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The Creation of Philosophical Tradition

A work of intellectual archaeology, the book “The Creation of Philosophical Tradition: Biography & the Reception of Avicenna’s Philosophy from the Eleventh to the Fourteenth Century A.D.” clearly documents the vitality of the post-classical philosophical tradition as reflected in literary biography, the genres of commentary and gloss, and within the madrasa tradition of medieval Islamic civilization.

How is a philosophical tradition created? What role does literary biography play in the formation of intellectual reception history? Through a detailed analysis of the lives and works of post-Avicennan philosophers, this monograph traces the intellectual history and development of the Avicennan tradition from the fifth/eleventh to the eighth/fourteenth century. Section 1 investigates the genres of Arabo-Islamic biobibliographical and prosopographical writings as a source for the history of Arabic philosophy, delineating their literary topoi, the construction of philosophical authority, and the relationship of Sunnī and Twelver-Shīʿī Islam to Aristotelian logic and philosophy. Section 2 presents fourteen discrete biobibliographical studies with a critical inventory of the works, including those written in the neglected exegetical genres of commentary, supercommentary, gloss, and supergloss, of Avicenna’s immediate disciples and the following generations of philosophers who created the Avicennan philosophical heritage in the Islamicate world.

About the Author

Ahmed H. al-Rahim is assistant professor of Islamic studies in the Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia, USA. His areas of research include medieval Muslim intellectual history, broadly conceived, but especially the history of Avicennan philosophy, and modern Islamic political thought.

Table of Contents



Table of Post-Avicennan Philosophers

  1. Introduction

1.1. Lives of the Philosophers Genre

1.2.The Avicennan Isnād

1.3. The “Meeting of Great Minds”Topos

1.4. Prosopographies of Sunnī Jurisconsults and Philosophy

1.5. Philosophy and the Madrasa

1.6. Philosophy, Sāfiʿism, and Shīʿī Proclivities

  1. Lives and Works of the Philosophers

2.1. Avicenna’s Immediate Disciples.

2.1.1. al-Ghūzǧānī

2.1.2. Bahmanyār

2.1.3. Ibn-Zayla

2.1.4. al-Maʿṣūmī

2.1.5. Summary

2.2 Post-Avicennan Philosophers

2.2.1. al-Lawkarī

2.2.2. al-Ilāqī

2.2.3. al-Ġazālī

2.2.4. as-Sāwī

2.2.5. al-Ḫūnaǧī

2.26. al-Abharī

2.2.7. al-Kātibī

2.2.8. al-Urmawī

2.2.9. at-Tustarī

2.2.10. at-Taḥtānī


Bibliographic Information

Title: The Creation of Philosophical Tradition: Biography & the Reception of Avicenna’s Philosophy from the Eleventh to the Fourteenth Century A.D

ٍAuthor: Ahmed H. al-Rahim

Publisher: Harrassowitz

Language: English

Length: 218 pages

ISBN: 978-3-447-10333-6

Pub. Date: 14.11.2018

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