There is a rich and often overlooked tradition of Islamic philosophy, or 'falsafa'. This module focuses on the classical period of the Islamic Golden Age, from Al-Kindi, via Ibn Sina (also known as Avicenna), to Ibn Rushd (also known as Averroes). The classical Islamic tradition played a central role in transmitting and transforming philosophical thought from the Ancient Greeks to the Early Moderns. Many distinctions familiar from the Early Modern tradition and not clearly present in Ancient Greek philosophy first started to take shape during this period, and Islamic philosophers made important contributions to topics such as the relation between the mind and the body, the distinction between essence and existence, arguments for the existence of God and concerning God’s nature, the metaphysical modalities of possibility, contingency, and necessity, and the nature of logic, science, religion, ethics, and philosophy itself.
The aim of this module is to introduce some of the central views and arguments of classical Islamic philosophy and to explore and critically assess them in light of recent philosophical commentary.