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Original scientific paper

The Philosophy of Antiphilosophy in Islam

Imran Aijaz ; The University of Michigan-Dearborn

Full text: english pdf 302 Kb

page S3-24

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In this article, I will examine Aristotle’s protreptic argument for the necessity of philosophy as it was deployed by Al-Kindi. I will show how a Muslim critic of philosophy, primarily one who is aligned with the theological outlook of Ibn Hanbal, can reasonably reject the protreptic argument as Al-Kindi presents it. The argument can, however, be reworked in a way to circumvent common criticisms of it presented by Hanbalī-style opponents of philosophy. Indeed, I will argue that, once the argument is properly clarified with reference to what constitutes ‘philosophy’, its soundness is incontrovertible. In closing, I will briefly discuss why Muslim critics of philosophy need not see the protreptic argument as threatening, as the inevitability of philosophy does not necessitate a commitment to all sorts of philosophical positions, however problematic these may be for Islamic doctrine.


Islam; philosophy; Islamic philosophy; antiphilosophy; protreptic argument; Aristotle; Al-Kindi; Ibn Hanbal

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