There was a time when knowledge from Ancient Greece was studied primarily by the Islamic World. Philosophers like Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and Ibn Sina (Avicenna) wrote about the nature of God, the relationship of thought to substance, motion, cause, and a whole host of other topics. The ideas developed during this era helped math, science, history, philosophy, and many other disciplines to progress.
There is an unfortunate tendency by many to consider this period unimportant to the present except as a historical event. This is not to say that they didn’t produce useful knowledge, but that we’ve retained everything of value already. According to this argument, there is no point in studying this era currently since what the scholars of that era innovated is already a part of our wisdom. With respect, I think this is a mistake. Returning to the past regularly is a healthy way of critiquing the present and finding new possibilities for innovation. Here are some works that do this successfully.
- Sari Nusseibeh, The Story of Reason in Islam, Stanford University Press, November 2016.
- Ali Paya, “Islamic Philosophy: Past, Present and Future,” Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, July 2014.
- Safet Bektovic, “(Post) modern Islamic philosophy: challenges and perspectives,” Islam & Christian-Muslim Relations, July 2012.
- Birgit Krawietz and Georges Tamer, Islamic Theology, Philosophy and Law: Debating Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, de Gruyter, December 2012.
- Jari Kaukua, Self-Awareness in Islamic Philosophy: Avicenna and Beyond, Cambridge University Press, 2015.
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