazila, school maintained the freedom of the will; insisted that right and wrong are knowable through reason independently of, but confirmed by, revelation; and claimed that God's attributes are identical with his essence and that God cannot do what is unreasonable or unjust. However, the Muʿtazilites posed and solved all these problems theologically, not philosophically; their entire thought was theocentric. For example, they did not pose the problem of the will absolutely but discussed it mainly insofar as it is relevant to the concept of a just God. However, their opponents (the Ahl al-Sunnah waʾl-Jamāʿah), who came to constitute the orthodoxy, accused them of stark humanism and opposed them on all these major questions. The orthodoxy, after a long, hard struggle, completely routed the Muʿtazilites as a theological school, but the spark of the Muʿtazilites kindled the purely rationalist movement in philosophic thought.

The work of the original philosophers in Islam was preceded by feverish translation that began around 800 and lasted for about two hundred years; its climax was reached in the time of Caliph al-Maʾmūn al-Rashid (reigned 813833). Al-Maʾmūn set up the first official seat of liberal learning in Islam, called the House of Wisdom, whose main function was to translate the works of the Greek masters of science and philosophy. The translations, however, were mostly from Syriac versions and not directly from the Greek. These translations, which were made almost invariably by Arab Christians, covered the entire range of Greek civilizationthat is, its thought contentbut excluded such specifically cultural aspects as mythology, drama, and literature, which were foreign to the Arabs and to Islam. The Arabs were able to develop a highly technical philosophical diction with astonishing rapidity and to integrate it into the Arabic language so successfully that a philosopher like al-Fārābī (c. 873950), who was a Turk and not an Arab, was able to express himself philosophically in Arabic with remarkable facility. All this happened within a span of about 150 years in a language that had previously known no technical philosophical literature whatsoever.

The main character of Islamic philosophy was set by the combination of Aristotle and Neoplatonism that had constituted an important tradition in the late stages of Hellenistic philosophy and that was represented particularly by the Neoplatonic commentators on Aristotle in Athens and Alexandria, such as Simplicius and John Philoponus (sixth century). The Muslim philosophers introduced into this tradition other fundamental concepts in order to adapt it to an Islamic milieu; the most important were the ideas of contingent and necessary being and of prophethood. Despite these fundamental changes, the Muslim philosophers accepted the general cosmological scheme they had inherited from the Greek traditions. Thus, an important place in their cosmology and metaphysics is occupied by the role of the stars and the heavenly bodies, a role that has no place in the scheme of reality of the Qurʾan. This must be attributed to the Greek beliefs about the status of stars and the heavenly bodies and their creative influence on the sublunary sphere, although such a picture of the universe was also quite in harmony with other traditions existing in the Middle East, for instance, Sabaeans and Babylonians.


The first important Muslim philosopher was the Arab prince Abū-Yūsuf Yaʿqūb ibn Isāq al-Kindī (d. after 870). Al-Kindī's philosophic thought is directly connected with, on the one hand, Greek philosophical doctrines transmitted to him through translations and, on the other, with the rationalist theological movement of the Muʿtazilites. He seems to have espoused the Muʿtazilite doctrines in toto and to have sought to create a philosophical substructure for them. Thus, the Muʿtazilite dogma of the attributeless transcendence of God must have led him to the somewhat parallel idea of God as absolute and transcendent being, a combination of the Aristotelian concept of God and the Neoplatonic concept of the One. It is this affinity that must have led him further to formulate the doctrine, common to all the great Muslim philosophers, that philosophy and religion, or the rational truth and the revealed truth, not only do not conflict with each other but, in fact, lend support to each other and are basically identical. This recalls the Muʿtazilite doctrine that the source of our knowledge of values is reason confirmed by revelation.

In his philosophy, al-Kindī was more of a Neoplatonist than an Aristotelian. (The Arabs attributed certain Neoplatonic works, such as De Causis and Theologia Aristotelis, to Aristotle.) He adopted the Neoplatonic doctrine of emanation in his metaphysics and cosmology. Also, in his theory of intellectual knowledge he adopted the doctrine of the active intellect and the passive intellect, originally formulated by Aristotle, later elaborated by the commentator Alexander of Aphrodisias, and subsequently reworked and essentially modified by Neoplatonists. Al-Kindī introduced into the Greek framework of ideas some fundamental doctrines of Islam. Thus, although he accepted the theory of emanation, he asserted that the first being was created by the sheer act of God's will and out of nothing, an antithesis to the general Greek doctrine that nothing comes out of nothing. Aristotle had postulated two ultimatesone was God, the form of forms; the other, the prime mattereach of which had "existed" independently of the other. Similarly, although the Neoplatonic doctrine of emanation differs vitally from Aristotle's theory of the cosmic movement, it still seeks to avoid having to accept creation ex nihilo by postulating the emanatory process. However, it is difficult to see how, in the last analysis, the emanation theory can overcome the difficulties of creation ex nihilo. Al-Kindī, however, simply asserted emanationism and creationism side by side without reconciling the contradiction between the two. It was Avicenna (Ibn Sīnā) who later attempted the reconciliation, but it was important to the development of Islamic philosophy that al-Kindī, far from giving up the Islamic requirements of the relationship of God and the world, juxtaposed both the Islamic and the Greek doctrines. In his theory of intellection, al-Kindī was attracted by the ideal of a form of knowledge that would do justice to the demands of reason and revelation, although in his extant works we do not find an elaborated theory of prophethood. This, again, was taken up later by al-Farabi and Avicenna, but it was al-Kindī who initiated development of the theory of intellection in Islamic philosophy.


With al-Fārābī, philosophy reached maturity in Islam. Not many of his works have come down to us, but his writings that we do possess reveal an unusually incisive and clear mind. In his cosmology, as well as in his psychology, al-Fārābī was almost entirely Aristotelian, except for the doctrine of emanation. In political theory, which seems to have preoccupied him considerably more than it did other Muslim philosophers, he based himself on Plato's Republic and Laws, but he adapted the Platonic system to his contemporary political situation with a remarkable ingenuity. He developed the doctrine of the intellect from the point at which al-Kindī had left off, and he constructed a theory of divine inspiration that was to serve as a model for Avicenna. But apart from his original theories, the importance of al-Fārābī lies in his attempt to elevate philosophy to the place of highest value and to subordinate the revelation and the sharīʿa, or religious law, to it. In this also he served as a model for both Avicenna and Averroes (Ibn Rushd), but it was precisely this doctrine, in which the sharīʿa took an inferior place as a symbolic expression of a higher intellectual truth, that was also ultimately responsible for the fatal attacks on the philosophical movement by representatives of the orthodoxy.

In his religious attitudes, al-Fārābī was a genuinely universalistic spirit who believed that the entire world should have one religion, of which all particular religions would be considered symbolic expressions. However, it would be a mistake to regard al-Fārābī as a relativist. He tells us in no uncertain terms that not all religions are equal either as adequate symbols of truth or as the effective harnessing of men's minds and hearts. Indeed, he believed that there are religious symbolisms that are positively harmful and must be discarded. He did affirm, however, that there are religions which are equivalent in their religious value; and any one of these symbolic systems may be applied in a given milieu, depending upon circumstances. Although al-Fārābī gave no concrete examples of religions or names of prophets, there is little doubt that the prophet Muammad was fixed in his mind as a paradigm par excellence of a prophet and a lawgiver. This becomes clear in his insistence that the teachings of a prophet should not only be universal but should also be successful in history.

Al-Fārābī's writings give us a full-scale picture of the basic world view of Muslim philosophy. At the apex of his scheme of reality stands God, who is both the One of Plotinus and the First Cause of Aristotle. From him proceeds the first intelligence, which is also the archangel. The first intelligence has a dual nature and gives rise to two further beings: the highest sphere on the physical side and the second intelligence on the spiritual side. This process of emanation continues until we reach the tenth sphere and the last intelligence, identified as the angel of revelation, Gabriel, on the one hand, and as the sphere of the moon on the other. The entire process of the world below the moon is an interaction between the materials emanating from the sphere of the moon and the spiritual influence generated by the tenth intelligence, called the Active Intellect. This interaction generates the world process, and its culminating product is man, with his fully organized body and rational soul.

The goal of man, wherein lies his ultimate bliss, is to develop his rational faculty by his will. The rational faculty is developed by the action of the active intelligence upon it, through which actual thought arises. The end of man, therefore, is to reach philosophic contemplation, and al-Fārābī categorically states that men whose rational faculty remains undeveloped cannot attain immortality but perish with their physical death. The actual activation of man's rational power, however, demands certain practical virtues as well, and this makes it necessary for man to live in organized societies rather than in isolation. People who are ultimately responsible for organizing and directing human societies are those possessed of philosophical wisdom, for it is not possible to enunciate practical laws for humankind without having theoretical wisdom. Therefore, for al-Fārābī the philosopher and the prophet are identical. It is the philosopher-prophet who can formulate the practical principles and laws that will lead men to their final goal of philosophic bliss. Societies governed by such laws are "good societies"; others are "ignorant societies," "misguided societies," or "retarded societies."

At the final stage of the intellective development, the philosophical mind becomes like matter to the Active Intellect, which becomes its form. This is the absolute apogee of human bliss. The prophet is a person who, having attained this philosophical illumination, transforms the philosophic truth into an imaginative myth that moves people to action and can influence societies toward greater morality. It is because of his imaginative power, the power to represent the intellectual truth in the form of a figure or a symbol, that the prophet is able to make laws and to bring revelation. Revelation, therefore, is not philosophic truth but imaginative truth. Only a few gifted philosophical spirits can pierce the imaginative shell and reach the philosophic truth. In al-Fārābī 's theory of prophethood, there seems to be no place for miracles; the accommodation of miracles on a philosophical basis was the work of Avicenna.

Al-Fārābī likened the ruler to the head in the human organism and, like Plato, developed the idea of a hierarchy in which each stratum receives orders from above and issues commands to those below. Just as at the top there is a ruler who is not ruled, so at the bottom there are those who are ruled but do not rule. It is a fully authoritarian view of government, and some scholars have suggested that al-Fārābī was influenced by Shiʿite doctrine. The fact that al-Fārābī was at the court of the Shiʿite ruler is supposed to lend some support to this view. We do not have sufficient historical evidence for such a judgment, but it should be noted that the ultimate ruler of the Farabian state does resemble the Shiʿite Imam, the repository of divine wisdom.

Brethern of Purity

During the tenth century, a secret coterie of popular philosophers known as the Brethren of Purity (Ikhwan al-Safa ) was formed, and they wrote a series of "epistles," or treatises, titled Rasāʾil Ikhwān as Safāʾ, to propagate their views. The epistles exhibit a thoroughly Neoplatonic character. They seek to formulate a worldview culminating in a universalistic religion transcending all organized religions, which, at best, serve as so many different ladders to the ultimate truth. The philosophy preached by the Brethren of Purity is also esoteric, and there are strong reasons to believe that this group was either formed by members of or was connected with the Ismāʿīli movement, a religious sect; it is very likely that it was through such channels that Ismāʿīlism absorbed those Greek philosophic elements which were rejected by the Muslim orthodoxy but were akin to certain patent Oriental theories and to attitudes about religion and the nature of the ultimate truth. The view of the Brethren of Purity does not constitute philosophy in the strict sense but is a kind of vague and romantic idealism; nevertheless, it is important to note it because its ideas have also influenced the development of another powerful spiritual movement in Islam, Sufism.


The most important and original of Muslim philosophers was Abū ʿAlī ibn Sīnā, known to the West as Avicenna (9801037). The philosophic movement in eastern Islam comes to its fullest fruition in the thought of Avicenna, who elaborated one of the most cohesive, subtle, and all-embracing systems of medieval history. In the West his ideas had a profound influence on medieval scholastic philosophy, and in the Muslim world his system is still taught in the traditional centers of Islamic learning. The central thesis of Avicenna's metaphysics is the division of reality into contingent being and Necessary Being. In order to formulate this doctrine, whose influence has been so palpable and enduring in both Eastern and Western thought, Avicenna devised his theory of the distinction between essence and existence. In this theory, he refined the implications of the Islamic doctrine of creation, which al-Kindī had crudely asserted, into an integrated philosophic system.

The bases of this theory of essence and existence are set in Aristotle's doctrine of movement and in the Neoplatonic doctrine of emanation, but in order to achieve the desired results, Avicenna had to effect basic changes both in the doctrine of emanation and in the Aristotelian doctrine of matter and form. Briefly, Aristotle had taught that matter is the principle of potentiality and form the principle of actuality, and that through the interaction of the two the actual movement of the universe takes place, in which potentialities are progressively actualized. Thus, the analysis of any given thingwith the exception of God and prime matterfalls into matter and form. There are, however, grave objections to this view. How can an actual thing come into existence through the interaction of a matter that, according to Aristotle, does not exist and a form that also does not exist? Why should things not remain unactualized in their potentialities, and where is the necessity of movement? Emanation seems to simplify this problem by asserting a single, universal process of outward movement, but it gives no rationale of this movement.

Closer examination led Avicenna to posit three factorsmatter, form, and existenceand to postulate a Necessary Being as the basis for the world process. There is little doubt, however, that it was not merely these philosophic reasons that led him to formulate this doctrine but also the fact that Islam demanded a fundamental distinction between God and the world. Since Avicenna could not accept the creationism of the Muslim theologians because it implied temporal priority of God over the world, he affirmed that God is distinguished from the world by the fact that his being is necessary and simple; God cannot be composed of matter and form but must be pure existence. From God emanate the intelligences, which, although they have no matter, are nevertheless composites of essence and existence; the material beings are composed of matter and form, which constitute their essence, and the fact of their existenceall existence flowing from God.

Avicenna was thus able to solve, to his own satisfaction, the contradiction that seemed to exist between the Greek philosophic world view and the Islamic doctrine of creationism: in accord with the philosophers he affirmed the eternity of the world and rejected temporal creation, but with the Islamists he made the world entirely and eternally dependent upon God. This solution led him to establish the relationship between religion and philosophy. Since the findings of religion and of philosophy do not contradict one another on this crucial point but are not identical either, they run parallel to one another. From this, Avicenna expounded his further view that religion is a kind of philosophy for the masses: It does not tell the naked philosophical truth but is an endeavor to make the masses come as near to the philosophical truth as possible. The prophets are, then, mass psychologists who launch religious movements as pragmatic endeavors to make people virtuous. Thus, Avicenna reaffirms al-Farabi's position that revelation is not philosophic truth but symbolic truth.

The possibility of prophethood in Avicenna's system is intimately connected with his theory of knowledge, particularly with his theory of the creative knowledge and of the "internal sense," which appears to be his own contribution to the history of thought. According to Avicenna, all genuine intellectual discovery implies an intuitive act of knowledge, and our ratiocination merely prepares for us this intuitive act. However, there can beand there arepeople who possess a tremendous native intuitive power even without any ratiocination and process of learning. The ultimate limit of such a gifted mind is the prophetic mind, which does not receive knowledge through learning but creates knowledge. This constitutes the prophetic revelation at the intellectual level. But this intellectual power, in a genuine prophet, flows into the imagination or the "internal sense" as well, thus enabling the imaginative faculty to transform the intellectual truth into images and symbols capable of moving people's minds and bodies. It was on the basis of this power of imagination and suggestion that Avicenna explained the possibility of miracles attributed to prophets. He was thus able to accept even the miracle doctrine of the orthodoxy, although he rejected certain miracles as being "impossible."


Avicenna's system went furthest in integrating the traditional demands of the orthodox religion with the purely Greek rationalism, which explains why his works continue to be studied in the traditional Islamic schools even today. However, his system was made the object of denunciatory criticism by the orthodoxy on certain points: the eternity of the world, the inferior status of the sharīʿa (religious law) as a mere symbol of the higher truth, and the rejection of the resurrection of the body. The classical criticism was carried out by al-Ghazālī (10581111) in his famous work Tahāfut al-Falāsifa (Incoherence of the philosophers), which was also rendered into Latin in the thirteenth century under the title Destructio Philosophorum.


The unrelenting criticism of philosophy as it appeared in Avicenna's system by al-Ghazālī and others led Ibn Rushd, known in the West as Averroes (c. 1126c. 1198), to defend the claims of philosophy. In the process of doing this, Averroes sought to resurrect the original Aristotelian doctrines from the later Neoplatonic and Muslim accretion as much as possible. He wrote many commentaries on the works of Aristotle, whom he believed to be the philosopher par excellence. He accused both Avicenna and al-Ghazālī of having mutilated philosophical theses and of having confused them with religious doctrines. Averroes, however, did not advocate a theory of two truths, although this may be a logical conclusion of what he said in his work titled Fal al-Maqāl (The decisive statement) on the relationship between philosophy and religion.

Averroes rejected Avicenna's distinction between essence and existence. He insisted that existence is, in a way, part of the essence of a thing. The one conspicuous doctrine on which Averroes does not appear to be a faithful follower of Aristotle is that concerning intellect. He declared the passive human intellect also to be eternal and incorruptible and, indeed, to be universal to all humankind, like the Active Intellect. This doctrine of the unity of intellect, besides being apparently unfaithful to Aristotle, was also unacceptable to the followers of the revealed religions. He was thus attacked both by Muslims and, in the West, by Thomas Aquinas, who wrote a special treatise, titled De Unitate Intellectus, against the Averroistic doctrine. It must, however, be pointed out that the common objection raised against Averroes' doctrine of the universality of the intellect ever since Thomas's classic formulation of it as ego intellego is very superficial. Averroes not only never held that the act of cognition is universal but was, in fact, at pains to prove its individual character. What he seems to be concerned to show is that all thinking, although it occurs individually, becomes in a real sense universal, and that this universal aspect is more intrinsic to human cognition than is the fact that it is the product of such-and-such an individual or individuals. In any case, it is certain that Averroes never denied the individuality of the act of cognition.

Although Averroes believed that religion and philosophy are in two different orbits, he nevertheless felt the necessity of reconciling the two and of so stating the philosophic doctrines as not to offend religion and of so conceiving the religious dogmas that they would not conflict with philosophy. We are, therefore, back at the position of Avicenna. On the question of the eternity of the world, Averroes taught the doctrine of eternal creation. Although he did not reject the religious dogmas of the resurrection of the body, as Avicenna had done, he taught that the numerically same body cannot be resurrected. There was, however, bitter opposition to the doctrines of Averroes, who was also the qadī (judge) of Seville, and today very few of his works survive in the original Arabic; they are to be found mostly in Hebrew and Latin translations.

Abuʾl-BarakĀt ibn MalkĀ

In the East we find another important attempt at the rapprochement of the content of religion and philosophy in the works of Abuʾl-Barakāt ibn Malkā (also known as Abuʾl-Barakāt al-Baghdādī, d. c. 1174/1175). A Jew converted to Islam, Abuʾl-Barakāt's doctrines show a decisive trend toward Islamic orthodox beliefs. Thus, on the question of the attributes of God, he affirmed all the attributes of the Deity in the positive sense and not as pure negations, as his predecessors had done. His doctrine that the eternal essence of God can be the subject of changing accidents is palpable proof of his conscious orthodoxy. The doctrine is so obviously removed from the teaching of the early great Muslim philosophers and of Aristotle himself that, while it did not seem to have much appeal for the philosophic tradition in Islam, it evoked enthusiastic approval from such orthodox ʿUlamāʾ (the "learned") as Ibn Taymiya (thirteenth and fourteenth centuries). Similarly, Abuʾl-Barakāt taught that the intellectual and the perceptual faculties are not different but are one and the same. He rejected the teachings of the Aristotelians that God does not know the particulars but only the universals, and he obviously did not accept Avicenna's formulation of the doctrine that God knows every particular but "in a universal way" rather than through perception. According to Abuʾl-Barakāt, both sense perception and intellective perception belong to the soul and do not intrinsically involve the body. Then he concludes that God knows the particulars just as he knows the universals.

Although further progress of philosophy was cut off by the blows of the orthodoxy, philosophical developments, especially the system of Avicenna, had exerted a rejuvenating influence on orthodox theology (kalâm ). After al-Ghazālī's refutation of philosophy, the scope of theology was expanded to include all the epistemological and metaphysical questions the philosophers had dealt with but to which theological answers were now provided. The first person to attempt this and who is, in fact, the forerunner of all Islamic theologians is Fakh r ad-Dīn ar-Rāzī (11491209). Logic was simply taken over by kalam as a necessary instrumental science. Thus, the official theology set itself up as "the crown of the religious sciences" and began to function as a sufficient substitute for philosophic thought. Rational thought was thus banished from the schools as being redundant; only Avicenna's works (and commentaries and compendia based upon them) were taught, but more in order to be refuted than to instigate independent thought.

Under the attacks of orthodoxy, philosophy went underground, as it were, and lived on in the form of now one theosophy, now another. Instead of continuing as a purely rational expression of the human mind, it emptied its contents into intellectual Sufism. Henceforth, we do not get pure philosophy in Islam but a mystical philosophy. After the activity of the pantheist Sufi theosoph Ibn al-Arabī (11651240), the new philosophic mysticism developed into a closely argued and elaborate system in the works of adr al-Dīn al Sh īrazī, commonly known as Mullā adrā (1571/15721640). Mullā adrā represents a conjunction of the Shiʿite doctrine, the philosophic tradition of Avicenna, the mystical intellectualism of Shihāb al-Dīn Yahyā Suhrawardī (executed at Aleppo in 1192), and of Ibn al-Arabī. He is a typical representative of the intellectual-spiritual tradition of late medieval Islam. A monist, Mullā adrā believed in a doctrine of mystic "return" to the First Principle of being. The reality as given is constituted by three levels of "worlds"the spiritual, the imaginative, and the physical. The "imaginative" world (ʿālam al-mith āl ) is the world of symbols or images that relates the spiritual and the physical realms to one another, and it is the realm essentially relevant to the genesis and interpretation of symbols given in religious experience. This doctrine exercised a very considerable influence on subsequent developments in Islamic thought until the dawn of modern times. The centrality of "the world of symbols," with its religious implications and with its escapism from the external world, is symptomatic of the refined spiritual and intellectual culture of Islam in the later Middle Ages until the impact of Western influence upon it.

The story of philosophic thought in Islam after Averroes still remains to be written. Modern Western students of Islamic philosophy generally stop short at Averroes because the Muslim philosophic movement exerted an influence on medieval Western philosophy until his time. It is a pity that Muslim philosophy has been studied not as an internal whole but essentially from the point of view of its impact upon and relationship to Western philosophy. However, even a thorough account of the influence of Islamic ideas on Western thought is still lacking.

See also Alexander of Aphrodisias; al-Fārābī; al-Ghazālī, Muhammad; al-Kindī Abū-Yūsuf Yaʿqūb ibn Isāq; Aristotelianism; Aristotle; Averroes; Averroism in Modern Islamic Philosophy; Avicenna; Determinism and Freedom; Dialectic in Islamic and Jewish Philosophy; Enlightenment, Islamic; God, Concepts of; Ibn al-ʿArabī; Mullā adrā; Mysticism, History of; Neoplatonism; Philoponus, John; Rationalism; Simplicius; Sufism; Suhrawardī Shihāb al-Dīn Yayā Thomas Aquinas, St.


general works

Boer, T. J. de. The History of Philosophy in Islam. London, 1903.

Corbin, Henry. Histoire de la philosophie islamique, Vol. I. Paris: Gallimard, 1964. Paperback.

Menasce, P. J. de. Arabisches Philosophie. No. 6 in Bibliographische Einführungen in das Studium der Philosophie. Bern, 1948.

Munk, Salomon. Mélanges de philosophie juive et arabe. Paris: A. Franck, 1859; 2nd ed., Paris: J. Gamber, 1927.

Walzer, Richard. "Islamic Philosophy." In History of Philosophy, Eastern and Western, Vol. II, edited by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan et al. London: Allen and Unwin, 19521953. Contains a selected bibliography on individual Muslim philosophers.

Watt, W. Montgomery. Islamic Surveys. Vol. I, Islamic Philosophy and Theology. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1962.

supplementary works

In addition to the works listed in the bibliography of the Walzer work, above, the following should be consulted:

"Al-Kindi's Treatise on Intellect." Edited and translated by R. J. McCarthy. Islamic Studies 3 (4) (1964).

Averroes' Tahafut al-Tahafut (The Incoherence of the Incoherence). Translated with an introduction and notes by Simon van den Bergh. 2 vols. London: Luzac, 1954.

Corbin, Henry. Oeuvres philosophiques et mystiques de Sohrawardī. Teheran: Institut Franco-Iranien, 1952. Especially Prolégomènes.

Masumi, M. S. H. Ibn Bajjah's ʿIlm al-Nafs. Karachi: Pakistan Historical Society, 1961.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines: Conceptions of Nature and Methods Used for Its Study by Ikhwān al Safā, al-Bīrūnī, and Ibn Sīnā. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1964.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. Three Muslim Sages. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1963. Discusses Avicenna, Suhrawardī, and Ibn al-Arabī.

Rahman, Fazlur. "Dream, Imagination and ʿĀlam al-Mith āl." Islamic Studies 3 (2) (1964).

Rahman, Fazlur. Prophecy in Islam. London: Allen & Unwin, 1958.

Sharif, M. M., ed. A History of Islamic Philosophy. Vol. I. Wiesbaden, 1963. Published by the Pakistan Philosophical Congress. Essays on all aspects of the history of Islamic thought. Contains much useful information but has scholarship of uneven quality.

Walzer, Richard. Greek into Arabic: Essays on Islamic Philosophy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1962. Reprints selected essays of the author, including "Islamic Philosophy."

Fazlur Rahman (1967)

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