SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Islamic Philosophy

Module Code:
155901338
Status:
Module Not Running 2019/2020
Credits:
15
Year of study:
Year 3 of 3 or Year 4 of 4
Taught in:
Term 1

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

By the end of this module, students

  • should have acquired knowledge of the intellectual history of the Islamic world, especially the history of philosophy and theology,
  • should have a critical understanding of key concepts, problems and debates, and of their broader historical and intellectual contexts
  • should have some familiarity with relevant primary sources in translation
  • should be able critically to examine, contextualise and interpret historical materials
  • should be able critically to analyse medieval intellectual notions and modes of reasoning
  • should be able to exhibit these skills in a piece of academic writing

Workload

This course is taught over 22 weeks with 2 hours classroom contact per week.

Scope and syllabus

This module focuses on aspects of the intellectual history of the medieval Islamic world, above all the history of philosophy and systematic theology. It will examine various thinkers and schools of thought of the classical and post-classical periods, including Aristotelianism, Mu‘tazilism and Ash‘arism, and will introduce key concepts, problems and debates, particularly in metaphysics, natural philosophy, epistemology, ethics and anthropology. These topics will be approached analytically, situated and interpreted within their broader contexts, and read through representative primary texts in translation. Attention will be given to contemporary scholarly methodologies and debates in the field.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination to be taken in May/June (70%); one essay of 2,500 - 3,000 words to be submitted on the day the class is taught, week 1, term 2 (15%); one essay of 2,500 - 3,000 words to be submitted on the day the class is taught, week 1, term 3 (15%).

Suggested reading

  • Adamson, P., and R. Taylor (eds). The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
  • El-Rouayheb, K., and S. Schmidtke (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Gutas, D. Greek Thought, Arabic Culture. London and New York: Routledge, 1998.
  • Nagel, T. The History of Islamic Theology. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.
  • Schmidtke, S. (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Taylor, R., and L. López-Farjeat (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Islamic Philosophy. London and New York: Routledge, 2016.
  • Winter, T. (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Disclaimer

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